Listen as your day unfolds
Challenge what the future holds
Try and keep your head up to the sky
Lovers, they may cause you tears
Go ahead release your fears… – Des’ree

Thank you radio – desperately needed this on a glum Monday morning.

My two cents after watching Ae Dil Hai Mushkil twice two weeks apart:

At the outset, why did I watch ADHM twice? The first time was, well, the first time. The second time was to keep A company plus I didn’t quite mind watching it again or so I thought until I actually watched it and lost interest at the very beginning itself. I felt embarrassed that I had recommended this movie to A but, thankfully, he found the second half sensible. Of course, I disagree – ADHM first and second half is utter bullshit. Maybe it’s the lack of depth of feelings in my cold soul or maybe I am just juvenile or maybe it actually sucked. Notwithstanding all the other reviews, here’s why I think it’s the latter:

(Forgive my constant use of bullet points – after entering the legal profession, I don’t quite understand any other way of penning down my thoughts)

  1. Wealth, wealth and wealth – This movie is about the wealthy for the wealthy. Don’t get me wrong, I am not wealthy by any means but I couldn’t quite empathise with any of the characters. One of them belonged to a family which owned a private jet, the other to a family who could afford a trip to Paris and stay in a three-star hotel and the other a poetess living in a mansion in Vienna. Oh also, the other minor character is a world famous DJ with a presumably rich family because he has a grand wedding with the aforementioned trip chick. The characters don’t do much except look pretty, wear good clothes, have oodles of fun and experience myriad deep emotional feelings for each other. I mean who needs a job?! Who needs a bank balance?! Isn’t that stuff for the poor?
  1. I like you enough to have sex but, wait, you kiss me like you would your family – Anushka Sharma (trip chick) does little all day except attend dance classes, date and quote deep Murakami-esque thoughts (“I don’t like sadness and I definitely don’t like happiness– I like the middle path which is…life” – wtf!). In the first scene she appears more than willing to hit the sack with Ranbir Kapoor (private jet dude) but is so completely turned off by his kissing that she spends rest of the movie denying any physical attraction to him (“You are my everything, you are my family, you are my ‘best friend’ but I don’t feel that way for you” – Ouch and ouch). His fault, obviously. I mean, c’mon, he is a bad kisser! And who wants the rest of the package anyway – good lucks, shit load of money, good voice and proper TLC.
  1. What was going on? – One big incest fest, I tell you. I didn’t quite understand Ranbir Kapoor’s obsession with Anushka Sharma whom he just met around 3 times and one of them entailed a trip to Paris sponsored by her family. It definitely wasn’t love at first sight but some overcompensation of feelings over his jilted Mom. Extremely disturbing as he is unable to understand how the two most important women in his life could reject him again and again and again… Anushka Sharma had to run away and deal with cancer to pry him off. ‘Nuf said.
  1. Once bitten twice shy (not) – Anushka Sharma may have just played one of her least feminist roles till date vis-à-vis NH10 and Sultan. Disappointing run for an actress who usually portrays strong women, she quotes some bullshit on junoon (craziness?) in love and justifies falling in love with Fawad Khan, getting cheated on, marrying him and almost tolerating being cheated on in a quick series of events. Marriage reformation attempt 101 – fail. Her inner woman finally wakes up (quoting her) and she decides to walk away from the marriage. Oh also, this is after she severs ties with her rich family and breaks Ranbir’s pitiful heart.
  1. The Goddess Mrs. Bacchan – The highlight of the movie, Aishwarya Rai, thankfully, has more sense than Anushka and literally throws Ranbir out when she realises that she is falling for him or maybe she just got bored of him. Although it isn’t the latter, the flawless gorgeous beauty is why you should watch ADHM. Just ensure that you don’t try to understand why a middle-aged, confident, beautiful, wealthy woman decides to turn into a cougar for someone as pathetic as Ranbir Kapoor albeit he is a better bet than her ex-husband – Shah Rukh Khan (some abstract artist). Huge round of applause for SRK – he tries very desperately and endearingly to act all he could in his five minute scene but, sorry bro, this isn’t your movie. Also note, based on what I could glean from their over-the-top urdu dialogues (kaamil et al), SRK had also cheated on ARB. Surprise, surprise. Not.

All in all, leave that brain of yours at home. Let it engage in some deep philosophy or in su-do-ku; bring the rest of yourself – your eyes and heart, specifically. They could use a break from your laptop screen and your dreary ‘poor’ life. After all, with Karan Johar, everyone is rich and everything opulent and every feeling a lifetime in itself.


Love. L-O-V-E – the four letter word that makes the world go round. Love – simple but always complicated. Love – makes everything better. Love – the best feeling in the world.

It’s amazing how we shy away from something so pretty fantastic, warm and enriching. I love Love. I love the idea of love, the feeling of being in love and, most importantly, being loved. It makes even the stupidest song on the radio sing for you and your heart is just overwhelmed by the feeling…until you meet boring, drab and repetitive work. But wait, I love work too! What did I say? Love does make everything feel better.

So, if you’re having a bad morning or a torrid night, here’s sending you love. Wherever you are today and no matter in how horrible a situation you are in, here’s some love and some faith and some hope for happier days.

Thank God for love! Thank God for family and thank God for you, A. 

Over the past week, I caught up with old friends – Meredith Grey & Co. I don’t quite recall why I quit hanging out with them but it felt so good to catch up on their lives and their drama. Shondaland warmly welcomed me to Seasons 11 and 12 with warmth and understanding as I navigated through episodes of sheer drama. There is no other word for it, except, Drama. It’s messy, fun and unnerving as each character’s life unfolds in highly scripted yet effective Drama. There! I said it again but that is expected from someone who is known for that kind of television. Don’t get me wrong when I say that kind of television because that would be hypocrisy – I am in the midst of Season 12 as I write this and I am itching to get home to complete the season so yes, I have to admit, it’s good TV. Good TV can be characterized in many different ways. While some may prefer serious stuff (for instance, Homeland which got ridiculous and long-winded in Season 5), others prefer sitcoms (I do!), few others like legal drama (say, Boston Legal – good stuff!) but some prefer good old-fashioned high-strung Drama. Grey’s Anatomy currently in its 13th season epitomizes Drama (I have got to stop using this word!). It has everything – adventure, romance, comedy (kind of), action, all the quintessential elements required to make a TV show but here’s where Grey’s strikes a marked departure from other shows and enters the Hall of Fame of TV shows. It milks human emotions, plain and simple. It makes you realize that life is messy and that people are messier and that’s just okay.

While this may seem cliché and Shonda has the disastrous but wildly popular Scandal to prove that she can’t get normal human emotions right all the time, she has hit it out of the park with Grey’s. Having said that, the level of tragedies that happen to each character, particularly, the iconic Meredith Grey, are too high and prove that Shonda sometimes loses the plot and that this is just pure fiction to be watched and forgotten. Some parts of Grey’s however do stick with you as they represent the utter fallibility of humans in their different human roles, as a doctor, as a wife, as a mother and as a friend. Not to forget, sometimes, life actually hands you lemons. Actually, in the case of Grey’s, it’s raining lemons and bombs and debris and stuff. It borders on the ridiculous when Meredith Grey gets attacked by a patient in Season 12 making you wonder whether Shonda & Co. were lucid when they made that episode. I mean, they just killed her husband last season but that also makes Mer super-human as she bears the brunt of just about everything and the others just sort-of revolve around her with their own lives while pacifying her and taking care of her almost non-existent three children. The other thing is that the show sometimes is too damn obvious! Mer’s 3rd child is born a year after her husband dies! Reincarnation! although the kid is then named after her dead Mom who tried killing herself. The carousel has to stop turning somewhere, Shonda (Grey’s aficionados will get this one!).

One of the good things about Grey’s is that it also targets social issues – gun violence, racism, LGBT rights, PTSD among other issues. It’s an impressive and tall list of issues and the resolution of such issues is always idealism or a naturally spoken sermon by one of the characters. So, for instance, the issue of gun violence is shown in the context of kids being exposed to guns and misfiring the same while playing. It showcases remorse, guilt and concludes with a mixed message on banning guns. This depiction of social issues can also be seen in the somewhat-dark-yet-superficially-light You’re the Worst which recently aired its master episode on PTSD. It reinforces the point of the television which although is pure entertainment material has a greater role to play in disseminating the right kind of message. A marked contrast from pure-entertainment shows like Big Bang Theory which in its own way is educational, the evolution of shows like Grey’s is a welcome change in the world of air-headed and nonsensical television. It’s time that Hindi television took a cue from this development and stopped airing of shows of human beings turning into bumble bees and birthing devils.

I love Grey’s. It’s not exactly your dose of light and funny but in the real world of grown-ups, it is like your supportive blanket. It reminds you that life can be so much worse (Meredith Grey’s many attempts to die) but that it can also be equally beautiful. It’s important to rise every single day with that knowledge and while we may pulled by the dregs of the past we need to carry them forward because without it we wouldn’t be who we are today – messed up, confused, indecisive, selfish, insecure, hurt but at the same time wise, bold, fearless, independent, happy, calm but, most importantly, ourselves.

There! I ended the post like a typical Grey’s episode.

“The whole purpose of places like Starbucks is for people with no decision-making ability whatsoever to make six decisions just to buy one cup of coffee. Short, tall, light, dark, caf, decaf, low-fat, non-fat, etc. So people who don’t know what the hell they’re doing or who on earth they are can, for only $2.95, get not just a cup of coffee but an absolutely defining sense of self: Tall. Decaf. Cappuccino.” – Joe Fox

I need to visit a Starbucks.

Winter is here. (Spoiler alert!)

Officially one of the best episodes of Season 6, The Winds of Winter (“WOW“), attempts to neatly but unsurprisingly tie the last few loose strands of GOT as we have know it for the past five seasons. Although we, as book readers, have been in unchartered territory for most of Season 6, we are now at a stage where our knowledge of the books will no longer serve us in our perpetual quest to appear superior and pompous of our awareness of the vast GOT universe. However, we are not complaining as this season has surpassed our expectations of the depiction of our imagination of the GOT universe in the books, yet, it has also lessened the surprise/ wow factor. WOW while flawlessly executed followed a pattern of predictability ticking off each box of suspected fan theories. So yes, Jon Snow is Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark’s son, Cersei Lannister did use the wildfire (what an exquisite scene!) and Danerys Targaryen finally is on her way to Westeros. However, the little snippets of surprise by the writers such as emasculating plots related to crucial and interesting characters in the lead up to the final two seasons or the forecasted  12-15 episodes of GOT pale the otherwise sublime heights of WOW.

(Source of the above gif:

For starters, why kill Margaery Tyrell? One of the most cunning players with a game clearly up her sleeve, she was extinguished in the wildfire set ablaze by Cersei and Qyburn. In a clear sign of Cersei’s utter and blatant lack of emotional quotient and highlighting her ruthless visage to usurp the Iron Throne by any means, the Sept of Baelor collapses in a heap of rubble but not before taking Tommen Baratheon with it who jumps to his death upon seeing the sheer depravity with which Cersei had used the wildfire. To be fair, Cersei had probably made her peace with the fact that she would one day lose all her children (Maggy the Frog’s prediction) and since Joffrey Baratheon’s death had resigned to the fact that she would lose Myrcella Baratheon and Tommen Baratheon. Her unflinching acceptance of Tommen’s death, her stately walk to the Iron Throne and her muted interaction with her brother Jaime Lannister while at the throne proved that this woman would stop at nothing to seek vengeance for herself – her Walk of Shame, the sufferings she had faced after marrying Robert Baratheon who had never loved her and a father (Tywin Lannister) who had never believed her enough for her to ascend to the throne. Talk about self-destrucionist tendencies. While it appeared to the viewers a a Pyrrhic victory, to Cersei, it was the moment she had been waiting for and which Lena Headey exemplified through her superior acting and complete nonchalance of the many deaths surrounding her at King’s Landing.

(Source of the above gif:

The other character which shocks you with her sociopathic tendencies is Daenereys Targaryen. I have always had a gripe against the HBO portrayal of Daenerys as it is in contradistinction to her otherwise boring and inferior presentation in the books. My least favourite character, I don’t understand what is the ho0-hah about a weak, selfish and ignorant woman who gets plain lucky by: (i) marrying the greatest Khal – Khal Drogo who for a Dothraki treats her so damn well; (ii) birthing dragons who just happen to hatch; (iii) screwing around with sorcery which works adversely against her enemies; (iv) having the right kind of support around her to cater to her many needs – “Oh, I want to abolish this century old practice of slavery.” “Oh, I need to fulfil my sexual desires.” “Oh, the Sons of the Harpy are behind my life!” – Body Count = Millions; and (v) having people humour her unfounded belief in her entitlement to the Iron Throne by blood and not by any other virtue. To further support my above arguments, take this – she feels nothing when leaving behind one of the few men who love her and she doesn’t think twice about Meereen and her children (so much for Mhysa!). Dany couldn’t even bother to think twice about the wave of death and destruction her dragons will wield upon Westeros because who cares about normal people?! I think Westeros is China or India because apparently there are too many in its population for the GOT to be parcelled along the many houses which are constantly fighting over it and to add to that we have the Mad King’s (Aerys II Targaryen) psychotic daughter – Daenerys and her dragons! Consider this, the North with its winter killed Stannis Baratheon and his men, Jon Snow (scratch that, Sansa Stark) with her meagre army killed Ramsay Bolton and Co, the Wall has too few men (Jon just hanged five of them), Wildlings (sorry guys) don’t count as part of Westeros (oh wait, I think they just made up for the population decline owing to the several deaths), Riverrun and Riverlands is teaming with people due to Walder Frey’s insatiable appetite to procreate but now that he has popped we can expect another steady decline as his successors weren’t exactly bright, King’s Landing has barely enough to count as a populace what with Cersei killing few more in the wildfire and the other places…are not exactly relevant. The Vale and a few others have just enough to die in the subsequent seasons of GOT. My point being with the population in Westeros being at an all-time low and with the onset of winter, I doubt if anybody at the Iron Throne would actually have anyone to rule over which brings me to an important aspect of GOT – the war over the Iron Throne versus the war against the Night King and his army of wights and the Others. It would be interesting to see how the writers manipulate the characters in the competing but parallel story lines. It would be plain disappointing if this turns into a Hum Saath Saath Hain with Westeros uniting and combating the Night King. I can’t imagine a scenario where Cersei and Daenerys are best friends. Both don’t deserve BFFs.

On to Westeros!

(Source of the above gif:

Welcome, Daenerys, to the great game!

(Source of the above gif:

We had just recovered from a FemiNazi episode 9 – ‘The Battle of Bastards‘ but to then have cries of the “King of the North” in WOW for the utterly useless and dull Jon Snow was a kick in the face. It should have ideally been Sansa Stark as the Queen of the North (Littlefinger vociferously nods with me) for obvious reasons: She deserves it. I believe that Targaryens are just plain lucky, like our Dany (see paragraph above) and Jon Snow who reincarnates from the dead. The only difference between the two is the addition of Stark blood which makes Jon saner, more honourable but also dull. I give credence to Jon in attempting to fight the Others but otherwise the man does not belong in the show. He should have been replaced by Lady Lyanna Mormont – the most positive and pathbreaking female character in GOT yet. Her quick wit, supreme confidence and superior negotiation skills at such a young age make her the most impressive GOT character. Lady Mormont for President and every other important post in the world! Move over, Cersei and Dany. GOT currently is exuding strong female energy and it would have furthered this feminist plot to make Sansa the Queen in the North to take on Cersei at King’s Landing. However, it increasingly appears that Jon intends to lead the Northerners to the Wall to fight the Night King leaving his politically astute sister – Sansa to fortify their position internally in Westeros. Just go back to the Wall, Jon. Die, maybe?

(Source of this gif:

Dorne and the Iron Islands continue in their coy and cozy role as the step children of GOT who support their more important elder siblings in the fight for the Iron Throne. Highgarden too has now been relegated to that inferior position with Oleanna Tyrell (another brilliant characterisation by the writers!) attempting to align with Dorne and Daenerys to rebuff Cersei. “No more reaving, roving, raiding, and raping” for the Iron Islanders as Asha Greyjoy (Yara for the TV show viewers) commits to Daenerys to avoid getting killed by Euron Greyjoy and to establish a new world order in which it is perfectly reasonable to unleash dragon fire on innocents to claim the Iron Throne (Is my inherent prejudice against Daenerys obvious?). Wonder what the Drowned God would say to that!

(Source of the above gif:

Nobody cares about Samwell Tarly and his Oldtown adventure but since he is now in possession of Heartsbane (Valyrian steel) it is evident that he will be sticking it out till the end in the war against the Night King. Oh also, there might be some correlation to the chandelier in the Oldtown library with the opening credits…yawn. Sorcery, anyone? Or time-travel like Varys rushing from Dorne to Meereen to set sail to Westeros in front row seats in Daenerys versus Cersei.

Sadly, Melisandre is sent away to the south but I doubt if this is the last we will see of her in GOT unless she is wiped out by the writers as another liability of the unending GOT universe. Ser Davos Seaworth needs to stop being an emotional mess over Stannis Baratheon and Shireen but here’s another character the writers need to polish off in the next season. Wasn’t he supposed to be locked up and then released by the Manderlys as per the books? Why is he even alive? I would trade a Ser Davos for Aegon Targaryen – son of Rhaegar Targaryen whom the TV show has completely given a miss. Here I thought it would be a return of the Targaryens with Jon, Daenerys and Aegon (full circle?).

Shame. Shame. Shame. Where is Aegon?!

shame nun animated GIF

(Source of the above gif:

Final thoughts:

  1. Is the Night King “chilling”? (Pun intended!)
  2. Isn’t Meera bored of Bran?
  3. Gendry is still rowing to God-knows-where (hell, he doesn’t even know to row – another convenient clean-up/ casualty?). In the broader picture of things, does a Robert Baratheon survivor matter considering Daenerys and her dragons? Although, technically, Gendry is the rightful successor to the Iron Throne.
  4. Welcome back, Arya Stark aka The Faceless Assassin. Stark family reunion, bitches!
  5. Award for the creepiest characters till date – the Little Birds who drove knifes into the Grand Maester Pycelle and into Lancel.
  6. Brienne of Tarth and Podrick Payne – yawn.
  7. Beric Dondarrion, Stoneheart and The Hound – Let’s kill all the Freys and then some wights.
  8. RIP Hodor – the most touching episode of Season 6 ‘The Door‘.
  9. RIP Wun Wun. How will we break the sieges now?
  10. How is the population of Westeros going to grow?

Till next time, folks!

(Source of the above gif:

‘The Office’ (US) is about a bunch of homogeneous, dysfunctional and mildly lovable characters working at Dunder-Mifllin, a paper company, which also evolves over the nine seasons of the show, and their day-to-day lives. It is shot like a documentary (another Modern Family) in Scranton (insert: the Michael and Dwight rap on the “Electric City!”) with New York and Niagara thrown in for good measure and for the right reasons. I have to say this – you might not like it initially. In fact, it is like breaking into a pair of new shoes or going through the awkward first season of Friends where you are trying very hard to find a semblance of humour in all that bad acting and it might even slightly get to your nerves – Steve Carell does that consistently across seven seasons to the main protagonists so why should you be absolved but then you get comfortable and accustomed to the inanity and learn that this show is probably the best thing to have ever been made in the history of television. Unfortunately, it isn’t the stuff of legends – it is no Friends or That 70’s Show or Everybody Loves Raymond but it is the stuff that will stick with you for a long time and make you want to revisit a few scenes on YouTube.

Steve Carell (Michael Scott) – the unusual Boss of the office finds himself in the company of relatively sane people who miss no opportunity in not working each day which includes being personally and constantly involved in each other’s lives, battling their various eccentricities and dealing with a Boss who makes life painful yet pleasurable in his pursuit to waste every minute at the office being engaged in some ridiculous activity like defending his foot-in-the-mouth and patronising homosexuals. In this venture of his, he is forcibly assisted by the office receptionist – Jenna Fischer (Pamela Beesly) who is droll, dull and lifeless and occasionally lets her hair down by helping John  Krasinski (Jim Halpert) prank Rainn Wilson (Dwight Schrute). If there is one thing that The Office deserves to be remembered for at the very least are these pranks which range from the mundane (trapping Dwight’s stapler inside jello) to the elaborate (Dwight believing that he is being recruited by the CIA for a secret mission) and to the plain silly (imitation – my absolute favourite scene in the show!).

The characters in the show are well thought-out in the overall context of the show (for instance, you have the standard wacky, geeky, African American, drunk etc.) and you grow to love them each for their  brilliant execution even the mildly irritating Steve Carell whose final episode in the seventh season leaves you with a lump in your throat. The seventh and eighth season will also be remembered for other wrong reasons, that is, the addition of Will Ferrell (Deangelo Vickers) and James Spader (Robert California) and for granting more screen time to Ed Helms (Andy Bernard) which considerably dulls the sheen of an otherwise vibrant show. James Spader in particular brings a certain dark humour and some extremely distasteful and not warranted action to a show which had so far relied on its clean humour and wit to survive till season seven. No, not all of The Office is serious – it is goofy with a compelling, strong and fast story line which you can pick up mid-season too. I would however advice against mid-season watching just for one reason. The Pam-Jim romance! Touted as the perfect couple and soul mates, the gradual evolution of their relationship from close friends to a couple with the white picket fence, it has it all. Of course, one can always argue about how a relationship of such two similar people was a bore and that it was saccharine sweet, however, I believe that it is just the cynic in us who is unable to appreciate a healthy relationship which undergoes its fair share of strain in seasons eight and nine (thankfully!).

Coming to Ed Helms. The reason I am dedicating a separate paragraph to write about him is his character in the show – Andy Bernard or the ‘Nard Dog as he calls himself on multiple occasions that you literally want to wrench every single strand of hair from your head. Probably an exaggeration but I absolutely hated the ‘Nard Dog not only because I found him to be one of the most useless and ill-etched character on the show but also because by seasons eight and nine, you are at your wit’s end on having to see the character make a complete ass of himself. Stop with the singing man! This is where The Office lost me and I couldn’t wait for Andy’s scenes to end just so we could probably watch somebody else, even the minor characters like dull Phyllis Smith (Phyllis Vance) or the annoying Ellie Kemper (Erin Hannon), the latter of which managed to have three full blown romances in two and a half seasons, one with Andy himself.

The other striking thing about The Office is that there is actually no concept of a minor character. Each character gets his or her adequate screen time to not make it a one-man show but eventually you do get around to having your favourites. No, actually, I like all the characters except for Deangelo, Robert and Andy. I like them all. Yes, you read me right. No actually, I didn’t like Mindy Kaling (Kelly Kapoor) and BJ Novak (Ryan Howard) who have also coincidentally produced the show. Point being all of them are likeable in their own way (this does not include Andy) but you do come to a point when you have a softer spot for a few compared to the others. My soft spot would definitely belong to Dwight Schrute for playing an extremely difficult and dangerous yet humane, multi-talented, determined, tenacious, geeky, empathetic and lovable individual. This Amish guy owns a beet farm and would be that one person whom you would love to pick on (see Jim’s pranks in this YouTube video: but as the show evolves you don’t see Dwight as the enemy, rather, you see him as that friend you would love to have in your life. I loved the show’s trajectory on his on and off romance with the irritable cat-lover Angela Kinsey (Angela Martin) eventually leading to an unlikely happily ever after.

The Office to me is the one show which emotionally tugged at my heartstrings and overwhelmed me in its finale. Somewhere a part of me wishes that I still had a few more seasons to watch and that probably the binge-watch was not worth it but like all good things (just like Friends) it had to come to an end. It is a class apart and maybe you will not watch it on repeat but it will stay with you, trust me. Thankfully, the last episode which had the characters talking about their experience on having been documented for the show for nine years did not end being preachy but left you with a sense of “what if?”. What if your life was being documented right now? What would you come across as? Would you see your mistakes and learn from them? Would you enjoy seeing yourself being a total idiot? Would you want to go back in time and change a few things? The Office is an experience and if nothing else stays with you, you will at least remember how to prank your co-worker by gift wrapping his cardboard desk or paying everyone in office just to mispronounce their name. As for me, I am in the hunt for some good quality jello.

p.s – This is fresh out of writer’s block, excuse the errors, if any.

bears beets battlestar galactica gif