Sunday, June 21, 2009

Why Cinema?

One of my many hobbies is to watch good cinema. I am a member of a film society who conduct workshops and film appreciation events. I enjoy cinema. Many people I know are sarcastic and ironic about this, reason to which I fail to understand. They ask me – Why do you watch so many movies? It’s a waste. I choose not to answer them. But there is always a reason, always an answer for what a person does in his life. Every hobby of mine, may it be traveling, photography, painting, gardening or writing; all have a reason and all have been equally criticized in the recent times.

Movies, among these complete my other interests. When I watch a movie, I understand and like the script; I appreciate the locations, places they travel to; I observe the creative art involved in making the sets; I analyze the cinematography and directors point of view; I enjoy the music; I admire the performances. So in short, cinema is one package that captures, art, theater, photography, travel, writing, music, dance, technology, imagination and several other interests that man has had so far. The least I could say to impress the so called intellectuals is that it is an encyclopedia of general knowledge, not just what you see or know, but also of what humans feel and experience.

May it be the artistic approach in “Vicky Christina Barcelona”, “Hum Dil De Chucke Sanam”; amazing locations in “The Beach”, “Motorcycle diaries”; Brilliant scripts such as “Doubt”, “Moksha” or “The Lesser Evil”; amazing performances in “A River runs through it”, “Dweepa” or “Page3”; Unpredictable twists in “Fight Club”, “Butterfly Effect”; Creative work in “Shrek”; or most natural portrayal of life in “Gulabi Talkies”, “Raincoat”, “Children of Heaven”; all have contributed to enrich my thoughts.

A take away from the movie can be a philosophy handed over, as “The Hours” did to me. Cinema is vast; the level of creativity that can be achieved by them is, I think, Incapable by any other means. Technology and art go hand in hand. But as Virginia Woolf says – “Really I don't like human nature unless all candied over with art”.

And then there are some, who say – I watch movie for just entertainment. That’s all I want from them. If you want to be, only a mere spectator and not an absorber of art, then so be it. But that’s not what everyone else should think dude!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Revanasiddeshwara Betta

What does it take for a good trip? Good location, good company and good time. I think we had all this during our day trip to Revannasiddeshwara betta last Saturday.

Revannasiddeshwara Betta

Traveling to and from office for an hour is pathetic if you do not have a good company in your cab mates. Fortunately our cab has had best team members who are interesting, cooperative and understanding. So to celebrate this one year of bonding we all share during the travel to office, we decided to go for a trekking. 8 of 13 agreed to join on the day fixed.

The village surrounding the Revannaiddeshwara betta is one of our cab mates (C) home. It was extremely nice of him to invite us over. The weather was perfect; sun hid behind a thin layer of moistness throughout the day. We left Bangalore at 8:20 Am in two cars, reached the base of the hill at around 9:45 AM. One has to take a deviation to left soon after Ramanagara town.

Already excited by the drive into the greenery we were all enthusiastic to start the climb. We took off-routes occasionally. It was a beautiful sight from the top, overlooking the mangoe groves and fields.

View from Summit

One reaches the summit first and then walks down to other side to reach main shrine inside a cave. One of my friends KK, chanted the Rudra mantra, which created a magical and pious atmosphere.

I call this picture"Togetherness"

There are totally 3 temples on the hill – At summit is Revannasiddeshwara betta, midway is Bheemeshwari (Named after Bheema) and Renukamba temple at the base. The temple at the base has a noticeably beautiful garden neatly maintained by the villagers.

At the base, is also a matt, which offers lunch to the devotees. Having arrived on a special day with some special offering by a devotee we were served Payasam and obattu.

After lunch we left to a more or less secret place owned by the friend C. It’s a nice patch of green land midst Kappi betta, walled by trees and rocks from all four sides and situated near an artificial lake created by villagers. Water from this lake is used for irrigation and fishing. We requested the fishermen to take us on a coracle ride on the lake.

Secret Place, with a cave behind

A Bulbul in the secret place

After relaxing for a while in what I would like to call a secret place we took off to C’s uncle’s farmhouse. It was drizzling on the way; hence it created a picturesque view. We walked around the farm and mangoe groves; plucked some mangoes, tasted some delicious mangoes at their home and then decided to return back to the city.

Mangoe Grove

Delicious Raspuri Mangoes

It was a beautiful and relaxing trip and thanks to the perfect time. Virginia woolf writes - “I can only note that the past is beautiful because one never realizes an emotion at the time. It expands later, & thus we don’t have complete emotions about the present, only about the past.”

In our cab journeys after the trip, during our recollection of the fun, the moments expanded and became complete.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Exploring Neighborhood

My nephew and niece were eager to join me in my exploration, when I set out to follow the cry of the peacocks. As kids, I and my cousins have done enough of these treks and were excited about our findings – New places, berries and strangers. During our hunt for peacocks near my house in Surathkal, we came across beautiful sights. Here I take you on a picture tour.

Green fields & Grazing Cows

My extremely naughty niece taking a detour. :-)

Old lady preparing broom sticks out of coconut leaves; kids watching.

Finally mission accomplished after around 2KM trekk.

Wild berries. (Karandey....and berries of Kiskara plant)

Wild Flowers

A Bhoota Sthana....Prayer hall for holy spirits that guard the farm and land.

More Cows....

My favorite shot, as always....We were there!