Review: Taare Zameen Par

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In one word ... "Wow" ...

Aamir Khan has done it again ... One of the most well-made movies I have ever seen ... A directorial debut for Aamir and it seemed like he has made movies all his life … Such a well taken movie that it must have brought about a change in the perspectives of lots of people. Mine, definitely. I found tears in my eyes during so many scenes in the movie.

The movie brings out the feelings of a kid growing up in this world of cut-throat competition, where there is no place for creativity.

It was so thought provoking ... something that seems to happen so often in life. We must have seen it time and again both as kids studying and also otherwise. Parents and the society put so much pressure onto the kids without trying to understand their problems. And then this thought, “My kid cannot have a problem”. And why think of it as a problem. It is just that the kid has a different way of understanding and seeing things which could be slower than other kids. And why should slow be considered as bad?

Talking of speed - where every kid should understand things easily and fast. If not get irritated – shout and abuse them. How many time we may have heard this one, “Why the hell can’t you understand such a simple thing”. Why should it understand? We never see it as our flaw that we are not able to make the kid understand. Never trying to understand the barrier to their understanding and get that sorted out.

Instead of helping the tender minds explore the creativity within themselves, we kill their creativity by throwing in the weights of our expectations and our unfulfilled ambitions. I didn’t get into IIT, my kid will fulfill my dream. Bull-shit.

The movie has just shown a different perspective in life. Lets all try and appreciate that. An engineer or a doctor or a Management is not what life if all about. If anything life is hell for people in these professions. But all that people see is the glamour and the money that it visible from the outside. There is more to life than money and power.

A movie that every parent should watch. It will change the way you bring up your kids.

Finally, after seeing the movie I felt more indebted to my parents. Appa and Amma (I know you are reading this .. where ever you are) … Thanks for bearing with me during times of my failures and giving me all the time that I needed. Thanks for understanding me.

Alive and Kicking ...

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Rether than going by Benito Mussolini's quote that says ...
Inactivity is death
I would rather go with Jimmy Connors' that says ...
Rather than viewing a brief relapse back to inactivity as a failure, treat it as a challenge and try to get back on track as soon as possible.
I am alive and kicking !! :)

Review: Sivaji .. The Boss

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Yes … I saw Sivaji … And I saw it in Pune !! :-) After it released a week late on 22nd June, 2007. I saw it second day first show. I got the ticket through BookEazy a cool service where you book tickets online, pay for it in the theatre and arrive anytime (even late) and still you have your place booked for you. Here is how it works !! Thanks to Santosh Dawara for having me introduced to the service. I must say that the service is great !!

On a separate note, I plan to spend sometime with Santosh when he gets time to understand the internet business.

At the onset, let me tell you that I am not really a Rajini fan … :-). But there is something about him (including all the euphoria that surrounds his movie releases) that draws you towards him. So, I decided that I will see the movie in true Rajini Fan style (well … as much as possible) … I started my movie experience with a full volume screaming of “Talaivaaaaaaaaaaaa” (That is what true Rajini fans call him) on his entry scene … And then lots of more shouting and yelling during each of his style, dialogue or fight sequences (adding to the Janani’s embarrassment, who found it very uncultured behavior ;-) .. but what the heck). I had to get back to myself and behave in a more “cultured” way coz Janani threatened to disown me if I didn’t stop acting that way. :D

So the movie plot is pretty decent … typical Sankar style … Doing good for the society even if that means bending the rules a bit. So Rajini wants to build a college and hospital putting in all the savings of his life (made out of a Software System Architect job in US :-)). He intends to provide free treatment and education to all. That obviously makes people running other colleges insecure and they make Rajini taste dust. So as they say … when you can’t take out the butter with a straight finger you need to bend your fingers … so Rajini does just that … And he does that Rajini/Sankar style … :-) … He decides to convert all the black money in India into white (Using Hawala and then sending it back to his foundation as donations) and use that for the college and hospital activities. So that is pretty innovative.

Lots more to see and enjoy … some new styles … some more dialogues … Like
  • “Panningathaan kootama varum ... Singham ... Single aa varum”

  • “Kooooool” in typical Rajini style

  • The famous cigarette that used Rajini used to toss into his mouth has now been replaced by a chewing gum that he bounces off his palm into his mouth. (and once he bounces it off the villain’s forehead ;-) .. Now that is Kooooool … )

  • Finally the coin tossing act … which goes through 2-3 tossing iterations before it perfectly lands into his pocket :) …

And there are lots of high flying fight sequences … in typical Sankar style.

They have done wonders with respect to Rajini’s looks … Make up, special effects etc and Rajini looks so young … You have to see it to believe it …


Songs are ok ok … I would have expected more out of AR Rehman but … I don’t know … Didn’t click to me … Vaaji Vaaji and Sahara Pookal were ok … Rest of them were just mediocre … It’s sad that Songs for Rajini’s big movie are not that good … :(

And as usual, typical of Rajini/Sankar movies they have a message for all of us … To know about that try and catch a ticket to see the movie.

As for me … It was a great experience to watch that movie in true Rajini Fan style and so much so that I am a Rajini Fan now !! :)

Gillette Fusion ... What !?!??!??!?

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I happened to stumble upon this link which took me to the lastest "cutting edge" technology for men !! :) ... Gillette Fusion

They left the three blades system behind ... :) ... Believe it or not .. Its 6 blades now (five in the front and one in the rear) !! Wow :) ...

I mean .. Was this some kind of growth target given to them !??!! :) I can imagine .. in a meeting the Gillette Management told their design team "You need to double your blades in 3 years ..."

or probably the sales head, by mistake, set an expectation to the wrong team !! :) ... He might have wanted to address the sales team (but instead addressed the design team) saying "You need to double your numbers in 3 years ..." The only numbers the design team could think of was "# of blades"

So here goes .... :)


Got Tagged ...

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Got tagged by Parvathi ... so here goes ...

1. Pick out a scar you have, and explain how you got it:

Stitch marks on my forehead - I was running around in my house to escape my sister who was trying to tickle me, and broke my head ... :)

2. What is on the walls in your room?

Currently in office, so there is a cartoon of myself (made by Prakash Shetty) on my cubicle division.

3. What does your phone look like?

For a detailed story about my phone and how it looks like ... see this link.

4. What music do you listen to?

I listen to all kinds of music ... right from raga to rock ... Well, not rock actually .. Well probably the songs that are melodious ... !!!

5. What is your current desktop picture?

At my company, we are not allowed to have the desktop picture of our choice. So its one of the defaults ... a green open field of sorts.

6. What do you want more than anything right now?

I more or less feel contented.

7. Do you believe in gay marriage?

If someone wants to .. well ... so be it ... but as far as my views are concerned, its stupid.

8. What time were you born?

Some time in the morning ... of July 4th

9. Are your parents still together?

Yes and No, coz my mother passed away.

10. What are you listening to?

Songs from the movie "Life in a Metro"


11. I donno why there was no 11th question ..

Parvathi deleted it .. so thanks ..

12. The last person to make you cry?

My mom ... when she passed away.

13. What is your favourite perfume/cologne?

Axe ... Voodoo

14. What kind of hair/eye colour do you like on the opposite sex?

Black, I guess ...

15. Do you like pain killers?

What is there to like in a pain-killer ??

16. Are you too shy to ask someone out?

Yes I am ...

17. Fave pizza topping?

Bell Peppper

18. If you could eat anything right now, what would it be?

Hmm ... hungry .. Now that you talked about a Pizza ... That would do ...

19. Who was the last person you made mad?

Janani (my wife) .. i guess ...

20. Is anyone in love with you?

Yes ... definitely

I would tag ... whoever wants to do this tag (I really doubts if anyone wants to)
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Some fishes that I shot long back !! These were there at the pond at Dilli Dhaba, ECR Road Chennai.

My attempt at Photography !!

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The Moon ... Was a tough one !! I guess a tripod may have helped to get me a better result ... And then the fireworks ... That was again tough !! There is always a delay in the photo clikin after it focuses ... By then the fireworks are all over !! :(

Review of “भेजा Fry”

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I saw “Bheja Fry” this weekend. The movie is about how a “bring- your-idiot talent dinner” turns into a scene where the idiot (Vinay Pathak) turns out to be more than a mouthful for the host (Rajat Kapoor) !! :) …

Vinay Pathak is the key entertainer in the movie … And that is what he does best so he perfectly blends into the role and plays a really innocent idiot … I also remembered his good performance in “Khosla ka Ghosla” … He is a definitely a great character artist !!

Sarika in her short and sweet role (actually the movie was itself short and sweet) looked very gorgeous। [Kamal is a idiot to leave her :)] … Anyways she still looks so gracious …

Milind Soman came in from nowhere … He had disappeared from limelight … But he looks pretty good now … He is acting more naturally … I would look fwd to seeing him in more movies in the time to come.

Rajat Kapoor (I find him a very sophisticated person and a great actor) has done a wonderful job in the movie.

Ranvir Shorey has a small little role … I really appreciate his versatility … He can act as this irresponsible room mate/friend in “Pyaar ke side-effects” and then a educated beggar/drug addict in “Traffic Signal” and then the जोशीला brother in “Khosla ka Ghosla” … to this disgruntled government officer. Again a great actor.

Overall … The movie is a great comedy and a family entertainer.

मेरे Blog मे हिन्दी का प्रवेश

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यह एक Sample Post है ... हिन्दी मे !! :) ... वाह ये तो कमाल हो गया !!

The Shawshank Redemption - Review

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I saw “The Shawshank Redemption” with close friend Vivek last weekend. I had no clue about this 1994 movie, written and directed by Frank Darabont. It was Vivek who told me that he has heard - it’s a great movie and we went ahead and saw that. After seeing it I feel that it has to get into my list of best movies that I have ever seen. It’s an amazing movie where you see great performances from everyone and at the end of it leaves you inspired.

The story is about a banker (Andy Dufresne played by Tim Robbins) who is framed for a double murder in the 1940s and begins a life sentence at the fictional Shawshank prison. The film gives a detailed insight about life in the prison.

This dialogue by Morgan Freeman (who plays Ellis "Red" Redding) says it all about life in a prison.

The first night's the toughest, no doubt about it. They march you in naked as the day you were born, skin burning and half blind from that delousing s--t they throw on you, and when they put you in that cell, when those bars slam home, that's when you know it's for real. Old life blown away in the blink of an eye. Nothing left but all the time in the world to think about it. Most new fish come close to madness the first night. Somebody always breaks down crying. Happens every time. The only question is, who's it gonna be? It's as good a thing to bet on as any, I guess.
So as he says they all used to bet on who is going to break down first, whenever a new lot of prisoners used to arrive at Shawshank. Red goes ahead and bets his money (cigarette packs) on Andy Dufresne. Red later says

His first night in the joint, Andy Dufresne cost me two packs of cigarettes. He never made a sound.
The Prison Warden Samuel Norton’s words while welcoming prisoner to Shawshank gives a picture about the environment at the prison.

I believe in two things - discipline and the Bible. Here you'll receive both. Put your trust in the Lord. Your ass belongs to me. Welcome to Shawshank
The story is about how he executes his detailed long-term plan to escape from the prison. His friendship with Red and his conduct during his long stretch in prison where he gains admiration by the other inmates all falls in place in the lager scheme of his escape plans.

Andy takes the help of Red, who is known to source small bit of items into the Prison, to smuggle in a rock-hammer (six or seven inches long and looks like a miniature pick-axe) which he eventually uses to create an escape route.

He uses his past experience as a banker and his knowledge of accounting and income taxes to get into the good books of every guard in the prison, and, finally, the Warden by helping them in their tax matters. He also gets involved in developing the prison library by requesting more funds from the government.

He also becomes deeply involved in Warden Norton's illegal money-laundering operations. When working for the Warden, Andy creates a false identity so the Warden can hide the money laundered. This is what he uses when he gets out of prison.

This is a great line that Andy says about himself.

The funny thing is, on the outside, I was an honest man, straight as an arrow. I had to come to prison to be a crook.
There was a scene where Andy plays music on the public address system and is sent to solitary confinement for 14 days. When he comes back his friends ask how did he go through that time. Then what follows is this wonderful conversation.

Andy: I had Mr. Mozart to keep me company...[He points and taps his head] It was in here. [And he gestures over his heart] And in here. That's the beauty of music. They can't get that from you. Haven't you ever felt that way about music?...Here's where it makes the most sense. You need it so we don't forget...that there are places in the world that aren't made out of stone, that there's, there's somethin' inside that they can't get to, that they can't touch. It's yours.
Red: What are you talkin' about?
Andy: Hope.
Red: Hope?
Let me tell you something, my friend. Hope is a dangerous thing. Hope can drive a man insane. It's got no use on the inside. You'd better get used to that idea.
Andy answers this negative feeling of Red later on in the movie in the letter that he writes to Red. Before escaping Andy asks Red to go to a specific place (after getting out in parole) where he would find something (the letter). The letter says

Dear Red, If you're reading this, you've gotten out. And if you've come this far, maybe you're willing to come a little further. You remember the name of the town, don't you? I could use a good man to help me get my project on wheels. I'll keep an eye out for you and the chessboard ready. Remember, Red. Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things and no good thing ever dies. I will be hoping that this letter finds you, and finds you well. Your friend, Andy
At Red's latest parole, rather than eagerly asking for parole (as he always did), he remarks that he doesn't care what happens to him, feeling that rehabilitation "is a bullshit word". A beautiful dialogue follows after which his parole is approved.

Rehabilitated? Well now, let me see. You know, I don't have any idea what that means...I know what you think it means. To me, it's just a made-up word, a politician's word so that young fellas like yourself can wear a suit and a tie and have a job. What do you really want to know? Am I sorry for what I did?...There's not a day goes by I don't feel regret. And not because I'm in here or because you think I should. I look back on the way I was then. A young, stupid kid who committed that terrible crime. I want to talk to him. I want to try and talk some sense to him. Tell him the way things are. But I can't. That kid's long gone. This old man is all that's left. I gotta live with that. 'Rehabilitated?' That's just a bullshit word. So you go on and stamp your forms, sonny, and stop wasting my time. Because to tell you the truth, I don't give a shit.
It’s a great movie .. I recommend everyone watches it … at leisure … coz its not a movie to be watched in a hurry … It requires that you hear the dialogues really well to appreciate it. And if you do it that way you will also agree with me that it is one of the best movies ever made.

Mr Bean's Holiday !!

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Ok ... I saw it just now ... And I am amazed, amused, and all accolades for Mr Bean ...
The guy is so good ... What amazes me is that there would be no major story to tell and still he manages so much in the one and half hour movie ... Not much dialogues ... full of "Mr Beany" expressions !! :)
And the way he weaves it all together in the end ... :) ... Its too good !! I have become a Mr. Bean fan all over again ...
A must watch for all ... I felt like a kid all over again sitting with kids on both my side seats ... It was fun watching them also laughing .. asking doubts ... "why did he do that papa" "what happened papa" ... etc :)


Pune Mumbai Expressway ...

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My collection of lamp shades

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At Club Cabana, Goa
At Club Cabana, Goa
At some restaurant in Mumbai .. (forgot name)
At some restaurant in Mumbai .. (forgot name)
At Goa Airport ...
Enjoy !!

Sachin Marriage 2

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Sachin's Marriage 1

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Vada Pao of Pune

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Vada Pao of Pune, originally uploaded by Hariharan.

This is the First Vada Pao that I had in Pune ... Looks tempting na ??

The beauty of "black-n-white"

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DSC00444, originally uploaded by Hariharan.

Tried clicking a self portrait in black-n-white ... I must say that black-n-white has its own romantic beauty ...

Beautiful chandelier at Le Meridien Pune

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DSC00334, originally uploaded by Hariharan.

Saw this beautiful chandelier at the Le Meridien Pune .. couldn't resist clicking ...

6 Movies in one-and-a-half Months

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Its been a long time that I posted … There have been more than one occasions that I almost started writing, but just didn’t seem to be in the right mood … So I thought that I would do it in the right frame of mind so that the post is not half-baked.

No guarantees that this one will not be a half-baked one !! Nonetheless worth a try …

I am not going to post about my loneliness in Pune in the absence of my wife. I am not going to blog about my work or my company. What I am going to blog about is a bunch of movies that I saw to kill time (I have lot of time) here in Pune.

The First one I saw was Guru within two days of my landing up in Pune. It was a pretty nice movie I thought. Story of Dhirubhai Ambani - So you don’t really go in there with expectation of drama, mystery, climax etc. It’s a story that is told so it just goes like ----------- that. No huge ups and downs in the story. But definitely great performance by everyone in the movie. Abhishek and Aishwarya were really good. Amazing performance by Mithun‘da’. Also Maddy and Vidya (as gorgeous as ever) were also good. Though Vidya had hardly a role in there. Songs are really good. One interesting song is the Cabaret number (Maiya Maiya) where they blend the best of Middle East and Gujarat together. Only ARR has the capacity and talent to do that. In all, “a great entertainer”.

After that I saw three more in a weeks time. Traffic Signal, Black Friday, Blood Diamond and Eklavya.

Traffic Signal: Madhur Bhandarkar’s third movie to complete his trilogy - Page 3, Corporate and now this. I have seen Page 3 but not Corporate. I liked page 3. I also like it. But there is this aspect of Madhur Bhandarkar that he shows reality, right – but there is a tinge of exaggeration in it. That gives you a feeling “it was good … but” feeling at the end of the movie. The same happened for Page 3 and also happened with Traffic Signal.

The movie really exposes the “Beggar’s Scandal” really well. It does that in a way that exposed aspects that one never knew about/ imagined. (Like ppl collecting Mobiles from debris of the Mumbai Bomb Blast). The first half of the movie went in introducing the number of characters in the movie, and I was wondering how the hell is he going to link them all and make a story about it. But in the end he does well to weave a story around them in the second half. And as he did in Page 3, he closes the movie at a note which tends towards the positive. Actors did a good job but I felt some of them went a bit over board and overacted. So as I said earlier, it has this “it was good … but” factor.

Black Friday: The movie was impeccable. What I like about the movie is that its true in all sense. The names are all actual. Memon … Dawood … Bal Thakarey … LK Adwani. All actual names used no masking no shielding. The truth shown is true based on extensive research. Sometimes so true that it makes you feel bad. The character ‘Dawood’ looks so real in the movie. The scene where he is shown first time is amazing. The movie overall takes a very ‘neutral’ standpoint and shows the event (93 Blasts) in different people’s perspectives. Everyone’s acting is “A-one”. Its definitely the kind of movie that would win loads and loads of awards.

Blood Diamond: A very beautiful movie on a very different subject – Conflict Diamonds. I didn’t know what it was until I saw the movie. It stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Djimon Hounsou and Jennifer Connelly. The movie shows how a piece of stone can become more valuable than people’s lives, how false demand is created for diamond so that prices remain high. Performances of Leonardo DiCaprio and Djimon Hounsou was amazing. Truly the “Oscar winning” movie.

Eklavya: Again one very good movie. Lot of people didn’t like it, but I liked it probably because of the way I approach a movie. When I see movies, I go in with no expectation whatsoever so that I am able to see what the director wants me to see without any prejudices. Great cinematography because of which Rajasthan comes alive. Great performances by Amitabh and Saif. Vidya, as usual, looks beautiful. Small performances by Jackie, Sanjay etc but the central roles revolve around Amitabh and Saif. A simple story about a royal family is portrayed beautifully in Eklavya.

Then after a break of a week I saw the movie that was much ‘hyped’ in Radio Mirchi 98.3 FM – Honeymoon Travels Pvt. Ltd. I must tell you that it was pathetic movie. I guess the director confused too many things in one movie, rather there was nothing in the movie except the songs. I loved the song and dance sequence of “Pyar ki ye kahaani sunoo” and Sajna Divaani vaari jaaon ji”. I liked the different characters in the movie but there was no ‘story’ and to make it weird there were “Super Humans” in the movie, seeing which I just psyched out. Yes, I am a pretty open minded person when it comes to seeing movies and I go to a movie with no expectation so that I am able to see what the director wants me to see, but this one went over the top and I couldn’t handle it.

So that makes it 6 movies in 1 and a half months (ie one a week). Pretty decent for a lonely guy. And I let Ghost Rider and Salaam-e-Ishk pass – some movies I don’t get the “feel” to watch at all. So I didn’t take the trouble.
Hope to see some more in the near future. Amitabh’s Nishabd, Spiderman 3, and much more coming up soon.

Goodbye Chennai

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Its been a long time … and lot has happened … I have moved from Satyam Computer Services Ltd to Accenture Services Pvt. Ltd.

And that’s not all … I have relocated from Chennai to Pune … Well … I know that would make a lot of “eye brows raising” … But what the heck !! I guess we are gonna give it a shot …

Well we had some farewells etc … I sent out this mail to all my ppl in Satyam. Thought I can share it with you all …

I will share some photos once I downloaded it …

==========

Hi All ...

Lazurus Long once said ...

"Great is the art of beginning, but greater is the art of ending"

And I am not good at that art ... but nonetheless I have to do it. Some of you may know ... For some others it may be a surprise ... But the fact is that its time that I say "Good Bye" "Adieu" to Satyam. And Believe me it’s a difficult thing to do. At this point I can only remember words of Arthur Schopenhauer who says ...

"Change alone is eternal, perpetual, immortal"

And Ralph Waldo Emerson who appropriately put it into words, saying ...

"Life is a progress, and not a station"

Thus grazing out for greener pastures I am moving on to another company in another city. I understand that it will mean lot of change and challenges ahead but I'd better go for it with Albert Einstein's optimistic note which says ...

"In the middle of every difficulty lies opportunity"

At this point I would like to thank each and every one of you for making my stint at Satyam count. With every interaction I have learnt more ... gained maturity and grown as a person ... I can't thank you all enough ... Ursula LeGuin rightly points out ...

"It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end"

And each one of you have made my journey at Satyam matter.

In retrospect ... this is really not an end probably in the words of Ivy Baker Priest

"The world is round and the place which may seem like the end may also be the beginning"

A beginning of a new era of friendship ... And life for me, in my perspective, can be better described in the words of Sir Winston Churchill ...

"Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning"

At this point, I seek all your best wishes and blessings as I move on in life. I will share my coordinates with you all once I get settled in the new place. Write to me on my personal email address given below.

To know what I have been up to, keep visiting my blog http://know-hari.blogspot.com/

Thank you,

Regards,
Hariharan Krishnamurthy
==========

I am waiting for “Jan” to get a job in Pune and then she will also join me here … Till then its “Judaayi” for us!!

Pune is a nice place till now … Nice weather … Pretty chill climate … Young crowd … but Roads are pathetic …

More details in my next blog when I am in a better mood to blog … :-)

Sunrise over the sea ... On the way to Pondicherry ... on ECR Road

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Sunset -- Zooooomed in ...

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Pondicherry Beach ...

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Flowers ...

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