All those moments in life that leave an impression, leave you in deep thought,and contemplation.
Find book reviews for reading that feeds the soul. Personal experiences, travel stories- for spirituality is a daily pursuit. Movie and art, as what works better therapy than these.
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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, 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.
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 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 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.
Empress Ki is the most elaborate, gripping, and thrilling series I have watched this year. And at 51 episodes, it is the longest Korean drama series I have ever watched. Even though the number seems daunting and too much, it’s worth it all. If you like period dramas, you won’t want to give this one a miss.
It was in 2016 that I first read about Empress Ki, the historical drama that had garnered much praise and accolades from the audience and critics alike. Most Korean dramas are just 16 or 20 episodes long. So 51 seemed never-ending to me then. It wasn’t until 2017 that I decided to at least try the first episode. And I was hooked. But owing to the various circumstances I didn’t continue watching it. It was just last month that I remembered this epic story and watched it to completion within just a few days. Believe it or not, midway through it, I was almost literally pulling my hair out, in anticipation of what would happen next.
I would have given this magnum opus 10/10 had it stopp…
I have always been the one to leave first. Be it luck or circumstance, it has always been this way. Some of the times it has been my decision to venture out of my comfort zone first before all my peers decide to do the same and I am left behind, alone in the old world. The decisions are out of fear of being left alone, most of the times. Or is it self-preservation instead?
I am a person who takes time to adapt, make new friends, get accustomed to new surroundings- an unlikely one to leave first- yet I do. You might think me selfish, but I am just afraid, and I decide to take care of myself first. Some might see this as a major risk-taking attitude, but I mostly see it as fleeing before the 'desertion' hits me instead. Now that's a strong word indeed. I am always in search of safe ground, always so insecure and calculating my moves lest I end up being alone on the island.
Paranoiac. Several things bother me at once. What if my peers get on with their lives leaving me behi…
"When the ego dies, the soul awakes." - Mahatma Gandhi
Why do you have such a huge ego? You cannot wear your family's name on your sleeve as an identity forever. The world wouldn't see you through the eyes of your parents who have pampered you so much for the better part of your life. Here in the real world, you will get what you give. Respect begets respect. Selfishness begets selfishness. Hate begets hate. And your 'i don't care', 'i don't give a damn', 'i am paying money for that', 'i will do as I please' attitude will give you the same.
Respect is earned. Agreed. But you should give it first to earn it back. The other person should and must be respected by default despite his class, caste, job and family background, until and unless he proves unworthy of it with time. I stand strongly by this belief.
There can be no excuse for disregard. The way you speak to me about people tells me the way you might be speaking about me t…
July has been a special month for me. Not just because it is my birthday month, but because many new beginnings, many fresh starts, and many turning points of my life have happened in July. It's mid of the year when I have looked back at what the year was like for the first six months and have anticipated and dreamt about the coming six months. Goals and resolutions are reviewed in July.
These initial days of college are all about fun, making interactions, creating friendships and increasing your network. It's less on course works and assignments. So we are trying to take full advantage of it. I have made a few friends at the hostel too, most of them are my juniors, with a huge age gap. But the good news is none of us can feel this gap. We visited the Forest Research Institute this weekend. It was a good trip. I stopped at almost every tree to take a snap and posed at every corner of the museum clicking selfies. Too much beauty in a single place. Beauty overloaded. The view of t…
Horse riding was no cake walk for me.
I feigned ignorance for months about the rule for Princesses to learn to tackle a beast like that. For weeks I would hide somewhere innocently when it was time for the lessons. The experts appointed for this task left their posts within weeks. Hah! I would make each one leave. It’s a war now, between my father - The King and me.
One morning I spotted a rather young man near the stables. The maids were gossiping how handsome he was. Some whispered he was a year or two senior to me. Huh! He must have just graduated then. Father is appointing amateurs now, I see. Had I not been home-schooled, I would have known school life for myself.
I chose the haystacks in the courtyard of the servants’ quarters to hide that day, much pleased with my choice. The sky was beautiful and so were the house-sparrows. Just as I admired my surroundings, a head popped in front of me from nowhere.
“So here you are. You’re late for your classes. Let’s go now,” he pulled …
Odia is my mother
tongue but I had never really focussed on Odia novels, given that I love
reading. Of late I realised that I should explore the culture and language of
my native land, and see for myself whether it suits my reading sensibilities. I
read “Jagyaseni” by Pratibha Ray a few years back, over a span of several
months. It is a retelling of Mahabharata from Draupadi’s perspective, which
brings about her inner turmoils, confusions, decisions, desires and dreams,
really well. It was the first Odia novel I ever read. Three days back, I
completed reading my second novel in Odia, coincidentally it is by the same
author. “Punyatoya” - literally it means the river, or ‘as pure as the river’.
It is also the name of a revered river in Indian mythology. The book has been
translated into Hindi with the same title, with the tagline “the story of a
village girl Meghi”. Other translated versions are in Marathi and Malayalam. The story follows a
young girl named Barsha, dearly called Meghi at…
One Friday evening, as I was feeling a bit lonely and homesick with nothing much to do, not even strolling on the terrace viewing the ever so beautiful mountains since it was raining hard- thus it also contributing to my gloomy mood, I decided to watch Before Sunrise. Yes, once again. A first for me. I rarely re-watch a movie. Yearning for a light-hearted yet meaningful conversation this was the best choice I had. My hostel mates were out in the city and all the people I called up were busy. Luck by chance. Thanks to the superb uninterrupted internet connection I had a great 1 hour 40 minutes that evening.
"Experiencing the otherworldly. When morning comes, we would all turn into pumpkins."
Even though it sounds like a cliche today, unplanned trips, adventures in life, serendipity and providence are romantic. Before Sunrise has all of these, when strangers indulge in light conversations, grow intrigued about each other's lives, and spend time in each other's company …