Purple Sky

The blue, pink & purple of everything under the sky

The Lion King – Review

I have watched The Lion King a 110 times… Maybe an exaggeration, but I guess you get the point. I am also part of the crowd who doesn’t want to watch the remade Disney classics, because my childhood was filled with Disney classics and don’t want the experience “tainted”.

So it was with two minds that I had entered the theatre yesterday to watch the new 🦁 👑. First things first. Watching the sunrise and the opening scene with all its musical grandeur in a theatre definitely beats all the viewing I had on a TV screen using a VHS cassette. Growing up, English movies were not so commonly screened in theatres as it is done today. So this is technically the first time I am watching my beloved movie in a theatre. And that experience was truly unbeatable.

The animation was also amazing. It was like we were watching a BBC documentary. And the flora and fauna has been shown with great precision and beauty.

Movie was mostly screen by screen repition excepting a few added scenes. Like Nala’s escape from Pride rock and the tuft of hair travelling through the entire Circle of Life. But somehow the emotions were not replicated. Mufasa’s death never fails to draw tears from my eyes. And it did not fail even this time. But some scenes like Nala’s reunion with Simba or Rafiki’s elation on realizing that Simba is alive seems clunky, forced and emotionless. The hyenas were the comic relief in the original, but here they are just another talking menacing looking animal.

I was glad to hear Mufasa’s original voice in this movie also. But all other voices have changed. Looking at the voice cast I was pleased to know that most of the lead cast are African origin people. For eg in the original only 5 out of 15 of the lead cast were African origin. But here 10 out 15 are African origin. This is a good move and also gives an additional sense of authenticity, (after all it is a movie based out of Africa) as I can discern the African accent in the language.

Overall it was a good experience for me to watch the movie in theatre. But when I have to go back to my TV screen, I would still prefer the original one.

Movie Review – Maari 2

I like Dhanush, I like Tovino, I like Balaji Mohan and I liked Maari. So inspite of having a long list of movies to watch during my short vacation (2.0, Aqua man, Njaan Prakaashan), I still opted to squeeze some time for Maari 2.

Maari (1) was a fun movie for me. We have a list of fun movies that we might have watched a dozen times, but still don’t mind watching again (Soodhu Kavvum, naduvala konjam…, Naanum rowdythaan, Godha, Meesaya Murukku). Like a Singaravelan or Michael Madana… of yore. And Maari is one among them.

But expectations is a killer of even great movies. When you go expecting something and you get something else, obviously one gets disappointed and it colours your feelings about the movie. Same thing happened with me for Maari 2 also. My expectations (for a fun movie ) was even more increased after watching the “Sani-anna” promo.

After watching the movie, I came to the conclusion that this promo was more fun than the entire movie.

Having given such a “build-up” for the pigeon racing in the last film, couldn’t there have been a single shot with them; at least as a background prop. Except for Maari, Sanikazhama and Adithaangi, there is not a single thing connecting to the old movie. Is that such a bad thing? Maybe not, it worked with Lage Raho Munnabhai, but when the story doesn’t even seem to be moving anywhere, you sort of crave for these nostalgic throwbacks.

Looks like somebody gave a feedback that Maari didn’t have enough fight scenes (that was another thing unique about Maari. I felt his “Mass”ness was more amplified in the scenes where a fight could have erupted, but it did not.) So in this movie there are fights and killings from the beginning till the end. There are some good Mass moments, Like, when I was wondering, doesn’t anybody have a coloured umbrella, there popped a bright red one, and cues a punch dialogue. Or when senjuduven becomes urichuduven. Or even when Maari and Kreshna re-enters during the climax block in their usual garb. But when one is squirming in the seat wondering why the movie didn’t finish at the interval block itself, it sort of gets lost.

An excellent Kreshna is brought in as an uyir nanban and an excellent Tovino is brought in as a God of Death. Maybe they were going for an Aghori kind of look, but frankly it did not work. Either the feel should be kept Indian or it should be kept Greek. Can’t mix both and expect to get the gravity of the naming and styling of the villain. And as an aside, what is it with Tamizh cinema needing their villains to be fair and handsome. Now that they are roundly being criticized for underperforming North Indian villains with bad lip sync, looks like they have started looking at their neighboring states to import the same. At least the acting is solid and lip sync is great.

But I enjoyed Sai Pallavi’s presence in the first half. She was a ball of fire and any comedy by Robo Shankar was also mostly when she was around. I was expecting a super duper dance song with her around, and Rowdy Baby was a cracker of a song, with typical Prabhu Deva moves.

Now, that is one expectation that was realised.

Book Review – Notes of a Dream

I have been looking forward to reading this book. I was not aware there are other biographies of AR Rahman. Anyways this one is touted to the “official” one. So, I just gave it a go.

Up to the first 8 chapters, it was a very frustrating read. What can be said in 5 word is being said in 25. This book seems to be more like a promotional book for AR Rahman’s Movie making debut – 99 songs. Throughout Phase 1 of the book (which has chapters 1-7), it mostly goes on and on about how humble AR Rahman is, how down to earth AR Rahman is, how shy AR Rahman is. Breaking news! Every person who grew up listening to his music knows this! And I felt this repetition very tedious. It is not just Phase 1, the entire book is written in this vein.

It is only from phase 2 of chapter 9, things started picking up. Movies are discussed, the albums are discussed. Even then, there are no personal details. The book just has the information that anyone can easily google up nowadays. for eg. if the movie Bombay is being discussed, it is common knowledge, what the story is, how the reception of the movie was at that time and what a phenomenal hit the songs were. Where is the personal element to all this? Where is the detailing of any problems that he went through? How did he cope up with it? How did he overcome it?

It is almost like, the author (therefore AR Rahman himself, since it is an “official” biography) is apprehensive about treading some toes. Every sentence, which may have some content which may be interpreted otherwise, there are atleast 5 sentences trying to justify it or sort of soften the blow. Eg. The book says that Saira, the wife of AR Rahman takes some tough business decisions. the sentence goes “She makes sure that everybody in his employ is working right. Nobody can fool around her”. Which is immediately followed by “This is because she loves him and does not want anything bad to happen to him or their family”. So now what is wrong in being a tough decision maker? Why does that sentence have to be qualified by love for the family? The entire book is sprinkled with similar examples and this makes the tone of the author more wishy-washy than humble.

But where Krishna Trilok shines is when he is picks up a song and describes it. Here finally, you hear the original voice of the author, because the rest of the book is just a wikipedia article. In these segments where he is trying to explain the feel of the song, we can feel through his words, the beauty of the song and its impact on people and specifically him.

Maybe the target audience of the book is not a person like me at all, a person who has grown up listening to his music, who can sing almost all his songs made in the 90s and 00s, a person who didn’t bother listening to any other music director maybe until Harris Jayaraj rocked the scene with Vaseegara. Since AR Rahman is looking at an international release for his movie, maybe he wants to market himself to the international community, to make them familiar about him, his music and his repertoire. And hence this book.

A candle has been lit.

I lit a candle today. And it must be after 20 years. I think it was 20 years, because I remember one time telling my maths teacher, that I didn’t do my homework because there was no power. After that, we have had UPS and even if power goes off, in the evening also, somebody will come to repair. But, this now, this is a place, which can take your life back to the primitives. Inspite of having so many technologies installed in the house – UPS (batteries are not akshaya pathram. They have to run out at some point), solar ( if you have a rainy week, then where is the sol in solar?), I had to finally take shelter under the humble old candle. (Thank god I had them).

And weekends are so sacred… It is a day of rest and wine, that even if some fifty households don’t have power, not a single finger will be lifted.

Speaking of “Thank God”, I think such episodes keep coming and going in life, just to make us appreciate the good things we have in life. Things we take for granted – 24 hours electricity, 24 hours water, 24 hours online banking, 24 hours medical shops, 24 hours hospital…. And on and on.

But all these seem like a boon only because we are used to it. What about for the people from places like here for whom all these things are a remote possibility, not possibility maybe a wild dream even.

When I see people living in mud houses, with no access to electricity or other amenities, I feel sorry for them. But when I do feel that, am I like those high minded missionaries who thought everybody else in the world are living a primitive life, and they need to be “rescued”, or were they better off left alone? A candle has been lit.

Misadventures of a vegetarian

I am a vegetarian by choice, living in a country which is strictly non vegetarian. In fact, I am sometimes looked at as a freak. Eating out, hence is a huge problem for me, because I have only four options – pizza, pasta, salad, potatoes. Also, this is a country which labels fish as vegetarian! (No kidding)

Anyways, for a change we went to a Greek restaurant. I like trying different cuisines as long as it is vegetarian. I went for a Meze platter and asked the waitress repeatedly in my broken French, which is vegetarian and which is non vegetarian. She showed me 3 dips, and confirmed they are “légume”, and I started having the obviously veg slices, with the dip.

I was very suspicious about the pink dip, coz I can’t think of any vegetables that can give this beautiful pink shade to the food. (Beetroot has a honking pink colour). So I called the waitress and asked her again whether it is vegetarian. And she, once again, confirmed yes. It was actually delicious. But I couldn’t let go off the nagging feeling. So i consulted Dr. Google for – Taramasalata

Taramasalata – is a Greek meze made from tarama, the salted and cured roe of the cod, carp, or grey mullet (bottarga) mixed with olive oil, lemon juice, and a starchy base of bread or potatoes, or sometimes almonds.

Am I still ovo lactose vegetarian if I eat fish eggs? 🤔

YouTube and TV series for preschoolers

Every baby nowadays seems to be having a smart phone. I guess now we cannot just wish away tabs and phones from the hands of children; we have gone way past that. Infact nothing works on a cranky toddler like a video when we are at the pediatrician’s office waiting for our turn. Atleast what we can do is give them quality content. I’ve done a lot of searching and watching myself. So I am going to list the ones I’ve found useful in terms of fun and education (in no particular order)

Super Simple Learning – YouTube

There are many many many channels on YouTube offering their versions of nursery rhymes. But I’ve found a lot of them too loud, bright and basic animations without much creativity. Basically videos ripped off from the numerous educational CD available in the market. But this channel has reimagined all nursery rhymes to integrate additional learning aspects into the song. For eg Row Row Row your boat has an animation of a couple rowing through the different seasons, and along with the seasons even the couple grow older. Soft music, rich animation and meaningful bodies are the hallmark of this channel. Also their associated website has printable learning materials that can be used in conjunction with each song. So this one has a big thumbs up from me.

Octonauts – TV series

This TV series is about a group of anthromorphic animal rescuers, basically rescuing sea creatures. It has whimsical characters like a panda chief, a penguin nurse, a bunny mechanic, a pirate cat etc. Octonauts is not just fun, but each ten min episode is packed with a lot of information about water creatures, water bodies, natural phenomena underwater etc and introduces concepts in a simple manner perfect for preschoolers. Also, teamwork, appreciation, problem solving are themes integral to the show, so hopefully children will absorb these qualities subconsciously.

Dinosaur train

Not as fun as octonauts, nevertheless a good one. It has all the information about dinosaurs, the different periods, the different classifications in a story format. Also there is a short talk by a paleontologist at the end of each episode who takes you through fossils and other complicated concepts. Perfect for the little ones who love dinosaurs.

Cat in the Hat – TV series

Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss is a classic. But this classic has spawned a whole line of books and TV series of the same character. These are not written by Dr. Seuss, but the writers have made sure the metrical nonsense of the original is also punched up with a load of information. The books are wonderful in itself, with each one taking up different concepts like human body, reptiles, mammals, butterflies, good habits, rainforest etc. Based on the books came the TV series, with just a few modifications – Sally and Dick became Sally and Nick (snigger, snigger). And whereas in the book, both characters were Caucasian, the series made one of them an African. It’s good. People have seriously started taking diversity in popular media and atleast there seems to be a balance in children’s content.

Little Einstein – TV series

Speaking about balance in representation of diversity, this TV series seems to have given a lot of thought before finalizing the characters. This series has 4 children ( two boys, two girls) with 2 of them being Caucasian, one African and one Asian. Hmmm… However the series is mainly about Europe where the children go on an adventure in each episode on their trustworthy rocket, along the way learning about different places, classical music (and their composers), famous paintings and their painters. It is a fun way to introduce children to arts, music and dance.


Little Einstein is a great concept and I wish there was an indigenous series in India which will similarly take children through the different states of India and introduce them to the different languages, arts, food and culture of the people. This will help children identify themselves more with the country than any force-feeding of nationalism does. 

Prevention of Headaches

I am totally into alternative healing nowadays and am always trying to find solutions to my health related problems sans popping pills. So I read  a lot related to this topic too. Here I wanted to share my tips for managing headaches which has worked in my experience. Prevention is better than cure is something we have often heard and it holds true for headaches too. Please see below for changes that I made in my daily habits for eliminating headaches.
1. Wearing sunglasses.

I live in a place where it is quite hot and I need to travel every day in the noon when the sun is at its peak. I have realised that on the days when I wear a UV protection shades, I don’t suffer from headaches as opposed to the days I don’t.
2. Posture.

I can’t emphasise enough on this. I am a person who is dependent on my phone, so I realised I tend to stoop down to look at my phone. Holding the phone up and keeping it at eye level and at little distance away from my body has helped relieve tension on my neck muscles, which in turn resulted in lower headaches.
3. Cutting off blue light from your gadget screens.

I am using an app called Twilight (there are others too with the same function), which cuts out the blue light from the phone and gives a reddish tinge to the screen. This red hue helps in reading at night and relieved eye related irritation and headaches caused by staring at the screen for a long time.

4. Drinking water

I’ve realised that sometimes head aches are body’s way of communicating to you that youbare getting dehydrated. And there are times when I’ve felt immediate relief after drinking water. So remember to be hydrated.

These are something’s that’s worked for me. Pls do share your tips too.

The Amazing Visuals of Baahubali

The day the Baaubali 2 trailer was released, it was the hottest forward on all my Whatsapp groups. Goes to show how much expectations the movie has created. For me, Baahubali on the first viewing didn’t impress me at all. I was more concerned about the explicit violence depicted. Even when i watched Arundhati, it was the same feeling of queasiness that i got. I was hooked by the movie but repulsed by some of the dialogues and scenes.

But the second time around, I watched Baahubali, (must be like a year after), I ensured that i didn’t have any disturbances and fully focused on what the movie had to offer. This time, I paid a lot of attention to the detailing, the scenes. And I was so blown away.  I was blown away by Rana Daggubati, the song Dheerane (which was on loop for quite sometime after), and one scene with Ramya Krishnan, which literally shook my core. I am glad to see an Indian director, not just treating the ladies in the film as beautiful art pieces, but also as muses that inspires art. (more on that later)

Another fact that awed me was that I could just randomly pick out any shot in the movie and that would have been a wonderful poster. So i spent my third viewing, snapping pictures of the many scenes that I loved and wouldn’t mind having as posters.


For me in that song, the hero was not Prabhas or Tamannah, it was the amazing falls. And there are so many shots in the song, long shots, which shows the falls in all its mighty glory


Prabhas is ant-like compared to the endlessly towering falls


I love how the sunlight is tinging the water a golden hue, like molten liquid gold.


Rana Daggubati

Baradwaj Rangan of the Film Companion, had likened him as ‘Oak-Like” and i hooted with laughter reading that, because, i don’t think there can be any other better analogy for the impressive looking Rana, especially in his intro scene. It took me a lot of time to click these two images, because i realized that the particular segment gets over in a matter of seconds. Pity! I would have really loved to see this lunge completed in this same angle instead of cutting to a reaction shot.



Talking about lunges, looks like not only has the director made the actors do a lot of lunges in the gym, but also on the sets. This movie has a lot of action spun around leaps and lunges. from the ground, from the fortress, from the cliff, through the fire…


I was told, that the above pic is a copy from an action scene involving Hawk Eye. But that does not take away the thrill of watching this leap



Below are two amazing snaps of the two defining moments of the film and of course it involves Kattappavlcsnap-2017-02-19-23h09m19s720vlcsnap-2017-02-19-23h40m34s092

Looking at these two images side by side, I wonder, whether the elements of fire and rain is supposed to have a deeper meaning? Like when Kattappa had to kill Baahubali, his mind was literally on fire for having to do this betrayal and that when he finally found Sivadu, this fire that has been consuming him for years, has finally been doused? Or am i just overthinking this?

The Goddess

Mother Kali, the Goddess blessing the warriors looks impressive in this picture and it conforms to all usual notions of Amman,


But the director has also given another portrayal of Goddess. OK, she is not the Goddess here, but I was gobsmacked by the imagery and how much that single picture conveyed, All the feelings I felt when I saw the blood splattered Sivagami, calmly feeding the two possible successors to Mahismathi…. I mean, i don’t know whether there can be any other gesture that can show that both the boys are equal in all ways. And this image has become my new image of a Goddess… Always Goddesses are either depicted as a nurturing mother or a fiery warrior.I It is always either or. For the first time I am seeing an imagery that shows both – Being a warrior and a mother at the same time..


And for this one image,  only this image, I am now a big fan of S S Rajamouli.

Miracle exercise? Half a miracle!

Toshiki Fukutsudzi. Past few weeks, I have been seeing this name on many FB shares. This doctor has developed an exercise which requires only 5 mins everyday, and if done regularly will help in reducing belly fat, improve posture and reduce back pain. Now, I am a perfect candidate for this… I always say that I don’t have time and I do suffer from all the above problems. Years and years of slouching over textbooks has given me a very bad posture, which in turn has resulted in fatty deposits around the belly and consequently back pain. So the video says, that doing this for 30 days will produce visible results. And Google search has not yielded any result on whether this exercise is effective. Funny part is, of the top 10 Google results for this, atleast 5 of them are copy-paste of each other without a change in even a single word (this includes a French article too) 🤔 The posts mention it takes just 5 minutes everyday, so i thought, why not give it a shot? Also I plan to document the results on this post, so that will give me an additional motivation to keep doing it.

Day 1 – I have measured the circumference around the navel. No, I am not going  to disclose the number, but is shall disclose the difference in number and in percentage at the end of the month. I generally don’t eat fast food, fried items, non veg or drink aerated drinks. So, I am not essentially making any significant changes in lifestyle while doing this. 

The exercise itself looks simple enough, but whoa, is it difficult! The body gets super stretched and towards night, the muscles in my arms started to ache. And it is not easy to keep the position for 5 mins, but not impossible too.

Day 2 – clocked 5 minutes. This time, I could feel the muscles  on my back complaining too. I have no idea whether there is any relation to this exercise, but I was feeling quiet tired today like as if I did too much physical work… even though I didn’t.

Day 7 -the muscle pains have reduced. I missed doing this only one day. So far no visible or measurable difference

Day 15 – I have been quite regular, probably I might have missed doing it only a day or two. The exercise has become easier to do. But the more you remain in that position, the more you feel the stretch. There has been no difference in the waist circumference, in fact, I have a slight doubt whether it has increased a bit. 😖 With regards to posture, I am being more aware of my stoop and am correcting it every now and then. There has been no miraculous cure of my back pain too. But point to be noted is that I am only having general discomfort in that area as opposed to full on pain in the back.

Day 30 – so the stipulated one month is over. Now the benefits touted by the web articles were three fold

  • Loose belly fat – which I didn’t
  • Correct posture – yes
  • Reduce back pain – yes

I remember my yoga lessons in college. It was a torture for me because, I couldn’t sit straight for more than 2 minutes, and if I did, the back pain would recur. But if I went back to my slouch, I was ok. Years of wrong posture mislaigns the spine and one gets comfortable in this misaligned posture. But the problems surface years later. When doing this exercise it stretches the back really well and probably it slowly smooths out the misalignment. Probably that s the reason for all the aches in the first week. So I see that now I am able to sit straight for longer periods of time – say 10 minutes, which was unthinkable a month ago, without back pain. So, I will give 2 out of 3 for this. Regarding reduction of belly fat, maybe if I continue doing the exercise, there will be a change for the better in the long run.

 So is this exercise beneficial? Definitely yes! But can this half miracle be converted to a complete one? Only time can tell!

Note: this article is based purely on my experience and should not be taken as a substitute for doctor’s advice​.

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