Showing posts from May, 2014

India In My Backpack

It’s been a while since we've stayed in a hotel for a holiday, here in the UK. The white sheets smelling of a funny detergent; the tray with the creamers, tea bags and teensy packets of Nescafe...not to mention two sad cookies in clingwrap; windows invariably looking out to the parking lot or the service entrance – all comfortable no doubt, but insipid and unremarkable.
But it’s not even that fancy notion that has put us off the hotel circuit. It’s more of a practicality – food. Despite being a vegetarian (of the Iyengar variety), I’m quite spoilt for choice for great food – even in the remotest parts of this country. But on a long break – there’s only so much pasta and soup and curry one can have. Before long, the palate rebels and I start hallucinating for a plate of puliyogre. Or...damn the bread and cereals for nice to have a plate of hot upma followed by filter coffee? Culinary hallucinations aside, the problem is more with dinner. Returning to the h…

The Spilled Potion - Magical Mayhem!

Months ago, a friend got in touch with me. I think we corresponded after a gap of more than two decades. We were in school together. It was a given that Padmashree would stand first in every test and exam. Not because she learnt by rote, but because her IQ was a cut above the rest (and I was at the other end of the spectrum ;)). You’d think (and I’ve seen) that the academically-inclined usually formed their close-knit circles – but not in this case. There was a good balance of the studious ones and ones like yours truly in our group :)
Even so, I remember Paddu as a soft-spoken girl, always helpful and good fun in her own quiet way. Even as a child, she was a voracious reader – and I suppose that kept our group together – the love for books. I’ve spent many happy summer afternoons with other friends in Paddu’s house – sometimes calling spirits on a make-shift Ouija board; other times making ‘charts’ for the school class room. I remember the quietness of her house – there was a specia…

The Conjuring

I finally watched The Conjuring over the weekend...and was kind of glad (at the same time, deeply regret) that I did not watch this in a cinema hall. It is such a refreshing change from the Paranormal Activity series – as I mentioned elsewhere, there is only so much jerky camera movements and swaying chandeliers one can take.   
The movie as such is replete with horror clichés and yet, straight off, it assumes a cult status. That’s what thrilled me to bits – director James Wan (Insidious and Saw) is so brilliant that the movie is a classic precisely BECAUSE of the clichés. It takes off where the Amityville Horror failed – taut screenplay that puts you on the edge throughout the movie. Both The Conjuring as well as Amityville Horror are allegedly based on true stories; both investigated by the same paranormal researcher couple Ed and Lorraine Warren.  
The Perron family – parents Carolyn and Roger, five daughters and a dog, move to an old and creaky house in the countryside of whatsitsna…