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To-do: Read

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To-do: Read

We are nearing the release of The Dark Knight Rises and people are going more insane than usual, yes, yes, Nolan, Bane, I get it, stop drooling already. Almost all the tickets are booked for the release weekend and I’m feeling the pressure. What am I to do if I don’t get tickets, what will I talk to people about? Will I be shunned from society?

I have a job and something of a social life and I have to make time to read books, watch movies, watch TV shows, stay updated with everyday internet business. I do it all and in spite of that there are so many things I’m still to do and watch. It cannot be done!  I’ll be having a wonderful conversation about television with someone and then they’ll start talking about Six Feet Under or The West Wing or some other show I haven’t watched and it pisses me off. Let ME tell what a good show is! Just shut your mouth long enough for me to look down upon you for never having watched Studio 60.

I’m so saturated with pop culture that I desperately need the world to stop creating things. Just stop. Stop doing everything, stop making shows, stop writing books, creating art so I can catch up already!

But what suffers the most is my reading. Every once in a while my reading takes a back seat and soon enough it takes me a whole half an hour to get through 2 pages and then I stop putting a book in my bag…it’s just lawlessness  and chaos from there.

So, I’m making a list of books I need to read from The Guardian’s The top 100 books of all time, BBC’s The Big Read and Flavourwire’s 30 books everyone should read before turning 30.

There are 148 books; which means I’ve read 82 books that were on these lists.

I will keep you guys updated on how many I manage to finish. I still have to watch Season 4 of Breaking Bad and Season 3 of Louie, so I might get distracted, but as NPH would say, challenge accepted.

You can tell me how many you’ve read and add to my list in the comments section. But don’t add too many, I’m already intimated. And don’t go all “you haven’t read xxyy yet? Wooooah” on me, ok? Ok.

  1. A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens
  2. A Doll’s House, Henrik Ibsen
  3. A Prayer For Owen Meany, John Irving
  4. A Sentimental Education, Gustave Flaubert
  5. A Suitable Boy, Vikram Seth
  6. A Town Like Alice, Nevil Shute
  7. Absalom, Absalom!, William Faulkner
  8. Anna Karenina, Leo Tolstoy
  9. Anne Of Green Gables, LM Montgomery
  10. Artemis Fowl, Eoin Colfer
  11. Beloved, Toni Morrison
  12. Berlin Alexanderplatz, Alfred Doblin
  13. Birdsong, Sebastian Faulks
  14. Black Beauty, Anna Sewell
  15. Bleak House, Charles Dickens
  16. Blindness, Jose Saramago
  17. Brave New World, Aldous Huxley
  18. Brideshead Revisited, Evelyn Waugh
  19. Buddenbrooks, Thomas Mann
  20. Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, Louis de Bernieres
  21. Cat’s Cradle, Kurt Vonnegut
  22. Catch-22, Joseph Heller
  23. Children of Gebelawi, Naguib Mahfouz
  24. Cold Comfort Farm, Stella Gibbons
  25. Collected Fictions, Jorge Luis Borges, Argentina
  26. Complete Poems, Giacomo Leopardi
  27. Confessions of Zeno, Italo Svevo
  28. Crime And Punishment, Fyodor Dostoyevsky
  29. Dead Souls, Nikolai Gogol
  30. Decameron, Giovanni Boccaccio
  31. Diary of a Madman and Other Stories, Lu Xun
  32. Don Quixote, Miguel De Cervantes
  33. Double Act, Jacqueline Wilson
  34. Dune, Frank Herbert
  35. Ender’s Game, Orson Scott Card
  36. Essays, Michel de Montaigne
  37. Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury
  38. Fairy Tales and Stories, Hans Christian Andersen
  39. Far From The Madding Crowd, Thomas Hardy
  40. Faust, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
  41. Gargantua and Pantagruel, Francois Rabelais
  42. Ghost World, Daniel Clowes
  43. Gilgamesh
  44. Girls In Love, Jacqueline Wilson
  45. Good Omens, Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman
  46. Goodnight Mister Tom, Michelle Magorian
  47. Gormenghast, Mervyn Peake
  48. Great Expectations, Charles Dickens
  49. Guards! Guards!, Terry Pratchett
  50. Gypsy Ballads, Federico Garcia Lorca
  51. His Dark Materials, Philip Pullman
  52. History, Elsa Morante
  53. Holes, Louis Sachar
  54. Hunger, Knut Hamsun
  55. I Capture The Castle, Dodie Smith
  56. Independent People, Halldor K Laxness
  57. Infinite Jest, David Foster Wallace
  58. Invisible Man, Ralph Ellison
  59. Jacques the Fatalist and His Master, Denis Diderot
  60. Jesus’ Son, Denis Johnson
  61. Journey to the End of the Night, Louis-Ferdinand Celine
  62. Katherine, Anya Seton
  63. Leaves of Grass, Walt Whitman
  64. Love In The Time Of Cholera, Gabriel García Márquez
  65. Madame Bovary, Gustave Flaubert

See the full list here.

Female characters who shine (despite bleak circumstances)

Female characters who shine (despite bleak circumstances)

Elliot Reid from Scrubs

Through eight seasons of Scrubs, I have never stopped feeling bad for Elliot. She’s pudgy, and a complete emotional mess. She cries in broom closets, she loses all her stuff, she gets dumped so many times, I’ve lost count. But she’s a great doctor. She braves all that stuff (when she isn’t crying in a closet) and faces up to Dr Cox managing to not go utterly apeshit crazy.

Christina Yang from Grey’s Anatomy

Meredith Grey is one of the most boring protagonists ever. Christina is the real rockstar here. She is the best doctor at Seattle Grace, she’s focussed, she’s driven and she will not take your crap. Well she cannot seem to keep a man. But who cares? She isn’t whining and crying like poor little Meredith, she goes out and kicks ass.

Robin Scherbatsky from How I met your mother

Robin is a news reporter, a pop sensation, a bull fighter, a scotch drinker and a wearer of boots. She is starved for attention from her father and can’t have babies and has a job, that is downright humiliating at times, but through it all, she manages to look hot…I mean, keep a brave face and still be funny.

Arya Starck from Game of thrones

Her circumstances are not bleak. They downright suck. First her dad’s head gets chopped off and she barely has time to register this and she has to make a run for it on account of the most powerful people in the country wanting her captive. She escapes horrific fires, men with swords and inevitable torture. She’s alert, quick-witted and brave. Oh and btw, she’s only 11 years old. Stick ‘em with the pointy end, Arya.

Kima Greggs from The Wire

She’s a woman cop in the most dangerous unit in the city but who cares about that, right? We love Kima, because she comes out of five seasons with her professional integrity intact. Not even her righteous boss, Daniels can boast of this. In season one, when she awakes from a coma, she recounts exactly what she experienced, even when it meant that an extra name could put away a hardened criminal. Justice and fairness, all the way. In season five, she picks chain of command over shielding an errant colleague. Natural Poh-lice.

Opening sequences we love

Opening sequences we love

What’s better than a great TV show? A kickass title sequence that builds it up (buttercup)

Game of Thrones

Fresh prince of Bel Air

Mad Men

The Simpsons

Dexter

The Wire

Things we hate about…

Things we hate about…

The Hardy Boys: The fact that these boys (who in my head, have come to look like the Jonas Brothers) never discussed their case with their father, even though at the end of every mystery, it becomes evident that their detective father, Fenton Hardy was working on the same damn case. If you are smart enough to foil the mafia’s plan and use Morse code to escape kidnappers, surely you must see this pattern. If you exclaim, “oh, father was dealing with the same criminals” after the 900th case, it stops being a surprise, morons!

The Archie Comics: Little Archie. It’s funny that Archie is caught in the love triangle with Betty and Veronica, but when you make them kids, it’s just creepy. Sure, restaurant dates become picnics and smooches become pecks on the cheek, but hey hey, they are children! There’s a pervy little boy hitting on two chicks and it’s not cute. Also, Betty’s perpetually perfectly S-shaped ponytail.

The Nancy Drew Series: Nancy Drew. Also, what kind of idiot dates someone with a name like Ned Nickerson?

The Harry Potter Series: The fact that Victor Krum was friendless and alone before he met Hermoine Granger. In the second task of the Triwizard Tournament, the person you would miss most had to be rescued and Krum’s person was Granger. We are talking about a Quidditch star here, who just a few months ago had taken the wizarding world by storm with his feinting. It’s impossible to believe that for years, he had no friends, girlfriends or even quidditch buddies that he would miss and instead bestowed all his yearning for a girl he met a few weeks ago at a new school. A Quidditch star, STAR, with no social life? C’mon.

Malory Towers and Saint Claire’s: Girls who didn’t play or like sports were never the “good sort”, they were always the weak little ninnies who would be laughed at later or given a “dressing down.” It is possible to hate games and still be a good sport okay. OKAY! YOUR MOM IS A NINNY!

 

The best men on TV

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The best men on TV

It’s that time of that year again when most of my shows are on break and I’m trying to watch and get interested in the midseason shows (Girls, Veep).

But mostly I watch reruns and make lists. Here is one of my 10 favourite men on Television.

Steven Hyde from That 70s’ show

Curly hair, sideburns and boots; Steven Hyde is the epitome of Zen. His life’s philosophy is “whatever”. He has a streak of anti-establishment that makes him utterly hot.

P.S – Jackie and Hyde forever!

Dr John Dorian from Scrubs

JD is an insecure, compassionate and validation-seeking doctor with dreamy eyes. He has a constant inner monologue and frequently creates dream scenarios to make real life more like TV. No, I don’t identify with him at all. What do you mean?

Also, try getting this brilliant ode to Zach Braff out of your head (I don’t care what you say, in a non gay way, I love Zach Braff, Zach Braff).

Marshall Eriksen from How I met your mother

What kind of cold-hearted bitchasaurus rex would not love a grown man who believes in monsters, ghosts and calls the Loch ness monster, “Nessy”? He has a good job, he is funny, he wants to save the environment, he can fight when he has to, he makes adorable songs (Lily made some crème brulelelelele, you just got slapped woahohohoho); Marshal Eriksen is the perfect husband.

Dr Gregory House from House MD

Oh, Dr House is so manly. He is brash, he is in pain and he handles it like a man. An angry, crazy man. House is so hot; I want to cut my arm off so I can meet him. I want to be closed and intriguing so he wants to know me. I want to sit on his lap. I want to be Wilson so he can be best friends with me. (Just to clarify, I know he is fictional)

Matt Albie from Studio 60 on the sunset strip

Matt is the head writer of Studio 60. He is incredibly witty, smart and intelligent. He is an award-winning writer but his struggles with writing, depression, addiction and religion is so endearing, you just want to give him a hug. He is also incredibly hilarious.

 

Don Draper from Mad Men

I have only seen half of one Mad Men season (yes, yes, I should be hunted down and my head should be shaved) but that’s enough to fall in love with Don Draper. He is a smoker, drinker, womanizer and suit wearer and his eyes can cut though ice. I don’t think I’d really survive in 1960 (dresses that end tightly below your knees are uncomfortable) but Draper is a man that will stay hot in every decade.

Troy Barnes from Community

You know what’s great about Troy Barnes? He likes no-no juice, he can pop and lock like a champ, he has a talent in plumbing, he is distracted by shiny things and cries very easily. Also, he is the best friend anyone can ever find.

Stringer Bell from The Wire

Russell ‘Stringer’ Bell is the second-in-command of Avon Barksdale’s drug organisation. He is intelligent, ruthless, he has rock-hard abs, he takes business classes and owns a copy of Adam Smith’s The Wealth of Nations. Rock-hard abs. Rock. Hard.

Phil Dunphy from Modern Family

“I’m cool dad, that’s my thang. I’m hip, I surf the web, I text. LOL: laugh out loud, OMG: oh my god, WTF: why the face?”

– Phil Dunphy, ex-cheerleader, peerent.

Ron Swanson from Parks and Recreaction

“The less I know about other people’s affairs, the happier I am. I’m not interested in caring about people. I once worked with a guy for three years and never learned his name. Best friend I ever had. We still never talk sometimes.”

As much as I’m in love with Ben Wyatt, Ron Swanson is THE man on television. He eats meat, he drinks scotch, he is a woodworker, he hates the government and he has the bushiest moustache in the world. He is also secretly a jazz player, Duke Silver.

Trivia: Nick Offerman who plays Ron Swanson is married to Megan Mullaly who plays Ron’s crazy ex-wife Tammy 2. 

Other Contenders: 

Ben Wyatt and Tom Haverford from Parks and Recreation, Jack Donaghy from 30 Rock, Blaine Anderson from Glee, Neil Caffery ranfrom White Collar, Steely Booth From Bones, Richard Castle from Castle, Cameron from Modern Family, Omar from The Wire, Sherlock Holmes from Sherlock, Jeff winger and Abed Nadir from Community, Mark Sloane from Grey’s Anatomy.

Six Tumblrs you ought to check out

Six Tumblrs you ought to check out

Brilliant pictures of the most awesome people hanging out with other awesome people.

Archie comics, when taken out of context are a minefield of sexual innuendos.

I spy a famous face, for all those times you are watching an old movie and go, “hey, it’s that guy!”

White girl taking pictures with her new African friends? You, go gurl!

Yes! Real talk from an editor. With gifs.

Feel bad for Jon Arbuckle? See his existential angst without Garfield around.

How to identify a Bombay Hipster

How to identify a Bombay Hipster

They’ll always drink at Janta even though they can afford to drink at a place with fancier decor than peeling walls and resident cockroaches. It’s habit, they’ll claim. Habit from when we were struggling copywriters, journalists, singer-songwriters, and record studio chai-bringers. They’re lying. It’s hipsterdom.

They’ve been to both NH7 weekenders and constantly compare one to another, every damn time.

They watch Dangerous Ishqq and Housefull ironically. And in Gaiety or Galaxy. Refer to point one.

They wear shorts to work because they work in advertising/film and television. If they don’t work in advertising, film and television, they wish they did.

They’ll spend Over Rs 3000 on a small ridiculously kitsch item from PlayClan, Tappu ki Dukaan and Attic. Like a miniature rickshaw that serves no purpose. And then they’ll put it on their desk at work.

First of all, Carter Road? Psht. Too preppy. They’ll go to bandstand instead and then claim they do it to make fun of the couples making out on the rocks.

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