Book Review: The Martian by Andy Weir

Book Review: The Martian by Andy Weir

The Martian, by Andy Weir, is, in short "Apollo 13 meets Cast Away" or "Robinson Crusoe in space". It is a story about an astronaut who gets stranded on Mars, after a freak accident that should have actually killed him, but didn't. It is a gripping narrative of surviving against all odds, of resourcefulness and ingenuity in the face of adversity.

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links. If you make a purchase through those links, I will receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you. (Many thanks, if you choose to support me this way.)

The Martian

Author: Andy Weir
Genre: Science Fiction, Contemporary, Action & Adventure, Space, Survival
First Published: 2015
Format: Paperback, 384 pages

Book Blurb:


I’m stranded on Mars. I have no way to communicate with Hermes or Earth. Everyone thinks I’m dead. I’m in a Hab designed to last 31 days.

If the Oxygenator breaks down, I’ll suffocate. If the Water Reclaimer breaks down, I’ll die of thirst. If the Hab breaches, I’ll just kind of explode. If none of those things happen, I’ll eventually run out of food and starve to death.

So yeah. I’m fucked.

I saw the movie adaptation of The Martian before I read the book. I didn't even know then that it was based on a novel. I was actually searching for a different movie (My Favorite Martian), but I found this instead, and Matt Damon on the cover image caught my interest. I simply LOVED the movie!

Weeks later, I was raving about it on someone else's post on Facebook, and a common friend happened to mention "the book has a lot more details". That's when I found out there was a book behind the movie. Naturally, I had to order it immediately! Guess what! I loved the book so much that I read it THRICE within a month of ordering it!

The Martian, by Andy Weir, is the story of Mark Watney, an astronaut who is a part of the crew of the third manned mission to Mars. He gets accidentally left behind on Mars when his crew mates are forced to abort mission due to a severe sand storm, during which, he gets impaled by a communications antenna and is presumed to be dead. He survives that one accident by sheer luck, but luck alone is not going to help him last FOUR years on that barren planet, with the limited supplies he has on hand, until he can be rescued by the next manned mission to Mars.

As Watney says in the book -

"In the face of overwhelming odds, I'm left with only one option, I'm gonna have to science the shit out of this."

Luckily for him, he happens to be the botanist and the "Mr. Fix-It" for that mission, and his knowledge of botany and mechanical engineering is what's going to save him.

Another thing working in his favor is his attitude - his natural disposition towards making light of stressful situations with humor. He knows there is a high possibility of his dying there, but he doesn't spend too much time feeding that thought in his mind. Instead, he is all business-like, focusing all his attention on solving one problem after the other. Weir has portrayed him as an intelligent, funny, witty and a mentally strong and extremely outcome-oriented person, not easily swayed by fear and despair.

This is how he handles the ROUTINE FEAR that comes with his unique circumstances (of being stranded on Mars)...

“I’ll be playing with high-voltage power tomorrow. Can’t imagine anything going wrong with that!”
“From this, I concluded the following:
    1. I’ve been in a dust storm for several sols.
    2. Shit.”
“Just once I’d like something to go as planned, ya know?”

And this is him at the EXTREME depth of despair...

“AUDIO LOG TRANSCRIPT: SOL 119

You know what!? Fuck this! Fuck this airlock, fuck that Hab, and fuck this whole planet!
Seriously, this is it! I've had it! I've got a few minutes before I run out of air and I'll be damned if I spend them playing Mars's little game. I'm so god damned sick of it I could puke!
All I have to do is sit here. The air will leak out and I'll die.
I'll be done. No more getting my hopes up, no more self-delusion, and no more problem-solving. I've fucking had it!

AUDIO LOG TRANSCRIPT: SOL 119 (2)

Sigh...okay. I've had my tantrum and now I have to figure out how to stay alive.”

Mostly though, he's just making fun of everything - of his situation, of scientists, of NASA, and of course, of himself. Here are some samples of "Watneyism"...

“I started the day with some nothin’ tea. Nothin’ tea is easy to make. First, get some hot water, then add nothin’.”
“Maybe I’ll post a consumer review. 'Brought product to surface of Mars. It stopped working. 0/10.'”
“I tested the brackets by hitting them with rocks. This kind of sophistication is what we interplanetary scientists are known for.”
“One thing I have in abundance here are bags. They’re not much different from kitchen trash bags, though I’m sure they cost $50,000 because of NASA.”
“I started with a large rigid sample container (or “plastic box” to people who don’t work at NASA).”
“Also, I have duct tape. Ordinary duct tape, like you buy at a hardware store. Turns out even NASA can’t improve on duct tape.”
“I got bounced around a lot, but I’m a well-honed machine in times of crisis. As soon as the rover toppled, I curled into a ball and cowered. That’s the kind of action hero I am.”

(You know what! Maybe I'll do an entire post later on my favorite quotes from Mark Watney!)

As for the rest of the characters in the book - well, they have very short roles (naturally), but I liked them. Venkat Kapoor, the JPL guys, Mark's crew mates on Hermes, and Mindy! I specially liked Mindy Park in SatCon. She started off as a typical shy nerd, but eventually went on to become so cheeky! In fact, quite a few of the other characters also showed a marked sense of humor, which, I think now, probably ACTUALLY reflects on the author's own mental attitude, in terms of stress management and coping skills.

The Martian, by Andy Weir, has been written predominantly in the form of "logbook-style entries" by Mark Watney, interspersed with third-person accounts of what's going on back at NASA and with the rest of his crew mates. I loved that style of writing for the scenario presented in the story. What didn't work for me was the sudden non-linear approach at certain places in the book. Those random "flashbacks-in-pieces", despite being very few, disrupted the natural flow of the book and seemed unnecessary.

But the amount of research Weir has put in the book is clearly visible and makes the story completely plausible and realistic. This is hardcore science fiction, and parts of it can seem really complicated to those not interested in so much science. But I liked it. All those problems related to mass, weight, speed and time etc. took me back to my Physics classes in school. The plot moved along at a brisk pace. One problem after another, combined with Watney's own brand of humor.

I loved the book more than the movie, even though Ridley Scott and the entire movie-adaptation team did a pretty decent job on it, but they left out a major portion of the book from the movie, which has many more problems for Watney to solve, and kind of demonstrates the FULL depth of his perseverance and grit. The movie doesn't quite seem to do enough justice to Watney's character, AFTER you've read the book. So, every time I watch the movie again now, I just have to re-read the book too!

My rating: 4.5 out of 5. The Martian, by Andy Weir, is probably the best science fiction I read in a very long time! Highly recommended for all sci-fi lovers. It will suck you into the world of Mark Watney and will leave you in a "hangover" that could last for weeks YEARS!

P.S. - I first published this review over 6 years ago, on my old blog, and even today, I still think of Mark Watney every time I cook potatoes!

P.S. 2 - You won't understand the reference to "potatoes" if you have neither read the book, nor seen the movie! (Does such a person even exist anymore on the internet?)

P.S. 3 - (If the answer to the above question is in "affirmative", then...) Yes! I DELIBERATELY mentioned the "potatoes" because I WANT you to read the book AND watch the movie! :D

Buy this book from: Amazon.in | Amazon.com
Check out other books by Andy Weir on: Amazon.in | Amazon.com
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Parenting

Parenting

You remember, a while back, I shared the list of my 10 most favorite English TV shows from the 1900s? Doogie Howser M.D. was one of them - the show about the 16-year-old medical genius, Douglas Howser, and his best friend, Vincent Delpino.

I kind of ended up liking Vinnie more than Doogie. Despite all his obvious "flaws" and "shortcomings" (that actually make him all the more relatable, in fact!), his insights and perspectives about most things in the Universe are just so astute.

For example, the following quote...

Vinnie-Delpino-On-Parenting

"One of the great mysteries of life... you gotta have a license to be a bus driver, but any lunatic can become a parent!"

- Vinnie Delpino
(Doogie Howser Season 2)

There are a lot of things I'd like to say on the topic of parenting, but, not today, for today is a day for sharing my digital artwork.


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Funny Indian Trucks!

Funny Indian Trucks!

Do you ever bother to read those slogans on the rear-end of trucks on the roads? I do. I read everything. At least everything I can get my eyes on. And reading truck slogans is one of my favorite time-pass activity if I'm sitting on the front-passenger seat in a car.

One time, at a traffic signal here in Jaipur, I read such an exceptionally funny and witty slogan on the back of the truck in front of us, that I just couldn't resist taking a picture of it through the windshield!

Here check it out... and DO pay special attention to the text highlighted by the two arrows on the sides, okay...

Funny-Indian-Truck-Slogan

If you're not a Hindi-reading person, let me know in the comments, and I will share the English translation, which will probably not be as punchy as the original statement, but still...

But if you DID get it, well... good capture na? [wink!] Hahaha!

So, tell me quickly now... did YOU fall in love? Hahahahahaha!
Tell fast... in the comments below... DID YOU? 🤣😂😜


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People Profiling

People Profiling

We interact with so many different people over the course of our life, don't we? Some tend to remain brief casual acquaintances, like tiny specs of dust on the windshield of our life, which would, sooner or later, get blown away by the winds of time, while some end up becoming permanent fixtures, like those windshield-wipers, to go hand-in-hand with us, throughout our life journey. And then there are those who remain somewhere in between the two ends of that spectrum...

Regardless of our level and depth of acquaintance with them, we automatically tend to categorize, or profile, them -- even if at a very broad level -- because that's how we make sense of the world around us, that's how we understand stuff -- by generalizing and categorizing.

So, here's some random "people profiling" I happened to do, back in November 2012, to make sense of the people I had come across in my life till then. As I was going through this write-up on my old blog, I realized that I would STILL categorize the people I've met so far, in more-or-less the same way.

Random Profiling of The People I've Come Across In Life

  1. There are people who seem to remain at peace with the Universe, no matter what the Universe throws at them. They are quick to smile at the slightest reason, laugh openly and whole-heartedly, and usually manage to say/do something nice to/for you.

  2. And there are people who naturally jump to the assumption that the people in the category mentioned above have everything. "If you aren't complaining about your life, then it MUST be perfect!"

  3. Then there are people who just DON'T KNOW how to be happy. They can never appreciate the beautiful gifts the Universe has given them, and they keep blaming everything/everyone around them for their unhappiness.

  4. Then again, there are people who PRETEND their life is a fantastic roller-coaster ride... while in reality their relationships might be stretched to the point of breaking, their finances may be hitting the very rock bottoms, and the combined effect of the two taking a serious toll on their health!

  5. AND, there are people who start acting really weird if they PERCEIVE that you have what they lack... popularity, success, respect, admiration, me-time, witty disposition... you name it! In fact, interactions with them could actually leave you feeling GUILTY, for having whatever they think they don't have! (I know... that's why I said "weird"!) And if you happen to be in the first category, you might also be left wondering what hit you! You could even start HIDING the good parts of your personality and your life!

  6. And finally, there are people who believe that nobody's life is perfect, that nobody has everything, and that everybody is just putting on masks for the world most of the time... DIFFERENT masks, for different 'segments' of the world, at different times.

People-and-their-masks

So, these were the different profile categories, at a very broad level, that I sorted the people I'd come across in life, into. Naturally, YOUR profiling could be different from this, based on how YOU make sense of your world. Also, by no means is this an "either-or" kind of list, 'coz that would be making it just TOO simplistic. I've met people who fell into more than one of these categories at the same time. In fact, I would classify MYSELF in more than one of these categories, at least at the time of publishing this post.

How about you?
Which of these categories would you profile yourself in?
What other different categories would you like to add to this list?


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My Favorite Perfume: Shalis by Remy Marquis

My Favorite Perfume: Shalis by Remy Marquis

I'm not much into makeup (still need to learn how to use a lipstick properly!) but I simply LOVE perfumes! They're in the top three of my evergreen wishlist -- the list of items that I always love to receive as gifts. Ah, but not just any perfume you see... I'm a bit selective. For instance, overly fruity or citrus smells are generally a turn-off for me, although I like woody, earthy, and most floral smells.

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links. If you make a purchase through those links, I will receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you. (Many thanks, if you choose to support me this way.)

Jovan Musk is one of my all-time favorites. So is Cool Water for Women by Davidoff... but the one that I like EVEN MORE than both Jovan Musk and Davidoff's Cool Water is Shalis by Remy Marquis.

My Favorite Perfume: Shalis by Remy Marquis

Shalis, by Remy Marquis, is, for some reason, not as popular as the other two I mentioned. I landed on it purely by chance, soon after I moved to Patna. There was this amazing shop in a mall there that had a huge collection of local AND genuine imported perfumes, and as soon as I tried Shalis, well... it was "love at first smell"! 😊

Been using this perfume for over two decades now, and that "flame of love" is still burning as strong as ever! Hahaha! I never fail to re-stock it by the time my existing bottle reaches below the 10% level.

So, what exactly do I love about Shalis by Remy Marquis?

Well, I'm not a perfumer, although I do have a perfumer friend who used to review fragrances for my online magazine back in 2010-11. He also reviewed Cool Water for Women by Davidoff as a guest post on my old blog. I will share that review here one of these days, and maybe I'll even ask him to do a proper review of Shalis, by Remy Marquis. But, in the meantime, here's MY take on this beautiful perfume, as a humble layman...

5 things I love about Shalis by Remy Marquis


  1. Even though it has a slight hint of fruity sweetness, it is NOT an overly fruity smell. It is primarily a floral smell - lavender and rose are the fragrances that I can identify most clearly.

  2. Overall, the smell is kind of soft and tender, and makes you feel all delicate and 'feminine' all over.

  3. It's a gentle smell, doesn't overpower like some others, you know. (Like, for example, Magnet. You use the elevator wearing Magnet, and even after an hour, anyone else using that elevator will know that someone wearing Magnet was in it a little while ago! 😆)

  4. Unlike Jovan Musk, which is a short-lasting Cologne, Shalis is an EDP that lasts REALLY long! Like for at least a couple of washes! (No kidding!) So yeah, you need to use it only sparingly.

  5. It is considerably cheaper than perfumes in the range of Cool Water for Women by Davidoff. So, you can even use it daily, without creating a gigantic hole in your pocket!

When I was in Patna, I had that fixed store where I could easily get this perfume from. Haven't been able to find it in Jaipur so far, although I must confess, I haven't hunted much, to be honest! When my bottle was about to finish, I just asked my sister to get it from Delhi. And eventually, it became available online as well.

I'm sharing the Amazon links below, if you want to try this perfume. The other perfumes mentioned in this post are also linked to their respective Amazon pages, if you want to check them out.

What kind of perfumes do YOU like?
Do you have any favorites?
Do share them below.


Buy Shalis by Remy Marquis from: Amazon.in | Amazon.com
Check out other smells by Remy Marquis on: Amazon.in | Amazon.com
...
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GO: Grand Prix MotoGP Junior!

GO: Grand Prix MotoGP Junior!

GO.

Whenever I hear the word 'GO', the only image that comes to my mind is that of a Monopoly board, and the big "GO" on the starting cell, instructing us to collect $200 as we pass. I used to have the Indian version of the game, which told us to collect Rs. 2000 as we passed. And it had the names of Indian airports and Indian cities, which we purchased and then built houses and hotels upon.

As my sister and I grew up, we handed down all our games, including our Monopoly set, to our younger cousins. I last played this game in 2010, with my cousin in Guwahati. And the one memory of this game, that stands out for me, is when I landed in jail THREE TIMES IN A ROW! 😑

"Go to Jail. Do not pass 'GO'. Do not collect Rs. 2000."

Brutal.

My cousin had a field day! I actually had to mortgage some of my property to continue in the game! 😒

So anyway, this word was also a photo prompt during the May 2013 daily photo-blogging challenge on my old blog. And I was originally going to post a picture of the Monopoly board for this prompt. Rather, a picture of my monitor with a Monopoly board image opened in full screen on it, as I don't have the actual game anymore. But then I noticed that quite a few of the other participants in the challenge were also posting pictures on the same idea.

So, I decided to go with my "plan B"...

Grand-Prix-MotoGP-Junior-Champ

Yes, that's my "plan B"... my little "knight in shining armour" - my nephew UV - rising to the occasion once again! LOL! 😛

Since his Dad rides a motorcycle, he, obviously, had to get one too... complete with a helmet!

The picture above was taken on 26th January, 2011 -- just a couple of weeks after he'd developed a new-found love for my Eggless Chocolate Birthday Cake. He was four at that time. And he didn't much like that Spiderman helmet. He wanted a black one with a full face-cover... like a grown-up helmet, you know... the kind worn by grown-up riders! Unfortunately, we couldn't find one like that, to fit the little head of this 4-year-old! Hence, the Spiderman! 😆

Here's a collage of some more pics of this MotoGP Junior Champ in my family! 😁

Grand-Prix-MotoGP-Junior-Ready-Set-Go

Btw, as I was reading this old write-up, I realized that the "story" behind this photograph was more interesting than the photograph itself. So, I decided to refile it here under 'MyDiary > FamilyFun' instead of 'MyLensViews'.


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My Favorite View: Sunrise Peek-a-Boo!

My Favorite View: Sunrise 'Peek-a-Boo'!

MY FAVORITE VIEW.

Photo prompt for Day 19 of the May 2013 daily photo-blogging challenge I did on my old blog.

This prompt was easy for me to figure out... not as easy to photograph though... for the simple reason that I didn't wake up that early at the time of this photo challenge! So, I decided to share one from my older photo archives, to portray my take on the day's prompt...

Sunrise in Guwahati

That's a view of the morning sun, peeping out from behind the leaves of a tree. I took this photograph from my uncle's balcony in Guwahati, India, in April 2010.

The day begins really early over there, 'coz it's so far out in the East of the country. And the mornings were just so lovely and cool. Completely in contrast to the weather here in Jaipur... temperature being over 30 degrees Celsius at like 7:15 in the morning! LOL!

Here's another picture from the same collection...

Morning 'Peek-a-Boo' with the Sun

I suppose I'll have to start waking up at 4:45 am again, if I want to see the Sun playing 'peek-a-boo' like that with the trees HERE! 😁

How about you?
Are you a morning person'?
What time does your day start usually?
Do you love watching the sunrise?


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Soft And Creamy Scrambled Eggs With Milk Recipe

soft-creamy-scrambled-eggs-with-milk-recipe

For over two decades, I've had this fuzzy memory of mom making a super soft and creamy egg recipe that required milk and stuck a lot to the cooking utensil. As far as I remembered, she used to call it 'scrambled eggs'. But when I grew up and learnt how to make scrambled eggs, I found out that people here (i.e. in India) made it with chopped onions and tomatoes, and called it 'bhurji' in Hindi.

That egg bhurji looked, and tasted, nothing like what my mom used to make. It looked like pieces of hard-set curd, tossed with onions and tomatoes, whereas the one that my mom used to make was like the most perfectly creamy custard. We had them on toast, seasoned with salt and pepper. And while the Indian egg bhurji is also quite tasty, I never stopped wondering about how mom made those creamy scrambled eggs (if at all they really were called that).

In December 2016, I finally decided to google it.

I must have gone through at least two dozen recipes for scrambled eggs, both on YouTube, as well as on recipe blogs, but they were all the bhurji style recipes. Even non-Indian recipes, on YouTube, yielded that same curd-like texture, instead of the creamy texture I remembered from my childhood days.

Finally, I landed on the video of Gordon Ramsay's scrambled eggs recipe. It seemed perfect! Just what I'd been looking for! The most deliciously soft and creamy scrambled eggs from my childhood memories!

creamiest-scrambled-eggs-on-toast-recipe

With great excitement, I tried this recipe in my kitchen for the very first time! And, on a scale of 10, I gave it a 9 for softness. Why not a perfect 10? Well, it dries even after you take it off the heat. So by the time I got it on the toast and took this picture, it wasn't as melt-in-your-mouth soft as it looked in the pan. Oh! But it was definitely that same assault on the senses that had been preserved in my cellular memory even after 20 years!

Of course, I've made it many more times since then. I just take it off the heat a little earlier, and it comes out perfect now.

Here's Gordon Ramsay's video for making the most perfectly soft and creamy scrambled eggs. DO watch it before you attempt this recipe for the first time.


As you probably noticed, Gordon uses cream in the recipe. But I normally don't have cream in my kitchen. So I used milk instead (like my mom did). Here's how I made it...

Recipe For Soft And Creamy Scrambled Eggs With Milk | Scrambled Eggs On Toast

INGREDIENTS:

Eggs
Butter
Milk
Toasted Bread Slices
Salt, pepper, any other seasoning

METHOD:

  • Break the eggs into a heavy-bottom pan.
    (TIP: I used a shallow non-stick pan the first time, which made the mixing very difficult. Best to use a deep saucepan or wok/kadhai).

  • Add a little butter. Then put to heat. Medium heat worked best for me.

  • Keep whisking. As Gordon says in the video, you have to really work at it.

  • If it starts to get too hot, just take it off the heat (as he does in the video) and keep whisking.

  • When it's almost done, add the milk while it's off the heat. Mix well.

  • You'll know that it's done when it starts looking creamy like custard.

  • Spread on toast. Sprinkle salt and whatever seasoning you like. Munch away!

soft-creamy-scrambled-eggs-on-toast-recipe

Sorry, I haven't got any intermediate pictures of the recipe. I was, well... "working at it", as Gordon says! So couldn't click more pics!

Oh by the way, one time I also added grated cheese after the milk. It tasted even more sinful and heavenly! Sighhh! I wish I had the metabolism to take in those kind of calories on a regular basis!

Anyway, do try out this recipe for soft and creamy scrambled eggs with milk, and let me know how it turned out for you. If you make it any differently, please share in the comments below. I would love to learn new variations.


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Stupidosaurus!

6 most STUPID questions people ask in OBVIOUS situations

Has anyone ever asked you some OBVIOUSLY stupid question in some very OBVIOUS situation? Like when you're having tea and they come and say - "Oh! Are you having tea?" - how do you respond to it? I mean, obviously, OUT LOUD, you probably just give them the answer they seek, but what's your REAL response, INSIDE?

Why am I asking this all of a sudden?

Well, many years ago, an ex-schoolmate shared a list on Facebook, of SIX of the MOST STUPID questions people usually ask in obvious situations. I thought it was just TOO GOOD to not be shared ahead with my blog readers! So, I posted it on my old blog in September 2013. Came across that old write-up recently, and decided to file it HERE now, under "My Sunny Vibes > Humor", for some future laughs!

It is possible that you may have come across this list before, but I'm sure it'll still make you laugh! Number 5 would probably make me go "WTF???" on this meter below, while number 3 would most likely flag a "*HULK RAGE!!*" 😁

Stupid Things People Say Reactor
Picture Credit: http://maritimecatholic.blogspot.in/2011/01/today-i-was-riding-bus-as-i-often-do.html

So, here you go... six most stupid questions people usually ask in obvious situations, and how you WISH you could answer them!

6 Most Stupid Questions People Ask In Obvious Situations

  1. At the movies:

    Someone who knows me: Hey! What are you doing here?
    Me: I sell tickets in black here. Didn't you know?

  2. In bus:

    A fat lady who steps on my feet: Sorry, did that hurt?
    Me: Oh no, not at all! I'm on local anesthesia. Why don't you try again?

  3. When I get woken up at midnight by a call:

    Caller: Sorry! Were you sleeping?
    Me: No! In fact, I was doing research on whether monkeys in Africa marry or not. You thought I was sleeping? LOL!

  4. When they see me with shorter hair:

    Someone who last saw me with long hair: Hey! Have you had a haircut?
    Me: Nah! It's autumn. My hair's shedding!

  5. When someone calls me on land-line:

    Caller: Where are you?
    Me: I'm in market with the telephone around my neck...!!!

  6. When I'm washing my car:

    Neighbor: Hey, you're washing your car?
    Me: No, I'm watering it so that it grows into a big bus.

So, these were the 6 most stupid questions that people ask in very obvious situations, AND how you wish you could ACTUALLY reply to them, as shared by my schoolmate on Facebook many years ago.

Which of these have you been asked?
Which of these have you asked someone else?
And yes, which of these RESPONSES did you like the most?


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7 Life Lessons I Learned From Indian TV Serials

7 Life Lessons I Learned From Indian TV Serials

Like all Indians born before the 90s, I grew up watching Hindi TV-shows on DD National. Those shows used to have a limited life span, usually in multiples of 13 episodes. Very few of them turned into lengthy epic sagas. But then, cable television happened, with dedicated "24 by 7" channels JUST for serials.

Tara was the first show I watched on cable TV. Around the same time, there was Banegi Apni Baat and Campus. All of them started out to be amazingly fun and creative, but somewhere along the line, without the earlier restriction of fixed episode count, they just seemed to lose the plot somewhere, and became kind of overly "political" and heavy.

Eventually, I stopped watching Indian TV serials altogether.

During the first few years of my blogging journey, I have voiced my ABSOLUTE displeasure of this "modern" breed of Indian TV shows countless times. But then, in December 2011, I had a 180-degree shift in my views, and I, OFFICIALLY, took all my former criticism back, because, like all things in life, these slow-moving, seemingly-full-of-cunning, Indian TV sagas also serve a purpose. They teach us a lot about relationships. They teach us a lot about people. And they teach us so much about life.

I had started following two Indian television shows back then, based on high recommendations from people I knew -- Bade Acche Lagte Hain and Kuch To Log Kahenge -- and while I eventually DID lose interest in both after a few months (details in some other post, some other time), I nevertheless got to learn quite a bit, even in those few short months. Here are the top 7 life lessons I learned from those two Indian TV shows.

7 Life Lessons I Learned From Indian TV Serials

  1. Always keep your distance from people having no constructive pastime. Since they have little, if at all anything, to do in their own life, they WILL interfere in yours. And the more discontent they are of their own life, the more they'll try to disrupt yours.

  2. Being in love does not necessarily mean a permanent bed of roses. It doesn't mean you'll always feel on top of the world. That state can be experienced only when both people in the relationship are freely expressing their love for each other. The moment any one person blocks the flow, whether in giving or receiving, both suffer. (And their viewers are also forced to experience their agony!)

  3. Resistance or refusal to change, or even to see a different viewpoint, is what leads to the slow pace of story in TV serials... as well as in life. The more obstinately we stick to our "comfort zone", the more "boring" and dissatisfying our life becomes. If we want our life and relationships to change, then WE must change, from within. Blaming destiny or any other "so-called" external "variables" is totally useless.

  4. Lack of communication is usually the culprit in all broken/staggering relationships. Most conflicts can be nipped in the bud simply by having a mature OPEN conversation with the people concerned. (Subject to point 5 below)

  5. Just like there is day and night, light and dark, there WILL always be both "good" people and "bad" people in the world around us. It's up to us to learn to differentiate between the two. And to accept them as they are, without feeling obliged to "change" their ways. (Further subject to point 6 below)

  6. People may not always be what they seem to be. Hiding our real self is an art we humans learn at a very early age, as a part of our "Survival 101 Kit". So, the reality of most people lies not only in what they reveal to you, but also in what they don't, or can't.

  7. Many a times, EGO and ANGER are masks to disguise FEAR and HURT
  8. When it comes to relationships, most people "seem" to be as lost as a ship without a compass on the sea, but that's ONLY because they don't really take ownership of their relationships, the way they would of their car or the mixer-grinder in their kitchen. They simply expect things to fall into place on their own, without bothering to put in the TLC required, or even to understand WHAT TLC is required.

So, these were the 7 prominent life lessons I learned from Indian TV serials, back in 2011, about people, relationships and love. Now, if your story was to be made into a TV serial, what would that be like? Boring? Interesting? Gloomy? Inspiring? Work-in-progress? Would you desire to change anything in that story? Would you be willing to change yourself for that?


Here's more in MyMusings...