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Monthly Archives: June 2011

Adaminte Makan Abu disappoints

After the pre-release build up in the media- both print and television, I decided to watch the movie Adaminte Makan Abu today. I returned disappointed. The story line is very flat, without even a moment of anxiety, concern or drama. Unlike the mention in the media, this is a story of an aged couple making an effort to go on Haj pilgrimage, and not the travails of one man making that effort. The movie has no trials, no tribulations, no pathos.

Almost in a documentary fashion, the narrative is about how Abu and his wife Aiyussu, played by Salim Kumar and Zarina Wahab respectively work towards making their life long desire to go on Haj Pilgrimage. The narrative tells you how to apply to the Haj Committee, or go through a private travel agency like Akbar Travels. Starting from applying for a passport to organizing money- which the couple has been doing over years by Abu selling Attar and religious books and his wife by selling milk and assorted fruits and vegetables in their compound to getting tickets, the entire process is portrayed in the film. They only wish their son in Dubai would help. Their efforts to make sufficient money fail, and they do not take any loan as Haj pilgrimage is to be performed with one’s own money.

The story just goes along in one dimension without any element of drama. There is a sub plot of the local teashop owner Hyder’s imagination making his aged tenant ‘Ustad’ as someone with extra sensory powers, which is eventually shown as a figment of Hyder’s imagination (see the freeze frame of the trailer above). There is just one dialogue which holds your attention. From the comic roles he has been acting, Salim Kumar has done well do be a 75 year old man, with great deal of help from make up man Pattanam Rashid.

The story has steered clear from the most difficult phase the religion of Islam and Malabar area is facing, and it is difficult to imagine that lives are not affected by religious fundamentalism. Haj pilgrimage as a subject fits in well to bring in that dimension to the story, but has been bypassed.

If this is an experiment in bringing art or parallel cinema to mainstream viewers, there has been better ones before. Quite disappointing for a national award winning film.

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Posted by on June 26, 2011 in Malayalam Cinema, movies

 

Beaches of North Kerala

Beaches of North Kerala

While Kovalam, Varkala and Cherai beaches in South and Central Kerala have been on the tourist map for a very long time, the beaches of Northern Kerala have remained untapped, and is seldom visited even by those who live in South Kerala, let alone India. I took a trip to some of the beaches in Kannur district. They are all amazing, pristine and as awesome as the popular ones. In fact there is a beach where you can drive for 7 kilometers on the edge of the sea as the sand is so hard. I don’t think there is anything like that anywhere in India. Here are some snaps of my journey.

 

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Posted by on June 18, 2011 in Kerala, Nature, Tourism, Travel

 

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Edakkal Caves, Wayanad, Kerala

What you are looking at above is the ceiling of a cave! When I took a bumpy ride in a rickety Mahindra Jeep up the Wyanad hills, little did I realize that I was about to enter a cave that is 1500 feet vertically! I am talking about Edakkal Caves in Wyanad District of Kerala. This rock wedged itself after an earth quake 3000 years ago – Eda =Inbetween, Kallu =Stone in Malayalam, thus giving the cave name Edakkal caves.

Edakkal Caves are just off National Highway 212 between the the towns of Sulthan Batheri and Kalpatta in Kerala’s Wayanad district. This area is a part of the verdant forests that form the Kerala – Karnataka – Tamilnadu border. The approach to the cave itself is on a sheer vertical climb. You have to climb 2000 feet above MSL to be there. This is not recommended unless you have the fitness level to do rock climbing. The cave itself is not huge or cavernous (pun intended!), but should be about 1500 sqft floor area but the ceiling is really high! The cave etchings go back 2300 years.

 
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Posted by on June 15, 2011 in Kerala, Nature, Tourism, Travel