Maybe Science Fiction Ain’t So Bad

In all my years of reading books and watching movies and TV shows, there is one genre that I have avoided like the plague. And that is Science Fiction. Sue me, but I just don’t find spaceships and laser beams that interesting. Which is why I haven’t watched ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’ yet in spite of my cousin brother insisting that it is a confusing albeit wonderful masterpiece. I can count on one hand the number of Sci/Fi movies I have watched – ‘Inception’ which I watched only because Leonardo DiCaprio was in it, ‘Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind’ which I watched only because it was classified as a romance movie and ‘Chronicle’ which I watched by accident while I was channel-surfing. Okay, maybe there are more, but these are the only ones that I can come up with off the top of my head. Anyway, my point is that Sci/Fi is a big No-No in my dictionary.

At least it used to be.

See, I just started watching this TV series called ‘Firefly’. Maybe you have heard of it, but in case you haven’t, it is a science fiction show created by Joss Whedon of ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ fame. Here‘s the Wikipedia link for the show, if you’re interested in knowing more about it. I’m here to talk about why I like, nay, love this show.

Simply, ‘Firefly’ is about the lives and adventures of the crew of the Firefly-class spaceship Serenity as they zoom through space engaging in illegal activities like smuggling. Honestly, when I first heard what the series was about, I wasn’t that interested. So I didn’t watch it until a few days back when God-knows-what made me watch it. And, let me tell you, I have been hooked since then. I don’t know what I’m going to do after I’m through with the fourteen episodes and the movie. I just know I am going to have a bad case of post-Firefly hangover.

A few awesome things about ‘Firefly’:

1) There are a lot of sarcastic quips in the show thanks to, well, most of the characters. And sarcasm, mon ami, is always my preferred type of humour.

2) Even though Serenity’s crew smuggle and kill, the show is ultimately about the triumph of good over evil. The crew have their own sense of honor.

3) Captain Mal and his crew live in a multi-cultural future, a fusion of Western and Chinese cultures. Hence, the characters speak English as well as Chinese in the show.

4) All characters are equally awesome. Although every character has its flaws, they all feel real. And they are all necessary to the plot. Except maybe Inara. She feels a bit like a last minute add-on.

Okay, that’s all I can come up with right now. Note to self: You’re bad at making lists.

Anyhoo, there you go, folks. This is how I’ve come to the realization that maybe science fiction ain’t so bad. So, now go and make yourself watch ‘Firefly’. It will be the best decision you ever made. Or at least one of the top five.

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Bangalore Withdrawal

It’s hard to believe that just a few years ago, I was a young, starry-eyed, idealistic girl who wanted to change the world with her written word. Fast-forward to the present and here I am, a cynical, unapologetically selfish, twenty one year old woman who cannot muster up enough energy to give a damn about anything. And when I say I don’t give a damn about anything, I don’t mean it in the cool, rock-star kinda way, where I look like I don’t give a damn but in reality, my hard exterior shell is hiding a sweet and sensitive nature. No. I am not sweet, neither am I sensitive. I have become a bitter husk of the person I used to be. I literally can’t get myself to care about anything or anyone.

Okay, maybe that’s wrong. I do care about one person. That’s me. Sometimes I think the reason I am not able to write nowadays is because I’m so selfish. Emotions that are so natural to normal people like love, anger, shame, grief, mourning and heartbreak seem elusive to me. I understand the hows, but not the whys of these feelings. As a writer, I am supposed to make every character believable, every thought and action of his/hers realistic. As a writer, I’m supposed to feel what these characters are feeling. But I am unable to. Therefore, every word I write rings false in my ears.

But I digress. My un-write-ablility is a story for another day. I wanted to talk about my Bangalore withdrawal.

I have never cared for the IT industry (yes, one of the many things I don’t care for). The thought of staring at a computer screen all day used to scare me to death when I was in high school. Then, ironically, a twist of fate landed me in an engineering college where I completed my B.Tech in IT. After four mind-numbing years, I got myself a job in an IT company (it doesn’t matter which company it is; they are all the same). For the sake of simplicity, this company will henceforth be referred to as XYZ India Ltd. XYZ decided that I had to complete one and a half months of training in Bangalore before I was assigned to a project. I, a Tamil girl who had never lived in a non-Tamil speaking city, packed my suitcases and moved to Bangalore.

And instantly fell in love. Bangalore was beautiful, modern and most of all, a far cry from the blistering heat of Tamil Nadu. There were people who spoke all sorts of languages in Bangalore – Tamil, Telegu, Malayalam, Kannada, Hindi. I never wanted to leave the city. Who cared if I was stuck in a stare-at-the-computer-all-day job? I was in heaven. What’s more, I even kinda, sorta developed a crush on one of my colleagues. I mean, sure, he was taken, but my bitter, bitter heart was overjoyed at the fact that it was still capable of having these kind of feelings. Then, XYZ gave me a project in Hyderabad.

I bid Bangalore a reluctant goodbye and moved to Hyderabad. Hot, hot Hyderabad which reminded me every minute of how much I missed the Bangalore weather. Walking to work in Bangalore was a cake. Here in Hyderabad, my ten minute walk to work feels like an hour and every day, when I reach my office, I am sweating so much I feel like I’ve run a marathon.

Today’s my 11th day in Hyderabad. In the past 10 days, in a bid to get rid of my Bangalore blues, or at least to lessen the intensity of it, I jumped head-first into a Veronica Mars marathon. I have to say, Veronica Mars has done me good. She kept my mind blissfully occupied and I only pined about Bangalore a couple of times. The Veronica Mars movie is getting downloaded as I write. Hopefully, that and the two seasons of Dead Like Me on my hard disk will get me through this weekend.