About me

Am a contradiction of sorts. i love going out and having a good time with friends, and i can also stay home chill out over a book or a movie..

Am very passionate about writing, so give me a topic and watch me float away into wonderland... Love reading books- sometimes i read 3books simultaneously, crazy about music- need it all around me, all the time and ofcourse, i totally am ga ga goo goo over my 7yr old naughty brat- Floppy!! errr, Prince Floppy!! :)

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Skywatch Friday... Heavenly

Through the window, i peered out trying to see if the towering chapel was in view,  my neck was starting to hurt and the lady in adjoining seat was giving me a look "are you ok?, is this your 1st time here?". I replied in affirmative to both her questions and was just about to get back to my seat when i spotted the Chapel in all its glory.

The sun was blazing as we hopped out of the bus. I quickly made a beeline for the shade, had a sip of water, wiped the sweat and decided to forge ahead to explore the Church. Situated in Nagapattinam District, along the Coromandel Coast. The most famous significant Roman Catholic shrine dedicated to Our lady of Good Health.

This is probably the only church where people across religions visit. With a rich history dating back to the mid 16th century, there is a legend that is attributed to 3 miracles: the curing of a lame buttermilk vendor, the apparition of Mary & Jesus to a shepherd boy, and the survival of Portuguese sailors who had been assaulted by a violent storm while out in the sea.

As i walked around the Church, the stark resemblence of Gothic style architecture stood out.It is quite imposing building that almost seems to reach the skies. All the buildings are painted in white, but if you look up, you will notice the roof is made of red tiles.

There is also a replica of this church in Chennai, at one end of the Besant Nagar beach, where you will find crowds thronging to say a prayer on Sundays and other special days. My granpa believes in the powers of the Mother Mary hailing at Velankanni Church deeply.. Infact, if anyone at home is ill, including the cow or the dog, he immediately sends a contribution with a letter, and receives a word of thanks along with a photograph of the Mother.. He believes the Mother has helped him tide over quite a few difficult situations. So, it was a special moment for me visiting the church, and being in the main chapel. I lit a few candles, one for each member of the family, and one for friends, said a prayer before moving on. 

I also noticed a row of shops just outside where they sold small metal pieces of eyes, legs, human figure and many others. Apparently, if you have an ailment in the eye, you drop a eye piece in the donation box, and there is one of a couple, meant for those eager to get married :-)

The church took quite a beating during the 2006 Tsunami, with many devotees being washed away. And that is when they had to rebuild pieces of the church, and today it looks just as amazing as it did before.. [yes, i did manage to do a visit post the Tsunami with friends]

For more beautiful skies, visit Skywatch Friday

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Where the Jews Live on- Mattancherry, Kochi

"Jew Town in Cochin? Are you sure?" was the 1st question that popped in my head. But this was before i did some research and read about Mattancherry and Kochi. We were there for little over 2days and on the last day, decided to make a quick visit to the Jew town, specifically to explore the Synagogue and area around, maybe even try speaking to one of the Jews living there.

The place has a certain charm. Narrow lanes resembling a beautifully laid out cobbled street, with brightly painted walls, stores brimming with antiques on either side lead us towards the  one of the oldest Synagogues, heading to a dead end.   

Vehicles are not allowed inside, unless it is a two wheeler.  The stores have items literally spilling out into the streets, which leaves just about enough space for people to walk on. It feels like we are in a different country altogether, that is how different the atmosphere here is.
As I walked along the lane, I could feel a few eyes on us, probably thinking "ah, more tourists, wonder where they are from" Some smiled, while others just stared, as if looking straight through me.. kinda creepy!

Visitors were asked to leave all our belongings, including mobile phones and cameras with the storage space provided near the Synagogue and then enter the premises. The hall before the main synagogue showcases a brief history of the place, through photographs and content lining the walls. Built in  1568 by the Malabar Yehudan people or Cochin Jewish community in the Kingdom of Cochin, this is called the Paradesi Synagogue.  Situated in an area called Jew Town, this is probably the only one of the 7 synagogues that is still in use. In all, there are about 13 Jew families living in the area, and the lady we met at the entrance shooed us away saying "we have had enough of reporters and journalists prying into our lives, please leave us in peace"  

The Synagogue complex in all has 4 buildings and has been built adjacent to the Mattancherry Palace temple, infact they share a common wall.Spent in all about an hour, the main synagogue is beautiful, decked with blue and white tiles, plenty of chandeliers hanging across the ceiling, and pristine... Luckily, there was not much of a crowd, but for a group who had come with a guide... And since i dint have my camera, there was no chance of taking any photographs inside the premises....

Just outside, in the path around the synagogue i spotted a few stones and pieces of wall with Jewish inscriptions on them. Wish i knew what they meant, there was no one around or no board that explained the words. And before i knew it, the lady at the entrance was beckoning me with her head, it was time to leave. I walked out with so many questions in my mind, but alas, they remain there.....

Photo courtesy: keralavillagehomestay.com

After gathering my bags and belongings from the storage locker, i strolled out of the street, wondering what history was hidden within these walls. As i reached the junction, i noticed that there were 2 paths ahead of me- one that takes me back to the palace, while the other heads towards the spice market and the Jew cemetery. And the latter is what i chose, keeping a watch on the time... :-)

Friday, April 13, 2012

Skywatch Friday - Drama in the sky

Today, as we celebrate Tamil New year's day, and Malayali's celebrate Vishu, Tulu's celebrate Bisu, i remember my friends in Kochi...

About a month ago, one Friday evening I was all set, bags packed and on my way to the airport to zoom off to Kochi for a brief break from my routine. It was nearly dusk, when the clouds, the sun and the sky seemed to be enacting a play, filled with drama and emotions running amock. There was red and grey and just about all other shades you could imagine....

For more beautiful skies, visit Skywatch Friday

Friday, April 6, 2012

Skywatch Friday- Serene

While in Kerala rather Kochi few weeks ago, I would go on lazy walks along the Fore shore road, a quiet street along the back waters. I kept telling my friend "why dint you guys get a house here" and she would retort "ya, right, like we have a choice in the navy"... The place seemed so surreal, so peaceful.. There is something about water that has me feeling good and happy.... 

I took this shot one day while walking  on another part of the Navy area, that was more open, the road that took us to the shipyard and the jetty and beyond..... it was a cool day, and yet the sun was shining bright..

This was one holiday that felt like a holiday. Yes, i dint have packed agendas, nor was i racing around town, since i had been to Kochi earlier, it was a peaceful unwinding holiday.. Spending time with my best friend, her family, meeting their friends, walking, absolutely relaxed dream vacation!! Looking forward to doing this once in a few months... :-)  

For more beautiful skies, visit Skywatch Friday

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Football comes to Town:- Pepsi T20 football in Chennai

Last week i received a tweet followed by an email from Sahil to be a part of the Pepsi T20 Football that was going to happen in Chennai at Express Avenue... The mail had me curious, but alas, Saturday i was tied up and Sunday was also pretty chaotic.. Towards evening, a friend had made movie plans and i thought "why not check out the football event after the movie, if only to see what it was about" 

Pepsi  had recently announced the launch of its first ever football themed campaign in India with a new ad film featuring Ranbir Kapoor. The brand has taken the campaign forward with football in new format - "Pepsi T20 Football".

Few days earlier i had visited EA and noticed the mini court that was being set up in the atrium [center] and it looked quite swanky, Pepsi colours - Bue & Red with goal posts and the works... Sunday when i walked into the mall, it was buzzing with people and action. There were crowds along every aisle, near the escalators and just about everywhere. It was amazing to watch so many people tuned in and excited about a sport that i dint know much about. 

Football to me has always been one of those other sports that some of my friends were crazy about. I knew the terms, knew the rules, just never really watched an entire game like i would Tennis or other fav sports..
The matches were all less than half hour, and action packed. I couldn't stop watching the players and the game as i made my way down the escalator towards the atrium. It was quite fun, i must admit! This new format makes it shorter , which means more games are played and for people like me who wasn't really into it, this was an opportunity to watch the sport up close and learn more. 

The yellow card, the penalty shots, and quick movements were quite an adrenalin kick. In between matches, 4 guys in blue jersey and black shorts entered the net and performed few acrobat stunts, some amazing moves... Wondered if their bodies were made of jello.

Also managed to meet few other familiar faces, some who were part of the tweetarati gang who'd been contacted by Pepsi.We shared our experience through tweets with the "#pepsiT20football" hashtag.. And also saw them pop up on the giant TV screen placed at the venue... 
Not only were we part of the action, but were invited to give a brief interview to ESPN about the campaign..  A 2min under the limelight where i got to share my views to Jatin Sapru... I was the only girl on the stage and well, proud moment indeed.... 

 Felt pride that Chennai was the 1st city to host this campaign.. They are going to 6 other places, this weekend in Bangalore...

[Right A glimpse of the crowds across the floors at EA..

 About the Pepsi T20 Football Campaign "Change the game"

The below excerpt is from IndianTelevision.com
Pepsi T20 Football is a new format for amateurs, which combines T20 style of playing with the spirit of football. Winners of this nationwide tournament will get a chance to play football the Pepsi T20 way against the Indian cricket stars and get an opportunity to be coached by an international football star.

PepsiCo India category director - colas, hydration and mango based beverages Homi Battiwalla said, "Pepsi T20 Football tournament takes forward the philosophy of 'Change the Game' by taking football outside the conventional domain and giving it a refreshing twist.

To be a part of the Pepsi T20 Football campaign, amateur footballers between the age of 14 and 30 years can register in 7-member teams at designated venues. Open to all Indians, on ground registrations and matches will be organized across major Indian cities including Chennai, Bengaluru, Kolkata, Mumbai, Lucknow, Ludhiana and Delhi. The registration process begins with Chennai on 14th March and tournament will continue till June. 64 teams from each city will compete in knock-out style 20-minute matches and the top 32 will compete in the respective city finales. The city finale will be organized in a unique metallic cage at a public venue with lots of music, fun and Pepsi. A total of 8 teams, including 1 winning team from each city and 1 wild card entry will compete to emerge as 'Game Changers'. They will then get the opportunity to be coached by an international football star before they face the Cricket Stars at the Grand Finale.