In retrospective (how cliché!)

I have already spoken about my journeys this year as part of the weekly photography challenge. So I thought, why not talk about other stuff.

WordPress: I wrote ~260 posts this year on this blog. Fewer posts since August but then I have tried and kept my weekly posts as much as possible.

Instagram: I posted ~215 photos on my Instagram. The number might have increased since last year, but that might be because I compensated my lack of blogging by photo blogging in Instagram 🙂

Goodreads: 108 books recorded (which is less than last year but given my current work conditions I do take a very long time to read one book especially during school days) I also moved my Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited account from US to the one in the UK because payment was becoming an issue and I couldn’t get hold of any local novels that I find in some of the shops around here.

TV/Movies: Didn’t watch many movies except for the odd ones here and there. We recently watched Star Wars: The Last Jedi. We did complete a couple of series which we miss so dearly. Inspector George Gently & New Tricks were our favourites. A Touch of Frost is coming very close to the end. We miss the old group in Are you being served? The ones from Season 8 is alright, but they do miss something from the earlier seasons.

Apart from those, well, I moved to this new country, got my residence card, quit my 13-year job and an 18+-year-old career, moved to my favourite career of Teaching, gave up my Zumba creds (can no longer teach Zumba), travelled to a new city (Padua), missed a friend’s wedding in India and she eventually moved to the US, enjoyed my snow for a couple of days and so on and so forth. Too many things crammed in a year. All exciting and leading the way to another hopeful year.

I am not going to talk about all the other news items that have happened over the year because those have been talked about everywhere. All I wish is that people be more sensible in terms of their own self and that of others, be more hopeful, be more truthful, be more supportive, be more considerate, and be healthier in the years to come.

Wishing you all a very Happy and a Healthy New Year.

 

WftPoftA

When we went to the Odeon Cinemas, the self-service Ticketing machine shows the above as the movie title and it took a while for me to figure it out.  I was worried if the movie, War for the Planet of the Apes, was already out of that cinema given that it wasn’t even a week since it was released. Seriously, can’t they just have it as Planet of the Apes – 3 in case the title was too long?

Mr M hadn’t watched any of the prequels so I had to fill in him on the happenings of the previous movies even before we went in. But I needn’t have bothered because they give you a brief two line synopsis along with the name of the movies. That was clever. And from there the story starts. There is never a dull moment. Humour relief is brought by one new introduction, who introduces himself as the ‘bad monkey’. It is like the life comes a full circle in this movie. I thoroughly enjoyed it. I ain’t going too much into the story because it might spoil it for you. The Colonel’s story line is such that you find yourself thinking if he is right as does Caesar.  Titbits that include the current situation like ‘the wall’ finds its way into the movie which is also very clever. You know that it will have its own cliche moments. But that is acceptable. That is what this movie was all about. But it does have its own twists and turns.

Mr M also enjoyed the movie even though he thought it a little weird (having seen the old Planet of the Apes movies) but at least it kept him awake and indulged and that is a big plus 😉

All in all, a very enjoyable and a technically very well done movie. Andy Serkis has done a brilliant job. I sincerely hope that they stop the sequel or prequel to this saga here and now. Do not want to corrupt a nice series and dilute the strength of the story and its characters.

Now for some books and movie

I think it is time for some books and movies in this blog. Been a while since I wrote about any of them. Last month I read a book called “The Sound of Rain” by Gregg Olsen. I absolutely loved it. I did an all nighter which Mr M wasn’t very happy about. But then I did not have an option. I was so involved in the book I just couldn’t keep it down. I had to finish it off else I wouldn’t get any sleep. But then I did finish it off and ended up not getting any sleep 😀 There were twists and turns until the very end. Drove me doolally (a word I learnt from Mr M) for a bit and surprised me at the end.

After that, I ended up going through some romance novels because I had to relax and not strain myself by missing more sleep. But when I travelled to India, I was already jet lagged and with so much work that was pending, sleep was something that was foreign to me for a couple of days. So I decided to pick up another one that was on my kindle library and decided to use my sleepless nights to finish it off. This one was called “The Sixth Window” by Rachel Abbott. Good that I picked it up during my sleepless nights. Otherwise, I would have had to do one. Another gripping tale. A little bit more disturbing than the other one and scarier too in terms of child abuse and stuff like that. But the culprit was again someone I had least expected. These two books surprised me that way. After reading so many mystery books and watching such series you tend to think a little bit in those terms and usually, I am at least 70% correct with the guesses. These two threw me for a loop.

I would definitely recommend these two if you like mysteries. Now to the movie of the week. Bahubali 2. There is a lot of controversy going on with this one. It is a sequel to Bahubali. I liked the first one too (except for the heroine) and that ended in a cliff hanger. This one tells you the back story (which takes up most of the screen space) and how the story concludes. We know that the good triumphs over the evil in these historical dramas. So it is not the end that is the surprise. It is the how and why. It was close to 3 hours or so, but I wasn’t bored. I like to see such pure masala entertainment now and then. The graphics in this movie was amazing. I absolutely loved it. Wasn’t too cheesy. It was more dreamlike. Storywise it isn’t anything different from what we see in many other movies. Except that it has some historical background to it and all the grandeur attached to it. The songs were picturized very well. If only the dialogues in many places weren’t dubbed in Tamil from Telugu it would have been brilliant. I hate watching dubbed movies or scenes. Anushka was good in her acting and so was Ramya Krishnan. I was glad that I could enjoy it with my family members and the kids enjoyed it too (even though my nephew became too emotional when Bahubali gets killed – it isn’t a spoiler alert. We know he gets killed even in the first movie)

Entertainments galore

We are nearing the end of Inspector Lewis. Already on to our 9th season. Wonder what we will do after it is over. Mr. M is already having some withdrawal symptoms 😉 And surprises in Death in Paradise. Out goes Humphrey and in comes, Jack Mooney, played by the Irish actor Ardal O’Hanlon (Mr. M tells me he is from Father Ted…I have seen only two episodes of it so far…so couldn’t really place him). I am sure lot of us would be feeling a bit weird about it, but the transition was smooth, unlike the last time when Humphrey was pulled in because Poole (played by Ben Miller) died. That was a huge change. But I am enjoying Mr. Mooney as I did the other two. Common Sense, a BBC series where a select people from the public all over the UK discuss the weekly happenings, is another series that we are watching regularly. This is very different from the others as this involves real people and how they feel about important issues that were in the news every week. They are really very funny and honest. I like the butcher couple a lot. I am still keeping a tab on Taboo, with all its gory and blood and grime.

Watched a couple of very good movies. Old ones but golden ones, I should say. The first one was 12 Angry Men. If you haven’t watched it, and if you like crime drama, you should try it. 12 jury members of a murder trial are the main characters in this movie. They are sent to discuss the fate of a young boy who was accused of killing his father. They reconstruct the whole story piece by piece. It is a very interesting screenplay. You start with a mindset and slowly and steadily each one’s motives for their decision is questioned. I really enjoyed the movie.

And yesterday we managed to catch up on To Kill a Mockingbird. I haven’t read the book, wasn’t really sure if I would like it. But I enjoyed the movie. I don’t have to tell you much about it because I am sure it is one of the must-see movies of all times. And I am sure it makes sense even in this day and age. Gregory Peck is amazing. If you haven’t watched it either, give it a try.

Another 3-hour long movie we watched a while ago was A Passage to India. Again, I haven’t read the book, but the movie was nonetheless different and managed to hold my attention for all of those three hours. I am not sure I would have had the patience to read the book. But the dynamics of the varied characters are quite intriguing in this one. It could have had some editing done to it, but then the character’s depth would have taken a beating.

We also had been to a couple of museums. Will get around to copying those photographs sometime next week. I am being lazy over the weekend and not participating in the weekend prompts as of now. I hope to get back to it soon. Until then, I do hope you enjoy my photographs and random TV and Movie updates. And I could definitely use another extra day for the weekend. Don’t you? 😉

 

It is always a Dangal.

[Dangal can mean competition, wrestling, or wrestling arena]

Recently we watched the movie ‘Dangal‘ (a Bollywood movie). We liked it very much, even though it was a bit longer than normal. The story is very uplifting, sometimes cliched, based on a true story of course, and it is about women in wrestling in India. Not a small feat especially in a very patriarchal society. I have been waiting to write about it, but then I stumbled upon this article in womenweb.in by a young writer. She portrayed my thoughts very well. It was as if she read my thoughts, my doubts and in spite of those doubts she still liked the movie, just like me. So I thought it best to share her views (not a review, she says) and leave it at that.

Last year, I happened to see three very good movies in Hindi. One was Pink, the other Dear Zindagi, and the third one was Dangal (Since we saw Dangal over Christmas Bank holiday, I am counting it in the last years account). And surprisingly they were all women related, more uplifting, more positive and did well at the box office too. Changing trends? If only these kinds of movies could prevent the kind of incidents like mass molestation and such. It is such a shame, really and very sad too. We still have a long way to go.