Saturday, January 16, 2016

The Oscar Ritual

I am so excited! The list of Oscar nominated movies is out! As the run up to the awards continues, I am following my yearly ritual of catching up on all the Oscar nominated movies.

The list this time includes: Big short, Bridge of spices, Brooklyn, mad Max fury: road, the Martian,  Spotlight, Room, The revenant.
photo from google

photo from google

photo from google

photo from google
Here in India, there is a big hullabaloo over the release of Bollywood Indian movies and it's hard to miss a new release. However for Hollywood releases not much marketing is done and it can be a blink and miss situation. Thus, I look forward to the Oscar list which ensures that the creme Dela creme of the past year will be announced and I make it a point to catch up on all the movies which make it to the list.
photo from google

photo from google

photo from google

I started my Oscar movie marathon with Brooklyn.  This movie, directed by John Crowley, is a historical period drama set in 1952. The movie is about a simple story of an ordinary young girl from Ireland who moves to Brooklyn, USA in hope of better oppurtunity for work , leaving behind her mother and sister in her hometown. Her initial days in Brooklyn are full of struggle to fit in to everything new,  right from the all women boarding house to the ways of the large new city to her new job. Things begin to settle for as she finds happiness in a relationship with an Italian American boy whom she eventually marries. In a sad turn of events her sister suddenly dies and she plans a trip back to her hometown. There she meets a boy who shows interest in her and offers a bright future to her if she decides to stay back and not return to Brooklyn. She is torn between the two places but in the end decides to move to Brooklyn to be with her husband. The lead actress, Saoirse Roman does justice to the role.

The movie has been nominated for Best Picture. It's been beautifully shot and was enjoyable to watch,  although I would not really call it exceptional or a brilliant piece of work. 

The high point of the movie for me was the scene where in Brooklyn at a dinner for elderly Irish expats one of the Irishmen sings a soul stirring native song and this leaves of the people present there reminiscing and longing to be in their own land.

Waiting for the Oscar results to see what the verdict on this one!

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Cycling diaries: My first 60 Kilometer ride!

Biking on weekends is my passion and I generally cycle with a group of friends who are equally passionate about biking.
We start early in the morning to avoid traffic and because starting a holiday with some good exercise makes us feel like the holiday was well spent. We generally make a pit stop after completing half the journey to catch some tea and snacks. It's invigorating to head out to the outskirts of the city, away from city life, catching glimpses of the farm lands, fresh air and good conversation on the way. I ride a hybrid bike , 20 crossway by Merida. On an average we complete 50 kilometers every time we cycle.

I was starting to get comfortable with a 50 kilometer cycle ride and it was time to push the boundaries a bit and get out of my comfort zone. So today was an attempt to target 60 kilometers on the road.
Start time : 7.30 Am
Kilometers covered:  60 kilometers
Total duration of the Ride: 3 hours

Early morning start
 So today we choose an extremely good road which was smooth as butter. The Farukhnagar- Jhajjar road. The road is good to ride in winters but may not be so rider friendly in summers as no trees line it and shade is what you are looking for when it gets too sunny on a hot day.

The road is mostly flat without any uphills or downhills.

But for a cold winter day, this road was just perfect. Less traffic, smooth and lined by beautiful green fields on both sides.
Extending my usual 50 kilometer ride by another 10 kilometers was not so easy and I did feel a little more exhaustion than usual but all in all it was doable.

It was foggy and cold when we started but by the time we started back it was nice and sunny and the jackets were off.

We made a pit stop at a road side Dhaba and today the snacks on the menu were aloo pyaz paranthas  with dollops of butter on it and piping hot tea.

The fog shed away as the sun brighten up on our way back to reveal lush green fields! Delightful. Good ride today , totally enjoyed it.