All On Thirteen Reasons Why.

Let’s talk about 13 Reasons Why today.

Hello, everyone!

Before you mention it, yes I’m jumping on the series of posts about this T.V. show on the internet and adding my own opinion to the plethora that exists and yes again, joining the debate that 13 Reasons Why has become.

For the unaware,13 Reasons Why is Netflix’s latest original series that went live on 31st March 2017 and has taken the internet by a storm.Netflix summarises the show as the following and I find it to be the best possible one-line summary for it so I quote the website directly.

After a teenage girl’s perplexing suicide, a classmate receives a series of tapes that unravel the mystery of her tragic choice.

Based on Jay Asher’s bestselling novel of the same name, the T.V. Show has been praised and lauded for bringing attention to mental health, growing up as a contemporary teenager and the impact seemingly little things can have on a person’s life.It has also faced lots of flak for dealing with delicate issues wrongly and in a graphic method that could be more harm than good.While I understand both sides of the discussion and what they’re getting at, I’ll state my own opinion here which can be considered as a middle ground of sorts between the two sides of the discussion.

1-Ctc4Od3zIrqE1FGCon2Ofw

 

A little background information first, I read the book when I was 14, loved it and was so happy to hear that it was being made into a T.V. show via Selena Gomez’s Instagram account. (She is an executive producer on the show.) I had loved the book and it didn’t seem to be a popular book among the people I met and thus it made me proud to see it being made into a show, something more mainstream and something that would reach out to a wider audience.

Now, let’s get out of the flashback zone and come back to right now, that is in layman talk, let’s talk about the show and ask the real questions.How did I find the show itself without knowledge of the book or story? How did I find the show as a book fan? Did it live up to my expectations? Would I recommend it? Or, would I not and if so, why not? I’ll answer each of these, one by one, so hang on and let’s get going.There will probably be spoilers ahead, so read at your own discretion, you’ve been warned.

image.jpg

 

I loved the show.I’m just going to state this and put it out there.It was an emotional journey, it was hard, painful, made me feel extremely helpless and was so nerve-wracking to watch, but I loved it.As someone who is in the process of graduating from high school, I loved how real, how diverse and how representative the show was. Of course, there are little things that are a little over the top or exaggerated but this remains the truest to life high school based show I’ve seen till now and I am a huge fan of that.High school can be an absolute piece of shit at times, or rather, at many times and this show shows it as it is.They updated the story to be more believable in 2017 rather a decade earlier as in the book and with those changes they have managed to capture the essence of the second wave millennial teenager a.k.a my generation.

30-13-reasons-why.w710.h473.2x

I found the show to be very well made if that makes sense.It was neat,there was one episode for each chapter of the book (13 to be precise, after all the show is called 13 Reasons Why.) ,the casting was so perfect,music was beautifully incorporated and having one hour (Each episode was about an hour-long.) to explore one chapter offered it a great chance to go in-depth and add so much to every character’s story, a chance they took and made a legend out of.The book is entirely from the point of view of Clay Jensen, our cassette-tape receiving classmate and the other characters are only seen from his and Hannah Baker’s (That is, the person behind the tapes) eyes.The show showed how different characters were dealing with the tapes and their contents and added a bunch of storylines (For example, the entire plot with Hannah’s parents, them dealing with her suicide and filing a lawsuit against the school is entirely absent from the book.) which made it so much more fleshed out, painful and hard-hitting. The show has left many cliffhangers and has left possibilities for a second season, while there is only one book so if there is a new season it will take an independent path.

At the topic of characters, the one thing the show manages almost effortlessly is to make every character relatable. You relate to some characters more than the others, of course, but at some point you see yourself in almost every other character and you understand the situation of every character throughout the story, a sign of great storytelling.Take the person whose story ties everyone, Hannah, the new girl who has been singled out. You’ve been a Hannah or met a  Hannah in your life.This particular trait of the show is what makes it so hard to take in.It could have happened anywhere and most of it is happening in schools today and the show has the best message to give and it is best captured in two quotes from the story when Hannah says that,“You don’t know what goes on in anyone’s life but your own.” and when Clay with resolution, states that “It has to get better, The way we treat each other and look out for each other.It has to get better somehow.”  Basically saying that be kind and think about the consequences of your actions because you don’t know what that “little thing” you did might do to a person and his /her life.

 

9d9bf5f6-f1e6-4948-81e9-ccd9862058e5
Source:www.scoopwhoop.com

 

The show has highlighted many important issues in an extremely graphic and as true to life as is possible manner and that is what has ended up making it the target of many controversies.It brings to the fore mental health, depression, rape, suicide, bullying and aggression in teenagers and in high schools.I thought it did an excellent job at showing just how scary and hard each of these things is to go through by making it hard to watch.It features two graphic rape scenes and one suicide scene, as a P.S.A. and for the detail oriented.While trigger warnings have been placed for each of these at the start of the episodes I feel personally responsible for warning you of these, especially the suicide scene.If you have been at such a place in the past but believe you can handle it please think again because those scenes are so so trigger-prone.I have been so blessed to not have struggled with any such thoughts in my life to date but after watching the show I had difficulty sleeping at nights and I couldn’t stop thinking about them. The suicide scene, which is only vaguely mentioned in the book to be a result of overdose has been altered to a much more visually graphic scene and watching Hannah, scream and cry and in pain, all alone as she does it was too much for me and I will honestly tell you, I  watched that scene through shut eyes, peeking though my hands, almost screaming and sobbing.On the matter of warnings, I cried several times in the show, which is also something I deem a necessary warning.So if you’re going into this, if you’re sensitive to these things, please be careful, please think before you watch and prepare yourself mentally.

 

c6bb309c-ab0b-4868-bc90-3b99cb09d880
Source:www.scoopwhoop.com

 

What I appreciate about the kind of hype the show has the most is the attention it has brought to mental health which has always been a taboo and something no one wants to talk about. It was high time mainstream media talked about it and now, as a result, so many people are.Its existence is important for every teenager watching it and the reason so many are is that everything down to the promotion(The Instagram account of the show, @thirteenreasonswhy and the accounts made for the various characters are an excellent testimony to this fact.) was done so well. It will grip your mind and ask answers to questions no one is willing to answer, something that can be unsettling and something hard to take in.

Lastly, I would like to personally say that if you’re ever feeling like Hannah or having thoughts on those lines please click here to connect to someone who is waiting to hear your voice and your story.I’m always available too, if you want to talk and would never judge you or divulge your personal thoughts to anyone so please feel free to drop me a DM   (@musingsofawhimsicalsoul) or email (musingsofawhimsicalsoul@gmail.com and get in touch.I would love to talk to you.

 

ab0f89a2-f073-46ae-abcb-26855c661f85
Source: http://www.scoopwhoop.com

 

THIS POST’S QUESTION: What did you think of 13 Reasons Why?  Comment below with what you think about it,I’d love to hear from you!

Be a Guest Blogger On Musings Of A Whimsical Soul for May : Fill this form!

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

An Open Letter To J.K. Rowling.

Lets talk about growing up with the Harry Potter series through an open letter to its author,J.K Rowling today.
Dear J.K. Rowling,

I write this letter pretty late,in the larger scheme of things. I’ve loved your brainchild for nearly a decade now and decided ,for obvious reasons that something this life defining for  me must be appreciated. Hence,I write an open letter,which is about the only way I could ever hope to reach you.

I encountered the first book in the series when my primary school librarian specially picked it out and offered it to me as she felt that it was something I would love.I was an innocent,book loving child who had no idea that she was being given something that was going to define so much of the person I would be and would matter to me so much.

I didn’t quite realise,but I’d just opened the door to becoming a more voracious reader,a more open-minded person,learning to love words and languages ,many interesting conversations and so many friendships.I learnt to value what I have, for some people do not have even that.I learnt to be loyal,steadfast and brave.To always have courage and do the right thing even if no one stands by you.To value family and love the people I have in my life,instead of thinking about those that I don’t. To be a better friend and to be who I am,instead of conforming to someone else’s definition of what is ‘cool’ and what is ‘weird’.It taught me,most importantly to believe that magic ,in some form or the other is lurking just around the corner and that all we have to do is,look.

I wanted to tell you how proud I am of how far you’ve come. We’ve all read the stories of when you were writing the book,going through life’s worst situations but I feel like you haven’t been appreciated enough for being the strong,brave,courageous woman you are.The way you didn’t lose hope even when you faced rejection,inspires me,the writer, to not lose hope and believe in myself.Even though I didn’t actually grow up with the books,I was much too young to read them while they actually came out,I want to tell you that I did end up growing up with them.So many of us did.

The book series was in bookstores from 1997 to 2007.The Harry Potter movies ran in theatres from 2001 to 2011. Harry Potter and The Cursed Child,the ‘eighth’ story was staged in London on 7th June 2016 and continues to be staged.The first movie in the new Harry Potter spin-off series,Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them hits theatres on the 18th of November 2016.A spin off series,a whole second world you created within the world that you already had, with new words,new people and a whole new century is happening and taking us all home again.Because that what you’ve given us,or me,at least in that apparently fictitious world of yours.I can always find the warmth and coziness of home waiting for me a book ,play or movie away.I still,re-read the book series and learn something new or get a better perspective on the things I’m dealing with in life.So,even though its nowhere near enough and would probably never suffice or do justice to what this world of yours has been and continues to be for me,thank you.

I’m thankful that all was well, even though it kept me yearning for more.Most of all,I’m thankful that Mr. and Mrs. Dursley of number 4,Privet Drive, were proud that they were perfectly normal,thank you very much.

Yours,

A Potterhead.

THIS POST’S QUESTION: Have you read/watched the Harry Potter Series? If yes,what have you personally,learnt from it? Comment below with what you think about it,I’d love to hear from you!

My First Love.

Lets talk about my first love today.

I wanted to start off with a little apology cum explanation. I’d been having some eye trouble leading to complete gadget abstinence due to which I couldn’t post on here. I also have a major study load given my position in the last year of school that will only increase as the year passes, so I cannot promise posts always but I will try my best to update regularly. I’m so sorry and I want to thank you all for being the best people ever. I love you all so much! Now, let’s get back to topic.

Are you expecting a love story? A chance meeting, a funny joke, a shared experience and a fairytale-esque metaphorical falling? Now, lets gets you back down from the clouds by telling you that this is not a love story. Well, it is, but not the kind you’re expecting.

When I was about 3,I got acquainted with someone I grew to love so so much. A book. I learned to read earlier than most people and was soon addicted to it. I’ve loved stories for as far as I can remember, my parents used to read to me almost every night during my childhood and those are some of my absolute favourite childhood memories. I learned reading and that calmed down the hyperactive child that I was, physically and mentally. It gave my overactive imagination something to do and made me sit down in one corner, silent as a mouse, which was unheard of before.

3b9de8efca8a81348579530f616df3f9
An accurate representation of how I was, although I did not engage in book sitting and would stuck to just chairs instead.

 

With the amount of reading that I did ,I also became really fast at it. As an example, there is an incident from my childhood that made me realise that everyone else did not read like me and was quite an eye opener. When I was 7,my school librarian used to give us books of her own  choice to take home for the week. We had to start reading it in the library and while everyone was at it, I generally would read through the entire book during that half hour and would then come back to her asking for a new book. She thought I was being troublesome and would just turn up to her without reading. I, at that age, didn’t realise that she could see it that way and went to her every time, insistent as ever. Eventually she stopped issuing books to me altogether saying that I didn’t read and would just keep swapping books. Then, when I laid the situation out to my mother, she spoke to her and explained that simply put, I read too fast. I finished every book I said I did and if she wanted to check she could always quiz me on it. So, my librarian, who was unaware of this, started quizzing me and realised that I enjoyed reading quite a lot, which made her like me very much. She kept books aside especially for me in a little drawer in her desk and would give me books way advanced than what other children my age were reading. Eventually, she even started a literary club in the school and I am proud to be the first member of that club. We sat and discussed books and wrote stories.Those were fun days, I’ve got so many fond memories from those.

stick-figure-we-heart-books_new-336x340
Us at the literary  club, basically.

 

My first official favourite author was Roald Dahl, he was the first whose multiple books I’d loved and he had written my first ever favourite book, Matilda, which was about a girl like me who absolutely loved to read! I finished up Roald Dahl,Enid Blyton, Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew. Encyclopaedia Brown and all the classics by the time I was 8 or so, and then my librarian gave me the book she’d especially kept aside for me, the first book in the Harry Potter series ,Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, and that began a love story of its own, that spanned many years. That though, is a tale for another time.

THIS POST’S QUESTION: Did you have a favourite book in your childhood? If yes, then what was it? Comment below with what you think about it, I’d love to hear from you!

The Beginner’s Guide To Understanding Fangirls.(2)

LEARNING THEIR LANGUAGE
Let’s talk about the language the fanboys and fangirls speak today.
For the previous post in the series,click here.


It is believed that speech was created for man’s need to socialise.Fangirls,though they may seem like aliens are humans too and hence the first step in socialising with a fangirl/fanboy is learning to talk his/her language.This segment of this series is aimed at exactly that.Today we will be decoding and translating the quirks in the language of a fangirl or fanboy.
Here are some of the more common features of a fangirl’s language.
1. Speaking what may seem like gibberish.
Ever heard or received text looking like,asdfghjkl or qwertyggyuj or another random collection of letters?
This comes under very normal fangirl speak and simply means that the fangirl/fanboy is simply undergoing too many emotions and simply not in the position to think coherently and type actual words. Usually an appropriate response would be to aassdfsgsjdkdld back at them and be happy with them ,because after all what do you lose being happy?

2ec5c7ef76bae5b99d6fe3749fa540ef
2.Using words which seem to imply something completely different or are unheard to you before.
Some of the countless such words are defined below.

  • Fandom : Shortened form of fanatic domain, fandom is used to refer to the fans of a particular person, team, fictional series, etc. regarded collectively as a community or subculture. So, if you and me like Harry Potter books we’re both in the Harry Potter fandom.
  • Ship : Originated from the word relationship it can have both noun and verb uses.     N: Short for romantic relationship, popularized by members of a fandom.
    V: To endorse a romantic relationship. So, if I consider Hermoine Granger and Ronald Weasley to be perfect for each other I ship them and they are my ship.
  • OTP: Short for one true pairing, this is used to refer to the ultimate character combination you endorse, your THE ship. So, if I ship Hermoine Granger and Ronald Weasley and consider them to be my ultimate ship, they’re my OTP.
  • Canon: Another word for official. Basically, what is true in the book series ,movie etc. is said to be canon. So, if I’ve been shipping Hermoine Granger and Ronald Weasley since Harry Potter and The Goblet Of Fire itself and they finally end up together, their ship is canon.
  •  Feels: A wave of emotions that sometimes(read mostly) cannot be adequately explained. So, If I get teary and nostalgic and happy and a lot of other things reading Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows, it is giving me the feels.
3.Speaking incomplete grammatically and often,factually incorrect phrases (usually accompanied with a shriek or two)
Some of these phrases are given below:
  • I’m dead/dying/dead/I died :The state of being attacked by so many feels and being  not able to say much (Around asdfghjkl phase) where you feel simply so (usually) elated or sad that you feel as though death has descended upon you.
  • Right in the feels: The moment when some particular thing gives you such a severe case of feels all of a sudden, it is said to have hit you right in the feels.
  • I can’t even: Used on blogging sites, mostly Tumblr, is an expression that denotes so many emotional responses that the fangirl/fanboy can’t even comprehend what has been said or seen.
This is just the tip of the iceberg of fangirl speak. Upcoming will be sections on fanfiction, erratic emotions and more, that will also be enhancing your pre-learnt fangirl language.
Stay tuned and embrace your inner fangirl(or fanboy)!

 

The Beginner’s Guide To Understanding Fangirls.(1)

8f9eac8bd5dc0254bf370053f3ccde41

Lets talk about fangirls(and fanboys)today.

We all know them. That one friend of ours who doesn’t believe in the concept of ‘liking’ things and is a perpetual ‘obsesser’. They speak a queer tongue, go from happy to sad in a nanosecond, let out screams and shrieks without warning, spend unhealthy amounts of time on the internet and completely befuddle the rest of us, the ‘normal’ human beings.I, as a representative of the aforementioned ‘species’ am happy to introduce this series aimed at understanding your friendly(They are, if you do it right)neighbourhood fangirl.

Fangirl,noun

[fan-gurl]

A rabid breed of human female who is obsessed with either a fictional character, book series, movie, band, singer or an actor or even, food. They are similar to the breed of fanboys. Fangirls congregate on the internet, in concerts, at conventions and at book stores.

ba18a11abf154fdad7d7ae2de2ff73c1

How to identify a fangirl?

Now that you know what a fangirl is, it’s time to apply that knowledge. The following are a few indicative factors to identify a fangirl :-

  1. Speaking in incomplete sentences(I can’t even) and using absurd words.(Ship.)
  2. Shrieking, screaming or crying incessantly, without warning and for no huge reason.
  3. Heavy and unhealthy usage of the internet.
  4. Them being too ‘busy ‘to go out while they are home doing seemingly nothing.
  5. Being slightly(varying amounts of slightly, that is) excited about most things.
  6. Staying up late at night to finish books.
  7. Their rooms being a shrine to their object of affection.(It’s a whole new world there.)
  8. Them being very attached to said shrines.
  9. Them owning clothing and accessories to do with their affections and obsessions.
Now that you know that the girl you thought was weird is a fangirl, your question obviously is, how do I understand her, get to know her and be social with her?
This is exactly what I aim to help you achieve through this series. Upcoming will be sections on understanding their language, how to deal with their erratic emotions and more.
Stay tuned and embrace your inner fangirl ( or fanboy)!

For the next post in the series click here.

Are Classics ‘Classic’?

Lets talk about classic literature today.

I’m an avid reader. I love reading and as far as I can remember, have always loved it. For someone with the kind of overactive imagination that I have, reading is like therapy. I don’t have a particular genre I read either, I read everything as long as it manages to capture my attention. So, that being said, I’ve read among other things, several classics. Sometimes for school, sometimes on my own, several books that feature on almost every “Top 100 Classics” list.

After reading this assortment of books from completely different genres that share only one thing that is there ‘classicness’ ,I had one question. What exactly does the term ‘classic’ mean in literature? Does it include just every other good, well-written book, that people liked and enjoyed at that point in time? Or is it actually books that are ever-appealing, ever-hilarious and ever-intriguing? The kind that are always relevant and change you to your very core?

This is where it gets nasty.(Meaning I might just say I don’t like your favourite book) This might just be my age, my sense of humour or the point at which I read these. But these are my opinions and how I felt after reading these. Sorry in advance.

First off, Three men In a Boat by Jerome K Jerome. I felt it was very dragged and slow and there wasn’t much happening . This book is often called one of the funniest books ever written and yes, I agree some bits were amusing but most of the time the comedy just felt slapstick and not that funny. We were asked to read this for school and that might be why I didn’t like it but I struggled to finish it and that’s why its right here(For the sake of one of my friends who simply loves the book.). The issue, I simply deduced was that the jokes, called timeless on the cover itself ironically, were anything but. They felt like they’d lost their appeal to the ravages of time. So, how was this a classic?

Secondly, Catcher In the Rye by J.D Salinger. Hailed and heralded to be ‘ the coming of age story’ every teenager should absolutely read, I was highly disappointed. This was one where the lack of time-less-ness really struck, I could see that it must have been great at the time it was written as I read it, but I just did not relate at absolutely any level. I read it ,but I didn’t enjoy it so much. The question again being, how was this a classic?

Next, My Family and The Other Animals by Gerald Durrell. This book was said to be very hilarious and very timeless but it ended up boring me and being reduced to nothing but a animal fact book. Again, I read this for school so maybe that was why I didn’t like it so much.The question, for the third time being, how was this a classic?

I had began believing that a book being ‘classic’ was just a fad and in all honesty, the best the book could be was a one-time read. But then, I read one real jewel. The one book I call ‘classic’ proudly and maybe there’s more like it that I simply haven’t read. This did what I thought and expected a classic to do, it stirred my very soul. This one being, To Kill A Mockingbird, By Harper Lee. This book was funny, sad, emotional, relatable and respected, all at the same time. It was timeless, truly, it talked about a time and place I had never been in and I could still relate, still laugh, still experience and still be affected. This is one of absolute favourite books and I like it the all the more because it broke my rather concreted belief that classics are anything but classic.

So, to answer the topic, Are Classics ‘Classic’? I’d say it depends on you, the kind of person you are, your age, your mental frame and your beliefs. For all of us, something will be classic, while for others, it won’t.