Saturday, 19 November, 2011

Rockstar - Review

We happened to watch Rockstar last weekend in a theatre nearby our place. A few comments about this movie (spoilers galore!)

1. The movie belongs to Ranbir from the start till the end. He truly rocked. His transformation from a meek and endearing college going kid to an angst-filled rockstar was truly commendable.

2. Nargis Fakhri is so pale that it is impossible to believe her as an Indian girl. Though Imtiaz Ali tried to justify her looks by giving her the character of a Kashmiri girl still she doesn't look the part.

3. Nargis Fakhri just can't act. Her acting totally sucks! So much so that in some senti scenes she actually looks comical.

4. The dialogues in the 1st half are straight forward and witty without any extra sophistication, Sample this: In one scene where Ranbir's mentor asks him if he has ever fallen in love and Ranbir starts thinking. The mentor says "Agar pyaar hota toh ghanta sochna padhta"

5. The 2nd half gets boring and repetitive. Ranbir only keeps some interest alive. Unfortunately his brilliant acting also doesn't make the audience feel his pain and anguish. After the movie, hubby jokingly commented "I could soooo feel his pain!"

6. Being a movie about a music celebrity, I thought the music of Rockstar was just about ok. There was no single number which really caught my fancy.

All in all, Rockstar is an average movie. I had more expectations from it considering it was Imtiaz Ali's movie. But well, it is indeed better than his previous flick "Love Aaj Kal"

Thursday, 3 November, 2011

KL and Bali trip - snippets

We had booked our tickets for KL-Bali trip long back in March. And after a wait for around 8 months, October finally came and we embarked on our journey to 2 very beautiful countries in Asia. During the trip, we did lot of touristy things but I’ll remember this trip for some few not-so-touristy ones:

Visiting a Chinatown for the first time
Yeah...I was a Chinatown virgin if you say This was my first visit to any Chinatown in any country. Hubby took me to the Chinatown in KL and I was simply blown away not just by the colors and lighting but also by the amazing replicas of so many branded items available there. Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Burberry, Coach – bags, scarfs, luggage, you name it…it was there. When we were tired of being amazed and amused at all these realistic fakes, we helped ourselves to fresh juice, yummy corn and coconut water.

Staying in a homestay of a Balinese couple
I had booked this homestay on the recommendation of trip advisor and needless to say, it turned out to be a really ideal place for us to stay in the initial period in Bali. It was right in the central location of Ubud and the Balinese couple was very warm and friendly. All the restaurants, taxi services etc were just a minute’s walk from this place but still this place was so calm and peaceful. No fancy stuff like expensive hotels, but all the basic things were in place and everyday we also were treated to a nice breakfast. It was a great beginning to our Bali adventure.

Eating in lakhs of Rupiah
Well, before we started our journey, I knew that 1 Indian Rupee is equivalent to around 170-180 Indonesian Rupiah. But it still took us time to gulp this fact when we had our lunch for the first time in Indonesia and the bill came out to be in lakhs of Rupiah. (Don’t really remember the figure now but imaging the guilt of having eaten food worth something like 120,000) :D

Hiking an active volcano called Mt. Batur
Bali is a rich land endowed with lot of different geographical features. It has beaches, volcanoes, lush green rice fields, rivers et al. When we came to know that hiking tours on one of the active volcanoes can be arranged along with a guide, we both were game for it. So we were to climb Mt. Batur, an active volcano with a height of 1717 m. We started from our homestay at 2:00 AM and started the hike with our guide at around 4:00. I am not really good at trekking coz I have a drawback that I start panting pretty quickly. So after lot of huffing and puffing, taking a lot of breaks and in the end being literally dragged by my guide, we managed to reach the top of the volcano. And well, the efforts were well rewarded. We saw one of the most beautiful sunrises. We also saw a huge crater formed at the top. There was even some smoke coming out from the middle of the crater. And then our guide showed us a small cave like place on the mountain where the steam was coming out and in spite of the chill in the air, it was so warm and soothing to stand in front of the cave. We reached back to our homestay in the afternoon with aching legs and severe tiredness but the hike was totally worth it.

Travelling across the countryside of Bali on a scooter rather than taking conventional tours
A suggestion to anyone going to Bali – don’t fall in the trap of sight seeing tours available there. We did our own sightseeing and how – we rented a scooter for 2 days (it costed us around INR 300 per day WITH PETROL!) and we had the most amazing time going around the countryside of Ubud and to far off places like Batur Lake and Sanur Beach on our scooter. Hubby did not allow me to drive much (against my wish) coz he was concerned about the safety but he made sure that we have a helluva time. We drove from morning till evening and saw the inner parts of Ubud village and a lot of surrounding areas which wouldn’t have been possible on a guided tour.

Chance meeting with a Marwari couple who happened to know someone from hubby’s family
Okay when I think about this incident even now, I still freak out. What are the odds that a couple traveling to Bali from Bangalore would cross paths with an elderly couple traveling from Kolkata who also by the way, turn out to be Marwaris like us and not just that – they would also know some close relative from hubby’s side. Quite remote, you may say. And when it happens you end up going out with them for dinner and even going for water sports with them the next day as they are warm and gracious enough to invite us with them in their rented car.

So, all these fascinating things made our Bali trip memorable. If I get a chance I would like to travel to Indonesia again and do so many other things which we could not cover this time coz of shortage of time.