Friday, September 25, 2009

Ma Durga...Goddess of Good times!!

Come Durga puja and you can detect the spring in the Bengali's step and the desire to eat sing and be merry for the 4 days of the goddess's stay. The puja in Bangalore is based on the New Delhi model with great food and lots of cultural programmes. Today is ashtami the high point of the pujas and the entire family is fast asleep as they are tired from last nights bingeing!!
We started our outings on shasti, ie day before yesterday...I took the kids to get their first glimse of the goddess at Koramangala, near our house. It rained incessantly but we managed somehow to reach Indira Nagar to catch the performance of 2 little sisters of mine, daughters of my father's cousin. It was an evening of song and dance and lots of rain and some amazing egg, chicken rolls!!
Yesterday we returned to koramangala and participated in the 'anjali' thereafter the children took part in a sit and draw competition held in the pandal. The kids and I had 'bhog' and returned home. In the evening we came to know that the Brat Girl has won frist prize in her group in the drawing competition! There were music programmes all evening and we relished Nizaam's rolls and biriyani with the beautiful tunes filling the air- bengali folk, old and new Bengali and Hindi felt line being in a rock festival!!Today we will be off soon for the ashtami 'pushanjali' soon. The brat will get her prize in the afternoon prize distribution and we will go for the community feast or bhog...thereafter let's see where the mother goddess takes us.
By the way, I love the Koramangala purohit....he is soooo cute! With flowing white beard and beady eyes...but the problem is that we can't hear the anjali mantras clesrly as the words get lost in his beard!!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Fun time at Innovative Film City

This Sunday we went for a day long excursion to Innovative Film City, which is in Bidadi about 30kms from Bangalore. We had an idli-vada-upma breakfast in a new restaurant near our house and took the volvo to Majestic bus stand. The mite was asking for a volvo ride for quite sometime and as usual it was a pleasure. The Bidadi bus leaves from platform 19A at Majestic and is pretty frequent. We were however too impatient to get started so we took a bus to a depot at Mysore road only to find the Bidadi bus coming shortly behind us full of all the people who were patiently waiting with us at majestic. Thankfully we managed to get seats soon enough and off we went on my favourite Mysore road! we reached Bidadi in an hour or so. From the bus stand the Film City is a short auto ride away. We took a Rs 300 ticket for the Dinosaur House, Fossil museum, Ripley's believe it or not museum, Fossil hunt, mirror maze, mini city and wax museum. We found the mini city complex first.There was a make believe police station, veterinary hospital, bank, TV studio, radio station etc all connected by a make believe road with traffic lights etc which the children could ride on in cycles and toy motorbikes. You have to pay extra for every activity. The TV station can record live programs that you put up which would be given to you in CDs.

Then we went to the Dinosaur world, the mite clung on to me and refused to get off my lap, so we had to explore the place with him hanging from and and wailing to go home! He, however, had no fear for the gigantic dinosaur bone structure at the fossil museum which we visited next.

Thereafter we entered the toon world which had some rides, the children enjoyed the merry go round! There was a mini racetrack as well. We had an excellent lunch of lemon rice fried rice and set dosas washed down with some sugarcane juice and went on to the Ripley's believe it or not Museum.

The museum was much better than what we had expected. Its labrinthine corridors exhibited many of the marvellous and sometimes even grotesque things that Ripley collected. Among them was a funny figure made out of discarded dollar bills, metallic men made out of machine parts, model of an ancient ship out of icecream stickes. There were illusions made from projecting rays of light, including Ripley's 'ghost' that welcomed you to the museum and speaks about his quest. Wax statues of the tallest and fattest humans, and curious animals. There was a television screen which showed the feats of various people who could twist their tongue in the most curious ways, right next to that was a mirror and the visitors were asked to practice their tongue twisting skills in the mirror..I tried some of it at the mirror only to discover, later that the mirror allows people on the other side to see your antics without you knowing. When we went all the way to the other side, we had a good laugh looking at people twisting their tongue and thinking what a spectacle we had made of ourselves earlier!!

After this was the wax museum which was also quite entertaining, some of the figures had not achieved the exact likeness but some were good, I likes the Dalai Lama figure and the Adolf Hitler figure. The section on the fairy tales and cartoon was good too.
We wanted to see the 4D movie which had been advertized a lot. We took a chance and took the mite inside, previously we had thought of seeing the 10min film in turns because the mite does not enjoy movies. However our fears were put to rest when the mite proceeded to enjoy the movie and kept the glasses fixed over his eyes. The fourth dimension was created by water spray and air jets. When water splashed on the screen some doplets fell on us to the delight of the mite! When scores of mice were shown coming at us then air jets gave us an impression of them running over our feet...there was a lot of screaming to be done needless to say!

Our last adventure was at the mirror maze. It is a dark tunnel with mirrors all around lighted by small red lights on the floor, you have to extend your hand and feel your way out of it. People were rushing about in all directions and at one time we were well and truely mirrored in! The atendant lady came and showed us out at last! We did not have the energy to see anything more...there were mock sets and a park but we decided to call it a day!! a day well spent....The film city is still under construction and many cinema halls are being built along with other games and play has great promise, I say!