Wednesday, 2 August 2023

Lessons from Barbenheimer

 The past week since 21/07/2023 has been one of high intensity debates, reviews, observations and fun activities revolving around two films - Christopher Nolan's Oppenheimer and Greta Gerwig's Barbie. The word Barbenheimer, a portmanteau of the titles of the two films has been coined by by the internet to discuss and partake in the conversations around these two much anticipated films of the year! For me, these discussions triggered many points of self-realisation which were pretty unpleasant.

1. The idea of shallowness

I have never played with Barbie or any kind of dolls so in the stereotypical manner, long before I had read about the movie Barbie, I had decided not to see it because I believed that I was not shallow! Well, I was proved wrong when I read the reviews and saw how shallow I was in judging something that I did not even know of. Well, the shallowness that I had associated with Barbie was me in fact! 

2. The grand idea of 'Nolan'

Another stereotype that is cringeworthy is assuming that anything by Nolan is obviously woke! Well, it is! And Nolan is a great story-teller but to decide long before the release of the films, that I would watch Oppenheimer and not Barbie, goes to prove that my assumptions were coloured and biased. Well, I am ashamed!

But this trend is seen among many peers and fellow people! An assumption that anything associated with Barbie is shallow (pardon by repeated usage of the word!) and the colour pink is detestable but anything associated with Nolan has to be intelligent and deep!

Well, I guess a doll is shallow but an atom bomb is worth it if we go by the comparisons of the objects that these two films focus upon. At the end of the day, both cause destruction - dolls on the inside and bombs on the outside (and inside too) if you know what I mean!

I hope that many of us have decided to move on beyond our judgmental attitudes and view everything with an open and kind mind. Have you seen the films yet?

Picture credit 1: Internet

Picture credit 2 & 3: Wikipedia

Saturday, 20 May 2023

"I love meeting new people"

 "I love meeting new people"

"I don't hesitate to talk to strangers"

"It's wonderful to connect to new people for they bring new perspectives"

The afore-mentioned lines can be commonly seen in many Twitter, Instagram and other profiles of people. Even I like to meet new people for the reason mentioned above. But but, the idea takes a jolt when one watches certain thriller series and Netflix documentaries. I recently watched the series, 'Dahaad' on Amazon Prime which profiles a serial killer psychopath who approaches young women, befriends them and then in the most harmless manner, murders them without any remorse, regret or pain. Well, the American serial killer Ted Bundy was no different. 

When I was watching 'Dahaad,' my thoughts were on the lines of how true it is when parents warn children saying, "Don't talk to strangers" perhaps their collective memory held something that could've happened. The irony of the present day, "I love meeting new people" stares one in the eye. Of course, every walking person isn't a serial killer or a psychopath but how likely it is that we would know if we came across one in Instagram/Twitter or any other sites like Bumble, Tinder and others. 

Loneliness, nurture and a need for intimacy is something most individuals crave for and if someone who is first a stranger promises the qualities, why not is the question. For example, in 'Dahaad,' the women were past the marriageable age, belonged to the backward caste whose parents were unable to provide them with handsome dowries which led to their marriage getting delayed. The killer after a thorough check of the afore-mentioned details, snares the women with words and promises of marrying them and after establishing a trust, marries them and murders them. The man in question leads a seemingly normal life with wife and a kid alongside a respectable job as a college teacher. Well, how can anyone predict that the next person that they would probably befriend isn't a psychopath!

The thriller, raised many questions in my mind which of course, is another post for another day but the question still looms in my mind, "Should we not talk to strangers?" In the last episode of the series, the killer, after being arrested mentions, "Women who talk to strangers and get close to them should not be spared." Well, be your own judge.

Image courtesy: Wikipedia

Sunday, 7 May 2023

A reader's plea and a writer's thoughts

 My posts have been fermenting in my mind for the longest time. There were days when the fermentation was just appropriate for the posts were let out of the process. Alas! my posts have become pickled now and congealed within the crevices of my mind. Well, recently a student of mine (well, this is a rare phenomenon!) has begun reading my posts and posits questions and observations. This process of him commenting has filled me with a certain joie de vivre which in turn has made me promise myself that I should write more often.

The process of writing for me is also cathartic for me from the mundane-ness of everyday life which I seek to escape from. I know that the key is acceptance and reconciliation but that that hardly seems to work for me. I realise that I have to write to free my stifling thoughts and crude imaginations. Well, I hope to persevere and write.

Thanks dear Satyam for the childlike curiosity which makes me happy to write.

Well, tomorrow is another day!

Tuesday, 6 December 2022

Bellingham Diaries - 3

 The Tale of the Wife's bath

The adjusting of the hot-water-cold-water has become something of a challenge for me. Talk of a neat challenge after the 40s - teaching new tricks to old dogs could be well, tricky! As much as I love bathing, it has become an exercise of planning and mental prep for me. First, I am more of a cold water person so you could possibly imagine the pressure of using hot water. Next, the long and inviting bathtub seems to be mocking at me whenever I head to its vicinity. It beckons me no doubt but is plotting its revenge on this bucket and mug loving middle-class Indian. Woe to me when I had imagined myself sipping gin and tonic in a bathtub while soaking my tired nerves on a normal day! Well, the wish had come true but at the cost of me spending minutes trying to figure 1. the shower/tap toggling and 2. the hot/cold toggling. After much swearing and exasperation, I figure out the p-r-e-c-i-s-e requirement only to find that the shampoo has been forgotten in the suitcase! Phew! I have to invariably call out to the ever preoccupied husband who finds it difficult to find stuff even if it is in his hands. After all this ordeal, I complete my bath and come out to spend an hour mulling over my existential issues of trying to be someone who manages everything fairly well. 

And not forgetting the semantics of showering and bathing which is a puzzle to me!

I also realise that I have a similar post on bathing when I visited Belfast in 2010. And, sure I am happy to know that certain parts of me haven't changed at all. So here you go: Deliberations of bathing in a foreign place.

Dear reader, I hope that you find baths that satisfy your body and soul. 

May the water temperature suit your body and may you be refreshed and happy.

Until the next adventure, take care.

Saturday, 3 December 2022

Bellingham Diaries - 2

 Snow is always romanticized in the imaginations of those who don't experience snow in their regions. Well, I was also one of those whose imagination was fascinated by the whole idea of snow, white Christmas and so on. I first experienced snow when I trekked the Himalaya in 2006. Snow is beautiful, no doubt but it is also slippery, chilly and demands layers of clothes if one has to walk outside when it snows. Like the rain, snow is also beautiful when indoors with a regulated warm temperature. So much for the 'idea' of snow. That said and done, this morning when we woke up, we opened the doors to find it white. Our first expression was of awe by the sight of the beautiful whiteness. We rushed to find our mobile phones (camera) and capture the beauty of the romance known as 'snow.' I took many pictures and shared it via Whatsapp, Instagram and Facebook and bang, the magic of snow was paused for some time. After some time, it was forgotten as we got into the more important tasks of preparing breakfast, and attending to other morning chores.

The view in front of our home in Bellingham

But I do know that when I narrate the sighting of snow in the future, I would be all wonder-eyed and soft as I render the story of my first snow in Bellingham; My listeners in return would be dreaming when they will 'see' snow for real in their lives. Both of us dream - one about the past and one for the future.

Well, tomorrow is another day.

Another view

See you tomorrow with more snippets of my sojourn in Bellingham.


Bellingham Diaries - 1


Seattle from the skies

It has been a long time since I actively posted in this space. I just slid the glass pane over the mesh window because it was getting chilly. Well, the temperature here is now 4 degree C and I am getting used to being in a place without fans and curtains. My husband has been here in Bellingham since August and he seems to be managing well. This is my first day here. I had arrived here last night (01 December here) and after being up and about, I thought I would engage with my readers (if I still have them) and sharing my new experience. 

The view from the front door

The journey from Goa to Seattle was quite smooth save the unsmiling faces of the Charles de Gaulle airport in France. Everywhere I had people glaring. Perhaps I with no knowledge of French and looking tired might have irked them. Well, no complaints, I did meet some kind faces too. People are different in diverse places - some respond to a smile, some don't; some have kind eyes, while some have scrutinising eyes; some welcome strangers with a kind face while some have a wooden expression. I guess when we talk of travelling and crossing the borders of home, we are filled with exciting thoughts and create a huge pink bubble where we romanticise the onward journey. Well, a journey is filled with myriad people and diverse experiences.

This is the second B of my international travel, the first one being Belfast. Both these journeys have a gap of twelve years, in the interim where a big chunk of my life was spent in getting a Ph. D., marrying, setting up home, getting a new job, reveling in my students, getting high on life, learning, unlearning and relearning many taken-for-granted stuff. 

Well, here's to Bellingham and newer stories.

See you soon.


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