On Watching Gilmore Girls

I suspect Gilmore Girls meant more to my mother than it will ever mean to me. It’s what resurrected her biggest fear in life – that I’d leave her and run away one day. The anxiety-ridden myth in my family has been that girls who watch Hindi movies, especially Shah Rukh Khan films, elope one day. And so we weren’t allowed anywhere near Dil Toh Pagal Hai because my cousin apparently watched it, fell in love with some guy, and ran away.

My piece on The Ladies Finger.

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Lot’s Wife

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Image Credits: http://www.bollywoodlife.com

I like watching women walk away. I realized this first when I was watching Piku. Piku and her friend, Syed are arguing and she has had enough. She holds the door open and wonders if she should sit in the car when suddenly, she announces, “You know what? I need a break” and then she just walks off. She walks off and doesn’t return to work for days after that. She cleans her home, arranges books, goes out for a party and does other things.

Season 3 Episode 8 of Gilmore girls: Lorelai, Rory and Emily all walk away. Richard has fixed an appointment with the Dean of Yale University without checking with either Lorelai or Rory. When he ambushes Rory outside the Dean’s office, Lorelai charges towards them and speaks to Rory.

When Richard interrupts, she says, “Rory – the only person I am speaking to. You don’t have to go in there if you don’t want to.” When Rory says she will go in, Lorelai walks away without saying a word. This isn’t a pissed off walking away. This is a – “I’m here for you and I won’t let them bully you so just say the word and we’ll go” – walking away.

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Image Credits: http://www.crushable.com

I am always amazed when Lorelai walks away. She doesn’t want Rory to go in but she is gracious when Rory decides to. That’s the kind of walking away that comes from respecting people and their freedom. The kind that I hope I’ll be able to do one day.

Scenes later, Rory walks away from Richard and so does Emily. Except that when Emily walks away, I’m both amused and frightened. ‘Don’t you even look at me’, she says to Richard before storming off. It took me years to admit this but I never get tired of watching her on screen.

Someday I want to walk away like that. I want to walk away without wanting to look back. Often I look back because I feel like I have left something back and without it I cannot do anything. Often, it is nothing. Just my frightened self, sitting and staring at nothing.

Romedying at 7:00 AM

This morning I sat in front of the TV with a glass of hot water and watched a bit of Gilmore Girls on Romedy Now. If I haven’t already said this, I am saying it now — Romedy Now is the best thing to have happened on television. Season 5, episode 14 was on — Luke and Lorelai have split because of Emily. Lorelai is broken and in bed with lots of junk food and chocolates and magazines, and Rory is being Rory – bringing tray full of more junk. When Lorelai is finally left alone, she can’t take it any longer. She calls Luke and leaves a long message. When she realizes what she’s done, she hangs up and runs over to Luke’s to get the tape. On her way back — she sees him, apologizes and hands over the tape.

When I first started watching Gilmore Girls, I was so much in awe of Lorelai that she quickly became somebody I could never become–she was that incredible. I think this is a mistake. I am always in such a tearing hurry to put women in lists and brackets that beyond a point they stop being human and become people I can never hope to be like. Of late I have been thinking about Feminism and how my understanding of it has changed over the years. There are too many women I want to be like but every time something dreadful happens, I forget about these women and just whine. When I watched Lorelai Gilmore today, she was a woman with flaws – who messed up and cried and apologized. Yes she was a woman with flaws even before this morning but something about watching this today put things in perspective. IMG_20160204_101520

Some days, all I need is perspective. ‘I am not that girl – I don’t break and call my ex-boyfriend to come save me’, she says. And then, even though she is hurting and pissed – she walks away a more believable Lorelai Gilmore. That was my moment today. And for sometime after that, I gloriously believed that nothing will ever go wrong if I spend some time getting perspective like this every morning.

 

Writing. What else?

It’s one of those evenings. After a heavy and splendid lunch at Rayalseema Ruchulu, I got under the covers and watched season 5 of Gilmore Girls. Three hours later, my stomach wants more food. In the kitchen I find two varieties of Dal, one with garlic and one without. I pour them both on the mountain -rice on my plate and head upstairs to point out more similarities between my parents and Richard – Emily.

Four episodes down, Gilmore Girls plays in the background while I am stalking writers on Facebook. Found a video. Creative Breakthroughs, it was called. I paused GG and played the video. It was Ta- Nehisi Coates explaining why writing is an act of physical courage.

For a moment I wondered if he was going to talk about pleasure more than struggle in writing; inordinately making me feel that I got it all wrong from the beginning. That there really is pleasure and if one doesn’t find it maybe one should stop writing. But he spoke of struggle. He spoke of translating the music in the head to sensible words on paper, and how disappointing it can be to find that what you think of as a writer-dreamer does not write that easily and certainly does not read easily.

When I became a more or less regular blogger, I remember thinking how easy it was to write everyday. I wondered why it had taken me so long to start writing. And then I heard the whispers. People talking, hissing mean little things. In all fairness, there were people saying nice things too. But I found it hard to believe them. It was the whisperers that I had more faith in.

I went back to the earlier episodes I had had with writing, as a hot-blooded teenager. I had found a quote that I used to think best suited writing. You sit in front of a typewriter and open a vein. Over the years it became many things, not just vein. Then came a point in my life when I threw cynicism at that quote and every other quote I found. That the process sucks, but when it’s done, it’s beautiful. Bollocks.

I haven’t stopped writing. Haters gonna hate, potatoes gonna potate isn’t just a kick-ass whatsapp status.

You and I

I cannot think straight. I can only think in circles and patterns. It begins with an image, a color, a word, a smell and the next thing I know I am weaving or reweaving an old memory, sometimes faking a memory or foretelling it, to heighten the experience of self pity.

There aren’t too many ways to describe a mug of coffee sitting on your table.

It is coffee. It is in a mug. It is on the table. It is either hot or cold. You are either preparing to write or postponing it.

Your phone blinks.

Draw the curtains down, close the door, sit on your bed. The coffee mug is still the same. Repeated images of an overused coffee mug.

The cursor blinks.

You feel useless so you bang your net book shut and watch Gilmore Girls. You try to pick an episode that has Rory either writing or reading. Hopeless attempt. You are angry with her, She studies, she reads, she eats, she drinks coffee but she doesn’t write like write write. You really close your net book now and decide tomorrow will be a better day.

You are riding. And on the road are words. ‘You’ circled multiple times. You are using way too many ‘yous’ in your posts, an ‘i’ looks hurt and is going to disappear. A pothole is overlooked. The vehicle rams itself against it and you wake up feeling demotivated and bruised.

D – Damn

All of today went in watching the entire season 2 of Girls. You know, I loved Gilmore Girls and New girl and now I am just as crazy about Girls. I love how not perfect all of these characters are. I love Shoshanna even though she is married to and has babies with the word ‘Like’. So much so that it keeps multiplying after every second word she uses. I like how they are not in love with each other all the time, just the way friends are in real life, not in love with you every second of the day. I like that Hannah is just as real as her OCD is and Marnie, just as dramatic as her clothes and eyelashes.

My favourite so far is Jessa because she is an uncomplicated person, the way we all want to be. But I also love that, she isn’t as uncomplicated as we all knew she won’t be. She has her problems which is when she runs away.

I see my relationship with sex changing with every T.V show I am watching. I can see how I’m moving away from cringing,every time I watch somebody on the show cheating on somebody to watching with curious interest. I throw in a goofy smile and start slapping my thighs sometimes if I’m completely floored.

I remember a time when sex on TV shows would make me feel unfulfilled in certain ways because they wouldn’t show you the whole damn thing. Gilmore Girls especially because not one god damn sex scene! With Girls, I love how casually they treat it. And how often they show it. Everybody is having full nude sex with everybody else. And they are doing it so much that I am afraid I will become asexual if I keep watching this show.

Even so, I love what this Dunham woman is doing on this show with nakedness. And because there’s so much of it, I think she’s doing her bit to make the world a better place to live in, by normalizing something as natural as nakedness. If you see too much of something, there’s no way in hell you’ll be curious about it. I think this is the best way to teach school kids some good sex-ed. Get them to figure out torrent and start downloading TV shows and movies from across the globe. If I haven’t already told you how much I love you, Pirate bay, I am telling you now. I love you. I think you are doing a great service to people.

Also, Jessa is on my list now.

I like her nonchalance when it comes to sex, relationships and even friendships for that matter. She travels, has lots of sex with lots of men and women and doesn’t care about things that don’t make her happy. I could almost hear my alter-ego sigh when she shrugged a man off, three seconds after having crazy monkey sex with him.

I’ve been a wreck this week. All because I’ve been spending all my time and energy on thinking about relationships. Romantic ones, non romantic ones, familial ones etc. I think I need to watch more T.V shows and read and write when I am home. It would save me a lot of drama. Also, a lot of my work gets done when I am not fighting with anybody. A lot more enlightenment comes my way when I am watching TV shows.

P.S: Where the fuck did my Sunday go?

The women

Robin Scherbatsky came into my life like much needed bacon on mornings that eggs aren’t allowed to be eaten at home, like Saturdays. My bacon reference is because she was fresh from what I had been stalking until then. Lorelai Gilmore, Rachel Green blah blah blah… I like these women because they brought to me more than just whom they were dating. I don’t mean the strong, rounded characters and other such bull here, speaking of which what the fuck is a rounded character? What does it mean? That they are round? Heard too much of that. Anyhow, for a long time those were the women I wanted to be like.

I liked Rachel Green because she snapped out of her secure world of daddy’s yacht and credit cards and being rich orthodontist’s wife and became her own person much like Lorelai Gilmore. These women stepped out of a rich world to see if they could survive and they did. Naïve, I know. There are 100 different scenarios doing kathak in my head right now. Don’t get me wrong, I know that these are plastic women and white. But that doesn’t stop pampered spoilt girls like me from dreaming about breaking out of our own shells and becoming independent.

Robin I grew fond of,  because she had the courage to turn down what could have been the perfect love life for her because it got in the way of who she was and her work. No matter how deep the promise of romance was – stability, faithfulness, consistency and all that crap. She still said no. It takes not just courage but an immense understanding and respect for the self to do that. And that is the woman I want to be like. Why am I still appreciating women who are able to do that? Because I’m still not able to do that and I don’t know how long it is going to be before I can.

Finding self can be a pain in the ass. And I couldn’t be in a better position to tell you why. There are so many things to choose from, so many things that define you. It’s crazy. Do I want to be the girl who found true love at 16 and got married to him happily ever after? Do I want to be the girl who has an hour of brilliant love making session and then leaves immediately after? Am I strong enough to be in an open relationship? What the fuck does open mean anyway?  

I do know that I cannot get physically intimate with somebody without falling head over heels madly in love with them. That also means I do not want to marry them and have their kids. That also means I cannot casually date them. That also means I cannot see them once a week, make love and then go off. I value connections. I value relationships so what the fuck am I?

Right when I was in the middle of this horseshit, I met Jessica day. She didn’t change my life and all that but I stopped taking myself all too seriously. I think it had something to do with the fact that Jess is far different from any of the characters I usually look up to. She isn’t in the least bit independent, cannot do one night stands, wants love and care, gives people blankets and homemade cup cakes before starting a conversation with them; likes ribbons and adores pink, doesn’t think it’s necessary to stand up to herself at all, smiles her way out of difficult situations and is very touchy-feely.

For somebody who has been mesmerised with Robin’s non touchy feely diktat, Jessica may come off as blah… but that’s the great thing about New Girl. It acknowledges the need for creating strong and independent women characters but also gives you a taste of Jess who is real and independent in her own weird ways. She’s flesh and bones and believable. She reinstates certain girly things in ways that you will not want to question because, so what?

She likes pink, she likes blanket-cupcake during conversations, she likes passing around what is called a ‘feel-stick’ to allow people to share their feelings (remember she is a teacher) and she’s not ashamed. In some ways, she seems to be asking you the question ‘does revolution have to come only by hating pink’? She can be touchy feely and still be the most amazingly in touch with herself.

This is what I have picked up from watching 14 episodes of New Girl. That it’s ok to not have everything figured out yet, that I don’t have to be like just one of these characters. I can choose to be who I want to be each day. There are so many to pick from. I owe this person a huge thank you for making me see that I don’t have to take myself so seriously. I can just chill for now.