Jul 29, 2007

The saga ends

The saga which began 10 years ago (it's 4 years back when it all began for me) has finally ended. I finished reading the Deathly Hallows in a span of three days last week and was completely enthralled in the quick narration of events that kept me glued to the book for long hours.It was a fitting end and all the loose plots were tied together beautifully by Rowling. Not even once did I feel that the pace was slow or slacking. It was action and magic right from the first page.

Potter fans who haven't finished the book yet, please don't read further. There might be some spoilers that I might talk about.

As always, the story begins at the Privet Drive but Harry, Ron and Hermione are not to board the Hogwarts Express this time. Many people die in this book, first ones being Mad Eye Moody and Hedwig. Hagrid escapes by a whisker. The story unfolds with Death Eaters disrupting Bill and Fleur's wedding party. The trio escapes to Grimmauld Palace, seeking shelter and Kreacher becomes their friend. This part is very interesting with Kreacher, once loathed the presence of these guys at the Blacks' house and now taking good care of them. A visit to the Ministry of Magic with Umbridge attacking the Muggle borns and then Harry attacking Umbridge to get the locket,the way the three friends apparating from one forest to the next, seeking the horcruxes and destroying them were really gripping.

I always knew that there's something fishy about Snape. Dumbledore wouldn't have trusted someone so easily. The past life of Snape was well written. This part actually ties many knots together.Polyjuice potion has been used very extensively with the seven Potters. I can't imagine Fred and George to look like Harry. But the sad part is the demise of Fred, one of my favorite characters. The important part that this book lacked was the subtle humour that Rowling brings about now and then in her previous books. This one seemed to be more on the serious side.

Some of the unanswered questions - What happened to the Dursleys? Why so much importance was given to Dumbledore's past? How did Mad eye Moody die all of a sudden? How did Lupin and Tonks die? A sequel can really answer these questions. Rowling, are you listening? :-)

I also watched the Order of the Phoenix last week. Though it's comparatively well made when compared to the 4th book, I felt it could have been better. The fifth book is the bulkiest of the lot and was written to such detail that the movie fails to capture it. The scenes on Dumbledore's army and brutal acts of Umbridge were good. The duelling between Dumbledore and Voldemort was picturized poorly. As it always holds good, the books are the best. Movie adaptations can never come close to the details and style of the books.

Jul 20, 2007

A Harry Potter weekend

Yay....I'm going to grab my copy of the seventh book tomorrow (prebooked it in advance 3 weeks ago). Unfortunately, I cannot go to the bookstore at 6.30 AM and collect my copy as I have my MBA classes and on top of it, my midterm accounting exam. More than the anxiety of exams, I'm excited about the Deathly Hallows :-) That's what a Harry Potter book can do!

The way I got hold of the "Half Blood Prince" was a complete surprise. To read it in detail, check out my hubby's blog link below. He has given a beautiful narration of how events unfolded on that day.

http://chells.blogspot.com/2005/07/art-of-living.html

I'm also thrilled about the movie "Order of the phoenix" that I will be watching tomorrow. The promos look superb. Looking forward to Dumbledore's army, the crucial attack at the ministry of magic and most importantly, the duelling between Dumbledore and Voldemort.

It's sad that the series is coming to an end. Let's just hope that the boy-who-lived doesn't get killed by his own creator.

Jul 16, 2007

A visit to Malgudi

Being an ardent fan of RK Narayan, I wanted to visit Malgudi (I wish I could visit the fictional town but all I could do was to visit the restaurant in Bangalore) ever since I heard of this restaurant. Saturday was the day. My friends and I decided to go for dinner to this place. The ambience portrayed a typical Chettinad house with the pillars and paintings. To catch a glimpse of such a house, watch the first half of the movie "Kandukondein Kandukondein".

The menu had varieties from the four South Indian states. Being a vegetarian, I just had two choices for soups - tomato and drumstick lentil soup. I opted for the second and to my shock, it was horribly spicy. Though I knew it's going to taste like sambhar, I still ordered it and spoilt my taste buds. At a normal situation, I would have added salt/pepper to soup but I was forced to add sugar if at all I need to taste a few more spoonfuls of the spicy sambhar-so-called-soup. Even after adding 2 tsp of sugar, it tasted bad and I had to waste it.

The veg starters were better compared to the soup. We ordered vazhaipoo vadai and finger baby corn. The vadai tasted awesome but the baby corn was a disappointment. It wasn't cooked so well.

By the time I had to order the main course, I started being extra careful about my choice, given that I was pretty hungry. Based on Biju's suggestion, I chose "neer dosa" accompanied by cashew masala, praying that it tastes good. The neer dosas were very soft and tasty, reminding of the raw vadaam that my grandma used to make on top of a banana leaf and then sun dry them to get crispies. Cashew masala was also good to go with the neer dosas.

The non-veg fans were drooling over the prawns and the aatukaal soup. There are many non-veg varieties in the menu. Veggies, don't get scared like the way I felt reading the different items in the menu! :-)

For desserts, they serve sago payasam (which is not my favorite) and gajar ka halwa.

Malgudi in general is definitely overpriced and you can plan for lunch/dinner once in a while. It's definitely not worth a regular visit.

Jul 5, 2007

Excited!!!!!

It's not just my blog that didn't get my attention but my health as well. The past one month has been exciting and busy that finally had it's toll on my health. I was down with migraine in the past three days.

Let's not talk about the bad migraine but the good and exciting events happening around.

First and foremost, I've got an admission into PGSEM programme of IIM, Bangalore. Exciting would be a simple word to explain the feeling. I'm thrilled. Classes are going great and keeps me quite busy. I'm getting used to balance sheets, strategic case studies, supply and demand curves etc etc. The best part is that back-to-school feeling after 5 long years of work. Ok, that's an indirect way of saying that I've completed 5 years of professional work life on July 1st.

I watched the most hyped film of the century, Shivaji. I'm a very big fan of Rajni and have watched most of his movies umpteen number of times. Shivaji had many typical Rajni scenes and dialogues, the one I like the most is "Singam singleaa thaan varum". Wah, what a dialogue! With such huge expectations I entered the cinema hall, I would say that the first half was below average. I didn't like the Rajni-Shreya part at all. During intermission, I was wondering if the hype is all worth it. The second half is a treat to all thalaivar fans. His style, mannerisms with the chewing gum and the one-rupee coin and dialogues - so typical of Rajni movies. I wouldn't mind watching the movie again.

Also watched a cute, romantic movie "unnaale unnaale". Such movies are becoming rare in the industry, with all the heroism and violence engulfing the tamil movies. It's so sad that director Jeeva had to face an early death. I loved all his three movies for the colourful portrayal, superb music and simple down-to-earth characters.

Another movie that I happened to watch by chance is "naan avan illai". That proves that I had no better work to do that I ended up watching this stupid movie. If at all you get to see this movie and do not want to get bored, I suggest you to count the number of times the hero uses the phrase "naan avan illainge". It's just too much. One hero and 5-6 heroines, the most irritating one being Sneha.

The climate in Bangalore has been amazing in the past 3 weeks, with black clouds as a thick blanket and sun peeping in between to check on us. Perfect! The only bad part was that I didn't sit to pen down some poetry or trickle the little drops of creative juice within.

With exciting events happening around, how can I even miss mentioning the superb knocks of the little master? Though he missed a couple of centuries, it's great to know that he is back in form.

This month is special for two more reasons. People who know me well would have guessed it by now. It's the Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows book release and Harry Potter and Order of the Phoenix movie release. I simply cannot wait for the two.

All I can say is that I'm pretty excited. I've got to catch up on my income statement now for tomorrow's class. I hope to keep my blog active as it used to be.

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