Never in my life had I seen such a huge crowd in a sports store. Most of the customers were in their teens, busy selecting jerseys of their favorite football players.Mr. Shamir, owner of the store was equally busy helping his customers. One could see Messi, Kaka and Rooney everywhere. Flags of Argentina, Brazil and other major soccer playing nations were strung all over the store. Garima had an entire range of special merchandising dedicated to World Cup Soccer, a must-have treat for the fans. The set included flags of leading football playing nations, car stickers, wrist bands, jerseys of great players, shawls, ribbons and the list continues. The store was literally stuffed with Football-related merchandising. Argentina and Brazil are the most favorite teams. Mr. Shamir had stocked over 1000 flags in different price and sizes and almost 15000 jerseys. Flags were in the Rs 45-300 range while Jerseys were priced between Rs 110 and Rs 130. Most of the stocks were from the neighbouring districts of Palakkad, Ernakulam and Tirupur, a town in Tamil Nadu famous for Knitwear.
On my way to Malappuram, I saw this wonderful set of banners, ten of them at a junction. The place was a small town named Makkaraparamba. There were banners for Brazil, Argentina, Holland, Italy, North Korea, France, England, Portugal, Spain and Germany. So, as usual, I started taking pictures of the banners, by which time some students from a nearby high schoolgathered around me and was curious to know what I was doing. As usual I started chatting with the kids about the World Cup celebration. This was the first time I had seen such a long banner series, and during the talk, one kid told me that somewhere near Kottakkal, another town in Malappuram dist, there was a series of 32 banners, a banner each for all World Cup football finalists!
FIFA World cup football is truly a festival for people of Malabar region (northern part of Kerala). If you want to see the real football crazy fans, you must travel to this region during the world cup season. I did that during the 2010 edition of FIFA World cup. And my collection of notes was made into a book during the 2014 edition of the games.
And we are going to witness another season. I thought of sharing with you some interesting photos I took 8 years ago, during my travel through these places. starting June 6, I will be sharing with you those images. Hope you will enjoy them 🙂
Running in the hill is a mystical experience, quite divine I must say. These are the times we realize the greatness of the nature.
BIB collection and the fun thereafter!
Apart from the health benefits, Running marathons comes up with several other surprises. Meeting great people is one of them. You meet people from all walks of lives, united by the same passion and will.
Ootyultra2018 was my first ultra hill run. We climbed close to a 1100 ft, reached the highest peak in South India, Doddabetta. Now Doddabetta is the highest mountain in the Nilgiri Hills at 2,637 metres. The path was so tough that I walked almost till we reached the top. But the view from there was awesome. This was early morning. The place was closed for the general public. But the return, the downhill part was the highlight of the run, I covered 1 km in less than 4 minutes! We were running at great speed, trying hard to compensate for the time lost during the uphill run. We ran through wilderness, we could hear only the sound of birds. Pure air and cool breeze hitting us.
At last finished the run strong and safe at the Tea Park. I could finish the race well ahead of the cut off timing. Received the awesome medal with the name laser cut. A well organized event I would say, great weather and quite a challenging route.
2017 edition of The Wipro Chennai Marathon is a new and improved one. This edition will see a new route (hopefully good one) but we would be missing running the marina route 🙁 The highlight of the route is thats its fully flat! The weather is also great, so can attempt a personal best!
Scenes from The Running and Fitness expo held at the Chennai Trade Centre
So the news is that Gautham vasudev menon is debuting in Malayalam cinema, hold on, not as a director but as an actor! You read it right, GVM, as he is fondly called, was in kochi recently for the official audio launch of forthcoming Malayalam movie “Naam” where he is doing a cameo as “GVM” himself.
Association with NAAM
Naam is produced and directed by Joshy Thomas Pallickal under the banner of JTP films. And GVM had lot of good things to say about the director. “Joshy contacted me and narrated the theme of the movie and I liked it’ says GVM. The movie narrates the story of 10 friends in their college days. Naam is a musical entertainer, probably a movie with lot of songs after the super hit “Premam”. There are 9 songs in the film and 8 of them are penned by the Premam fame Shabareesh Varma. The music is by debutant duo ” Ashwin shivadas and sandeep mohan “. ” I liked the musical approach of the film”, says GVM“and when Joshy requested me that I should do a role, I was apprehensive in the beginning but then he gave me confidence and I thought I must be part of this good movie.”
140 Plus debutants!
The film has close to 140 debutants and the lead roles are played by Shabareesh Varma, Rahul Madhav, Gayathri Suresh, Aditi Ravi, Tony Luke, Mareena Michael and Saiju Kurup.
The title song Naam is already a hit on the YouTube and the rest of the songs are expected soon. The film is expected to hit the theatres in Jan 2018.