26 July 2018

10 reasons I loved Gossip Girl




I discovered Gossip Girl about 10 years after its pilot and I am still not over it. I went googling and found that there are others like me struggling with the handover of binge watching GG. Trying to relive the experience with watching reruns, reading articles and just constantly thinking, analyzing and talking about it. May be I have too much time after all an empty mind is a devils workshop and gg is everything devilish. So why am I so obsessed with GG. Here are the reasons





  1. Chuck and Blair

The chemistry between these two is so overwhelming, they put Romeo Juliet and Heer Ranjha to shame. They are rich, they are gorgeous and they are pure evil, acing each other one up at a time. Yes their relationship is toxic but the best love stories are not romantic songs on a hill station but tragedies and hurting. We all love a tragedy and if it has romance, it just adds to the charm. Without revealing any of the spoilers I am just glad Chuck and Blair happened, it makes me believe there is more to love than what spiritual books define. Love is anything but definable, it is what you feel and I feel love and passion when I see Chuck and Blair on the screen even if they are just talking. So sue me for calling it love, I would want to live in this dillusion for ever. The burlesque dance, the Macbeth play, the car accident, the most awaited ‘I love you’ declarations. Once you have seen them together ever other couple seems weak and faded. Don’t even get me started on the trauma of seeing Blair with Dan or Prince Loui.  





  1. Rich and beautiful

There is a Page 3 in every newspaper across the world, and we all have forged on it to know about the life and time sod celebrities, their sightings, attires, fashion disasters, affairs, mural degradations, vendattes, money madness and what not. From fashionistas to socialites to politicians to business tycoons, GG has everything and more than your Page 3 can offer. 





  1. Teenage 

While the world talks about millennials, let me tell you nothing is more exciting and scandalous than your teenage. This is the most hormonal and tumulus age, when you get into one mess from another. Somewhere heart and body rules over mind and soul, making you take decisions which you wouldn’t be proud in your later years but then again we all know teenage is what it is. It’s crazy, it’s fun, the first crushes, first love and firsts of many, pacing the and at for adulthood. GG starts at the sweet 16 which is the epitome of teenage and probably our entire age. We all have had bad boy crushes, love triangles, proposal plans, bffs and bf wars, break ups and scandalous secrets in our teens. Reliving those days through GG is a trip down the nostalgia lane - the age of innocence, naiveness and madness. 






4. Characters and personalities


Queen B, Bad Boy, Golden Boy, IT girl, lonely boy - each of these characters had unique characteristics. Like if you watch any horror movie you watch there are always a set of characters and a specific order they die before the ones who survive. There are so many layers to each character. The self destructive Serene with her missing Daddy issues, Chuck Bass and his constant attempt to exist for  his cold father, Blair’s struggle between being Grace Kelly or Grace Jones, Nate with his interfering grandfather and Vanderbilt name and Dan with his ultimate outsider-insider issues. Throw them all in and you get a complex story with complex characters fighting for and against each other time to time and a never ending saga. We all are a little damaged and this serial has enough characters for a psychology student to have a gala time. 




  1. Plot twists and settings 

Let me start with that most of the plots were unrealistic but that doesn’t mean they were not interesting. Blair finding herself a Lord and a real Prince to marry, Chuck’s Mom and Dad returning from the dead and still having nothing to do with him, Serena’s scandalous behavior to get her missing Dad’s attention, Lily’s changing husbands with every season, Nate’s political drama and building of his newspaper Spectator, musical chairs of Charlie Rhodes. There was Business, media, fashion, socialites and political angles all mixed up with the icing of burlesque club, gentleman’s secret club, Sotheby’s auctions, grand soirées, prom queens, masquerade balls, Hampton’s white party and the events of Debutante ball. No one’s complaining I just love myself some or a lot of drama. 





  1. One liners and punch lines 

“I am Chuck Bass”

"Only a masochist could ever love such a narcissist."

“I'm the best of the best. I'm Blair Waldorf”

“Damn that, mother Chucker.”

“Whoever said that money doesn’t buy happiness didn’t know where to shop.”

“Everyone loves a villain. But then I wonder why are you always alone.” 


The list here is never ending but sharing some notable ones for your pleasure. You can google to get the best quotes. The best lines were from Chuck and Blair and they said it with such flair. Simply kickass!


Yes you guessed it, I can render them word by word even in my sleep. You don’t become a GG fan without remembering all the favorite lines and quotes. 





  1. Fashion 

No one puts the power of fashion in better words than Blair Waldorf, 


Fashion is the most powerful art there is. It’s movement, design and architecture all in one. It shows the world who we are and who we’d like to be.”


I am no fashionista but come on the dresses, the style, the accessories, the entire design was so apt for the NewYork setting and the characters. Blair in her pencil skirt, head bands and the gorgeous gowns. Chuck Bass in his formal coats, ties, bows and even the red jumper. Serena was not my type but she looked great in anything with her long legs. The best part was that even these were all designer labels, the fashion was wearable and achievable. Extra points for that. 





  1. Celebrating the underdog

Every story has a hero even GG has its bunch. But the real heroine or should I say hero is the GG, the ultimate insider. We all love the underdog we root for it, to make it space and trump the privileged. From Hollywood to every art form is full of victories of underdogs and we have celebrated it every time, as it gives us hope that we can win. Because a hero was once an underdog. As Fred Durst says, “Everybody loves the underdog, and then they take an underdog and make him a hero and then they hate him.”





  1. Social media scene 

GG is probably one of the first shows which highlights the effects of social media on our lives. How nothing is private in today’s world. Everything even your sex life is out in the open. It is a vicious cycle of action and revenge. One story begets another and the spiral of gossip entangled our lives forever. The excitement of seeing others misery talks a lot about human nature. You can write off Gossip Girl as frivolous but the way it explains human emotions playing live tells us a lot. Everybody except probably Nate shared some or the other gossip with GG. We all love to be part of the action and with social media available for everyone somehow the game is now totally even. 


Moreover it was all centered around a blog and I for one a big supporter, for all things blog and every written word. Even Dan’s books and his intellectual discussions with his writing mentors. 




  1. Relationships 

Most relationships in GG were frivolous and passing, but some of the friendships were deep and supportive (and it’s not as if they never fought). Serena- Blair, Blair- Dorota, Serena- Lily, Blair- Eleanor, even Nat and Chuck followed the bro code. More than gossip a girl needs is a girl gang, actually the latter is the source of all gossip. 


So do you still need more reasons to watch GG. Go right now and Netflix it. 

25 July 2018

Snoozefest

My goodreads states that I have read 339 books which must be true, because I have spent 100s of hours watching stories unfold in my head. I have been on murders, travels, Delhi to Dallas, hills, seas, voyages, earthquakes and miracles. So now that I am so qualified of reading books then I must talk about the most dragged books ever, for me personally of course to each to his own, and the best part is they were the bestsellers and most recommended. You probably will find that there are genres or kinda of books that I don’t like. So here is my list amongst 339 





Eat Pray Love

This self search travelogue is long and sad. How she is miserable in search of peace, happiness and love and she finds it through food, religion and romance. As you can figure out personally journeys of authors or otherwise are not my favorite genre. 






Mrs Dollaway

OHT, completely over my head. And this probably is one of the most favorite classics, with enough and more books even on the author Virginia Woolf. I couldn’t understand her kind of crazy, it was kind of depressing. Again topped off by top ratings and raving reviews. 






Red earth and pouring rain

Vikram Chandra is currently quite popular with netflix series of his other book ‘Sacred Games’. Well he has stories and some art too, but he could get dragging like in this book 






Two lives

The German world war 2 survivor and piecing stories from her conversations and Keepsakes. The concept is interesting and coming from Vikram Seth (I and fan of his Suitable Boy), but this one was a dampener. 





Miguel Street

Another Indian stalwart VS Naipaul. As you can see I am a big fan of Indian fiction but this man writes as an outsider. Quite interesting characters but a little unrealistic stories. And I just don’t like his books. They are well written but stories don’t stay with you. 





Shantaram 

I couldnt even finish it, it was so boring. I have had multiple debates with the fans of this book. I could read only half and then decided to give up. Honestly even amongst the dragged books this is the worst as I could finish the other books still. 


So above are the books for a snooze fest but eventually up to you. Even their covers are not great. 

26 January 2018

Is there anything called ‘Occasional Book readers’




While you would have all noted and recognized fellow book lovers who have gorged one book after another and match the prowess of talking about books the way you do. But there are these rare book readers who would probably read 1 max two in their lives. That too under peer pressure to read sometimes. Like my own brother, the only book he has read till date is biography of Osama Bin Ladin. I wonder why he would choose this book. Imagine he decided to pick one book and chose this. 

Then there is my cousin, who doesn’t red at all. But all the cousins claim to have found adult Hindi novels in his bedside drawer, which I refuse to believe but it does make a funny family anecdote.

Another cousin of mine comes and asks me for a recommendation. Only to start and finish one book in 6 months. That too a trilogy. Apparently he waits out the entire period till the next book in the series comes out. 

These are some of the readers exist. They don’t really add to big customer base but the peripheral guys exist and they do red once in a while. Although their passions could be different and as tolerant Book lover I discount them and amuse them once in a while for their reading habits. I do try to bring books in their family or gift their children to encourage reading. 

Alongside the perpetual book readers the occasional readers coexist. And no it doesn’t matter to us as they are hardly a stretch on our resources. The irritating ones are those who are fake  readers. They never read but will come to you to borrow your books and never return forget about reading. These are the most bugging ones. They are not really readers but pretend to read, especially they will pick up the most intelligent books on your shelf like Atlas Shrugged or rich history or philosophy. You know they will never read and return your book, but to tell them the truth would be an insult to their intellect. The irony! 

10 November 2017

Paro



Paro - Passion, vanity and jealousy! 
May I start with saying that this is one of the best books I read after a long long time. Honestly it’s so simple but straight out of pulp fiction - like the one in 80s full of sleazy women sleeping around and using men and things and same for men.... I know i sound like the most primitive moral police... but honestly I damn care about your moral judgements. This book is what it is... just what it is... sleazy, scandalous and titilating in the most corrupt way...

 every one is corrupt in this world and no one really loves anyone.... and the story is narrators life around Paro. It starts from Paro and ends with it. The quintessential whore of a high society which likes to show off its women. Paro defies all boundaries set by women and at the same time is not able to justify why. Yes she is Sexual in a way not many women are,,,, but then she is not apologetic at all, which is what makes her different - the vamp, the other woman, the slut, the whore, the seductress, the witch...and the bitch! Every bad woman ever born... and her story which is what makes an English tabloid version of Manohar kahaniyan. Have you ever read one. Well I have and many indeed. So this book reminded me of those sleazy stories! 

Honestly - it’s a brilliant book, the narrator and its complicated relationship with Paro, the trouble of India satires, the high society of the 60s Mumbai and page 3 of delhi. There are so many dimensions and seriously there are no boundaries. It is naked, it’s stark and it’s shocking! And Paro.... its not a name, it’s a symbol of a woman who doesn’t follow the rules... please get a copy at the earliest... I am gifting soon to my girlfriends 

16 October 2017

The cat’s table




Book: The Cat’s Table
Author: Michael Ondjaate
Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 4/5
The boat came breasting out of the mist and in they stepped. 
All new things in life were meant to come like that...

Life is indeed a journey and probably one by a ship meeting different people from around the world experiencing adventures as you navigate the choppy sea of life. 

The cats table is a book by Michael Ondaatje, whom I have been wanting to read for some time. A slice of life lived well packed in about 350 pages. What is cats table? Just like you have captains table there is a category furthermost called Cats Table - the least privileged table. 

Michael travels with his two companions Ramadin and Cassius from Sri Lanka to Britain in 1950s to live a better life - changing from a native to an immigrant, from  childhood to adult, from one to someone else. 

A journey becomes from good to great with the number of adventures undertaken, the unique characters encountered and the new lands and worlds travelled to. And cats table has everything and something of everything. From the boys tying themselves on the deck during a sea storm, to slipping into rooms thru windows at the persuasion of a robber, smuggling a dog on the ship, to stealing food from first class and hiding on rescue boats, the adventures are nostalgic of a young and free life. Meeting a band of unique characters like a magician, a biologist, a historian, a dog care taker, a musician, a prisoner, a gambler, a detective, a tailor, an Ayurvedic doctor and a rich philanthropist with rabies - travel opens up the world for you like nothing else.

Cats table is a must if you live journeys - not travel but true life changing journeys where you find yourself or you loose yourself. But they stay with you and define your life forever. This book could very well be ‘life of pie’ if he wouldn’t have been lost in the voyage, or ‘motorcycle diaries’ of it was set on a cruise ship rather than wilderness of South America. Michael Ondjaate is a storyteller to watch out for, weaving his tale of adventure and innocence from one world to another, from one life to another.

Do I say more... read his own words! 

He had a serenity that came with the choice of life he wanted to live. And this serenity and certainty I have seen Only among those who have the armour of books close by. 

She could be whimsical. ‘Why is it when I hear the phrase “trompe l’oeil” I think of oysters?’

Sri Lanka has always enjoyed the merging of of classical first names with Sinhalese last names.

Every immigrant family, it seems, has someone who does not belong in the new country they have come to. It feels like permanent exile to that one brother or wife who cannot stand a silent fate and remain haunted by persistent ghost of an earlier place. 

In our twenties we are busy becoming other people. 

Fonseka’s passion for knowledge always had within it the added pleasure of his sharing it. 

In the great centers of power, you see, competition is based not so much on winning but in stopping your enemy from achieving what he or she really wants. 

I don’t think you can love me into safety.

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