The New Year Weekend
Happy New Year, folks! This is a rather belated post about the week that was. But as they say, better late than never.
The last week of the year turned out to be a rather memorable and fun-filled one, after all. At office, I have sort of established the trend of a treat-a-week over the last two months, and to wind up the year on a high note, we had a couple of treats this week. The first on Monday and the last on Friday that I threw in advance for my birthday. We have sort of started having a liking to Ramada Ramzan Plaza in TTK Road (near Music Academy) for the outstanding quality of food that they serve as part of their lunch buffet. We have spend the last two Fridays there, and the food is better than what you get at bigger/starrier hotels.
The weekend turned out to be even more memorable. Thanks to Mahesh we managed to obtain VIP enclosure tickets for the New Year Show “Kalakkal 2006” organized by Jaya TV at MGM Dizee World, in the ERC Road. Since we had nothing better to do — other than sleeping, of course — we decided to take the plunge and five of us made the trip in Sunil’s (Mahesh’s colleague) car. While we were driving, we really had no idea about how good the event was going to be. We just thought it will be some rubbish show, where we can spend some time and return back.
This incidentally was my first trip in the ECR Road, and it was a great experience, though it was night time. One must really appreciate the quality and the evenness of the road, and the Maintenance Team deserve a pat on their back.
We reached the venue by 2230 — the show start time was 2300 hrs, live on Jaya TV — and what I saw was a normal stage that they set these days for stage shows. The music troupe was doing a rehearsal kind of thing and the music (quality of the voice) sucked, and so thought “Wow! some way to spend the new year with these junk musicians”.
We had skipped dinner till then, and so we grabbed the fried rice that was available there, barring the drinks (surprise! no one was in a mood to drink, or was it because of the price, Mahesh?). We decided to not go to the half-filled VIP enclosure (a very costly mistake indeed, as it turned out later on), and instead settled down in one of the back rows.
At exactly 2300 hrs a chullan host appeared and kicked off the proceedings. The first hint of what was to come appeared a few minutes later when UnniMenon appeared on stage with SreeLekha Parthasarathy (who sang Kalyaanam thaan Katti kittu oadi polama and other such gems ;-). There was also cinematic dance by Raack Academy (no, that is not a spelling mistake, it really is Raack). A few songs (Suttrum Vizhi sudar [Gajini], Ooh la la la [Minsara Kanavu]) and dance numbers later there was a stir among the crowd, and lo and behold, there comes Asin [if you don’t know who she is, don’t read any further. It just won’t make sense] and she sits in the VIP enclosure.
At exactly 23:59:35 we started a countdown and at exactly 0000 hrs, we all celebrated the New Year by shouting “HNY”. Before we could finish the fire works started, which lasted for about 5 full minutes. Absolutely spectacular show in the night sky, with sparks flying out in various shapes and colors. We have taken a couple of snaps of that, but alas, I haven’t reached a stage where I can post the pix from my N3200 to my PC.
It was also Mahesh’s birthday on 01-Jan and so that made it doubly sweet for all of us.
In the background, UnniMenon was singing “Ilamai itho itho” which apparently is themed around the New Year in some movie (ok, Sakala kala vallabhan) of old. I used to hate the song, but except the opening couple of lines, everything else about that song is wonderful.
Then they started the Jaya TV awards, and among the awardees were Asin, Padmapriya [Thavamai Thavamirundu, Rajamanikyam], Prakashraj, Jeeva [of Raam fame], Director Priya [Kanda Naal muthal, a film about which I had already blogged], Thankar Bhachan and a couple of technicians, including a Best Cinematographer and a Best Editor. By the time this segment got over, it was 0045 hours, and we decided to call it a day. I managed to hit bed by around 0230 hrs.
Thanks, Mahesh, for making it happen.
Sunday started with a visit to the temple (surprise, surprise!) and for the next 5 hours I was ghooming around Chennai with my uncle. Got to visit the famed Music Academy, Narada Gana Sabha and a few other places during this trip.
In the evening I teamed up with Mahesh to watch King Kong, a fantastic fantasy movie. It is four or five films rolled into one — Titanic (for the ship and voyage and love on board, and the ship that hits something and breaks), Jurassic Park (for the dinosaurs), Independence Day or Pearl Harbour (for the aircraft attacks), Mummy for the skeletons and the near-dead humans, and of course, KingKong itself for the monkey :).
That was actually a tribute to the director, Peter Jackson. He has done a fantastic job with this movie, and I am not at all surprised that it is a chart buster in US and Europe. I really would love to watch it once more, just for the sheer entertainment and the quality of the work. Of course, on the negative side, we can point out the almost impossible scenes where nothing happens to anyone in spite of mind-boggling risks being taken, the running time of 3 1/2 hours, and of course the slightly dragging first half. But still I rate it very highly indeed.
The first week of the New Year has been cool so far. Hope it stays that way all through the year! I will post a couple of more long pending stuff over the week. Till then bye from Proto.
Thanks for reading thus far. Have a great week ahead.