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Tips to become a succesful book blogger

No one has become a superstar blogger overnight.Recognition in blogosphere takes time and there are no short cuts for achieving instant success as a blogger.Read like there is no tomorrow and pen down your sincere thoughts in a lucid, organised and unpretentious manner.Your work will definitely get its due.

Blogadda-Quikr Shopping Fiesta: My Experience

It was like a slap on my face.Thankfully Arun was not there with me to witness by embarassement. I was all set to call him when some random piece of paper with a phone number written on it from my pocket caught my attention.

Book Review:Salvation Of a Saint

On the whole,’The Salvation Of Saint’ is a decent thriller.It may not be as racy as ‘The Devotion of Suspect X’,but still it’s a pretty good one.

Interview with Doctor-turned- Writer Deepal Kripal

Earlier this week,we chatted with Doctor-turned-Author,Deepak Kripal.He has authored 'The Devil's Tale:An impossible journey',published by Leadstart Publishers.In this candid interview,he tells us about his debut work,future plans,his journey as a writer and his other interests in life.

Private India: Book Review

On the whole,'Private India' by James Patterson and Ashwin Sanghi is a strictly average work.

October 12, 2017

Oxford Street/Oxford Circus


Oxford Street is one of the richest streets in London.Please note that this is different from the city of Oxford University of Oxford.The toy store,Hamley's is located here.

The Tube Station






- nikhimenon

October 9, 2017

Green Park!


Green Park is one of the eight Royal Parks in London. It's indeed situated in the heart of London and is a habitat for many species of birds.This is more of a picture blog on Green Park.There are many ways to reach the Park,the easiest is to take a tube to Green Park station which is in the Victoria Tube Line.Spread across 40 acres,this is also the smallest/shortest park among the royal parks.
The Tube Station
Welcome to Green Park!
The Walk
The Park!


                   
The place was filled with tourists,it's a beautiful place indeed!

-nikhimenon

October 2, 2017

The London Bridge!


Well,this is mostly going to be a photo blog post(which basically means that you will have to bear with my non existent photographic skills !).London is quite full of places of historic importance and  beautiful tourist attractions.People from all over the world come here to have a glance of the most iconic tourist spots.
1.The Tower Bridge(London Bridge)- The bridge opens up to make way for the big ships/boats which are trying to cross the river,which indeed is a beautiful sight!
2.The London Eye-This is something like a giant wheel which give the full view of London.Situated just beside the river,gives a beautiful view of the city indeed.
3.The Parliament-Well,I don't have a picture of the parliament yet,but this is where it's situated and there are some beautiful statues of the world leaders here.
4.The Palace-I'm sure that many of you might have seen this image somewhere else,but I believe no post about London is complete without these pictures.
5.The Gardens-I forgot the name of this garden ,but that doesn't matter,right.There is a nice kid's play area also inside and I bet your kids are going to love this place.
6.Thames-Do I need to say more?
7.The Streets on a Sunday Morning-It's actually full of tourists from different parts of the world(they aren't there in this picture though!)
8.Victoria Station-The national rail trains to various parts converge here.
9.The Roads-They aren't very crowded, right?
10.The Heron-This one is so used to humans ,I believe!Doesn't mind posing for a snap or two!

11.The Big Ben-They are renovating it.But that hasn't reduced it's charm in any ways!

-nikhimenon

September 30, 2017

London!

(This is going to be a pretty long post.If you are a native of London or/has been staying here in London for a while,this post is probably not going to interest you much.If you are new to the city or happen to be one who has been thinking about visiting this city, I strongly recommend that you read on).

                                It's been a week here in London.The weather is pretty okay, not very cold or very warm. Getting used to the transport system was the first and the most important thing which I had to sort out in the initial days. I will be penning down a few things which I noticed during the first week of my stay here. Hoping that these gyaans might come handy for those of you who plan to visit or stay in London in the near future.
1.Get used to the transport system as early as possible-Unlike in India, here, there is a very good public transport system and almost everyone uses it. They have this thing called the 'Oyster card', which basically is something like a 'season ticket' and looks like a 'credit/debit card' (obviously without the Visa/MasterCard logo in it!). You can either use it on a pay as you go basis or as a season ticket. The card works in tubes,trams,buses and even in the overhead national trains.You just have to show/swipe the card in a yellow automated card reader which is there in the entrance of the tube station or in the entry door of the public transport bus which you get into. The fare for your each journey will be automatically deducted from the card.Always rember to show the card at the entry and exit points of the tube station, else you will either be charged a penalty of 80£ or will have to face prosecution.

2.Stick to your time-The British are very punctual , so when they say that they will meet you at nine,they do actually mean it. Don't turn up late for any of the important meetings or classes as far as possible.

3.There are a lot of Indian restaurants out here-If you are badly missing Indian food, you can always step into any of the Indian restaurants out there in your locality. There are many out there. If you are here on a budget, then you can get whatever you need from the local Indian store out there and prepare your own meal at home.

4.The British Chips and Fish- Almost all the places here serve the famous English 'Fish n Chips' on Fridays. If you are into fish, u can definitely give it a try.

5.The free 'Metro' and the 'Evening Standard'- Well,this is one thing which I liked a lot.If you are a commuter, everyday you will get free tabloids in the mornings and in the evenings along with weekly magazines.There are racks outside each tube station and inside each bus/tram from where you can pick your daily free copy of the tabloid/magazine.

6.The 'People'- The native British people are very polite, well mannered and cultured. But beware,like in any other country,not all people are good though.

7.There are 'strikes' in London-If you have been thinking that strikes and 'dharnas' are only seen in developing countries,you have got it terribly wrong.These things are there here too.

8.The traffic culture-One thing I think I should emphasize here is the way they treat the pedestrians.In every major crossings, you will see a system like this (above picture) which enables the pedestrians to cross the road in a safe and timely manner.If the signal for automobiles is green,you just have to press the button over there and wait till the green signal for the pedestrians shows up.And remember,if there are no signals in he lane which you are trying to cross,the cars and motor cycles will wait until you have crossed the road!

9.Tesco- They are a chain of hyper markets like our Reliance fresh and Lulu which stock almost all the daily essentials.

10.Lyca and Libera Sim-If you are from the Indian subcontinent,these are probably the best mobile sims which you can get hold of.They have got some really good plans which you can avail of and it really makes your calls to India quite cheap.

-nikhimenon

September 13, 2017

Thoughts on James Patterson's ' The Thomas Berryman Number'


               I am no fan of James Patterson.I have read a couple of his books before and  found them to be totally mediocre.Picked up this book as I was told that this had won him the Edgar award for the best debut (way back in the 70s). May be at that point of time, people might have enjoyed reading this work ,but for a reader like me who belongs to a different era , the book was not at all relatable.With a confusing and snail paced plot,this debut work about a hitman and his escapades is at best left untouched.

-nikhimenon

September 10, 2017

Malayalam Cinema 2017:The Most Disappointing Malayalam Movies Of the Year, So Far!


2017 has rather been a disappointing year for the Malayalam Movie Industry so far.One of it's leading men is behind bars for an alleged crime done against his own colleague,many of the much hyped movies got universally panned and bit the dust at the kerala box-office. There has been no big successes like a PuliMurugan/ Premam/Ennu Ninte Moidheen so far.With mediocre content,the Onam releases have also failed to really set the box-office on fire.Here,we have a look at those movies of the year which offered a lot prior to their release but turned out to be lacklustre affairs at the end.

10.Fukri(Siddique)- Hit maker Siddique's first outing with Jayasurya turned out to be a rehash of various yesteryear hits like 'Udayapuram Sulthan'.With silly jokes and over the top performances,Fukri was yet another case of bad writing spoiling the party!

9.Jomonte Suvisheshangal(Satyan Anthikkad)-Sathyettan's loyal family audience might have helped the movie to scrape through at the kerala boxoffice but there is no denying the fact that 'Jomonte..' was nothing other than a bargain basement version of last year's 'Jaobinte Swargarajyam'.The only silver lining in this otherwise mediocre affair was the sincere performance from the father son duo played by Dulquer Salman-Mukesh.

8.Honeybee 2(Lal Jr)-Well, the prequel was no great cinematic gem.But the sequel was widely expected to repeat the former movie's box-office success.Though replete with sexual innuendos and crass jokes,HB2 failed to please even the front benchers and turned out to be a turkey at the ticket windows!

7.1971:Beyond Borders(Major Ravi)-well, nothing more to be said about this one.This wannabe war movie couldn't even satisfy Lalettan's devoted fans.We wish Major sir comes up with a better script next time!


6.Georgettan's Pooram(Biju Arookkutty)-Expected to be the year's festival entertainer from Dileep,this pooram ended up as a celebration of mediocricity.Neither a critical nor a commercial success,this movie didn't generate the opening which Dileep movies used to take during a vacation season.

5.The Great Father(Haneef Adeni)-Mammookka looked uber cool as ever but this misguided family thriller suffered due to bad writing.Perhaps the most profitable venture in this list,The Great Father was a disappointment from an aesthetic point of view.

4.Pullikkaran S(t)aara(Syamdhar)-When a relatively new director tries to cash in on Mamooka's super cool looks overlooking the mamooth sized holes and the pointlessness in the script,we can confidently say that the megastar should be more careful in choosing his projects.

3.Tiyaan(Jeeyen Krishnakumar)-The promos were extra ordinary and the production values were top notch but when you cannot back it up with a solid script,all the efforts go in vain.Tiyaan was one of the most disppointing films of the year both critically and commercially.

2.Achayans(Kannan Thamarakkulam) and Puthenpanam(Ranjith)-A mindless comedy entertainer was what was widely expected out of this flick.But 'Achayans' failed to entertain!With a rather muddling script,in Puthenpanam Ranjith tried to take solace in the Kasargode slang,but the majority of the viewers found it confusing and mildly amusing!

1.Velipaadinte Pusthakam(Lal Jose)-Benny P Nayarambalam-Lal Jose-Mohanlal.The names were big,the expectations sky high,'Jimmikki Kammal' became Kerala's 'why this Kolaveri',but alas,the content was too weak to speak for itself!

-nikhimenon

Adam Joan and Njandukalude Naattil Oru Idavela-Mini Movie Reviews!

Hi all,

It's a long time since nikhimenon has spoken here! So many things happened in between, the 'MSG' made the drastic decision to continue saving the world from behind the bars, Vivek Oberoi once again made a 'grand re-entry to Bollywood' only to keep us guessing about the possible date of his next gala Bollywood re-launch, Ra-Ga went abroad yet again for his monthly dose of vipasana, nikhimenon's letter box got flooded with mails from depressed fans who threatened to kill themselves as they couldn't read nikhimenon's literary gems on a daily basis, to name a few. So nikhimenon has decided to take up that ardous task of enlightening this world once again with a new blogpost.

 In these times,when every homosapien with a pair of hands and atleast half a dozen fingers is a movie critic, writing a review about a feature film is no big deal.But since nikhimenon's creative genius has told him that the best way to set the RT blog stats on fire (the year long 'neglect' coupled with the nefarious design of the likes of KLQ et al seems to have reduced the 'once upon a time' 2000+hits/day strong stats to petty double digit figures!) is to post a couple of reviews, the same is being done here.



1.Adam Joan(Jinu Abraham, Prithviraj Sukumaran-Mishti Chakraborty, Bhavana et al)- The movie almost entirely shot in Scotland tells the story of a rich Planter 'Adam Joan' whose daughter suddenly gets kidnapped by a secret cult.The protagonist's efforts to save his daughter is what the movie is all about.Slow paced and laced with family sentiments,the movie has got beautiful visuals,decent performances from the lead cast and a somewhat novel core premise to boast off.The length,often repetitive super slo-mo sequences and the over the top climactic action sequences are put offs though.On the whole an above average flick. Rating-2.6/5



2.Njandukalude Nattil Oru Idavela(Althaf Salim,Nivin Pauly-Shanthi Krishna,Lal et al)- Kurian Chacko comes(Nivin Pauly) back from London as he suddenly gets a panic call from his mother(Shanthi Krishna).Pretty soon,he realizes that their family is in a major crisis and they have to deal with it somehow.The movie deals with a pretty serious subject but the director has conveniently chosen to tell it in a light hearted manner which incidentally becomes it's bane as well.The essence of the matter gets diluted at times because of this 'safe-fell good' style of film making. Nivin Pauly repeats his trade mark style,Shanthi Krishna delivers a competent performance ably supported by Lal,Saiju Kurup and co.On the whole,the movie turns out to be a family friendly light-hearted watchable flick though it had the potential to become much more!Rating-2.7/5

-nikhimenon

April 2, 2017

Movie Review:Georgettan's Pooram


                        I stopped reviewing movies a long time back.Way back in 2007,when I started writing in this blog,there were very few people who used to review Malayalam movies online.Times have changed and now every random guy who can type a couple of lines at a stretch is a movie critic!On top of that you have fans of actors who flood the social media and online forums with their 'own take' on their favourite stars'(or the opposite one's) latest movie.So,in many ways,I believe writing a review these days is pointless.Yet,I couldn't resist writing the review of Georgettan's Pooram which I managed to catch on it's first day of release.
                      Writing a review for a Dileep movie is as pointless as writing one for a Salman flick. No matter whatever you write, the fans and the family audience will throng to the theatres in large numbers to catch a glimpse of their favourite star! But I strongly believe that it's high time our Janapriyanagan stopped taking viewers for granted and started thinking seriously about the kind of scripts which he green-lights!
                      George is the son of a priest (played by Ranji Panicker)and is basically fooling around with his gang of friends(Vinay Fort,Sharafudeen,Thiru) with the sole intention of providing some 'fun' for the hapless viewers.So they pass lewd comments on their tuition teacher,try to 'get a glimpse' of her when she is having bath,stalks a girl(Rajisha Vijayan) whom George meets at a funeral, pick up random fights with some 'freak boys'(who might bring a bad name to Thrissur also as it happened to Kochi),breaks into the house of a girl whom Vinay Fort was supposed to marry, to name a few during the entire duration of first half. In the second half, the gang suddenly transforms themselves to 'responsible citizens' and takes up the 'mission' of saving the local play ground (a 'Kochi' ground masquerading as 'Mathai Prambu') from a land shark(incidentally Mathai's son,played by Chemban Vinod) by defeating them in a Kabadi Match(Lagaan,Gilly,Karinkunnam Sixes,anyone?)!
                     The main fault with the movie lies in it's writing.With a script all over the place,K Biju and co have dished out a typical 'thattikoottu' fare which is solely aimed at the vacation family crowd. The sexist jokes are nothing new,even if you are a fan of these kind of jokes, it's very unlikely that you will find them amusing as each of them is plain predictable and you yourselves might have heard all that umpteen times before. At the heart of it, there is a genuine sports drama which sadly doesn't get it's due as the writer and the director  seem to be in a dilemma whether to treat the movie as a typical Dileep-tainer or a sports film. So in the end,it ends up as a poorly made film.
                   Dileep tries his best but his Thrissur accent sounds forced and at times he goes overboard.Rajisha doesn't even have many lines to mouth and ends up as a mere prop. Sharafudeen and Vinay Fort entertains at times, so is Kanaran Hareesh.T.G Ravi is fine, but it is a routine role for him.Chemban Vinod does it part well.The 'Joliyum Kooliyum' song is peppy and the cinematography is also okay.The editing could have been better as the first half seemed never ending.The over-use of slo-mo during the kabady scenes was unwarranted,but to give credit where it's due,the Kabadi sequences were the best portions in the entire film.

On the whole,with a poorly written script 'Georgettan's Pooram' is the kind of movie which does no justice to Dileep's talent. It's as good as a Villaliveeran! I'm giving it a 2 out of 5.

-nikhimenon

December 23, 2016

Hobbies: On Travelling cheap and some gyan!

Image:shutterstock.com

                       Quite often people ask me about my Hobbies. Frankly speaking, I still don't get the idea of terming/dubbing something a 'Hobby'. Oxford defines Hobby as something which is typically done during one's leisure time for pleasure. It also gives reading as a typical example for it. But then if you ask me, I totally love reading and make sure that I spend atleast an hour or so every day in reading. I make sure that I get time to read every day and it doesn't necessary mean 'leisure time' in the conventional sense. Again, travelling is something which I love in equal measure and in this age, where there are awesome websites which give goibibo coupons, which offer discount coupons, travelling is not a really expensive affair. One can fly and stay at affordable rates at holiday destinations without really digging a big hole in one's pockets! The other day, one of my friends was telling me how cheap it has become to travel to exotic locations which was once considered a privilege of the rich and the super rich. Whatever we may call it, activities like travelling and  reading definitely help in refreshing ourselves and breaking ourselves from the routine and mundane activities of day to day life.

                       In a way, if we look at it, both travelling and reading have many things in common.Travelling helps in exploring and experiencing  hitherto unfamiliar geographies while reading is a sort of travel through the minds of vivid characters.Eminent psychologists are of the opinion that travelling and the experiences acquired thereby inturn helps in building and refining one's own personality. A couple of days back when I was browsing the net, I chanced upon this quote-

“The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page.” – Saint Augustine

Quite true,indeed?! I think,travelling has a lot of benefits.

1.It helps in discovering new places,food and culture

2.Helps in making new friends (and obviously foes!)
3.Helps in realizing one's true potential.
4.Enables one to think 'big'
5.Helps to let go petty things from 0ur minds and focus on bigger goals
6.Helps in realizing how deep you love your home and your near and dear ones!
7.Helps in creating financial discipline!

What say you?


-nikhimenon

November 24, 2016

Dr Rajan's Corner: New Weekly Column!


Dr Raj is a Dermatologist practising In India .From this week, RT will have weekly guest posts from Dr Raj.When it comes to poetry, Rajan is still, the Raja! So,here is the first post!


-nikhimenon, dr_raj

November 5, 2016

Ultra Short Review:I Do! Do I?


    Ruchita Misra’s  ‘I Do! Do I?’ is her follow up to her ‘The Ineligible Bachelors’ which apparently became a ‘National Best-Seller’ .The In-eligible Bachelors was an okay work and though it pretended itself to be a satirical take on Indian Marriages, the book was nothing but pure-unadulterated desi chick-lit. ‘I Do! Do I? is kind of a sequel to ‘TIB’ and traces the events happening in Kasturi Shukla’s life after her marriage has been fixed with Dr Purva Dixit. To give credit where it’s due, I sort of enjoyed the first 170+ pages or so (of this 300+ page book), but after that, the book started getting repetitive with the jokes falling flat, the female protagonist behaving more and more stupid and nothing much really happening in the story line.The climax chase and the supposedly hilarious finale is nothing new and is only what we have seen in a dozen rom-com Bollywood flicks.Ruchita’s writing is plain,with a few hilarious one-liners here and there and the book  is clearly aimed at those urban readers who just want to read a generic light,desi chick-lit.I’m giving it a 2.5 out of 5. It’s not as boring as ‘One Indian Girl’, but not that great either. 

-nikhimenon

September 25, 2016

Malayalam Cinema 2016: The Worst Malayalam Films, so far


Agreed, 2017 is a good 3 months away.But we have had our own share of terrible movies already. Here is a look at those Malayalam films which ended up as a pure waste of time and money of cinephiles.

1.White (Udhay Ananthan, Eros)- 


Udhay Ananthan's Mammooty starrer was shot abroad,had a talented lead pair,good production values and a couple of melodious tracks.Still,the movie turned out to be a boring affair,thanks to it's mediocre script.The movie was produced by Eros International and was Udhay Ananthan's third outing after a decent Pranayakalam and an okay short in the Kerala Cafe anthology.

2.Hello Namasthe (Jayan Nair,Freedia Entertainment)-



A shoddy script was the villain,once again.This Miya George-Bhavana-Vinay Fort-Sanju starrer was a colourful production,but again,good writing cannot be replaced by colourful visuals all the time!

3.Vallem Thetty Pulleem Thetty (Rishi S, Achappu Movies)-



This movie had tremendous hype prior to it's release, thanks to the peppy tracks by Suraj Kurup and the brilliant visuals by Kunjunni S Kumar. But what can Kunchakko Boban do without a good script?

4.Monsoon Mangoes(Abi Varghese,Kayal Films)-


Fahad Fazil was sincere and gave a brilliant performance in this flick directed by Akkara Kazchakal fame Abi Varghese.The lethargic pace,uninspiring execution,bland writing and poor release strategy determined the box office fate of the film. Fahad bounced back with 'Maheshinte Prathikaram',a few weeks later.

5.Malgudy Days (Visakh,Vivek,Vinod, V creations)


This Anoop Menon starrer had nothing to do with the R.K Narayan classic.Distributed by Murali films, this movie was one of the early releases of the year and was supposedly based on a real life incident.The movie definitely had it's heart in the right place!

The movies which almost made into this list include Manoj P's 'Ithu Thaanda Police',Nithin Ranji Panicker's Hit 'Kasaba' and Lal's 'King Liar'.

-nikhimenon