Thursday, 31 January 2013

Liebster Award... I think this is how you do this.

I have no idea what this is so no questions about that, okay? I was nominated by Foreign/er for something called Liebster Award and while I don't know what's it about or how it goes, I am just doing this for (and which is pretty much the reason she gave on her blog) fun.

So here goes!
The Rules

List 11 random facts about yourself
Answer the 11 questions
Nominate 11 bloggers with less than 200 followers
Comment on their page to let them know
Tag the person who nominated you in your post
Okay here goes...
11 Random Things About Me:

1. I love reading. Like, love reading.

2. I just ended up getting a very visible crack across the screen of my not-so-old touchscreen phone. Gack.

3. My all time comfort food has to be steamed chicken momos. 

4. I've been trying to learn Korean on my own. And struggling.

5. I cook to de-stress.

6. My favorite dessert would be blueberry cheesecake. Yummm.

7. If I had to name any one book as my favorite, it would be To Kill A Mockingbird.

8. I am watching an episode of Modern Family side by side right now.

9. I have recently acquired a nick name "Bubbles", something that I'm not exactly thrilled about.

10. I travel with my pillow. Please don't judge me.

11. I can't think of more of these.

Okay, so now are the 11 questions that I was asked by Joy from Forieng/er along with the answer:

1. Do you ever put on mismatching socks?
I did only two days ago! I was running late for class, and couldn't find matching socks...and it's cold. So, yes.

2.  Why did you eat that?
Honestly, no idea! Probably because I'm almost always hungry.

3.  Are you materialistic or not?
I would like to say that I'm not but that'd just be a flat lie. But yes, material comfort isn't everything to me so I suppose that's a saving grace. I like being comfortable, and won't say no to luxury but I'm not all that fan of excessive comfort.

4.  What's your fondest memory as a child?
Even though I had satisfactory childhood, I really cannot think of one right now! O_o

5.  Who calls you the most?
One of my best friends, Shreya C.

6.  Where could you go, if you could go there?
Seoul, South Korea. 

7. Anime or K-Drama?
K-Drama. Cheesy it may be at times, but always K Drama for me!

8.  Best movie snack?
Nachos. And coca cola.

9.  Gloves or mittens?
Gloves. They have fingers.

10.  Where have you been that filled you with inspiration and a new passion for life?
  Right here.

11.  Honestly, what were you thinking?
 Honestly, nothing at all! If I start thinking, there is no end to it. So, switch off mode!

And here are my nominees:

I wanted to nominate Foriegn/er but since that's already been done and she has done this whole sing and dance before, here they are:

 And here are the 11 questions my nominees have to answer:

1. What is your favorite mythical creature?
2. What's the song playing on your iPod?
3.  What is your favorite meal of the day?
4. What was the best vacation you ever had?
5. Tell us about a day from your life that you would want to live one more time.
6. Pancakes or waffles?
7. What is your superpower?
8. If you had to pick one between reading (novels, comics...any form of literature) or films, which would you pick?
9.  Where are you right at this moment?
10. Would you want to be some where else at this moment? If yes, where?
11. What's the scariest thing you had to do? (I got this question from another blog!)

Saturday, 26 January 2013

The literary characters I would love to meet in real life.

You know how there are those interviews of people in magazines and stuff where they ask if there was anyone fictional figure they could meet, who would it be. I have always found it unfair for those people to be forced to choose just one. If it were me, I'd go crazy thinking which person to single out. I'd like to meet so many people straight out of literature! So here I am, blogging about the fictional people I'd love to meet (literature only, otherwise the list might never end!).

Here they are in random order:

1. Mr. Darcy

He really does top my list! My feeling for Mr. Darcy can be summed up in the following pic that I found online:
Many criticize that Mr. Darcy is just too good to be true and while that may be true, the fact that he is all Perfect isn't. Let's not forget that the first impression he gave to Elizabeth and her friends wasn't altogether favorable. He is a snob, and that's not perfect. No. But he is a gentleman, all honorable and so tall and handsome. And he does sweet things for love! Sigh.. I won't even bother defending him anymore. I love Mr. Darcy, and would want to meet him any day! 

2. Harry Potter characters

Even though my favorite characters from the Harry Potter series Dumbledore, Hermione, Remus Lupin, Minerva McGonagal, Ron and Harry, I would pretty much love to meet anyone out Harry Potter's wizarding world. Except maybe Voldermort and that'd only because he's not so fond of muggles and may want to kill me on spot with his Avada Kedavra. Harry Potter books are one of most cherished part of my childhood and now, my adulthood. Even after all these years, when I am low and need to get some tlc, I prop a Harry Potter book open and everything's okay again. 

3. Hercule Poirot

I love, love, love Hercule Poirot! I have this thing where sometimes in my ever so fanciful imagination, I deny to admit that all these characters aren't real people and then I imagine Poirot's reaction if I actually went up to him and told him how cool I think he is! I imagine him going all Belgian on me, muttering fake-modest replies in English and French, twirling his famous mustaches! I love that he is so intelligent, so emotionally aware and yet so immodest! I love that he's a little dandy who insists on wearing patent shoes even while taking a walk in the country. Definitely would be an immensely interesting person to meet in real life.

5. Sherazade

I've always loved her character. She is witty, beautiful and apparently a great story teller. Not to mention brave. It must take great courage to willingly get married to half crazed homicidal king who kills his wives after the wedding night and basically gamble on your life. She is the ultimate story teller. I would love to go up to her and pretty much bow down in front of her. 

6. Umrao Jan Ada

I read the novel Umrao Jan Ada for the first time last year as a part of my Masters syllabus. Many argue that Umrao Jan was a real person, a real tawaif in Lucknow but I don't think it has been proved. So I'll count her in as well. She wasn't out right pretty if the novel is to be followed, but had great charm, had all the social ettiquetes, could dance, sing and write poetry. Plus, the ordeals that she had to go through in her life! She was another strong woman that I have loved reading about.

7. Scarlett O'Hara and Melanie Hamilton Wilkes

Speaking of strong women... How can I leave these two behind? Gone With The Wind is one of my favorite books ever and more than anything else, I admire these two women in the book the most! Scarlett and Melanie are very diffrent people, in fact their characters are totally opposite. But I have learnt a lot from them. While yes, much as I admire Scarlett, I assume she won't be a picnic to meet up with. But still, I would love to observe her. She is so cool! Melanie is a true Lady, and so nice. I want to be best friends with her, yay!

8. Atticus Finch

Confession time: I wanted to be a lawyer because I was totally taken by Atticus Finch's character. I think if I had to pick any one novel as my absolute favorite, above all the rest, I'd pick To Kill A Mockingbird. I don't read it as often as I do other books like the Harry Potter series or Gone With The Wind, Rebecca, Wuthering Heights, Malgudi Schooldays etc but I do read it once a year, every year. I think one of the main reasons I left law was because I didn't have the dedication and more importantly the guts like Atticus Finch. Among all the characters in literature, I don't respect any one more than him. There is one particular part in the novel that describes him that's by his daughter about him that I love especially and it goes:

' When the three of us came to the house, Atticus would sweep off his hat, wave gallantly to her and say, “Good evening, Mrs. Dubose! You look like a picture this evening.”

I never heard Atticus say like a picture of what. He would tell her the courthouse news, and would say he hoped with all his heart she’d have a good day tomorrow. He would return his hat to his head, swing me to his shoulders in her very presence, and we would go home in the twilight. It was times like these when I thought my father, who hated guns and had never been to any wars, was the bravest man who ever lived. '

This description of Atticus Finch, this scene, this definition of bravery is something that has stayed with me. I may not love Atticus the way I love say, Mr. Darcy but his character affects me in a way that no other fictional character has.

9. Juliet Ashton, Dawsey Adams, Sidney Stark and Isola Pribby

I got a copy of The Guernsey Literary Potato Peel Pie Society on my birthday last year and within minutes of beginning to read it, fell in love with it! While I wouldn't mind meeting any of the characters out of this book, I especially would want to meet these four. Here are the reasons--

Juliet because in many ways she is so like me. Not that I have ever thrown a tea pot at someone. And I totally get her possessiveness over her books. 

Sidney because every girl apparently wants a .. best friend, shall we say? No spoilers here. He is an amazing character though and I loved the letters he and Juliet exchanged. I am one of those people who enjoy writing letters but in today's age and time of technological development, have no one to write it to. 

Dawsey because he is so sweet! And such a gentleman! You have to read the book to know why I like him so much.

Isola because she is Isola. The girl's got spunk, I tell you. She's amazing! And so cute! I love her reactions and observations. Hee. I love how after she began reading Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice on Sidney's suggestion, she (in Juliet's words) "berates" Juliet for "never telling her about Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy.  Why hadn't she known that there were love stories not riddled with ill-adjusted men, anguish, death graveyards! What else had we been keeping from her?" And I love her for copying Miss Marple to the T.

10. Cathy H.

Never Let Me Go is one those novels that doesn't leave you so easily even after you're done reading the book and have put it down. It follows you, it effects you. I want to meet Cathy and give her a big hug and tell her that it is okay.

11. Captain Haddock, Professor Calculus, Thompson and Thomson

Before Harry Potter entered my life, The Adventures of Tintin comprised my childhood! My dad, who is a huge Tintin fan himself, had introduced me to this beautiful and witty and funny series when I was a child and that has stayed with me ever since. Sometime my dad and I actually talk like Tintin characters. To be precise: we talk like Tintin characters, my dad and I. I love each and every character in this series but Captain Haddock, Professor Calculus and the Thompson twins are my absolute favs! They are capable of inducing comic relief anywhere. They are the reason I actually laugh out loud when I am reading anyone of those Tintin books!

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Living a memory..

This post is dedicated specially to one of dearest friend in all the world. Recently, she was in a terrible accident and that caused her to temporarily forget some things. I was chatting with her yesterday and she was sad that she doesn't remember the quirky, crazy and amazingly fun/scandalous details about her wedding (two years ago). Well, I was there. And if it makes her at all happy, and puts her mind to peace even for a few minutes, she can have all my memories of her special day. I wish I could do the Harry Potter thing, take my memory out in a silver thread like thing and parcel it to her. But I am not a wizard, so I'll just write it all down here.

Revs, this is for you:

I was still in law school when you told me you were getting married "soon", so that must be in about 2009. You told me about him and then I was all like "aww, you trust me!" and you did the slightly sarcastic and adorable thing that you do and said, "woman, I am telling you about him before my rokka. Of course I trust you! You think!!" Hehehe. A few weeks later, we saw a picture of your rokka on Facebook.

Fast forward to September. My parents couldn't go, because my brother has his boards-related-exams. Blah Blah. But it was your wedding so I had to go! And I did. I missed your sangeet because the four hour drive from Delhi to Chandigarh took so long, but I was there for mehendi. I remember you calling me throughout the sangeet to navigate my position. Hehe. I remember me hugging you when I saw you and you ordering me to eat (which I didn't because my hands were henna'd by then).

Oh and there was also something called "Lovely Orange Soda". Can't really talk about it here.

I am skipping back and forth. But I do remember you telling me about one of your pre-wedding functions, and how your lehenga was a little lose, and how you had to wear a garter. You didn't know why everyone was fussing over a bride-to-be's lose lehenga (in public, mind... you are SO chilled out!) insisting that "everyone goes through this at some point", and when the salon woman tries to fix it with a garter, showing the ugly straps through your pretty blouse, you had said: "Excuse me, but kya aap pagal ho? Yeh aise pehenugi main?!?!" Hahahahahaha.

The night before your wedding, you suddenly had cold feet and (half) jokingly said, "I don't think I'm all that ready to marry tomorrow. Maybe the day-after? I'll think about it." Then we took one of those walks near your place, like we had done so many years ago in our childhood. Oh my God, I actually have tears welling up in my eyes as I remember all this! I told you that I was telling my mom how I would recognise your house (the smart person that I am, I didn't note down your exact address) and how she had said that your house would be the one that'd be lit up like it's Diwali. You had laughed, Revs, and had talked about how my mom is cool because according to you, "wives of IITians are cool". Self praise? Heee.

You showed me your mehendi. You told me that your husband's name was written on your wrist somewhere, where it'd be covered by all the chuddas and you had laughed saying that he won't be able to find his name beneath them. You then showed me your engagement ring and drew your hubby's ring on a tissue paper and told me how you had designed it yourself. So sweet.

Then you told me to turn up the next morning, your wedding day, for haldi. It was Ganesh Chaturthi and my dad went to a temple back in Delhi and prayed for your happy married life, I remember. It was your mom's birthday. I remember the haldi, how I had also taken a go at applying some on you. Then were the kaleerein. Woman, you ONLY dropped those things on my head (and I still remain unmarried, how!? Hahahaha) and I still suspect you kindaaa did that on purpose! But yes, they only fell on me. And you laughed.

The night of the wedding. It was raining. I went to the room where you were, all nervous and incredibly pretty. I was one of the people who were with you as you walked to the stage where your hubby was waiting for you. It was such a beautiful scene, the minute you went up there and stood next to him, in the midst of all that crowd surrounding you two, I could see him mouth the words, "You look beautiful". I remember smiling at that.

It was a beautiful day, a beautiful time. Don't worry if you can't remember it. I know you will eventually. And you get to be the new bride twice!

Saturday, 19 January 2013

Small happy things.

Yesterday was one of those days--not bad exactly, just the kind where nothing goes according to your plan, nothing. Everyone's had one of those; if you insist that you never, please let's swap places. Anyways yeah, it was pouring all night and all day when I woke up. That, for some reason, scared people. I sort of judge them. But yeah, anyways... I couldn't find an umbrella this morning, my boots got soaked to my toes (and I sat like those, drenched boots and all, for about five hours), I wanted to eat chicken momos to my heart's content and that didn't happen...the list goes on.

On of the best things that happens at the end of a tiring and trying day is when you dry your soaked feet of in front of the heater, drink hot chai and watch a feel-good movie. I saw English Vinglish and that movie always helps me get all smiles. But watching that movie again reminded me that I had wanted to blog about this one particular thing for a long time: kindness in strangers. What with all that's been happening, people every where are stressing on how no body ever steps forward and helps them, how the world is selfish and cruel and how strangers are indifferent to our miseries. These outburts have their own reasons and I do not trivialise them since I also feel victimised and not helped by lots of people. But then again, I do feel that the people who do help strangers in need deserve a big thank you and applause. English Vinglish is an example of how kindness from strangers go a long way.

I think in most of our cases we are just busy living our own lives, enveloped in our own problems, we forget how we act affect other people. I am writing this post to sort of speak up for all those people who are nice to strangers, are nice and decent and help others simply because they're good people. I also want to thank them all.

This has happened to me a lot of times in my life--I am stuck somewhere, and my phone stops working (battery issues, connectivity issue, no balance--you name it!) and I am panicking about not getting where I want to...and a random stranger sees me worried and offers help (and his/her phone to make a call). See? They had no business to help me. For all you know, I may be some crazy thief trying to run away with their cell phones. But they still invested a bit of trust in humanity in me and helped me.

There was also this one time where I tripped on the stairs and fell on---a couple. Who were on a date. A lot of people would've yelled at me, shouted at me, told to watch where I was going. Obviously, having a woman fall on you on your date...not the best date ever. But this sweet couple helped me. They made me stand on my feet, didn't crib about how my fall (on them, mind) had hurt them, and actually asked if I wanted help getting first aid.

Another random act of kindness from a stranger was last Friday. I was lost all by myself somewhere in Lajpat Nagar. It was dark and cold and one keeps hearing how Delhi is not safe for women and all that. The place where I wanted to go was no where in sight, and even though I was asking virtually everyone on the road for directions, I was still going round in circles. Among the many people I had asked for directions was an auto walla who was dropping off a passenger somewhere. After about 20 minutes, on his return from the drop-off, he found me wandering around like a headless chicken and offered to help me find the place. He gave me a lift on his own; I hadn't asked for it. And when I had reached pretty much where I wanted to reach, I asked him how much the fare cost, and he didn't charge me anything!

And people say that no one helps. I agree that with all the anti-social stuff that's been happening, a lot more people should be helping others selflessly. I agree that a lot of them don't. But I wanted to thank each and every individual who has.

Saturday, 12 January 2013

Review, spoilers and general talk on K-drama: Playful Kiss 장난스런 키스


Name of the show: Playful Kiss
Genre: Romantic Comedy, High School Romance
Lead Actors: Kim Hyun Joong and Jung So Min

I am going to go ahead and sound slightly melodramatic and say that I actually paused for about 15 minutes there while writing the title for this post. Why? Because even though I knew I was all up for writing a "review" (or whatever you chose to call it) on another K-drama that I've watched and loved (because people apparently do read those posts and watch the shows in question), I was wondering which drama to write about first. Not only is this the first k-drama related post I'm writing this year, I've watched so many in the past years (especially in 2012 alone!) that I was all like should I go for this now or that.

And after some thinking, I have decided on Playful Kiss. This show also goes by the names 장난스런 키스 and Naughty Kiss and Mischievous Kiss. There are a total of 16 episodes, each an hour long. Plot background is basically like this: Jung So Min's character Oh Ha Ni is a high school girl who doesn't like studying and instead spends her time daydreaming about her crush, boy-genius Baek Seung Jo (played by Kim Hyun Joong). Oh Ha Ni writes down her feelings for Baek Seung Jo in a love letter, who returns it after grading it (he gives it an "F"). Because this is a romantic-comdey TV show, due to some events, Oh Ha Ni ends up moving into Beak Seung Jo's house (with both their families in the house) and goes on pursuing/shadowing/stalking Seung Jo all the way upto college. Eventually he falls for her and they get married.

I'm warning you, if romantic-comedies (however cute) are not your thing, don't even bother watching Playful Kiss, because, honestly, the story (as I've mentioned above) isn't anything that great. Me, I like romantic-comedies, I live for them and even though initially I wasn't hooked to Playful Kiss, I eventually ended up falling in love with it. So much so that I put it up on my list of best watches tv in 2012 (even though this show was aired in 2010, I only saw it last year; for the entire list, have a look here: 

The first few episodes were cute, you know but like I said, I didn't love it. That by no chance means that I lazed around instead of watching the next episodes. Thankfully, it grew on me and I fell in love with the show, and the cast. More than the actual story, I liked how this show dealt with the plot and how the cast enacted it. I thought that made a huge difference and that's what made Playful Kiss claw its way into my heart. Oh, I would also like to declare that all the photos in this post were taken from internet sources and I do not own any of them.

Before I go on and on about the show, a look at the characters:

Oh Ha Ni

She is played by Jung So Min. She starts with being a high school student in the show (by the time the drama ends, Oh Ha Ni and her friends & Baek Seung Jo are college students) who is very sweet and has two amazing best friends (yay, I love shows that show female-bonding along with bromance!), lives with her dad (her mom died when she was a kid). She's really close to her father who owns a noodle-shop. In fact they're so close that we don't see him yelling at her or anything even when she gets bad grades (such an unknown concept over here!!). She also has a devoted follower in the name of Bong Joon Gu, whom she obviously doesn't care a straw for. 

She loves our male lead of the story--Baek Seung Jo, whom she pretty much stalks. And her life seriously does revolve around this guy. So much that Seung Jo himself (and me) worry about her future. Being in love and being devoted to a guy for eternity is okay, it's perfectly fine according to me...your choice. But saying that that person is the only aspect of your life? That you don't even care what happens to you just as long as you're with that person? Which is why, despite this girl having a thousand quirky hairstyles and amazing facial expressions, and a million daydream sequences, I really liked----

Baek Seung Jo

Played by Kim Hyun Joong. Honestly, I hadn't watched Playful Kiss for as long as I hadn't because Kim Hyun Joong hadn't impressed me much as an actor in BOF (I doubt if he had impressed anyone). I had loved his character, and I am a fan of his voice and all, and I had honestly loved his efforts for acting, but not the actual art itself. Plus, Lee Min Ho was a major distraction throughout that series (Hee.) so it's not like I could even revel in his good looks or anything. So I was pleasantly surprised to see this new avatar of Kim Hyun Joong in 장난스런 키스. Thank you for acting in this one, Kim Hyun Joong! I love you now! Also, the fact that you ain't blond in this one helped. 

He really did act in this show, so much that I was kinda mad at him for not acting in BOF (I still spend my days defending him and his lack of acting skill in that show in front of friends and acquaintances). And maybe 'cause he's got dark hair here or maybe 'cause there aren't three other flower boys (especially Lee Min Ho) sharing the screen space with him here, he looks super handsome in this show as well!!

So, over to the character. Baek Seung Jo is rich, but not rich rich. Like, he's not Gu Jun Pyo, not even by a mile. He's just comfortably well off and you know, not house-hunting desperately like Oh Ha Ni's family. He's a genius, and with an IQ of 200, the pride of his high school, and later on his college. Everyone in the show is in awe of him...this amazingly arrogant (in kindaaaa would-be Mr. Darcy way. Kinda. I said, kinda.) yet good-looking boy genius. All the girls flock to him (with Oh Ha Ni leading this crowd, obviously). His younger bro idealizes him. The only one who isn't in awe of him, oddly, is his mom which I found a bit odd, but more on that later. 

Seung Jo intially comes off as rude, arrogant, and all those usual stuff that a lot of K-drama male leads do have in the initial episodes. What I like about him though is that even when he does fall for Ha Ni, he doesn't stop being himself. He's still the boy genius who thinks Ha Ni is stupid (a point she doesn't do much to prove wrong, alas), who still knows he's too smart and pretty much remains true to himself. I like this guy, he worries more for Ha Ni's life decisions way more than Ha Ni herself. I suppose, like me (and all the audience with even an ounce of feminist respect), want Ha Ni to decide what she wants for herself and get it, not because it involves Seung Jo, but because she wants it. I'd be happy if she wanted to spend her life being a home-maker, but not solely because of Seung Jo's angle but because that's what Ha Ni, herself, wanted. A point lost on her until the very end. At that point, I almost wanted to jump up and shout "rejoice!". 

One of the things I learnt from this TV show...having an incredibly high IQ doesn't guarantee a high EQ. Seung Jo's EQ seems to be running in the negative. Many times he seemed to have problems even grasping the concept of other people feeling certain things, but for most part, I was just convinced that emotionally, Seung Jo is a little boy who thinks pulling a girl's pigtails in front of everyone in the park is flirting. Awww, you leeeetal boy, you.

He also, surprisingly, turns out to be such an adowable hubby! Sigh. This show and this character made me want to get married. But only to Seung Jo. Eeeeeep!

Hwang Geum Hee

 She's Seung Jo's very young looking (well, no wonder, that's what you get for a ridiculously young woman to play this part) mom. I loved her. I think anyone who watches this show will love her. You're bound to. She's a cool character. And Jung Seung Ah is a brilliant actor. Brilliant. And if Seung Jo made me want a hubby like him (I mean, just like him, ditto), mommy dearest made me wish for a mom-in-law like her, whenever I get one. Although... I am pretty sure I wouldn't have liked her had she had the exact same personality and support (and sneaky ways) but had liked any other girl for her son instead of Ha Ni. So I guess its Ha Ni (and mine) luck that she ends up liking the protagonist. Yay, mom!

Yoon Hae Re

Her character is played by the beautiful Lee Si Young. She's Ha Ni's competition for Seung Jo's affection. As to her personality... Ha Ni and her friends describe her as "the male version of Seung Jo", so make your estimate. And even though I want Seung Jo to end up with Ha Ni, and even though Hae Re can play the cool bitch at times, I cannot bring myself to hate her. Why? Well, maybe that she's got some introspective self-respect helps. She's well suited to Seung Jo in the sense that they're both alike and they remind their classmates of Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir but according to Mom (and our romantic hearts), they don't fit well together....they're like identical pots while Ha Ni & Seung Jo are like a pot and it's lid---made for each other. 

Still, I liked Hae Re at times. She knows what she wants but that's not why I like her. I like her because she knows that no matter what she wants, it won't be because of one particular person riding her life. 

Ha Ni's friends

Are Joo Ri and Min Ah. Loved them both... because thank god not everyone is glorify bromance insanely and making it seem like women cannot bond at all (I have seen a new trend where even if women do bond, it'll solely be because their hubbies are friends). They love Ha Ni, support Ha Ni and even if they act the like the voice of reason to her, they never really go overboard and dictate her life to her. Such a life lesson so many need to learn from these two. Not once when Ha Ni sighs over what a big stuck up guy Seung Jo is, do these two ever say "leave him", but whenever Ha Ni does want to leave him, they support her anyhow. I want friends like those!

Bong Joon Gu & Bye Bye Sea

Joon Gu is one of the bad (as opposed to just poor) students like Ha Ni and her friends. 

If Hae Ra is the female version of Seung Jo then Joon Gu has to be the male version of Ha Ni. He loves her like an obsession, every action of his is centered around Ha Ni and he has a really difficult time letting her go. What I really found adorable in this show was that it had the Indie band Bye Bye Sea as Joon Gu's friends/followers in school...and that in the initial episodes, they would basically enter a scene unnoticed and sing the OST.

The Family---Dads and Seung Jo's brother

Like I said, Ha Ni is very close to her dad. He is a long time friend of Seung Jo's dad. And that is basically the importance of these two as long as the main plot goes. 

I am more fascinated with Seung Jo's kid brother, Eun Jo is the eleven year old, slightly more emotionally aware version of Seung Jo and is played by Choi Won Hong. As soon as I saw him, I was all like, dude, how lucky is this guy! He has worked with some of the hottest guys ever (Kim Hyun Joong here, and also with Lee Min Ho in another show). I loved his character. I did. Such an adorable guy. And if I can forgive Seung Jo acting like a little kid, I sure can forgive him!

Kang Yi
Let's just say that I was so happy Ha Ni managed to make friends. I love this guy.

My not-so-fav parts or let's just say that the areas in the show that I had issues with:

1. Ha Ni, woman, get some pride. Please. I am not saying don't love Seung Jo to death or anything like you have to get a job or anything. But please, take your future a little more seriously. 

2. In continuation with that.... See, I liked Joon Gu's character. Sweet, understanding and kinda a stalker. Not my favorite kind, but hey, if it works for the other people, who cares? Unlike Ha Ni, however, he is really good at something. The only thing Ha Ni seems to be good at is being in love with Seung Jo but that's literally because she does that with all her energy and mind into it. So basically, as the audience, I was convinced that Ha Ni isn't stupid, she's just lazy and that she'll do very well if she genuinely tried. Which turned out to be kind of the point of Playful Kiss as well. We saw many examples of this too.

3. I found it really weird that Ha Ni did not empathize with Joon Gu. Hypocrisy? Self-absorbed? Or just preoccupied with Seung Jo's thought? Either ways, it is a little unbelievable that she doesn't empathize with the male version of herself. She gets annoyed every time Joon Gu tries to flirt or be over-protective or anything. Yet she turns right around and tries to do the exact same thing to Seung Jo.

4. Seung Jo's parents! I mean, listen, I loved them, I did. BUT they were a do you say?...unconvincing. So I understand his mom's obsession with fixing him up with Ha Ni and claiming to know which girl is the best for him (yeah, well, I live in the land which gives "arranged marriages" an upper hand) but the fact that she openly kinda insults Seung Jo, her own son, to give support to Ha Ni? Really? It's awfully sweet of you and all...but people really do that to their super-handsome-and-genuis sons? And then there is his dad who was crushed all because his ridiculously intelligent son said that he wanted to become a doctor. He even got a heart-attack. Wait... I thought getting into med school was a good thing! I thought parents would be proud of their sons if they became doctors. And here is this man on a hospital bed because he couldn't take the trauma (oh, and funnily enough, he fails to notice that doctors save his life in that hospital). If I told my parents that I'm going to study to be a doctor, they'd jump with joy. And yet, Seung Jo's dad is actually disappointing. Odd.

Okay, time for the best parts, aspects and scenes of the show, according to me. Since while talking about Playful Kiss, I also am talking about the special edition (more on that in a while), some of them will be from there as well.

1. I know it isn't a romantic scene by a mile, but I still enjoyed the scene where Seung Jo gives back Ha Ni her love letter (episode 1) after grading it. First of all, Kim Hyun Joong looks AMAZING. I am in love! Hee. Moving on, yeah... This really marks out the difference between Seung Jo and Ha Ni. I feel sorry for her but I love the way she takes it and manages to hold her head high.

2. The wedding scene!!! Well, of course. Even if they're too young to get married... Still, someone that hot in the line, I can see why she got married that soon. I love how Ha Ni manages to let the ring slip. I love that they facilitate their own wedding. I love that Ha Ni lets her wild side lose, and kisses her newly acquired hubby in front of all the guests. Rawr. 

Oh, and also.... love the part where mom finally shows Seung Jo's hidden baby pictures that form a huge part of his dark, dark past. Giggle. I love the mad look Kim Hyun Joong wears in this scene. Sigh.

3. Oh dear this scene from episode 5 is totally funny! Seung Jo had written an exam after taking a medicine that makes one super drowsy (Ha Ni gave him the medicine). He basically sleeps through much of the test and struggles to gain consciousness. When he gets his result, he gets a perfect score. I love Kim Hyun Joong's expression again in this scene when Seung Jo looks at his result in utter disbelief and says, "I really must be a genuis!". Hahahaha. This, like the previous example, shows what a huge jump Kim Hyun Joong has made as an actor since the whole BOF.

4. From episode 6. The Seung Jo's encounter with the jacket-version of Ha Ni. Made me roll with laughter!

Cracks me up every time.

5. The piggyback ride from episode 8. K-dramas, hot guys and their piggyback rides. I want!

6. Episodes and 16, Seung Jo gets jealous. Naaaaaice.

7. In the special edition's first episode, when Seung Jo tells her that he knows her plans.

8. Teddy bears!! Even though I found them a little weird to begin with, the teddy bears at the end of each episode grew on me.

9. Seung Jo's parents! Yes, even if they were a tad unconvincing, I still did love them. I want to kidnap mom and be best friends with her!

10. Loved the inter-textuality in this show. I loved it when in one of Seung Jo's class, the professor is talking about Personal Taste (which has Lee Min Ho in the lead role, who was Kim Hyun Joong's co-star in an earlier show. There was also a reference to Dae Jang Geum.

Oh wait, who am I kidding? I loved every cute scene in this show. Every. Like it was meant to be. They wanted the female audience (admittedly younger audience) to go all "awwww" during those scenes and that's what I did.

Playful Kiss was such a success that even after the 16 episodes got over, they released some special editions episodes (not very long...maximum of about 15-20 minutes long each) on Youtube. They're on Youtube so you can watch them. They have the same cast, is an extension of where the story had ended, showing Ha Ni and Seung Jo's married life and is funny, so funny!

I loved watching Playful Kiss and I hope there are more cute things to come! I'll come back with more K-drama reviews and suggestions soon, there is a such a long list I am dying o talk about.

 For more reviews on other Korean dramas by me, have a look at:

My ratings for Playful Kiss: 8/10

Other K-dramas that you might be interested in:

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Cold January

Cold isn't exactly a bad thing, not if you live in India and shudder at the thought of summers like I do. Winters, I've observed, is idealized in most parts of this country, except where it really does come. Like New Delhi. New Years Eve was super cold and super windy and my only thought was that I was glad that it hadn't rained yet. I don't if it's just me, or actually the weather or the fact that I've suddenly bumped into a lot of people who are from warmer climates (and get virtually no winters at all) but I am feeling the chill a lot more than I usually do this season. It's not just me. I had a cousin visit us on Christmas Day down from London when she declared, "Delhi is as cold as London, but without the central heating!". By 31st Dec, I was convinced that we have advanced to Moscow weather but without the central heating.

Since then, it's only gone worse. According to news channels, this is the coldest winter in Delhi in about 44 years and the average temperatures have reportedly dropped to 1.9 degrees! If you're in one of those countries where the temperatures goes in negative every year around this time and you're laughing, remember this: we do not have central heating. Also, we don't seem to have much of a concept of covering ourselves up like silly to protect ourselves from that wind and chill. A few days ago, I seriously debated wearing my overcoat outside (it is unbearable, the cold!) and decided against it because I can't sit in class and take notes with the damn overcoat on, but then again, they don't have the "concept" of hanging coats anywhere so it'll just be a lump lying on my lap the whole time and the room in itself will be so cold that I might freeze without the overcoat on. Decisions, decisions.

Also, apparently it's "cool" to wear next to nothing in winters over here. I shiver just looking at them. I don't want to be harsh to any of them, because some of them are my friends and are nice people. But honestly, enjoying winters is one thing and being plain stupid and not wearing a jacket/pullover/anything is, well, plain stupid. I worry for such.

So anyways, yeah 2013 began with all of us shivering. 2012 ended with a lot of introspection, for almost all of us. Almost. I am glad that 2013 is here even though barely a week into the new year and I am down with the worst about of viral fever ever.  The mercury reading refuses to go down and I've been in bed for four days now. The only thing that I am able to do without losing patience is watch K-dramas (yeah, review time coming up soon...but I've to finish my years' worth of k-drama backlog first), reading up people's blogs and sleeping.

Like I said, I have better hopes for 2013. Why? No real reason. It's just that despite it being this chilly and all, it began with me meeting new people, with me clearing my head a little, with my room getting a new look and with me hoping.

And also, everything around me so pretty! :D