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All you need is love

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All you need is love

The quest for love sure is one of life’s biggest priorities. Unless you’re on television; then it’s pretty much your entire life and being. Television is full of optimistic, angsty and hopeless romantics that jump from relationship to relationship with funny and creepy results but they power through. Yes, they do.

They are almost all about 30 and their life comprises of endless hours spent at the neighborhood bar discussing their ever-changing love life with their friends.

The most recent ones to join the list is Mindy Lahiri from The Mindy Project. A doctor by profession, she lives on a standard fare of romantic comedies and believes she will find “The One” as long as she looks hard enough. The critics are pretty torn about this rom-com but three episodes in, I quite like it. It’s a bit typical what with the playboy who has a deeper side, the mean coworker who we secretly hope Mindy will end up with but there is room for good intelligent comedy and I can feel it coming. Also, I absolutely adore Mindy Kaling and will watch anything she’s in. And this show is produced, created, written and stars Kaling.

One of the most popular hopeless romantic of course is, Ted Mosby of How I met your mother that we have been watching since they invented the computers and let people write terribly lengthy scripts on. Mosby bravely (and stupidly) continues on his quest for love while drawing up a long list of what she’ll be like “oh, she has to love my lame jokes”, “oh, she must be a fan of my constant neediness and tears”.

Now, this elusive “one” leaves in its wake a bunch of really nice, pretty and normal people who seem to be dumped because of these character’s delusions.

Finding love and being happy forever? B-o-o-ring. But the constant hunt for one that starts with optimism followed by a disaster date that involves crap like she smiles weirdly, she doesn’t like hummus or she talks about killing her cats all the time and ends with a shrug and ‘eh, the one is still out there’ and more damn optimism.

If I went on as many dates as Carrie Bradshaw in Sex and the City, I’m pretty sure I’d probably run out people in Mumbai. Plus, be very broke (anyone notices how this writer never reads and never picks a guy who reads? C’mon, make out with Mr. Big and then discuss Hemingway. That would be hot! Also, I’m quoting Newsroom here, but I know Carrie must’ve made boatloads writing her eight-hundred-word column for a newspaper no one’s ever heard of).

All of these lovelorn characters have jobs that they barely pay any attention to, how can you when you spend half your day running into pretty men at the bakery and the other half obsessing over what she meant when she said “we need to talk”. You’d think after about a billion failed relationships, they’d know better.

My problem isn’t that these are unrealistic, it is television after all, but I’m tired of all of them being clones of each other. The idealistic talk of “all encompassing, unconditional love”, the stupid insights on love….the works. It’s always the same. Surely, the cynics who understand deadlines and dwindling bank balances also find love. Yup, they do. They just don’t spend as much time talking about it and crying on their friend’s shoulders at 3 am on weekday.

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The Emmy winners are out and other stories

The Emmy winners are out and other stories

The Emmy winners were announced today and we are very excited and a little bit annoyed. Firstly, what? How much cooler and funnier must Parks and Rec, Community and Louie be to be nominated for an Emmy? And hasn’t 30 Rock really run past its expiration date? What kind of world do we live in where Ron Swanson and Abed Nadir don’t even get a nomination for their brilliant performances? Huh?

But yay for Modern Family winning for the third consecutive year and hurrah for Louis CK and Homeland and Aaron Paul and Claire Danes.

Yes, it was a bit tiring that the men on Modern Family monopolize the Supporting Comedy Actor section every year. Which is why I was rooting for Schmidt (played by Max Green field in New Girl) but oh well, Cameron is great too. Ho hum.

Also, Amy Pohler was robbed! Again! And so were Bryan Cranston and Mad Men. Boooo.

P.S – How amazing was Aziz Ansari?! Fish n chips!

Speaking of Bryan Cranston, the meth-cook-in-tighty-whities is directing an episode of Modern Family. Having already directed a few episodes of Malcolm in the Middle as well as Breaking Bad, we know this guy has some serious directing chops. We can’t wait for Modern Family to be back, September 26th is almost here. Also, it’s kind of unnerving to see Heisenberg chilling in a suburban home looking way too normal for comfort.

Fanfiction and its tremendous rise in the past few years is a trend really worth observing. From Harry Potter and Twilight to Desperate Housewives and Friends, writers and fans all over the world are creating incredible plot twists and spinning stories for a large audience that seems to lap them up. Some of them are written beautifully and makes you wonder why these guys aren’t creating their own original work of fiction (Readymade characters with already set personalities are quirks are easier to write about then creating characters of your own and breathing life into them is my opinion). But, most or a large amount of fanfiction is sexual. Character pairings like Draco Malfoy and Harry Potter who get it on in the forbidden forest or incestual relations between Ross and Monica are all over the internet. In this story by Supriya Nair, she explores sexual fanfiction in the world of classic literature and reviews Jane Eyre Laid Bare about, well as you can tell from the title, Jane Eyre’s explicit sex life. Though it is doubtful this will make Charlotte Bronte roll over in her grave considering Jane Eyre is already full of sex, we sure want to know what she would think.

If you are active on Facebook, you might have already seen this link doing the rounds with ‘awwws’ and ‘sooo cutes’. Buzzfeed’s 50 most romantic photographs of all times may or may not have made us weep.

– Sharanya

Preach alert: How to read when all you want to do is not

Preach alert: How to read when all you want to do is not

This weekend I indulged in some serious guilty pleasure reading. I was struggling with Orlando by Virginia Woolf and suddenly I found myself scanning my roommates bookshelf. One Sophie Kinsella, several Mary Higgins Clark and around two thousand romances. I chose a slim volume called “The Brazilians blackmailed bride.” I know that enough of you have read Mills and Boons at some point so you know how the story goes. I was mildly surprised at how sexist it was (“She was weak, just like all women.”) but mostly I was surprised at how much I didn’t care that I was wasting my time reading a book like that. To be fair, it wasn’t bad writing, but the characters were terribly annoying and what they did was incredibly predictable. End of story. After they kissed on the last page I closed the book and pondered.

Bombay is not kind to the readers among us. We work ourselves to the bone, we get home smelling of sweat and trains and we’re always hungry, tired and trying to rid our lungs of all the exhaust fumes we inhale on a daily basis. I’ve heard several people say “I used to read a lot but now I barely get the time.” I get that. Are we really expected to curl up on the couch with Ullysses on a Monday night? If at all we read, we want it to be a light escapist soiree involving fluttering blonde women with names like Sophia and bronzed Brazilians who in my mind are built like Gaston from Disneys’ Beauty and the Beast. Does that make us stupid? No it doesn’t and there’s no shame in the occasional “The disobedient virgin’s secret affair. In Rio. They do it several times.” But as readers, we need to be disciplined.

Reading is not easy. I’ve always been a reader and sometimes I struggle like hell with the books I choose to read. Here are some things I’ve learned about the habit. I hope it will help you.

1. Categorise your books into those that will go fast and those that require concentration. Don’t read the latter in the train or when you’re tired. There are train books and there are non-train books.

2. If you’re reading something written several generations before you were born, trust me, no matter how exciting the plot, it will be slow at points. The best example I can think of is Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness. You’re several pages into the book before the narrator even gets to the Congo. It’s worth it, so keep reading. Be patient.

3. You don’t have to finish the book all at once. It can get to you. Take a break for a month or two and get back to it.

4.  Make time. If you are genuinely too tired during the week, give yourself three hours on he weekend.

5. Allow yourself the occasional indulgence. For every three Gabriel Garcia Marquez you read, you can read one “A summer in Copacabana.” That’s just good maths.

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