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kiran8

kiran8

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since 26/07/2008

111

Autumn Trees, Munnar 14/12/2010

Keep away...

Autumn Trees, Munnar About Munnar the place Munnar is a lovely Hill resort in the Western Ghats.It is situated in the state of Kerala and boasts of some of the most beautiful resorts , lush tea gardens and waterfalls.Set at an altitude of about 6000 ft in Idukki district, Munnar was the favored summer resort of the erstwhile British rulers in the colonial days. There are many colonial bunglows that have been made into resorts. When I had first heard of this resort Autumn Trees it made me think of those, since the name was so British.. I have visited Munnar several times and we generally stay at the Sterling resorts where we have a time share.Unfortunately, on our last visit in 2006 the Sterling people messed up with our dates regarding the room booking and when we arrived there after an exhausting 12 hour drive through some really bad patches of winding roads, we were told that we were booked for 3 days from the next day onwards.Just imagine our surprise and shock at this!, because we had carried the letter got from the main office that gave us the whole booking details , which clearly stated that we were going to be there on that day ....anyway,after seeing the letter and apologising profusely we were given a complemetary dinner and the Sterling manager decided to put us up in another place for that night. After calling up several hotels and resorts they found one . And the only place that happened to be available with 2 rooms was this place called Autumn Trees which was 9 kilometers away ...

Kati Patang (Hindi Language) (DVD) 23/07/2010

Torn Kite..

Kati Patang (Hindi Language) (DVD) Kati Patang is a 1970 Indian Hindi movie produced and directed by Shakti Samanta. It became a huge box office success , which was well deserved.The film was well made and had a slick storyline with some excellent performances by the lead cast. Shakti Samantha the maker of the film had earlier directed the blockbuster starring Aradhana which starred a rank new comer Rajesh Khanna who became a super star after the success of the film. 2 years later Shakti Samantha recreated the success story again with Kati Patang, this time with some changes.The leading lady was Asha Parekh and the music Composer was Rahul Dev Burman instead of Sachin Dev Burman, but his leading man remained the same - Rajesh Khanna. The story of Kati Patang Kati Patang means a torn Kite in Hindi. Kati Patang, is a poignant story of a woman whose life is like a kite whose string is cut off from the base and she is left mid way dangling without an anchor. Madhavi (Asha Parekh) is an orphan living with her maternal uncle, who arranges her marriage with someone she does not know, rebelling against this and after receiving an emotional letter from her lover Kailash ( Prem Chopra )she runs away to meet him, only to discover that he is an untrustworthy person, cheating on her with another woman Shabnam ( Bindu). Dejected she returns home to find her uncle dead and finds out that the wedding has been cancelled . She leaves home and without knowing what to do goes to the railway station where she meets her ...

Sigma Protocol - Robert Ludlum 26/06/2010

Ludlum's Hard- hitting action adventure

Sigma Protocol - Robert Ludlum Sigma Protocol Author: Robert Ludlum No. of pages: 662 Year of Publication: 2001 "So I suppose I equate suspense and good theatre in a very similar way. I think it's all suspense and 'what-happens-next'. From that point of view, yes, I guess, I am theatrical." - Robert Ludlum Robert Ludlum is perhaps the most successful and one of the most popular American author of Thriller novels. His books are intriguing, fast paced and sometimes violent and mostly involving world politics..many of his novels have been made into Television serials and successful films. He is best known for his Bourne series, which has become famous after the film adaptations. Ludlum wrote his first novel ' The Scarletti Inheritance' in the year 1971, which went on to become a bestseller after several hiccups, then came the hugely successful 'Osterman weekend' which was also later made into a successful film. I personally feel that this was one of his best novels. Ever since, he has written 20 odd thrillers until his death in 2001. The 'Sigma protocol' was the last novel written by Ludlum, which was published posthumously.. The Story of Sigma Protocol It is the story of Ben Hartman, an American Investment banker, son of a holocaust survivor, travelling in Zurich, who becomes the target of an assassination attempt and that too by Jimmy Cavanaugh ,one of his old and close friends from school. But Jimmy is killed on the spot and his body mysteriously vanishes, along with his weapon, later found as ...

Body Of Lies (Blu-ray) 30/05/2010

A tale of terrorism..

Body Of Lies (Blu-ray) This film was released in 2008 . This is one of those post 9/11 espionage films that Hollywood has made after the attack . This is easily one of the better made films with realistic acting by the entire cast... The film has been criticised as being a well-intentioned, well-produced, yet generally unmemorable entertainment which is not fair in my opinion.It has its moments ..It is produced and directed by Ridley Scott known for his stylish visuals and an obsession for detail. His earlier films include Alien, Blade Runner, Thelma & Louise, Gladiator, Black Hawk Down, Matchstick Men... The story The film story is based on Washington Post columnist David Ignatius's 2007 novel by the same name . Roger Ferris (Leonardo DiCaprio) a CIA officer working in Iraq while tracking down a lead uncovers some evidence on a major terrorist leader Al Saleem suspected to be operating out of Jordan , planning more terror strikes. Ferris is working under and is being instructed by his superior Ed Hoffman ( Russel Crowe) from Langley. Ferris is being closely watched by Ed on the camera as he goes through his mission . Ferris and Ed devise a plan to infiltrate the terrorist network with some help from Hani Salaam , head of Jordanian intelligence. Although ostensibly his allies, Ferris questions how far he can really trust these men, who are supposed to be helping him , without putting his entire operation , and his life – on the line... My views about the film The story is intricate and ...

The Firm - John Grisham 24/04/2010

John Grisham's Second Legal Thriller

The Firm - John Grisham The Firm Author: John Grisham No. of Pages: 501 John Ray Grisham, formerly a criminal defense attorney is a graduate of Missisipi State University and Ole Miss Law School, he has also served two terms in the Mississipi House of representatives. His novels include A Time to Kill ,The Client,The Appeal, The Associate - 17 fiction novels in all , most of them Legal fictions. Many of his books have been made into successful films He lives with his wife and two children on a farm near Oxford, where he generally works on a new novel. The Firm was John Grisham's second novel. It is fast faced and keeps the readers hooked from the creepy first chapter to the vise tightening mid sections and on to the Take the money and run Finale ....LOL The story:- ~~~~~~~ The Firm is the story of Mitch , a brilliant lawyer and the firm which made him an offer he should have refused.. Mitch McDeere was at the top of his class at Harvard law and he had his choice of the best jobs in America. He was in great demand, and he gets a job offer from a relatively small law firm called Bendini Lambert & Locke of Memphis , built by an aggressive tax lawyer named Anthony Bendini. Memphis was the last place Mitch and his wife Abigail wanted to be in, but, that was until he decided to go for an interview with the Managing Partners of the Firm; and then he began to change his opinions about the firm. He seriously thought that joining the firm would be the best thing for him and his beautiful wife ...

The ABC Murders - Agatha Christie 12/04/2010

Just how clever you can be Mr. Poirot ?

The ABC Murders - Agatha Christie Agatha Christie began writing at the end of the First World War when she first created Hercule poirot the little Belgian detective who is probably one of the most famous sleuths in the history of crime fiction. The ABC Murders is another one of Hercule Poirot 's successful cases solved with and in the company of his beloved friend Captain Arthur Hastings.. The story of The ABC Murders The narrative is a combination of first person account from Captain Hastings point of view and it also has third person narrative .. In 1935 Hastings visited his London home from his Ranch at South America for a period of six months since he had various affairs to take care of in London where he meets his old friend Poirot . Poirot has just received an anonymous letter that teases, taunts ( " Let us see, Mr. Clever Poirot, just how clever you can be." ) and at the same time challenges him to crack a mystery , asking him to look out for Andover on the 21st of the month. Poirot says that there was something about the letter that he did not like .And on the 21st an old woman of the name Alice Ascher who kept a small tobacco and newspaper shop is found murdered . And besides her body lay a copy of the ABC Railway guide which was open at the relevant page... Follows another letter giving another place Bexhill this time for B and a date. And on that day Betty Barnard a young girl is found strangled and the ABC Railway guide was found open next to the body at the relevant page... And then it is C ...

No Comebacks - Frederick Forsyth 09/04/2010

No comebacks

No Comebacks - Frederick Forsyth Frederick Forsythe is the author of several bestselling novels including "The Day of the Jackal", "The Odessa File ", The Dogs of War, "The Devil’s Alternative" and "The Fourth Protocol". He has a unique style of writing where he keeps the readers totally glued to the book with his edge-of-the seat suspense and a brilliant narrative full of suspense, unexpected twists and intrigue... I have read most of the fictions written by Frederick Forsythe and in my personal opinion he is one of the best writers in that category of political thrillers ... No comebacks is a collection of short stories written by Frederick Forsythe . I feel that it is more difficult to write short stories especially the suspenseful and intriguing ones that Forsythe writes. One has to have a firm grip on the story line being able to effectively finish it within a certain number of pages without compromising on the quality of the content. I have never been too keen on reading short stories and perhaps that's why the book had been lying with me for a long time before I started reading it last week and I am glad I did. I definitely liked what I read and here I am now writing and sharing my views about the book and the stories. There are 10 short stories in the book .I am giving a brief synopsis of all of them...Just a couple of sentences each, thats all ! No Comebacks I am sure this was the authors favorite story and that's why he named the book after this... Mark Sanderson a super rich playboy ...

Parineeta - Saratchandra Chattopadhyay 03/04/2010

The married woman

Parineeta - Saratchandra Chattopadhyay Parineeta (which means a married woman in Bengali) is a love story written in 1914 by Sharath Chandra Chattopadhyaya or Chatterji. The story set in old Bengal , in Calcutta to be precise , about an affluent family and the consequences of a so called love affair ...It was a bold story for that time when India was too set in its class and caste issues .It was very difficult or rather impossible to cross over from those boundaries , and when it happened it led to chaos .The author Sharath Chandra was a social thinker and this novel came as a protest against the caste and class system that was prevalent at that time... Earlier in the 1950's a film was made based on this story which had great actors like Ashok Kumar and Meena Kumari playing the lead roles.it was a superlative film and was true to the story written by the author . In the later years in 2003 or 2004 another film was made based on the same story which was good in parts, but the story had been changed to suit the modern taste of the audience so the end result was at best a hotchpotch... The story of Parineeta Lolita or Lalita is a poor orphaned girl of 15 ,being looked after by her uncle Gurucharan who lives in a rambling old house inherited from his ancestors. Gurucharan is an impoverished man ,having married off 5 daughters , now ailing and without any steady income .He takes substantial loans at different times from his affluent neighbor Nabin Roy, a successful and aggressive land lord who is only interested ...

Master of the Game - Sidney Sheldon 27/03/2010

Sidney Sheldon's masterpiece....

Master of the Game - Sidney Sheldon About the Author According to Sydney Sheldon "Writing novels is the most fun I've ever had, I love writing books, When you do a novel you're on your own. It's a freedom that doesn't exist in any other medium."....And...."I like to write about women who are talented and capable, but most important, retain their femininity," . "Women have tremendous power - their femininity, because men can't do without it." Sydney Sheldon, The American screenwriter and novelist was born in Chicago, Illinois to a German Jewish father and a Russian Jewish mother...His career began in 1937 in Hollywood, California, where he began by reviewing scripts. After a stint in the military during World War II, Sheldon returned to civilian life and began writing musicals for the Broadway stage ... In 1969, Sheldon wrote his first novel, The Naked Face which earned him the " Best First Novel Edgar Allan Poe Award" from the Mystery Writers of America. His next novel, The Other side of Midnight , went on to become the number one bestseller on Newyork Times, as did his several ensuing novels, a number of which were also made into motion pictures or Television miniseries. He went on to write Rage of Angels, A Stranger in the Mirror, The Other side of Midnight, The Sands of Time, Master of the Game, Windmills of God.....among others.. All his novels were a successful combination of suspense and romance... Sydney Sheldon died at the age of 89 , on 31 January 2007... ABOUT THE BOOK - MASTER OF THE ...

You Belong to Me - Mary Higgins Clark 26/03/2010

See the Pyramids along the Nile..

You Belong to Me - Mary Higgins Clark Mary Higgins Clarke is the accomplished author of sixteen suspense novels and three collection of short stories . She was born and raised in New york city. She has served as president of Mystery Writers of America. Presently she lives in Saddle River, New Jersey. Mary Higgins Clarke is incomparable while skillfully drawing the readers into mounting tensions of life gone awry… The story Dr. Susan Chandler , a clinical Psychologist with a thriving practice and at the same time having established something of a public persona as host of a popular Radio program : Ask Dr Susan - that aired each weekday. The listeners loved her and she in turn enjoyed interacting and doling out advise to those in trouble or with personal problems. On one of the occasions when she uses her call- in -radio show to explore the issue of lonesome women who disappear and are later found to have been victims of seductive killers, she has no way of knowing that she is exposing herself and those close to her to the very horror that she had been warning others against.. After a listener calls in offering information about the mysterious disappearance of a wealthy investment advisor Regina Clausse , while on a cruise, from a Luxury liner- the caller who calls herself as Karen, an almost victim, who tells of meeting a man on a cruise who had given her a ring inscribed ‘You Belong to Me’, but then disappeared when she refused to leave the ship with him, meets with a terrible accident even as she ...

Freakonomics - Stephen J. Dubner 24/02/2010

Assume nothing , Question everything...

Freakonomics - Stephen J. Dubner About the Author(s) Steven D.Levitt is an Economics Professor at the University of Chicago. His idiosyncratic economic research into areas as varied as guns and game shows has triggered debates ..He has received the American Association's John Bates Clark Medal, awarded every two years to the best American economist under forty. In fact , Levitt's work has been criticised widely by a fair number of Economists, who might not even recognise his work as economics, but at the same time , his thinking has influenced many others, including Senators ,Prisoners, CIA and scores of people from different walks of life. As Levitt sees it, Economics is a science with excellent tools for gaining answers but a serious shortage of interesting questions. And his particular ability is that he is unafraid of asking such questions. Stephen J. Dubner lives in New York city. He writes for the New yorker and The New York Times. In August 2003 Dubner wrote a profile on Levitt in the New York Times Magazine and the extraordinary response the article received led to a remarkable collaboration between the two. Freakonomics is the eagerly anticipated result of this collaboration. About the Book and its contents There is an Explanatory note in which the origins of the book are clarified -how it began with Dubner, an author and journalist and Levitt an Economist met and decided to talk things over and write a book. Introduction- The hidden side of everything ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ...

An Evening In Paris (DVD) 04/02/2010

Romantic musical thriller....

An Evening In Paris (DVD) An Evening in Paris (1967) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~ Many of the Hindi films of the fifties and sixties had English titles , especially, those shot abroad...There was a craze among the producers to include some foreign locations after Raj Kapoor made it famous with his film Sangam, for which I have already written a review earlier....There were films like' Night in London' , ' Love in Tokyo' and of course ' An Evening in Paris'.....and they were all very successful and popular films. I guess it was basically because the audience loved to see their favourite actors romance, sing and fight among the exotic foreign locations since travelling to al those places was not so easy those days like it is now ... An Evening in Paris is an entertaining and a very glamorous film with good looking stars and outdoor sets , being shot entirely outside India ...It was one of the most popular films that made Shakti Samantha , a sought after producer/director after the release and success of this film....Shakti Samantha later made some path breaking films with actress Sharmila Tagore like Aaradhana, Amanush and Anand ashram... The story of the film ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ A rich , pampered a naive girl Deepa (Sharmila Tagore) goes to Paris, in search of true love, since people in India told her that Paris was the city of romance and love and she is sure to find true love there . Her father has business interests there and his secretary lives in Paris.Deepa has an assistant Honey, and a ...

Paheli (DVD) 30/01/2010

An exquisite riddle...

Paheli (DVD) Paheli ( 2005) I have hardly written any reviews on newer films , because I hardly watch any, but this was different. Paheli means A riddle . The film is directed and produced by actor Amol Palekar who was himself known for good performances and good clean cinema combined witrh realistic portrayals and lots of real life humor . But when he decided to make a film, he chose to do something totally different by taking on a subject that is complicated and, well !... Different !.The film was well received by the audience and has gone on to become a modern day classic of sorts.. .. The Story of Paheli The story of this film is based in Rajasthan in the town of Navalgarh, where Bhanwarilal ( Anupam Kher ) lives with his 2 sons Sunder lal ( Sunil Shetty ) and Kishen lal ( Shah Rukh Khan ). Sunderlal looses the prestigious camel race that takes place every 4 years ,and leaves home out of shame leaving behind his wife Ghajro ( Juhi Chawla) and young son. The younger son Kishen lal gets married to Lachchi ( Rani Mukherji) ,a beautiful girl coming from a traditional and affluent Rajasthani family. Lachchi, on the very night after she enters her husbands home, realises that her husband is hardly romantic, showing no appreciation either for her or her beauty. She is deeply hurt and disappointed . Krishan Lal has to leave on a business trip to another place for 5 years. Lachchi is heart broken to see him leave her alone in her new home .But surprisingly , he returns within ...

The Fourth Protocol - Frederick Forsyth 17/01/2010

Intricate Best seller..

The Fourth Protocol - Frederick Forsyth Frederick Forsyth writes exciting books , most of them blockbusters novels, and many of his books have been bestsellers that have been made into successful TV serials and films... The Fourth Protocol is probably among his best written novels .It is compelling , Complex and very absorbing... The title of the novel Fourth Protocol refers to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty which contained four secret protocols...The fourth was meant to prohibit the non-conventional delivery of nuclear weapons ..which amounts to this "If the Fourth Protocol is ever breached, there would be no warning, just a nuclear explosion from a bedsitter" and all the countries had to adhere to this rule strictly to prevent a nuclear war. The story The plot is intricate like all his other novels. It begins with the theft of some valuable diamonds from a British civil servant, where the professional thief accidentally stumbles upon some secret documents that are dynamite , if ,got into wrong hands.. However, the documents find their way to M15 and the chase begins to find the traitor and how the documents got there in the first place ?. As they begin an investigation, they realise that there are Russian agents involved , since they are very interested in geeting hold of these documents and the KGB is plotting to set off a bomb near the united states Naval base in England. This is to involve the British, who would probably blame America, and amidst all this ,is the traitor who is pulling ...

African Violet 15/01/2010

An ideal Houseplant...

African Violet Botanical information about African Violets Botanical name: Saintpaulia ionantha Common name: African violet Origin: south Africa. The first African violets were discovered in 1890 by Baron Walter von Saint Paul, a German explorer who found them growing in the crevices of rocks in East Africa, in what is now known as Tanzania. He sent some of the plants back home to his father, who gave them their botanical name, Saintpaulia ionantha (which in Latin means "with violet flowers") - ( information from the web) African Violet is an ideal houseplant. It likes the same temperatures as most people are comfortable with, around 20-22 degrees C. They need a lot of shade and no direct sunlight.In fact direct sunlight tends to discolor and shrivel the leaves .. It is very easy to grow and maintain African violets inside ones home.It grows well on shaded window sills and any shaded part of one's garden. I got two small plant in a deep pink and the namesake Deep Blusih Violet color .Initially i did all the wrong things like keeping them out where there was sunlight and wet soil .I started noticing that the plants were not doing well and that there were hardly any flowers even after a month .. Later on advice from some friends, I moved both the plants on to a stand in my balcony and repotted what was left of the plants. This time I used a mix of Sand and mulch mainly consisting of powdered dry leaves and wood chippings , bark and very little potting ...
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