Showing posts from March, 2011

The 'D' Day - August 15...

Like every movie, this one too starts with a shot of the sun rising in. We start off with lots of media personnel waiting outside a hospital, eagerly to hear that the chief minister is dead! Interestingly, a daily newspaper starts composing its front page at 6.15 in the morning!!! The name of this newspaper is very similar to the mouthpiece of the Communist party in Kerala. The party secretary arrives at the hospital to enquire about the current status of the Chief Minister - he arrives in a joyous mood. Moments after he arrives at the hospital, the doctors come out of the ICU and announces that the CM is safe! The party secretary returns with a gloomy face! The doctors realise long after the CM goes back home that he was poisoned! The chief doctor (played by veteran actor Madhu) calls up the police to inform the matter. The shocked police officers brainstorm, and immediately decide to set up a special officer to investigate the issue. No guesses who the officer is - there comes a bu

Howlers paradise!

That was one helluva experience! A rare blend of conventional movie hall with a feel of a multiplex! A renovated movie hall, Asoka, re-opened recently at Kodungallur. This was once a 1000+ seater conventional movie hall, with a very huge balcony. The hall was then called Essen - and was owned by a very famous family in Kodungallur. Essen was later sold to another party, who renamed it as Asoka . The theatre was renovated when it got the name Asoka . The hall, according to anecdotes, came up some time in the late 1970s or early 1980s. The theatre is located right next to National Highway-17. Asoka closed down close to a year ago, for renovation. The hall opened again on March 24, 2011. This time the hall was totally re-done and airconditioned. The seating capacity came down to about 610 now, just around half of what it used to be in the past years. The hall has been tastefully re-done. Asoka is now the ONLY Air-conditioned movie hall in Kodungallur. Kodungallur has three movie hal

Christian Brothers.... old wine in new bottle!

Setting records of sorts, the multi-starrer movie, Christian Brothers, was released at over 300 centres across India. The movie opened at over 150 screens in Kerala alone - following the current trend of taking home a big opening in the first week of release, and then forget the movie forever. Christian Brothers is no different. Christi-an Brothers is a movie cut out to meet expectations of just the fan bases of the three main stars in the movie. Christian Brothers is among a series of multi-starrer movies that are getting ready to hit the silverscreens. This movie has Mohanlal, Suresh Gopi, Dileep and Sarathkumar as the lead "heros", and Lakshmi Gopalaswamy, Lakshmi Rai, Kavya Madhavan and Kaniha as the lead "heroines". The word "Heroine" is a mis-nomer here, since none of the ladies in the movie have any concrete role to play - other than play eye-candy. The script for the movie was penned by Udayakrishna and Siby K Thomas. Music by Deepak Dev and Visu

The two-decked fantasy...

People looked in awe as this gleaming tall structure crawled through the crowded highway stretch between Vyttila and Kalamassery (both in Kochi, Kerala). Crew of private buses that over took this structure smiled, and mocked at the driver. Some people hesistated to even board the bus, when we screeched into bus stops. The bus stopped when ever somebody waved his hand - but very little people did so! At just Rs. 5.50, I made a 50 minute journey of fantasy! Still wondering what am I talking about? The Kerala Road Transport Corporation launched a brand new Ashok Leyland Titan Double Decker bus in Kochi city. The bus was a matter of prestige for the incumbent Transport Minister, and he ensured that he got one bus for his constituency. The corporation purchased two of these Rs. 36 lakh monsters, one each for Kochi and Trivandrum. The buses were built by Antony Garage, Mumbai. The bus for Kochi was flagged off during the inauguration of Phase-I of Vyttila Mobility Hub - and was a surprise

Whats the fare, buddy?

Every time bus operators in Kerala demand a fare hike, the government usually goes about describing the unbelievably low bus fares. My experiences with bus travel in TN has been very limited in the past few years. I've only been in buses running in Coimbatore and Chennai. Last month end, I had an opportunity to visit to Madurai (posted earlier). I was looking forward for that trip. During the course of my stay in Madurai, I was to travel from Periyar Bus Station (The "central" bus station in Madurai) to Madurai Kamaraj University (about 12 kms from the city, on the Theni Highway). I was expecting a bus fare of around Rs. 3-4, given the bus fares in Coimbatore. It was off to a lazy start on the first day - having not slept properly the previous night. I reached the bus station, and wandered around without a particular aim. I kept asking people about which bus would take me to my destination. Finally a driver directed me to the correct bus. The bus had started moving by

Hurdle race to Madurai!

Nine Thirty PM, on February Twenty Four Twenty Eleven. I was roaming outside the office of Kallada Travels, at Palarivattom, Ernakulam. I had booked on the Kallada Travels' Ernakulam-Madurai Volvo service. I had to be in Madurai before 9AM the next morning, and this bus was promising a 6 AM arrival there. There were just one more person at the office waiting for the bus. This bus is the last Kallada passing through the place, and hence the guys at the office were preparing to close down. I took a couple of night shots of the road, and the church on the other side of the road. I was hoping for a "purple" coloured bus, and it so happened that the same bus turned up! The bus was KL-45-E-7929. My seat was #12. But there was a gentleman already occupying the seat - the bus was totally empty, and I decided to take Seat #8 instead. We had all of 7 passengers in the bus. The bus was noisy, and the ride was a bit patchy. The driver drove at a slow pace all the time - he was worr