Sunday, October 31, 2010


After what seems like a long time, I finally decided to get back on traveling. On a nice Saturday morning (16th Oct) After Ayuda Pooja at home, I decided to take my car on a ride! My friend T joined me on this trip to Kunigal. As talked about earlier, I have this ambition of covering the length and breadth of every district in the State and compile my extensive research of tourist attraction. Having finished Kolar, it’s now time for another nearby district, so I picked Tumkur and Kunigal taluk seemed the easiest to complete. So on this day I set out on the expedition to complete the Taluk.

We left Bangalore at around 9:45 AM and reached Yediyur at around 12:15 PM after driving wrongly towards Tumkur and then returning to Nelamangla on the newly constructed toll way. Yediyur Sadhalingeshwara Temple is very known pilgrimage. The temple was crowded with people and vehicles as it was Ayooda Pooja. Villagers drove their bikes, cars, tractors, bull dozers to the temple and worshipped the machines that help them survive. In olden days Ayuda poojas where done to worship all the weapons used during war and now people continue this tradition to all the machineries used these days. I feel that the tractors and tillers suit best for this worship than cars and bikes as they help us in agriculture and support us in growing food and not just comfort like a car or bike does.

The temple mutt offers free food to devotees and the simple rice, sambhar, buttermilk and kheer was a perfect meal for us. After food we drove 5kms towards Markonahalli Dam. The dam is constructed on Simsha River and supports agriculture for villages around. It was built by Krishnaraja Wodeyar IV, the king of Mysore under the guidance of his Diwan, Sir M Visweswaraiah.

From here we drove to Kunigal town where we wanted to visit the Stud farm, initial built by Hyder Ali but now owned by Vijay Mallya. Unfortunately we were not allowed to enter the farm unless we had some permission from UB city but the security guard said during the month of Shravan, villagers are allowed to worship at the temple inside the farm, so we planned to return back next year during the month of Shravan.

We drove to the Village Lake called Dodda Kere and by its side Someshwara Temple.

We spoke to a villager regarding the prices of land around Kunigal and he was quite informative. After a walk around the lake and watching the villagers fishing, we drove back to Bangalore.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Children Of Heaven!

Children of heaven (Bachehaye Aseman) is a 1997 Persian movie with a simple but very complex drive into kids mind. Brother (Ali) loses his sisters (Zahra) shoes in a market place. The family is poor and hence they are unable to reveal this to their parents, instead the siblings decide that they will manage the future days with just one pair of shoes (that of Ali's). Luckily for them their schools start at different times, while Zahra finishes the school, Ali’s class’s start and they exchange the shoe somewhere midway to school. The movie captures the complicated minds of the kids that are tangled with thoughts and realizations that cannot be always expressed with words. The performances are brilliant.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Nobody Knows!

Nobody knows (Dare mo shiranai) is based on a true story and a very very sad story about four kids being abandoned by their mother and are allowed to survive on their own without anyone knowing that they exist.

The movie begins with a mother and son shifting to a new apartment, happily introducing them to the neighborhood. But what no one knows is that their baggage hides two kids and a third is to arrive later that night without being noticed. Four kids, all from a different father are not registered and live secretly with their mother in a apartment. They never get to go out except for the eldest son, who brings food and cooks for the others and one day, the mother disappears out of their life along with her new boy friend. The kids are forced to continue living alone in the apartment secretly.

"Nobody knows" is a sad story; it’s difficult to watch the kids suffer without shedding one drop of tear; they face life as it comes and learn to cope with the situation without even knowing to complain. The story is based on true events that happened in Tokyo in late 1980's. This 2004 movie captures the sorrow and silence of the kids in a brilliant manner.

The performance by every kid is amazing and heartwarming.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

The Way Home!

The way home (Jibeuro) is a 2002 Korean film about a small boy being left alone in a village for few days with his old grandmother who cannot speak. The story follows few days of the boy’s life, until his mother finds a job in town during which they (grandmother & he) break the barriers between them such as urban-rural culture, generation gaps, communication and most importantly the attitude towards life.

The way home is a very interesting movie to watch with direction as though everything is happening right in front of you. Scenes where the grandmother gives him a haircut and where she provides him boiled chicken when asked for Kentucky fried chicken is simply fantastic.

The 78-year-old villager and non-actress 'Eul-boon Kim' had not only never performed in a movie before 'Jibeuro', but she had never before *seen* a film. She was found during an extensive talent search among real rural village people by director Lee Jeong-hyang to play the lead role of the stoic, heroic mute grandmother.

The fun of watching foreign language film for me is to be able to virtually take a tour to their beautiful country and get to know their culture. Some beautiful rural glimpses from south Korea makes up the background for this story.

Both the grandmother and the boy are simply outstanding in their performance.

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Not One Less!

It all began when I watched Children of Heaven; my cousin who shares the common taste in movies like me, suggested that I watch this Persian movie on children. One of her relatives later sent her a pack of four cd’s with all movies on kids, from various Asian countries. Last week, I finished watching all the movies. In the coming posts I would like to review the movies one by one as these are great movies.

Not One Less (Chinese, 1999)

Not one less (yíge dōu bùnéng shao), is a beautiful 1999 Chinese movie about a small school in a remote village of China. The movie opens with the mayor of the village and a 13 year old girl, wei walking towards the village school where she will substitute teacher Gao for a month as he needs to visit his ill mother. Though Gao is not convinced that wei can handle the school, he has no other choice but to leave after some instructions. Wei is promised 50 Yen for her job but she realizes the school is very poor to afford the price and runs behind the teacher to ask for it to which he says – I will pay you the money if mayor does not, but there should not be one less student than there are now.

Not one less, is a movie of a small girl Wei, trying to teach a bunch of kids in a remote village and how when one of her students due to poverty moves to city, she with the help of the kids, manages to travel to city and her struggles hard to find the boy.

Director Zhang Yimou has used amateur actors whose real life profession is the characters they play in movie and hence the movie seems so natural. The performance from everyone is amazing and makes the movie a treat to watch.

The movie silently through its events captures the disconnect between the rural and urban cities of China and the poverty and affect of it on education in rural China.