Sunday, March 25, 2018

Life in Jan 1 - March 25, 2018

2018 was going to be a year of a lot of activity and change.  It was going to be a change from passive to active.  My new year resolutions for this year are -

- Attend 20+ music concerts
- Read 20+ books by Indian authors or Indian subjects
- Do 2+ GHR runs
-Run 2-3 Half marathons

Here are the highlights so far -


Travel -

- 1D-1N trip to Urban valley Resort, Kanakpura
This was our team outing to celebrate the NY season. Did ziplining for the first time along with Kayaking. Also, played cricket and swam at the resort pool. Played scrabble and also did some kite flying or rather kite crashing.  Good fun but got tired because of too much fun. 

- Trip to Malaysia - Langkwai and Kuala Lumpur.
Kanishka and I celebrated our 3rd anniversary with a trip to Malaysia. It was part relaxing and part touristy trip. Album and blog post to come out soon.




- 3 day trip to Mumbai
While this was a work visit, I had plenty of time to explore this city. I was lucky that the Kala Ghoda Arts Festival was happening at the same time there. Went to some amazing cafes such as Poetry by Love and Cheesecake, Kala Ghoda cafe, Cafe Leopold and finally Theobramas. Also, went to NCPA and saw the play Chanakya. Finally ended the trip watching sunset at Juhu chowpatty. Liked the city a lot this time and it has a lot of stuff to offer



- Office trips - 1D trip to Delhi and 1D trip to Mumbai
1 Day trips are just too hectic causing loss of sleep and just throws schedule off balance


- Udupa Music festival
As part of my NY resolution, Kanishka and I ended up attending all 3 days of Udupa music festival.

Feb 16,2018:
Vidwan Shankar Mahadevan: Vocal
John McLaughlin: Guitar (Special Guest)
Vidwan Selva Ganesh: Khanjira
Vidwan U Rajesh: Mandolin
Gino Banks: Drums
Sheldon Dsilva: Bass Guitar

Feb 17, 2018:
Vidwan Guru Karaikudi Mani: Mridangam
Vidwan Mysore Nagaraj: Violin
Vidwan Abhishek Raghuram: Vocal
Pandit Yogesh Samsi: Tabla
Vidwan Guruprasanna: Khanjira

Feb 18, 2018:
Pandit Shivkumar Sharma: Santoor
Pandit Rahul Sharma: Santoor
Pandit Vijay Ghate: Tabla
Pandit Bhawani Shankar: Pakhawaj


Day 1 was quite good. John McLaughlin is truly versatile and Shankar Mahadevan is a treat to hear for his classical voice is so familiar because of his mainstream music. Day 3 was my favorite as I just love the Santoor. Both SKS and his son were amazing. Day 2 was also quite good. But traveling to Malleshwaram back to back on 3 days was quite a challenge. But it was totally worth it.




- Attended Tamasha Theatre's Soul
An evening of bhakti music from different languages.  Created by Sunil Shabag of Stories in a Song fame. Delightful experience.

- BIFFES 2018
Attended two days. 9 films screened.  Detailed report here - http://arvindbatra.blogspot.in/2018/03/10th-biffes-2018.html


- Books -

Read Miss Laila Armed and Dangerous by Manu Joseph. Review here - http://arvindbatra.blogspot.in/2018/03/book-review-miss-laila-armed-and.html


Almost finished Dreamers by Snighdha Poonam
5/5. Fantastic book. Review coming soon !

Aap & Down by Mayank Gandhi.
Read it just to understand more about how AAP the movement has failed

Foundation - 2 (Foundation & the Empire) by Isaac Asimov
Little bit let down as compared to Foundation 1 but still very good. I was expecting a good clash between the two worlds but it did not turn out that way.


TV Series -
In 2018, I restarted my Netflix membership and in 3 months, I have just exploded here.

Daredevil Season 1
4/5
Veery good action masala series. Very engaging with a very good villian.

Daredevil Season 2
3/5
Ok season. Not as good as S1 but still worth going

Defenders Season 1
2.5/5
Average, borderlining bad as it is just painful to see good talent go to waste.

Money heist Season 1
4/5
I was not aware that it had a next season until it reached the end. A very good series to binge watch on.

Breaking Bad S1-5
5/5
It took some time to get used to it but once I got it, it was amazing. Very well written and shot very beautifully. In particular, the characters are sketched out brilliantly. I can go on and on about it.

Jessica Jones Season 2
3/5
Should not have seen this one. But did so out of respect for season 1.  While in season 1, it was good to keep JJ mysterious, but in season 2, it maintains that same layer. The only wrapping is done in background which is basically to introduce the series villian. In season 2, it becomes frustrating

People v O.J.Simpson - An American Crime
4.5/5
Loved it. Very good acting. With a real world story that is full of unexpected plot twists, this is a treat to watch.

Altered Carbon
4/5
I liked the imagery, the premise and Poe :)

Gilmore Girls - Season 1
3.5/5


Too much binge watching has happened. I have now cancelled my Netflix membership as well.




- Made Gajrela of 5Kg gajar. Again tried two methods - one with Khoya and other one with Milkmaid. Khoya one was better



- Made Upma after almost a decade. Turned out ok



- Reading Red Sparrow by Jason Matthews


Movies -
Black Panther
3.5/5

Mukkabaaz -
4.5/5 Loved it

The shape of water
4/5

Star Wars - The Last Jedi
4/5


- Have joined RH and resumed running. Ran 10K, 12K, 14K in last three weeks.  Feels good to run long!






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