Thursday, June 21, 2012

Movie Review : Bachelor Party ( Malayalam -2012-June)

The film Bachelor Party: cinematography is great. Amal Neerad did justice to only that. Apart from that I felt bored. Item number songs were torture. Songs are ok . Not recommended viewing. I would rate 1.5/5

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Coonoor - A Trip to Niligiri Hills

Mar 23rd – Mar 25th

Work was taking its toll on us and what we needed was a rejuvenating break and what Coonoor offered was exactly that. It had been while since we had gone for a trip and so Shivaram’s family and we decided to venture out during the Ugadi weekend. We originally planned to go to Chikmagalur but as the weather was too hot there, finalized on Coonoor.

We browsed through a number of resorts listed in tripadvisor and found that the best reviews were for Sun Valley resorts. We enquired about the availability on 11th Mar and confirmed the booking on 13th. By now, Santhosh and family decided to join us as well.

Day 1

On Friday 23rd Mar, we started from Bangalore at 6AM. The weather was perfect and our holiday started with a cool drive under the rising sun….one of those rare mornings where we stopped to watch the sun rise. On the way we stopped at Bidadi for breakfast, where we filled ourselves with some awesome hot Thatte idly. There were no stops thereafter until Coonoor.

We took the Bangalore –Mysore – Gundlupet – Mudumalai –Masinagudi – Ooty – Coonoor route. The drive through the forest was exciting though we didn’t expect to sight any animals. The roads were good but the ghat section from Mudumalai till Ooty was quite a steep and tedious drive. We reached Ooty at about 1 30PM and Coonoor by 2PM. We waited near the Coonoor railway station from where Michael (from the resort) came to direct us till the resort. We were famished by the time we reached and all we could think about was food. Before we could feel the cool air and absorb the serenity, we gathered ourselves for lunch. The food was really awesome in South Indian style with sambar, rasam, rice and chicken curry.

We then checked into our rooms, which require a special mention here…they were fabulous and very well maintained. The furnishings were really good and the rooms were well ventilated. The view was perfect, overlooking the tea plantations and the town below. Our rejuvenation had begun…..

From the start, we had planned on not keeping the trip packed with visiting places. We spent the evening in the resort, relaxing around camp fire and just enjoying the weather. Again had some yummy dinner and looked forward to the next day.

Day 2

As planned…we didn’t have any big plans for the day, though the one thing we did not want to miss after coming to Coonoor was the ride on Nilgiri Express…the train that has set the mood in a lot of Indian movies and was part of everybody’s dream of a hill station. The train was starting from Coonoor at 1215PM. We had a late breakfast at the resort (bored of saying how awesome the food was…again…!!) and started to the railway station. The itinerary was to take the train to Ooty and to immediately return in the same train, which had a stopover of about 15min before heading back. We got into the train and it started chugging along at 1215PM and immediately the mood was changed. Though the train was crowded and noisy, it didn’t stop us from enjoying the beauty of the Nilgiris unfurling itself outside. It was now that it dawned on us they we were going to Ooty- The Queen of Hill Stations and how could we return without enjoying her, though it may be only for a short while. So we reworked our plans and decided to stay back for a few hours in Ooty before taking the last train back to Coonoor.
The experience on the Nilgiri Express was truly special. She rode along the hills taking each turn slowly so that we could fill our eyes with the beauty underneath. It was a nostalgic trip for all of us as we had only heard about the tunnels and views of the Nilgiris in our childhood and this was like all those images coming to life in front of us. We reached Ooty at 130PM and headed straight for lunch. We then decided to go for the boating in the lake.

It was quite sunny though not particularly hot. Being Ugadi holiday, the boating place was crowded. We still managed to get the tickets and took an eight seater ride around the lake. It was beautiful. The greenery around was mind blowing. The place was swarming with people and we couldn’t help but imagine what a beauty this place once would have been. This felt like one of those tragedies that men inflicted upon nature, where her eternal beauty was replaced with cement buildings, shops and crowd.

It was almost 4 by now and our last train back to Coonoor was at about 600PM. After boating we spent some time lazing around – the kids enjoyed a few rides and we started back to the station. One word of caution here, the queue for taking tickets for the train is really long and so it is better to reach the station well in advance to avoid standing in the queue for too long or taking the risk of missing the train. We took the 1st class tickets for our way back and enjoyed the ride back in the coupe.

We reached the resort by 730PM, feeling refreshed in mind, but tired in physique. Again, we relaxed by the camp fire for a while, had dinner and retired for the day.

Day 3

We were scheduled to start back to Bangalore in the afternoon. We had late breakfast and relaxed in our rooms. Brinda and kids enjoyed a walk and few photo sessions in the tea plantation. By then it was time for lunch and start our journey back. We picked up some homemade chocolates from Ooty as well.

While returning, we took the Ooty – Gudalur – Gundlupet – Mysore – Bangalore route. Although this route was longer than the earlier route, the view was amazing and it was worth every extra kilometer we drove. The tall eucalyptus trees and the beautiful view of the Nilgiris provided a real treat to the eyes. We also sighted some elephants and deer along the way...would recommend this route to anybody who wants to really enjoy their drive back. We reached Gudlupet, took a short break at CafĂ© Coffee day headed to Mysore.

Sharing few  moments we enjoyed together here