Series review: The Good Place

Seated (L-R): Ted Danson (Michael), Kristen Bell (Eleanor), William Harper (Chidi), Jameela Jamil (Tahani)
Standing (R-L): D’Arcy Carden (Janet) and Manny Jacinto (Jason)

The Good Place starts with Eleanor opening her eyes, while seated on a sofa, in what looks like a waiting room, and smiles after seeing a poster that announces –

Everything is fine.

Michael invites Eleanor into his office, let’s her know she’s in The Good Place; and the rest is a hundred thousands of Bearimys, shirtload of forks, bullshirts and ashholes.

The series mainly runs through the lives of the 4 human protagonists – Eleanor, Chidi, Tahani and Jason, as they try to live in the Good, Bad and Medium Places. Michael is a non-human architect, and Janet is an infinite being who helps him.

This series aired it’s fourth and final season in January 2020, but the season was recently added to Netflix.

It’s one of those good shows that you shouldn’t miss, if you like light comedy and an amazing cast. All the characters evolved in one way or another (except for Jason maybe🤣) and in the most wholesome way.

What are these Good, Bad and Medium Places you may ask. Well, they draw parallels to our Heaven, Hell and somewhere in the middle.

I am cutting down a star for the occasional slow-burn, but I can easily say that – This has got to be the only series finale that I was satisfied with; I was neither left wanting more nor did I have a bazillion questions!

Great start, AND a purely satisfying conclusion! ❤

Ratings: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

Pst… what’s with the Good Place folks anyway? 🤣🤣

Ramblings: 20/09/20

This post is more a reminder for me, than anyone else. 🙂

You know those late night regrets that you have?
The sudden flashbacks of cringe-worthy moments?
that I-wish-I-could-rewind-back-time-and-make-everything-right feeling?
and that lingering deep, heart-aching regret?
So, you sit and just let that regret simmer?

Try your best not to do that to yourself.

Regret is good… it’s normal, the best of us regret a lot in life.

Just don’t let it drown you in self-pity.

Choices you regret are also a part of who you are now,
even if they may not have been the best of choices.

Regret belongs in the past,
Think of your future, and try to be a better version of yourself.

Ramblings: (25/07/20)

So, I have a friend, more like I inherited the friend* because our parents are friends.
We don’t really talk much; maybe like 3-4 times a year or less; but when we do it’s not awkward at all, at least for me, because I have known the person for too long, and have been talking somehow from the time we were kids.

I recently came to know that he lost his job, which is really sad, because it seemed like he was where he was aiming to be. I found out about this after my Dad met him.

I have heard of the quote – “If they stand by you during your bad times, they deserve to be there during your good times“, but what about the other way round?

What if I was not there for a friend during their good times, am I allowed to be around when they are going through bad times? I feel like I would hurt their sentiments or embarrass them. Sometimes I get really confused, think “hell, with it!“, go and bug them anyway – resulting in mixed reactions. But, these are people I know and interact with a lot. While with the others, I just assume they have better friends than the pathetic, confused character that I am.

* I typed out “inherited friend”, panicked and Googled it, to see if it’s an actual thing, and Google (for reasons only known to Google) lists out articles of C++ inheritance. One post that catches my eye is an SO question, “Why does C++ not allow inherited friendship?”. Yes, why don’t you, C++? Why so mean!?

You can do it!

Last month, a work group sent across a mail asking us to participate in a type of challenge (they called it a Movement). What really got me interested is that it was involving me in something that I genuinely wanted to start during this lock down.
Go for a walk!
Yeah, such a stupid thing to “want” to do. But, sometimes I really need a good push, a little motivation in the right direction; to do even the mundane things.

The initiative was to walk 1 km everyday from the 1st of July. Today evening, is going to be 21 days of all these walks, and you must have heard of the myth (but the statement I like to believe in):
All it takes is 21 days to set a habit!
Hope I follow it, at the least as long as this WFH business keeps us sitting at home. Walks have been good for my mind; I think my Dad and Mom started this habit.

Anyway, I start my walk by starting my mobile’s tracker and mark it with that day’s target km. The tracker dutifully notifies me when I reach a halfway point. The best part of the tracker (which I hated at first) is that, when there are just 200 m remaining to be completed, it notifies with a
“Almost there! You can do it!”
It totally motivates me to go faster to complete the 200 m; and trend-wise too, I am fastest in those last 200 m.

Wish there were people hired to just blurt out such motivational statements once or twice a day; just to boost our energy. 😀

Work from home life

How you got comfortable working from home, all day, every day is nice.

But, how your family got used to you working from home is a whole other story. 🤭

For me, the first few days, when I started work, the whole house was quiet. Yeah, my dad and brother were always drilling something somewhere outside. But, inside the house no one bothered making any sound.

Nowadays though, they have got so used to hearing my team-mates voices and my continuous meetings, my family have just started acting like it’s a normal thing. In the middle of a call, as I am talking or a colleague is talking to me, they will come in and start asking me a question. Which obviously throws me completely out of sync. After a call, my parents sometimes ask, ‘Who was that? Lead? What was he saying?‘ or ‘What you meant by proxy plus?‘ The way they would have enquired about a friend of mine; or sometimes it will be, ‘Oh, is that Shweta?‘ or ‘Manish?‘.

My brother likes to exaggerate his sneezes and coughs while I am talking; and also tends to reply to my team-mates in the background. Like my team-mate would be, “So, I will be deleting this permission from this table“; and my brother from somewhere in the background or sometimes sitting at the same table, would go, “Ok-A-y!!” loudly. 😁

I’m assuming my team-mates are good sports, coz none of them have ever commented or maybe they just did not hear it. Thank God for bad network sometimes 😇

The days when my Mom decides to use the pressure cooker are the best days to portray what kind of amazing luck I have. At the exact moment I have to give my status, the whistle will blow. Like, “Hi Nazim, I was working on 1061, it’s almost done and…… Pssssssstttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttt”.😳 Nazim understanding the situation goes, “Ok Carol, looks like you are working on 1061, and will continue with 1062“, and then the whistle understanding the situation shuts up; for me to say, “Yes, Nazim

… sent you a friend request.

That notification in itself (without even reading the person’s name) puts me into a slight panic.
Like, who the hell managed to become friends with me now?
I am sitting at home during the COVID-19 lock down; not interacting with anyone. I have generally (lock down being irrelevant) stopped bothering to interact more than the required amount.
But, lo and behold, someone decides: Hey! I know Carol, right? let’s send her a request!

Now, when anyone sends me a request, I try to register who or where I know the person from. If I hit a wall, I then start mentally running through all my 28 years chronologically trying to find the person in my memory.

Let me clarify one thing – I have been to 3 schools from kindergarten to 12th grade; plus there is my Engineering college and the last place would be the company that I have been working at for the last 6+ years. Doesn’t help that I “knew” a lot of people in each of those respective years. But now, most are all a blur. Like, was xyz from St. Joseph’s? or from OOEHS? Hmm…

When I was younger, let’s say around college; getting a friend request was cause for great joy. Nowadays, it’s more like – Kith zalle? Kith zai tuka? Kaam na? / What happened? What do you need? Nothing to do? :/

Then, comes the analysis of their profile. Oh! yup, xyz is from St. Joseph’s. Hmm… Oh! she got married. That’s nice! aaand got loads of birthday wishes! a birth date I don’t remember. Hmm… and oh! look at that: she models! But the point is – we haven’t interacted since 8th grade! since I left that school! what the hell is the use of an FB friend request, now? Proof that we were classmates at one point in our life?

Anyway, maybe it’ll make her 0.0000000000000001% happier, than she is currently?
I go ahead and click the ‘Add Friend‘.

Movie Review: All The Bright Places (2020)

One day, during his morning run, the high-school “freak” Theodore Finch, finds the popular Violet Markey standing on the ledge of a bridge. He talks to her and gets her down, which is the beginning of their friendship and a lot more.

The movie was perfect.
The acting was perfect.
The emotions portrayed by the actors was perfect!
Any flaw? Couldn’t find one🤷‍♀️ They added the bit where Finch calls Violet Ultraviolet 😊

Rating: 4.5 / 5 (No movie is 5/5 perfect)

Finch’s character is one of the many that have been missing from the different portrayals of mental health issues. Childhood issues don’t just go away, don’t just get healed. Yes, we have our good days, the days when we want to roam, laugh, get out, dance and enjoy. Then there are those days which are usually triggered by the most minute things; maybe letting down a person’s trust in us, feeling left out; that sends us barrelling down a seemingly infinite loop of moods. Your mind doesn’t help as there are a hundred, thousands of things going through it at a second. It actually makes everything worse, coz now you cannot concentrate. You need things slowed down or repeated to function normally. Talking about it doesn’t help, as no one truly understands the extent of the damage. Will it stop the thoughts? Will it stop the mental tiredness?
This does not mean I advocate suicide; but the way the character was portrayed is so true to reality.
I read the book way back in 2015, and at that time, the ending was pure shock to me. Didn’t help that I was reading it as a stress-buster. Kudos to the author, director and actors though. 👏

Ramblings: (16/03/20)

I recently attended a Lenten retreat at my church. The last retreat I attended was around 6-7 years back, and I left it halfway, coz I couldn’t stand it.

Well, this one also got on my nerves slightly. But, the slightly mature me now decided to sit tight and listen to what the priests had to say. The two priests hosting the retreat were Cappuchins looking proud in their brown habits (?).

They went through the usual forgive your neighbour, be humble, help when you see someone needs help, don’t get jealous of your neighbour, don’t wish for bad things. Remember all the things Jesus went through before he was put on the cross. The good people, the bad people. And that line – no, not everyone is good.

This retreat was at our Parish, and I knew people sitting around me (not all, but some). Listening to the advice (and some taunts); and looking around thinking, why are people wasting their time here, listening to such goodness, when it will never be followed? These people and even I will try our best, our best! But we are humans after all. We have emotions, we have feelings, we have dreams.

All the above leads to feelings like anger, jealousy, demotivation. It’s like marking your attendance with God. Hey God, I attended your retreat. I danced to the songs, listened to the sermons. Now please grant me what I ask.

I am no saint in any way. But, sitting there spending 4 hours listening to the speeches which would in no way affect my life was mind boggling!

About that line, No, not everyone is good. That is the most dumb, narrow minded line ever. No, everyone is good. The only difference is their upbringing, mental health, social life and personal status that sets their character to what it is.

No, a priest cannot say: not everyone is good. That’s like a anti-climax! The one person I would go to, to have a good confession would be judging me as a good/bad person?

Ramblings: 11/03/20

One of the posts lying in my Drafts that I felt had to see the outside of my blog. 😀

Happy NY 2020!

The previous year was a really good year for me.

  • I met new people: I like talking to new people (who don’t intimidate me) that don’t know me at all; I like how they have a certain first impression about me and then I can just slowly open up with no worries about any assumptions.
  • Was given a chance to prove my self countless times: I am so grateful for the people who gave me these chances because that means someone believes in me.
  • My people got what they wished for: My brother got into a course that he was aiming for, for a long time. We all prayed for him a lot, and just knowing that he gave it his best and he got admission into the course is the best feeling. So proud of the kid! ❤
  • I got what I wanted at the moment: I am trying to clear the mess in my life one step at a time. Last year I prayed, studied and hustled my way into a project that I loved working on. That project gave way to another project that I am really interested working with too. I started working out again (idk how to explain this, but it was a HUGE step for me at the time when I started – I was really “down in the dumps”, and forcing myself to the gym was like the best gift I could give myself)
  • I baked so much! so much! it was all amateur home-baking; But I baked a lot from cookies, to biscuits, to cakes and pizzas. My baking highlight was baking the Plum cake for Christmas ❤ it came out perfect!

That’s all I had typed out and I guess at that point I felt it wasn’t enough.
Right now though, I’m thankful for all that I accomplished last year (not much really) and grateful to all the people who were around me.