Day 20 - Finally, a new toy arrives
One of the key tasks today was to tick off that camera in the list. Borrowing MP's Olympus in Mahemdabad had proved very valuable in helping me decide. I had a shortlist of 4; it would prove easier to commit to one now.
Hopping across to Croma at Crystal Mall and testing the options, it was not long before I walked out with a Nikon Coolpix S220. Now let's start cooking on gas! The rest of the day comprised very little activity other than a few updates from Nadiad and a lorra sleep. The last few days had been taxing. It was good to refill all parts.
Day 21 Heralds Republic Day, India
The day dawned with celebrations for Republic Day comprising patriotic songs being played from the mall right across. All over India, there would be similar gatherings. The celebration commemorates the day in 1950 when India adopted a formal constitution following independence from the British in 1947. That constitution was turning 60 today. I enjoyed a lie in, listening to the band performing across the road. An otherwise uneventful and lazy day ensued.
Day 22 -Â Lunching in a Village setting
During breakfast, we decided it was time to test The Village, a themed restaurant in the mall, for lunch. It would give me an opportunity to try out the camera. It makes such a difference when most of your 'retail and eating out' needs are served by simply crossing a road. The highlight of a stroll through the mall was lunch at the end.
We were a trifle disappointed that they did not serve a traditional thali. We ordered Aubergine orro with rotlo, vegetable dumplings with bhakri and puran poori. Jeera rice, poppadum and chas rounded off nicely. Food was good, although the dumplings in gravy was a trifle salty for our taste. We returned to the apartment to do what one does after a hearty meal. Siesta time!
Later, I finally managed to get the folks at Sydney to hook up on video. After frequent 'must-do' promises for months, I initiated a chat session with Avis and led her through the settings. In 15 minutes, we were talking live via video link. Dick Pound, Cheesedrummer and Kumarbhai will have a lot of earache when I get there next week! Video links with the family right across the world was now becoming a habit. Isn't technology great!
Day 23 for the Diary
I was conscious that events from last week meant that I had a lot of catching up to do with the diary. I had already started drafting days but YouTube uploads were taking a long time, and some uploads needed a few shots before getting up. So not much to report for today other than pushing ongoing diary reports from Day 12!
Day 24 - More video sessions and diary updates ends with 1st showing of Rann
By now, the video sessions facilitating keeping in touch with the family around the world was becoming habit. In most cases. One of those sessions (with Sydney) was over lunch. Well, for us; they had just finished a take away Pizza. It was good to see Dick on the wires. PJ's webcam was still not configured correctly so we were limited to a Google voice call - AJ and he could see and hear us but we were merely limited to voice. "Reread the manual, PJ! You're falling behind the times."
Later on in the evening, I walked outside and happened to glance at the movie posters for current screenings. Noticed a new release for a movie I knew little about. Could not even work out the title - it was in Hindi, and a key letter obscured by a lamppost. It seemed to be something to do with the media and newsgathering, and Amitabh Bachchan was in the lead. "Any film with India's leading superstar fronting it has to be good", I thought. Would be a good way to end my stay in India with another movie. I mentioned it to Harry when returning upstairs. "Oh yes, it is featured in the paper today," he opined. "Let's go now", said he. "Yep, let's just do it." I replied. And after a quick change of clothes, we were crossing the road in minutes. Isn't it great when you have an opportunity to simply decide to watch a movie and simply go? Not knowing if you will get tickets (remember, this was the first day), what show times were etc. Didn't have to give any of those things a second thought. If we couldn't get to see it, no big deal. No big arrangements to make - just go. As it happens, we had just missed the 8:25 pm start. But there were plenty of tickets available for the next one at 10:30. So we got 2 tickets, walked back home to return again for our showing. Whle buying the tickets, Harry reminded me that today was Friday. I had lost all track of time and somehow was convinced I had 2 whole days before my last day. Not so, I was due to leave in less than 48 hours. Yikes, time's running out. But that's for another time. I was talking about the movie.
The bottom line of RANN is how the media world has changed from media reporting on the news to a world of corruption and power where politicians, big corporations and the media conspire to dictate what becomes newsworthy for masses to consume. These players are increasingly responsible for making news instead of reporting it. And where money does the talking, how spicing up the news as entertainment feeds that money grab motive. A pet peeve of mine, and as it happens, many fellow Viners. Yes, it's that word again. Maktub. I was destined to watch Rann and report on it in this diary. Early media movie critics appear to be panning it. I wonder why! Go catch it.