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Showing posts from April, 2017

'Kafka On The Shore': A Spellbindingly Surreal Novel By Haruki Murakami

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Haruki Murakami uses seemingly irrelevant series of events and occurrences to weave a gripping plot in ‘Kafka on the Shore’. These events sometimes are the normal natural day to day happenings and sometimes they border on the metaphysical world of dreams, hypnosis, animal spirits and other pseudo-realities. What starts as a boring detailed interview, report or letter ends up being a mind-bending thrill. Then there comes showers of fish and leeches, encounters with a ghost or a living spirit and other weird happenings. It may sound like themes borrowed from urban legends but it’s perfectly natural in this universe.
Two parallel stories are narrated in alternate chapters – one is that of Kafka Tamura and other is that of Nakata.
Kafka Tamura is a runaway from home, seeking freedom and independence, and perhaps searching for his long-lost mother and sister or vaguely put wanting to meet them at least once. He steals as many things from home as he can and travels to Takamatsu on his fifte…

Trip to Vizag: Short Yet Sweet

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This is a long overdue post that I had been trying to write for the past few weeks, but something or the other always came in the way. So, here's a glimpse around our Trip to Vizag: Short Yet Sweet. Finally.

Three days in Vizag went by in a jiffy. Three of us had a gala time. It seemed we had never been out of touch. Even ten years later, we were the same 14-year-olds giggling and gossiping and worrying about life. We still were the same emotionally. Had the same perspectives about the world as before. Same philosophical mindset. Perhaps the internal clocks had stopped ticking after that age, and our souls are still fourteen years old.

When Vinny was leaving Keonjhar in Class 8, Sagarika had given her a letter dated April 7th 2007, along with a pouch full of chocolates. She had preserved that letter with care and we re-read the words together exactly 10 years later. Time flies. Happy yet tough realization. Vinny is getting married, and till now it seems such a far fetched idea. …

I left my soul in thy brine

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It isn't a common place thing with me to miss the ocean so very much. I was never even attached to it if I look back to last year or the year before that. I was the one who sat on the beach munching on roasted peanuts from the nearby stall while watching siblings playing in the water. I didn't really like going near the waves; I hated the after-effects- the sand sticking to the skin and the uncomfortable itchy feeling under the feet. I preferred the plain land over mountains and beaches any day. So, when I say I don't know what changed, I really don't know. It's inexplicable.

I love sitting by the sea-shore and chatting with friends for hours. I love the sound of the waves breaking on the shore, the feel of the wet sand under my feet, the view of the ebbing waves leaving the sea foam behind, and the mesmerizing sight of sunset on the horizon. And the sea breeze is like a healing touch for wounds I myself have the least idea about. This environ is magic, therapy an…

Historical Kdrama- Six of the Best #AToZChallenge

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There are many historical dramas in South Korean cable television, set in Goryeon, Silla, and Josheon era. They bridge the gap between fact and fiction, generally intermingling the two to create a beautiful tale. They are called Sageuks- the Historical KDramas. These are popular as they showcase the life of the past; deal with storylines of royal families, their heritage, the conspiracies, and the fight for the throne; depict beautiful scenes from that era like horse riding, palanquins, the common folks, the countryside, the large weekly market, and love in those times; and use more honorifics in the language, elaborate mannerisms and etiquettes.  
1.The Moon That Embraces the Sun- Adapted from the novel of the same name it deals with shamanism and the Shaman life in Josheon era. It’s the story of a secret poignant and forbidden love story between the king and a female shaman. The king has some kind of ailment which is not cured by medicines, so the elders suggest seeking shamanic hel…

The Last Note

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I hope I’ll meet you again, years later, when this hate has watered down to love. Words would find a way to express the emotions that are now caught up in the throat.
Meaning won’t be lost in the process of communication. Till then, I’ll be searching for you in every other person. Till then, I’d miss you and seek you in the faces that pass me by down the road, near the bus stop, in the metro station. Till then, I’ll remember you in dandelions and baby’s breath. I’ll search for you in the sea foam and the sea shells. 

Linking the post with UBC 

Goblin To Gumiho #AToZChallenge

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The Korean culture is a mixture of several belief systems like Shamanism, Buddhism, Confucianism, etc. As per the shaman view, there are supernatural beings who reside with us on earth.  Spirits, ghosts, and goblins inhabit in every inanimate object, thus connecting us with their world without our knowledge. Aliens, angels, vampires and mermaids are not part of Korean folklore. They are more of a western concept that is also being incorporated in Korean dramas these days.

Dokkaebi or Korean goblins are legendary creatures from their mythologies. They possess extraordinary powers and abilities but are very much different from ghosts. They are formed not by death but spiritual possession of objects stained with either their own or any other human’s blood. They are depicted in tales as awe-inspiring yet fearsome when provoked. They appear through rain and beautiful tall blue flames. The goblins mostly do not interfere with human lives, but when they do it is to bring good harvests or gr…

A Foodie's Delight

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When it comes to food, Korean dramas are foodilicious. They believe is showcasing the oriental dishes of their land, their eating and drinking culture. The characters are mostly foodie, that’s a given in most of the Korean dramas. And the Korean meals have so many dishes covering the entire table with no two plates having the same dish - starting from soup, salads, other appetizers, to main dishes and side dishes to accompany them. Having a meal is a social activity. List us skim through the most popular dishes from this land, as delivered to us through the screen. It’s not at all an exhaustive list, and it covers mostly vegetarian dishes as meat is a bit dangerous area(umm... you get it, right?).

1.Kimchi – This is the first and most important dish that makes Korea. It’s a part and parcel of almost every traditional meal in a Korean household. They cannot imagine a house without its own stock of Kimchi to go with rice, noodles, soup, sweet potato, etc. It is essentially cabbage or r…

Eight Underrated Korean Dramas #AToZChallenge

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8. Bride of the Century - A conglomerate family is under a curse for a hundred years that the first bride of the eldest son would always die. There are power struggles, conspiracies, doppelgangers and search for sincere love. Though the theme seems a bit cliche the plotline is interesting.
7. Prosecutor Princess - The plot is about law and crime and the happening lives of prosecutors. The lead actress has good acting skills and there is an equivalent proportion of romantic comedy, suspense and drama twists.
6. Shining Inheritance - This tale is marked by tragedy, teary eyes, and sadness. Eun Seong's father dies in a construction accident and her younger brother goes missing. She has to fend for herself while searching for her brother. Destiny happens and she inherits a vast fortune from an old woman whom she had helped in need. There is love, lost and found tale, and making one's life upon one's own terms. A very good watch.
5. Love Rain - "Love Rain is a story which tak…

Doctors #AToZChallenge

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You never know who would influence you so much that it changes the course of your life itself. When you meet them for the first time, you just know the person’s about to bring out the best in you.  Years later, you realize what a miracle it was to have them in your life.
The role of a teacher or mentor is great- the one person that can show you the path you’d want to follow, the one person who can change your perspective and your life if you ever allow. In ‘Doctors’ the female lead character played by Park Shin Hye is influenced by her homeroom teacher to make something out of her life, and leave behind the careless wayward ways. You are lucky if you have a guide, who shows never tells; who acts never preaches and in turn inspires you to take the reins of your own life. He saves you from your own self-imposed doom, the reckless and uncertain future. He gives you something to look forward to in life- a dream, a wish to fulfill, an aim to work upon, and an ambition to chase. He lets yo…

Cheese in the Trap #AtoZChallenge

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Cheese in the Trap is 16 episodes South Korean Drama series- one of the most honest, realistic, and un-sugarcoated portrayal of the human mind. One’s mind can be so diverse. It harbors so many thoughts at every single moment supported by so many different interpretations of the same situation. And minds of people can be the next unique identification key in a future world, after fingerprints and retinas.
Yoo Jung, the lead protagonist in ‘Cheese in the Trap’ is rather unconventional. He is strange as per the normal standards of human behavior. He has a weird way of drawing conclusions from situations. His logics and analytics are seriously beyond comprehension. He has a sort of ‘victim mentality’- he is rather too aware of people around him, who try to befriend him for their own needs and who care only about their own interests in the guise of friendship. He tries to avoid those people when he realizes their motives, but in vain. Then he seeks revenge in his own scary, spiteful way, …

Busan #AtoZChallenge

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Busan Fireworks Festival is a big deal. It’s conducted annually near Gwangalli Beach, Busan, South Korea- one of the most popular beaches among youth in the country. Brightly colored lights in the sky, reflect in the crystal clear waters too, making it quite an enchanting sight. People throng from around the country and the world to witness the festival, it’s one of the much awaited one’s around the year. There’s music along with the sky show, there’s open restaurants near the beach, and roof top coffee shops where people can spend romantic moments with their loved ones while watching the beautiful fireworks lighting up the night sky.
This fantasy-like city is a backdrop in many of the Korean drama series and movies, providing the best suited romantic setting for a scene. Though the most recent one that comes to my mind is ‘Train to Busan’, the movie on zombie apocalypse, but the city is far from being dark or sinister. It’s the second largest island in Korea with beautiful scenery t…

I Love My Love By Reyna Biddy

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A book of poetry is never as you expect it to be. The foreword and preface made me request this book, and I thank Netgalley for this beautiful read. The introduction to the book was so full of wretched emotions that it choked me speechless; it spoke of pain, heartbreaks, and aches that dulled over time but never really went away. I knew I was in for a very emotional and cathartic experience. I knew I was about to learn the poet’s most vulnerable self, read the deepest corners of her heart through her work. All masterpieces come from a place of pain. And you can never ignore that which overwhelms you, gets on your nerves, reverberates in your mind, echoes your own being and leaves you with the lump in the throat.
The prosaic poetry evoked memories of numerous helpless incidents in my life. There’s repressed hurt in the verses. There are confessions of deep-seated love inspite of all the hurt. There are regrets and guilt. And finally, yet unbelievably, there was liberation and cleansin…

Answer Me 1988 #AToZChallenge

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Reply1988 or AnswerMe1988 is the third installment of the Reply Drama series(Reply1997, Reply1994). This romantic comedy family drama was widely acclaimed by audience and critics alike for its original theme of celebration of youth, family, memories and days of yore, thus making it the highest rated drama in Korean cable television history. A lighthearted coming of age tale of five friends and their families living in the same neighborhood, this anthology slice-of-life series of 20 episodes spanning 90-110 minutes each is bound to take one of the favorite spots in your drama lists.
The episodes focus equally on the filial bond and the romance between the teenage characters. A persistent question through the episodes is who among her best friends Duk Seon, the female teenager, marries eventually. The actors shine through their performances, and each is given his own screen space, time and big-hearted story. Each character is so endearingly flawed, earthly and humane that you are instan…