Musings ● Ravings ● Qualitative Observings

Tag: Netflix

Taking Stock |1


(Picture source: in my studio)

Making: buntings of all sorts. If you’re feeling celebratory in the inside, make it known to the rest of the world. With the air filled with mercy and glory this Ramadan, I had felt obliged to lighten up our little dwelling. Our porch adorned with twinkling, gold string lights and beautified with pots of hydrangeas and marigolds. Our main entranced adorned with a banner or a bunting with warm greetings, be it Ramadan Kareem or Eid Mubarak. Find my (free) favourites in the link below:

1. Printable Ramadan Banner & Stars by Sakina Design
2. Eid Mubarak Garland by Sweet Fajr
3. Eid Mubarak Bunting Flags by in my studio
4. Eid Party Printables by Paper Couture Dubai

Reading: Between Clay & Dust by Musharraf Ali Farooqi. An interesting read that follows the life of a matured wrestler, alongside, a matured tawaif (prostitute/performer). It plays around the themes of honour, pride and redemption. It gives a look into Indo/Pak and the regions’ rich culture in performance arts. However, if you’re seeking action, adventure and lustful love, you won’t find it here. Unfortunately, the novel is not so memorable, although it is certainly rich in emotions and symbolism. Definitely, a quiet summer read.

Wanting: to explore the world. Stricken with ye ol’ wanderlust, I’ve been desperately wanting to go visit another country. After falling in love with Makkah & Medina, Saudi Arabia during my Umrah trip this December, I have been greatly wanting to see more of the world. I’ve been wanting to immerse myself into a new culture, meeting different people, seeing new sights, and feeling its history. However, with fall term calling my name, ever-growing student loans and time constraints, this might prove to be difficult.

Playing: Bollywood wedding songs. ‘Tis wedding season and with that comes all the heat-warming melodies I grew up withHence, with these songs stuck in my head, you’d have me playing them over, and over again.

Watching: The Good Wife on Netflix. Although, I’m a little deterred from continuing the show upon discovering the Kalinda (Archie Panjabi) and Will Garnder (Josh Charles) are no longer attached to the show. We shall see!

Feeling: grateful. Alhamdulillah. Lately, I’ve witnessed many miracles of sorts and cannot begin to express my gratitude to Allah (swt). With gratefulness comes many other feelings of graciousness and contentment, and it’s all greatness from there.

{Taking Stock inspired by Pip from Meet Me at Mikes}

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Reflections {Day 5} : Can We Talk About Jealousy? (& Being Erica mini-review)

To smell the roses. To take a moment to reflect. How oft’ we overlook & forget thee? For the next few days, I’ve decided to take the time to reflect the happenings of the day-to-day life. I cannot promise quality writings, but I give thee my word: to bring about raw tidbits of thoughts, that churn the gears of my brain. Without further adieu: 

I’ve recently ventured into a new TV series (actually circa, 2009, but nevertheless, new to me…. and I’m digressing…) – a Canadian Comedy TV series, actually. Very rarely does one find lush and fulfilling Canadian shows but CBC’s Being Erica finds itself up to par. I recall seeing promos for Being Erica while watching re-runs of Little Mosque on the Prairie, and being quite intrigued by the premise. The premise being, a woman who begins seeing a therapist to deal with regrets in her life, only to discover that the therapist has the ability to send her back in time to actually relive these events and even change them. However, having low expectations from Canadian programming, I never acted upon my curiosity, until one day I came across it on Netlifx.

Needless to say, I am greatly enjoying the show, with due credit to the show’s primary lead, Erica Strange (Erin Karpluk). The characterization of Erica is immaculate: quirky to a tolerable degree, perfect amount of funny/cringe-y, inspiring but never cheesy. Furthermore, the chemistry with her therapist (Michael Riley) is brilliant – together, the two sell the story effortlessly. As far as my internet research shows (which really isn’t that extensive, hope you’ll forgive me), sci-fi critics are not sold on the show’s depiction of time-travel. However, Being Erica does not find itself even close to that category. Instead, Being Erica compels one to delve into their pasts and reflect. Each episode challenges our perspectives and encourages us to make amends with our future, past and present. I definitely encourage you all to take a gander. (For perspective’s sake, Being Erica reminds me of Ugly Betty/Lizzie Bennett Diaries).

Today’s reflection spawns from Being Erica’s 10th episode, “Mi Casa, Su Casa Loma”. Like every episode, this one provided a deliciously rich food for thought. But this one particularly stuck to me. In this episode, Erica time travels to 1993 in efforts to pinpoint why her friendship with Katie Atkins (Sarah Gadon) failed. Much to Erica’s surprise, she discovers that at one point or another, both of them have been jealous of each other, preventing Katie and Erica from holding up their valuable friendship. Dr. Tom, Erica’s therapist suggests that while we always encourage talking about feelings, jealousy seems to be taboo.

Why don’t we talk about jealousy often? Why don’t we address that it’s a prevalent and complex problem? Awareness is crucial in overcoming jealousy. Jumbled with a variety of different emotions – anger, resentfulness, bitterness, irritableness – we often forget about the little green monster of envy. Being aware that one is being overcome with jealousy will allow one to acknowledge it and encourage them to shift their perspective. Do not let jealousy build a wall between you and your always-budding and diverse relationships. I think we should talk about jealousy often; it will remind us to step into other people’s shoes, take a deep breath and remind us to count our multitude of blessings.

An Ode to Dramedies

Woe is me, for I have neglected this of blog of mine yet again. Je suis désolé! Writing should never have to take a backseat, regardless of the demands and bustle of routine, and I did quite the contrary. However, realizing that many posts of mine begin with an apology (oops!), I shall redirect this guilt towards blogging more frequently. *cue happy dance*

Lately, I have been exploring the dramedy genre, which as the name gives away, is the fusion comedy and drama. This genre, although quite prevalent and not at all out of the ordinary, has lately caught my interest. The reason being: a realization and appreciation of the balance created when working with the two genres – which are certainly quite opposite of each other. I’ve taken the understanding that the comedy aspect tends to be more implicit (and if done well, very humorous!), while the drama is more subtle (and not over the top, thankfully!).

I have rounded up two of the my favourites from my summer vacation Netlflix ventures, so without further adieu:

Queen, 2014
An awe-inspiring work of art that has easily made its way into my all-time favourites.  Admittedly, I had endeavored into the story of Queen with low expectations, believing it to be akin to recent Bollywood blunders (names shall not be named, but I’m sure we have all had enough of police-related comedy numbers, amirite!). Needless to say this misconception was quickly cleared up and I truly appreciated the attention to detail and the nuanced story-telling. Directed by Vikass Bahl, the movie encourages its viewers to seek out their own identities, in a humorous and heart-felt way. It maps out the adventures of Rani, a traditional desi girl, lacking majorly in the confidence department. She decides to pursue her honeymoon solo, travelling around Europe, when her fiancé breaks up with her.

Tokens of brilliance:
We are made to fall in love with Rani’s fiancé, Vijay as he charmingly dotes her, making Rani’s heartbreak so close to home. However, even more brilliant is the way director, Vikass Bhal makes us fall out of love with Vijay, as the character begins to gradually show his true, dominating and overbearing personality.
– Lisa Haydon as Vijaylakshmi. Need I say more?
– Drunk Rani and the spillage of all of her woes, when she vents to her new friend. Dying of laughter could definitely be a side-affect for viewers!
– The affirmation that friendship transcends borders,  language, gender, individual problems etc. as Rani makes unlikely, but loyal friendships.
– London Thumakda. Every wedding’s anthem, from now, until eternity.

Celeste and Jesse Forever, 2012
Celeste and Jesse Forever, you had me at Rashida Jones and Andy Samberg! Celeste and Jesse, the film’s leading pair, had been best friends, high-school sweethearts, and eventually pronounced husband and wife. However, the marriage eventually dissolves, but the ex-couple resolve to maintain their friendship. The struggle to maintain this friendship, while pursuing their respective romantic relationships becomes integral to the story-line. In my humble opinion, the movie fares well in its genre, joining the ranks of 500 Days of Summer.

Tokens of brilliance:
The chemistry amid the leading pair, Rashida Jones and Andy Samberg: vraiment magnifique! It is no secret that I am a huge fan of the Parks and Rec/The Office alumni, Jones and the leading man of Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Samberg. The two make you believe in friendship, sacrifice and love, again and again.
Of course, we must pay tribute to the stellar extended cast – a quick nod to Chris Messina and Emma Roberts!
– The film achieved such a fine balance between comedy and drama – absolutely immaculate! There were times when the heartbreak almost became too tragic, but Celeste & Jesse’s antics would have you laughing everything away. The movie did not take itself too seriously, but also, resonates well with those who can relate.
– Justin Bieber costumes, you were definitely not overseen!
– Overall, a light and charming indie film, which utilizes its creative license quite justly!

 

The Notables of August

As the 31st day of the month approached, August hurriedly neared its end…And, August, I bid thee an emotional farewell for you were so very kind to me…. Whilst I do recognize that at this point in time we are nearing the middle of September, I’d still like to properly offer my adieu and to do that, it would be only appropriate to round up les notables de August, non? In no order whatsoever and certainly, a mish-mash of randomness (to be politically correct), I shall recount my notables for the month of August:

1. Noteworthy Web Series
Upon watching the finale of Lizzie Bennet Diaries, an Emmy awarding winning web series, I had come to the conclusion that nothing could ever compete… Boy, was I wrong!  Here comes into play (pun unintended!), Nothing Much to DoI have always been charmed by Shakespeare’s play, Much Ado About Nothing. The stark contrast between Don Pedro and his ‘bastard’ brother, Don John, the softness within Beatrice & Hero’s relationship, the witty banter amidst Beatrice and Benedict… oh Shakespeare, how I love thee!

Nothing Much to Do is true to its purpose – a modern, vlog-like adaption of the Elizabethan era play. It ever-so-brilliantly depicts the main motifs within the novel – gossiping, misunderstandings, friendship, love. Certainly, what sets this series apart from others is its sense of naturalness and effortlessness.  Everything about it feels real – and that is the greatest accomplishment in storytelling. Congratulations to the entire team!

2. Noteworthy Book
It is a universally acknowledged truth that mass reading is a summer sport (of mine, at least!).  This summer, I sought to tackle my always growing reading list. A stand out amongst them all was Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. It’s of the thriller genre – which, admittedly I am not so well acquainted with. However, this book did wonders for me.

The novel’s principal suspense comes from an uncertainty about the main character, Nick Dunne, and whether he killed his wife, Amy Dunne. In my (most humble) opinion, the brilliance of this novel shines bright due to it’s powerful convincing capabilities. With a multitude of twists and turns, Flynn reminded me that ultimately, it’s the author who has the steering wheel. Furthermore, its vivid imagery and effective use of diction, had me utterly captivated. Needless to say, I highly recommend Gone Girl.

3. Noteworthy TV Show
I have done the deed. Yes, dear readers, I have joined the hashtag-team-Netflix-bandwagon. For so long I have avoided the inevitable because I knew that I would succumb to its addictive binge-watching side-effect. Last summer, ’twas House M.D that had me hooked.  This summer, t’would be Arrested Development – an entirely different genre. I had also watched Scandal quite keenly, but Arrested Development’s laugh-out-loud-worthy comedy stole the show.

To put into the knowing words of Wikipedia: Arrested Development is an American television  sitcom created by Mitchell Hurwitz, which originally aired on Fox for three seasons from November 2, 2003 to February 10, 2006. The show follows the fictitious Bluth family, a formerly wealthy and habitually dysfunctional family, and is presented in a continuous format, incorporating handheld camera work, narration, archival photos, and historical footage.
What has truly makes this show notable are the inside you-had-to-be-there type of jokes. The comedy show truly values its long-time devoted viewers.

4. Noteworthy Words of Wisdom
Through my labyrinthine ventures through Tumblr, I came across a quote that deeply moved and touched me.
Fact: I love words. I love to collect quotations – words that inspire me or simply resonate with me. I also like to share them with others:

The function, the very serious function of racism, is distraction. It keeps you from doing your work. It keeps you explaining, over and over again, your reason for being. Somebody says you have no language, so you spend twenty years proving that you do. Somebody says your head isn’t shaped properly, so you have scientists working on the fact that it is. Someone says you have no art, so you dredge that up. Somebody says you have no kingdoms, so you dredge that up. None of that is necessary. There will always be one more thing. -Toni Morrison, at Portland State University, 1975

How incredibly profound, and, calamitous. In essence, any form of bullying stems from the same concept. Distraction. Those who are succumbed by their own insecurities tend to manifest their negativity upon others, in efforts to lead others astray as well. With such conviction, Morrison reminds us all that submitting to such negativity is completely unnecessary – an obvious, but often forgotten truth.

Readers! You are invited to share your notables in the comment section below – because certainly, “Happiness quite unshared can scarcely be called happiness; it has no taste.” ― Charlotte Brontë.