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”

close up of pictures

What a memory!

Life’s changes come in all shapes and sizes. Change could be simply organising your cupboards, changing the layout of your living room or change in your career, moving away from home and so on. These are all the changes we go through consciously and with lot of thoughts put in. However as one grows older, change in viewpoint/likings comes silently and you do not realize until confronted on the subject.

I experienced this firsthand few days ago when I decided to show my kids blockbuster movie of the times when I was younger. My kids are big time fans of BTS (the biggest boy band of the world). While they keep listening to their music all the time, my TV time was reduced mostly to Kpop as they hardly let me touch the remote. So this was a good excuse to take control in my hand and reminisce my old times.

Amongst the available options of movies on digital platform , we chose “Raja Hindustani”. I remember the songs of this movie were a rage. There was not a single bus, taxi or restaurants where ‘Pardesi Pardesi’ song was not blaring. The cinemas were house full and Karishma Kapoor was highly praised for her straight hair look and pairing opposite Amir Khan. We had to wait a whole week to finally get tickets and we were quite thrilled to watch it in hall jam packed with people whistling. For me at that time, Raja Hindustani was a paisa wasool movie.

Cut to the present….the movie starts and we see that pretty & rich damsel Karishma along with her two servants/confidants visits Palankhet (an imaginary town) and comes across an illiterate Taxi driver. His antics impress her and she eventually falls for him head over heals. Believe me people, the movie is so cringeworthy in first half that I was afraid to turn my face towards my kids who were equally disgusted. A full grown woman talking and acting like a child was just not at all attractive. Even my eleven year old is more matured than her. There is a scene where Amir khan tries to impress her by putting face powder in abundance and dance and sing….she laughs and he feels humiliated. Obviously one would laugh if you act like joker. But no, in this movie, Karishma kapoor goes and says sorry and they share a passionate kiss. She comes back home all hyped up and bumps into her father who has come to take her back. Ladies and gentleman, she chooses to leave. Okay, fair enough, after all summer flings do happen. Highlight is that this taxi driver only goes to drop them at the airport. No communication between the pair as to why…how ..now what…nothing.

They stop at a midway sort of place where some people are singing and dancing. Here comes our much anticipated song “Pardesi Pardesi jana nahi”. A beautiful girl starts singing and dancing passionately. Clearly dance isn’t her forte. Nonetheless, she sings exactly what the hero wants to convey at this point in time in the movie. Our hero starts singing too and going by the lyrics, he literally curses the heroine that she wont be able to sleep if she goes and will suffer a lot. Another lady with make up from hell, gets up drinks half a litre of alcohol, breaks the bottle and starts dancing absurdly.

The situation is tensed and supremely weird. Hero is sobbing and so is heroine with her goggles on, bottles are breaking and the father of the heroine has no clue whatsoever. He smiles occasionally.

Now I don’t know whether the curses shook the heroine or it was just that ridiculous dance which forces her to go and give our hero a tight hug and put a stop to this madness. At this point the father’s expressions are priceless. The song is finally over and along with it our desire to watch the movie any further.

Experience the song here yourself 😊 : https://youtu.be/i9lB-am_hyY

Little did I sensed that my memory was about an experience and not a movie per se. If this movie was to be released now, it would have met the same fate of Radhe. With time my likings and interests have changed too. Still, I will keep this song in my happy memories. The melody is no doubt super. I feel nostalgic listening to old songs, but my taste has changed surely. Me and my kids had a hearty laugh talking about the movie and proceeded to watch new release of a kpop group.

Continue reading “What a memory!”

How to reach Goa in 10 simple steps

Ladies and gentleman, brace yourselves as you are about to read the ultimate guide to reach Goa from Kolkata in ten easy steps, exclusively from the horse’s mouth.

Step 1. – Book yourself on a one stop flight via Mumbai to Goa. Take as much luggage as possible. Trust me, taking extra luggage has a lot to do in making your travel story successful.

Step 2. – As soon as your plane touches Mumbai, shove, push & stomp on people’s feet to get ahead in the queue to get down. Ignore the air-hostess’s plea to remain seated.I repeat, get down of the aircraft as soon as possible, as if it was about to explode. If you remain in the flight for 5 more minutes, you will totally realize that this same flight can take you to your destination in another hour.

Step 3.- You may plan your travel with your close friends and ask them to meet you at Mumbai airport, who by chance will be travelling from Kolkata itself, but of course by a different airline. Make sure your flights don’t touch the same terminals. Taking an over expensive cab just to get to Terminal 2 to be together with your friend will kick start your journey to Goa.

Step 4. – Book your tickets on a train to Goa from Mumbai. There’s a train at 11 30 AM, which goes through a picturesque landscape. SKIP THAT. You don’t want to see any other beauty as you are going to GOA. There is enough scenic beauty planned in your 7 days trip.

Step 5. – Take the one at 3 PM. This way, it will be dark soon and you will have nothing else to do besides talking face to face with your family as there will be no mobile network. Seldom comes a time in today’s hectic schedule, when we all sit together and talk heart to heart.

Step 6.- Indian train journey can not be complete without a tussle between you and the Manglorian uncle, for he wants his bags to be comfortably placed first, for he wants the window seat, for he is OLD. Forget all the chivalry and push all of your 36 bags under the tier.

Step 7. – Thank yourself for creating miracle – your babies. The train journey is never complete till one of kids either steps on some uncle’s hand, falls down from the berth or goes to the loo no less than 100 times. Keep them on sugar rush throughout the journey. They should play, run around and scream till the time half of the compartment gets migraine attack. Some old lady might advice you to make them sleep. Ignore her.

Step 8. – Did I tell you that this train does not have pantry car!! Lock this in specially if you travelling with kids. You don’t want them to have decent meals everyday. Let them enjoy Vada Paav once for god’s sake.

Step 9. – The train reaches Goa at around 2: 30 AM. There will be no coach attendant at that time, so queue in your luggage at the gate. You never know when the train will align at the platform. Make your sleepy kids sit on the luggage. Refer to point no 1 which is to carry extra luggage. You can make them lie on them. 🙂

Step 10. – When you finally reach Margaon station after a 12 hour journey, look for the way out. Don’t go too far. There is a foot bridge towards the taxi stand. There’s an escalator too but that isn’t operational till 6 in the morning. Everyone travelling, pick three to four bags each, weighing according to your caliber and pull yourself up one step at a time. Its fun trust me. When you get down on the other side, you will realize that you are the back side of the taxi stand!!  See I told you its fun. Come on, now pull all your luggage around half a kilometer to get to your cab. Once you do find your cab, you will spot the taxi driver looking desperately for you facing towards exit of the station, which of course you would had come out of, if you would had decided to walk down further on the platform and not take the bridge. But, if you would had done that, would there be any story left with you to tell your grand kids.

No journey is long enough till the time you are in good company. So my friends, do try this amazing travel plan tailor made for the adventurous soul inside each one of us.

What a Day!!

You know you’re in your 30s when putting that new carpet and wall decors you bought is in the top 5 highlights of your day. To prove otherwise, I thought we all should go out somewhere. So while rolling out Aalu paranthas for my family, I suggested my husband that we should go to a mall. Although I know my husband is completely against the idea of going to a shopping mall on a Sunday, to my utter surprise he said “hmmm.. yeah..Ok!!!” You see he is a man of few words.

Within an hour, with kids tucked in back seat, “chicken kuckdu ku” song on full blast, we were on road. By the time we reached there braving all the traffic, it was already lunch time. After circling the mall parking like a planet in its orbit for a long time we finally traced an empty parking slot. At least 5 cars rushed towards it in gladiator style. Unmindful of basic courtesy or consideration for the unfortunate soul who was the first to sight the bounty, we managed to park our car.

Eating at the food court can be an option in peak hours only if you like playing musical chair. I suggested that we should eat at a foriegn burger joint. Atleast you get to sit and eat peacefully without three people standing on your head with sizzlers and dosas. My husband said “hmmm…yeah..Ok!!! Kids were happy too. They got a free toy with the meal. Little did they care that daddy has paid four times the value of that toy for one burger.

The day started unfolding once we got into ‘Starmarks’. Four of us with different agenda on our minds went four different ways into the store. I was looking out for my next read, when I spotted my younger one kicking one of the shelves. I reached there in one big leap just before the toys came crashing down. A stern “NO, dont do that” was enough to make her howl on top of her voice. A lady standing across had a wicked smile on her face. She had her maid tagged along to take care of the ‘baba logs’. Damn that b****. In desperation, I looked towards my husband, who in turn moved further ten feets away with “its my bloody sunday too” look in his eyes. Somehow managing the situation with the younger one on my waist for rest of the evening, and ten different shopping bags, I thought it was enough of quality time. “Lets head home”, I said, to which my husband replied, “hmmm…yeah…Ok!!!”

We must have heard that bloody song from Bajrangi Bhaijaan at least 10 times on way back also. I had a splitting headcahe and backache by the time we got back. Kids got busy with the books they had bought. My husband lovingly applied MOOV on my back and said “Baby, lets avoid going to a mall next time unless absolutely necessary”. I replied “hmm…yeah…Ok”.