Me

53 Week Journey through the Land of Drapes and Colors: Week #8

For details on all the sarees I have posted so far, go here.

I was in India for a very short time between Feb 27 and Mar 10 to visit my family. I hadn't been to India in 5 years so this was a huge trip for me. During the time I was there I got to meet a lot of family and friends and had quite a few gatherings.

To one such gathering I wore this pale blue organza saree that had self print all through the material. Organza is a thin sheer fabric traditionally made from silk. But most modern sarees have the material made from nylon or polyester. I paired it with a dark blue crop top, sea-green stones jewelry and sea green bangles interlaced with gold bangles.

This saree is approximately 20 years old so I really didn’t have the blouse that came with it nor the inner lehanga. I had taken it back home to see if I can find a blouse to pair it with or better yet leave it there so mom may have a better use for it. 

Day before this gathering I found crop tops at a friend's store and immediately snagged them that would go with sarees that I had. One came in handy for this one. It was super fun to wear this pleasant color for a hot afternoon event with friends and family.

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Movie Critique – Love Affair

Stars: 2.5 / 5

Recommendation: A predictable remake lacking chemistry, making it easy on eyes, but missing the mark on the grand finale as well as the essence of the story. Worth watching on your couch rather than renting it or going to theater. 

Love Affair is a 1994 American Romantic Drama film starring Warren Beatty, Anette Bening and Katherine Hepburn in the lead cast. This is a remake of the 1939 film of the same name. 

Ex-football star Mike Gambril (portrayed by Warren Beatty) and singer Terry McKay (portrayed by Annette Bening) meet on a flight to Sydney. Both engaged individually to someone else, fall for each other. They decide to wait for three months and reunite at the top of the Empire State Building. Will they reunite? What is the fate of these lovers?

The 1939 classic movie Love Affair had been remade into another classic movie An Affair to Remember in 1957. It also inspired the 1993 hit American Romantic Comedy Sleepless in Seattle. This was also remade by Bollywood in 1999 as Mann (= Heart) which I had mentioned in my blog post about the songs from that Hindi film.

All through when I was watching those four movies, I never realized there was another version of the film made in 1994. The film cast includes two Oscar winners: Warren Beatty and Katharine Hepburn; and three Oscar nominees: Annette Bening, Brenda Vaccaro, and Paul Mazursky. Yet it failed to make the same noise as the original film or it's first remake did. 

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Movie Critique – I Wake Up Screaming

Stars: 5 / 5

Recommendation: A journey into the human mind through the noir filmography with subtle shades of humor around the morbid core of murder and crime.

I Wake Up Screaming is a 1941 film noir based on the novel of the same name by Steve Fisher, a prolific pulp writer. It stars Betty Grable, Victor Mature and Carole Landis in the lead cast. Steve also wrote screenplay for the film along-side Dwight Taylor.

The primary plot involves investigation into the murder of Vicky Lynn, a young actress who rose to fame quickly. Her promoter, Frankie Christopher, becomes the primary suspect. And he has to do everything in his power to prove the cops are wrong.

This movie is considered the first film noir although many still lean towards Humphrey Bogart's 1941 classic The Maltese Falcon, which was released few months prior to this film. This was also Betty Grable's first film in which she portrays a fully dramatic role compared to her other films where she had a song and dance role. And so also a first for Victor Mature, but he continued on to portray many other film noir roles since this film. 

This perhaps being the only kind of movie made by Director H. Bruce Humberstone, that it missed the mark to be recognized as the first film noir of Hollywood.  However, with the lighting and camera angles used by the Cinematographer, Edward Cronjager, in the film it is hard to be not noticed as a noir filmography. 

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Book Critique - Innocent (Kindle County #8)

For review of all books in the series, go here.

Stars: 3 / 5

Recommendation: A well-written crime thriller with hints of psychology of human mind and the devious direction it takes when played upon by emotions and moral values. However, it felt repetitive with its prequel. Yet a good pick for anyone interested in court room trials.

Innocent is the eighth book in the Kindle County series, a legal thriller by Scott Turow, published in December of 2005. It forms a sequel to the very first book, Presumed Innocent, in the series, although was written 7 books later. The plot follows Rozat "Rusty" Sabich involved in another murder case twenty years after the first one he was indicted and acquitted for. 

When I bought Presumed Innocent at the library sale, I found Innocent also right beside it. However, I assumed that this was the immediate sequel. Until I started reading the books, I didn’t know that this was the written seven books after the first one was written. Anyways, here's my review of this book.

Rozat "Rusty" Sabich is now Chief Judge, at the State Court of Appeals for the Third Appellate District. And when his wife Barbara dies unexpectedly, his nemesis, Tommy Molto now acting Prosecuting Attorney (P.A.), finds cause in the death and indicts him for suspicious death. Rusty is put through the same rigor that he went through 20 years ago when a co-prosecutor was killed and he was arrested for it. Only this time, he is being tried for the murder of his wife.

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The Great Night Circle: March 2020 - Snow Moon (Full Moon #3)

For all of my posts in this series, go here.

13 Full Moons, including 2 Super Moons, and 2 Full Moons in one month, the second full moon being the Rare Halloween Blue Moon: That’s what we get to see in the night sky this leap year which starts a new decade. A treat to all those stargazers! Here continues my amateur photography of this gorgeous orb of light.

The third Full Moon of this year is the Worm Moon and incidentally the first Super Moon of the year as well. Worm Moon asks us to separate grain from chaff in our lives to bring everything to order. 

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53 Week Journey through the Land of Drapes and Colors: Week #7

For details on all the sarees I have posted so far, go here.

Week 7 takes me back to 2019 again. We had a small gathering of six families to celebrate Diwali in November of 2019. 

To that party I wore this traditional Kerala (= a South Indian State) saree called Kasavu in native language. It is a handwoven cream colored saree with gold border. This handloom designed fabric sometimes comes with motifs or light threadwork etched in. The borders are usually soaked in gold color to give the richness to the material. A formal attire for many Malayalee (= people from Kerala) women, it's history traces back to Buddhist Era. More about this saree here.

My very dear friend, Preethi, got this for me from India in 2018, but I never got around to wear it until now. I wore it along with a multi-colored thread work blouse. The beauty of this saree is that you can wear any colored blouse and still it will look unique and beautiful on the one who wears it.

I accessorized it with a small necklace made of precious stones, large gold and pearl earrings, assorted colored bangles on my wrist and finally finished it off with a small hand-made purse. 

In fact, all of us ladies decided to wear sarees. And it was pure fun to see everyone draped in wonderful colors. We also had fireworks. Despite the cold, everyone ventured out to light the fireworks and enjoy the sizzle and sparks. 

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53 Week Journey through the Land of Drapes and Colors: Week #6

For details on all the sarees I have posted so far, go here.

Maha Sivaratri, the festival celebrated in honor of Lord Shiva, fell on February 21st this year. Typically one fasts all day for the festival spending time in chants, breaking fast after sun goes down. Most of them continue to stay awake all night typically watching devotional movies or participating in bhajans; a process called as Jagaran (= being awake all night). If you cannot stay awake all night, at least till the midnight clock strikes, people try to stay awake. 

Lord Siva is my favorite god amongst all the Hindu gods and goddesses we have. So when I couldn’t celebrate this festival past two years, it always left a gap within me. This year finally I was able to do it, including the pooja, fasting, temple visit and jagaran till midnight. Utterly pleased I was, body, mind and soul, all inclusive.

I never pass up an opportunity where I can drape myself in sarees. Naturally for this festival also I did the same. This time I draped this multi-hued Uppada Pattu (= Silk) with yellow silk blouse. My very first post in this series talks a bit more in-detail about Uppada Silk Sarees. So will not bore you all again here.

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Movie Critique – Presumed Innocent

Stars: 5 / 5

Recommendation: Chilling crime thriller with hints of psychology of human mind and the devious direction it takes when played upon by emotions and moral values. 

Presumed Innocent is 1990 American legal drama thriller based on the 1987 novel of the same name by Scott Turow. Directed by Alan J. Pakula, it stars Harrison Ford in the role of Rozat "Rusty" Sabich" being charged with the murder of his colleague and mistress Carolyn Polhemus, portrayed by Greta Scacchi.

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Book Critique - Presumed Innocent (Kindle County #1)

For review of all books in the series, go here.

Stars: 5 / 5

Recommendation: A stunning crime thriller with hints of psychology of human mind and the devious direction it takes when played upon by emotions and moral values. 

Presumed Innocent is a legal thriller by Scott Turow, the first book in his Kindle County series, published in August of 1987. It is told as a first person narration by the lead character Rozat "Rusty" Sabich, about a prosecutor charged with murder of his colleague.

The novel had been made into a movie in 1990, three years after it was published, titled the same as the book, starring Harrison Ford as the protagonist, Rozat "Rusty" Sabich. In fact the producers bought the rights of the book even before it was published. After watching the movie, there was no doubt that that would have had happened. I was impressed by the twisting tale it depicted. So at a local library sale when I came across the book, I figured why not read the book as well. So, here's my take on the book that was the basis for the movie which I liked very much.

Carolyn Polhemus, a prosecutor at the District Attorney Raymond Horgan's office, is raped and murdered. Rusty Sabich, Raymond's right-hand man, is given the case to investigate. Little does he know that he would be digging his own grave by the time the case is solved.

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Book Critique - Candy Canes of Christmas Past (Lucy Stone Series #13.5)

For review of all books in the anthology: Go here.

Stars: 3 / 5

Recommendation: The simple flow of the plot, keeping it true to reality, charming family dynamics, gentle humor and subtle sarcasm at oneself keeps the reader intrigued and interested.

Candy Canes of Christmas Past is the third and final novella in the anthology Candy Cane Murder by Leslie Meier published in October of 2007, as part of her Lucy Stone series. She co-authored this anthology with Joanne Fluke and Laura Levine.

Lucy Stone happily settled in the remote town of Tinker's Cove in Maine with her husband Bill and children. A chance mention of her son about their first Christmas in Tinker's Cove almost 35 years ago, takes Lucy on a trip down the memory lane when she had solved a mysterious candy cane and a murder that had occurred decades ago.

Author Leslie takes the reader into a life set some 35 years ago when this book was written. Some of things jogged a lot of memories in my brain, making it a true trip for the readers as well.

Leslie shows the readers the simple dynamics of a young family settling during hard times, yet finding simple joy in doing daily things. Of course, there are times when both Lucy and Bill find at each other's throats, at times when Lucy almost gives up making effort to pursue Bill's dreams, or times when she gets tired of taking care of an active 2 yr old while being 6 months pregnant. 

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