A Travellerspoint blog

Bollywood

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I've caught the bug...the Bollywood bug! It's no surprise really; singing, dancing, incredible stories of love, romance, handsome heroes, beautiful heroines and a big pinch of colour and overacting...what's not to like!

In particular I've developed a bit of a crush on the Hindi film superstar Shar Rukh Khan and  we went to see his new film 'Don 2' last night. Kahn is trying to get away from the stereotypical 'boy meets girl' formula and 'Don 2' is a glossy fast paced thriller which is crossed between James Bond, Oceans 11 and Mission Impossible - with no singing! It was visually impressive and action packed, which was lucky as there weren't any subtitles.

The other two films here are 'Kuch Kuch Hote Hai' and 'Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi' or 'RNBDJ'. These are much more the usual Bollywood fare, especially 'Kuch Kuch...' Which is a tweeny girls dream film and the longest running film in India. 'RNBDJ', my personal favourite, is still an all singing all dancing love story but it has a lot of humour and charm and a distinstly European feel with 'Amelie' style accordian background music throughout.

Going to a Hindi film at an Indian cinema is an experience in itself - huge cheers go up when the hero comes on screen, more cheers and whistling when the heroine comes on, yells and clapping for any car chase and fight (particularly the fights) and big oooooohs for any touching or (say it in a whisper) kissing between the leads! I'm heading  to Mumbai in a few weeks (very excited!) the home of Bollywood and although I'm not planning on doing any star spotting I'll definitly have a Bollywood tune in my head and spring in my step.

Posted by carlala 01:43 Comments (2)

Nilambur festival

Part 1

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It's the highlight of the Nilambur calander at the moment and the perfect welcome back after the holiday. Nilambur festival - two weeks of theatre, singing, dancing, carnival, circus and much more! This week has been theatre and I've ben along to two dramas - all in Malyalam so I couldn't understand a word, but visual enough to follow the plot, or make my own up.

Now this isn't traditional Indian theatre in the kathikali sense but realist theatre that we would recognise (just with songs included). The first play concerned a poet (who was brutally murdered), the first minister (who had a stroke and then miraculously recovered at the crucial moment) and a mafia boss  (who also owned the local tv news corporation) and his control over everyone. It was funny and sinister in equal measure and very pantomime. The second was about two couples competing against each other to win big on a reality tv programme and I have to admit it was a bit more difficult to follow...there were men dressed up as monkeys which I'm still not sure about?!?

On our way home we passed the annual tug'o'war competition which we thought we'd stop off at. Forgetting that we're still a novelty in these parts we were overwhelmed by the greeting of deafening cheers and being given the prime seats. They were so pleased we came they even asked us to hand out the prizes. After an hour of watching teams of strong, testosterone filled, men in shorts competing with each other I did start to wonder..."why didn't we come here in the first place?"...!

Posted by carlala 02:18 Comments (0)

Munnar

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Spending 8 hours  in a minibus to get somewhere doesn't sound ideal - and, I hasten to add, it wasn't - but having the peace and quiet I've been craving and dramatic scenery in every direction, I could block out the trauma of the journey!

Munnar, like Ooty, is way up in the hills and surrounded by tea plantation and eucalyptus forest. We stayed in tents 5000ft up and it brought back memories of my childhood camping holidays. Obviously as this was a five star holiday it was glamping rather then camping with ensuites, hot showers and double beds in our individual tents.

At 7am we went for a 2hr trek up the final 2000ft which was tough, especially after 7 weeks of not much exercise. However I couldn't feel too bad when our guide told us that pilgrims do the same walk every good friday with crucifixes on their back.

While the others went mountain biking I happily spent the rest of the day pottering about on my own - taking some photos, catching some sun and drinking cups of fresh tetley tea! In the evening, afer a very good meal, we all drank contraband beer and g&t's round the camp fire before retiring to our camp beds to get ready for the long drive down the hill.

Posted by carlala 05:17 Comments (0)

Kettuvalam

Allapuzha Houseboat

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What a wonderful way to spend Christmas day! As much as I missed the early xmas breakfast, handing out the presents and the turkey lunch - having an ayuvedic massage followed by a slow and meandering trip on one of Kerala's famous house boats was a pretty decent alternative.

These boats were originally used to transport men and materials but are now purely for tourists to while away an afternoon, and if you're lucky, or can afford it, a stunning sunset and overnight stay. It was quite surreal being transported to 'tourist Kerala' after so many weeks in sleepy Nilambur and felt like we had been placed straight into a postcard. The delicate dome shaped, palm and wood vessels, which looked like they might blow away in a strong wind, took myself, four others plus the driver and the cook, as well as a full set of dining chairs and table, a kitchen and two en suite double bedrooms, around the picturesque Vembanad lake.

Once we were moored up all we had to do was enjoy the delicious freshly cooked food, listen to the gentle lapping of the lake and watch the fireworks from the family across the way. Not a bad way to spend Christmas at all!

Posted by carlala 04:13 Comments (1)

Happy New Year

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After a whistlestop tour of Kerala and a gentle night train last night I'm back to Nilambur, where I'm starting to call home. I've had a fantastic time over the past week - which I'll tell you about in the following posts - but I have to say it was lovely to see the bright yellow train station and to come back to the big pink house.

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday and that 2012 is a good one - I'm sure it will be!

Posted by carlala 03:14 Comments (0)

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