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Thursday, June 19, 2014

X Education

Hari talk to him about girls
A friends advice in FB
Oh yes I thought hes 18 as a dad its my job right ?

so I went to shyam
Hey Shyam what about gals guy...
What about them ?
Well ......
..You want to talk about girls

acha (dad) ...I .read that comment in FB

Me : ah ok that makes it easier so what do you like to know ?
Shyam : Not much no probs dad dont stress yourself
Me : Well you need to be careful with girls
Shyam : oh thought it was other way around dad !
Me : Oh ya true but you know what protect yourself and all that stuff
Shyam : Yup I know that ..
Me : Oh you do .. .no one told me when I was your age ....and guy these gals as a speices they are never simple u see ....
Difficult to fathom ...In fact quite complicated they are I sighed
Shyam : Oh yes I can see that
What did he mean ...!!
observant fellow this son of mine
Me: Well men left alone are happier ,simpler, but u see nature makes us need each other !
Shyam : Oh yes.... the bee business
Me : Yes the bee ..It stings on and off ....of course with time this gets lesser, rather one gets used to stings ....Another thing we men have all thoughts in one box
The gals have several boxes so....... beware
Complex is the word ,you can call complicated too ...
One minute they are smiling and then you eye a good looking female coming they have murder in thier eyes and look like underworld dadas..... terrifying
And another thing.... they just cant sit and do nothing
Shyam : Oh u mean we men can
Me : Of course as you get older its the happiest thing to just do nothing
But that would just make them wild ..they go crazy when we just sit and do NOTHING
Shyam : Like...
Like the TV is on and we gaze at it with that faraway look and a stupid vaccant expression
Shyam : What do you think of at those times ?
Oh what else gals. Oh no not gals I told you NOTHING
Shyam :Oh ok...You mean you just gape and dont think
Me : Yup
Shyam : dad I cant do that , I have no time for that
Me : Later son later , all with time
best thing you see is to do NOTHING
Shyam : oh
Me : And then when we guys jam together we become boys ,we want to play pranks, have a beer , we laugh at bawdy jokes , and generally enjoy till wifey comes along
Shyam : Oh
Me : Yup
Men are always little boys
And even little girls are like women

Shyam : Ok acha .....enough now want to watch football
Me :Oh football
See again men playing like boys in half shorts
I told u
Men are little boys who need thier gals
He looked amused my son he did


Friday, June 06, 2014

Lucky Prize

I can be counted among the many on whom lady luck never smiles in winning prizes ,lotteries or jaldi fives !
So when I got a call the next day I visited a mall in Chennai that I have landed the first prize of the lucky draw of the previous day I was pleasantly surprised ,
I now remembered the persisting request for my phone number and name by one teenager in the mall and I had given it to her with a giggle !
and now this !!


ME : what is the prize ?
         Sir there are three prizes  !!
ME : Oh three
          Yes three big prizes !

        one is you and three more from your family can stay free ....freee in a five star hotel within period of one  year in Singapore ,Malaysia or Bali !!
ME :Oh
        which place  would you like sir ?
ME :  Malaysia I have gone a couple of times ,Singapore too maybe Bali yes Bali
        Ok  Sir Bali !!for you ,,now 2nd prize
( unbelievable guys !)
     One day in a resort near Chennai for a family of four !
ME : Oooo how did you know we are a family of four ?
        well its all your luck sir you radiate it !
 and finally one big huge bundle of kitchen appliances for your wife
ME : Oh really and when do I collect all this ?
         Tomorrow sir tomorrow
ME : hey wait where is the catch ,don't think of me as naïve you should have some strings attached !
         No sir this is a lucky dip you won,so  come and  collect it with your wife .
ME : What ?
         Come and collect with your  wife Sir
ME : oh but wife not here she is abroad !she cant come even for all this now
        But sir our rules are strict prize can be handed over only for a couple .
ME :Now what do I do for a wife !
       Well sir you should answer that !
ME:  I can bring her alive in Skype and as she smiles you hand over the goodies what do you say ?
        Sorry sir we need a wife in person note a Virtual Wife !


This girl was getting difficult ,other than getting an actress to act as my wife I couldn't think of anything
second marriage for such a cause though tempting would be disastrous legally morally and for the future as murder and mayhem would result from my present one !
of course I had some suggestions from some well wishers wont tell from whom
one was to request a single cousin to don the role ,well repercussions and Facebook images frightened me into vetoing this
another came from my dear wife who was consulted by me
you get our maid and husband to receive it and transfer to you !
How Simple
ME : what if they don't transfer ...?
man with greed becomes foolish
so I called back
ME : look can I ask maid and husband a 60.. 65 couple to collect it for me
        oh no sir you should come with a female companion strange now the word  wife was gone !
ME : oh look you people are playing the fool I can only come alone you want you give or else don't waste my time
this did the job
Hari at his angry man best ....... Amitabh Bachan  would have flushed
       Yes sir in your case we can consider as  special please come at 10 am tomorrow to spencer plaza for the briefing and the prize
ME : Breefing    ? what briefing you said no strings attached
        No no sir it is not conditional but we hope you will go through it and then collect the prizes
ME  :ok will come
Next day at 10 am I walked in looking every inch as the  first prize winner
 I was stunned to be taken into a hall full of small tables with several couples dressed  in their best !
ME : All prize winners ?
         Yes sir with wives !
ME :Oh she pointed to my deficiency subtly
 I was made to sit in a table and another  very sweet little thing sat in front of me
       how are you sir I am  S..... ........are you comfortable with me ?
well strange question to a single guy well not truly single I meant singular !


      Sir are you comfortable with me ?
I looked around the choices weren't better looking  so I replied of course among the lot good you are good
      Sir shall we begin ?
ME : What !!!!
      Sir shall I begin


ME :  what again ?
        Sir our briefing
ME : oh your briefing please do
        Sir we are a time share resort business
Ah ha here it comes
ME : look you people told me no strings attached I already own a  a time share resort membership since the time you were in kindergarten ( I bit my tongue after that sentence  cant denigrate oneself you see )
so don't you try to sell me one give me my prize and let me get going
haha  a man of few words
     Of course sir we just want to tell you that's why we ask for wives because if husbands hesitate to take  they convince them to take it
ME : well in my case Iam more easier to be convinced than my wife specially by you ..naughty
        My job is to convince you sir
ME  :go ahead
       Sir now our manager will give you the financial details of the scheme
suddenly there was loud clapping as one of the couples succumbed to the glib talk and bit the bait
      Sir did you hear that
This from a moron with a moustache who now  sat in front of me !!
where did she go what an apparition !
ME :well who are you ?
       Sir the manager
ME : oh
       Sir did you wonder about the clap ?
at that time one more clap and congrats chorus
   See sir again and again and again these are lucky couples who have become part of our time share you are lucky to be invited as single Iam sure you will join them shortly !
ME : well being single why should I join the other couples ? what are you suggesting ?
moustache was slightly confused
      No no I meant joining  the time share along with the other couples !
ME : I have to think
         please don't sir
ME :  well you are asking me not to think is it !
        No sir generally wives do the thinking  husbands sign cheques and as you are alone you can do it
ME : well my dear moustaschio  Iam the thinking husband can you give the goddam prize I shall think about your resort and let you know !!!!
This time it was a furious Hari
cue taken form Mohanlal Malayalee superstar who in one his hit films  says to the local corrupt police officer
hey,,,,,,you mouse ... I wont threaten you like lousy politicians about you losing your cap I will slice your head off !
that did it
     yes sir
He called for the prize
A small cover with a promise of a weeks stay with discount in hotels when rooms available
a days off time in their club off Chennai
and a tiny packet of serving discs
Bye sir nice meeting you




so much for my First Lucky prize






Friday, May 16, 2014

Eternal hope ......

2014 is a decisive year in the history of India
An Ancient country with a hoary civilisation extending back to aeons
A country known for its superior civilisation and achievements be it in spirituality art culture or science even at ages  when the rest of the world were struggling for basic  survival
A country where major religious thoughts emanated from


over the years it attracted hordes for its wealth and openness but was exploited divided and plundered by many invaders  the last being the British .
Like a vast sea unruffled it absorbed into its flow all that came in and melded it into its oneness but mans cunningness found a way to divide it so that they could rule it
how easy it was
1947 the British left the country bleeding into two pieces which would menace each other for years ,later this would became three .
The men and women who ruled the country in its democratic spirit also used this dividing technique very effectively
power reached by splitting the country by its multitudes of castes and religions


 the man on the street was the most secular
 to him all roads led to a power and he lived as a large family with his neighbours
but this would not do
it was this thread that was successively broken by power mongers who instigated induced inoculated hatred and animosity amongst sections
people passionate of their beliefs were easy victims to this clever divisions which increased the fissures ,if only they had realised that the dividers were their real enemies the country could have been different
Caste divisions prevalent more due to its perpetuity over the years gradually eroded with education but   the politician found it convenient to increase it by perpetuating reservations in the name of positive affirmation
V.P.Singh former prime minister and a most unlikely caste monger used the spectre of mandalisation to save his skin in a power struggle releasing the Pandora box of caste divisons effectively splitting India by caste
several parasite parties  grew ,like  bats they existed on sucking the blood of caste


caste appearing in every application,census and other official documentation was more significant than wearing its signs on the forehead
children  learnt that they were different from their friends in having an advantage or disadvantage in oppurtunities by the castes they were born with ,merit was murdered
the demands grew by day and the divisons grew over time
Communal elements fanned hatred helped from across the border
the easily flammable passions were fuelled by dangerous speeches which injected hatred amongst a people who by nature loved and respected each other
communal riots cleverly engineered by parties with or without external help made the country a tinderbox
accusations and cross accusations of a holier than thou brigade made the people their gullibles


Emergency declared by primeminister Indira Gandhi in 1975 by its excesses  gave birth to a victorious   janata party in 1977 elections
there was great hope for the people of a change and improvement in conditions ,Doordarshan known for its censorship metamorphed into prasar bharti and Gandhijis nephew Rajmohan Gandhi the scholar was even said to head it I still rememeber those heady days of hope which dwindled in two years whent he mediocre janata party crumbled due to its inefficiency
Dynasty rule continued with Indira Gandhi and after her assassination Rajeev Gandhi as prime minister Again there was hope for the bright young man who was in a hurry to change things but slowly office and content changed his rule and interference into sri lanka brought his demise later meanwhile in 1987 he was deposed by the Bofors scandal by the very VP singh who created great hope as the ultimate mr clean of Indian politics but he degenerated into a caste using power monger


again the advent of BJP with its ram temple politics polarised the people but brought a new dispensation which never lasted much
hopes given and crashed on and off
it was back to the Congress which slowly drifted back to its family politics with an Italian born daughter in law holding the strings to play a puppet of a prime minister who incidentally had turned the tables of finance by his economic miracle as finance minister
and then a decade of corruption cheating  people by using hollow symbols of secularism the country rotted
now at last development and its harbringer in a state called Gujurat has brought new tidings risisng our hope
will this verdict  make a difference to out poor injured land
a land with so many resources so many skills which are used by other countries but a country which has stagnated due to to selfishness of its leaders
will every country give an on arrival visa to Indians ?
will development be the only password for India of the future with no hidden agendas ?
will Modi as pm make that difference ?
no one knows


there is hope
There is as well as fear for those who have been fed on stories of him  spreading mayhem and murder of communities ,
there is fear of loss of special priveleges which many had got used to due to appeasements for the sake of getting vote banks
 there is fear of  common laws
there is also fear from other nations who have been harming our country over time of a no nonsense nation  which would demand its pound of flesh and have no qualms in using its strengths if needed for it and would not be swayed by internal or external pressures in this determination .


we can only hope for the  good
we can only hope the men who decide our destinies  leave us common folks alone to lead a quite life with our beliefs while  loving each other
we need to continue looking at our friends and neighbours without tinted glasses of castes or religons as we always used to
we can only hope that merit is not murdered
w can only hope that the best of the country goes to the poor and the defenders of our country
we can only hope the goodness of the common man is no more exploited
we can only hope that every Indian realises when he is being exploited and would rise in anger like he did in 2014 by the ballot
we can only hope the new powers who have been elected do all this
we can only hope and pray we are not disappointed again like we were





Saturday, April 26, 2014

Ship of thesus ..film Review

this is one film I had wanted to see for some time now ,
I have been reading rave reviews and watching stunning visuals of this  English Hindi Indian made film by director Anandh Gandhi 
 It has a strange title the Ship of Thesus ,
nothing to do with a ship wreck or any such mundane action possibilities ,
this one is a very cerebral take on an age old philosophical paradox Greek in origin called the Thesus paradox ,here the question is if parts of a ship are changed is the ship still the same or does it become something new !
or say mending an old sock by knitting its holes so much so at a time all of the sock is newly mended holes will it be the same old socks or a new one !
that s a catch 22 situation if any right ?
 this really engaged me and I wanted to see the film if for nothing else to see the work of someone who had this out of the box thinking !
Anandh Gandhi brings his Thesus paradox with the subject of  organ transplants !


There are three small storylets in the script and all three protagonists meet at the end though unknown to each other but for the audience 
the common denomination of course is the organ transplant they all have !
now the paradox by the director and his reason for naming it as the ship of Thesus is does the person with a new organ still stay the same old person he or she was or do they become someone  else !


The first part is of an extremely brilliant young lady photographer eneacted by Aida Elkashef who is visually handicapped and takes her photographs fine tuning  her auditory inputs as she weaves around Mumbai s crowded markets and among st its busy roads her fine ear catches subtle sounds and her camera lenses click for her to make prize winning photographs ,later she has a corneal transplant and regains her vision and is now able to see the world and her subjects clearly but in the process loses her intuition sense which she had earlier in abundance  and wonders if her photographs turned a subtle duller !

The second part of the film  is the one I loved .
Its about a young intellectual  very rational and handsome Jain monk who enters into intelligent debates on existential philosophy of life and non violence with an adolescent lawyer boy who is part of the monks judicial fight against pharmaceutical companies who do violence to animals as part of their research ,
the discussions are lively and intresting and way above dialogues one can expect from Indian films ,I found shades of Satyajit Ray in his Shatranj ke khilari here .very satisfying indeed .

The monk unfortunately gets diagnosed with advanced cirrhosis due to a liver disease and is adviced for a liver transplant .
Like any othe Jain monk may prefer he decides not to go for a transplant but to  attain bliss by starving himself to death 
to him a transplant  from the very establishments his war is waged upon goes agsints his grain 
so the ,the long barefoot  march  the monk and his close disciples take  to a suburban monastery  where he would continue his  fast is a poem in visual excellence ,
the photography is stunning specially seen in Bluray and the freezes are mindblowing ,
one needs to appreciate Pankaj kumar the cinematographer for his skills 
Neeraj Kabi the stage actor who does the role of the monk is said to have starved himself for days for the film and lost 17 kg ,he becomes a bag of bones with bedsores and slowly sinks into almost non living ,
the actor almost did it in real life and his breaking of the fast after the movie was an event by itself 
what dedication 
,in the last moment before death realisation dawns on him and he conveys his wish to go to hospital and later has a transplant  eventually he lives after the transplant too 
surely a new person !

The third part is enacted by Soham shah an actor who also produced the movie he plays  a stock broker who had a kidney transplant but learns that a poor bricklayer living in a Mumbai slum was the victim from whom the kidney was stolen !
he traces the bricklayer in his crowded tenement and concrete slum only to find that he himself was not its recipient but a foreigner living in Stockholm
he travels to Sweden to get compensation for the donor 
in the final scene all three of them come for a meeting of transplant receivers and the film ends .

Though the film has stunning visuals excellent performances and rare insights of a director it also projects a slightly off beat approach  favored by those with a penchant for avant garde fashions 
something like a modern art painting which people appreciate so that they dont feel left out !
were the creators of this movie subconsciouly attempting this !

 ,this is one element I did not appreciate much and felt the raves for the movie was a bit Emperor   without clothes syndrome  ,
in parts specially the monk story it is brilliant and overall the theme is awesome .

so I would ask all of you to see this rare film and rave if you want
 it is a very good film but not the most best film made by an indian
 I dont agree with such adjectives for this film as there have been better films too 
incidentally the makers have been kind enough to make it available free online even though the movie is still running  in theaters for a wider reach 
definitely it should be seen
so please see and let me know 
bye

I acknowledge the photos taken from online and if any one objects shall remove it 

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Punyallan Agarbathis ( Saint Incense sticks)

Kerala with its weird hartals and arrogant labour has a poor investment climate ,
movies have been reflecting on this time and again but the malayalee watches them and has a good laugh and nothing changes .
Punyalan agarbathis is one more in the genre like Panchavadi palam by K.C.george,or Sandhesam or varavelpu by Sathyan Anthikkad .
In this new movie Jayasurya is a smart talking enterpruener who dreams to make incense sticks from elephant dung and sell it worldwide ! ,
he almost carries it off but Kerala is known for putting a spanner to any enterprise and so it does to this one too .
a humorous interlude but at the same time highlighting the irony of a state full of literate people but run  by unscrupulous politicians  .
real good watch specially the excellent Thrissur slang which reminded one of another movie called Pranchiyettan .
Jayasurya shows his talent in his  glib talk and looks the part well .
the film is slick and sensible
special mention on T.G.Ravi who makes a sober character and does it with aplomb while his son who is usually a notorious villain dons a comedy role of a driver who looks brawny but is a really a mammas boy who bursts into tears often


please do see it .

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

chip from childhood

To the whole world chips is made of potato popularly called  french fries ,fish and chips or KFC,Mcdi burgers  with fries or any self respecting fast food would have those yellow calorie filled addictives which any Gym instructor or dietitian would frown upon and swear as the worlds greatest evil but evil things are always tempting in life and so are chips .
But Kerala has always been different in everything ,the malayalee was known for frying anything that comes in his way  be it fish or banana or tapioca or even bitter gourd !
but to him the banana chips made out of nendrakaya either raw or ripe fried in pure coconut oil is unique .

To the purist chips lover it should be coconut oil or nothing else ,though these days in Kerala specially in southern and central parts palmolein and sunflower oils are used to fry them but the taste is definitely poorer .

Kozhikode or Calicut is the home of chips and another delicacy called halwa which was said to have traveled to kerala from the Arab countries during their maritime trading days or it may be the other way round as Oman was known for its halwa 
Chips centres in Calicut have existed for ages and have huge cauldrons of boiling oil where shirtless and sweating hairy men with curly hair and mustaches peel long fat bananas and slice them at times straight into the oil at times after  soaking them  in salt water with a pinch of turmeric to make them get their golden hues 
Buying chips involved a lot of tasting too as one could get handfuls as sample and my childhood hobby was to get samples from several shops and buying from none !
Slowly the trademark of Calicut chips started migrating to other places .
Ernakulam too had its own Malabar chips near south Railway station where there was always a big crowd of people with suitcases to pack them for their journeys in trains or  cars to airports too would stop there in the last minute
 I know as I always do this as chips is an excellent gift to give to your friends .
in The national highway to Palghat from Ernakulam once you reach Wadakancherry there is a huge line of chips shops though good it never met my standards of quality though the chips from Alathur SNR chips shop almost did .
chips is an importan item in all Sadyas or feasts of Kerala be it weddings or onam or vishu and there is a specific place for vartha upperi and sarkara upperi in the plantain leaf 
My childhood is  filled with the smell of chips !
Knowing my passion for chips my grandmother Karthiyayani amma would send for Chozhi our all time man friday 
"chozhi mon  ethi thaan poyi kuttiyappude kadennu kayavarthu vangigko
 ( our boy has come go get the chips )
my grandfather thampuran would mumble avende vayaru kolavum
 ( that means his stomach would be a mess )
I would wait for the brown paper bag to be delivered and would tear it open to feast on it and this would continue with grandma replenishing the stock as soon as  it got over
 luckily those days me being as thin as a reed
 ( unbelievable right )and nobody talked of dieting like now it was alright to do such things !

before we returned to Madras the big mansion  would smell of boiling jaggery and jack fruit for making jam and cashew nuts from our trees  fried to be packed for us along with ripe and unripe mangoes ,jackfruits sappotas and so many other things in sacks 












once we got into the Mangalore mail with all our sacks deposited by grinning faithfuls we would wave Parappangadi good bye but to me it was more expectation as I waited for Tirur just two stations away where my fathers relatives waited with packets of what else chips and halwa knowing me 
lovingly they would come to me calling Hari hari chips undu tto ( brought chips for you )

and so we would reach Madras with enough chips to start a small shop and I would jealously guard the yellow gold from my mother who had a large hearted penchant to donate it to our nosy neighbors who would barge in asking
 Hari chips enge ?( Hari where is the chips )
Even to this day whenever anyone from my family come from India the only thing I ask them to buy for me is a packet of my dear chips 
thsi chip from my childhood  came to me now  because I got a packet of chips from Philipines of all places !and a friend commented on my strange passion for what else CHIPS



( I acknowledge and thank for some  photos from online )



Friday, March 28, 2014

Hari in Hong Kong

The Airasia flight from kuala Lumpur took to skies gracefully   ,it was a balmy morning and the air was thick with news of the missing Malaysian airlines plane .
we all prayed for them .
In the two and a half hour flight I could tuck in a spicy Bukhara biriyani while watching a movie in my pad 
we were off to Hong kong ,
The pilots clear voice was informing us that we would be cruising at an altitude of 35000 feet and Hong Kong was expected to be a bit foggy and cold .
that was an understatement as we knew later  no not the cruising or the foggy part but the cold bit !
Hong Kong was frigidly cold as we hurried up  in the line  to  the immigration counter .
India being one of the many countries Hong kong would let in with an on  arrival tourist visa it was over fast.
 it was the trademark of Hong kong as a  hassle free tax free tourist haven over the last century while the British had colonised and perfected this label
soon after the first opium wars between Britain and China in 1939 to 1942 
( because China refused to buy opium from Britain ! Oh these English  )
Hong kong was leased to Britain in perpetuity after treaty of Nanking in 1842
 later came kowloon peninsula in 1860 after China lost to Britain in the second Opium war and new territories in 1898 as lease for 99 years this included Lantau island where the present International airport is situated .
 it was occupied by Japan between 1941 and 1945 .
Growing from a humble fishing village this group of islands would grow into a massive metropolis ticking like a dynamite almost fiery in nature .
After the 100 year lease a reluctant  Chriss patten Hongkongs poster boy Governor had to part with his beloved city country nestled between the South China sea and the Pearl river delta  and hand it over legally to China in 1997
 this was a time of fear for the residents as they did not know their status anymore .
China played thier   trump card by making Hong kong  a   specially administered region within  China under the principle of one country two systems the other SAR was Macau which was liberated from the Portugese in 1999.
I would visit Macau too .








New York ,London and Hong kong are  being three cities in the world that matter ,it is also the worlds most vertical city .
on July 1 1997 Hong kong was handed over to china after 156 years of existence as a  British colony .
As a specially administered region it had a law based on English law ,a parliament but defence was by China


 I leaned on the window expecting an  aerial view of scintillating skyscrapers but all I saw was water ,the plane glided into a runway abutting  the sea .
The International Airport Hong kong  in Lantau island was actually near Hong kong city  away from the bustle and hustle though  .it was well connected by all sorts of transport by  high speed trains ,ferries ,buses and MRT and cabs .
Caritas biachi hotel in Yumatai kowloon where I had booked my room online was to pick me up as I had requested for the same .

The immigration and baggage reclaim was smooth and in minutes I was out and bought a local sim card for my phone and an octopus card which is a smart card that could be swiped in all modes of transport and also in convenience stores and eateries like Mcdonalds .It cost 150 HK Dollars of which  50 dollars was deposit it could be topped up and it was valid for three years .
I scanned the faces with welcoming boards and I could fine none with my name on it so I finally called the hotel  the receptionist informed me that no pick up was arranged as they had not received any such message to my consternation but he was kind enough to tell me that bus no 21 A would bring me  near the  hotel ,so  my daughter and myself  towed our  luggage and got into 21 A 
the trip was smooth the climate cool the bus comfortable and the view amazing We looked forwards to Hong kong .
There was some confusion as we got down one stop ahead on instruction of our misguiding receptionist and dragged our luggage through crowded pavements  two youngsters taking pity on our predicament unfolded a map to tell us we just had to walk another 300 meters to our hotel .
I vented my anger on reaching the hotel and the receptionist  knew that day how an angry Indian would look like !
After this initial outburst Hong kong never again gave me the opportunity to lose my cool .
After freshening up we once again asked the receptionist our way to the Victoria peak 
This time he made upby giving us all details and the maps needed ,it was just a matter of time when my  daughter got the hang of things and became an expert using the MRT map and navigating me for the rest of my Hong kong days as I was congenitally navigation  challenged !

















We alighted in Yumatai station in Tseun Wan line and changed in central station to the Island line to get down at Admiralty station from there it was a five minute walk to the Peak Tram station to go up the Victoria peak ,on the way we passed the  beautiful St Johns  cathedral 

We also saw the thin and tall Hong Kong city trams plying in slow non nonchalance
 .















The peak tram itself is  a funicular railway to go up the victoria peak ,there also were  roads and escalators !
Peak Tram was opened in 1881 to cover a distance of 1.4 km each way and a height of 1200 feet.
it had six stations in between the lower Garden road to the Peak on top
it was very cold on top and the winds made it freezing but the view was stunning ,as dusk gathered the fairy tale neon lit behemoth of a city with the blue seas the sailing ships and the yatches and the mountains in the far horizon rising  like a specter in front of us .
 our cameras clicked furiously to capture the images for posterity

There was a Madam Tussaud's version of a wax museum but this was a much watered down version one which did not excite us much .
We huddled into the huge shopping complex cum food court cum lookout multistory building for some warmth 
souvenir hunters and tourists thronged like flocks of migrating birds jostling and shouldering their way ahead to ascend and descend the relentless escalators that carried the human ants .









After some time of this hustle we joined a line to get down in the tram the line being in the exposed roadside was chilly and people ached to get into the warm station by the winding que finally we got into the tram and descended in unabashed silence ruminating on the endless capabilities of humans
We took the Metro  from Admiralty back to central station  and changed our trains to Yumatai ,refreshed ourselves in our hotel.
we then walked down to the nearby temple or the night market where anything from pins to pistols ( toy of course  ) were sold by Chinese merchants ,As Indians who love to bargain we successfully did our bit to buy handfuls of USB discs of different shapes ,seeing its images in FaceBook  my cousin Balan warned me that they were likely to be useless ,later he proved right as not one of them worked ,so its a warning for anyone venturing to Hongkong not to buy these from street markets cheap they may be .
Browsing in the brightly lit street market in the frigid evening was a nice experience ,we returned back tired to get  into the warmth of our hotel rooms and for a much needed slumber .














Next day we decided to go to  the Ocean park 
This Hong kongs marine theme park opened in 1977
and  has received several prestigious awards over the years









The Twelfth most visited marine park in the world receiving more than 10 million visitors so far
the design and concept of the park is aimed on ocean and animal conservation for ,education along with entertainment .there are so many aquariums one for the Artic region with polar bears  in temperature controlled facilities ,the Antartica wing had  walruses and penguins ,Dolphinariums ,all types of fishes in huge aquariums with excellent interactive viewing modes were present .
 special shows and movies are staged often
The old Hongkong area is a classic representation of how Hongkong was in its past  with its old buses trams and boats

The ocean park was spread over two huge hills and water with  a cable car connecting  them
 there were a lot of rides including hair  raising roller coasters ,360 degrees swings 
 people who get their thrill from these were really in their elements ans that did not include me !

By the time we were back from Ocean park it was evening and it was turning dark and colder so we took a bus from Metro station  to the Avenue of stars waterfront ,modeled after the famous LA version  here the stars were mostly Chinese and the only two we knew were Bruce LEE and Jackie Chan
The waterfront was like a freezer with gusty winds driving people to huddle behind convenient buildings nearby
We waited for the famous light and sound show to begin at 8pm
 this a 365 day affair and one of the longest running shows in the world ,at 8pm sharp the already well lit waterfront with gaily lit cruises and yatches came alive as a coordinated computerized laser lights  were emitted in myriad co lours from buildings across
 a sight to behold indeed and a great photo opportunity















Day three Hong kong we were off to see the other well known landmark Disneyland 
Hongkong Disneyland was much smaller than the original in Orlando USA
We took a cab in the morning to Lantau island and got off at Sunny bay Metro   station ,



We had booked a hotel in Discovery Bay near Disneyland for this day and we sped there in the hotel shuttle from sunny Bay .
Discovery bay was a quiet and scenic neighborhood , the long neat road lined by flowers wound its way through two tunnels and picturesque sceneries    more like an European town rather than a Hongkong suburb .
The Auberge ,Discovery Bay was a towering but cosy hotel facing the lapping bay and the small town in front ,its huge lobby had friendly receptionists and a helpful  concierge who got us our rooms well before the check in time and arranged for us to be shuttled to Disneyland itself around 10 km from there .
We had booked the tickets online and at 350 HongKong Dollars 
( 3000 INR )each which would include all rides and shows 
it was we felt reasonable ,
We had brought no confirmation slip but all we needed was to key in  our confirmation numbers stored  in my mobile to get a ticket popping out and in we went after the mandatory checking of our bags and selves ,there was no fuss about food or water being taken in like we see in Indian amusement parks or even some newbie cinema theaters in Chennai where they literally did a cavity search in the name of security !
Disneyland opened in front of us with the legendary Mickey surfing over a fountain and we clicked away photos 



















The classic USA city part had early 19th century buildings old automobiles and parked buses for photo opportunities Mickey and Minnie ,the Donald ducks  Cindrella and several other Disney characters floated around ,there were big ques to get photographed with these smiling antic filled characters ,all of them are permanent employees of Disneyland and take part in the evening parade and some shows .
there were a twins pair of  cleaning boys who suddenly converted their bins into drums and gave an enthralling drum ensemble grinning all along and suddenly they put all back and said they had to get back to cleaning which was their act .
Disney pavilion showed how comic characters came to life by fast movements and the painstaking works involved in creating those moments in the days where there were no computer graphics there even was a class to learn some quick drawing in the true Disney spirit .
we then went to the future city which was full of roller coaster rides into space and its fantasies ,the chuggy steam boat ride took us to deep Africa with near living elephants and rhinos and revolting snakes as we were made wet with spraying water from the elephants tusk ,Mystic house took us into a fairyland of treasures collected by its owner and his monkey
the Disney show itself was a big success and we waited with bated breath to see the enthralling parade of all the characters as lively as a Brazilian carnival
it was chilly as we waited for the 8 pm fireworks to begin  it was worth the wait as a thousand suns lit the sky and threw flowers in myriad colors against the backdrop of sleeping beauty castle the best spectacle in Disneyland ,we moved our tired legs back to our shuttle to reach our hotel for a deep slumber as we dreamed mickey mouses .































































Morning we went for a slow walk around the Auberge ,the place was quite elegant with lovely cottages neat pavements cute bus stops and people walking with their dogs very relaxed ,
All these people had to do to reach Hongkong was just to drive to Sunny bay MRT by bus or car  park their cars and take a train to the downtown areas to reach in 10 minutes which shows how satellite planned cities can be created with efficient transportation .

We wanted to go to see the big Buddha temple in NongPing which needed us to take metro from sunny bay to Nongping and walk to cable car station ,run by private network the cable was expensive at around 150 HK dollars which is around 1200 INR each but took almost 45 minutes to reach its destination ,it went over the city the airport the sea and towering hills ,this by itself was a a sight seeing trip .









We reached the tourist village hungry and coldand stepped into an Indian restaurant where among other things Tandoori chicken Biryani and Gulab jamuns gave us some much needed warmth 
The fog shrouded Lord Buddha perched in the pinnacle of a hill in a mystic mirage and strangely this  made him look more alive .


















We had no time or strength to go up the hill as we had to return back by afternoon ,back in the cable car and the metro and the shuttle we reached Auberge to bid goodbye to the hospitable staff and to Honkong for now as we were off by ferry to Macau which is another story by itself and that's  for another day .

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