Sunday, March 31, 2013

My Affair with the K Dramas

The affair started way back in 2006. I remember the late nights, urgent whispers, accompanied by a lot of sighs. Then followed the tears and arguments about whose fault it was. No I am not describing a lovers spat here! No boyfriend woes! I am here to speak about my longest standing relationship which soon turned into an obsession: the Korean drama fever which affected me and most of my girl friends.

Rich, handsome, arrogant, self-obsessed men as modern knights in shining armor; pretty, simple-minded, kind, i-hate-men women as damsel in distress - this the classic plot line for chick flicks. And it is something that appeals to the female audience, from 16 to 36. K dramas as they seem to popularly known as, seem to have discovered this success mantra rather early.

I remember growing up with our very own desi K dramas, Kyunki Saas.., Kashish..all this thanks to Ekta Kapoor. Its been a long way from them to my beloved Korean dramas. Closer home, the plot line for all the dramas have remained so predictably similar through all these years. Over-dramatic is the word. The Saas-Bahu conflict is at an all time high, the sindoor is a much deeper shade of red (maybe indicating Her stronger ever Savitri avatar?), the sarees get more glamorous and more of skin show. Alas! In all this the loss of a decent plot is deeply felt. Over the years the plot has strayed farther off from reality, and almost all bordering on banality. 

Now the reason why the Korean drama find such a wide audience, is not just because of the presence good looking people, they believe that a strong script is as much important as good acting. Almost all the dramas that I have viewed in the past 7 years, though the basic character structure for the main leads remains unchanged, the plot line has been dynamic, each one different from the other. 

Coffee Prince
For example, Coffee Prince and You're Beautiful, both were inspired by Shakespeare's Twelfth Night, but the main difference lay in their plot line. The former was based on a young unemployed girl's aspirations to become a Barista, the latter told the story of a nun in training impersonating her twin in an all boy band. The confusion caused by this gender impersonation leads the drama, followed by many episodes laden with comical acts. Both are successful dramas in their own right. 

You're Beautiful
The background score, the beginning and ending themes also add to a drama's success. You're Beautiful  had some very memorable numbers sung by Park Shin Hye. Though the meaning remains incomprehensible, (Yes, I do not understand Korean!) the music is quite soulful and you really need not understand the lyrics to enjoy it.

I shall end my post with a list of my favorite K dramas. 
Full House
Boys Over Flowers
Coffee Prince
My Girl
You're Beautiful

Well that's almost all about my affair with the K drama. But there remains so much more! I promise to follow it up soon in my future posts :) 

Without words by Park Shin Hye: You're Beautiful

Monday, March 04, 2013

Photographic Memories

Since childhood, I have always been drawn towards the glossy sheets of National Geographic magazine. Reading the articles, the child in me could make an instant connection with a culture or a place which was foreign. It was magical! All through the reading, it felt like a journey made from one continent to the other. What made the articles even more interesting were the pictures.

Now that I have grown up, I am still taken by the scenes of daily life. It can be as trivial as a busy traffic signal, a man selling ice lollies or even the empty Chennai roads on a sunny afternoon. These moments remain with me, in my memory forever.

Earlier this year, I was lucky to be part of this trip to Haridwar made with my family and paternal relatives. I have very fond memories of  this place in Uttarakhand, along with Rishikesh. You wake up to quiet, calm, chilly morning feeling fresh, rejuvenated. Watching the river Ganga flowing by, is another beautiful sight. I was fortunate enough to capture some of these memorable moments.

The avian visitor
Temples, Lamp Posts and Houses

Local Colors

Chai garam

The Chaiwala

The Milkman's bike

People and Police

People, Temple and Beliefs
Zindagi ek safar hai suhana!

Holy Cow

The Ganga beckons..