Monday, September 14, 2009


I d'ont know how the response is for this movie in Chennai. Somehow I had the feel Shankar productions movies will be too sentimental and emotional that too in the negative way like how things turn in Kadhal and Kallori. Those are movies I would enjoy and watch but somehow I would not be able to enjoy it much in the big screen as at the end of the day it leaves a negative sad feel in me. This time I had been too bored of movies online sitting in US. After Ayan I had not seen a movie in theatre and I got the chance yesterday. With hopes I will not walk out with a heavy heart like Kadhal or Kallori I decided to watch this movie.

Just as I thought we were totally 7 people in the theatre. Its not because of the movie but thats how it is here in Minneapolis. More becasue we made it for the matinee show. Probably the evening shows will have more crowd.

Getting to the movie, I would assure everyone this movie is very different and has nothing similar to Kadhal or Kallori. But the story was not totally new either. The base is very much what we have all seen in so many tamil movies but still it makes you worth the watch.

After the first 30 min, he keeps to waiting as in what next? He makes you do some guesses and after one stage though you know everything, you still wait to know how he has taken it further and finished. May be the speed was missing a little here and there. As for the songs, we only had 3 of them and all of them just flow with the movie. No necessity for the crowd to go out for a break in the name of introduction song or item numbere here :) I have no idea who this hero Aadi is but he has given a very neat performance. At the same time I never expected anti hero in Nandha which was different and quite ok.

It was good work by the camera man from beginning to end. Also the way the flashback was shown in link with the current story made it more interesting. Always thrillers should be watched in the big screen in theatres to get the feel and enjoy the movie as it runs. After a long time I watched a tamil movie in theatre and thankfully I had picked the right movie. It was a crimer thriller but a good entertainer to me :)

Grand Canyon West Rim - Treat for the Eyes

I had no idea that I was to see something so beautiful until I landed there. Though I had seen so many pictures and read a lot before I planned my trip, I could not really imagine what I was to see. I even felt the entrance fees was too much that too for someplace which is a natural beauty and nothing which was man made for these people to collect so much for entrance. But after 3 hrs there, I felt I had not wasted my money.

It is not a place you can see as you drive in the car. It is not a place that you can see anywhere else in the world. I would say given a chance don't miss this place. Infact we have so many options here when seeing this place. The regular view from the ground, helicopter ride and rafting the Colorado river. I don't know how much fun the last two are but from the way I saw in the counter people not minding the cost but picking tickets for helicopter tour and rafting, I can say for sure its real fun.

You need to park at the entrance and cannot drive after that to the original view areas. They have internal shuttles and we need to go with them to the designated viewers location to see the beautiful Canyon. There are 2 main view locations. We can spend from 10 min to even end of day in the same place and take the return shuttle last one by 7PM as well. The last shuttle is after sunset daily. Its always said watch the sunrise or the sunset in Canyon. The first one is possible only if you camp in the Grand Canyon park or stay very close to the Canyon. But to me, seeing such sunrise happens only for Diwali. The other day I woke up so early was probably the day I married Suresh :) I don't think anything else can start my day so soon.

It is quite possible to see the sunset and then drive back home. Its just important that you are an efficient driver as the unpaved roads and animals moving around there causes a lot of trouble for drivers in the night. We could not perfectly see the sunset as we drove back by 6.30 few min before sunset but no regrets as I wanted a safer drive home than the beauty of Canyon :)

The first view is the place where they have constructed the Sky walk. This place is more for us to sit and take pictures in different angles :)

The second view is one where I felt it was more for seeing than taking pictures. It was by far the best I had seen in terms of natural beauty. To add on here, there are couple of big rocks where you can climb and sit comfortably and see the grand canyon more like a bird's view (though this cant give the real bird's view)

As for the Skywalk, you imagine too much when you read about it. To me I will for sure say I was disappointed when I went there. May be I read too much and had imagined as though I will be in the center of the Grand Canyon and when i look down from the skywalk I can see the complete depth.

This place is made of glass that as you walk on the glass you can see the depth below you. As part of maintenance of the skywalk, we are not allowed to carry anything from cell phone to camera to hand bag there. But you are allowed to stay there as long as you wish for any number of hrs and you stand or sit or even lie down, no one stops you. They have 2 professional photographers who will get you pictures in different angles if you wish for. But I would say one thing, as for taking pictures, its better not to be there in evening time as the shadows seem to affect the pictures a lot. Also visiting skywalk is optional. If interested you pick the tickets separately, it does not come as part of the entrance.

People say they were scared to walk there and infact I saw few peoples who were holding the rails and walking and few holding the other person's hand. Please these sound really too much. Trust me after couple of seconds you walk in the glass, you feel so normal. May be some can feel little dizzy seeing below the depth etc if they have such dizziness problems. Otherwise after the first few seconds, you first admire the place around, and after some time we even sit down and see how it looks below and after spending some time there, you will try to admire the work involved in building this like I saw a man checking the number of glass layers used for the base. I think it was 6 layers of glass to form the base for walking.

I enjoyed this place so much that I ended up writing so much. A place so calm so beautiful and most of all you will be puzzled forever how could something like this get created all by itself and yet be so perfect as though it was something planned sketched out for years and made by human.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Drive to Grand Canyon

All I knew of this place was it is a desert and nothing more. Though we planned the trip for end of summer, I was shocked that its really hot there even in September. I also learnt that part of the drive would be bad as the roads are not paved.

We started our drive by 10.30 AM and on the way took a short break at Hoover Dam. That is the point of entry to Arizona from Las Vegas, Neveda. It was so hot at 11 AM for the first time I felt like being in Chennai. Almost after 9 months away from Chennai, I had the feel of home. I drank water like I have not had water in the last 2 weeks. To add on I saw myself sweating. These are something which never happens specially for a person residing in Minnesota.

Then as we drove to Grand Canyon, we learnt that it was some 25 miles of unpaved road. As we drove through that area, it was like driving the siruseri route / probably chengalpet or Kancheepuram side where I had seen quite a lot of unpaved roads. The West Rim of Grand Canyon is the place where they have constructed the sky walk 2 yrs back. When they could do something so big in the Canyon area, I was surprised that they had unpaved roads. May be they assumed the 25 miles could be a different fun for driving if the roads are not paved :) I cant find any other reason for just leaving one stretch as unpaved. Or the other reason can be, promote business. They have shuttle service to drive through as tours for people who are not comfortable to drive the unpaved roads. But for people who have driven in India, these unpaved roads are cake walk :)

As we drove we took another break for lunch and then finally reached there by 3PM. Its always said it takes 3-4 hours to visit the whole place and we managed it in the same way and started to drive back at 6PM. It was quite important to drive back in light as you get to see cattle's and lots of animals on the way walking in the middle of the road. As the sun sets by 6.45 PM it was specially important to drive through the unpaved roads when sunlight was there. As we drove, we did see a lot of animals and we thankfully escaped hitting a rabbit and atlast managed to drive safe.

I would say drive to west rim from Vegas will be quite fun and also not so hectic for a day trip.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009


For the first time in 8 months, I was struck in traffic in Minneapolis in a weekend. To clear 2 miles, it took us an hr. We dint check the traffic info online before leaving home and that was our fault else we could have taken a local route and cleared the area in 10 min. We ended up getting in the highway and finding ourself in trouble. But this traffic issue was purely due to some bridge construction and when people were driving, I could see how well mannered and professional the driving was. I could not find one car who was trying to overtake the other in the small available space. Every person was courteous of the other drivers and gave way as needed to the other person. I cant imagine people being that way in India :(The complete one hr I was discussing in the car if there is ever a chance that we can see such neat handling of traffic issues in Chennai.

At the same time I feel this is a major problem for us also because we have different kind of vehicles even in our main areas from Mount Road to ECR/ OMR. We see from cycles, bikes, Auto, cars to big trucks. May be this adds trouble. Anyways the first thing needed is the step to be taken from the drivers to feel they are going to lose nothing in life by maintaining a basic gap from the vehicle in front and also giving way for some one else to drive forward and not create a jam in the place by trying to fight it with his co-driver.

Wish things change for good and everyone has a safe drive!!