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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Toothless; wise no more.

Yes, so you all watched ‘How To Train Your Dragon’ and you can’t stop gushing about how cute the dragon Toothless is. These days, I refer to myself as toothless. Nah, I’m not competing with the adorable critter that you wanted to hug and own. I’m actually toothless in the real sense!

toothless

If you’re going to read on, it may be polite on my part to warn you that it could get gross and disgusting. After all, how many people elaborate about a 40 minute procedure about the extraction of their wisdom tooth?

But this is my blog and such weirdness cannot be helped. It’s called psyched for a reason! 😀

tooth

So to start with, a wisdom tooth is your third molar. It’s named so because it appears in a person of age 17-25 years. Apparently that’s the age that one grows wise. I’m not too sure of that though. I guess clumsy ninja chicks like me never really become wise.

Anyway, according to biology, these teeth are vestigial – like appendix or tail bone, we have no use for them, but they’re still a part of our bodies. Our ancestors supposedly had larger jaws, which helped them chew and grind plant tissues. With evolution our diets gradually changed, and so did the size of our jaw. Today, most of us have small jaws and the eruption of the third molar generally causes it to be ‘impacted’ i.e. it comes sideways. Owing to the lack of space, it affects the other teeth and causes a risk of dental issues. Hence, there is a need for extraction.

It’s a depressing Friday evening and I’m anxiously waiting my turn. On one hand, I’m relieved to get this over with; on the other hand, I can think of infinite places that I’d rather be in than the dreaded chair.

Finally, I’m called in. They seat me over the patient’s chair and before I can say hello- an injection that goes through my cheek. (They probably didn’t want me to have second thoughts about the procedure.) The thing with injections is that you always see it coming but you’re never prepared for the pinch and pain! And that’s not one, but two!

 

I feel a tingling sensation in my cheek..which starts to feel heavy..and then it’s numb! The Orthodontist takes this moment to brief me about the possible repercussions of this surgery. He tells me that my wisdom tooth is located on top of a nerve and there are slight chances of damage to it, in the case of which I might be numb on the left cheek and chin for a couple of days until I recover. I’m horror struck. That’s a catch 22 situation. All I can do is hope that I’ll be alright.

I’m thinking that I’m all of 22 and I’ve had dental issues ever since I can remember. Be it fillings, extractions, root canals, or braces, I’ve been there and had it done to me. (That sounds so wrong, but you know what I mean?!) Sometimes I wonder if there’s a hidden gold mine in my jaws that’s visible only to these specialists.

Well, back to the procedure… The anesthesia has taken effect and I’m numb. I can’t feel the left side of my jaw. I’m filled with trepidation and I become philosophical. An ironic fact dawns on me, of how some things are painful but you have to let them go.

I take a sneak peek and I see two masked faces looking down at me. There’s a harsh light so I can’t keep my eyes open for long. A vivid recollection of Grey’s Anatomy – a flash of light that dims ..doctors in blue.. the clunk of the instruments. I just hope that this procedure won’t be half as complicated as the stuff they show on TV.

The extraction begins and I can sense a gnawing at the tooth. Can’t feel it but I know that it’s happening. Suction is provided to rid my mouth of the excess blood so that it doesn’t come in the way of the surgical instruments. I remember thinking that bright lights are good as it keeps the eyes shut off. You don’t need to see the scary stuff going in and coming out.

Suddenly, there’s an irritating noise like the kind the mixers make. I hear clicks and even though it’s being performed on the left side, it sends deep vibrations on the right. I’m clutching hard at the seats.

*Blink*. It’s too bright. Am I dizzy? And then I hear it. It’s my tooth.. a part of it broke. And I can’t react. I’m blank. I know it yet I can’t feel it. And then, it’s over.

I rinse out a gooey mess and then they suture the toothless area. They smile and tell me it’s done. No damages caused. I’m free to walk out. I’m not so sure of it, I feel like my face resembles a football. I borrow mum’s dupatta and wrap it around my head. The cheek feels so heavy and swollen. But surprisingly, it’s only my imagination. Anesthesia does weird things.

It was kind of saddening to see that the tooth was bigger than my little finger nail. :/
It was kind of saddening to see that the tooth was bigger than my little finger nail. :/

I’ve got a whole lot of medicines to take. I hate them. Maybe I don’t do it right as I choke so often while swallowing tablets. I’m told to come back in two days for the stitches to be removed. But this ordeal is over for now and I feel like a survivor.

I would prefer to call this experience ‘The Torment Of The Wisdom Tooth’.

P.S

If one feels that the events described here have been blown out of proportion, yours truly would advise you to experience it firsthand. Maybe then, we can compare notes :p

 

 

Reference:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wisdom_tooth