Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Talvar - A Movie Review


Mysteries never cease to amaze me. For people who have known me for a long time would have realized this by now. My fondness for mystery movies is quite evident from my huge collection of crime and thriller movies. So I could say that I have a special liking for such movies. After having received a special invite for the Talvar movie screening, I was happy and thrilled at the same time for I was going to watch the film version of a murder case that made me think a lot. Yes, sometimes whenever I had free time at office, I would Google for mystery cases in India and during one such occasion my mind got fixed on the Noida Double Murder case of 2008 that not only shocked the nation but also raised questions about the inability and capability of the Officers who probed this case  as it got dragged  for so long without providing much resolution.

Talvar is a film adaptation of this Noida double Murder mystery played by few elite actors such as Irrfan Khan, Konkona Sen Sharma, Tabu and many others. The film had an emotional connect to it as it dealt with the people closely attached to the deceased who was brutally murdered.  After having read about the case and the theories attached to it many times, I could see all those happening in front of my eyes.  Talvar made me wonder and ponder on various aspects and elements of life.  For once, when the destiny betrays and puts you in a fix, that’s when you feel jinxed.  It is a game of fate where other factors such as media, politics, professional ego, conspiracy can alter and influence justice. The cinematography is just perfect. I could see the characters walk in front of my eyes. Each version of the story seems convincing and every time you think, it will make you wonder what could have gone wrong that night when the girl got murdered.  The movie will wake up the Sherlock Holmes sleeping inside you and you would step into the shoes of the investigating officers. I personally felt so.  I could also feel the emotions of the family and what must have gone through their mind when they faced the stressful situation.  While each protagonist of the movie constructed their own versions of their story, my mind too came up with several thoughts about the murder. Such is the impact that the director has created on the minds of the viewers. That itself is a victory by itself. I thoroughly enjoyed the movie and it’s few of those movies that would make you think about the judicial system of the country. If you are a great fan of murder mysteries and crime thrillers, then I strongly recommend this movie for you. It will be  a perfect delight for you guys!

Watch the Trailer below

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

I Feel You ( Part 1)

Image Source - Here 

It was Wednesday. Wednesdays are usually the red letter days for Scrum masters who work for agile projects in IT companies. Being a Scrum master myself, I had to face the wrath of Customers and product owners in case if we messed up with the deliverables by not delivering the product within the stipulated timeline. Sprint is the unit of work in agile projects. Everything should be covered within the sprints. Imagine how cruel life would be for Scrum masters like me!

I was already running late for work that day. I started the ignition and drove the car out of the parking area of my Apartment. While driving towards the intersection, I met a friend. She was Neha, my college days crush!  She possessed a unique charm that drew boys towards her. 

Well, that was during our good old college days.  But her charm and elegance was still intact. She still looked adorable and her smile was something that attracted me. It dragged me closer to her and I would secretly admire her beauty when I was young. I had no clue about her whereabouts but today I found her back.  I stopped my car at the bus stop where she was waiting for the bus and waved him at her.

"Hey,  Isn't that you, Neha?" I curiously asked. "Neha Kakkar."

"Yes! But sorry! I couldn't recognize you?"

"It's me, Rajat!" I said. As we grow old, we tend to change in appearance. Well in our case it was quite evident. She failed to recognize me. Perplexed, she took a careful look at me and said, "Rajat Saxena?"

"Yes! Rajat Sexy na?" I winked at her and said, "Get in, I will drop you."

She got inside the car and we started discussing about how life veered out in these 10 years.

"Got married?" I curiously asked her.


"And what about you?"  She asked me.

"I still haven't found a girl as charming as you!" I joked.

"Thanks!" She said and blushed.

"How's Life, Neha?" I asked as I drove my car on the Western Expressway.

"It's Okay!" she said.  From her expressions, I felt she was hiding something.

"You sure?"

"Yes, why do you ask that?" She asked.


"Frankly, I am so happy after seeing you today." She said and continued, "It takes me back to the memory lane. Old memories surface on my brain and it seems like it all happened yesterday and its bliss!"

"For a moment, it seems that the cupid has arrived and once again made me fall in love with you ...just like I loved you secretly during our college days," she said.

"What?" I interrupted her.

"Oops!" She said, "I need to get down."

"What did you just say?" I asked, my ears couldn't believe what I just heard.

"You really loved me?"

"What do you think?"

(To be continued...)

Friday, September 25, 2015

Top Ecotourism Spots in Kerala

The main reason why ecotourism is becoming more and more popular is because it represents a way of enjoying nature’s bounty in a way that it is preserved and sustained for the generations to come. This is achieved by focused and deliberate action that ensures minimal intrusion and destruction of the natural environment while supporting and sustaining the local cultures. Green tourism assumes a lot of involvement by both the tourists and the various service providers. It includes measures like recycling, water conservation and reuse, energy efficiency, and creation of livelihood opportunities for the local communities so that they can lessen their impact on the environment. Among the many states in India that are aggressively promoting ecotourism, Kerala is at the forefront with a number of wonderful destinations waiting to be explored. Here’s a glimpse of some of the best spots.

Kerala Backwaters

Quite unlike any other tourist attraction in the country, the backwaters of Kerala are famous for their unique charm and biodiversity. The best way of getting to know the attractions is to climb aboard a riverboat and take in the serene ambiance of the tranquil waters, the verdant greenery of the swaying coconut palms and lush paddy fields that abound on both sides of the river. Luxuriate in the gentle rhythm of a pastoral life of the natives that has virtually remained unchanged through centuries. As you glide on the waters, you can just imagine how life would have been when the waterways were the hub of trade and commerce with cargo boats transporting spices, coconuts, rice and a variety of other necessities to the settlements on the banks.


The favorite destination of eco-travelers, Munnar that is situated at an elevation of 1700 m, is so different from the backwaters that you would hardly believe that you were in the same state. It is a picturesque hill station covered with lush forests, orchards, tea gardens and grasslands that are the ideal habitat of a huge assortment of flora and fauna. If you have the patience, you can spot animals like the Grizzled Giant Squirrel, Nilgiri Tahr, gaur, elephant and birds such as Nilgiri Wood-pigeon, Orange-Crowned Warblers, Whistling Thrush, Scarlet Minivet, Nilgiri Pipit,Orange-Crowned Warbler and Broad-tailed Grassbird to mention a few. The drive is extremely scenic with numerous streams gushing through the dark and mysterious woods. Once you get down, take a stroll through the winding lakes to soak in the amazing atmosphere.


Thenmala, set majestically in the middle of lush evergreen forests in Kollam district is the country’s very first planned destination for ecotourism. Munnar offers amazingly scenic natural vistas and a unique bio-diversity that has proved to be extremely popular with both domestic and foreign tourists. There are numerous forest trails that are ideal for serious expeditions on foot and you can also set up camp in the middle of the forest if you feel like getting into a closer relationship with nature. For the more exploratory,an experience in a tree house can be very memorable while the rest can work up a lather biking, rock climbing or rappelling in the Adventure Zone. Work up an appetite walking up to the dam in the Leisure Zone and then visit the Culture Zone to have a taste of the wonderful Kerala cuisine.


Thodupuzha is most famous for being the gateway for a visit to the renowned Thommankuthu Waterfalls. It is situated in the Idukki district in the Western Ghats. The destination has become extremely popular with tourists ever since the seven-step waterfall was publicized by the legendary hunter, Thommachen Kuruvinakunnel after he discovered it in 1920. Ever since ecotourism has gained importance, the destination has been rated very high for its unspoiled rolling hills blanketed by evergreen forests.

Eravikulam National Park

Even though it is a relatively small National Park, it has proved to be among the more popular ecotourism destinations because of its immense natural beauty and the diverse flora and fauna. Situated at altitudes ranging from 1,200 meters to 2,700 meters, the park’s grasslands are crisscrossed by a number of perennial streams that ultimately merge to become the tributaries of Cauvery River, Periyar River, and Chalakudiyar River. One of the major attractions is the Lakkom Waterfalls on the Pampar River. Nature lovers adore the diversity of flora and fauna that can be observed here. Those who favor an adventurous and active lifestyle will love the opportunities for wildlife photography, walking on the mountain trails, and trekking.

Periyar National Park

Among the most-visited national parks in Southern India, the Periyar National Park stretches over a magnificent 350 sq. km. in the Pandalam Hills and Cardamom Hills in the southern portion of the Western Ghats. Apart from being home to tigers and elephants, the park is a dream come true for wildlife enthusiasts due to the presence of a great assortment of mammals, amphibians, insects, reptiles, and birds. The Periyar Lake attracts tourists because of the amazing sight of trees submerged in its waters.

Author Bio: Sujain Thomas is an architect by profession and a bio-conservationist by passion. She travels frequently across the world and has visited almost all the tiger resorts India.