Pretty skies: which season do you belong to?

The weather here in Bombay for the past few days have been excellent. Sometimes it rains, but even the rains cannot damp Arohi’s and my excitement for how wonderful the sky looks after.

The afternoons sees blue, blue sky. The kind of blue that you want to never stop looking at. The kind of blue that shows you that there is good in the world. The kind of blue that assures you everything is right in the world, even when it is falling apart before your eyes. The kind of blue that feels right. The kind of blue that has your dead brain working overtime trying to come up with shapes from your imagination for all the clouds that just float by without a care in the world. The kind of blue that makes me want to sit outside on the wide stone steps of the amphitheatre or my secret phone space and just read a good, good book. It’s the kind of blue that stirs up memories of childhood and the corners of your mouth pulls and you realize what happiness is in this soul-sucking time of submissions and exams and sleepless nights.

Then there are nights.

Today evening I experienced one of the most clear and beautiful nights that I’ve ever seen in Bombay. I’ve always liked the night skies in Bombay better because it was always too cloudy during the days (not that that isn’t pretty) and we are too preoccupied to appreciate it well. The nights are different. The sky that I’ve always seen back home during the night was a dark, dark navy, that is easy to get lost in. Add the moon and get ready to take your sleeping bags or mattresses and blankets and pillows and plenty of Odomos to sleep on the roof. It’s different here. I think it’s because it’s more polluted here, but the night sky is never that shade of blue. In fact, it’s not blue at all. It’s purple and violet with that barely-there brown. It’s the colour of my favourite t-shirt that says “Cats are magical. The longer you feed them, the longer you both stay alive.” It’s the colour of the blankets that smells warmth and winter, which Akka and I have back at home. It’s the colour that no one thinks is purple. The clouds perfectly complement them. They are the palest shade of violet and they morph into shapes that activates the wild side of my brain. The wisps that break apart from the big clouds look like some major wand activity is going on. No way that can be real. It’s too beautiful and magical to be real.

Today, the Moon showed her face. There were fewer clouds than usual and the stars were there as usual. But it was an almost clear night and the air was crisp and just a tiny bit chilly. This is totally not the kind of weather that I expected to see in a city like Bombay. It almost feels like home.

Almost.

But it is a new home for me right now.

Picture credits to Mishel!

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Good Masala Dosa and filter coffee cures me

Woke up sweating from a dream, with a different kind of feeling…

~It was always you, Maroon 5.

I did not wake up sweating from a dream but I did wake up feeling very unsettled and homesick. The dream that I had was the reason for it.

Today is Gauri habba, the day before Ganesha habba for us (Ganesha Chaturthi for the non-Kannada folks reading this) and every year on this day, we bring our little clay Ganesha idol home. It was something Pappa and I did every year and it hit me that I wasn’t a part of it this year.

All through the first class today, I was sleepy and irritable, which wasn’t new these days, and snapping at people, which was a rare occasion for me. My chest was tied in loose knots. I had no idea why until I took that first sip of filter coffee.

The lunch in the DH was very unappetizing today. None of us felt like eating there so we went outside, to the regular restaurant where I find the filter coffee to be quite decent. I’m skeptical about eating south Indian food outside of Bengaluru, but here, it’s really nice. So, the four of us bought three different types of dosas (one plain ghee roast, two ghee masala dosas and one Mysore masala dosa, which was for me) and two coffees and two slice kulfis. We were laughing and generally chatting about when I took my first sip of coffee between bites of my dosa. All the tied knots instantly came unraveling and it just hit me what day it was.

Tomorrow is Ganesha habba and the pooja at home is at 4:30 AM. It’s way too early for anyone but it doesn’t matter. I’m not home. I didn’t get to go choose the idol this time. I didn’t get to see all the festivities in the market, nor go shopping for them, nor eat the chakli or sweets that Amma made. I don’t get to complain about getting up so early or sit with my family for the pooja.

And each time I think about it, each word I’m typing, it’s making the ache in my heart just that much more painful.

Four years.

It’s a bright and sunny day here in Bombay. It’s rarely ever sunny here, and even though the world is crashing upon me and my classmates today, it is a really good day. I wish I could sit outdoors and do my work.

The only way I wanted to celebrate the 4th anniversary of this blog was with a nice cup of hot and strong filter coffee. And I’m delighted to say that I had two cups today, along with a so many types of South Indian food, so hello, productivity!

I’m so proud to share this day with the day that the Indian Supreme Court decriminalized consensual gay sex. It is a huge step in the country and I am so happy that it happened.

Last year, I had hoped that I would be in a different city next year. Things never go the way I planned but this is the one thing that has been right so far. I am in a different city, and life away from home is not how I always thought it would be. It’s not scary at all. It’s peaceful and liberating and yes, sometimes it can get lonely but it’s an experience that I will always cherish and never, ever regret taking.

From September 6, 2017 to September 6, 2018, I feel like I’m a different person altogether. I can’t seem to remember who I was when I wrote that post last year because this girl has grown. I can’t even begin to think about how I’ve changed from last year, much less, how much. I’m learning things everyday, so much that I cannot even make a list of them all. I’m learning a new language; I’m learning to live in different new cultures; I’m learning to cope with a new level of stress and I’ve been more myself here than anywhere else. I think the city of Bombay does that to you.

And, unlike how I kept saying last year that I had second doubts about blogging in general, I’ve never felt that way this year. Of course, I’ve been blogging scarcely these days, and for me, it’s okay to be rare. A few weeks ago, Naveen told me how one of his friends, who is an avid reader of this blog, was wondering why I haven’t been writing more often these days. And I was speechless. People do care, even if I don’t know about them. I’m really happy that people can remember such tiny, trivial things and go about asking about me even if I was a total stranger. I felt strangely honoured.

I’ve watched more than 15 K-drama since then (excluding a few which I had rewatched with Akka) and I don’t even have a count of how many films I’ve watched. I love my weekly outings that I take on Sunday late afternoons for light shopping and a cup of filter coffee. I’ve loved every day living in this city, even though I miss home with every fibre of my being. The people around me are the least judgmental, most open-minded that I’ve ever seen. I feel like I’ve become one of them fully now. I no longer feel awkward sitting alone because that kind of solitary is rare when you know so many people so I cherish the times I eat alone. I’ve become physically active since the past week, and my body has been so attuned to getting up early that I can pretty much wake up a minute before my alarm goes off at 6:13 in the morning. I’ve also began eating breakfast, which is a feat for me because I cannot remember a single day when I ate breakfast when I went to college in Bengaluru.

There are days when I feel uncontrollably sad. There are other days where I am giddy to the point of annoying myself. And on sleep deprived days, I cannot remember or control what I am doing or saying. But all this is just a part of this phase in my life and whatever happens, I know I can always turn towards my blog and just write and not worry about it because it feels like an extension of my soul now. It feels like it’s one part of myself that I can rely on no matter what. I don’t have to worry about getting period cramps or less sleep or laziness because it’s always there. No matter what.

I’ll still be here when it’s five and I hope I can make this world feel better, even if it’s an infinitesimally small part of it.

And I made the header all by myself!

Home

I’m pretty sure a lot of people are sick of reading this because it was all over my Instagram stories for the past two days. I’m home for a week! I came on Sunday afternoon and apart from that afternoon, I feel like nothing has changed. It reminds of my time last year when I was on a gap year and when I did absolutely nothing and got up to the sound of my mother shouting in the other room saying I was messing up her schedule and what not, which was exactly how it was today. Only, Amma still made coffee for me.

The entire week before I left for home, I was in a terrible predicament (oh wow, look at me, using fancy words). I badly wanted to go home but at the same time, I hesitated. My friend Chai had once advised that I go home once the semester ends and not in between (only, in less kinder words at that moment). He though that once I’m back, I’ll be more homesick than ever. But for some reason, I did not sway then. I am hardly ever stubborn but that time I was and I decided I had to show him that I was not weak. True, I miss home and that’s not what defines weakness but I wanted to show him that I was strong enough to face it and punch it in the face if necessary. I told Pappa to go ahead and book a ticket for me. And he did.

But that entire week, as busy as I was with an exam and a “test”, I was full of nerves. How was it going to feel going back home? I was afraid of a lot of things. Was the city going to love me the same? Will it push me out thinking I betrayed it? Will I love the city same way I did when I left it? Will I feel the same way after going back to Bombay? Did I actually betray Bengaluru? Or did I find myself a new home? Am I even allowed to have two homes?

Well, some of those have been answered. I will love my city the same way despite its many, many flaws on the outside that I’m not used to in Bombay just yet. The people are pretty much the same everywhere so I shouldn’t have expected anything different when I was hauling my duffel bag in a thousand different angles from where the bus dropped me off all the way to the Metro station. The rest are still a mystery to me.

After coming back, I’ve realized how much colder Bengaluru is! I always thought it would be the pleasant sort of cold. But I’ve gotten used to a certain type of weather for two-and-a-half-months and I did not expect my body to forget the type of weather that it lived in for 21 years. I’m so disappointed in you, body. The Monday after I came, I was on the verge of falling sick. Even then, I ate chats and ice cream and went out roaming with my school friends. Some things never change.

I’ve been MIA a lot these days and today, as I was speaking with Naveen on the phone, he told me something that struck me. More than struck me, more like, shocked me. And I think that also sort of inspired me. I’m going to promise myself that I will blog/write three times a week and publish at least once a week. There’s just so much happening around me that I end up keeping it all in my head or voice notes or heart. Sometimes a letter or in my brand new art journal but not here. I want to write about that conversation that I had with the old man who was begging next to me as I waited for the bus on Saturday afternoon; I want to write about my train rides; I want to write about my discovery of people; I want to write about new discoveries of myself; I want to do so many things and the only thing standing in the way is me. I shall force myself out of the way and write it all out.

What’s wrong with Secretary Kim?

AKA “What’s wrong with Vice-Chairman Lee?”; “Why would Vice-Chairman Lee do that?!” Also, “Your arrogance is annoying and off-putting, Mr. Lee”. But then it defeats the whole purpose of the show.

I’d seen snippets of this show on Instagram and Facebook and I was so intrigued because I had not expected to see dear old Park Seo Joon in a character like this. Arrogant? Rich and snobby? Yes, I can picture him all that, but there was something about the character that I did not expect. I think it was his past that jarred me and left me a little unhinged because his character in She Was Pretty was quite similar to this but their childhoods couldn’t have been more different. I loved him in this.

I really enjoyed this drama. It was hilarious, cute and sexy, little dark in places, and had a good plot. There was not a single place I thought that could’ve been different. The transition from one scene to another emotionally was really good. The darkness in all the dark scenes did not overpower the rest of the scenes, even if it did make one feel hollow on the inside. The rest of the scenes were cute enough to make it all up.

Kim Mi So, or Secretary Kim, was such an amazing character. She was strong and firm and independent and just lovely. She  wasn’t able to study much because she ended up taking care of her older sisters after their father went bankrupt, but she learnt a lot in the nine years she worked with —no, tolerated — Lee Young Joon, seeing him transition from a lower position to the position of the Vice Chairman. She stumbled a lot in the beginning and he had every right and opportunity to fire her almost everyday, but he let her be and made sure she never repeated the same mistakes again. He made her learn English and Chinese and Spanish and French and she learnt them all so diligently. She learns to enjoy her job but then after nine years, she gets tired. She decides to quit. Lee Young Joon is mad.

Lee Young Joon didn’t even think twice when she came for the job. There were professional secretaries who applied and he picked a high school graduate. We later find out why and that reason has us clutching our hearts and little short of swooning (not really).  Lee Young Joon is a very peculiar character. He was generally very serious as a kid and generally grown up but as an adult, he radiates power. He’s the sort of person who wants to be in charge of everything, and sometimes, it annoyed me. He’s charming when he wants to be and does everything in his power to make that one person he cares about really happy. And then she decides to quit.

I really loved them both. Their chemistry and the dynamics between them was on spot. She was gorgeous and he was flawless (and he knew it) and they made such a great pair. Their history is a whole other thing. Young little Young Joon was just absolutely adorable and his acting is even more flawless than the older Young Joon. He was perfect and I even took drishti for him to keep bad and envying eyes away from him.

Then there was Morpheus, played by Lee Tae Hwan. Morpheus is a mystery writer who writes some of the best romance novels there is and he is none other than Young Joon’s older brother, Lee Sung Yeon. When I saw him, I thought he was made for me. He is my definition of perfect. He’s tall and cute with a shy smile that is just so damn bright that it just pierced my heart. I’m not even kidding. His character may be a little off in this drama but dang it, I want him. His sense of style and his charisma and the way he observes people and notices people is just so mesmerising. I love that guy.

This drama was just the perfect blend of romance and comedy, with that extra necessary bit of dark past connection. I had great fun watching it.

9/10.

Highly recommend it if you like hilarious romance stories!

 

The steel tumbler

‘Aaina’ is a Human Library event that happens in TISS every year or so. When I found out about it, I signed up for it immediately. The theme was “Stuffs we brought” which essentially revolves around the theme of the materials we brought from home. I decided I’d do a slam poem and wrote my poem and performed it. It wasn’t all that great and my poem could’ve been so much better, but with three days (filled with classes and meetings and whatnot) I could only write so much.

The Steel Tumbler

There are a lot of things I brought from home.

My bag, my books, my sister’s clothes, my art materials.

But perhaps the oddest and the strangest object that I brought from home is my steel tumbler, which has given me a sweet reputation from all the nights that I’ve carried it to dinner in the DH.

This is not a cylindrical tumbler; it is a more slender version of a pot (you know, the kind where we carry and store water in). Imagine if a steel pot went to the gym and lost all its curves.

Appa thought it added to my luggage, and maybe I shouldn’t take it?

Nope. I needed it. I put my foot down and did not budge. Appa did not ask again.

True, it wasn’t exactly on the top of my requirement list but I needed it anyway. Drinking water from it was secondary.

Even though it holds about half a litre of water it feels satisfying to pour water to your mouth from half a foot above and even if it did quench any kind of thirst and makes me feel all sorts sated, the first reason I brought it with me is because it is eternally overflowing with feelings and memories of home.

Every time I look at it, I am reminded of the times I’ve juggled two or three of those between the living room and the kitchen, sometimes filled, sometimes empty.

It’s the first thing that Amma expects us to do when she calls out for dinner. Some nights, when she very shadily answers me “I’ll cook something” when I ask her what dinner was that night, I peek open the covering of the pan or the vessel to see what I was going to eat.

Most nights, I can smell it before I see it. When I take off the lid, my already watering mouth is on a roll when I see the golden brown of the yennegai gojju, a thin reddish layer of oil floating on top. or sometimes its the capsicum palya that is as crunchy as it looks; on some mellow days, the warm smell of rasam, with just that extra little hint of crushed pepper and garlic and lemon juice, with a side of khara and salt chips; sometimes it’s khara pongal with that lip-smacking tamarind gojju and then I swivel my eyes to see sweet pongal in the next kadai, and then I sigh in relief to see my dabba of ghee intact; other days, it’s an unpleasant surprise: uppittu.

Then I shut it quickly and fill up my tumblers for the tepoy in the living room.

My body is on auto pilot now, especially in the DH. I fill water, sign, take my plate, fill it with food, go find a table to sit at. Not very different from what I did at home except for the fact that I couldn’t pack the three of them in my suitcase.

I brought my tumbler instead.

Now that I think about it, there’s so much more that I wanted to write. This will be a poem in working.

After this, Mishel, Arohi and I decided we wanted to eat out so we went to this place where I usually go to drink good filter coffee. That restaurant has a waiter who’s a Kannadiga (like me) and it felt great to talk to him in Kannada after so long. We ate three different types of dosas and they were good! I am usually skeptical about eating dosas anywhere apart from Bengaluru and Mysore (and anywhere in between) so I was pleasantly surprised by how good this one was. The sambar was sweet and spicy and just right. We had ordered three malai kulfi slices and one coffee and he did not charge us for one of the kulfis. He was so sweet.

I needed this after a long day of classes and work and dozing off in class.

The First Shop of Coffee Prince

AKA “I’m a girl but I won’t tell you but I’ll still fall in love with you” but this is too long and impractical; “Coffee first, then love!” or, “Girls can be stronger than boys, you know?

I began watching this because of Gong Yoo, the Goblin in the K-drama Goblin, but I ended up loving it. It was such a sweet little show that it just warmed my heart with so much coffee and love.

It’s a simple story. A tomboy (Go Eun Chan) is the head of her family after her father passes away. She works multiple jobs to provide for her mother and her sister. Life goes well until an accident happens and she loses her job. She goes to the guy involved with the accident (Han Kyul [Gong Yoo]) for money for repairs for her scooter when he proposes a job. She fails to mention that she is a girl and then that ends up in her working at the Coffee Prince, which was a run down coffee shop that Han Kyul is expected to get it up and running with double profits within three months. Then they fall in love.

Simple as it may seem, there is so much emotion packed behind every scene. When Han Kyul discovers that Eun Chan is a girl, he is so hurt but then again, he’s really happy too. I’m glad there was more happiness than sadness because I wanted to see him smile. Seeing Gong Yoo smile was my ultimate happiness. He’s got such an openness about him that I feel warm and happy every time I see him smile.

There wasn’t much that I didn’t like about this drama. I only didn’t like Eun Chan’s sister and her romance. She was really mean to her sister. I loved the coffee shop, the old, gorss Barista and all the staff working in the coffee house. There’s a Japanese/Korean guy working with them who makes (apparently)the best waffles ever. He was so beautiful, especially with his high cheekbones and rare smiles and unexpected affection and his painted-black nails. Ha Rim is the designer for the shop but he also works as a waiter. Min Yeop is a very goofy but sweet guy who captured the heart of Eun Chan’s sister, Eun Sae. We have another love story on the side, of Han Kyul’s cousin, Han-sung, who is a talented music producer with his long-term on-and-off artist girlfriend Han Yoo Joo. She was boring.

I don’t feel like saying anything more but I needed this after Goblin. I needed to see Gong Yoo smile and be happy for once. And I’m glad I did.

8.5/10.

The various faces of homesickness

Homesickness comes and goes. It doesn’t stay for long but those short bouts are sometimes unbearable.

Homesickness isn’t just missing home. I miss sitting on the sofa with hot hot filter coffee and watching TV after a long day of classes.

It is having the freedom to be yourself but having the communication gap to actually tell the world who you are.

It is the lack of Banyan trees around to sit underneath and eat lunch.

It is in certain moments. Something happens and I turn around to tell Sam or Akka or someone about it but there’s isn’t anyone to tell to.

Homesickness is having to separate your life at home with your life at present.

It is finding the pleasure in roaming about the area on late afternoons on Sundays but wanting to do it with someone from your past life.

It is wishing you could ask Magnus Bane to make portal so that you can go back and breath in the Bengaluru air, just for a few hours.

It is missing the comforts of living with family.

It is missing family. It is missing friends with whom I’m not shy. It is missing the times where we don’t have to speak sense all the time.

It is missing all the familiarity: the people the places the language the city the buildings the green the chill polluted air.

It is missing the smell of BMTC buses. It is missing the wind in your helmet hair when you’re sitting behind your dad on the scooter.

I’ve been labelling many of my moments as #missingscenes and some of those days, I don’t even know what I’m missing. I just know that there’s this irreplaceable ache in me that makes me want to pack my things and hop on a bus and never look back.

It’s like I left a part of me behind. Sometimes so vital that I can’t breathe. Sometimes so unimportant that I don’t even notice. But I know it’s there. Always.

 

 

Toy Story

I have a couple of posts in mind (one in an actual draft!) but clearly I’ve not devoted enough time to write them down nicely. I had time all week and last week but now that life got hectic, I am suddenly motivated to do everything but study and work. Hence, me sleeping in the afternoon and watching Toy Story and writing about it.

I had been recommended to watch Toy Story by a friend every time she emailed. It was way overdue. I’m really glad I watched it, though. It reminded me again of how I ought to keep my prejudices and pre-conceived notions aside and just watch it.

I had a 4-hour class on Saturday. Saturdays are usually for waking up late and spending time all day in your room, on your laptop, doing Universe knows what. But today, after class, I watched Toy Story.

Toy Story is totally my kind of film. It has talking toys. Why I wasn’t hooked to that way before I was born is still a mystery to me. The toys have feelings and a feeling of kinship among themselves. They are always scared when it’s presents time for Andy, because they are all worried that the new toy will not get along with them, or worse, cast the old ones aside to make way for the new “favourite”. Which is exactly what happens, when Buzz Lightyear replaces Woody as Andy’s new favourite toy.

I loved it. It has some really fun moments and some “aww” moments, some disturbing moments (when they show Sid’s toys) and in the end, you are rooting for the toys. Some may think that we have lost our minds, but I know now that every time I pass by a toy store, I’m sure as hell going to see if they’re talking or moving. If I had any toys I’d spy on them every now and then but since I don’t, my best option is to spy on the roadside ones.  It makes you think what the story writers were going through when they wrote the story. It makes me want to write such amazing stories. It also makes me want to think like a child again, imaginative and no bounds. Let’s hope that at least once in a while, I can (adulting is just super boring most of the times).

Here’s the update:

  1. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
  2. Pinocchio
  3. Fantasia
  4. Dumbo
  5. Bambi
  6. Saludos Amigos
  7. Victory Through Air Power
  8. The Three Caballeros
  9. Make Mine Music
  10. Song of the South
  11. Fun and Fancy Free
  12. Melody Time
  13. The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad
  14. Cinderella
  15. Alice in Wonderland
  16. Peter Pan
  17. Lady and the Tramp
  18. Sleeping Beauty
  19. One Hundred and One Dalmatians
  20. The Sword in the Stone
  21. The Jungle Book
  22. The Aristocats
  23. Robin Hood
  24. The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
  25. The Rescuers
  26. The Fox and the Hound
  27. The Black Cauldron
  28. The Great Mouse Detective
  29. Who Framed Roger Rabbit?
  30. Oliver and Company
  31. The Little Mermaid
  32. DuckTales the Movie
  33. The Rescuers Down Under
  34. Beauty and the Beast
  35. Aladdin
  36. The Nightmare Before Christmas
  37. The Lion King
  38. A Goofy Movie
  39. Pocahontas
  40. Toy Story
  41. James and the Giant Peach
  42. The Hunchback of Notre Dame
  43. Hercules
  44. Mulan
  45. A Bug’s Life
  46. Doug’s 1st Movie
  47. Tarzan
  48. Toy Story 2
  49. Fantasia 2000
  50. The Tigger Movie
  51. Dinosaur
  52. The Emperor’s New Groove
  53. Recess: School’s Out
  54. Atlantis: The Lost Empire
  55. Monsters, Inc.
  56. Return to Neverland
  57. Lilo and Stitch
  58. Spirited Away
  59. Treasure Planet
  60. The Jungle Book 2
  61. Piglet’s Big Movie
  62. Finding Nemo
  63. Brother Bear
  64. Teacher’s Pet
  65. Home on the Range
  66. The Incredibles
  67. Pooh’s Heffalump Movie
  68. Howl’s moving Castle
  69. Valiant
  70. Chicken Little
  71. Bambi II
  72. The Wild
  73. Cars
  74. Meet the Robinsons
  75. Ratatouille
  76. WALL-E
  77. Tinker Bell
  78. Roadside Romeo
  79. Bolt
  80. Up
  81. Ponyo
  82. Tinker Bell and the Lost Treasure
  83. A Christmas Carol
  84. The Princess and the Frog
  85. Toy Story 3
  86. Tales from Earthsea
  87. Tangled
  88. Gnomeo and Juliet
  89. Mars Needs Moms
  90. Cars 2
  91. Winnie the Pooh
  92. The Secret World of Arietty
  93. Arjun: the Warrior Prince
  94. Brave
  95. Secret of the Wings
  96. Frankenweenie
  97. Wreck-It Ralph
  98. Monsters University
  99. Planes
  100. Frozen
  101. The Pirate Fairy
  102. The Wind Rises
  103. Planes: Fire and Rescue
  104. Big Hero 6
  105. Strange Magic
  106. Tinker Bell and the Legend of the Neverbeast
  107. Inside Out 
  108. The Good Dinosaur
  109. Zootopia
  110. Finding Dory
  111. Moana
  112. Cars 3
  113. Coco
  114. Incredibles 2

 

Goblin: The Lonely and Great God

I don’t have any “AKAs” like I usually do. I can’t think of any at all.

I finished this K-drama last night and I’m probably one of the last people on this earth to watch it. I’d heard so much about this drama that I thought I really should watch it. I mean, most of the popular ones that I’ve watched were not over-rated at all. Like, Descendants of The Sun. And the writer who scripted for Descendants of the Sun also scripted Goblin. If you’ve watched either one (or none), you can expect a lot of drama (that you’ll later realize was a little too much at times), an AMAZING soundtrack (I’m listening to it as I’m typing this!) with a unique story line, a brilliant cast with some phenomenal acting skills and, unexpectedly, some really funny moments.

Where do I begin with this show? It was so good. I wanted to binge-watch the whole thing but I could only watch a handful of episodes each day. Which was a good thing because towards the end, I had to recover from each episode. It was so heavy and full of feels that some nights I just watched one episode.

I really really really loved the poster. This wasn’t the original release poster (the featured image) but I loved this one because it so brilliantly portrays the girl’s innocence and bliss and love while he stands there like someone who knows the pain of life but still chooses to live like this and love her. The contrast is stark and one can see how beautifully they are in love. The girl describes him as “a tall man with a sad smile.”

There are scenes where you laugh out loud and there are scenes where you cry and bawl your eyes out. It’s a huge emotional rollercoaster that will leave you emotional and sad for a long time. I’m sad and teary just thinking about it. I will probably feel the same way even weeks after.

Add to that, I want to rewatch it. I loved the 939-year-old Goblin himself so much that I want to watch it all over again, preferably for the first time, just for him. His character is so amazing. Sad and lonely but when he finds companions, friends, he loves them to the depth of his heart. And everyone loves him back the same way. Which makes it harder when the people he loves dies and he remains by himself.

I loved our female lead, Ji Eun Tak, whose character begins as a 19-year-old who is destined to be the Goblin’s bride. She is an orphan, living with her abusive aunt and cousins when she meets him. Even through all the troubles that she has undergone, she usually has a bright smile on her face and the Goblin has fallen in love with her immediately. She is so strong and optimistic that when the bad things happen to her, you want to take her away and wrap her in a blanket and look at that extremely beautiful deity in the face and say, “No. You will NOT have her.” That’s pretty much what our Goblin tried to do but unfortunately, there were some things that he couldn’t do either.

We have a Grim Reaper in the story, whose role is very much vital. He is such a cutie. He had sinned badly in his previous life, which is why he became a grim reaper, a punishment of sorts. But his world is turned upside down when he meets Sunny, the chicken shop owner where Eun Tak works. The intersection of their lives intertwined with the story of the Goblin and Eun Tak is just so well written. It’s the kind of story that makes your heart skip a beat and think, “One day, I want to write such a story.” It’s the kind of story that you cannot put into words. Your heart knows it so well. You just need to close your eyes and think for a moment, and the whole story is just replayed in your head.

I loved it. I can’t fault it. The only thing I found off was the fact that it was slow in a lot of places. That made things that much more emotional.

9.5/10.