Curating Music

Finding a good song to listen to is always such a challenge: growing up, it was pretty straightforward because curating my music collection involved turning on MTV and picking what I love. Given the glamour associated with the music channel, there would be a lot for me to choose from this big ocean of music videos, and even till today they are what I like to call ‘the classics’. Nowadays, I like to do something I have always wanted to but watching MTV kept getting in the way: listen to the Billboard charts. It’s where I like to usually get my music from because the hottest singles and the hottest albums chart there every week.

I have to admit there is always a whole lot of deep ***t on Billboard that I have to regularly wade through to find music I like, and my music collection, even though enormous, is really completely peppered with my personal taste. I think that the music industry is so huge, it’s tough to even know where to begin to look for music I would like on some days: music magazines, such as NME are no good because it is littered with the ugliest kind of music you can think of – it’s all such an eyesore; except for NME’s very rare curations here and there like the best albums of the year, it’s not even worth looking at.

In the middle of all these bad sounds being flung all around, there is me and my love for music and my hunger for more of it, more of new sounds. I am still not really sure what genre of music I would like to call my favourite though but I like to keep my interests diverse: pop, rap, r&b, rock, OSTs, and classical songs – I love it all, so long as the sounds of the songs are good. Speaking of diversity, I don’t remember which ones were my firsts but I remember finding Latin music (sometimes in Spanish) quite addictive. I also went and broadened my horizons in music and began listening to Swedish music, K-pop and music from anime I love. Because of all that diversity in my music tastes, sometimes, even though it’s such a rare occurrence, I listen to Hindi music, from India, as well.

I know, I mostly like Hindi songs, which has some English in the lyrics, or really melodic tunes, or contemporary Indian pop songs – I think it is good to throw in a little bit of exoticism to all that diversity in my predominantly Western music tastes. In India, contemporary Indian pop is a rare thing so I think it would be safe to call it a ‘developing area’ because the best and largest music really come from Bollywood soundtracks, which is a shame because pop music is so good. As a music lover, I feel that the most important thing to do when curating a personal music selection is to plaster my music tastes all over it – no matter what, always be true to yourself and what you love.

A GoodBye To Alexandra Shulman

Sometimes, when I wonder about the changes that will befall on British Vogue later this year, with Shulman’s departure, I can’t think any longer

Having been an avid reader of British Vogue for years, Alexandra Shulman’s latest decision to resign from her position as the editor-in-chief of British Vogue came as a bit of a surprise. As the editor of one of the foremost fashion magazines in the United Kingdom, Shulman took it from one strength to another. What I had personally enjoyed as a reader, were the stories that the magazine would regularly print. It’s not exactly like catching the daily news or something like that on the BBC, as much as it is about keeping up with trends, looking at the latest fashion adverts in the press, and following Shulman’s tastes around.

It sounds like a massive waste of time on paper but sometimes gaining a wider set of knowledge helps me to calm down about the deadlines: I know it makes no sense whatsoever. Why would learning about some random designers (not my regulars – the ones’ whose designs I almost always adore) that are supposed to be important or artsy people who think they are something worth learning about despite their obvious lack of fashion taste, help me calm down? In fact, if anything I should be feeling lost in a world of total randomness and yearning to get back to my comfortable place of LFW but maybe it has something to do with how all of that is supposed to be Shulman’s world, not mine. I am just gladly on the outside of it all, peering over the plastic-veneer into some other person’s vision and taste. Or, it could also be that I read anything and absolutely everything.

Under Shulman’s editorship, the fashion magazine increased it’s circulation figures and also gained a wider footing. Shulman in the past had also been the editor of the men’s magazine, GQ (the British edition), and previously had worked at Tatler and The Sunday Telegraph, as well. Criticized for her disinterest in keeping up appearances as an editor, she had presided over important magazine volumes by British Vogue, such as the the 1997 cover of Princess Diana (in memoriam). As an editor, Shulman shockingly decided to never work with cosmetic surgery, diets on the pages of British Vogue, she chose to never dictate fashion to readers and she also said a firm no to celebrities on the cover, who desire approval for pictures.

Recently Anna Wintour remembered her longtime friend Sozzani, the former editor-in-chief of Vogue Italia. I have happily never known Sozzani – I think her melancholia drains the energy out of people, but unlike the Sphinx, Wintour knew Sozzani to be good with keeping her secrets. This very nature of the friendship reminds me of how British Vogue, for a very long time has been a fashion publication I use to regularly look forward to reading, and Shulman had played her part in my keenness in anticipating what’s the next cover going to be about, so it would only be natural to assume that Shulman had done a pretty brilliant job as the editor-in-chief of British Vogue. Shulman is going to leave British Vogue in June and maybe with all the time she will be having on her hands, she can find herself immersed (and enjoying) on the other side of the world, for a change, as a fashion onlooker.

Favourite Golden Globe Moments

I don’t know which was more surprising – Zootopia winning over Moana (I love both!) or La La Land winning that many number of times

The Golden Globes have always been a grand celebration of the best films of the year. It must be such a tough job to sift through so many good films annually and pick the best of the crop to hand out that coveted Golden Globe to a selected few but every year this hard job happens and what follows is a day to look forward to.

Stars sashay their carefully chosen gowns on the red carpet, the host likes to bust out his comedic sketch or the other, and then there are the nominees who must be teetering on a nervous breakdown, but still manage to keep their composed self together with poise and grace.

I don’t know how the stars manage but I found it so hard to keep my anxiety level to a bare minimum. I mean, especially when the winner for the Best Picture, Musical or Comedy was going to be announced – I tried to be fine with it if La La Land wouldn’t win even though I was secretly rooting for it.

I mean, come on, that was the strongest film amongst the nominations so it deserved to win. I was half-hoping it would be rushed up – the announcement for the winner, and half-reminding myself “It is always like this! Just enjoy your veg and mayo sandwich!”

But who was I kidding? I am so glad the night has come to an end now and what I am left with are just good memories, like these…

Beautiful!

This was one of my favourite moments of the night – actually anything with ‘the Golden Globes and Atlanta’ in it just spell amazing to me!

Oh! I hope Leo’s funny face here whilst reading the beautiful golden card was for something else because I actually wasn’t pleased with this win!

Wow wow! I didn’t even know that confusion-thing was spreading everywhere!

…Indeed! What memories they were!

I think the highlight of the evening was seeing so many wins for my favourites amongst the Golden Globe nominations this year. It is an amazing feeling when I see my favourites win at the Golden Globes. It is incredible, a little bit indescribable and a whole lot of happy moments, rolled into one!

That and the filler moments during the Golden Globes where you enjoy crew-funnies like these…

‘Bring It On’ – that’s verbal spats to me

I have never experienced bullying but some kids are just plain nasty and mental

Celebs acting like they are celebs and behaving like the normal day-to-day rules and regulations don’t apply to them isn’t an uncommon scenario. I think when you are in the public eye, it is very easy to get carried away with the idea that nothing can ever happen to you – that you are basically superhuman. You are not. You are still a human being bound by the shackles of the need to always practice keeping up rules and good performances in the public eye no matter what. In 1994, when Johnny Depp and Kate Moss were still dating, the two had a vicious spat and Depp started breaking everything in his hotel room and he was probably intoxicated during the episode – it even led to his arrest (Kate Moss wasn’t arrested) and it was actually in Depp’s nature to participate in violent acts. Depp had broken a lot of items in his very expensive hotel suite and he was shocked that he had to go behind bars for the suite-thrashing; he spent almost a day in prison before he got fined a huge sum and was told to stay out of trouble for six months.

What Johnny Depp had experienced was tragic – there is no doubt about that. You know, growing up I had been at the receiving end of a lot of people’s jealousy because I was born into privileges so many were not privileged to be born into. But this issue with jealousy only ever spiked up when I was in my doldrums somewhat. When I was in the doldrums, nearly everytime there would be verbal daggers thrown at you because people jealous of you had the chance to do that finally. My mum has always been very supportive of me during those times, and I did have my friends but that doesn’t mean that random kids I don’t know at all stopped being nasty because they got the chance. I didn’t experience bullying ever in the playground or school but I am pretty sure those nasty kids are bullies.

I think the expectation was there once that just because I was in the doldrums that there wouldn’t be any judgments going on thrown right at me because I was doing well in life – I mean, I was doing great work and I was just careless with my grades in really early 2015, which was a really horrible point in my life. I think, if I had even given it some thought, if I wasn’t that stupid about my academic performance, none of that would have happened. I had a very bad internship experience right before my academic grades sunk and I forgot to drop the subject for it so my academic performance sunk and it wasn’t even that alone – there was something there about missing an assignment in one of the subjects in the same term as the internship one that I should have explained for earlier on, that I was being very careless with before my academic performance sunk completely. It was a horrible experience: I began to think about how much of an idiot I looked infront of everybody because I genuinely never wanted to be a bad student. I actually wanted to do good in my studies from ever since I can remember.

After experiencing those difficulties where you feel like every kid must think so low of you because you did so bad in your studies and all around they are so excellent in theirs, coupled up with the fear of what to do with myself because I don’t know how I had ended up in that spot where every eye looking at you might be judging you and I cannot console myself at all that everything is going to be just fine – that only some late explaining of things will make everything alright, made it a horrible experience. Obviously, when your academic performance becomes low it’s not some matter you can hide because you are not supposed to do that bad in studies. It’s immediately out in the open and if you continue to be bad at your studies you might even get thrown out of uni – that prospect never happened to me because my academic performance sank twice, and twice is usually the allowed limit.

Right after that, when I was given the chance to prove myself once more I got a very high fever but I worked and worked and worked at my grades. I mean I studied like there was no tomorrow and now for four semesters after that I have been consistently doing very well in my studies. I want to improve faster than that and make absolutely all of my grades just fabulous but in three of those terms, I was affected because group assignments became suddenly like a singular responsibility, which was too much work for one person (me). But I have been doing great in my studies despite of it and I consulted my tutors about the assignment situation already, as well as talk about any other problems with them, I might be having that could act as a barrier to improving even more (like accommodation and everything which I had experienced before but are never again going to be a problem for me), so I feel really confident now; my tutors at my uni have always been really very amazing. I cannot get over how brilliant my grades have been for so long at uni now, and naturally my best mate, my mates, my dog and my mum are always on my team in everything I do, and they are always there to keep me very grounded and feeling constantly happy about it all.

What I learned from it all is to always win at verbal spats: kids who were nasty to me once immediately shifted tactic and began to act like they never even knew who I was even though I am so much more successful at every single thing in my life, than them. I mean, I am successful in my studies, and I am also a very successful blogger so I don’t understand why I should be taking any kind of rubbish from some kid who does not know their A to Z. They touch me when I am successful, even though I never speak to them and act rude. I mean, I do have a critical outlook to so many kids and their lives because my God! there are like a million things I disapprove of every single day, and it’s not even just for Hollywood celebs or something so I don’t get why these nasty bunch of kids act mental with me because I am so argumentative it won’t take me an instant to remind them their place in life and how they are totally oblivious to it and act like they are something else – they are not. They are not even a thing infront of me: I mean, a supermodel, a dropout-turned-billions-of-Grammy-winning-music-artist…they are just celebs and nothing else and you know what those billionaires are like – not very bright professionally, illiterate and with a profession that pays a lot despite it being an unintelligent career; I know celebs worked hard to get where they are in life but that does not mean they are very bright or have intelligent careers.

But still they are celebs that many cherish and worship. It’s a simple thing: I have my favourite celebs like Britney Spears (despite her total meltdown) and then there is Taylor Swift, who I just don’t really like. I think it’s totally alright to have your favourites in Hollywood: gosh! I can’t believe Britney actually cracked under pressure once…you should never crack under pressure…for one thing people (celebs included) are nasty to you. I never cracked under any kind of pressure myself…I like to have verbal spats, I like to criticize if that’s what a kid wants because they get nothing and act that way because I always love to win, I always win and I am just that cool in everything I do.

Top 3 Superhero Couples

Did your favourite superheroes make the cut?

Superheroes fall in love all the time, like any of us but the lives these couples lead are very different from atypical “Hollywood love dramas”. It is a little bit hard to identify with the Hollywood romance department sometimes because most stars exchange boyfriends, like if it was their collection of jeans or something. As much I totally adore the concept of a #playboy, I still think that in Western society it would do so much good to show some conformity to traditional values too, occasionally, for romance. What is wrong with enjoying some good old classic romantic stories, in the flesh, once-in-a-while? Is it really that tough of a bargain? I want to think no. Pretty soon, if the news-affairs-hype is strong enough…who knows? Maybe “freaky” debates, such as “pop is uncool” and “stars are no longer stars because all get gazillions of awards, making them super-uncool critic-favourites” will also massively follow for a change. But meanwhile, there is always the superhero universe to fall back on, where everything does happen to the deepest of your desires, if you know how to happily get starry-eyed and pick just the right favourites.

Mr. Fantastic & Invisible Woman

The Wedding Day Of Mr. Fantastic & Invisible Woman

The overarching theme for Fantastic Four has been a family of four. Reed (Mr. Fantastic) and Sue Richards (Invisible Woman) are a married couple, with a troubled romance because Sue is only attracted to Reed’s many nemeses, and Reed only has time for science. But despite how it goes for love in superhero-universe, a lot like Hollywood, the couple have survived against all odds to become a dependable romantic couple. Think about it: the two have had polar opposite stances for the Civil War, and Reed has zero emotional gravity, whilst Sue harbours various unreasonable passions for Reed’s nemeses, but the two are still deeply in love, have a lot of meaningful trust, and have also survived some of the highest catastrophes in the world, together, as a couple. Mr. Fantastic and Invisible Woman’s differing nature makes them depend on each other over their separate weaknesses: Reed can be the robot, when Sue can be passionate, and the two are always strong only together.

Magneto & Wasp

Magneto And Wasp Get Steamy

I found this the strangest couple of all-time: the enigmatic Magneto, once upon a time, had a one-night stand with Wasp. Magneto then wakes up the next day to find out that Wasp isn’t madly in love with him at all. Instead, Wasp reveals that she thinks Eric (Magneto) kisses beautifully. But the romantic moments between Magneto and Wasp are some of the steamiest around…talk about a tragedy!

Cyclops & Jean Grey

The Infamous X-Men Couple: Cyclops And Jean Grey

Cyclops’ first love was the self-centred Jean Grey, who’s first love was instead her friend and fellow X-Men member: X-Man Angel. When she dies, Cyclops leaves X-Men and falls in love with a woman who looks a whole lot like Jean, which he later discovers to be Jean’s copy and also a central figure to his nemesis: Mr. Sinister. The first couple of years in X-Men focused on the relationship between Scott Summers (Cyclops) and Jean Grey. Jean comes back to life once more in X-Men, and this time she goes on to get married to Scott Summers, only to die again, and remain holed-up in a universe that is home to Phoenix hosts (the Phoenix Force twice killed Jean Grey). Following his wife’s death, Scott Summers ends up with the bad-girl-turned-good Emma Frost, with whom he was having a telepathic affair, while Jean was still alive. Scott and Emma have been leading X-Men since then, and although the two brokeup in the past, they never stop being friends, and they are also the two hosts of the Phoenix Force; this part gets a little bit confusing because the older Scott that engaged in affairs with Jean and her clone, is also dead but, without a doubt, in the end, there is nothing in the world that is more delicious than Jean Grey’s relationship with Cyclops for her egotistical personality.

The Angelina Jolie Effect

Angelina Jolie on Vanity Fair

Angelina Jolie recently commented on how embarrassing it has been to film love-making scenes with Brad Pitt. It’s interesting how Jolie can manage to still have a career at her age, and with a marriage and babies on the tow, when Brad’s other famous ex never really found so much success post-Friends. Jolie has often commented on Brad’s romantic past but naturally that wasn’t inclusive of his ex-girlfriend, Gwyneth Paltrow, who herself recently divorced from Chris Martin. It’s so typically correct to do that it seems, ignore talking of romantic pasts of your boyfriend because it must be so hard to imagine he had a past with some other woman and that woman wasn’t you. It’s quite sad – it would make for far more interesting reads than having pages upon pages of columns devoted to Jolie & Aniston fight over Pitt. How did Aniston handle the marriage? How did Jolie handle being called a homewrecker? The film By the Sea sees the two reunite once more for the silver screen.

The Misadventures of Rose. Act I.

Titanic is one of those films that became a masterpiece because of James Cameron’s inventive wit and curiosity about interesting subjects, such as shipwrecks and English shipliners. But the film has never really been about the ship to most people, it has been about one of the two protagonists, Rose. The film charts the tragic episodes that builds up Rose DeWitt Bukater’s life: how she goes from a woman who criticises British artistocratic society to a woman who falls madly in love, with a pauper, despite being engaged to another man. Rose’s tragedy unfolds because of the love affair she has had with Jack Dawson, an artist who is a poor boy, with no riches.

Rose must get married to Caledon Nathan Hockley, the heir to a Pittsburgh steel fortune because she and her mother cannot afford to look after themselves properly. Rose does not fit into the aristocratic society she is being wed off to because of her rude and brutish smoking habits during breakfast, with other fellow first class passengers. The engagement with Caledon has given Rose plenty of privileges that were not previously open to her because of her status as a poor woman. Rose is from “a high-class”, and she makes that constantly clear to everyone but she can no longer maintain that status because she was obviously not born into it. After her father unexpectedly dies, leaving the family debt-ridden, Rose and her mother, Ruth has no other choice but to get Rose married off to a rich heir because of his fortune.

Caledon grows jealous of her romantic relationship with Jack Dawson and tries hard to break the two of them up but it leads to no avail. He eventually survives the crash of the ship, like Rose, and unlike Jack, and it is believed that Rose and Caledon never cross paths again. Caledon loses his life prematurely however because he loses his entire fortune at the Wall Street crash of 1929, and because of losing all his money he eventually commits suicide. Rose’s mother, is a widowed woman who holds the point of view that Rose does not need to have a marriage filled with a lot of love but instead must have a marriage that lets them maintain their social standing.

Jack is very different from Rose – he is a young man from Wisconsin and he has a timid friendship with Rose, at first, for which neither her mother or Caledon, show much gratitude towards because they do not like Jack. However, Rose is someone who is not so cautious about social customs in the first class and therefore decides to live dangerously with Jack by dancing and drinking with Jack in third class, in the middle of regular dinning with the other first class passengers. The two share not enough romantic moments onboard the ship because it suddenly crashes while hitting an iceberg on the Atlantic Ocean, in the direction of Newfoundland.

But whatever romantic episodes you do have in the film, such as Rose gently requesting Jack to sketch her in the nude, and the two making love in an automobile from Renualt motors, inside the cargo of Titanic, and Rose managing to rescue Jack, when Caledon discovers the sketch affixed to a note mocking him, that seems to suggest her defiance over her love affair with Jack Dawson and how Caledon can do nothing about it and has him arrested over a staged-theft, despite the fact that the ship is sinking and the threat it can pose to her life, is nicely illustrative of the love Rose has for Jack – she was “a high class woman” who might/might not be aristocratic (and employed) but was very defiantly ahead of times and a very strong and independent individual. Rose survives the crash and begins to call herself Mrs. Dawson despite the fact that she never got married to Jack Dawson, because he does not survive the Titanic crash, and in retrospect I have to say that Rose is very bravely poignant in expressing her thoughts on her love, even if Jack is no longer there to hear it.