Posts Tagged 'Entertainment'

Movie Theater On Board

Long time ago the bus operators (especially the luxury kind) figured that they had a bunch of captive (and bored) audience making a long distance journey and one must keep them entertained by showing them movies or atleast playing some songs. Now, I’m not a big fan of their movie/song selections and they are not smart about the way they use the undivided attention of the travellers either, but there is something to keep you occupied (I’ve ended up watching almost all the movies shown to me in buses – whether I liked them or not!). That brings me to the point of railways.

When I was a kid, my dad used to be posted in locations far away from our hometown and every year or half year or so we did our 3/4 day trip across the country back to Kerala. We did our best to keep ourselves entertained, played games, sang songs, told each other jokes, befriended fellow travellers – but it was monotonous for sure with no other avenues of entertainment. I shudder at the thought of long train journeys today even if I have time – mostly because it is extremely boring. One can carry a lot of entertainment devices on board, but sooner or later your power drains out (not all of the trains are equipped with power points either)

Now, what if Railways decided to put a movie theater on board the long distance trains? Would that change the equation? I’m not saying it should be anything fancy – for starters, it could just be a coach converted into a seating-only arrangement (like the shatabdi) and facing towards the movie screen, have show times allocated and only passengers with valid tickets should be allowed based on a fee to watch the movies. Not a very difficult thing to do! In fact, based on the regions that the train passes through, Railways can even consider getting hold of some advertisements from the companies to show the captive audience!

In our country where services like the railways is very utility-driven, will entertainment hold its ground? What do you think?

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Back from a picnic and into a book

I had been to the official annual picnic of my group this weekend, it was at a place called Wild Tribe Ranch in the outskirts of Chennai, about 40kms to the north. The event was organized and managed by e-ventures. The ride to the ranch was just about getting boring, when the e-venuture guys presented a magician to us. Doing magic tricks in a moving bus at an extremely close range with people peering around your hands, neck and pockets is not an easy task – the magician did an amazing job and enthralled the skeptics and the believers alike…! Hats off Suraj….

Next came the activities at the ranch – the organizers are extremely safety conscious and take all necessary precautions. There are a couple of interesting games like the Trampoline jump, Paintball and the All Terrain Vehicle Ride, not to mention the swimming pool and the delicious food! As we were making merry with the activities, a bunch of kids ranging from 3-18 years appeared, armed with sticks and few more weapons, like churutu waal – they were students of a martial art form in Tamil Nadu called Selambattam and by God, were they good!!! The skill and deftness of hand along with the fearlessness to play with arms with fire lit at the ends made it a visual treat. Many of the performers were national level champions in the art form. The only conernmost of us had was that there was no safety precaution on their body or clothes, in case, something went out of hand, especially when they were performing with fire. All in all, the picnic was a stress-busting event and on my way back, enabled most of us to forget a lot of bitterness for a few hours.

I purchased a book titled – “what got you here, won’t get you there” by Marshall Goldsmith, an executive coach, mentor and facilitator and have been immersed in it ever since…more on the book’s interesting insights in the next post… Do visit the Wild Tribe Ranch, if any of you guys live in and around Chennai – it is definitely worth a visit once in a lifetime. I shall publish pictures soon…

My Chinese Impressions – Part 8

Me n’ Entertainment in China…

Online and TV Entertainment

The interesting blogs I found ranged from China bashing to ones that helped me learn some Chinese to ones that very passionately went along in the Mandarin script – depriving me of the valuable insights that they were offering.

In my TV entertainment section if I don’t mention Bloomberg, I would be missing out on something important. Most of the nights when I returned to my hotel room from work and switched on the TV, there was Bloomberg had a fumbling Maithreyi Raman who gave me company. She generally analyzed hi-tech stocks on Bloomberg and had me all amused when she fumbled her way merrily along for many weeks on just basic number reporting off the charts. Left me thinking who gave her the job, anyway?

The fake DVD cartel

Outside of all major malls and shopping areas in Shanghai, there runs a very organized and low cost and surprisingly, fixed price fake DVD Cartel. It is so organized and the price is so well-known that you don’t have to interact with the person who is standing with the DVDs. All you need to do is browse through their collection, chose the ones you want, give him the fixed price/DVD and walk away. These provided entertainment for several days…

Around Shanghai in less than 2 days 🙂

My first few weeks in Shanghai, I was looking to go explore something unique. There was an acrobatic show at a cultural center and I dragged my colleague to see the show. The show was a disaster – with the acrobats falling down a couple of times and overall nothing spectacular. What was more, it was less of a “ethnic cultural” thing and more of an “china culture showcase for expats/foriengers” thing, but we did have some good food at the restaurant attached to the cultural center!

Later, towards the end of my stay in Shanghai, we went on a whirlwind tour of Shanghai – ranging from some cultural landmarks to pub hopping (believe me, pubs in Shanghai are extremely cosmopolitan with respect to the crowd as well as music played). There is a club called “M on the Bund” very close to the Bund in Shanghai where the DJ even plays Hindi music and I noticed names like “Arundhati Roy” in invitee list for some event at the pub!

Anyhow, spicy food at a side alley near a Buddhist temple in Shanghai, random pub hopping where a few girls almost jumped on top of my one colleagues, locating the Arabian Nights restaurant with belly dancers (we reached their way past the dance time, though!) and finally eating Greek food on the same street…are a few experiences I will never forget!


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