Of Pop Culture Books & Series

Has it ever happened to you that at some phase of life, you felt that your thoughts and actions were mirrored by the universe, manifested outwardly as a book or a TV Show, a song that takes on a real-deep meaning for you, or even a commercial blockbuster movie that strangely resonates so much with you!?

I found this happening to me often with the books that I read while growing up. I am a firm believer that you are what you read. If that is truly the case – I’m one part fantasy, one part crime, a little bit of romance, and some amount of adventure. I am however only fiction, thank you, but definitely have the ability to create non fiction.

Looking back to the correlation between life and books, on the days that I craved some adventure and friendship, there were Enid Blyton’s various books to turn to – whether it was The Secret Seven, Malory Towers, Famous Five, or Five Find-Outers, she really helped widen our imagination as kids and made us crave for the joyous freedom that her characters experienced.

It’s no surprise that JK Rowling’s Potter Saga appeals so much to the pre-teens – it’s got everything that a teen can relate to. Whether it’s about fitting in with the world, criticized for being different, finding and holding on to best friends at school or developing crushes, feeling rebellious, name the emotion and she had it all. I know some of us wished for a bit more romance to add to the sparks but our author knew just how much was too much. Is it weird that I’m counting days for more Potter Mania to resurface thanks to the Fantastic Beasts 2!?

For those of us who were lured by the mysterious and weird stuff, the Twilight Series was a Godsend. I now agree that reading it was utter Trash, but it set our hearts racing alright! I was always Team Edward but for some incidents that made me really sad for Team Jacob and I never looked at Twilight the same way again. Despite all those internal conflicts, I finished the series, even read the leaked chapters of Midnight Sun and I wanted more. That was the age for Drama.

After a while, I caught on to Grey’s Anatomy. My normal Engineering Life was so boring and yet at the same time so much happened that I often kept comparing life’s crappy quotient to the doctors’ drama unfolding on the TV. First, they killed George, then Danny, then Mc Steamy, the cute sister, and Arizona’s legs were chopped off. I still continued hoping that somewhere things would be alright. I gave up on Grey’s Anatomy after Christina Yang left and Mc Dreamy was killed and oh so brutally! Goddamit! Thinking about it still makes my blood boil.

I discovered a lot of Indian author books around this time – Preeti Shenoy, Durjoy Datta, Ravinder Singh, etc. While the quality of language didn’t impress me much, the stories were poignant, slice-of-life stuff that could happen to anyone. Perhaps that’s what made it endearing and abominable at the same time.

A chance reading of Ladies Coupe made me so sad for womanhood in India that I instantly started respecting women around me at least a little better.

There is one dog-eared copy of Mills & Boons that belonged to my Aunt, that I have preserved safely for it became the benchmark of love and respect for me. A story set on a cruise ship between a 22-year old smart and grounded  girl, who takes her first trip abroad and the stern yet reliable captain of 35 years taught me that it wasn’t about money, age, or physique, although those things definitely spice it up. Events in life have also taught me discreetly that a lot of what you think love is, is really nothing but the admiration and respect you feel for people. Sure, your potential friends could still be waltzing in and out of your life, confusing you and enticing you while you look for your Ms/Mr Right on matrimonial sites but I understand now how companionship can work – it’s about whether upon meeting, you both match the same intellectual frequency and have similar emotional needs or are you vying for bigger egos and has/has-nots!?

Coming back to pop culture influences  – it was only after I started my post graduation that I could, in the confines of my room, and with my first-ever laptop really watch FRIENDS and understand the emotions behind the characters and dialogues. You see, it was only there that I understood and appreciated the friends that I’d had and made for life.

There was also a phase where Sex And The City made the biggest impact on me. I just loved how much liberty these women enjoyed and what they really thought of relationships because you have got to admit it, things on the Indian dating scene are not as they were in our parents generation. Watching Carrie, Samantha, Miranda and Charlotte make crappy decisions, break up with the baddies, and continue to wait for Mr Right, while all the time working on themselves and waltzing through professional life – that heady rush and motivation is just what you need sometimes!

Friends, How I Met Your Mother, Modern Family, The Middle, SATC, The Mindy Project are just a few series that I can recall currently that made it a relatable treat to watch. For now, I’m taking a break from the popular stuff and bingeing on Sharp Objects / Strike / How To Get Away With Murder. I’m not planning a homicide, don’t get me wrong, I’m just waiting for a good breeze to blow my way, as it often does before I can pick up on something as good and understand the message behind. Until then, so long!

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Missings and musings.

I’ve always had good friends but life has always been characterized into phases and friendships also. Just like dysfunctional families, a term I really like, even my relation with my friends is dysfunctional.

Most are the heart warming, genuine, I’ll be there for you always kinda people. Some are the exes. Long forgotten, but they reside in the deeper throes of thr heart, cause they cannot be forgotten. I’ve realised that it’s harder to make friends as you grow older. My general observation is that people are less open to deep interactions, I find that a precursor to great relationships. Shared emotions, common enemies, childhood secrets, crushes, heart break, usually, one needs to open up deeply on a personal level to feel that connect with someone else. Not many are willing to do that in real life now and most prefer the convenience of virtual life to fester and foster in the old friendships.

I’m cleaning out my room and trying to set everything for the next one year. It’s going to be a crucial year, this. Both personally and professionally. And as I rummage through my folder, I find among other things, the promise of hope. An unsaid promise that cannot be broken simply because it was never meant to be one. I read it in the words and I know that a lot of what I believe in and know is going to change. It has to…nevertheless, some familiar comforts, some lights, will guide me home.

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Mind-less-ness Much?

It’s one of those days when your mind needs a holiday.

After a particularly relaxing weekend, you may wonder why you need the luxury of a holiday but what’s in the mind is at times far too intense than what’s outside, for real. But then, you could disagree with me. ‘Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?’ Okay, point taken. Everything is real, okay? Okay.

I feel a bit off  today. I think I finally realise, you can NEVER, I repeat, NEVER, force friendships. It shouldn’t have come across as a surprise to a skeptic like me, but when it comes to people, I surprise myself with the ideology of hope.

You can be nice to people but you still have a selected group of ‘your people’ and this is not even in the Meredith-Yang kind of way. You just have a close-knit group and you could not care less about the rest. I find this really disappointing.It infuriates me when people leave answers and decisions hanging. I asked a mate for some help and she excitedly agreed. I waited for a while, hoping she’d perhaps bring up the topic herself so that I don’t feel like I’m imposing, but it never comes. Why don’t you just be blatant from the very beginning and say No? I’d appreciate the frankness and respect the No. I know how hard it is to say No. How annoying is it to have your hopes quashed ever so often?

I go back to college in a month and I’ll be in the midst of such groups again but you won’t see me amid those huge, supposedly ‘fun’ peeps. I don’t get groups. I tried being a part of them and then my mind began shutting out people. I’ve got space for a few, perhaps just two. And I’m still not going to differentiate between your people and mine.

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Here’s an interesting picture.

My nomad friend says it has as many interpretations as you’d want it to have. I think I can sum it up in just one word – Life.

Care to discuss it? If yes, then comment. If not, then good day to you amigo.

Adios.