Friday, October 19, 2012

Go Goa

Another post from the travel front. This time on India's most popular holiday destination. Goa.

Goa. The first thought which comes to mind is Holiday on the Beach. Had been thinking about making the trip from Mumbai for long, but hadn't been able to. Also had always wondered where exactly people went when they went to Goa. A little "desktop research" and the options presented itself. Transport was through overnight buses to and from Mumbai. And stay was booked in government guesthouse. For a first time visitor the GTDC website would be a good place to get lots of useful information.

Some trivia before the pictures
  • Goa is roughly divided into 2 halves - North & South. South being the relatively quieter one.
  • South part has the famous churches.
  • Fenny - the drink made from cashewnuts is a must try.
  • Water Sports are not permitted during monsoons
  • Hotel rates differ wildly based on the date of stay. Same booking can have different rates if the stay overlaps the seasons.
  • Bargain a lot if you are looking for cheap, touristy stuff
  • The entire state is 110 kms long. Easily covered in a couple of days.
Enough of trivia. Now for the pictures
Coconut trees, Beach - The Perfect Goa Picture
The view I got from my hotel room.

The Guardians in Gold

Aguada Fort & Lighthouse - Made famous by the Movie Dil Chahta Hai

A sea of Green

A Temple by the River Bank

Casino Royale - a floating Casino

Soap Bubbles

Bridge on the River Mandavi

Traditional Goan Coconut Dance on the river cruise

Overall, a nice short trip to a place where another one can be planned soon enough. Hopefully

Monday, October 08, 2012

MovieNotes - English Vinglish

Movie - English Vinglish
*ing - Sridevi, Laddoos, A French Actor & Others
Language - Hindi & Crash course English

Key Features

USP - Sridevi's comeback after a long hiatus

What is it about? - A Hindi schooled housewife's attempts to tackle her poor English language skills

A very normal family - Working Husband, School going kids, quite apart in age, and an "entrepreneur" housewife. Basically characters you see around you, could be your next door neighbours.
Conversations done in Hindi & French where the characters' lack of other's language doesn't prevent them understanding each other.
Keeping the melodrama to the minimum.
The music stays in the background and carries the story forward.

Low Point - Cliched characters in "English speaking" class - Pakistani cab driver, Mexican nanny, Chinese hairdresser etc. But they add to the fun, specially the Pakistani.

Acting - First rate. Minor characters playing their roles to perfection.

Special Mention - Amitabh Bachchan's cameo.

Overall Rating - 9/10

Previously on MovieNotes - Barfi

Sunday, October 07, 2012

Bali - The Arts & Crafts of Tourism

Continuing with the previous post on Bali.

Apart from its natural beauty & resources, Bali is also home to some stunning handicrafts. Beautiful stonework, woodwork, silver-work, paintings was found across the island. And to ensure that tourists carry back the memories and word-of-mouth publicity photography was allowed everywhere. Even inside the workshops of the artisans. Something which Indian Tourism Industry needs to seriously look into. Prohibiting photography doesn't help tourist growth. Anyways I digressed. Here is a pictorial collection of some of the beautiful Balinese work.

Stone Statues were a common sight on the roadside

The mask of the Gods

The intricately carved dressing table

Made from a single piece of wood

Work in progress

Balinese beauty captured in stone

Ram & Sita carved in wood

Divine Love
So this was it - a pictorial trip to Bali