Chekka Chivantha Vaanam is indeed painted red all through, what with ruthless bullet shots and gruesome murders. As Varadan (Arvind Swami) says in the movie, we are all nothing but a big cipher when death strikes. The internal family war, which we find out in the end is brilliantly planned by Rasool, is fought in this movie till everyone in the gangster family is turned to nothing but a big cipher.
As the plane was getting ready to land in Phnom Penh, the capital city of Cambodia, all that was visible was water everywhere with patches of land replete with development and buildings.
I didn’t quite fully know the magnitude of Mekong and Tonle Sap rivers at that time.
From the moment we came out of the plane at Phnom Penh International Airport, I kept getting a feeling of home, read India, all through. The airport didn’t have anything special enough.
Maybe it was the autos (and that too Bajaj autos!) and two-wheelers all over the congested roads.
Maybe it was the small/low-rise buildings forming the major part of the place or maybe it was the congested markets or maybe it was the dozen two-wheelers parked haphazardly everywhere,
Or maybe it was the flooding of roads in ankle-deep water just after a very short spell of heavy rain.
Or maybe it was the way the tuk-tuk drivers keep running behind you to take a ride or maybe the presence of beggars outside all the tourist attractions and temples.
Or maybe the sight of cotton candy, popcorn, pinwheels and balloons sold along the Tonle Sap river promenade at Sisowath Quay was reminiscent of all those and more being sold in Marina Beach.
Or maybe the presence of our Hindu Gods even in Buddhist temples.
Or maybe because the Cambodians’ way of greeting each other by joining both their hands together just like our very own way of greeting.
But there were a lot of other differences. To begin with, Cambodia follows the ‘Keep right’ while driving on the road unlike UK, India or Singapore. This is because of the influence of French on them.
You see all signboards of shops written predominantly in their local language, Khmer.
Apart from cars, two-wheelers and autos, tuk-tuks form a major part of traffic on road. A few cyclos which are similar to the erstwhile rickshaws of India are there too.
There is not one but two currencies used here – U.S. Dollar as well as Cambodian riel – and all the shops here accept both the currencies.
Rivers, pagodas, Buddist temples, markets, museums, Government offices, the royal palace, high-rise hotels – all these are what makes up Phnom Penh.
More on Phnom Penh in the upcoming posts….
Good Morning! Hello from Kuala Lumpur International Airport! It’s vacation time and we have just embarked on our first real vacation after four long years! Cambodia is our destination and we are in transit in KL airport from Singapore.
I bid adieu to Singapore taking in the aerial views of Gardens by the Bay, Marina Bay Sands and Esplanade and seeing the sky glow in its beautiful golden orangy hues even as the sun rose.
Singapore to Kuala Lumpur takes hardly 45 minutes by flight.
I saw some beautiful aerial views of islands, rivers and palm trees before landing in KL.
The airport in Kuala Lumpur reminds me of the airport in Hyderabad.
In a short while from now, we will be departing to Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
I sit by the Swimming pool. While 6-year old S has been going for swimming class on and off for the last one year, 3-year old R is having his first trial class today. He starts crying and shouts I am scared. The coach asks me to stay put in my place. He takes my children farther away from me to the other side of the pool. Just when I think R’s cries have subsided and he is happily kicking, I hear loud cries again. Then I suddenly see him smiling and happily enjoying kicking his feet water splashing all around. Then the crying is back.
My thoughts turn to dream as I think about how someday, hopefully in a few weeks from now, he might stop crying completely and start enjoying his classes. Maybe then I can put that one hour to good use by sitting back and relaxing with a book or two.
My thoughts wander to how parenting is filled with so many stages of letting go of the need to protect the child and letting them move away from the safety net of the parents and try new things because that is what they want to do or that is what they should be doing at this stage in their life. I also think about the immense level of patience that parenting requires.
I have seen this Swimming coach not using his kindest tone or showing patience even once with my Daughter. That had seemed his way of teaching the children. Today I see a different side of him as he patiently deals with my son’s crying.
I type all this and more just so I can process all my thoughts and clear my head.
There are those songs that start like a whiff of fresh air. Jugni is one such – the opening soft music as fresh as the air in the snowy Himalayas where the video of this song is shot!
Then those foot-tapping beats change the mood of the song. The constant dance-worthy beats all through and those intermittent exploding beats, the soft layers of short snatches of music in the background here and there – at times soothing, at times intense, but all through mesmerizing – stay with you long after this song gets over.
Pre-2000, waves and beaches would have meant only the sea. Post 2000, the year of release of my favourite movie, Alaipayuthey, sea and beaches do bring to mind everything about the movie and the oodles of beautiful memories associated with the movie too. But, hey, this post is not about the movie. It is, as the title says, all about my love for waves.
I wait for the words to pour out, but the mind is blank. Words refuse to come. About which new happening will you write which hasn’t been already written about? About what will you rant and whine which you haven’t done already? I ask myself all these and more and let silence continue to dwell here….
You know how Google Photos (I used it a lot more frequently when it was still Picasa and there was no WhatsApp.) often throws up those ‘Rediscover this day’ photos, don’t you? Those photos from the past belonging to the same day but a different year. It was one of those albums from 2009 which popped up sometime in late March that had all my erstwhile interests rekindled in full swing, reminding me that all those dreams and interests were still there inside me in all fervour. The photos were from a trip to Mysore that I had gone to with my friend.
And dominant among all those was the wish to explore different places – be it in Singapore itself or elsewhere in the world. I also realized how much I was missing visiting all the old temples in Southern India – all architecture marvels and divinity personified.
My husband and I share the love for going on long walks and in the initial months after moving to Singapore, we did so much of walking and explored a major part of the roads, lanes and places of interests in Singapore by foot. With just one infant to carry, we could easily walk in a good pace and have a good conversation and get a good workout done too.
But, nowadays, we rarely go for long walks and no longer walk in our own fast pace and have had to slow down. I, especially being the SAHM, rarely get the chance to walk in my usual speed since I either have to carry my toddler or slow down at regular intervals to talk with my children.
I didn’t realize how much I was missing walking at my own pace until I went for a solo walk a couple of weeks ago. A brisk 30-minute walk later, I was feeling refreshed and I also got to work on my mindfulness, relaxation and all that. It also struck me that it has been about 6 months since I stopped carrying my son and going for a long walk on a daily basis to make him sleep. That walk used to be my time to think through things and relax.
I realized how much I was missing my favourite activity of walking and have since revived walking on a daily basis for a continuous chunk of time, if not at a very brisk pace, at least at a reasonably fast pace. We also went for a few long walks recently with the kids enthusiastically running along.
Another change in the routine is my son suddenly having lost his interest in running to and fro the daughter’s school and the bus stop and asking me to carry him. I am forced to carry him on the onward walk to school lest we get delayed. But the point is at least that negligible distance of running that I was doing on a daily basis is now almost not there at all. Here’s to more walking and becoming more active!