Sunday, October 23, 2005

Maharashtrian snack bar

In a Maharashtrian city like Pune, you would expect to see a Saravana Bhavan style fast food/snack bar all over the city that serves exclusive Maharatrian snacks. But no, there are none of that kind. Yes there are the ubiquitous tapris which serve you poha, upma, vada pav. misal pav etc etc along with the South Indian snacks. But no exclusive Maharashtrian snack bar chain. Its not that Maharashtrian cusine does not boast of a variety of delicious snack items. It does, but still when you come to think of it, if you want to suggest a place to eat good Maharasthrian snacks to anybody who is asking for it, it will be hard to pin point one. There might be one place here and one place there, but not as a chain.

Instead of snack bars like these, you get to see a chain of restaurants serving generally multi-cuisine, owned by the Shettys. And on any given evening, most of these restaurants would be packed with people. So why not an exclusive Maharahtrian snack bar ?

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Asian Film Festival - Pune (Day 2)

15 Park Avenue -

Could not see it from the beginning. The movie deals about a Schizophrenic patient's search for a non existent 15 Park Avenue in Calcutta, played aptly by Konkana Sen supported by Shabana as her sister and Rahul Bose as her ex-fiance.

Desperado Square -

The first Israeli movie that i have watched till date. Reminded me a little bit off Cinema Paradiso. This movie is about two brothers who want to open a theatre of their dad's and uncle's, which has been closed for the last 30 years. The last movie that was played in that theatre was Sangam, as you can guess the brothers also want to open the theatre with the screening of Sangam,. But the problem they have is, the print of the movie is with their uncle and he does not want to give it to the brothers. A movie has a few bollywood songs in the background, a good watch, recommended.

Slit eyes -

Again the first Malay movie that i have watched. An interracial love story between a Malay girl and a Chinese boy. The director packs in a lot of stuff, young romance, interracial conflicts, inner city gang wars, a cool family, chinese soaps. Did not enjoy the movie as much as i would have liked.

Kit Kat -

Again the first Egyptian movie that i have watched. Loved it. A blind man who does not think he is blind. A blind man who enjoys his life passionately. A blind man who will make others blind. A blind man who supports his son and his mom. Recommended.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Training Day in Hindi

With Nana Patekar enacting Denzel, Jimmy Shergill as Ethan Hawke and Sameera Reddy as Eva Mendes. Just thinking how the script writer would translate this "Whatever the f*** ever." and many more off these kinds.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Matheran -- Travelogue

Imagine a hill station, with no tar roads, no motor vehicles, no smell of gasolene, only trees and trees all around, clean fresh air and aerial views that are breathtakingly beautiful, then you get Matheran.

LOCATION : Convenintly placed between Mumbai and Pune. It is around 131 Kms from Mumbai and 144 Kms from Pune. The closest railway station is Neral, which is 11 kms from Matheran. Toy trains used to ply between Neral and Matheran, but this year monsoons has severly affected most of the bridges/track and there are no trains plying as of now. Hopefully the service will start next year. Taxis and Private vehicles ply between Neral and Matheran. These vehicles are parked at Dasturi Naka (3 kms from Materan) and are not allowed to enter Matheran. Rs 25 is charged per person at the entrance. This money is used ably to maintain Matheran.

CLIMATE : The weather in Matheran is pleasant all through the year. Best time to visit is from October to May. Going to Matheran during monsoons, will be a different experience altogether.


Budget Hotels : MTDC, and several hotels. MTDC is located at the very entrance of Matheran.
High end : There is one 3-star hotel. Forgot the name.

During peal season time, it is best to book hotels before you embark to Matheran.



You get decent Veg/Non-Veg fare in the MTDC hotel and all around Matheran.
Just like Lonovala, you also get Chikki and Chocolate almond fudge here in Matheran.

PERSONAL EXPERIENCES/TRAVEL TIPS : Do not take your own vehicle to Matheran, the road between Neral and Matheran, just like the Pune roads is full of pot holes. Get to Neral, and from there take the private taxis. Most of the taxis are antique pieces, but they do the job.

Once you are in Matheran, the only means of transportation is your legs, horses, ponies and hand-rickshaws. There are around 15 points in Matheran to visit, my group visited 6 off those.

Most of Matheran is very clean, but you do get to see plastic here and there. Compared to Mahableshwar this place is alot cleaner. We also saw laying of hand-made roads made by digging out stones.

While coming back, if it is possible, try to walk down from Matheran to Neral. It was a great trip, made easy due to availablity of public transportation. Matheran is a perfect example of how a hill-station will be, if there is not much off commercialization. I just hope it will be like this ever.

Yellow Flowers