How I Survived Over A Month Without WiFi

Disclaimer: yes, I understand my inherent privilege and that millions of people don’t have access to WiFi. My problem is a very first world one for a third world gal. But take it with a pinch of salt and humour

It started one summer eve, the light left the sky and I retreated to my cave to do what I do best, scroll. It was here I was confronted with the prehistoric creature inviting me to an internet-less existence, making me one with itself(thanks, chrome dinosaur). At first instinct, I panicked, but it was not a problem I had not faced before. The towering Telkom has regularly and ruthlessly cut off my access to the world. My father and resident useless commander of our fort tackled the problem head-on, only to be left on hold.

The days grew longer, and my eagerness to attend university increased. The networks used to further academic excellence were now tainted and used to download Korean dramas, send snap streaks and relentlessly Instagram stalk. I apologize to every student who was trying to do work and thank them for bearing with my abuse.

My truest ally came in the form of the mystical capitalist haven also known as Starbucks. There I sat with my MacBook imposter Lenovo laptop, sipping overpriced coffee and finishing up assignments. Employees handed me free tea samples and strangers politely smiled as we shared a plug point, adding strength to face my adversity.

Friends proved themselves in my time of need. Pictures were never sent, but merely described and my Snapchat password floated to the next available streak sender. They so kindly took me in, sheltered, fed and connected me as the Telkom continued its torment. But it also came with being dragged on many occasions and being left behind on certain memes. My problem actually spread to a friend, but alas her shortage lasted 5 days only.

Vodacom thoroughly benefited as my demise continued. As if their data prices weren’t high enough we faced the VAT increase. My reluctant parents helped me waste money to refresh a timeline and download notes. Then I turned on them and started kicking off my parent’s devices from the hotspot because I prioritized succession notes over my mother’s latest Instagram recipe craze. In times like this, your true colours really show and my inner dictator prevailed.

In the end, I came out stronger, my academics probably benefited and I tested my own levels of tolerance, which admittedly aren’t very high. In the midst of it all, my aforementioned fake MacBook charger also broke and took weeks to be replaced, adding to the growing anxiety. Now that the promised land of content has been returned to me, I feel like a kid in a virtual candy store (for lack of a better metaphor). You mean I can spend a day watching just YouTube videos? My wireless printer will work? More than 2 seconds of an episode can be streamed? I am overwhelmed with my power and will never take my WiFi for granted again.

As for Telkom, all I can say is “DO BETTER”.

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All Things Twitter With Local Tweleb @Anjalaaay

You may know her as the unsung pun hero of local twitter or that girl who was just featured on BuzzFeed. In her personal sphere, Anjali is a 22-year-old Med student dabbling in embroidery and always providing us with relatable tweets in now 240 characters or less! Sometimes, the occasional article gets written about her, so I decided to ask to interview her for my all of ten readers, which she kindly agreed to.

anjali1.  When did you first join Twitter and start to enjoy using the platform?

I joined Twitter in 2011 when I was in grade 9. I didn’t really know what to do on it, but I got it because other people were talking about this new platform and celebrities were using it. I mainly interacted with my friends (replied to all my mentions, liked and retweeted everything). From the start, I used Twitter to express my sense of humour and things that I found funny. Most of the time other people didn’t find them funny, but I tweeted my puns and stupid jokes out anyway. I had about 200 followers back then and every time I got 4 or more RTs I was delighted. In 2015, when I started university, I decided to dedicate more time to social media (obviously a very appropriate time to do this). I remember always thinking that the popular people on (Muslim) Twitter who had 1000+ followers were unimaginably cool that I said to my friends one day, “I’m going to become part of Muslim Twitter.” I started following more people, and that’s what helped me gain a following. I’d say that the time I started aiming for that goal was when I really started enjoying Twitter as a platform. Although the character of my humour has shifted from being light-hearted and pun-based to being more self-deprecating, self-critical and reflective, the overall aim of my Twitter account has remained the same: I want to make people happier, even if they just crack a tiny smile at something stupid I’ve said.

[speaking as a member of Muslim Twitter, we are one hot mess]

  2. How has the platform helped you grow as a person? 

The biggest thing I’ve gained from Twitter is access to other people’s knowledge, opinions and perspectives. I’ve come to understand why Fees Must Fall, Black Lives Matter, LGBTQ+ rights, Me Too and every other big political movement is important because I have had the opportunity to read ordinary people’s real experiences. I have also learned to be observant of the injustices around me and be more open to the opinions and experiences I have as a millennial, woman, and medical student. I get a lot of comfort from Twitter, seeing that almost everything I struggle with is not unique to me, and thousands of other people on this platform are going through similar problems while supporting each other with humour and advice. I think the more I share, the more I can give that comfort and humour back to my followers.

[ at least we know the secret to her success and relatability now]

3. How do you balance the demands of your degree and maintain an online presence?

To be honest, Twitter is very often a source of procrastination for me. I’ve found myself scrolling through it while I’m supposed to be studying, and it is often during these moments that I come up with my most frequent and best tweets. However, Twitter has never solely gotten in the way of my pursuit of academic success because I am already an easily distracted person who will always find something that’ll sidetrack me. Adding on to that, tweeting is not a time-consuming action at all. I don’t dedicate time every day to think only about crafting tweets; instead, they are created in the form of sudden thoughts. I immediately spend 30 seconds making sure my thought is worded in a comprehensive and amusing way, and I either save it to be tweeted later or tweet it immediately. There has never been a need to balance demands because tweeting is not demanding to me at all.

[ we could all probably learn a thing or two in terms of time management and academic excellence from Anjali, me especially for that test I should be studying for]

4. Do you feel confident representing our country and local Twitter on such a global platform?

I don’t entirely see myself as a good representative for South Africa on Twitter, mainly because I am part of such a small minority. I’m Indian and a medical student, two things that most South Africans are not. If someone were to ask me to identify the best aspects of SA Twitter, I’d point them to every black person on there because black people are incredibly funny and encompass the true essence of SA spirit and culture. Black Twitter is definitely the fun portion of Twitter. I’ve learned a lot from South African black Twitter myself and I always laugh at their tweets (when they’re in English lolololol). I find Cape Town is a bit more relatable to me, and I think I fit in well with the local Twitter crowd (although I don’t have many friends on the platform). I’d feel more confident representing local Twitter. Overall, I just try to express my more general thoughts and experiences as a student, a person in their 20s, a person of colour, et cetera. I do this so that I can appeal to and be relatable to more people.

[As a fellow South African Indian woman, I thank you for your representation of us]

5. Which of your tweets did you never expect to go viral and why?

I never expect any of my tweets to go viral, to be honest. When one of them does I’m always so surprised. Sometimes I’ll craft a tweet and put a lot of effort into wording it just right and I think, “This is hilarious, it’s definitely going to go viral.” Those ones never do. Instead, it’s always the ones that require minimal thought and effort that blow up. I’ve never understood why that is and I never will, but such is the unpredictable nature of virality.

[It never is the tweets we think it will be]

6. How does your family feel about the fame surrounding you? 

The thing is, I’m not famous because no one recognises me in person and my popularity on Twitter doesn’t impact my life in a way that my family would recognise. Therefore, they don’t have any strong feelings about my Twitter “fame”. Sometimes they’ll ask me how many followers I currently have, and when I tell them they’re temporarily in awe, but the conversation moves on swiftly. My cousins sometimes talk about my Twitter, but again, it’s never a big deal to me.

[ I can’t imagine how many times your tweets have ended up as WhatsApp stories]

7. Do you often get dragged for being a “Tweleb” by your friends? 

I do, all the time. My friends Azrah and Hoosain exaggerate how “famous” I am at least once a day and talk about how they want to meet Kanye West through me, stuff like that. When someone else mentions in person that I’m popular on Twitter, I know that as soon as that person walks away I’m going to get dragged. I won’t lie, it’s pretty funny when they do that and I always fail to keep a straight face.

[when you do meet Kanye, please ask him to stop designing whatever he has been tweeting lately, for the greater good, we need you!]

8. Is there now a pressure to always be tweeting relatable and popular content?

Sometimes. I go through phases where I can come up with lots of good tweets every day for weeks, but other times life becomes stressful and busy and I struggle to think of something good to tweet. I often start to panic if I can’t come up with a good tweet, but I try to draft at least one per day to maintain my account and give people a reason to keep following me.

[She’s human too guys!]

9. When can we expect Anjali merch (I am not kidding)?

Probably never! If anyone is interested, I do embroidery as a hobby and take custom orders. I’ll have a website soon (www.anjalaaay.com) through which you can place orders.

[ I am counting on all ten of my readers to support Anjali’s future endeavours and yes, I made the same joke twice. Life is tough.]

10. What would you like to say to the people who have supported you and watched you grow over the years? 

I really want to be humble, but I might not sound humble when I say this, so please excuse me for a moment. I would like to say thank you to everyone who has followed me, taken the time to read any of my tweets and allowed me to have some impact on their emotional state (hopefully only positive!). There are people who have been following me since 2015, and some even before that. You guys are really the best. I’ve learned so much from all of you over the years, and I will always try to contribute to the pool of humorous and relatable content on Twitter because it is you guys whom I want to make happy. I love Twitter because it’s filled with thousands of amazing people and countless opportunities for growth that I’m so grateful for. So, in essence, thank you for following me and I hope you will continue enjoying my tweets!

I’d like to conclude by thanking Anjali for her time and insight. I hope you had as much fun answering these questions as I did making them. I cannot wait to see you enjoy unbridled success in the future.

Lastly, I will leave a list of Anjali’s greatest hits.

The Types of Group chats

As a self-proclaimed group chat junkie, with roughly 40 graced with my membership, I think I am more than qualified to pen a post on the many types of group chats that plague our text-based society. These nifty social tools have brought some of the best people into my life.

The immediate family group chat

This usually includes mum, dad and your siblings. The daily messages entail random broadcasts, dinner plans, pictures of nieces and nephews and the occasional “put your light off/ PLEASE BRING TAKE-OUT”. Recently, my dad’s new hobby is digging up my childhood pictures and meme-ing me.

The extended family group chat

Here, we branch out to cousins, uncles and the one grandparent who isn’t wifi-challenged. It is a hotbed for hoax messages, subtle brags about your auntie’s son’s nephew who got straight A’s but not into med school because of that darn BEE(ps this is me mocking the Indian entitlement with regards to admission, not agreeing). This also happens to be the home of cringe-inducing memes that should have died on Facebook, in 2009.

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The main friend group chat 

Yes, boys, this where the screenshots of your messages are circulated and picked apart, the dragging goes down and the crying laughing emoji is in great abundance. This chat is the glue to my fragile being.

The campus friend group chat

Common messages include: “are you on campus yet?” , ” you free?”, “shot for the invite to that thing the rest of you attended”

The degree related group chat

You probably hate half the people on this group chat but stay for that one smart and kind person who is willing to shares notes and tips.

  • Anyone got notes for section 2.2.1?
  • Sign the register for me
  • Which venue is the test in?

The high school friend group chat

You may feel bad to leave. It’s perfect to vent about the girl you collectively despised and had an awkward run-in with at the grocery store. The lit-ness also drastically increases during holiday periods.

The one you made for a meet-up and forgot to leave

I really don’t know why I haven’t left this yet

The fandom group chat

Here it is completely okay to share kdrama stills, game of thrones spoilers and BTS gifs. It is a safe haven for unhinged fangirls.

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The three-person group chat

Humans by nature are exclusive beings, sometimes having just three people feels right and people have different interests and levels of tolerance. Statistically, these are the most successful group chats, yes, I made up that statistic.

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The one you made on a whim that no one really one talks on anymore

SELF- EXPLANATORY

The internet friend group chat

This chat keeps my soul alive. Book recommendations and home remedies are shared,  story times fill our nights with spice and we just support each other, no matter the distance.

Group chats have revolutionised social circles and not being in the “one” can have drastic self-esteem ramifications (well, at least for me). For a lazy person such as myself, not having to type out the same message to my all of three friends is perfect, even if no one replies when we try to make plans and all of them are muted. Shoutout to twitter, snapchat and Instagram for also allowing me to send tweets and posts, it really has facilitated conversation in the modern age and lastly, to the addictive “tag urself” memes for having a persona for every member. Long live the inside jokes no one else will get and make sure you send those messages to the right chat.

 

2017 In A Nutshell

Normally, I’d begin this post with a one-line witty sum up of the year, but 2017 truly cannot be summed up. It was a whirlwind of emotions, with Donald Trump at the helm of the free world, Kardashians falling pregnant, K-pop going global, Robots gaining citizenship and a much-needed end to years of silence. In a personal sphere, it has been a year of immense emotional growth, but this isn’t about me, but rather my love, POP CULTURE. As always, the winners in each category were chosen by yours truly and are well-researched to take into account popularity, but are also heavily biased.

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Song Of The Year: It was so overplayed, that I genuinely feel ill when I hear it. So love it or hate it, you cannot deny that it was everywhere this year. Yes, you sang along while not knowing the words and trying fidget spinner tricks.

Despacito- Lusi Fonsi, Daddy Yankee ft. Justin Bieber

Honorable mention: MANS NOT HOT

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Best Movie: Logan.

Yes, scorn and fury are being flung at me, but I needed the pick to be something I actually watched and enjoyed this year. It was a terribly satisfying end to Hugh Jackman’s reign as Wolverine and more human, ironically than any superhero film I’ve watched.It was an all-around, commercial and critical success that pleased fans, that in its own right is a huge feat.

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Worst Movie: The Emoji Movie.

The concept alone is a deterrent, and that’s all I have to say considering I did not actually watch it. To aid my feelings, a critic humorously described it as “a force of insidious evil”

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Best Animation: Coco

Despite being a moderate rip-off of The Book of Life, the match made in heaven, Disney and Pixar continue to deliver heartwarming and beautifully captivating stories worthy of acclaim. Animation as a whole was disappointing, so I was also forced to slot this in here because it was better than let’s say, Golden Globe-nominated Boss Baby (I don’t get it either)

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Actor Of The Year: Mahershala Ali

Technically both Moonlight and Hidden Figures (2 of his Oscar Nominated films) were released in 2016, but his award-winning streak took off early this year and was so well deserved. Granted his success came later on in his life and acting career, nevertheless he is a beacon of hope, talented and the first Muslim Oscar Winner.

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Actress Of The Year: Zendaya

The spirited 21-year-old is hot off the Disney mill and already landing leading lady roles. Imagine your first movie being Spiderman? To top off her year, she contorted herself in Oscar-baiting The Greatest Showman. Her wits, striking features, unmatched fashion sense and passion and advocacy for Justice makes her truly one to watch in the years to come.

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Scandal: Ronan Farrow let the proverbial cat out of the bag and unleashed a domino chain of events when it came to exposing Hollywood’s sexual assault underbelly. Much like the meme, I was disappointed but not surprised. People I respected and admired were cancelled out, and all I have to offer is my support, thoughts and prayers to the victims, both men and women who have spoken out or chosen to remain silent. You are valid and you are believed. I hope more people gain the courage to come forward and that drastic repercussions are put in place for the perpetrators.

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Viral Sensation: Shooting Stars meme

Don’t ask me why I found floating cutouts of people in space to futuristic music, I just did and so did the rest of the world. If I am honest, I think 2017 might be the beginning of the true meme renaissance, the quality this year was unparalleled.

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While 2017 was not shrouded in the same doom and gloom that made 2016 oh so memorable, it was not a particularly great year for the world either, I am not here to depress, merely offer unnecessary social commentary, we have the news for all the sad stuff.

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My final thoughts (yes, Tammy(Tomi Lahren) inspired) are that I hope you guys have a wonderful Christmas and New Year, may you be as blessed as Asad, avoid following any strange clowns into gutters, salt your meat, don’t forget to have nothing but respect for your presidents and let’s hope the world is much better off in 3017.

The Hawkins Sorting Hat

It’s that time of the year again, where you can talk of nothing else besides the Netflix Phenomenon “Stranger Things” and dodging spoilers and or demogorgons becomes an Olympic sport. I binged the much anticipated second season during my current exam period and it was completely worth it( Possibly, mainly, for reasons of the Steve variety). In my pits of study related despair, spontaneous creativity blooms and so the idea to sort our favourite characters into their respective Hogwarts Houses and combine two my favourite fictional universes(can we imagine a mixtape of Hedwig’s theme and the ST intro though?) came to be. Plus Harry was born in the 80s, Ilvermorny exists and tell me Mike and the gang would not be super into the idea of magical wizards, it’s not too much of a stretch. So without further ado, let’s get this sorting ceremony started.

Mike – Gryf(Finn Wolfhard)dor

The quintessential leader of the gang is nothing if not selflessly brave, the boy’s got heart and in abundant amounts. He will constantly step up to the plate to protect his loved ones, very much like our dear Harry.

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Will – Slytherin

He’s severely misunderstood, strangely connected to a monster(*cough*basilisk *cough*)  and rocking an Albus Potter-que haircut.

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Lucas – Hufflepuff

I don’t tolerate any Hufflepuff slander in this house. Lucas is so pure and loyal but can step up to any challenge and drag his often ridiculous friends at every opportunity. We couldn’t have asked for a better voice of reason.

Dustin – Gryffindor

I was itching to make our brain a Ravenclaw, but truly he is in part Hagrid( the hair and his weird pet- dart) and Neville( The bravest amongst them all). Therefore, he must dawn red and yellow.

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Eleven- Gryffindor

Yes, I am being purely stereotypical with this one. El, is both badass and a cinnamon roll all at once.

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Max- Gryffindor

This is all I have to say:

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Nancy – Ravenclaw

Nancy, much like the house Ravenclaw is severely underrated(yes, I am one too). She is incredibly witty and intelligent.Pursuing conspiracy theories with determination and generally being the shot-gun wielding heroine WE ALL DESERVE.

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Jonathan – Slytherin

Perhaps it’s a family trait, but Johnathan is surely cunning and resourceful, even if he is quiet and aloof. Plus, we can abandon the notion that all Slytherins are evil. He also looks as if he’s never slept due to the anticipated return of the Dark Lord, but that’s a minor detail.

Steve – Hufflepuff

Our babysitter of the century is athletic. kind, loyal and flawed. He reminds me most of Cedric Diggory, but ultimately it was his brevity and heart that landed him in Hufflepuff.

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Billy – Slytherin

I know we just went through the whole #NotAllSlytherins but truly this racist, blood purifier is DEFINITELY a Slytherin.

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BONUS:

Joyce and Hopper – Gryffindor

Bob(RIP) – Hufflepuff

The mind-flayer – Slytherin

Well, that concludes this immensely enjoyable procrastination aid and our Hawkins- Hogwarts mashup. If you have any other suggestions as to their sorting, please leave a comment down below and if you’d like me to sort some of your other favourite characters let me know as well!

 

Dunkirk: A Review, ft. A Harry Stan.

If you dwell upon planet earth in the 21st century, you have heard of this not so huge deal called World War 2. This is the subject of Christopher Nolan’s latest cinematic masterpiece. It focuses on the Dunkirk evacuation(I didn’t know about it until the movie either)  and truly was an emotionally and visually splendid experience and yes, it’s that also known as that movie with Harry Styles in it.

For this completely unbiased review, I am consulting Harry’s supposed wife for her thoughts on the matter.

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Give us three adjectives to describe the movie:

Nasrin: Phenomenal, Exceptional, unexpected.

Faatimah: Riveting, Emotional, Breathtaking.

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Reason to watch the movie apart from Harry?

Nasrin: Besides the incredibly good-looking cast, it shows you a side of soldiers than you don’t get to see and it depicts the struggles of getting back home, as well as different type of soldiers

Faatimah: As a history enthusiast, it was great to feel engaged with the story and the era At times it felt like you were a soldier or a pilot, and it further enabled the emotional impact. OH, and cute pasty British boys.

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Comments on visuals and the score:

Nasrin: The cinematography was brilliant, it had air, sea, and land. It had the clicking timer which added to the emotional build ups. visuals made you feel like you were there.

Faatimah: The story was nonlinear and you had to take visual cues to piece the story together, which helped because war films can seem monotonous at times and the gloomy aesthetics helped capture the dreary and miserable atmosphere, almost devoid of hope. The score made every scene that much more captivating and poignant, and gun shots sent tingles up your spine.

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Favourite character:

Nasrin: Tommy (Fionn Whitehead), obviously I love Harry but his character was a dick

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Faatimah: The fighter pilot played by Tom Hardy, who was the REAL UNDERRATED HERO.

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What made the movie stand apart from other war films?

Nasrin: The film focused more on the youths that were forced into war. Other war films are boring and lackluster and focus on the romanticism of women staying home and waiting for their husbands and loved ones.

Faatimah: By featuring an ensemble cast, it offered new and fresh perspectives. Granted, they were all white males, however, it allowed us to empathize with more than just the soldiers, but those men left behind, who felt their need to fight.  It wasn’t unnecessarily crude or graphic either, you can only stomach so many mangled bodies.

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On a scale of 1-5 one direction members, how would you rate the movie?

Nasrin: 4/5- because if I rated it with Zayn that would mean it sucks.

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Faatimah: 3.5

o

 

In all honesty, despite my reluctance when it came to Harry’s acting prowess and my general aversion to pure action movies, I thoroughly enjoyed the film. It might go down as one of the most surreal World War 2 movies I’ve seen this far, and it doesn’t hurt that it is factually accurate too. It’s no drawn out romance or sob fest, but rather a study of new perspectives and the human condition at the time, although it can at times seem plotless. My all time favourite movie with war as a major theme still goes to Testament of Youth, I highly recommend it.  Also, Dunkirk is best enjoyed in IMAX.

SPOILER ALERT: HARRY HAS MORE THAN 10 MINUTES OF SCREENTIME.

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Kdramas: A Journey 

WARNING: THEY WILL MAKE YOU CRAVE NOODLES AT ODD HOURS.

If you spend any considerable amount of time on the Internet and consider yourself a Television connoisseur much like myself, then you would have heard of K dramas. A.K.A Korean dramas. What was once a niche fandom, has exploded in recent years, Kpop as well has quite literally(yeah ted mosby is yelling at me for using it in this fashion) taken over the globe. 

I was very skeptical at first, and was blinded by only mainstream white romances given to me on screen and the occasional Bollywood extravaganza. There was a whole world of fluff I let go unnoticed and it truly is a shame that I came this far in life without them. 


While I was on YouTube about a month ago, doing my general browsing and binging, a video recommendation came up. “5 easy k dramas to get into for beginners” and my heart was set. At first the subtitles are bit disconcerting, the bright lights of Seoul attack your senses and so the campy effects and THEY REALLY LOVE SCREAMING. The characters are over the top in every manner, effects almost cartoonish and it just takes time to adjust to the unfamiliar cultural ways. Once you let yourself become immersed, there is no escape.  


Korean men dazzle you with their dewy skin, soft hair and coat + polar neck combos leave you WEAK. Seriously, Koreans are SO insanely fashionable, and it’s really cold it seems so it’s a plus for me in terms of modest clothing ideas. The actions are lively and the romances are sickly sweet but in all the best ways. It’s like cotton candy, you know you shouldn’t devour it, but once your start, you can’t stop yourself.. you might even reach for seconds. 


The first time drama I watched, resulted in me sleeping at 6AM, in pursuit of finishing it. They’re quite nifty and around 16 hours of pure enjoyment, and one season so no nasty cliffhangers but just expected romantic fulfillment. About 6 more dramas down the line, I don’t know who I was before them. I can speak a little Korean and can mimic iconic mannerisms and gestures, my soul is no longer my own but rather in SEOUL(see what I did there?) and a me a stereotypical Apple customer, finds myself attracted to ridiculous Samsungs. I’ve learned about concepts such as “second lead syndrome”, made memes from certain poetic scenes and mostly irritated the hell out of my friends with my constant Kwoes.

I can’t even describe how light and committed I feel when I start a new drama(also not all are good, I will attest to this) but hits all the tingly heart pleasure centers and I radiate positivity, that is when I’m not screaming at my screen when some utterly ridiculous obstacle gets in the way of my OTP(so about every five seconds roughly)

I’d recommend them to anyone who LOVES ROMANCE, sassy characters and who is willing to get to know a different culture with an non judgmental lens and also ready to never have a social life again. They’re progressive and fresh there is one for almost every mood, time period or ridiculous scenario. You might wonder how far back American TV really is and if you’re not too risqué this is as PG as it gets, I assure you and strangely, rather insightful. 

Aladdin Casting Discourse And My One Wish To Rectify It. 

On July 15th, its as announced that the leads of Aladdin had been found, after much scrutiny and uproar over Riz Ahmed and Dev Patel being passed on. Mena Massoud is our delightful titular character of Aladdin and is of Egyptian descent, his casting was met with generally positive comments, however with Naomi Scott as the Arabian princess jasmine, fans and Internet trolls alike were angered. 

 

Let’s get the facts and my personal opinions on the matter straight. Naomi is half English, and half Indian according to herself and most sources. Her mother was born in Uganda and emigrated to the United Kingdom. Do I believe the role of Jasmine should have gone to an Arab? Hell yes, be we can’t solely blame Naomi for the casting decision and we need to have an open discussion on Disney’s problematic  Portrayal of middle eastern culture in the film. 

Setting and culture: 

The backdrop to the famous tale which in early versions is of Chinese origin is the fictional city of Agrabah. Conveniently located near the Jordan river and has a large Taj Mahal-Esque monument at the city centre. Jasmine is the daughter of a Sultan, which also existed in India and had a pet tiger named Rajah. Tigers are predominantly found in India and a symbol of the county and the name Rajah means Indian prince or king. My point is, for a movie set in Arabia, there is a ton of South Asian influence, with these being only a few examples. 

Brown skin 

Both Aladdin and Jasmine are undoubtedly PoC and displayed brown skin in the animated classic. As a kid with brown skin, surrounded by white princesses, they meant a lot to me and how I felt represented. However, as I grow older and hopefully wiser, I understand now that brown people are NOT interchangeable, now matter how included I felt. When the live action film was first announced, the Internet raced to draft their fancasts and at the forefront were Desi actors and Bollywood stars. Avan Jogia with his tousled brown locks and Zayn Malik with his melodious voice were amongst the most popular contenders. Keep in mind, the Internet had no issues that both these gentlemen are in fact, mixed(in an almost identical way to Naomi)

In Hollywood, when you’re brown, the only acting jobs available to you are that of the taxi driver or terrorist variety. There’s no discrimination in terms of your exact shade of brown or your ethnicity,  that tinge of melanin makes you perfect to mutter incoherent Arabic or have no lines at all. 

Dear Disney, I’m giving you one request. Grant me one wish with your magic lamp. It may seem like a big one, but I think it might solve some problems. You’ve already made the mistake of confusing cultures, so rectify it. Address Naomi’s heritage in the film, address the mix of cultures present at the time in the hustle and bustle of a busy city filled with travelers and merchants from different nations.  It might make a world of a difference. 

In light of the casting of Naomi, she’s received a ton of hatred and backlash. Her ethnicity is being picked apart and rumours are floating around that her mother is also mixed, making her “3/4” white. She herself, has contradicted this statement. When power rangers released, she was lauded as a PoC rep, but as jasmine, she’s suddenly too white. It must be slightly horrifying to have your identity butchered by strangers on the internet. I don’t defend her choice to take on the role and deny an Arab actress, but I do understand it. It’s the role of a lifetime for any PoC actress, who is already limited by Hollywood’s Eurocentric standards. 

Disney executives made the choice to include south Asians when it came to casting, and the same behind the scenes team chose Naomi for the iconic role, yet they aren’t vilified to the extent that she is. If the past decade is any indication as to Hollywood’s treatment of PoC culture in film, we got off mildly. I’m not saying that we should accept their decisions, but it is a small step forward in terms of representation. If we look at the Prince of Persia, we had the Jake Gyllenhaal parading around with fellow spicy white, Gemma Aterton. In addition, we have two-timer Ben Kingsley( mixed English and Gujarati heritage) featuring in both Imposter of Persia and Avan Jogia’s (Indian and European ancestry) King Tut. Avan and Ben are both very much not Egyptian, yet proceeded with the projects anyway. With Aladdin adding South Asian elements to the film, it gave Disney the loophole to cast someone much like Naomi as Princess Jasmine. 

 If we take anything from this, it would be that there’s still a long way to go in terms of PoC representation. We should fight for our causes but think about people who are taking on those roles and who let them take on the roles. For now, I just hope the rest of the cast is mainly Arab, we know Will Smith as the genie is not, but considering that the genie was a magical entity voiced by Robin Williams, I am going to let it slide. Be mindful of the hate you spew, and let’s just hope for the best. 

Then again, a friend did tag me in this hilariously accurate meme. Same name and almost exact age, DRAG ME.

Being the Ringmaster to the circus within my brain

While my life can very much be compared to a duller version of a circus and I do have a cat more than willing to jump through fiery hoops(sans animal cruelty), it is the one lurking within, that I address. Controlling and chaotic, feverishly entertaining and yet, dark enough to depress.

It starts with the seamless orchestration of this idea of perfection I have in mind. There is no room for error. I am performing acrobatic leaps of an irrational nature- reaching new bounds. Your friends secretly hate you. A B? pathetic really.

I juggle too. Happiness, reality and my goals. While one soars high above, the others remain compromised. Happiness rarely gets a chance at the top.In between acts, a clown appears to taunt me for my stupidity. Handkerchiefs for my tears and a red nose swapped out for red eyes.

I bend and contort myself to please others, resembling whatever shape they desire.Really, I am suffocating, trapped amongst my thoughts, never thinking outside the box I let society put me in.The adrenaline pumping, my heart furiously punching out of my chest and an audience, cheering, mesmerized by how close I walk the tightrope of failure. Warm popcorn and sticky candyfloss packets, stay littered like stray thoughts, fulfilling in the moment, trash in retrospect.

It is to you I bow my hat and curtsy, my mind. Wracked by anxiety and paranoia, putting on this dazzling show. Extravagant lights and a red topped tent. You invite people to cheer on the charade. The price of a ticket?Why only a portion of my happiness

 

Image result for night circus quotes

5 Reasons Why Fikile Mbalula And Chrissy Teigen Are Totally The Same Person

Our dearest current Minister of Police is no stranger to the world of social media stardom, but recently I can’t help but notice that he bears striking similarities another popular tweeter, it is, of course, our anointed Savior, dragger extraordinaire and notorious pizza eater (totally relatable) Chrissy Teigen. Want proof? You have come to the right place.

  1. THEY BOTH HAVE THE GREATEST COMEBACKS

         2. THEY BOTH LOVE TO DRAG TRUMP

  1. THEY ARE BOTH FEATURED ON BUZZFEED
  1. THEY BOTH MAKE INCREDIBLE MEMES
  1. THEY BOTH LIVE TWEET THEIR JOBS

So there you have it. Who would have ever thought a local minister could ever match the wits displayed by a model and TV Personality, but screenshots never lie. They’re fighting battles out there, one with crime, the other with lip syncing, but BOTH with the trolls on Twitter.