Friday, October 14, 2016

F.R.I.E.N.D.S. Lives On!

When Graham Norton  exclaimed on his show that "Friends Lives on" I wondered what is all the hullabaloo about Friends which I keep hearing. I never gave Friends a chance and when I finally gave it , I regretted just after two episodes thinking how come I missed it all these decades. In school days I may not have understood it much and in our small town we did not have many cable channels as well. However I felt uber glad that I gave in to the temptation of Friends!

From the first episode of season one, I realized this  is just not any other show and is going to be etched in my mind till I want to forcibly push it out of it ! Thanks to Comedy Central for introducing me to this series. I was on job break for 3-4 months and I got friended in the best possible way :) My day started with it and ended with it. I just couldn't shut up about Friends with my husband, friends or  any one and every one I come across. What I felt deserves a place on my dear blog and hence this post. The strongest element of this show is the way, day to day mundane things, emotional and even heartbreaking happenings are shown in a lighter tone which gives the feeling that nothing's gonna stop the ongoing life and the way every one's demons, personal and professional problems are shown is so realistic!

You feel good by just seeing how Chandler gets bored in his office or how Phoebe sings whatever may be her lyrics, how Joey just enjoys all his food or how Monica makes her passion her profession and can go to any extent to please others, how sensitive Ross is or how beautifully Rachael progresses in life. However for a normal person like me in India or to that matter any person in any corner of the  world, it is very tough to live for a decade with the bestest friends and to not give a damn about the  rest of the world. However fictitious this  set up may be, it is uplifting. It helps you sail across your sea of emotions. It is not an exaggeration if I say F.R.I.E.N.D.S. changed my life for good. I want to discuss all the leading characters, one by one in this post.

Monica Geller: Monica's (Courteney Cox) apartment is the hub of happenings , the center stage for everything, the best host and a best friend one can have is Monica Geller. They all do jobs for a living whether or not  they like it, and like my favorite Monica Geller says it  is true that, "We all have jobs! Thats how we buy things." To most of us job is majorly a necessity which pays us enough to do things which we actually want to, and this fact is highlighted by Monica who always steals my heart with timely dialogues. After Rachael runs away from her first marriage, the way Monica consoles her like in the below image just soothes me every time I think about it. Almost a virtual Monica hugs me saying this whenever I am in soup! Monica is a magician. She can conjure food in no time and she is so big-hearted that  I always feel bad whenever I watch her as I never had such a great girl friend. I could have really used the company to stay rooted and balanced. I have some great  girl friends but I never had an exact replica of Monica. If I get such sensitive yet practical, such logical yet silly, such warm yet curt friend I would never let her go!

source : here
Rachael Green
Rachael's (Jennifer Anistonstory starts with a marriage from which she successfully exits but is confused as to where to go and what to do. Monica accepts though initially she has her doubts. Rachael becomes a better person and a great friend and seamlessly blends with the group. Rachael gets a job and becomes independent only after getting inspired by her friends. The best quality of Rachael is that irrespective of whatever shit she says or happens to her, she would stay the same emotional person she is. There are few qualities in her which don't suit my taste but just like all fingers of our hand are different, all our friends cant be same too! I love Rachael for the way she is passionate about her fashion career she chooses and the confidence with which she decides to be an unmarried mother to Emma. Tells me a lot on how a woman can mould herself and take up bigger challenges. Infact I appreciate both Ross and Rachael for being ready to raise the kid.The natural flirt that she is brings a smile on my face. She has a quirky sense of humour. I love her for being straight forward and transparent about her feelings and her natural reactions and frustrations which she expresses with out holding anything in heart. Well, in real life it may not always help but it does relieve you. All is well that ends well and Rachael's story and twists accelerate the audiences' enthusiasm in watching the Friends sitcom.
Image source : here
Ross Geller
Ross's name automatically comes when you write about Rachael. Because they are Lobsters right ;-)? I simply love this man. Sensitive men around you is a rarity and finding one who can be loyal , caring and can wait for you for years to make it work is something any girl can fall for! Ross has failed marriages but he still accepts things as his fate and tries moving on, ofcourse with the help of his friends. Ross's expressions steal the show. The way he says "hi" in a dull, dragged tone always makes me laugh loud but I feel a tinge of sadness and want to hug him at the same time. Ross and Rachael's on and off love story and his epic dialogue "We were on a break," can never be forgotten. Ross's mind blowing words like, "Unagi," "Pivot," his passion for dinosaurs, the way he fights for his sandwich in office and anything and everything is hilarious. David Schwimmer a.k.a. Ross Geller actually directed some episodes too. Ross is uber cute in the young college videos shown in some of the episodes and his restless pursuit for achieving Rachael just steals one's heart. They never really moved on but still stay friends always which is extremely refreshing and some thing to learn for all the viewers. Ross's expressions and innocence are in sync. Ross and Monica make the perfect brother sister duo. The common fights they have which all brothers and sisters have in life is adorable to watch  and I can never think of any other person playing Ross Geller!
We were on a break :) source: here
Joey Tribbiani
Joey (Matt Le Blanc) is a pillar to the series. Be it being funny due to his dimwit or just being the magnet to all kinds of girls, he aces it. Joey's food intake is unmatchable and I often use his famous line- Joey doesn't share food. Joey's iconic "How ya doin?"  seems like a cool opening line for any guy and just makes me smile broad whenever my husband uses it :-). He stands next in line to Phoebe when the crazy-quotient is measured. The conversations Joey and Phoebe have are extremely fun to watch ! Joey Tribbiani is the hottie of the series and he still is hottie. Just because of Friends, I started watching his new series - Episodes , which did not grab my attention but Joey didn't fail to impress me. Even at the age of 49 he is super fit and mesmerizes me! Joey even if dates multiple women and cannot even recollect their names has a sensitive side to him which makes him do anything for his friends and also makes  him develop a sudden soft corner for Rachael! Read 21 Joey's best lines on buzzfeed. Joey makes me smile no matter what. His struggle to be an actor looks so real and it is a fact that he had his last dollar in pocket when he was selected in Friends audition. The struggle did pay back :) Just the tone of Joey leaves me smiling broad sometimes. He is like the stress buster of FRIENDS and Chandler-Joey combination is a magical treat for viewers!
source: here
One of the many howlarious lines by Joey - here

Chandler Bing

Chandler is my heart favorite character  ! Who wouldn't love a frivolous personality around them? His famous dialogue that  he uses humor to come out of embarrassing situations really works for me many times! When you cannot solve some problem, finding some humor in it, always lessens the burden and Chandler has reaffirmed my belief in that. It is shown that to cover up his awkward childhood episodes (of his mom and dad) he relies on humor.The way he wants to stick around Monica and fears commitment but ultimately realizes its LOVE is the best moment for me in all the episodes! Chandler is not as bad as he thinks with women and romance. In reality if there is a person like Chandler around me I would give no second thoughts before having a crush on him :). The bromance word would have started after Friends, after the unconditional bond the two friends , Chandler and Joey share! Chandler is a friend on whom you may not depend for solutions but he can interest you in some humour! The way he handles the situation when he knows that he and Monica cannot have kids, just gives courage to anyone. Nothing is tragic enough to spoil your life is Chandler's funda which everyone badly needs to follow. The climax scene is so moving , where the couple are blessed with 2 adopted twins. I was actually in tears looking at the vacant apartment. Some of the iconic Chandler Bing dialogues can be read here. Chandler (Matthew Perry) is so iconic that the makers have included his original lines many times in the series!

Source: here
Phoebe Buffay
Last but not the least meet Phoebe Buffay (Lisa Kudrow), the star singer of Friends series. I cannot pick an actual favorite in this group of 6 friends but Phoebe's unconventional sense of humor and weird imaginations are just so unique that they place her in a  special category where she competes  with none and just raises the crazy-bar every time you watch her. I love Phoebe for her selfless acts (bearing the 3 children of his  brother and the way her brother says it to others is extremely funny),  her empathy , easy going  nature but getting  all emotional when situation demands or when she just feels like, are some of her impressive traits. On the first night she meets Rachael, when asked if she could spend time with Rachael, the way she frankly replies as in the snap shot below just made me her fan instantly. Frankness is needed to an extent when you dont  want to do something :)
source: here
Her style of singing to her heart's content and feeling  extremely good about her talent fills immense confidence in any person! The iconic smelly cat smelly cat will always be remembered by viewers. Phoebe's lyrics are so fun to listen to and the way she sings make the lines  more hilarious. Phoebe Buffay as Regina  Phalange and her very usage of Phalange in the climax scene made me ROFL. Phoebe's identical Ursula though enters the series occasionally doubles the crazy quotient. I so hoped for Phoebe and Joey to get hitched but it would have been a routine end and of course we wouldn't have got a chance to see the ageless Mike:). Janice with her "Oh My God!" is another memorable character. The celebrities who used to come on and off in various seasons made the series more special!

A glimpse of the song

The unconventional ways of giving birth and raising kids (phoebe to brother's triplets, Rachael to Emma with out marriage, Monica and Chandler adopting twins) gives hope to viewers that life can be moulded to make  your self happy. If you really want to do something there are  multiple ways. FRIENDS influenced me in a way I never could have imagined before watching the show.

Three cheers to all of them and thanks to the makers David Crane and  Marta Kauffman who created this amazing show from which there is no escape. Truly, FRIENDS lives on!!

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Alone Vs Lonely!

When I am sitting amidst the green pasture holding a cup of tea
When there is  no one around me and I feel solemnly free
When I talk to myself and enjoy my own company
That is  the  moment I am alone, sensing absolute glee!
Image source : here
Amidst the buzzing crowd full of activity
When I shout, and there is no one to hear my plea
When I talk to myself as I see no silence in the vicinity
Those are the moments, which make me feel lonely!

When I hear to music and can dance like no one  is watching
When I whisper my secrets to myself and do not feel like sharing
When I rule my time and around the clock, can plan anything
Those are the "alone" moments which feel so fulfilling!

When I want to share my thoughts and express what I  am feeling.
When there is no soul in reach, who is actually listening
When there is havoc around and every one is talking
Those are the "lonely" moments when I feel like sulking!

When I write, vent it out and I am at peace with myself
When my write up is not getting rotten from ages in the shelf
When I feel there is someone protecting me, like an invisible elf
Those are the  lonesome moments which keep me get going.

I am a crane,  who is living  with a flock of pigeons
My skill or the beauty of my pen go unnoticed, for eons
I am a fish, trying to swim with frogs around me in tons
I feel like I am surrounded by a mob with many guns!

Lonely and being  alone are  two similar words but are universes apart
One is the forced zone for me to stay, another is chosen by my heart
One is a blissful experience and the other comes with a price
Being alone is  a dream come true and being lonely needs firm practice!!

Saturday, May 21, 2016

FOMO - "Fear of Missing Out" and Facebook Deactivation

Originally published at Viewspaper

Few days back, I got this below forward message in whats app and it got me thinking. Actually it got me in a deep self introspection mode.

"Do you know FOMO? Psychologists coined this term recently... It is the feeling that some one else is having more fun or doing something better than you.This fear is often aroused by seeing exciting posts on social media of what other people do!"
FOMO - Fear Of Missing Out

Every word in the above forward message stands true. It stood so true for me that I had to deactivate my Facebook account. In the crowded social network with millions of updates per day, I am sure no one would have noticed that I was missing from there. Other than a couple of friends who actually would have noticed due to missing tagged pics or some posts rest all stayed oblivious to the fact that I was Poof from face book. Even my blog gets unnoticed with out FB. No FB means no readers , well almost no readers in my case. That is the only aspect of my social networking which I deeply miss but as I am blogging at a tortoise's speed, it doesn't matter much for now. But I must say, after I deactivated my FB , a good 40% of my brain got empty and I enjoyed the emptiness. It is up to me whether or not I use it to fill with knowledge, books, news, music, talks, or simply nothing.

The term "FOMO- Fear of Missing Out" exists from quite some time but these days it is mostly triggered by social N/W. I am not saying I have a chronic FOMO but my condition did get severe at some juncture. I forwarded the above message in a whats app group where I have a close knit group of 4-5 girls, and we joked around how we have FOMO syndrome when we compare each others' lives :) Every one who received that message gave a positive affirmation that they are suffering from it. It didn't make me feel better because "COBH - The comfort of being in the herd " is neither soothing nor can work as an antidote to FOMO. Before talking on how FOMO can actually impact and what we can do to subside it, I want to talk on the factors which may lead to FOMO!

FB can actually be considered as the 8th continent of the world. Seven is a magical number, but when something like facebook intervenes our lives with an intrinsic energy and power ,  and changes the math, it sure may lead to imbalance. It is an integral part of our lives. There are many things to do there, like Check ins, check outs, opinions, counter opinions, verbal fights , verbal abuses, pages and posts to like, and now posts get the privilege of getting subjected to other emotions like anger , happy , surprise , being thankful etc. We have walls to be climbed and browsed , walls to slide down in a sea of posts which are not appealing to you and walls to stalk, walls to block, walls to hide, walls to unhide, so on so forth. Facebook gives so many options to customise your features and increase or reduce the buzz around you. It is definitely nostalgic when old photographs, memories and age old opinions posted are reminded, which makes one feel how their opinions, thought process and appearance have evolved for  good or for bad! 
image source : here
Facebook gives a free peep in to every one's lives.  The peep is free and it always will be, the way they state it on the login page :) Every thing is glittery and you feel happy go lucky till you see something posted by someone which you might be wanting badly. You can do anything to get it. If you get the power of  navigating through the laptop / mobile screen and be in that place and enjoy exactly those events, you will do it without a second thought but alas, you don't have such power. All you can do is mindlessly check the updates and move on! When these updates exponentially increase with each day, that my friend may take you to the first stage of FOMO! The fear of missing out is the worst possible fear. Whether you really need the thing you are actually missing or not is an open question! You may be needing it but not so badly. The intense feeling you get about possessing it whenever you open facebook is sometimes irreparable. Yes I shamelessly admit that I am a victim of FOMO. I thought I never was and never will fall prey to such diseases but I realised for every human being a point comes in life when controlling all the senses seems too hectic. A juncture comes in life when life attacks you head-on with out giving you a chance to get stable!

I deactivated facebook for a month and I must say I felt calm. With less buzz around me I felt relaxed. I could read more, be creative, did my work-out more efficiently. A person should be strong enough to not get bogged down by the rest of the world and its happenings but it is OK to not be so strong at times. It is not always possible to carry yourself and feel alright every minute. Before the advent of twitter, FB and all kinds of social web pages we were less exposed to others' lives. It was easy to just live and let live as the updates were minimal and conversations were not perennial. But now FB is the only place where people want to discuss most of the happening moments, add life events , dump hatred or love, do any thing and everything. I am not saying social sites should be banned and I am not saying some one should take the ownership to streamline the process. I am just saying it is tough to not get effected. In my case, I am facing a difficulty in conceiving and I already have a hard time explaining to neighbors and people in office or any one who asks me whether or not I started planning in an exclamatory tone! I am at loss of words, when people ask questions so easily  but questions are guaranteed in life, answers are not. During such moments, when you see hordes of baby pictures on FB with various captions, discussions and mothers and fathers discussing their parenthood at length, you do feel slightly unhappy. It is not easy to dance in joy or party at every one's success. People who take the minimalistic approach are the best but there are many whose emotions and expressions never get stalled. You first congratulate, then you take part in one or two conversations and later you forget but when mountains of updates surround you, it gets tough to forget. It gets confusing as to how much is too much ? How much desperate you are for something gets directly proportional to how much others are achieving it :) It is like Murphy's law!

Recently I activated FB and below is my status update which got many responses from people who are sailing in the same boat. Some responses are shared here!
PS: Identities are purposely hidden

My FB Status: Top three questions posed in INDIA, affixed with the wonderment which generally is served as a combo along with the Question and this is not a scenario just on facebook. It happens inside and outside the virtual network!
1. Are you married ? If you have crossed a mere 21-22 this question is like a bulldozer which clears your patience in no time. If you reach a age of 25-26-27, Public expresses wonder as to why you are still not married ? What actually are your requirements ? If you have some issue? In the case of men a doubt on performance (You know where!) - Strangely women are exempted from this as if having sex and consummating the marriage is just the MAN's act .They will always put forward a helping hand to bring you out of the trauma which clearly is created by them.

2. Do you have kids? Immediately followed by Are you not planning for them? Do you have kids--- this question is like a tight noose around your neck. When you choke , catch a breath and try answering with a funny expression- "No. Not yet!" then the round of questions start, When were you married? When did you start planning? Why you should plan asap! With some ground work done on your DOB, your age and after thoroughly collecting all necessary statistics linked to your sex life, a careful analysis is done and rays of enlightenment are inserted in your head about pregnancy, motherhood, the beauty of it and so on! By the time a person crosses the age of 28-29, 30-31, 32-35 or 40 I think he/ she knows very well about child birth, causes, symptoms , analysis, pregnancies, and all the technicalities or complications of it and can decide when to have it or whether to have it or not. A 25 yr old and a 40 yr old are given tips with equal fervour and enthusiasm. Just because you are a mother or father to two toddlers or may be four, do not behave as if you have decoded all answers of universe! Universe is huge , leap out of that well you dwell in and get a brain enlargement. May be it will help before you get permanently stuck in the coils of the QUESTION MARK!

3. If you are divorced or have broke up with your partner, people around you are extremely curious, immensely sympathetic, behave as if they totally understand you , where as in reality they don't have a frigging idea how it actually feels. What all a person has to go through, the turmoil, the reluctance, the memories, the self-introspection, sleepless nights--- all these are absolutely known only to the person and his dear ones who are facing the brunt of it. If at all you have some dignity or have seen someone closer to you going through this, then you will also have the heart which makes your brain and mouth shut up. Trying hard to make a person open up is the worst decision during any break up! Added to that analysing the situation, pointing out the faults of the sufferer and suggesting rectifications when the wounds are fresh proves you can be nothing but a pain in ass. If he/ she wants to open up he/she will. It is totally up to the person as to what ,how , why and to whom he/ she wants to disclose. Do not cash on the vulnerabilities and do not behave like a prick!

There are many other questions which make rounds in my country or any other country where some of the fellow INDIANS reside! If you are in the vicinity of the questioner, equip your self to give the best possible answers because there is no escape and there never will be. People take offense very personally and strongly here if you are not married or want to stay single or get divorced or have no kids. Beware of the hoodwinked sympathy/ empathy. Save your ass from all the Crass. JAI HIND 

Some of the replies to the above status update were like below.
tongue emoticon
XXX  I face it on regular basis......i feel irritated all d time but can't help..we can't change people's perception in India

 XXX So true... 

XXX True. And if the answer for the second question No , they will suggest so many remedies , like go to this temple, go to this doctor , etc. I was also bugged off.

XXX Haha Indian mentality, can so relate to it,people leave no stone unturned to make you feel guilty for the life you are living and the supposedly wrong choices and decisions they think we make by delaying certain things !There is no escaping the questions and the scrutiny!

XXX I've faced the last two many many times..ughh

XXX Story of my life - the child part

XXX Some people shamelessly ask 'What's your salary' too! 🙈 Slighlty off topic but yeah this also falls under such questions one should never ask people...!

XXX Almost torture how they keep insisting on a 'good' answer!

XXX Well!! Been there! Still not married? No kids yet?? Are you planning your second child? The first one will learn how to share only if there is a second one and all that crap! However my point is this is not restricted just to India - when it comes to uncomfortable questions, it is universal! After living in USA for about 6 years now, I can say these questions have no regional bias!  and yea - to me the questions are not a bother! Who asks them is what matters! If the one asking is a concerned parent or a friend , I will be very glad to elaborate! If it is a nosy freak, I can give an equally apt reply! 

When I activated my facebook account , many said they were glad to see me back and that they were missing my updates . It did feel wonderful to hear that .I don't have any animosity on FB. It is a great medium for people like me who write. It gave me some wonderful friends whom I can never forget but but but ... the big problem which all FB users face is FOMO! It does attack you once in a while, when you are putting all your efforts for something and longing for the same and not getting it. A psychiatrist may articulate your thoughts but self help does work wonders. In my case deactivation helped a lot. I am back after a break but would deactivate again when I feel like! I realised that distance makes you miss or like or enjoy something. Same happened with me and facebook :) I do have FOMO now and then but I redirect to JOMO- Joy Of Missing Out like in the below oatmeal cartoon and make myself happy by reading a book, watching some thing I love, surprising the people I love, exercising or any thing and everything which erases FOMO! Have a good day!

source : here

source : here


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