Whirlpool of Binge Watching

I am sure you have heard this classic Eagles song “Hotel California

Last thing I remember, I was
Running for the door,
I had to find the passage back to the place I was before,
‘Relax,’ said the night man,
‘We are programmed to receive.
You can check out any time you like,
But you can never leave!’

It’s often more challenging to get back into your regular routine after a nice vacation or a prolonged stay in bed due to illness. The same is true for binge watching also. You are trapped.

A lesser-known fact – You may come across Internet posts challenging you to binge-watch your favorite TV show or channel. Best of all, if you are chosen and complete the challenge, you will be paid. In 2019, Internet Service Partners ran a competition in which one person could win $1,000 for watching 24 Hallmark Christmas movies in 12 days. The winner was required to submit a personal critique on each film and keep her social media followers updated throughout the experience.

Even though these contests are brilliant marketing strategies used by the businesses, the question now is “Should we support encouraging people to spend even more time in front of their television sets?” According to Healthline, watching more than three hours of television per day may eventually cause memory loss and language damage. OTT platforms have really changed the way people watch TV.

Gone are the days of satellite TV channels. At least they were time bound. The majority of homes have multiple televisions for viewing purposes. Everyone in the house may watch different shows without interfering with each other thanks to the numerous gadgets and shared streaming accounts. Being addicted to your devices in a crowded house makes it simple to isolate yourself. Good for introverts like me, but not good generally.

The K-Dramas are definitely most addictive. I think they are produced with a mere intent of tricking people into binge watching them. Put on a Korean light comedy with a dash of romance on Netflix and there goes your weekend in a blink.

It’s a never-ending circle. You begin with an episode. You are halfway through a series after five hours have passed without your realizing it. You never thought you’d find yourself this deep in the whirlpool called Netflix, but here you are.

Share your binge-watching tales in the comments section. What is your take on it? Which net series are you hooked on? For me it’s a K-Drama these days “Extraordinary Attorney Woo”

Interesting stories behind some popular Idioms

I must accept, I did not study as much in my school time as I do now when I sit with my kids. At that age, study was only about somehow mugging up syllabus and get good marks. The study pattern was also not that inclusive of going deep inot the subject. Coming straight to the point, I came across some idioms from my daughter’s textbook and it was then when I looked for how these idioms have centuries old tales to tell.

By definition, an idiom is a statement that cannot be comprehended literally; instead, you must understand its meaning, which rarely, if ever, seems to have any logical relationship to the exact words employed. After all, how precisely does “raining cats and dogs” logically translate to “it’s raining pretty hard”? There isn’t.

There is no clear written history benhind this one but I did find some interesting backstories to few idioms. Feel free to comment if you have something to add to these or to the ‘raining cats & dogs’

1. Take a Rain Check

Believe it or not, the phrase has its roots in athletics, notably baseball in the 1870s. Back then, the relevant teams would reissue tickets for the postponed game if a baseball game was rained out. Rain checks are the names given to these tickets. By the 1890s, the expression had started to be used less literally, leading to the eventual outcome that we today use take a rain check in a variety of scenarios that have absolutely nothing to do with baseball.

2. Pardon My French

Another extremely popular phrase that really doesn’t make any sense objectively is “pardon my French.” This expression is typically used in conjunction with a “Oh, pardon my French” comment after someone curses. Naturally, whatever was just said was probably not said in French; it was probably just spoken in plain old English. Why then should one be sorry for their French? Because the original speaker of the statement was actually speaking French at the time. It seems that throughout the 1800s, it was normal for educated people to smuggle in a few French phrases. However, those with less education would have only been able to speak English, thus they would not have understood a word that was being spoken. The expression became more common as a result. Nobody appears to know exactly how we transitioned from saying “Pardon my French” when speaking in true French to saying it when swearing.

3. Saved by the Bell

In contrast to the previous idioms, there are a few distinct theories as to how this one came into use. The phrase “saved by the bell” is said to have its origins in the 18th century. There was a lot of worry about the prospect that someone would be mistaken for dead and end up being buried alive at this time. As a result, a mechanism was created to address this issue (which, by all accounts, may have had some basis in reality). With this method, a string was tied to the finger of the supposed victim and the other end was attached to a bell placed outside the coffin. Then a guard was posted nearby. The concept was that, should it turn out that the deceased was not quite as dead as everyone thought, they could still be able to move, which would sound the bell and warn the guard. Even while this is an intriguing story, there is a notable absence of supporting evidence.

4. Bury the Hatchet

Bury the hatchet is a traditional Native American practise. The chiefs of two rival tribes would actually bury two battle axes as part of a peace ceremony. Since all of the testimonies we have are from colonists, it is possible that this custom is even older than the earliest documents, which date back to the late 1600s. The oldest Iroquois mythology, which describes how the Five Nations united and marked the new peace by burying their weapons under a tree, is the closest thing we have to a Native American narrative. They picked a tree, though, that grew above an underground river, and as a result, the weapons were washed away. However, it is unclear how old this tale is. In any case, the phrase, which was initially only employed in relation to this ritual, gradually spread to other contexts.

5. God Bless You

Similar to the expression “saved by the bell,” there are several alternative origin stories for the expression “bless you.” According to one version of the legend, sneezing somehow exposed you to attacks from bad spirits. Therefore, you were essentially attempting to shield the individual who sneezed by blessing them. According to a different legend, the ban was instituted by Pope Gregory I amid a bubonic plague outbreak, which sneezing was one of the symptoms of. The pope rather understandably felt that, given the mortality rates associated with the bubonic plague, any chance for extra divine help was not to be passed over, and therefore encouraged the practice of blessing people when they sneezed. Yet another story contends that the custom evolved in response to a pervasive belief that the heart briefly stops when you sneeze. According to this story, the reason you bless someone is either to congratulate them on surviving the sneeze or to enable their survival in the first place. So which story is true? Uh. Well. We…don’t actually know.

Bonus :

A Shot of Whiskey – A drink of whiskey and a.45 calibre cartridge for a six-gun cost 12 cents each in the old west. Cowhands would frequently give the bartender a cartridge in exchange for a drink if they were short on cash. A “shot” of whiskey was later coined for this.

 

To read

To read in bed is to draw around us invisible, noiseless curtains. Then at least we in a room of our own and are ready to burrow back ; back to that private life of the imagination we all led as a child and to those satisfactions so many of us have mislaid the key – Clifton Fladiman

While talking to my kids about how we used to read comic books all summer, so many memories popped into my mind and I couldn’t help from chuckling out loud remembering those fun days of innocence. In those times, a comic book for a day was a favorite pass time. Me & my brother would get two books per day, read one by one and bond talking over their interesting stories. Chacha Chaudhary, Pinki, Billu, Shikari Shambhu, Motu Patlu, Adventures of Tintin and various other super hero comic books were somehow building up our vocabulary as well as smartness. We also used to enact some of the scenes. Young minds and nothing else to do, what else can you expect.

Cartoons on TV have totally taken over the habit of reading in young kids. Though I do encourage my kids to read but with easy visual medium and easy availability, they are more attracted towards TV than books. What I want to say through my opening lines is that in my opinion, reading any kind of books not only is good for entertainment, they introduce you to new words, it makes your brain imagine the character yourself. In those moments of reading, you enjoy your solitude. You learn to be alone and be happy within yourself.

I had read somewhere that books let you fight dragons, meet the love of your life, travel to faraway lands and laugh alongside friends, all within their pages. They are an escape that brings you home. Books take you to the places no passport can take you and the areas no one knows about. Reading takes us to places when we have to stay where we are. And these places are all unique to each reader. That’s why they say that start reading and be forever free.

The more you read, the more things you will know. The more you learn, the more places you will go – Dr Seuss

person standing using red umbrella

Ramblings on a rainy day

It has been raining incessantly since last night. Can’t help but write these brilliant lines by Robert Frost

“The rain to the wind said,
You push and I’ll pelt.’
They so smote the garden bed
That the flowers actually knelt,
And lay lodged–though not dead.
I know how the flowers felt.”

Sitting in a high rise, sipping on a cup of hot coffee, one can only romanticize the idea of raindrops falling on pretty flowers in the balcony. The reality is harsher. I look down on the “Kachcha” (mud) houses behind our complex and they are totally submerged under water. How do they see this rain. Surely not the same as me. Such is life.

Achcha Bachcha

Much has been written about Sushant Singh Rajput’s unfortunate death. Every day a new sensational piece of information is added to the already confounding situation. Each day a revelation and yet inconclusive. Everyone is just speculating.

My heart goes out to his family. Neither they were quite informed about his life when he was alive, nor do they have any clue about his death. There was a tweet where someone said that he was burdened with being a son of a toxic Bihari family. While I strongly oppose the tweet, there is a contestable point for why I wanted to write my pov about it.

While the kids are provided with all kinds of luxuries, the comfort of expressing themselves freely is rarely extended. Kids are taught to be accepting in nature and questioning is hardly entertained. We have always been told to not to talk back to elders. Not even when one has a valid point. The term ‘healthy debate’ is practically non existent. The kids who follow this are labeled as ‘Achha Baccha’ and as a result poor kid tries to manage this label whole life. They continue on the ‘please everyone’ phase in their adult life as well. The frustration builds up in that person as he/she tries to live upto his/her image. I know so many people who are extremely well behaved with everyone but are super angry person in the closet.

There is nothing wise in celebrating parental autocracy. Look at our movies, they reinforce similar ideas. Please read this famous dialogue of the blockbuster Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham…”Mata pita ki aagya ka palan karna hamara dharm hai“. I am sorry if this is right than we will raise robots only and not a human being. The boy who was told to be “good” and study hard for engineering might never give himself the option of ever pursuing a career in arts. The little girl who was taught never to question, could end up in an abusive marriage and not have the courage to speak up or argue because all through her childhood she was made to believe that good girls keep people around them happy. If we need women to break out of the exhausting idea of selflessness, then pressuring them to “be a good girl” is exactly the sort of thing that needs to stop.

The onus is on us parents and guardians to go beyond focusing on their milestones of growth and development. We should ideally raise them to be as emotionally capable as intelligent, if not more. Allow your kids the opportunity and luxury of an argument; let them challenge a perspective before you diss them for not being a ‘achcha bachcha’. I sincerely feel that communication is the key to any successful relationship; be it with your parents, kids or partner. And NO, “aaj kya khaya”, “kya banaya” does not recompense the gap. There is much more than just inquiring whether you have eaten or not for an effective communication. Ask them how they feel, how their day had gone. Participate in their emotions. Do not listen with an intent to reply, listen with an intent to understand the emotion behind their words. Tell them about your experience through the day.

A heart to heart talk can alleviate a depressed mood and leave a heart warm enough to face any problems, small or big.