Tuesday, December 29, 2009

It's not a movie ... it's an experience!

This was the consistent theme in the headlines for the reviews of James Cameron's new movie Avatar. The movie was released a couple of weeks ago and I have already seen it twice. But this post is not about the movie (which was truly awesome!). Rather I wanted to write about our movie watching experience itself.

There is theater chain in Bangalore called PVR, located in the Forum mall. They have a class of seating called Gold Class. Tickets sell for over $25 each. We decided to see Avatar in the Gold Class at PVR - our first such experience. A typical movie ticket in India in a regular theater sells for about $3-$4. So we were curious what $25 would buy us.

It starts to become clear the moment you walk in to the theater. Gold Class is actually a separate mini-theater that seats about 30 people. The theater lobby resembles the lobby of a 5-star hotel with plush couches, reception and courteous staff. Each seat in the theater is a fully reclining lazy-boy couch. A hostess is available to take your food and drink order and bring you pillows and blankets if you need them. The food menu contains the usual fare such as a bucket of popcorn and nachos to a full range of items such as hot pizza, kababs and sandwiches. Food is served in real china and is brought to your seat when you ask for it.

We have been in Bangalore for three years and can't believe that we have not discovered this earlier! Can't imagine watching movies any other way.

Friday, December 18, 2009

End of School Term

Aanish and Ayaana have been busy over the last few weeks with their half-yearly exams.

Aanish made a first attempt at his SAT exam in November. He studied intensely for several weeks and was rewarded with a score of 2090. Pretty decent score, which should give him a decent shot at tier 1 colleges. He is not totally satisfied with his own performance and wants to make another attempt in January. He will be taking special SAT classes starting tomorrow for the next several weeks over the winter break.

This week, I attended the parent-teacher meetings for both of them in school. Both of them have done well in most of their subjects. Big area of focus for Ayaana over the next few months (and years?) will be the avoidance of distractions of the early teen years and remain focused on her academics. It will be a bit of a challenge trying to control the usage of computers, limit TV viewing and staying away from iPod and facebook. But she seems up to the challenge and is determined to improve.

Aanish needs to overcome laziness when it comes to writing and needs to avoid careless mistakes. He seems to know his stuff but if he can address these issues, then he can really excel.

An interesting tidbit ... as we were leaving school after Aanish's PTM meeting, the security guard at school stepped up to the window of my car and mumbled something that I could not understand. I could not understand what he was saying inspite of him repeating it. But Aanish understood the guard's accent and responded!