Cheese in the Trap #AtoZChallenge

Cheese in the Trap
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
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, wearing his mask of social amity. He appears cheerful, kind and benevolent while mentally scheming a way to strike back with full force. He ruins those who take advantage of him, in a way so tactfully that the other person doesn’t even realize that this man is the sole person behind the events leading to his doom. It is indeed scary.

Entering someone’s mind, that too someone so strange in his social behavior, someone so frequently switching sides is very spooky yet exciting and thrilling too. So, in a way, this series is a psychological thriller, apart from being a romantic comedy at times. It has a perfect balance of both the genres. It is all about different people, different minds, their perspectives, and their way of viewing the world. If nothing else, this story will teach you empathy. Loads of it.

The female protagonist, Seol, is an average girl who tries hard to study well, earn a scholarship and get a job to cover her monthly expenses. She works hard for every single thing in her life, there’s no shortcut for her. She is scared of Yoo Jung but starts getting intrigued when he suddenly out of the blue asks her to accompany him for lunch. With time she is attracted towards him. He proposes to her, and their relationship starts on uncertain grounds. She gets to know all the layers that make his personality, his mind, some of which frighten her to no end, but she’s brave enough to stick by him and try to understand his actions. It’s kind of an unconventional roller coaster ride- a romantic thriller at its best- beauty and the beast with a twist.

One of the characters- Min Soo- feels so anonymous and negligible in her class, that she starts copying the other lead protagonist, Seol, unconsciously. Seol has all that Min Soo had ever wanted- friends, boyfriend, sibling, talent, and fame. She becomes the ultimate copycat, imbibing each and every minute detail about Seol starting from her fashion sense, her red hair, her walk, and even her talk. She steals Seol’s toy and hangs it in her own bag, claiming it to be hers. It’s pathetic. She’s without a bit of shame, pride or ego trying to be Seol’s doppelganger through false pretensions. The extent she goes to even replace Seol in her social spheres is scary. She is pitiable indeed. Finally, when her story is drawn to a closure, you feel sad for her. She is, after all, a victim of her own mind.

In their class
Sang Chul is a senior who fails in each and every term and repeats the year. He is stuck in that year of college and never graduates. He does all that can be looked down upon- steals, cheats, and orders his juniors around. He never accepts his mistake, always putting the blame on another person. You tend to despise him, hate him, fear him and yet end up pitying him in the end. Yet another such weirdo here is Young Don- he expects the world to revolve around him. A control freak, he stalks the girls who turn him down to put some sense in their minds. He is scary when agitated at being rejected by the girls whom he proposes to. Psychopath.

Baek In Ho and Baek In Ha siblings
Baek In Ha is the ultimate character in the series when it comes to weirdos. Awesome acting by the actress! Hats off and loads appreciation and applauds for her. She deserves the best supporting character title of the decade. She is mad, mad, mad psycho, a terrible control freak. She is by far one of the best actings I have ever seen on screen- loud, over the top, extreme, violent, yet believable and realistic. Awesome! She goes around like a fashionista, splurges money, is a spendthrift without a bother or care. She cheats not only her own people but also strangers for money. She’s the scariest of the lot, especially all her extreme emotions which she can’t handle, pulling hairs, rolling over the road and terrifying people around her.

Baek in Ho
Baek In Ho is the second lead, and I seriously had a ‘second-lead-syndrome’(rooting for the second lead more than the lead) watching him in this series. He’s likable, a handsome chocolate boy who loves the piano. He is fickle when it comes to feelings and sentiments- now happy, now angry, now sad- rapidly changing moods. He sometimes has a raging storm inside him, impatient as hell. And sometimes he’s quiet, calm, and peaceful like the sky during sunset. All these colors of his personality are emoted through the tunes he plays. The same ‘Hanon’ music feels sad, gloomy and lonely one day and feels all happy and sunshine another day.

I truly feel that the Korean writers and directors indeed portray the range and magnitude of emotions really well. When one is almost in love, they show the shock that the characters go through upon the realization of their own heart, the initial awkwardness that prevails, the acceptance, the patience, the impatience, the desire, and the sweet and sour sides equally well. This is one of those drama series, adapted from a popular webtoon of the same name, that felt like reading a book- the plots and details getting revealed slowly and steadily at their own pace. Narrated by Seol, it was deep and personal.

Hindi Equivalent doesn’t exist yet.

Linking the post with UBC  and AToZChallenge.


Queeristan by Parmesh Sahani

  Queeristan (Amazon Link) Thanks to Audible Free Trial I listened to this amazing non-fiction on LGBTQ inclusion in Indian workplaces. Author Parmesh Sahani identifies as gay Indian, working closely with Godrej higher management and employees for years to create an inclusive workplace, both legally and in spirit. This book is a result of those years of experience, research, collaboration with individuals from difference spectrum of the society and organizations who has successfully transitioned into a queer friendly one.   Indian history is inclusive. From the Khajuraho temple architectures, to Konark to the Rig Veda, there is existing proofs even 2000 years ago of Indian inclusiveness of queer. It’s the draconian British law that criminalised it, which was scraped in 2009, came into effect once again following a sad judgement in 2013 and eventually was scraped off for good in 2018. I am in awe of the lawyers who fought this legal battle- colleagues and partners – Arundhati Katju

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