Saturday, 28 October 2017

Travelling With Sukesh: One Day In London

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Whenever I hear the word “London” the first thing that hits my mind is “London Baby!” I believe most of you known this phrase, but for those who don’t, this line was famously delivered by Matt Le Blanc who plays Joey Tribbiani in Friends.

Joey and Chandler travel to London for Ross’s wedding and take a day out to explore London. Throughout the day Joey constantly annoys Chandler with his video camera and keeps saying “London Baby!” It was actually while watching this episode many years ago, I made myself a promise that I would visit London one day and say it out loud “London Baby!”

London is a land with many majestic places to visit and explore. But here’s the problem. Traveling from a country like Malaysia to UK whose currency is like 5 times bigger than ours, everything in London tends to look expensive. Therefore my trips to Europe are limited by the time I spend in each country. I’d rather split my money to travel to more countries in the same period of time rather than spending all of my savings in one place. I’m sure many can relate. So here’s a treat for y’all – personally tested tips on how you can get the whole London experience in just one day!

**This tips works on the basis that you fly in to London late the previous night or super early in the morning and leave late that night or the following morning

The best way to kick-start your day no matter where you are in the world is by having a hearty breakfast. There is a saying that goes “Eat breakfast like a king” and when you are in London, you’ve got to make sure you do it because the food there is amazing.
Though you are often advised to go with the English Breakfast, I’d suggest something different. Get a cup of hot English Tea and have some pastries to go with it. The pastries in London taste very much different from what you might have locally. Have it hot, freshly baked from the oven together with your tea and you are set for your day’s adventure. Plus it might cost you lesser then an English Breakfast set.
Now before you can start your travelling adventure around London, first things first, you need to get an Oyster Card. With this card you can access the tube and the buses. A 5 Pounds refundable deposit is needed to be paid to gain the card and you can top up how much you want. If you are going to be in London for just a day, I would suggest you just put in 10 Pounds.
That’s because most tourist attractions falls under Zone 1 & 2 of London, and as long you are travelling within these 2 Zones, you can’t be charged more than 7.50 Pounds a day. The balance of the cash you topped up and the deposit can be refunded when you return your card, thus making it a good deal.
Wherever you start your journey from, the first stop I would suggest you to go to is King’s Cross Station. You might have heard this name if you played Monopoly, but if you are a Harry Potter fan, I’m sure you are well aware that this is where Platform 9 ¾ Quarters is located. Yes, at the actual train station. Once you are in King’s Cross Station, just follow the signboards and you will find your way to Platform 9 ¾. I’d advise you against attempting a headfirst run at the brick wall though.
Being a Harry Potter fan, visiting this place was one of the greatest highlights of my trip. Here you can take a photo with a scarf of your favorite Hogwarts’s House while holding the trolley ramping into the wall. Next you can visit the Harry Potter store next to it.
The store is filled many Harry Potter merchandise. If you are a Potterhead, you might just blow a hole in your wallet. From T-shirts, to hoodies to magic wands and key chains, you can find all sorts of Harry Potter merchandises there. Being a huge Emma Watson fan myself, I couldn’t resist not buying a replica wand used by Hermione Granger in the film and it cost slightly lesser then 30 Pounds.
Due to the queue for the photo clicking and the amount of time you might spend in the shop being awestruck, I would reckon you might spend about 2 hours here. Which gives you time to visit 1 more spot before you can stop for lunch.
Some Harry Potter Merchendise 

You will be spoilt for choice for where you can visit next, but my recommendation for you would be to visit the London Tower. For history lovers, London Tower would be an ideal destination to visit and you can take some very good photos there too.
You can ride the tube all the way to the station where London Tower is located and when you walk out, the London Tower is right in front of you. As you walk towards the tower, take a moment to appreciate the street art work by the sides which paints you a picture of the events that took place here.
London Tower
Here you have an option to go in for tour or admire its beauty from outside. If you are only having a day in London, I wouldn’t ask you to do the tour as it could take up your time, preventing your visit to other spots.
As you walk out from the tube station, on your left will be London Tower and on your right would be a very beautiful garden. You won’t find a crowd but it is actually a very nice spot to read a book at. This place is actually a war memorial garden, so just take a moment to walk through it, take a couple of pictures if you want and pay some respect to those lost lives.
By the time you complete this, I guess it will be almost noon. As your breakfast was heavy, you wouldn’t get too hungry yet but you might want to grab a little bite as you still have a long day ahead. For lunch I wouldn’t really suggest anything fancy nor spend too much time on it. Instead you could just spend a couple of minutes getting a hot dog at a food cart and be on your way to your next spot.
You could be excused for missing other spots during your visit to London, but not going to the Buckingham Place isn’t one of them. This most iconic royal place is a must visit place. Once again you can go all the way there through the tube and once you get off you will need to walk through a beautiful park for a couple of minutes before you reach the gates of the palace.
Take a minute to just savor the moment that you are here. There might be some tour guides there explaining about the palace history. I was lucky enough to catch a story about how a guy broke into the Queen’s bedroom to ask her for a couple of cigarettes.
Buckingham Palace Baby!!!
Just walk around the palace, there’ll be many places to take photos at. One of the best things you can do is just to sit, let time pass by and live the moment, enjoying every bit. Before you take tube to the next station, you might want to consider once again just lying down at the park or snapping some photos of people around there.
Next you can ride the tube all the way to Westminster Station as the rest of the places on my list to visit revolves around this station with walking distance. As you come out from the station the first thing you would spot is the famous Big Ben.
From there you can walk towards exploring the House of Commons & Westminster Abby. If you walk across Westminster Bridge you would come towards the Eye of London. It will be a cool idea to ride it and get a bird eye shot of London. There are more attractions around there life Shrek’s Adventure & Sea Life London Aquarium.
If you come back across the bridge you would be able to see the New Scotland Yard office and beside that there is again a very beautiful park to walk through. It leads you to the Guards Division Memorial and a couple of more attractions.
By the time you complete walking around all these places it will surely be late evening. The good part about visiting London in the summer is that it doesn’t get dark until 8 p.m. Once you are done you can head back to where you’re putting up the night or off to the airport for your next destination.
The one last thing you should do before you end your London Trip is to try their Fish & Chips with beer. After a long day of walking around and a light lunch, this meal is the perfect dinner to have and sets you off right to a good long nap.
See you again on my next travel and I end this article with the following quote.

“Traveling is a brutality. It forces you to trust strangers and to lose sight of all that familiar comfort of home and friends. You are constantly off balance. Nothing is yours except the essential things — air, sleep, dreams, the sea, the sky — all things tending towards the eternal or what we imagine of it.” – Cesare Pavese
Flying High Is One Of The Greatest Escape You'll Get
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Monday, 23 October 2017

Katru Mara: Changing the face of short film?

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Being a movie buff, I enjoy watching all kinds of films, no matter the genre. Actually not all, because horror films are a big no no for me. Well that isn’t the point here anyway. As I said I enjoy watching all kinds of films, including short films.

Not too long ago I came across a Tamil short film called “Katru Mara”and watched it. The tittle actually means learn to forget. It was indeed a unique tittle and the film wass directed by “Venpa” famed Yuvaraj Krishnasamy in which he also stars in alongside Madana Vilosyen, Yogeswari Murugan & Arun Kumar Vengadasalam.

Katru Mara” touched about a story of a young student who enrolls to a college and how his life takes a dark turn when he mingles with the wrong company. Yes many short films or even feature films may have shown this storyline but trust me “Katru Mara” has its own unique touch which you may have never seen before.

The biggest stand out point of the film is its screenplay and all credits goes to Yuvaraj Krishnasamy & Deepak Fain. The way the sequence of scenes are arranged and shown to you will keep you guessing and you won’t be able to predict the end of the film even after having watched most of it.

Madana Vilosyen deserves huge credit for this film. His appearance may not tick all the box of what a lead character is stereotyped to be, but he goes on to show that if you have the talent you can be a terrific actor. The way he plays with the expressions on his face and with his body language as his characters grows and transforms should be lauded.

Despite limited screen time on what is a very strong subject, Arun Kumar’s candid performance evokes laughter in the film. His character brings you a little humor relieve when the film is traveling on a serious and strong pace.

Yogeswari Murugan steals the show towards the end of the film. She plays a pivotal and very strong character in this film and the way she dominates the screen towards the climax was outstanding indeed.

Saving the best for the last, if this short film is to be a success then most credit goes to the man Yuvaraj Krishnasamy. I’ve spoken about his qualities in terms of the screen play arrangement and now it is about him as an actor.

Yuvaraj, who played a love hero character in “Venpa” shades off that lover boy character and plays a dark role in “Katru Mara”. It is great to know the industry is starting to have more talented actors who are not afraid to do different shades of character. As a director he did an amazing job to get the best performances from his cast. Remember the name, this boy is going to make it big!

As you watch “Katru Mara”, you will realize that it has a very strong and some might even say gory content. Huge credit to the team for coming up with a fresh script and I praise their bravery for pushing the script to new boundaries by basing it on such a sensitive subject.

This is why I believe “Katru Mara” is going to change the face of short films. Instead of picking a common path of doing a love themed film or commercial film, the team went on with picking a very strong subject and plot. I hope in the future more short film directors would follow in this path and soon enough see it translated into feature films.

The film carries a wonderful message about youngsters in university and how their actions can affect the lives of everyone around them and I am sure once you watch it, the film will make a lasting impression on you.

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Tuesday, 17 October 2017

8 ways how Deepavalli has changed for the 90’s babies

By Sukesh Pandian and Tharanie Rajendran

It’s that time of the year again and we are all excited about Deepavalli. Having born in 1990 (and co-writer on 1995),we have always been proud to say that we are part of the early generation of the 90’s babies. The last born of the 90’s would have turned 18 this year and none of us are in school any longer.

Having said that, over the years we have realized that Deepavalli has changed so much for us and here is 8 ways how it has been different compared to how it used to be.
1.     Deepavalli wishes.

Back when I was a little kid, I always looked forward to Deepaalli because that means I am going to get Deepavalli cards. We would exchange cards in school and relatives all over would post us cards to wish us Deepavalli. 

We would gather all these cards and put it up in our house as part of the Deepavalli decoration. My favourite part of the card would be the witty messages that come along it like “Jangan makan banyak muruku, nanti jadi kiruku.” or “Jangan makan banyak laddu, nanti jadi gundu.”

Good Old Deepavalli Cards

Today, it is almost impossible to see people giving each other Deepavalli cards or having them at homes for decoration. Now nearly all Deepavalli wishes are done through Whatsapp. Well all I can hope for the least is that people actually type out the full “Happy Deepavalli to you.” instead of shortening it like how they do for birthdays (HBU).

2.     Deepavalli Angpau

Owh how much have time changed on this one and perhaps this is the most saddest part for a 90’s baby. From getting Deepavalli Angpau, today we are starting to give them away to kids. Not all can relate to this but I’m sure those who are already working or married would feel on this one.
Show Me The Money!!! Deepavalli Angpau

3.     Muruku and the whole geng.

Wasn’t bonding time amazing with the whole family getting together on the weekend before Deepavali to make some murukku and acchu murukku? But now? Amma says “Ayya, please go to the nearest Indian town to buy two packets of murukku. 

Nothing Beats Homemade Muruku
I am not sure about you, but for me, I miss that time the most where my dad mixes the batter and amma fries and akka and I help around. Good times, when my kitchen was filled with oil stain and my home with laughters.

4.     Deepavalli Trips

Honestly answer me, how many of you still do the whole balik kampung for Deepavalli. Things has changed so much on this part for me. From taking bus back to my dad’s hometown, now when it comes to Deepavalli, I am off packing my bags for a short vacation. I have no idea how this part has changed from me and I am sure I am not the only one doing this.

It's Now Called Vacay Time

5.     Deepavalli Holidays.

Back then I never had the worry about how long Deepavalli holidays are going to be. When you are in school it is almost certain that Deepavalli holidays means 1 full week. It was a wonderful time where you can spend time with your whole extended family.

Deepavalli Is All About Family Time

Heads up, things changes when you enter university and worse when you start working. I am still on a week long leave for Deepavalli, but it is no longer a given thing. Instead I need to plan it in advance and seek for my manager’s approval for it. If leave request gets rejected, you can kiss goodbye to Deepavalli holidays. 
6.     Deepavalli Day Program
90’s babies remember going to every Indian house in the neighbourhood to collect angpaus? Now? We book tickets earlier for a movie and Deepavali in 2017 is all about movies and television programmes. Conveniently, Indian channels like Vijay TV and Vinmeen schedule a really tight television prgorammes to keep us entertained in our houses. So, deepavali ends at home. 

Deepavalli On TV

7.     Kolam

When Sukesh and I discussed this topic to write, this was one of the first ideas that popped up in my head. When I was a kid, my mom and I had an amazing bonding time discussing on what design is for this year and how big it is going to be. Next, we draw the rangoli for the year on a paper and think about the colours to fill in. But now? We stick a pre-coloured kolam and that’s about it! Festivals these days are so much easier, but we definitely are losing the purpose for each and everything we do. 

Drawn Kolam Beats Sticked Kolam All Day Long
8.     Rituals

Last but not least, rituals. From oil bathing before sunrise and leaving to the temple, Deepavali these days are treated like another public holidays where we wake up late and just chill at home. Worst thing is, I have Indian friends who asked me who Naragasura is? Where is the purpose of the Deepavali? 

That Early Morning Oli Bath Moment!

Deepavalli has changed so much for us 90's babies, and if there is more things which you feel have changed do share it with us too!! Anyhow, it is Deepavali, and it is time to celebrate! But do educate yourself on what are these festive season is celebrated for. With this, we would like to wish every a very Happy Deepavali to all our readers, from the entire team of Boggler Blogger!

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

5 reasons Why Ilayaraaja The One Man Show Was Lit AF!

"Ilaiyaraja should be honored as Isai Vigyani (musical scientist) rather than Isai Gyani. He has explored and analyzed virtually every type of music. I have worked with several composers. But this man is on his own trip - he is a colossal talent. We have worked together in around 70 films and we know each other's requirements and expectations very well. He saw the rushes of the film (Hey Ram!) just once and immediately decided the music to be scored for the song sequences that have already been picturised. I told my film crew to give me a week's time and that I will come back with one song in that time - instead I came back with seven songs." Kamal Haasan on Ilayaraaja.

There is nothing I can say which could top what Kamal Haasan has to say about Ilayaraaja. Without a doubt he will go down as one of the greatest musician of all time. I must say, I felt blessed to be able to hear this great man play his music and sing live. So many goosebumps moment throughout the show and here is my 5 reason why Ilayaraaja The One Man Show was lit AF!

1. The Setting: Ilayaraaja's Music & Night Time

If you were to ask me, what is the best time to listen to some of Ilayaraaja’s greatest hits, I would tell you to listen to them at night and just close your eyes. The way his music connects with your soul is something that you can’t explain with just words.

Ilayaraaja came on stage sharp at 8.15 p.m. and amazed us with about 4 hours of his magic. I can’t recall the number of times I was speechless hearing them. My favorite song of his is   “Sundari Kannal Oru Seithi” from Thalapathy, and I was overjoyed when that song was played. There is a reason why you are the Maestro.

2. The Perfectionist

I am no music expert and if you were to play a tune wrongly infront of me, high chances I would never know the difference. That is how poor I am when it comes to music, but Ilayaraaja is one of the greatest of all time.

I loved the fact that he stopped his orchestra who was playing half way because one of them were playing a note or two wrongly. There were about 100 players in his orchestra but he knew who exactly was playing it wrongly and corrected them. He strives for perfection.

What I loved more was his reasoning behind that. He said that the audience paid money to attend the show and we shouldn't play the music wrongly. The way he respects his audience and doesn’t take them for granted makes him to be loved even more then he is already.

3. The Duo: Ilayaraaja & Hariharan

There was a huge cast of singers who took part in this concert. Ranging from Mano to Chitra to Karthick to even Yuvan Shanker Raja who made a brief cameo appearance for a couple of songs, but the one man who I was looking forward so much to hear him sing was Hariharan.

I have been a fan of him ever since I can remember and I am sure I wasn't the only one excited to hear him sing. Hearing him sing on stage was as amazing as hearing Sid Sriram sing in my opinion. How I wish Hariharan had more stage time that night.

The moment of the night for me was during the song from the film Kasi titled “En Mana Vaanil”. It was not because the song was sung by Hariharan, but it is about what happened after the song was sang. Ilayaraaja was singing a line from the song to tell the audience something on it and Hariharan asked him if he could sing together with him.

Rajaa sir nodded and the both of them sang about half the song together and the atmosphere in the stadium was ELECTRIFYING!!!!! It send chills to everyone and when they ended the song, the crowd gave them a thunderous applause. I am so glad that I was there to witness that moment.

4. The Orchestra

1 man organizing 100 over musicians and creating something magical music throughout the night. That was what this show was all about. Throughout the night they kept on creating moments we will never forget and I believed the Orchestra were the unsung heroes of the night.

You may attend many concerts in the future, but there is something about having a huge orchestra cast playing live music in front of you which you will never get elsewhere.

5. The Behind The Scenes Stories

The show wasn’t just about Raaja sir weaving his magic wand and creating magical music. I guess the way he engaged with the crowd about his music on how it happened and how it was almost different gave this show a very personalized touch.

I enjoyed the stories about how the told that a tune he composed for one film was not used and ended being used for another film. Or how the way the flute was played to a different tune in the original composition before it was made changes by Rajaa sir and ended up to be a great hit.

Sharing behind the scenes moment like this with us was something we would never forget because this are things we had no idea about and only he could share it with us.

Huge thank you to the organizers, My Events International for bring this mega event together and making this mega event a possibility. Thank you to Mr. Shahul Hameed Dawood for making the dreams of thousands of people a reality. This wouldn’t be possible without the partnership from Asia Metropolitan University and Yupp TV.

Rajaa The One Man Show was a huge success and worth's every single cent you paid. I wished the length of the event could have been a little shorter, but when you are hearing to Ilayaraaja play, I guess you just don't bother about the time. Hope to see the man return for another concert soon in Malaysia.