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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Book and film reviews and random abstruse musings.
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 help. So the female shaman visits the king only at night, after he is asleep, to sit by his side in his chamber and imbibe away all the negative energies that affect his health. The king is unaware of this ritual, but catches on soon. Happens that she was his bride when they were teenagers, but was put to exile for unknown reasons.
Also known as ‘The Great Doctor’ this drama series is a mix of history, fantasy and time-travel. It has a 33 year old plastic surgeon in the year 2012 who by chance travels 700 years back in the past. General Choi Young is in search of her whom they consider the doctor from heaven to help cure the Queen. With time spend in the past Goryeon era the surgeon falls in love with the general, amidst escapades, fights, royal decrees and uncertain fears. It’s a gem of a Kdrama.
Hae Soo falls into a portal unintentionally during a complete solar eclipse and wakes up in a thousand years in the past Goryeon era.
It starts with the princes wondering about their 4th brother whom they have never met but heard many a weird tales about. He is rumored to be a very brutal killer who massacred his entire family in his residential place. He is infamously called wolf and is feared by the general public given his instant recognition owing to his half masked face.
Hae Soo is befriended by most of the princes for her cheerful and jolly personality. Some of them adore and pursue her. She grows emotionally attached towards the brothers and falls for the 8th prince. Read complete review.
It’s a historical romantic comedy of the ‘gender-bender’ tales, based on a novel named ‘The Lives of SungKyunKwan Confucian Scholars’. It is about a girl who disguises herself as a boy to attend the best university in that era, where the best scholars from around the country went to learn and seek knowledge. Girls were then barred from educational institutes. Set in the Josheon era, it is funny, sweet and romantic. She tries to keep her secrets while hiding her growing feelings for another scholar. It’s an interesting watch with many laugh-out-loud moments.
Arang and The Magistrate
5.The Princess’s Man-
It’s a tale of star-crossed lovers and doomed love between Se Ryung and Seung Yoo whose families are not only political rivals but staunch enemies of one another. It’s one of the best Korean Sageuk version of ‘Romeo and Juliet’. It will make you laugh, love and cry with the characters. Personally, I had loved this one due to the awesome acting by the leads. It has political conspiracies, treason, murder, exile, vigilantes and all that can cook up a compelling story.
6.Arang and The Magistrate –
This one has history, thrill, horror and romance. It is based on folklore of a young maiden who is murdered. She returns as a ghost, unable to remember how she died, so tries to reveal the circumstances around her death in order to rest in peace. The magistrate is the only person who can see her; they try to solve the mystery with the help of a shaman who can only hear her. The drama showcases the heaven, the Jade emperor and the grim reaper too, in a very aesthetic and creative way.
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 …