Sunday, 30 April 2017

Chocolate Monster visits Mocktail Bar!

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Let me give you one good reason to visit Mocktail Bar. They have a kickass slogan!
What’s that you ask?
“Because bubble tea is so yesterday” 
For me, bubble teas are heavily overrated (probably because they don’t have a proper chocolate flavour)

So, let’s talk about Mocktails before jumping into this new franchise. I’m not sure about others, but for me, mocktails, belong in a bar, because of the alcohol content. And while walking around Sunway Carnival about two weeks ago, I was surprised to see a pop up outlet for mocktails. How did the Malaysian government allow this? Curiousity killed the cat, but satisfaction brought it back (YES THAT IS THE FULL IDIOM). I took a step in, and was greeted by this cute bartender, who was called a mixologist


To my surprise, it was all non-alcoholic beverages. I mean, who would’ve thought? Also probably I was living under a rock to not have known that mocktails are only non-alcoholic drinks that consists of a mixture of fruit juices or flavoured sodas.

Mocktail Bar offers 8 different types of drinks to choose from, which includes Frappé, Chocolate, Juice-based, Lifestyle coffee and freshly brewed. Pravin, the mixologist from Mocktail Bar in Sunway Carnival Mall, Seberang Jaya suggested a few of the best sellers for me.

The first drink that was served was, of course the Choco Chip Cookies. I didn’t mention about my love for chocolate to the mixologist, but he was good at reading his customers, I guess. As the name suggest, this drink was chocolatey-chocolate but it wasn’t too sweet or rich, which I really liked.  Comparing to Chocolate Chip Frappuccino from Starbucks, I’d say the Mocktail Bar’s Chocolate Chip had better balance. It was not overwhelming. Mocktail Bar puts in Chipsmore Cookies in it and probably that’s why it tasted like my childhood. Hershey’s chocolate syrup as a topping on top of the whipped cream was a winner!

Remember your ideal vacation to crystal clear sea somewhere around Boracay? That was my first thought upon glancing at their Blue Lagoon. The calming blue colour in this drink made a perfect Instagrammable photo! Blue Lagoon consists of some apples, oranges, lime and blue curacao syrup, and it was a delight not only to see, but to drink as it was cold and filled with subtle flavours that would definitely want you to go back for more!

“What can be more refreshing than lime and mint, but how bizzare would it be to mix that in a cup together with apple and brown sugar?” That was my thought when the mixologist served me with their signature Virgin Apple Mojito. To my surprise, these flavours do go well with each other. I am not someone who is brave enough to mix and match, but this drink really made the cut!

Lastly, it was Georgia Peach.  A burst of flavours is what I experienced with this drink where orange, cranberry and peach came together. But what I enjoyed was it was very well balanced. There wasn’t too much of anything although the drink’s base soda was peach flavoured. The zesty orange flavour did come through the luscious cranberry taste to suplement the velevty peachy taste. It tasted like a childhood carnival!


If you're a Chocolate lover like me and you are thinking to visit Mocktail Bar, delay no more as now they're having a Chocolate Confections promotion whereby 4 more Chocolate drinks are being introduced!



Mocktail Bar can be found at:
- Sunway Carnival Mall
- Sunway Velocity Mall
- Sunway Pyramid
- IOI City Mall
- Low Yat Plaza
- Mesa Mall Nilai
- Midvalley
- Shell Sungai Dua

And their operating time will be:
10am to 11pm

Price is as per below

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Saturday, 29 April 2017

Hidden Food Paradise: SSR Curry House @ ANZGAM Clubhouse PJ

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The phrase food is life is definitely something I hold close to heart. Good food can always turn a bad day to good day in an instance. Therefore to be given an opportunity to discover a new food paradise has gotten me to write this article. With this post, Boggler Blogger is officially venturing into writing food reviews


SSR Curry House is a new food paradise restaurant which is found to be hidden in the Australian & New Zealand Graduate Association (ANZGAM) Clubhouse which is located in Petaling Jaya. They place right opposite of the Tun Hussein Onn Eye Hospital and Sikh Gudwara which is located at Lorong Utara B. The restaurant is ran by a very humble and friendly Mr. Kumar along side his wife who assists him. 

Mr. Kumar, who hails from Seremban has been in the food industry for 3 years. Having proven to be a success in Seremban, he has now trying to woo customer in the capital of the country and PJ.


When I asked Mr Kumar, what makes SSR Curry House different than any other Indian Restaurant, he told me that the fact that instead of using clay pot as a mean of decoration or serving tool, SSR Curry House uses it to cook all it's curry dishes which enhances it's taste further and that is what makes them a little more special. I had to try the food to ensure it is actually know how good it was.

SSR Curry House primary serves South Indian styled cuisine which is served over a buffet spread style. Customer coming to SSR Curry House has an option to either take individual dishes on its on or choose to be served a banana leaf meal of 4 vegetables with optional non vege add ons. 

A couple of friends and I was invited by Mr. Kumar and we had the luxury to try all the dishes which is served at SSR Curry House on that day which amounts up to a whopping 20 different dishes. After an hour long of tasting all the meals and finishing them up, the following were our top 3 pick from SSR Curry House.


FISH CUTLET

You may believe in love at first sight, but I believe in love at first bite and that was exactly the case here when I had my first taste of SSR Curry House's fish cutlet. The strong flavor of the spices used which was infused together with the boneless meat of the fish, stuffed together with little chunk of potatoes and fried to a golden brown look was indeed the best dish I had in SSR Curry House. With every bite of the cutlet, I could feel as if there was a festival going on in my mouth. I surely was having FOODGASM with the fish cutlet.


CRAB CURRY

Being a seafood lover, I just had to try their crab curry. It is said that food that is cooked in clay pot often has an edge over food cooked in a wok. This was surely true with SSR Curry House. The fact that the crab curry was cooked in clay pot actually helps elevates the taste of the curry compared to the other restaurants I have tried before.




The crab essence soaked in together with the spices of the curry gives you a powerful taste when you eat it with rice. The curry is thick with a spicy level good enough to give you a real kick to come back for more.

Now coming to the crab itself. Mr. Kumar generally uses mud crab for his curry but unfortunately on the day of my visit, he could only get flower crab. Despite that, the crab meat tasted very good. The succulent meat was soft and sweet plus with the shell being easy to crack for me to get every ounce of the meat made my whole eating experience a memorable one. The fresh crab taste so delicious with cooking in a clay pot with the curry being a key factor as the essence of the spices gets to soak into the meat.


PRAWN MASALA

The final item which we all agreed that deserves a detailed write up is the prawn masala. It was at this point whereby Mr. Kumar mentioned to us that seafood is his area of specialty thus it was no surprise that 2 out of the 3 picked dishes to be mentioned here were actually sea food dishes.

The key to a tasty prawn dish is that the prawn has to be fresh, sweet and shouldn't feel like powder when you chew it. I can't stress this much enough because when you eat a prawn mean and it feels powdery, it spoils your entire meal.


SSR Curry House's prawn masala ticked all the 3 box which made the dish a must have item for me. The masala used by Mr. Kumar gives you a different dimension of taste compared to the other prawn dishes you might have tried out there in an Indian restaurant.

With the prawn being fresh and tasty with the masala giving the dish an "omph", SSR Curry House Prawn Masala was indeed a real treat to all foodies out there.


OTHER HIGHLIGHTS

The fact that I had tried 20 different dishes made it a real challenge for me to pick only 3 meals to highlight to you, thus I felt the need to share with you some glimpse of the other meals you shouldn't miss when you visit SSR Curry House next.

Top Left To Bottom Right
Fish Head Curry, Spicy Beans, Mutton Curry, Fresh Home Grown Thannisar
When all the eating is done, the one thing you should do other then eating the FREE PAYASAM, yes free payasam, is to try their Bru Coffee. Now I am not a coffee person but I felt head over heals for the coffee and it is now on my must have list when I go to SSR Curry House. Trust me you should try it too and you won't regret it!!!

Now comes the tough part of rating my experience at SSR Curry House. I will be doing in it 2 phases which is the food rating it self followed by the price rating. The higher the rating means the more tastier the food and the more reasonable the price is

Food Rating: 3.8/ 5.0

Price Rating: 4.2/ 5.0

The reason why the price gets a very high rating is becomes, you can have a tummy filling meal within RM 10 in Petaling Jaya. Below are some of the food combination and it's prices:

Rice + Chicken + Vegetable = RM 6

Rice + Mutton + Vegetable = RM 8

Rice + Seafood + Vegetable = RM 9

Rice + 4 Vegetables (Banana Leaf) = RM 6

With free drink of the day, condiments and fruits, you can now enjoy a very delicious Indian meal for less than RM 10.

Venpa Fame Duo Thennavan & Kalyani (Yuvaraj & Agalyah) also came to tried the food along with Model Nisha and their reactions below shows you how wonderful our experience at SSR Curry House was.
Yuvaraj, Agalyah & Nisha all approves SSR Curry House!!!

Restaurant Name: SSR Curry House @ ANZGAM Clubhouse

Operating Hours: 11.30 A.M. to 3.00 P.M.
Address: No 3, Lorong Utara B, 46700, Petaling Jaya
Waze: Search for "ANZGAM CLUBHOUSE"
Parking: Ample of public parking space available with in 1 minute walking distance.
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/SSR-CURRY-HOUSE-1340698066013017/

If you are coming from Klang, it is just a 2 minute drive from the Jalan Timur Exit @ Federal Highway.

If you are coming from KL, it is less than a 1 minute drive from the Jalan Utara Exit @ Federal Highway.

And yes, Boggler Blogger approves with a tasty cup of Bru Coffee

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Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Dhanush's Midas Touch

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Who would have believed if someone would have said back in 2002, a young 19 year old hero by the name of Dhanush would one day win a National Award for acting. Everyone would have laughed it away and maybe the man himself wouldn't have believed that.

Fast forward 15 years later, not only is Dhanush a National Award for acting, he has also won the prestigious award as a producer. The young boy who started of an actor is now not only a hero but a award winner for singing, lyric writing & film producer. 

He has also just made his debut a director and writer and it is almost sure that it is only a matter of time before he wins an award for directing as well. That's what the trend on him shows. He surely has the Midas touch. Every new zone he enters, he ends up winning an award

Without a doubt, Dhanush is someone I look up highly in the industry and that is not because he able to do all these different roles in the industry but the manner how he did it. Dhanush is not the first to venture into different aspect of cinema.

Kamal Hassan is perhaps the God when it comes into exploring different sides of the industry. Not forgetting Simbhu, who was involved in numerous aspects of a film in Manmadhan, but what makes me admire Dhanush more is how he experiments out a new area slowly, builds himself up, becomes successful and then try out a new zone. 

Dhanush has a game plan in mind and knows how to pull it off. He has paced himself like running in a marathon. Instead of doing it all at once and running out of gas, he paces himself in the journey and tries out a new zone one at a time.

If you look at his acting career, it took 14 years to do 25 films, averaging about 2 films a year. He made his debut in 2002 but got his first real break and award nomination in 2003 through Kadhal Konden. He spent the next 7 years sharpening up his acting skills with minimal diversion to other zones and finally with Adukalam he cemented his place as one of the best with the National Award.

With singing, he tried it out in 2003 with the "Naatu Saruke" song and although it turned out to be a decent hit, he did not push for it vigorously except a couple of songs for his brother's film. Then came "Why This Kolaveri Di" which turned him into an overnight singing star and won his first award in singing. From there, the rest is history and he has been singing more often than ever with much better quality.

Similarly to lyric writing, I remember 2011 to be his first song written by him in Mayakam Enna, again trying it out in his brother's film. With that being a decent song, "Poo Ne Poo" & "Why This Kolaveri Di" from 3 with the first winning him an award as well. Now he continues writing songs frequently

Apart from acting, I guess his biggest success has to be his production house called "Wunderbar". A good actor needs to have an eye for a good script to pick good movies for himself. Similarly a good producer needs to pick good films to make profits.

Wunderbar was set up in 2010 but its first film produced was in 2012 and from there on they have gone on to do a couple of "small" budget films which has gone on to create amazing success. Kaaka Muttai and Visarnai is the 2 highlights from his production house which has won National Awards. He surely does have an eye for good scripts.

With his recent release, Pa Pandi, Dhanush has also now turned into a director and story writer. It was a very good attempt for a debutant, though I don't think he will win an award for this film, but looking back at his track record, I am sure an award for direction is just around the corner for this talent guy.

The Many Faces of Dhanush: Actor, Singer, Lyricist, Director & Producer 

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Thursday, 20 April 2017

A Letter To My Unborn Daughter

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Dear Janani,

I can't wait to meet you, I can't wait to carry your tiny self in my arms and try to look you in the eyes when you can barely open them. You are a beautiful addition to our little family. How I wish my dad was here to see you. He always wanted a daughter. I think he would actually loved you more than I ever would and I would've been very jealous to see your relationship.

Throughout my life, I have been afraid to carry a newborn, but Janani, although you are few years away from me, never a day goes by without me looking forward carrying you the moment you are born. It will be one of the most beautiful moment in my life and I want to seize the moment in my head till my last breath on this planet.

Janani, it is a beautiful world out there which you are coming to, but remember babygirl, it is not an ideal world. The world I live today has seen many young strong women being broken with societal stereotypes. Dad don't want to see you suffer from any of this, so you grow, my lovely daughter. Be whoever you want to be, and I'll always be your cheerleader.

I live in a world where when a woman gets raped, she is being blamed for the rape instead of the man who rapes her. What scares me the most we have people who thinks it is right for a woman who is raped to actually marry their rapist.

Don't let these imbeciles stop you from who you really want to be, Janani. I know you are going to grow up to be an amazing lady. You are going to be an inspiration to many people out there, my little pumpkin. I will do everything I can as your father to ensure you be the best version of yourself, I'll be a ladder for you to get there.

The world would always try to fit you in a box; a "female" for example, and later by your grades, by your profession, by the boys or girls you choose to hang out with, by your sexual orientation and many many more. But you're daddy's little princess, and don't fall for any of the boxes. You make a box for yourself, and name it Janani. Live your life in your own terms and dad's here to pick you up if you ever fall.

Dear Janani be bold, be brave, daddy is always going to be by your side to guide you. I don't want to lead you princess, I want you to live your life the way you want it to be. Follow your heart and do what you are passionate about baby girl and speak your thoughts out, boldly.

I will always love you for who you'll become in the later days of your life. With every passing moment, more successful independent women are emerging and baby I know by the time you grow up, the world is going to be a better place for you to succeed.

Awaiting For You With Much Love,
Your Daddy                  


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Saturday, 15 April 2017

Under The Spotlight: Pa. Pandi @ Power Pandi

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The one thing I like about Tamil New Year other than the delicious Payasam is the fact that new films that are being released in conjunction with the celebration. In 2015, I watched OK Kanmani  which also marked the very first time I wrote a film review.

In 2016 it was Theri  and now it is time for Dhanush's directional debut venture Power Pandi.... Sorry I mean Pa. Pandi


Story Review

Power Pandi has a story that will leave a lasting impression in you. The film covers a variety of theme which was beautifully balanced by the director. The film starts of by exploring the relationship between an elderly father and his adult son who is married with two kids. It explores the theme of how youth today finds it a burden taking care of their elderly parents.

At this point of the film, you might think that this is what the whole film feel is going to be about. That is where the director leaves his mark by bringing in different angles and feel into the story. There is portion which highlights a youngster giving valuable life advises to the elderly father character.

There is also a portion showing that age is not a factor for us to work and being independent. It also highlights the emotions that goes through the mind of an elderly parent when their children scolds them or humiliates them. It shows they too can reach a break point and look for an escape. 

The second half of the film taps into the elderly father's first love. A flashback portion is captured to show us that first love in a village background and that portion has the potential to tear you up. The final portion of the film shows us that what started as a soul searching journey for the elderly father, ends up being an exploration to find back his first love. With all these different themes and emotions happening, the director wrote his script brilliantly to end his film. Kudos to that.

Rating: 4.2/5.0  
Director Review

Dhanush

Dhanush makes his direction debut with this film and it is for sure that he has demonstrated that he has the right qualities to stay and work on being a top director in the near future. Bar a couple of scenes, he shows that he has the right talent and knowledge to be a good director in the near future.

The whole village portion was so beautifully shot, and he deserves a lot of credit for it along with his technical crew. Loved the way he treated the story and he deserves praised for that. It is easy to treat a story of an elderly father-son relationship story in a flat and predictable way but Dhanush choose not to do so and was bold enough to incorporate a couple of different themes.

Another fantastic decision made by him for me was the fact he cast different actors to play the younger and older version of Power Pandi and Poothendral. By doing so, he took out the need of having his cast going through difficult and tedious make overs to spot a young and old look. At the same time he manages to get the best out of all those cast.

Despite that being a great decision, Dhanush didn't do enough to justify the massive physical transformation gone through by the Power Pandi character. The role of Power Pandi was showed to be at 3 different stages of his life. A youngster, a young father and an elderly father.

The same actor that played the timeline of the young father to an elderly father but a different actor was used for the youngster Power Pandi which has almost total opposite physical appearance. The gap in years from being a youngster to being a young father doesn't seem to be long, thus the extreme changes in physique was a real let down for me.

For a debut director, I felt Dhanush has done extremely well and he will definitely get better over time. The way he ended the film deserves a special mention as well. Wonderful job

Rating 3.7/5.0

The Cast
Rajkiran & Revathi

Rajkiran stole the show. Hands down he was the best performer and this movie will be remembered and talked about due to his performance. 10 minutes into the film, doubts started creeping into me that his role here was going to be similar with the character he played in Manjapai. I was so happy to be wrong.

He plays the role of Power Pandi, who was once a highly sought after and respectable stunt master. Thus it justifies why even at an elderly age, he seems to be very active and can't stay put in a single place. He plays the role as someone who has always been a youth both in heart and mind although he is old.

The way he blends in English in his conversation, his sense of dressing and mannerism will provide you with a good kind of laugh and love his character more. Loved the way how he played with his mannerism when he Facebook messages. Just note at how his legs are up and swinging just like how an 18 year old might act. He was indeed a very young old man.

The one scene which I was awed by his performance and touched my heart was the scene which showed how Power Pandi emoted when his fellow stunt artist applaud his work during a shooting scene. The way he tears up and the energy he gets makes him pumped up to take on life again.

Goes to show that there is no age limit to passion and how it can rejuvenate your life. Hands down my favorite scene.

Coming to Revathi, what a joy was it to watch her on the big screen again. The film gave her a love angle to play it and she played to so well. Whether it's Mouna Ragam or Power Pandi, she strikes aces in those scenes.

This two old pair just schooled most of the young actors out there on the art of acting and showed that why they are considered as legends in the industry. Such beautiful performances.
 Rating: 4.3/5.0

Dhanush & Madonna Sebastian

Both Dhanush & Madonna Sebastian plays an extended cameo role in this film. Dhanush plays the young Power Pandi while Madonna is the younger version of Poothendral. Speaking of Dhanush, he plays the village boy role ever so easily. It was almost natural to him.

Loved the kabaddi sequence and how Dhanush moves in the scene. The emotions he brings out of a young Power Pandi falling in love for the first time was top class. The way he falls for her, courts her and of cause the way his heart breaks and emotes while trying his best not tear while make you tear. Brilliant

Throughout the film I didn't know that the younger version of Poothendral was actually played by Madonna Sebastian. Not sure if her make over was that good or the fact that I wasn't smart enough to know it's her. Despite not knowing it was her, I kept telling myself that the girl who is playing this role is really good! Now it makes sense because it was indeed Madonna Sebastian.

As I said in my Kavan Review, I loved her performance there and I have turned to be a fan of hers, her performance in Power Pandi reinforces my opinion. The scene showing she can't go and see Power Pandi was a particular highlight.

 

 Rating: 3.2/5.0

Prasanna & Rinson Simon

Prasanna was finally playing a role after a 3 year gap and Power Pandi can make or break his career. When you are returning after a long break, expectations are high on you and Prasanna had to deliver. I wouldn't say this is a comeback film for him as he plays a character role but he gave a very solid performance indeed


He plays the role of an ungrateful son who understands the value and love of his father at the end of the film. You will hate his character but love his performance. He looked smart and shape playing the role of a high post corporate guy. Hoping he builds on from Power Pandi.

I had no idea who Rinson Simon is. I was told that he had act in a couple of other films before but this guy stands out here in the film. He plays the role of youth neighbor who advice and influences Power Pandi (Rajkiran) and maybe is also his best friend. He brings in very good comedy timing with nice body language.

 Rating: 3.1/5.0
The Music
Sean Roldan

Sean Roldan is a young and upcoming music director. For those who doesn't know who he is, Sean Roldan is the guy who composed the music for the National Award winning film Joker. The guy has proved that he is the real deal in that film and carries on to show in this film as well.


Personally the Power Pandi songs were average and decent at best but where he does well is in his overall score. Let it be fights or melody or the minor details, Sean Roldan score keeps the audience intact. Loved the score sequence during the village scenes. Looking forward to see more from this young lad. He is one to watch!
 Rating: 3.0/5.0

Final Verdict: Power Pandi, a POWERful movie indeed 

Final Rating: 3.5/5.0



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Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Being Leela Abraham


*CAUTION: SPOILERS AHEAD*

Passive-abusive relationship is what Mani Ratnam penned down for Katru Veliyidai, but unfortunately never decided to show things from Leela's perspective. Leela Abraham, the character played by Aditi Rao Hydari is the sad reality many women live in.

Meeting a guy like VC (Karthi) who looks ideal from a distance but actually a perfectly flawed human who is ruled by male chauvinism and a huge ego trip. VC eventually repented is what the movie showed, but did he really or was it all a lip service, nobody knows.

Leela was portrayed to be a strong educated woman, in a romantic yet destructive relationship, but never really did much to fight it back. There was even a scene where she said that she's been treated as a "pet dog" but later portrayed as a trophy girlfriend when VC mentions that the boys must buy him a single malt because she comes back with him.
When these two polar opposites fall in love, as a viewer I loved and hated both of them for who they were. Especially Leela. How can you love a guy who forgets your marriage registration, especially when he plans it?! Well, it's obvious that VC fell for Leela's beauty and thrilled her heart, by being a strong experienced man and a daredevil, he caught the naive girl's attention with grand gestures, like sending her videos and bringing her across Himalayas.

To those out there who are thinking that this is just a movie, put aside the Kagil War, their relationship isn't all fantasy. It's the reality we live in. We've all seen a VC in our lives, who still completely disagree with woman having her independent thoughts. "Dude, how can Hillary Clinton run the country?" Let's not pretend this is something new, shall we?





The funny thing is, there are many women out there who succumb to such toxic relationships thinking this is "love"; like what Dr Nidhi (Leela's friend) said. Women out there are supposed to know that it's not okay to be unaware of your place in a relationship, regardless with whom it is; especially with your loved ones.

My heart cried when Leela didn't fight back every single time VC shouted "shut up", and when VC said he will love her more than she will no matter what. In the movie maybe it's true, but I have seen this with my own eyes, and guess what, that's not the case. VC thinks Leela is important, VC thinks he loves her but what Nidhi said is truest thing in the script. VC only loves himself and all the VCs out there only love themselves.

It all falls back to Leela's naivety, that giving in to the male's ego is probably what she has been taught to do, all her life. Her father Prakash Abraham, for an example, so much ego, and when he said he doesn't want VC there in the funeral, the wife followed his order, no questions asked. In reality,  look around; we are all living in an undeniable patriarchal society, when men is the default leader of a family, or any relationships. Maybe that's what got Leela pregnant. And maybe the logic is what led to so many pregnancies out of wedlock around us today.

                                     
Leela, a woman who wanted to stand for herself but didn't know how to in front of the man she loves. And this, for me did not make a feel good movie. In fact it humanized the devil that lives inside a man and made it seem "ok", but girls, please know that it's not okay for a man to treat you like a rubbish, anytime.

Neither Leela nor VC was perfect, so don't be a Leela or a VC. If you think that a relationship is what gonna change you for the better, don't do it.  And if you're in a relationship like VC and Leela, end the toxic right away and move on with your life. It might hurt now, but one day you'll not care anymore. Don't worry, you'll get there. And trust me, when you find your soulmate, all of these will be a fruitful lesson to carry, and you wouldn't take what you have for granted

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Oru Deivam Thantha Athisiyam: Part 3 The Finale

CLICK BELOW TO READ PART 1

PART 1

CLICK BELOW TO READ PART 2

PART 2


The call gave me a shocked. It just turned my whole day upside down in a split second. One moment I was reminiscing beautiful memories from my childhood and here am I now rushing to the hospital to see my loved one.

A lot of things were running through my mind and it wasn't pleasant thoughts. With my thoughts distracted, I was still driving fast with the hazard signal switch on my car. I have to admit, driving with your mind distracted is such a dangerous thing to do. I could have landed in an accident easily because my thoughts wasn't on the road but what was happening on the road.

I reached the hospital within 15 minutes, which usually would have taken me 25 minutes. I parked my car at first sight of a parking and dashed to the emergency section to speak to the nurse on call. Just before I could speak to the nurse, I heard a voice saying "Sanjay over here. Come here quick."

It was my dad's voice. He was there already in the hospital before I reached and seeing him gave me a great sense of strength, knowing he is going to be by my side during this tough time. "What happened pa? Is she okey? Can I see her?  Tell me what's going on." I kept asking questions anxiously.

"Calm down Sanjay. She is in the operation theater. Follow me I'll bring you there. I need you to stay positive Sanjay. Everything is going to be okey." said Appa. I followed him to the waiting area near the operation theater.

"Pa, how did it happened? Is Priya okey?" I asked Appa. "Her water bag broke Sanjay. We were watching TV in the hall and then we woke up to go the dining table to have lunch. Suddenly she was in distress and her water bag broke. We panic and drove her immediately to the hospital." said Appa

"We brought her to the emergency ward and Dr. Aziz was here today. He brought her straight to the operation theater. Got to wait for Dr. Aziz to know what is happening. I'll inform his nurse that you are here." said Appa.

Priya and I have now been married for 3 years and we are now expecting our first born. Priya is someone who is so bubbly and lively and it is so hard for me to see her in pain now. It breaks my heart to know she is in pain and I am helpless about it.

As I entered the waiting area, my mum came and hugged me. Clearly she was worried about her daughter in law. I had to calm my mother down while trying to compose myself. After 15 minutes of anxiously waiting, a nurse came out from the operation theater.

"Congratulations Mr. Sanjay, you are now a father for a beautiful baby girl. Although she was born one week before due but she weighs fine and is healthy. Congratulations Mr. Sanjay." said the nurse. "Thank you, thank you so much. How is my wife doing? Can I see her?" I asked.

"Mr. Sanjay, I'm afraid I can't let you in. Your wife started bleeding after giving birth and Dr. Aziz is trying to stop that. We will let you in once we managed the situation. I am sorry sir but you'll need to wait. In the meantime once we have cleaned the baby up, you can visit her." said the nurse.

All my joy disappeared in a split second. From celebrating the birth of my daughter, my whole mood changed towards worrying for my wife. "It is ok nurse. I will wait for my wife first." I said. I didn't know how to feel at that point. To be happy for my first born or to be worried of my wife. I was devastated. Seconds felt like hours as I waiting to hear about my wife.

During the whole time my dad was trying to console me but I could hardly listen to him as my mind seemed to have blanked out. "I want to see you again Priya. I want to tell you how much I love you. We promise to never leave each other so stop scaring me Priya. Our daughter is waiting for us. I need you Priya." were some of things running through my mind during this ordeal.

After what felt like years of waiting, finally Dr. Aziz came out. "Mr. Sanjay, you wife is alright now. She started to bleed after giving birth. An artery of hers gave way during the delivery process and she started to lose blood. We were able to find the artery and stitch her up before it could get worse. She is unconscious at the moment because she lost a lot of blood but don't worry she is going to be fine. Congratulations on being a father." said Dr Aziz.

"Thank you Dr! Thanks for everything!" I said while embracing him with a hug. With that I breathe a sigh of relief. Finally I could be truly happy that I have been a father now. I hugged my parents and there was tears of joy in both mine and my mum's eyes.

"Let's go see the baby" said Amma. "You guys go ahead first. I am going to wait for Priya to wake up and then we will both see the baby together. You go first ma with Appa." I told her. "Sayang you go first, I'll join you in a bit." said Appa to Amma.

"Sanjay, I wanted to talk to you a bit and I think now is the best moment." Appa said. "Sure pa what is it?" I asked. "Sanjay, being a father is going to change your life and it is for the better. You have been a wonderful son to us and a husband to Priya. Now it's time you step up and be an amazing father to your daughter." said Appa.

"Be there for her Sanjay. It is a dog eating dog world now. She is going to need you to be her strength and support. Raise her well Sanjay and inspire her to be a wonderful person like how you are, she is going to need the both of you more than you think. Be the best kind of parents there can be. I know you guys would be, I just felt like telling you. She is the jewel of your like. Your daughter is god's given miracle to you and be the same for her." said Appa.

"Sure pa, we will do all we can to raise her well. Thanks pa. You go ahead and see her first. I'll go wait by Priya's side." I said. With that Appa left me to go see his granddaughter while I entered the ward where Priya is now resting.

There was Priya, looking as beautiful as ever although she was unconscious. This is the lady I fell crazily in love with and seeing what she has gone through today made me love her more than I thought I could. I kissed her forehead and held her hands while sitting beside her.

While waiting for her to regain conscious. I could hear Amma saying, my daughter has Priya's eyes and she looks so beautiful. I was so eager to see my daughter but I want to do it with Priya. By that time many of our relatives had come to visit the baby and Priya and they all kept saying the same thing that she has Priya's eyes.

After sometime, Priya seem to move a little and gained conscious. The first thing she did when she opened her eyes was to smile at me God that was the smile I fell in love years ago and I am still crazy over. I gave her a kiss and told her that we are now parents to a baby girl. She told me she wanted to see our daughter and thus I informed the nurse to bring our daughter to us.

The nurse brought her and laid her on Priya's arm. There she was, my first born, my daughter. I never thought something so small could be so amazing. Priya was overwhelmed with emotions as she started to tear looking at our daughter. I embraced her and sat beside Priya as we continued admiring our daughter.

"Priya, they were right. She has your eyes. My god she is so beautiful Priya. I love you both so much." I said. "Haha, yeah she has my eyes. I can't believe it Sanjay. I am a mother now. We did it Sanjay. Have you thought of a name for her yet?" she asked.

I smiled. "I know that smile Sanjay. You have a name figured out right?" she asked. "Yes ma, I want to name her Janani. Janani Pandian to be exact. What do you think?" I asked. "Hmm, Janani, it sounds really beautiful. She surely does look like a Janani." said Priya.

"You rest first Priya, let me take her back to the nurse. Amma and Appa is waiting to see you as well. Shall I send them in now or later?" I asked. "Send them in pa, they must be worried about me. Ask them to come in." said Priya.

I went and call my parents in to see Priya and proceeded to take Janani back to the nurse. While bring to the nurse, I looked into my little princess eye and said, "Janani baby, I want to promise you one thing. I would do all I can to be the best father for you. I want to be the type of father like how my father was to me. If I can be half the men he was, I would make a very a good father to you Janani. This is my promise to you." I said to Janani.

*THE END*
Dedicated to my father, Mr. Soundara Pandian & all super fathers out there



Saturday, 8 April 2017

Under The Spotlight: Kaatru Veliyidai

A Mani Ratnam film will almost naturally create a huge buzz among movie lovers. Such is the class he has created in his past films. Mani Ratnam is an inspiration to me, thus I get super excited knowing a film of his is being released. Kaatru Veliyidai has created huge exceptions through its trailer and song tracks and I am so eager to break this film down through my lenses.


Story Review

The trailer and songs pretty much exposes the feel off the movie. A love story with the hero trapped at enemy lines and seeking to escape. My first impression from the trailer was that this film looks like an extension or in the same lines of Roja. Well I was so wrong, it isn't anything like Roja.

The story in essence is quite simple. The film starts of with showing that the hero, who is an air force fighter, getting trapped at enemy lines. He is tortured and imprisoned there. A couple of things keeps the hero's hope of freedom up with the main reason being his love for the heroine


From this point the film moves between a series of flashback scenes showing how hero meets heroine and their love story and how he tries to escape being a war prisoner and find his way back to India.

Although the story flow may sound simple but where the story wins is the characterization of the hero and heroine. The hero is shown to be a self-obsessed, passionate lover who is filled with aggression. The heroine on the other is shown to be a loving, caring with strong self-esteem and a hint of being a feminist. As you can see they are two polar characters and by them coming together it can be destructive.

With the flashback scenes filled with how they fall in love and what happens when you make two different characters become a love couple, the present scene shows how the heroine is his pillar of strength and the drive to see her is what keeps him going to his eventual escape.

The weird part of the film is that as much as you know this two people shouldn't be together as a couple, you will still end up rooting for them to be together. That's the story's beauty in my opinion. This film shows you how beautiful love is all about although at times it makes you do things which makes no sense at all

Rating: 3.4/5.0

Director Review
Mani Ratnam

There is a reason why this genius is called "The Guru". He took a very simple story and made it into such a beautiful piece of art. The film is filled with Mani Ratnam's trademark in almost every frame.

My first credit to him will be his character design. The way he created his hero is someone who you can easily hate but you would love him at the same. So much complexity into the film and he had it flow well with his story.

Meanwhile when comes to designing the heroine, Mani Ratnam is one of the best person in that area. The way he portrays the ladies in his film is an absolute grace. I loved the way how he brought in a taste of feminism into his heroine although the film was shot in a timeline of 1999 when feminism wasn't a big movement yet.

Second and the biggest credit is the way he got Ravi Varman (cinematographer) to shot each and every scene. Every frame of the film was like a piece of art. The scene which took my breathe away is the scene where Varun opens his eyes for the first time after recovering from the opening accident in the hospital.

They shot Leela presence and emotions by capturing the reflections thorugh Varun's eyes. Such detailing and beauty. Top notch work. Throughout the film there are many scenes which was shot by capturing the actor's performance through mirror reflections. A true Mani Ratnam landmark. I can go on and on picking out details of Mani Ratnam's work and praising him because he is such class.

Finally, the dialogues and one liner in the film were simply amazing. The dialogue at the tango dance was a real stand out and the scene where the hero says that he will love her even if she doesn't love him was my favorite moments.

One disappointment would be that the scene where the hero shouts "Kaatru Veliyidai Kannamma!!!" seems to have been omitted out or maybe I just didn't realize it In a nutshell, it is his directing execution which elevates a simple love story into a brilliant art. Thank you Mani Ratnam for this. You will always be my inspiration.

Rating: 4.7/5.0  
The Cast
Karthi

I've always rated Karthi highly. His performance in his first couple of film was top class (Paruthiveeran and Aayirathil Oruvan) but after that his movie selection was so poor bar Madras, so much so he started to look nothing more than an average actor in the industry.

Joining hands with Mani Ratnam is perhaps the best career decision Karthi would have ever made. The performance in this film will spawn new opportunities for him and I hope he makes the right pick.

Coming down to his performance in this film, Karthi plays the role of Varun or better known as VC who is an air force pilot. Having trained much to be an air force pilot where his job is to kill people, that has embedded an aggressive trait in him which leads him to have anger issues and emotional outburst. He decides with his heart and not his mind.

At the same time he is shown to be madly in love with his heroine. He is also shown to be someone very obsessed about himself and thinks about the gains for him. Not the type of guy you would love in real life yet there is something about the character which you can't hate him in the film.


During his imprisonment, a sense of maturity grows in him and begins to realize the value of his heroine. Karthi plays the role with so much conviction and the output was good. He has done his homework to understand how a fighter pilot carries themselves as performance it well.

The one down side from his performance when he tries to emote with his eyes. There a couple of scenes where he looks deeply into his heroine eyes with his eyes wide open. What was meant to be shown as him being crazily in love, kinda felt a little scary in my opinion. Felt he should have emoted better with his eyes.

 Rating: 4.0/5.0

Aditi Rao Hydari

It wasn't only love at first sight for Varun, but it was for me too. The opening scene in the train with Aditi peeking out would just take your heart away.

Aditi plays the role of Dr. Leela Abraham, a young, caring and loving doctor.

She is just the total opposite of Varun. She is a believer of fate and destiny while he believes that he makes his own luck. My favorite trait of her is that she has a sense of feminism and a self-worth. There is almost no logical reason why she chooses to be with Varun either than it is true love. The internal complexity of her character was so well written by the director and brilliantly brought to screen by Aditi.

The way she looks at Varun while being in love with him will make you wish your girlfriend will look at you the same way. So much grace and elegance. My favorite scene which feature her is the scene when she flies over the Himalayas with Varun. Just take a moment to note the way she looks at him and how she emotes. You will fall in love with Dr. Leela Abraham.

 

 Rating: 4.0/5.0

R.J. Balaji & Rukumani Vijayakumar

The film has been so beautiful crafted with the lead characters so much so it doesn't really need any addition character, yet from the balance of the cast, this two people are worthy of a mention.

Prior to this film, I could never understand why any director would cast R.J. Balaji in a film. All he does is talks fast, makes witty jokes while other people are talking seriously. Every other director saw that R.J. Balaji could only do this but not Mani Ratnam. He made an actor out a guy who previously can never act anything other than a comical role. Here he does makes a couple of jokes, but very subtly and sometimes he wins the audience by just the way his eyes reacts in a scene.


Rukumani on the other has always proved that she in an amazing dancer and that talent of was very well used in this film. She does play a pivotal role as Dr. Leela Abraham's friend. Absolute love the scene how she explains to R.J. Balaji the love cycle among the characters. Love the way how smoothly she says she has a crush on him

 Rating: 3.0/5.0
The Music
A.R. Rahman

I call this legend as god's favorite musician and he keeps on proving me right. To make a love story become a success you need 3 key elements which is the way the film is shot, the performance of the cast and the original score of the film.

A.R. Rahman's score in the film during scenes lifts the film to a whole new class. If you realize nearly almost every scene you will hear a hint of music going on while the characters are speaking in a scene. Music gives live to a film and in this film, perhaps music is the heartbeat of the film


The song speaks for itself with all the songs being an absolute class. Loved the way how he paces up and down a song and uses it as a score during the scenes. The man is indeed a gift from god.
 Rating: 5.0/5.0

Final Verdict: A simple yet beautiful piece of art

Final Rating: 4.0/5.0