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 clich├ęs 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 clich├ęs. 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…