Fantasy beyond dragons..

From the past many years writers like JK Rowling, Stephenie Meyer, George RR Martin have made sure that our humdrum lives are always adequately filled with fantasy. These people created diverse cultures from their writings. Listen to any one GRRM’s interviews and there are thousands of tips and tricks on how to write books, build characters and imaginative worlds. He talks endlessly about the influence of J. R. R. Tolkien’s writing upon his own. It’s good to hear that every great writer draws inspiration from someone else’s works and not just his or her inner reflections. It’s important to have a listening ear and observing eyes before one can actually start writing a book. That’s what I learnt from George RR Martin’s interviews. I know there’s more to learn and I’m in no hurry.

I posted one question on Quora a few days back since I was highly concerned about the future of fantasy.

Here’s the link to an amazing answer I received

Are dragons becoming redundant in fantasy?

And I hadn’t asked myself this question until I saw a YouTube video about Raised by Wolves

Link here Raised by the Wolves

To my disappointment I found out that Raised by Wolves is not available in India.

According to IMDb

The concept behind the series seems like an amalgamation of the two core human principles, survival and faith. At least that’s what I could deduce after watching the YouTube video. I hope they air the series at least on any OTT platforms for Indian audiences. This series seems like a beautiful blend of illusions, myths, human as well non human(Androids giving birth to serpents)emotions, it’s bizarre and captivating. Such kind of work raises the benchmark for fantasy writers higher and higher. How does one establish emotions and relationships amidst a religious war backed by technology? That’s some superior level of creativity.

Well I do understand Raise by the Wolves primarily falls under science fiction, but there’s an equal amount of fantasy involved as well. Fantasy and sci-fi, two different categories mixed together to create something extraordinary and unusual!

But if one was to compare the idea behind Raised by the Wolves with the concept of dragons, which have become the face of mainstream fantasy, I think dragons alone might have a hard time quenching our thirst for the surreal experience that we seek while reading or watching fantasy. But dragons along with a long lost history, magic spells and selfish human motives can turn out to be an interesting concept. Dragons with purpose are more powerful than with mere existence. Similarly vampires with purpose are more interesting than vampires who could only suck blood and then move on to the next target. A vampire who has the wits to tame a dragon, that would be exceptional!

Fantasy must allow merging of two or more categories together in such a way that would create a conducive environment for the growth of human emotions. Happiness, rage, ego, lust, honesty, determination, love, betrayal all should grow alongside the growth of dragons!

Fantasy in the Indian context

There aren’t many examples to mention, I don’t know maybe I’m not aware about them. But would like to mention a 2020 Netflix film,

Bulbul

The film is complete. Aesthetically, dialogues, the cast looks perfect and the overall direction of the film. It can keep you glued to the screen. Tripti Dimri, the lead actress along with Paoli Dam in supporting role shared a peculiar kind of hate hate relationship I hadn’t seen for a long time. Love hate is a relatively predictable relationship, hate hate is a mysterious one. Unpredictable.

Bulbul isn’t completely fantasy. It’s a mixture of fantasy with horror, violence and suspense. With so many dark elements rolling in the film together, the additional layer of feminism enhances it’s story. It creates the required balance in the story.

If you haven’t watched it yet, you should give it a try!!

Wishing you all a happy Friday!!

Films..films and films..

After watching Venessa Kirby in The Crown, I wanted to make sure I would watch her every film or series!

The trailer itself is quite intense. What grasped my attention is the fact that Martin Scorsese is the executive producer of the film. If Martin Scorsese is part of the film…definitely the film is full of substance. That’s when I decided to watch the film.

The story

Pieces of a woman is a story of a young mother named Martha Weiss played by Vanessa Kirby and her husband Sean Carson played by Shia LaBeouf. The couple goes through a traumatic home birth process of their first child. This is where the story begins.

The action begins as soon as the film starts. I mean there is no small talk in the film and
every emotion of the protagonist as well as the supporting characters is displayed intricately. Every character was given it’s space..they were allowed to make mistakes as well as correct them. Think as well overthink. Laugh, cry and ponder endlessly about their fate. The midwife named Eva Woodward played by Molly Parker has an amazing presence in the film. Eva is the replacement midwife instead of the one who was supposed to come. Throughout the labour scene one could see a succession of emotions in Eva’s presence, navigating through happiness, patience, excitement, fear, anxiety and eventually leading to a heartbreak.

The little details

There are many small details in the film that add to it’s aesthetics. For example the red coat worn by Martha, the coat reflected the colour of her soul. The use of apples as her favourite fruit. Martha’s messed hair, I loved them too. The use of contrasting shades of light too is a distinct feature of the film. The level of light in each frame somehow correlated with flow of emotions amongst the characters. The strained relationship between Martha’s mother and her daughter isolates the character of Martha apart from everyone around her. And I guess this was done on purpose so that we could follow only Martha’s point of view throughout the film, without judging if she was right or wrong. Because the film wasn’t about what was the right thing to do, it was about an unfortunate incident. The kind of incidents that happen in our lives no matter how perfectly we try to bind our lives together.

Although I’m an amateur film lover, I don’t remember if there was any film made about the aftermath of losing a child. And if there was any film, please suggest it to me in the comments. And even if there was I would like to know if they portrayed the process of labour as natural as the one shown in this film.

I can watch the film many more times. I have already watched it twice. Vanessa Kirby is awesome..I want to follow her career trajectory..I want to see what kind of films she does in the future.

The White Tiger

The most anticipated film of 2021!!
Yep, watched this one too!
But I’m still trying to process the film. I cannot say that I have understood the film completely. I disagree with a few parts of the film. From an acting perspective, it was refreshing to see the new face of Adarsh Gourav along with big stars like Priyanka Chopra, Rajkumar Rao and Mahesh Manjrekar. The storyline is strong..the way events unfold in the film is exciting. Suspense and philosophy play in the background of the film. It’s a good film..but I would like to write about it in a comprehensive way only after watching it once again!

Till then keep reading my blog!!

Have a happy weekend!

Beautiful morning!!

It’s a beautiful day!!

Today’s sunshine was so mild and equally rejuvenating. There were flowers blooming everywhere. Well I couldn’t capture all them because..then would have to peek into every other house in my vicinity!! Didn’t wish to trouble people with my child like curiosity!!

Cats everywhere

Wishing you all a happy February!!

The month so far..

A personal post..

For me 2021 did start with an accelerating speed. It started with a different vibe, a positive one. And so far this month is turning to be one of the decisive ones in my life. I feel so.

Intuition

I’m a very intuitive person. I believe in guts and vibes. I’m partially irrational sometimes. And this aspect of mine has at times either turned out to be extremely good or relatively bad for me. I also believe in destiny, that we are destined to be somewhere for some reason. There is reason for everything that happens with us, or maybe I try to reason out everything that happens with me!! I do it because I believe in learning, that life is a continuous learning process. I do believe there’s something out there after death. No not heaven or hell, but who knows some other dimension of deep sleep, a hidden dimension of our own consciousness that we aren’t aware about while we are alive. I know this makes no sense, it’s actually nonsense. But that’s the irrational part of me.

Gratitude

The month so far has been kind with me. I have once again realised the significance of thanking God for all what we have and do not have. It’s a strange feeling..to feel strong and weak at the same time.

Ego

I have always been a picky person while choosing friends, I don’t think much while shopping for clothes or things of material nature. But for people, I used to be very very particular. Now I’m only particular and not very very particular. Circumstances changed and I learnt from them, that this useless ego of building walls around my aura would only halt my understanding of this world. It would be the biggest hindrance that I would create myself forbidding to live life at its fullest.

Other things..

Apart from all above, I would like to recommend a must watch Netflix series called Luna Nera.

Why should you watch Luna Nera?

Until now they have released season one, I’m not much aware if they’ll be releasing season two..but it’s my ardent desire that should release many more seasons ahead. The series has an intriguing storyline of a young girl called Ade who is accused of witchcraft and Ade herself had moments of identity crisis. Along the way she meets some like minded women and also her love Pietro. The stories of individual characters have been woven brilliantly together. Acting is great. One more distinguishing feature of the series is the cinematography of the series. It has the quality of distracting the viewer from their reality. Go ahead and watch Luna Nera you won’t regret when you reach the final episode.

Song recommendation

I guess Bollywood has stopped making songs like these…

Sathiya

Have a happy weekend!!

For the love of fantasy..

I came across the real power of fantasy very recently in my life. And only a few days back I have started finding out from where all of it started? It is really ingenious of a person to think and write about something that they never saw. Creating worlds and characters, their struggles and ambitions is really a daunting and equally exciting quality one can have. To captivate millions of minds and bound them together with imagination, that’s a God like quality!!

For my generation, born in the 90s, had the chance to witness J.K Rowling’s amazing world of Harry Potter while growing up. Harry Potter was famous among children and their parents as well. I haven’t watched all of the movies or haven’t read the books yet (although I have plans of buying them) but what I know is that Harry Potter was everywhere.

Lately, I have been wondering why some of us are completely crazy for fantasy and some have a clear disgust for it?

Let’s keep the reasons simple.

So for those who dislike fantasy, the most common reason I have heard is, it’s illogical. Because there’s nothing like magic in this world.

I say you never know!

You never know if dragons would one day arise from depths of the frozen polar ice! Or ancient Egyptians would one day return back from their secret intergalactic voyage!! Declaring themselves Gods and humans as their slaves!!

I did a little bit of research on the evolution of fantasy as a genre in pop culture and came across this blog.

A century of fantasy.

Of all the books mentioned in this blog, I am planning to read Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin.

But only after I’m done with…

Ta-daaa

Fantasy and it’s subgenres

Fantasy itself has so many sub genres. There’s a room for everyone. Science fiction, dystopian or utopian futures, magic and sorcery, intergalactic travels or invasion, see there are endless possibilities for everyone.

Children’s fantasy which not only includes fairy tales but also works like Alice in Wonderland, Charlie and Chocolate factory, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (I remember watching the film Wizard of the Oz) lay the basis for our love of fantasy. In India we have Panchtantra and Jataka tales being translated into children’s animated series or puppet shows! Yeah I remember there used to be a show telecasted on one of the regional TV channels showing tales from Panchtantra in the form of a puppet show. And how can one forget The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling. Apart from these we always had some elderly person in our family reciting to us stories from Ramayana, Mahabharata or Ganesha’s stories.

Mature Reader

The kind of fantasy I love to read the most is mythological fiction and when it’s combined with historical fiction, that would be a cherry on the cake. I think the first mythological fiction that I read was The Immortals of Meluha by Indian writer Amish Tripathi. It was way back somewhere around the year 2013. This book is the first part of a three part series called The Shiva Trilogy. Honestly I hardly understood the book and only flipped through the pages as quickly as I could because my motto behind reading the book was to join the dots between the image of Lord Shiva I had in my mind versus the story of the author’s mind. And that was my mistake. Maybe because I wasn’t mature enough as a reader at the time.

Coming back to A song of ice and fire…

Right now I’m on page 36 of the first book. I have my whole lifetime to read the entire series. Fantasy has enchanted my mind just like an infant is enchanted by it’s first toy!! I would love to share my journey with the books in my coming blogs!!

For now have a happy weekend everyone!!

Diamonds

Something new that I tried today!! I have used an app called Canva to create this comic-strip. I’m not much sure about my comic timing since I tend to crack jokes when I shouldn’t and stay silent like a pebble when I should!! It’s actually very simple to use since they have hundreds of templates to choose for a variety of artwork from blog banners to T shirt designs!!

Happy weekend everyone!!