Tuesday, June 29, 2010


We went for the late night buffet looking forward to the experience. There was my husband Venkat, my son Vignesh, myself and a friend Suresh.

Well, my son and I were quite excited as it was our first visit to this hotel. The atmosphere was quite stylish and befitting a five-star establishment. But the food served was a different story altogether. Mediocre is the only word to describe it.
Plus point 1: The desserts section had a large variety and most of them were delicious!

Funny that I started with the desserts but then I prefer to list the plus points before taking up the minuses. And this is the only one as far as this restaurant is concerned.

Flop show 1: A straight average for the food and service. The food was just OK and most of it was cold – I mean those dishes that were meant to be served hot. It was not a cold buffet.

Flop show 2: I had heard a lot about the quality of black dal that they serve and was quite eager to taste it. Yuck! It tasted like it had been made the earlier week. The best black dal that I recall is from Barbeque Nation at Khar (W).

Flop show 3: For the kind of price that we paid, it seemed as if the five-star restaurant was just taking its customers for granted and could not care less.

This dinner buffet was an experience that I would not want to repeat.

Saturday, June 26, 2010


The place is your typical low-profile eatery with comfortable tables and chairs. The food served is always hot and fresh and the waiters are quite friendly. It is not s place to hang around. You go there, order what you want, wait but a few minutes to have it served, eat it, pay your bill and leave.

Plus point 1: The food is excellent, perfectly flavoured and served just right. What more could you ask?

Plus point 2: They are well-known for their Rice Sevai (both coconut & lemon flavoured) and then there is the Kela Bhajji, Aloo Bonda and Dal Wada that are yummy.

Plus point 3: I usually prefer to take a parcel of sambar and vegetables for eating with rice. They also give rotis for parcel. One plate of sambar or vegetable (sukka & gilla – dry and with gravy) costs just Rs 10. And the best part is that the stuff they give you for takeaway is extremely fresh and piping hot. I take it all the way from Matunga to my home in Sion. I did just that yesterday and we had a delicious dinner of yellow pumpkin sambar, cabbage and carrot dry curry and paduwal in gravy.

Plus point 4: I have to add here that they also sell South Indian sweets and savouries such as Jhangri, Mysorepak, Murukku, Ribbon Pakoda, etc. The Mysorepak that I bought there just melted in my mouth. Just awesome! The Murukku was delicious too.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Film Review: SINGAM (சிங்கம்)

Cast: Surya, Anushka Shetty, Prakash Raj, Nassar, Vivek, Manorama, Radha Ravi, Vijayakumar, Krishna Priya, Bose Venkat, Nizhalgal Ravi, Yuvarani
Director: Hari

The Story: Durai Singam (Surya) is a Sub Inspector of Police. He is in charge of the police station at Nallore, a town in the Thoothukudi District of Tamil Nadu. Their family owns a provision shop and Durai Singam would have been more than happy to run it. But he becomes a police officer as it is his father’s (Radha Ravi) dream. DS is symbolically compared to Singam - the lion in Tamil - and how it safeguards its territory. He handles the police station with absolute ease. Most of the people who come there with complaints are either relatives or friends of the family. DS does his best to bring compromises between the dissenting parties and sends them home happy. There are also times when men try to break the law only to have their backs broken by DS. Kavya (Anushka Shetty) is from Chennai who visits Nallore and falls for the policeman. Mayil Vaaganam (Prakash Raj) runs a huge crime racket in Chennai. He threatens rich businessmen to part with crores of rupees in the name of kidnapping. The film follows the story of how Durai Singam and Mayil Vaaganam get face-to-face in the first place, considering that one is from Nallore and the other from Chennai and the result of that meeting.

Our Perception: The film is a total masala flick but a great fun watch. The film belongs throughout to Surya with Prakash Raj pitching in about 30%.

Surya is handsome, dashing, has a screen presence and acts fabulously with an excellent diction. He can sing, dance, romance, fight and what not. He has a fantastic range. I have seen him in a variety of roles. In the film Vaaranam Aayiram, Surya plays a double role as father and son. The father grows up from a young man, falls in love, gets married and brings up his two children. The son undergoes trauma when his girlfriend dies in an accident, takes to drugs and manages to get out of it thanks to the father. Amazing roles extremely well executed. Ghajini is where he plays the role of a millionaire businessman who loses his lover to villains and his memory too in the bargain. A big feather in his cap! The son of actor Siva Kumar, Surya’s career in Tamil films has grown by leaps and bounds. The ease with which he does the role of Durai Singam makes it difficult to believe that it is but his 25th film. His dialogue delivery in this film in a dialect special to Thoothukkudi is superb. Congratulations, Surya! Keep up the good work.

Anushka Shetty as the heroine Kavya looks ugly and her dressing sense is pathetic. As regards her acting skills, she manages to scrape a pass.

Prakash Raj is a veteran and has done a wonderful job of the part of the villain just as expected. Kudos!

Vivek in the role of Yettu Erimalai was disappointing. I have seen way better performances by Vivek. The comedy sequences appear rather forced. I sincerely hope to see more quality from Vivek in future.

The rest of the cast including Radha Ravi as Durai Singam’s father, Nizhalgal Ravi as the fraudulent ACP, Vijayakumar as the Home Minister and Nassar as Kavya’s father, have done their parts well.

There were a number of fight sequences in the film that were quite violent. A few of them could have been cut down or at least reduced in length. But I see that these are greatly welcomed by the public and so cannot quite blame the director.

The computer graphics used through the film were great.
VERDICT: Most definitely worth a see. சிங்கம் வெற்றி நடை போடுகிறது!

RATING: ****Snazzy

* Silly
** Shaky
*** Smart
**** Snazzy
***** Super

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Food Review: Bombay Blue @ Phoenix Mills

It was Father's Day and the crowd was just too much. We waited for almost an hour to get a table. Was the wait worth it? Check out the plus points and flop shows of this joint.

Plus point 1: The ambience and service were very good.

Plus point 2: The two starters – Nachos Mexicana with Beans and Corn Balls were delicious and the portions were alright.

Plus point 3: The Veg. Mixed Grill Sizzler was nothing short of excellent.

Plus poin
t 4: The Peach Iced Tea, Lemon Iced Tea and Ice Cream Sodas that we ordered were good.

Plus point 5: You cannot beat the Sizzling Brownie with Ice-cream at this joint.

Flop show 1: The combo offer on starters was most definitely not worth the money we paid for it.

Flop show 2: The Lasagne was horrible to put it mildly.

Flop show 3
: There was a crowd but it was still not fair for the manager to make it obvious that he wanted us to pay the bill fast and leave. He was not even keen that we were ordering desserts.

What I have noticed during my many visits to this restaurant is that probably they keep changing the chef or something - some items are good at times but you can never be sure which one the next time you visit. If you want to be surprised (shocked is more like it), then this is probably the place to go to. There is no consistency to the quality of food served.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


June 9 is Amma Bhagavan's Wedding Day. Oneness declares this as the Day of Relationships. Bhagavan reiterates the importance of family and relationships that need to be maintained to make the journey into Satyug as smooth as can be. As He had mentioned during the Mukti Darshan, the times are getting worse and only Mukti will lead us to our salvation. The foremost step towards attaining Mukti is setting right relationships - with one's mother, father, spouse and children. Experiencing people for what they are is the ultimate goal.

Let's all pray to Amma and Bhagavan to set right all relationships on this wonderful day. I also wish Amma & Bhagavan a wonderful Wedding Anniversary!

Thank you for being there Amma Bhagavan!

Sunday, June 6, 2010


Cast: Naseeruddin Shah, Ajay Devgan, Arjun Rampal, Ranbir Kapoor, Nana Patekar, Manoj Bajpai, Darshan Jariwala, Katrina Kaif, Sarah Thompson Kane, Nikhila Trikha

Director: Prakash Jha

I managed to see the film along with my family on the day of its release. The multiplex theatre was packed – after so long. And it was obvious from the audience reaction that the movie was very much worth a see.

THE STORY: As the tagline suggests, the movie is beyond politics. I have read somewhere that all the plots and stories around the world are but based on seven unique plots. Every story that has ever been created has been recycled from one of these. Well, this one is based on the biggest Indian epic, The Mahabharata. Veerendra aka Veer (Manoj Bajpai) plays the role of Duryodhana while he befriends the Dalit head Suraj (Ajay Devgan) who had been abandoned by his unmarried mother and brought up by the political family’s driver. You guessed it – he is Karna. The Pratap family of Pandavas include Prithvi (Arjun Rampal) and Samar (Ranbir Kapoor). While Veer is desperate to head the political party practically run by the family, the Prataps oppose him at every point. Gopal (Nana Patekar) happens to be Prithvi and Samar’s Mama - depicting the role of Lord Krishna. The war between the two sides brings about a nasty end to most of the characters while the widowed Indu (Katrina Kaif) who had been married to Prithvi becomes the Chief Minister. Samar goes back to the USA to complete his PhD as he had never been interested in politicking.

OUR PERCEPTION: Everything was absolutely grand - the story, the direction, the editing, the acting, the sequences, the cinematography and what not. You could not afford to get distracted even for a couple of seconds if you don’t want to miss something important, and everything is. The story flow is absolutely gripping and keeps you glued to the screen. The editing is absolutely tight with not one single excess shot. Kudos to the director and editor! The music is left in the background with just one small song that fits in well.

Naseeruddin Shah had a small role and he did quite well.

Nana Patekar as Mama Brij Gopal was simply amazing. I have heard him rattle off a lot of dialogues speedily in many of his films, both as good man and bad man. But in Raajneeti, his silences speak volumes. Impressive!

Arjun Rampal has finally arrived. A director has used him correctly and he has performed extremely well in his role as Prithvi, the politician. Prithvi is a combination of great looks, education, ambition and a streak of meanness that is not overpowering. His need to revenge has been portrayed in such a subtle fashion as one gets to see the result of his violent nature rather than the actual fight sequences. Awesome work, Arjun!

Ajay Devgan was good, nothing exceptional nor anything that he has not done before. His performance has been consistently good and he was excellent as Suraj.

We are seeing Manoj Bajpai in Bollywood after a long time. I thought that his film career had taken a downward spiral after he became an overnight hit in Ram Gopal Verma’s Satya. One could catch glimpses of Viku Mhatre in Raajneeti. Good show!

Katrina Kaif’s acting career has been soaring in Bollywood. But this film is definitely a turning point. She has stepped above her glam roles and has done some serious acting here. She has also worked on her Hindi and it shows. A great effort with stunning results, Katrina!

I always like to keep the best for the last. Yeah, that’s right – Ranbir Kapoor as Samar. The versatile actor is growing by leaps and bounds. It is really not necessary that it is all in the genes. We have seen a number of Kapoors flop too. But this Kapoor has got into the right profession, it seems. The range of emotions that he could portray and the subtlety with which he handles his role are simply amazing. One specific scene that touched me was when he sheds quiet tears looking at his father’s dead body, his lips quivering as his manliness does not allow him to cry out aloud while he is absolutely shaken that his father had been murdered. Keep up the wonderful work, Ranbir!

I have never been too fond of Prakash Jha’s films, finding them too violent for my taste. What tempted me to watch Raajneeti was the fantastic array of star cast. The violence is only in the background and not in the shedding of blood. There are no terrible fight sequences and it is way more subtle as only the vicious results are portrayed. Very glad about that! The film is totally gripping and does not even allow one time to think or predict the next scene. Not that everything was a surprise, but it is very rare that one gets to see such a tightly etched plot. Kudos to Mr. Jha!

Everything that is great need not be perfect. You need something to criticise. There is one such element here too. Suraj, Prithvi and Samar’s mother! Nikhila Trikha takes on the role of Kunti in Mahabharata. While she was doing alright when she did not have much talking to do, the moment she goes to ask Suraj to leave Veer and join his brothers, she falls flat on her face. Her expression and dialogue delivery sucks. A small black mark in an otherwise perfect film!

VERDICT: Paisa Vasool! Bollywood is back in action with this one.

RATING: **** ½ Snazzy Plus
* Silly
** Shaky
*** Smart
**** Snazzy
***** Super

Friday, June 4, 2010


Sunday, May 30, 2010 was indeed a very important day in the history of Mumbai city. Amma and Bhagavan gave darshan to tens of thousands of people at the MMRDA Grounds at Bandra-Kurla Complex. It was indeed a momentous occasion for humanity.

People thronged the grounds despite the sunlight and heat, eagerly awaiting the darshan of Bhagavan on two huge screens set up at the front. The programme began with a Kalash Pooja and later on a few people shared their experiences after attending Oneness Programmes. These included the Bollywood actress Shilpa Shetty.

Bhagavan came on screen to take the Mukti Class in detail. It was on similar lines to the one that happened in the month of April at Ghatkopar. Only this time, Bhagavan explained everything elaborately, about the times to come and how attaining Mukti will help keep one safe from all kinds of calamities. The darshan and talk lasted almost half an hour.

After that, we meditated for 49 minutes as instructed by Bhagavan while we all took Paduka Deeksha from Deeksha-givers. Then it was time for the highlight of the event - Darshan of both Amma & Bhagavan. It was just SUPERB! They were on screen for 20 minutes and gave Deeksha and Blessings to all those present. I could just feel the love emanating from the two of them. I am so glad that all four of us in the family could attend the same.

There was a live telecast of the programme on Sanskar TV from 6.30 to 8.30 pm and I am glad that my sisters and parents at Chennai could see it.

I saved the best part till the last. My daughter, Vinitha and I had told at least 25 people about the darshan and invited them. Only Vinitha’s friend, Vinayak Kamath, turned up for the programme.

The lucky guy had miracles happening to him the very next day. The company he works for had not given Vinayak a bonus for two years and they gave him a letter declaring a bonus of Rs. 97,000 and also a hefty pay hike. The more Vinayak said “thanks” to the Srimurti, more things began to work out – all those things that had been pending for so long.

This is but one of the many miracles that are happening around the world. Thank you so much, Amma Bhagavan, for taking care of all of us.