Tuesday, 7 July 2020

Latest Obsessions #4

I've been leaning into the binge - the satisfaction of knowing full well that you are over-consuming, and grabbing the soft roundness of your belly like the prosperous fat woman you are. The gluttony of resting Ferrero Rochers, one by one, across the surface that is your abdomen, and the dichotomy between the fullness of your stomach and the sweetness on your taste buds... and being totally okay with it. Lean into the binge.

I feel that lately I have been consuming only the world's finest creations - the culture-forming, the most iconic, the ones that are inescapably on my newsfeeds...

Keeping Up With the Kardashians
Beginning with season one: Kim is on the brink of fame, Rob Kardashian is my age and sublimely somehow both cute and hot, little Kylie Jenner is an absolute crackhead, and Bruce Jenner is unfortunately born a conservative with an obvious discomfort towards his own identity. Everything about the Kardashians warms my heart. Throughout all their ups and downs and endearing stupidity, each episode ends with the ultimate lesson that family comes first, always, which is perhaps the feel-good feeling that makes the show so addictive.

While episodes are filled with sisterly yelling and valley girl accents, accompanied by a questionable trashy version of 2000's fashion, there is something very realistic about this reality TV show. Sure some events seem to be exacerbated for the sake of drama, but everything has a sense of uncensored realness, as if the Kardashians are saying, "Watch me. I'm all yours." I am fascinated by how this family came into fame at the brink of widespread social media. The stars were aligning just for them. The world wanted to watch real people in all their realness and people-ness. 

I am fascinated by how this family singlehandedly managed to change beauty standards and culture as we know it. Season one is filled with Khloe's snide comments towards Kim's butt, and come season two Kim's butt is suddenly something to be envied?, and come 2020 the majority of people who seek plastic surgery in Hollywood refer to a photo of Kim Kardashian? Keeping Up With the Kardashians, in all honesty, is a show in which Kim and her family run around just being them. They have no message, they are unpolitical, they do not critically think about their cultural influence... They simply run around being pretty and famous, only they redefined both prettiness and fame. It's the Kardashians' world and we're just living in it.

I never thought that the day I'd ask for my sister's DisneyPlus password would be to sit down for three hours to watch a political musical. Hamilton is pure genius. It somehow consists political rap battles and all the complexity and nuance of history, while retaining that classic over-expressive, thematic dynamic of musical theatre. Alexander Hamilton is rich with words and perspectives, with the recurring inability to just 'speak less, smile more', as people look at him in envy. "How does he write like he's always running out of time?" Oh, what an ode to passionate people with one-track minds who want to live a life bigger than themselves. And his wife is kind and loving and feminine, and while I was never rooting for her, I see power in softness with the show's conclusion. And the one song from this musical - there's always one song from a musical - is Satisfied. I mean... just listen to those lyrics.

Portrait of a Lady on Fire
To me, this film portrays everything it is to be feminine. It is not a Matisse 'paint me like one of your French girls' because the painter is a woman. The film illustrates how a woman perceives a woman, in all of her fiery personality, in her laughter, in her sadness, in the things that move her. To be loved is to truly be seen, to feel understood, and to still feel beautiful in spite of this vulnerability. To love is to be hurt by how another imagines you. To play the role of a poet rather than a lover is to truly see a person in this present moment, in all their breathtaking glory, and to want to remember them this way for the rest of your life, even if you never see them again.

Flesh Without Blood - Grimes
When a friend told me that Elon Musk courted Grimes because he saw this music video and thought she was smart, I knew I had to watch it. Grimes is interesting in that she is the imagining of a small blonde Canadian girl who talks like a nerdy teenager. She is an otherworldly character with no inhibitions; with coloured hair and massive sunglasses; a masochistic Marie Antoinette, a menacing angel, a dark basement gamer girl. Claire Boucher says that Grimes is not sweet. She is not cute and she is not pop. She is meant to be scary, and she is fun, and I love that.


Thursday, 2 July 2020

The safety of these four walls

I've been writing a lot about how I've been cracking under isolation lately. My 'artist statement' for my creative writing class was a four paragraph rant about my reminiscence of overstimulation - my craving for people I don't know, places I've never seen, and each day filled with unexpected events. I pitched a piece about how Ottessa Moshfegh's My Year of Rest and Relaxation is bullshit. How the f*ck can one rest and relax for an entire year? And my diary is filled with constant monotonous loneliness. "I cannot stay inside any longer. I need routine and I need new people."

And I really have been seeking for this newness the only way I know how - with a new institution. I woke up this morning believing that the universe was sending me signs. My morning routine, classes and chores lined up so I left the apartment at exactly 1pm. As I walked, I thought, today is a sunny day and it is my destiny that I feel compelled to hand out my resume today, to a comforting place that I know will be filled with new friends and interesting people. And of course, as I was contemplating my destiny Faith by the Weeknd began to play. The signs were all there... until I got to the cinema and they weren't open, and when I returned half an hour worth of adventure later, they informed me that they weren't hiring. I guess fate didn't want me to undergo round two of cinema employment after all. My horoscope has been telling me to "allow things of the past to fade and allow the future to be born out of their ruins." I can't be searching for old routines and old solutions any longer.

I've been noticing a pattern amongst my mid-quarantine self. I self-proclaim that I enjoy being alone, and I defer plan after plan to prove it. I mentally put down the excuse as 'unnecessary social anxiety.' I never want to be as anxious as I was pre-quarantine - where my hustle-culture, pocket-rocket self said yes to every plan and took on every responsibility. But then an invite will come along and I will accept it. It will be with people I feel safe with, people I know well, or people I know I can manipulate, and I will immensely enjoy myself in this little social respite. 

But then I wonder, if I am craving new people and unprecedented events, if I want something overstimulating, then why do I keep rejecting all the remotely scary plans? Why am I constantly searching for new beginnings and new scary people, when I already have so many scary people that I am intentionally leaving behind? 

I've noticed that running and starting over is easy, and perhaps even healthy, when you're young... but as you get older it becomes harder and harder. I'm an adult now and should be settling as people begin to bottleneck around me. High school friends, college friends and friends from my medical degree, my future colleagues; well, that's all the people I really need to meet, right? By now I shouldn't be searching for new circles. I should know who I want to be around and who I don't.

Perhaps this is what they mean when they say "I'm content in my bubble." I've always been a bubble burster: mad at private school for being too sheltered, mad at college for being a world of its own, mad at med school for being filled with the same personality type over and over - but I don't think I ever truly left my safety net. All the scary people outside my bubble I would hang out with until they expired. I learned and observed but they were still at an arm's distance. Not truly understanding them, I left them and searched for the next scary person to fill my void - a constant cycle.

But perhaps by 'scary' I just mean that a level of comfort was missing. We just weren't meant to be. 
Perhaps if people cause me social anxiety, it's not because they are a challenge to my bubble, but because seeing them does not fulfil me.

I feel confused by the comfort I feel lying on the couch with a face mask, hot tea and a television show each night when I could be somewhere more exciting. That couch feels safe. That couch feels predictable. And perhaps as I grow older, predictable is okay.

In my half hour adventure before returning to the cinema I entered a quaint bakery filled with kourabiethes, macarons and lemon meringue tarts. A kind elderly Greek lady stepped out to greet me and interviewed me on the spot. "I'm looking for someone longterm. Do you know what I mean by longterm?" In my twenties, as I finally walk the streets in a style I think is mine, as I wear business clothes to the hospital and drink cocktails instead of tequila shots, as I settle into my own tidy space and my fulfilling friendships, I think a quaint, classy, homely bakery sounds like perfect symbolism. Maybe destiny was on to something.


Tuesday, 16 June 2020

Latest Obsessions #3

Every morning I wake up, make a smoothie and a cup of tea and read. I sit at the dining table with my roommate's plants (God forbid I ever own a plant), sunlight streaming through the balcony windows, and that mirror we have from my old college dorm room, reflecting myself straight at me. My reflection is actually quite sobering, and as a result I've started to make my face presentable, just to appease this reflection me each morning. This homely life with a surprisingly adequate sleeping schedule needless to say results in plenty of time to scour the internet for new things. Here's the latest:

READ: Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother

Of course it takes a book I'd always assumed was about an oppressive strict Asian mother to feel such deep love for my culture. You see, the book isn't a "how to" for torture after all. Instead it's a memoir highlighting the nuances of Asian values and their place in the Western world. Yes, Amy Chua has the same unreasonable psychopathic tendencies as my own mother, but like, on steroids - with the same kind of nonsensical rules that made me want to shake her and scream "Why won't you understand" in the heat of my teen angst. However, the way Chua speaks of pushing her children to be their best, unapologetically expecting them to achieve first place because she holds them in such high regard - that's true respect. And then her children succeed, and are driven and ambitious, and teach their mother a few lessons about happiness and rebellion - and then I read articles about the ultimately delusional Western socialist view of "everyone's a winner"; and Chua's description of the violin as a symbol of excellence, refinement and depth, in contrast to the brashness of American consumerism, fast food and Facebook - and I feel myself swell with pride.

For my creative writing class today I wrote a passage about a jade necklace resting against my chest. It was carved into the shape of a rabbit, my Chinese zodiac. The necklace was a symbol of regality and femininity, of control and poise, in an almost Joy Luck Club elusive intergenerational Asian mother-daughter way. The writing prompt was 'treasure'.

WATCH: Scrubs

My friend once told me that Scrubs, unlike Grey's Anatomy, is an accurate depiction of working in the hospital. And from that moment, I vowed that I would not watch Scrubs until the year I become an intern. If the show is a sitcom about hospital life, then I want to be in on the joke. But with the virus wiping away my first clinical year, I caved. I have been living vicariously through John Dorian - as he gets yelled at by residents, as he encounters patients from all walks of life, as he develops crushes on girls way out of his league - and I am left with nothing but anticipation for my own future, when I will be let out to finally buy coffee from the hospital cafeteria and be exhausted every day like I oh so crave. But for now I live through the comical, endearing life of JD, snacks in hand on my couch laughing out loud. It's just a genuinely good show.

ART: @247.k tattoo artist on Instagram

I made another Pinterest board, about, like, my Instagram feed. I was envisioning a mix between a soft girl and an ABG, like small floral uber feminine dresses and trays of croissants but also completely badass. I'm not sure if I'm playing with a dichotomy between two different aesthetics, two different personalities, but that's besides the point. In the process I discovered this tattoo artist, with her delicate zodiac designs and outlines of sitting tigers. It makes me want to impulsively get a meaningless, pretty, yet somewhat masculine tattoo on my side or my back. Other tattoo artists I've found include @tattooist_basil and @keshna.sana.

The Netflix show starring Ben Platt, Gwyneth Paltrow and Zoey Deutch, to name a few, is amazing in itself - perfectly intense, socially and culturally relevant, chaotic and entertaining. But its soundtrack... the amount of times I've unsuccessfully attempted to use shazam on snapchat, then paused to google 'that song from the politician episode x' is countless. It began with the theme song - the first time I forewent clicking 'skip introduction' was to listen to Chicago by Sufjan Stevens. And then of course, expecting nothing less after last year's obsession with Dear Evan Hansen, Ben Platt belting his solo River for the death of his friend, the impossibly attractive David Corenswet. And then came Yes I'm Changing by Tame Impala, to which I announced to my roommate, "this song is amazing." And then came a fond throwback, with Astrid dancing to Clearest Blue by Chvrches, my favourite jogging song of 2016, one that cannot help but expel bursts of spontaneous energy. And as I scroll through this playlist for songs that have yet to come, I see Troye Sivan, the picture of pretty teen angst; Charli XCX, Dua Lipa, queens of pop; and many many songs I cannot wait to discover from this newfound library.

BEAUTY: blush!

I like the colour pink, almost like an anime character drawn with youthful rosy cheeks. I dust the powder over my cheeks with a small smile, then across my nose until I look positively sunburnt, glowing and girlish. I've been thinking with my new skincare routine, of foregoing foundation altogether. Instead I envision myself buying a liquid blush, adding colour to my skin the same way I massage in my moisturiser and sunscreen each morning, with effortlessly satisfying self-care.


Friday, 12 June 2020

Time Is Passing

My notebook is running out of pages. While my diaries usually span a year, if not more, this dark blue leather notebook is barely going to last me until the end of June. I flipped to the first page in horror, to see that my entries began within the four walls of this apartment and are destined to end within the same four walls. Nothing has happened. And so, on a whim, I fished another two notebooks out of my drawer and decided to title them in permanent marker. 2018 I wrote on the plain black notebook, followed cheesily by consisting the summer I moved out of home and my first year of university - the transition from a high schooler to a girl living in the real world. Then, 2019 I wrote on the soft brown notebook covered in golden outlines of woodland animals, with another corny title: consisting an insecure girl finding her place amongst the people around her.

I've noticed a running theme in the material I've been consuming - of time passing in phases, in people coming in and out, in changing philosophies and careers and passions.

I spent the last two days bingeing that new romantic comedy series starring Anna Kendrick, Love Life. While the show is light-hearted - another one of those meaningless stories about a twenty-something girl living her life in New York City - its timeline spans almost a decade. I follow as she meets her first real boyfriend, gets married and divorced, becomes a mother, and finally finds herself with the job she's always wanted. I watch as her friends end up in their various places, in relationships we never predicted, with problems that only show their heads with time. And I watch as her priorities change, as she matures and learns to validate herself.

I spent the last month reading Hanya Yanagihara's A Little Life, following four boys from their time as roommates in college, through their various relationships, through their various careers, until their deaths. I watch as the people in their world bottleneck, their circle getting smaller and smaller, and the different ways they deal with this. Just yesterday a friend messaged "as you grow and mature in life, I think you discover more and more what kind of people you like, and by virtue your friends get fewer and fewer," to which I replied that the idea makes me sad. 

As I keep reading, each boy's philosophy of life changes, and time seems to pass like water - so naturally, so tragically, until I'm at the end and the journey is breathtakingly over.

During quarantine I've been reading personal essays, scouring sites like Nearness Project, Uniquely Aligned and BobbleHaus, perhaps searching for some form of individual understanding in these disengaged times. Over the past few months I've read many essays speaking of the 'lack of control' the corona virus has sprung onto peoples' lives, and the anxiety that stems as a result. While I appreciated authors bearing their emotions and souls onto the page, I can't say I particularly related. What did they mean a 'lack of control'?

Today though, I came to the realisation that yes, the corona virus has left me in an ultimately uncontrollable situation. I would never have fathomed that I would be spending 6 months with no real structure to my life, with nowhere to formally be besides this apartment. Obviously the virus has left me in its fateful wake just like the rest of us. But no, I never felt anxiety or anything but a complete, delusional control. I've realised that delusional optimism just seems to be my coping mechanism, my mind stubbornly unshakeable, chanting "You are doing just fine."

And with this understanding that the virus has in fact altered my life in ways I would not have personally chosen for myself, my mind is clinging to this idea of life moving in phases - unpredictable and out of our control whether we like it or not. And so, on my blue notebook that is running out of pages, I wrote 2020 - the corona virus. a time of contemplation. In the grand scheme of things, this 6 months is another phase, one in which we have been blessed with much needed quiet and self reflection. And around us, the world is contemplating too - as people learn to be with their families, be with themselves, tune into injustices external to themselves during this lull in their lives, and simply experiment with a different way of living.

And while this has been an important phase,
life will then return to normal, and this phase will be over and a new one will begin.


Saturday, 6 June 2020

How to Make Them See

I can see it in his eyes, in the way he speaks, in the way he describes the protests and police brutality like it's another current event. And I guess it is, to him. I'm just surprised because he is the first of my fully white friends that I've talked to this week, and until this moment, I hadn't truly seen these events through a non-POC's eyes. To me, these events depict more than just the corrupt justice system... they depict the corrupt representation, the corrupt glass ceiling, the corrupt society. But I don't feel angry at him for not noticing that. I don't even feel angry at him when he says that social media has become "too much", and in his position of unaffected privilege, he can simply turn a blind eye. Because in all honesty, if I hadn't needed to think about race for a day in my life, I'd probably be removed from the situation too.

I just wish I could make him see. I imagine myself being desperately convictional, throwing piece of evidence after evidence in his face. But I know he's seen it all before. And I know he agrees with what I'm saying too. He just doesn't understand the experience, and he doesn't want to, because to him, standing in solidarity is enough. He doesn't see the systemic structure of racism at play. He doesn't look deep into the micro-aggressions all around us. These things have never affected him, so of course he's oblivious. But if he doesn't try to recognise the biases society teaches us then how can our society ever change?

Trying to make him understand is like trying to push somebody out of the bubble in which they've lived their whole life. Experiences of discrimination are outside the border of his world. They won't exist for him unless he bursts the bubble himself, and pushes and pushes and pushes the boundaries of his empathy. What could motivate a person to push themselves that hard? I could yell and scream, but it would land on empty ears, with a "mhmm, yeah I agree. I get it." No, he still doesn't get it. He's never been seen as a stereotype before speaking a word. He's never felt that inexplicable shame when somebody treats you a certain way because of your race. I wouldn't get it either, if I were him.

But I think back to explaining subtle racism to one of my friends in college one night. We sat for an hour on her bed as I described a particular situation - not being seen as mainstream, having to work twice as hard to work the room, calling a boy out for his inherent discrimination while praying she wouldn't see me as unreasonably angry - and by the end, she understood. My smart, logical, kind, compassionate friend truly understood. It was a small victory, and one which took a lot of desperate justification. But looking somebody else in the eye and listening, truly being empathetic about a situation, is no mean feat. 

And I know she still doesn't understand. And I know she hasn't translated my small lived experience to the wider narrative. But in that moment she knew how I felt, and she felt what I felt. 

I just wish that every time they read a post on Instagram this week, every time they heard something on the news, they would feel this shitty feeling. They would be reminded over and over again. They wouldn't be able to ignore it. They would understand the urgency with which we need to overturn these societal constructs. They would be critical about every ingrained assumption society taught them to make.

And people of colour would feel seen, understood, feel the tangible permission to relax, to expel the desperation with which we are screaming please hear me

I can't shake this feeling of hopelessness.


Saturday, 23 May 2020

Latest Obsessions #2

In the never-changing environment of quarantine, my only stimulus from the outside world comes via the internet. So I wonder, is this becoming a series?

ESSAY: The Story of Caroline Calloway & Her Ghostwriter Natalie

The nine lives of Caroline Calloway never fail to entertain and intrigue me. There was her 'creative workshop' which ended up being a complete scam but was still honest work (it was so Caroline), her new OnlyFans account (again, so Caroline), and that drama about her breaking quarantine to hang with her new e-boy 20-year-old boyfriend (I die). I'd always likened Caroline Calloway to Tana Mongeau - like, insane but in a bad bitch self-aware way. But this article blew the doors open. Caroline Calloway is NOT self-aware in the slightest. She's like that friend we've all had - the narcissistic, unreliable one who always tells you about their fantastic plans and fantastic stories when you know that's not how it happened, and you know they'll somehow never pull through. But then their entire character is just SUCH A VIBE so you choose to admire them anyway. Like, if Caroline has managed to paint herself as this random-ass famous creative bitch who can do whatever she wants, and her fan-base believes it, then who's to say she's delusional? Like, if everybody thinks she's this person, then doesn't that make her this person? I guess social media can be utilised to solidify an identity in this way, and honestly, it's kind of a great asset. A girl replied to my Instagram story saying, "I just think her whole self aware idiocy is kinda chic sometimes."

FASHION: Peggy Gou's clothing brand, Kirin

I don't think it's so much that I like the clothes than that I like Peggy Gou's entire persona. In her latest Q&A at the Oxford Union she talks about why she left design school: "I realised that I only like styling myself. Styling other people is a different story," she laughs. But now she's a major DJ with a truly amazing Instagram filled with winged eyeliner, arm tattoos, and bright printed button-down shirts and kimonos and jumpers. She's in Bali, then Japan, and she's from South Korea, and apparently she lives in Berlin? She describes her clothing line as effortless. "They look like pyjamas." "They make you feel confident." F*ck she's so cool.

YOUTUBE: Hyram on skincare

This week I did a full 180 towards self care. I began by making the Pinterest mood board above, then proceeded to eat three (and only three) meals per day, wake up by 10am, and ambitiously jog 5km before religiously following my latest Chloe Ting workout challenge outdoors. After relaying these new-found habits to a friend, she told me about her new obsession with Hyram. So of course, the next day, I spent 6 hours watching Hyram's videos, researching, and impulse buying an entire new skincare routine. I feel self-loved already.

ESSAY: How Street Culture Shaped Asian-American Identity

THIS! ESSAY! I love how it talks about how "much of what it is to be Asian-American is still up in the air" because we've always had this immigrant culture of 'keep your head down and assimilate'. We never tried to aggressively fight against racism or define ourselves. History doesn't talk about our major struggles because we didn't have any, or perhaps we just didn't speak up about the injustices we were facing. We never saw them as injustices in the first place. We're worker bees. But street culture changes that. It's a creative space where we, subtly, have a voice, creating an identity through pure aesthetics. My favourite part of this piece describes Anti-Social Social Club as probably the most Asian-American brand around, with a quote from ASSC founder Kyle Ng: "It speaks to the Asian condition. You're anti-social social! It's kids wearing supreme, but they're quiet and shy. How many nerdy Asian kids have you seen that rock the craziest fits?"


And going off that essay, there's a new streetwear brand in town. I first discovered Bobblehaus because of its blog. It's a brand bridging East and West youth culture, with a multitude of essays on their website doing exactly that. And then there's their clothes - androgynous, block colours, simplistic, effortless, confident. I freaking love this website.

MUSIC: Here's the last few songs I added to my 'pop music I run to' playlist
  1. Forever - Charli XCX
  2. In Your Eyes remix - The Weeknd, Doja Cat
  3. Waves - Kanye West
  4. Friends - Justin Bieber, BloodPop
  5. Detonate - Charli XCX
  6. Adore You - Harry Styles
  7. Faith - The Weeknd
  8. Physical - Dua Lipa

Sunday, 17 May 2020

Latest Obsessions

I've been eating chocolate cookies like they're my sole energy source. Two chocolate cookies for sustenance and suddenly I'm finishing a 2,500 word research report in one day. Another few chocolate cookies in the evening and I'm watching a 2 hour lecture on data structures in C. Another few chocolate cookies at midnight and I'm drawing all 9 quadrants of the abdomen, listing differential diagnoses for abdominal pain. Honestly, days are short and weeks are short and time is simply flying.

Here's my obsessions for the week:

WATCH: Now Apocalypse
One morning I discovered Karley Sciortino and spent 2 hours in bed watching Instagram video excerpts from her show Slutever - "Your p*ssy is God", "How cool would it be if you went to school and people were like, this is how to say no, and this is how to c*m. Haha. That'll never happen." She's so blatantly funny. And then I listened to her first Love in Quarantine podcast. And then, finally, I watched her television show Now Apocalypse. Like, I never knew how much I needed to see Avan Jogia (Beck from Victorious) and Tyler Posey (Scott from Teen Wolf) make out until I actually saw it happen - with all these hallucinatory fireworks going on in the background no less. And then there's Beau Mirchoff (Matty from Awkward) doing naked photo shoots and crying a lot. The gender roles are like, completely switched, with Carly, who is a dominatrix cam girl in the most nonchalant, realistic way possible, and this European genius robot lady who only wants polyamory (No monogamy. God forbid.) Like, if somebody made a chaotic mash up of all my teenage celebrity crushes in the most modern, fluid, random, constantly trashy fluorescent environment, it would be Now Apocalypse.

SHOP: Muji
Okay, I know I'm late to the party, but I finally succumbed to buying Muji paper and Muji pens in every single colour (which only came to $14. Why did I ever think this place was overpriced?) and suddenly my notes are BEAUTIFUL. It's literally magic. I can't explain it. My sister speculates that it's the delicacy of the lines on the grid paper. I speculate that it's the perfect relationship between the ink of the pens and the texture of the paper. Overall, I think that the Japanese brand has a keen eye for detail, proving once again that being rash and inpatient will never give you your desired outcome.

WATCH/LISTEN: Jhene Aiko's BS animated visual
Jhene Aiko's levelled up her vibe once again with this anime-inspired music video. Why does she get to do stuff like this? Why does she get to be so cool?

WATCH: High Fidelity
Zoe Kravitz is a record-store owner in New York City who obsessively reminisces over all her exes. She's a sad girl living her best life in the New York art scene. She makes me feel so in tune with my emotions - like it's okay to not know what I'm feeling? Also, she wears this yellow jumper with jeans and low pigtails and looks really f*cking good. And then there was that time she wore a Hawaiian shirt as a... jacket? And that time she wore a massive band t-shirt but tucked it into a pleated school skirt with vans as she tromped into some divorced eccentric art lady's house on the Upper West Side. Can I manifest that?

WATCH/LISTEN: Christian Yu play the guitar on his Instagram
I recently discovered Sydney-born past K-pop star, now video director, b-boy, dude who's been posting his jam sessions on his Instagram. I have a celebrity crush, but it's on a whole other level.

READ: A Little Life
There's a boy with no past. Well, he has a past, but it's so excruciatingly different that he may as well be a blank slate. From birth until he arrived at college he didn't exist. As somebody who attributes much of who people are to their upbringing, this is intriguing for me. You see, people are predictable. Meet enough of them and they all start to fit into (relatively flexible) boxes. The other characters in the book do. There's an eccentric boy from a large encouraging family, a confused boy from a mix-raced wealthy family, and a kind struggling actor from a broken family. But the boy with no past... he's so sad, and beautiful. I'm still only at the beginning of the book, so perhaps his past will become clearer soon. For now though, I can't put it down. This is the book I needed to get me out of my impatient, constantly buzzing, non-reading funk.


Thursday, 14 May 2020

Lady Bird in Hindsight

The first time I watched Lady Bird I cried. It was the summer of 2017/18 - the summer I turned 18, received my acceptance letter to a university in the big city, and moved out of home. Tears spilled out of my eyes as Lady Bird described how much she loved driving in Sacramento, with shots of greenery and lakes in the picturesque suburban town she'd spent her entire senior year trying to escape. I even imagined her describing the excessive roundabouts I love about my small home city, with my favourite road alongside the hills of baby trees, driving towards the mountain and the tiny tower in the distance on a sunny day. When I first moved, the thing I missed most about home was driving too.

I didn't cry while watching Lady Bird tonight. The emotions were there, like a tiny thing of the past, but not enough to bring my eyes to water. Having come home during the virus, I've been marvelling at the beauty of my suburb. I've been climbing mountains with views of the city I know so well - the urban city, they call it; a city built amongst the lakes and the trees; each place marked by my past footsteps - climbing the mountain we drove up the summer of 2016, standing through the sun roof, wind blowing my hair and my face and my eyes, but I just had to keep them open; and finding the rock we stood at before I left for the summer, where we took off our shirts and flashed the barren landscape. Perhaps I didn't cry because this city doesn't mean as much to me as it used to, which makes me sad. In Lady Bird, after reading her college admissions essay, Sister Sarah Joan remarks, "You clearly love Sacramento... you write about Sacramento so affectionately, and with such care." to which Lady Bird responds, "do I?" I guess we all move on.

To me, now, Lady Bird is a reminiscent slice of life. In 2018, Lady Bird was symbolic of my move -  zoned in on that final summer, working shifts, her mother crying, and arriving at the airport. However, now, I see the wider picture. Perhaps Lady Bird resonated so powerfully with me because the story was relatable the entire way through, even towards the end. In 2018, Lady Bird's final scenes in New York seemed scary and surreal: getting way too drunk, saying things she didn't mean, and kissing boys she didn't care about. In hindsight, the moment I arrived in the big city, I did exactly that. And a month later, I was back on my favourite road with the tiny trees and the mountain and the tower, feeling very emotional about it all.

Lady Bird is reminiscent of going to an all girls' catholic school, with the measuring of skirt-lengths, defiantly not saying 'amen' after the prayer during school chapel, and that one girl in class who brags very loudly about the first time she had sex. Now that these things no longer matter to me, I laugh at how we needed a school co-curricular to meet boys. I laugh at how our sheltered minds, who lived off romance movies and young adult novels, could see a boy perform on stage, or at a piano recital, and immediately develop a crush. I laugh at the intensity of school socials, seeing our crush across the gym dance floor and mustering the courage to talk to him. Lady Bird makes me feel seen. It makes me feel less contempt towards my infuriatingly sheltered high school experience, and instead find the humour in it. I learned a lot.

Lady Bird is reminiscent of meeting the boy who is different from all those private school boys. He hand rolls cigarettes, listens to obscure music, and is most definitely a soft boy. He teaches you things about culture, and you admire him. He is so cool. Lady Bird is reminiscent of feeling so out of your depth as you walk into a deserted parking lot where everybody is smoking. You don't know how to smoke, you don't know what to say, but you feel as if you need to act like you belong there. Lady Bird is reminiscent of being high in someone's kitchen, waiting eagerly for food to come out of the microwave, giggling but also having no idea what's going on. In hindsight, I wonder how these experiences could have mattered so much to me back then. As stupid as they seem now, they shaped me.

In hindsight, I wish I'd figured it all out sooner. Lady Bird seems to figure out what matters to her by the time prom comes around. With every experience, she is honest, and wild, and ultimately unselfish. I was not like that.

Lady Bird makes me think about my final year at home with my mum, and all my feelings of not-enough-ness. My mum used to ask me why I was always reaching. How many times would I have to level up before I would be content?
I spent the entire year reaching for ambiguous dreams of leaving the city. Just like Lady Bird's mother, mine pushed back - "How are you going to pay for that?" "Why do you want to get away from me so badly?" She didn't want me to leave. We had the kind of relationship where we would fight every single day yet still make up. An arbitrary conversation could hit a soft point and immediately become aggressive. Her honest comments about whether a dress looked nice on me would make me defensive, because while I told her I didn't care about her opinions, and truly thought I didn't, I think her opinions always mattered the most. In hindsight, I think these were the growing pains of raising a teenage girl on the cusp of independence. I was trying to be convictional about what I wanted, while having no idea what I wanted; and she was finding it difficult to let go.

A few days before Mother's Day, I went through old photo albums from when she was my age. I saw her at 20, wearing the hoodie she's now passed down to me. I saw her at her 21st birthday party, opening presents, her face so much like mine. I saw her a little older than me, with my dad, travelling all around the world. I saw that she had a life, and I saw the parallels between her experiences and mine. I forget that she wanted things too, and that she once moved away from home too. In the final scene, Lady Bird asks her mum, "Hey mom: did you feel emotional the first time that you drove in Sacramento? I did and I wanted to tell you, but we weren't really talking when it happened."

After leaving the cinema in 2018, my mum and I sat in the car in silence. We had both just wiped tears from our eyes, and just like in the first scene of Lady Bird, I brought up my leaving and she got mad at me.


Friday, 8 May 2020

Currently: Feels like I'm on Adderall 24/7

We're well into the second month of quarantine so you'd think it'd be the perfect time to relax. Most people have succumbed to new routines with heaps of free time to do, well, whatever they please. Theoretically I should be tanning, or staring into space, or feeling calm, or like, not feeling like I have somewhere to be and something to do. Instead I feel more rushed than ever.

I won't cook anything more complicated than an omelette because I'm scared it'll take up too much time. Perhaps I just don't like cooking. Even exercise feels like too much of an unproductive time commitment. Is Chloe Ting effective? What's the point of doing a second booty burn video when it didn't even hurt that much the first time round? I can't binge watch shows, or sit through a movie without going on my phone. I attempted watching anime. Subtitles are hard to read when you're distracted. The only reason I can get through an entire 20 minute episode of Community is because I'm holding out for the end scene between Troy and Abed - the best part of the show. My brain is just bzzzzz... like real world rush hour but with instant teleportation, from one safari tab to the next, constantly doing something.

Quarantine has been like this build up of projects. With all that daunting endless time laid out before me, I felt pressured into being productive... doing every single thing I've ever been meaning to do... which is a lot. It started with writing too much on this blog, then learning how to code, then treating binge watching television shows like a race rather than enjoyment:
  • Russian Doll to be completed in a day - what an incredible chaotic New York vibe. I would like to manifest a part of Nadia.
  • Money Heist to take up all my time - I couldn't do it. 4 seasons in Spanish was too much of a commitment.
  • And now Hollywood for the eye candy - It seems as if 1 season, 8 episodes is the largest commitment I can make right now. And even after a cliff hanger, my fingers are still drawn to checking my phone, over and over... I need to assert my opinions. It's a one-way assertion when it's online.
And then came the obsessive writing - personal essays with fake deadlines, portraying ideas half-formed, writing with nothing really to write about anymore, because supposedly nothing is happening. But with the addition of my extremely difficult now-online degree (medicine, who would've thought that would be hard) there is so much happening. I find myself in the middle of class obsessing over different projects. I find myself unable to sleep because I'm obsessing over different projects. I have 50 million passions right now, and 50 million deadlines, and I'm exhausted. I'm bzzzzzzzz exhausted. 

It's a new manic episode every day. One day I'll fixate on making the most colourful, diagrammatic A3 notes on the mind-numbing topic of syncope - textas strewn across my desk, textbooks open, notes on my monitor, notes on my laptop - for 8 hours straight. The next day I'll be sitting on the floor surrounded by 100 of my dad's old photo albums. The next day I'll be covered in glue and scrap paper. I decided to become a collage-artist. I want to learn how to journal with washy tape. I want to do a workout challenge religiously. I want to become a better med student than I've ever been. I want to become a better piano player than I ever was.

I look at my definitive timetable, and our country's almost-definitive situation, and it seems as if things are going back to normal. That endless time isn't endless anymore. In 2 weeks I'll probably be invited to dinner parties again. Restaurants will be open again. Only 2 more online teaching blocks, which seem incredibly short now, and I'll be in the hospital 5 days a week. I'll have to dress up again. I'll have to talk to people again. I don't think I know how to do that anymore.

Quarantine is like a new life for me. I'm in so far deep, a different person. But I'm not emerging a butterfly. I feel like I'm emerging an alien. Nothing from the old world sparks enjoyment for me. Right now it's just me in my bubble, bare face, hoodie and leggings... and I don't really want to leave just yet. There's so much more to do.


Wednesday, 29 April 2020

I think my heart stopped during Mindy Kaling's Never Have I Ever

I have cried so many times over the past two days while binging Netflix series Never Have I Ever, for so many inexplicable reasons. Perhaps it's the undeniable connection I feel to Devi Vishwakumar as a first-generation migrant. Perhaps it's the connection I feel to her teenage-girl mind and obsession with a half-Japanese boy (so my type). Perhaps it's the all-too-familiar mother-daughter relationship. Perhaps it's the grief she feels towards her dead father. Perhaps it's the intensity of feeling like a lost girl. In my last cry-out on Twitter I screamed "Words cannot express how much I love Never Have I Ever", but I'm going to try.

I first heard about Never Have I Ever through Mindy Kaling's twitter about a month ago, and for obvious reasons, immediately added the show to my watch list. First of all, it's a first-generation migrant story. I eat that shit up. Second of all, it's Mindy freaking Kaling. I flashback to 2014, watching The Mindy Project in the school library. Mindy was a chaotic, comedic, woman-of-colour doctor. My dream. In my teenage eyes, Mindy could never, and will never, do any wrong. Of course she'd make this show everything I'd ever dreamed of.

Unpacking the ultimate first-generation migrant experience portrayed by Devi, an especially relatable scene occurred in Episode 4: Never Have I Ever... Felt Super Indian. Devi arrives at a Hindu event feeling complete disdain towards her culture. She knocks down her traditional dress, speaks about how the whole event is dorky, and ultimately, feels ashamed. She just wants to fit in, and according to the norms of her predominantly white high school, being All-American is the way. This brings me back to my 14-year-old self touching down at the airport in Malaysia. Looking around, I just felt... better than everyone. I was from a white country, with white people, where we did cool white people things like in the American movies. As far as I'd seen, Asians were nerds. We played the piano and got good grades. In the back of my mind, I think I'd always wanted that aesthetic of being part of a big blonde sorority girl group - because that was normal.

At the Hindu event, Devi runs into an older family friend who's already left for his Ivy League college (obviously), and is back to celebrate the holiday. Expecting him to make fun of their culture as they usually do, he instead expresses his newfound love for being Indian. "I just thought, am I going to be this insecure Indian guy who hates doing Indian things? Coz that's it's own identity. It's just a shitty one." I feel like as we grow older, we go through this journey of falling in love with our culture and having the best of both worlds. In my case, this realisation began with Asian YouTubers (The Fung Brothers, NigaHiga), who shook me into understanding that hating on your culture is not attractive. This led me into a phase of digging deep into the rabbit hole to figure out what the whole immigrant experience means, wearing a cheongsam to my high school graduation, feeling unique, hyper-sexualised, occasionally fetishised, and having a disdain for the people I met who really did think that being an Asian who hated being Asian was a cool identity (God, I've encountered so many of them). 

However, habitual views from repetitive under-representation still run deep, and even post-enlightenment, I still occasionally catch myself. Coming to university where I study medicine, a classic Asian degree, I encountered a population of people who had grown up in a predominantly Asian demographic. These suburbs and communities are everywhere in Western cities nowadays, and I love seeing it, but I didn't grow up in it. I couldn't help but feel my 14-year-old self at the Malaysian airport creep in. I had this underlying feeling that I was better than them, cooler than them, because I had so many white friends, and had experienced all the cool white people things like in the American movies. After everything I'd learned about loving myself, this pathetic white-supremacy mind-set could still creep in. Over the years, I can feel myself growing further into my culture and my own skin, but it's a journey I'll probably be on forever in an ever-changing cultural landscape.

Another profound experience represented by Devi was her argumentative, head-strong relationship with her mother. I'm not sure if this is a migrant-thing, with all the opposing cultural views, or an every-race thing, but goodness I could see so much of my teenage self living with my mother - except this time I could see it from the maternal side too. In Never Have I Ever Devi and her mother argue not just about the usual strict parenting rules, but also about smaller things like losing her sheet music. They get so frustrated over the little things that it turns into screaming matches, with neither side budging. I recall my 16-year-old self yelling down the stairs at my mum, screaming "I hate you"s and "You don't understand." and she'd get so riled up and scream back "You know what? You're a bitch!" even though we're not allowed to call each other that. I remember my mum sobbing that I'm too headstrong, that she can't deal with me anymore, in the same way Devi's mother does. "She's no daughter of mine." 

What I didn't realise at the time was how hurt my mother felt by my words, crying in her bedroom every time I told her I hated her; or how difficult it is for one stubborn woman to raise another, in a foreign country. I remember the night before I moved out of home, my mother and I got into our usual fight about my independence. I wanted to go to a party with my college friends. She wanted to have dinner with me one last time. At the end of the argument I made some lame excuse about "it hurting too much to see her again. I needed to rip the bandaid off." and she began to cry, hugged me and told me she was going to miss me so much. I began to cry too, which I didn't understand because I was literally ditching her for a college party. It took me almost a year out of home to really appreciate my mum, not just for everything she's done for me, but for the phenomenal woman she is. Since then, we've had many conversations in hindsight, about the cultural barrier and the way she raised me - every calculated move she made in sending me to public school then private school (for the exposure, then the opportunities), the forced trips back to Malaysia (to understand my culture) and the rules she enforced (our values). Who I am today was not me independently forging a path for myself. It was her all along.

And finally, let's talk about the mind of a teenage girl. At the beginning of Never Have I Ever Devi wishes to "be invited to a party with alcohol and hard drugs" and for a hot boyfriend. If that isn't the perfect representation of my desperate mind as a teenage girl, I don't know what is. Although, I would've felt a lot less desperate if I knew every teenage girl was probably thinking the same thing at the time. Where was this show when I was 14? It's in the way Devi runs up to her hot half-Japanese crush and blatantly asks him to have sex with her, with the naivety of somebody who doesn't understand what sex really is - We wanted something we hadn't seriously comprehended yet.

Underlying all this is an ocean of unexplained emotions. In Devi's case, she's struggling with the trauma of her dad's recent death. In the case of every other teenage girl, it was probably this feeling of a deep seated insecurity. Unpacking the reasoning behind wanting to drink alcohol and have a boyfriend, it all comes down to belonging and validation from our peers. Teenage girls are fragile and are finding who they are. As we grow older, we branch away from this susceptibility, but ultimately, as a 20-year-old, I feel like my mind is just a wiser version of that lost girl - meaning, I'm still lost. It's all about making mistakes, and existential crises every day, and losing your shit over the smallest things - and having the people who know you best ask you what you want, what it is you're striving for because you, yourself don't even know. I don't think I'm the only one here.

And I don't know if it's because it's a migrant-thing that so many experiences in this show resonate with me, or if there's elements of this that relate to everyone. But yeah, words cannot explain how much I love Mindy Kaling's Never Have I Ever. Just freaking watch it.


Sunday, 26 April 2020

I've watched a lot of movies in quarantine, and this is my take

After an extended period of time in social isolation, I seem to have settled into the life of my 15 year old self. I mean, I've migrated back to my childhood home, have been living by YouTube workouts, practice the piano daily, and have been writing on this blog (hi!). I've reverted back into that girl who would do anything for a movie night, grabbing at the endless supply of snacks my mother stashes in the laundry room, and I'm enjoying it.

So here are some movie recommendations, thoughts, blurbs, whatever you want to call it (alongside my extremely biased obscure snack ratings):


The Bling Ring
The Premise: A Sofia Coppola movie based on a group of teenagers who burglarised celebrities' homes in 2008-2009. Celebrities included Paris Hilton, Orlando Bloom, Rachel Bilson and Lindsay Lohan. I know, so noughties Hollywood, right?

Thoughts: I am obsessed with Rebecca, the Asian girl (played by Katie Chang, who is definitely half) who is the supposed ringleader. I love how cool she is - her voice radiates calm-and-collected, she's never seen dancing like an idiot even in the club scenes, and her finishing line "What did Lindsay say?" I die. The movie radiates youth and excess. It makes me want to go back in time, snort cocaine at a high school party, wear sunglasses everywhere, and learn every Kanye lyric ever. If this movie proved one thing, it's that you can be stupid as a teenager and there are literally no consequences. The Bling Ring received critique regarding the glorification of a morally wrong act, and well, the critics aren't wrong. I was sold.

Snack: Cobs sweet and salty popcorn (10/10)

Your Name
The Premise: An anime Freaky Friday love story, but more mystical and magical with really pretty art.

Thoughts: This movie made me feel so much suspense but also feel so so happy.

Snack: Nature's Garden raspberry yoghurt pretzels (9/10)

The Premise: A Chinese immigrant story about an impossibly sad man and his impossibly sad daughter.

Thoughts: Whenever I see stories like these, I always take it as a self-identifying experience, trying to see myself as the westernised second-generation immigrant daughter. How do I fit into the immigrant story? In class, we recently learned about the concept of intergenerational trauma - how the sorrow and loss experienced by a guardian can manifest through the next generation; in this case with the Asian stereotypes of parental expectations, never saying "I love you" and the cultural barrier. Although, this movie took tragedy to the extremes. Immigrant stories are always beautiful, but rarely are they ever this sad.

Snack: Poppin triple butter microwave popcorn (8/10)

Get Out
The Premise: A black man meets his white girlfriend's parents for the weekend, a horror movie.

Thoughts: So fucking clever. And so fucking relevant. The symbolism! Just watch it.

Snack: Simply 7 hummus chips (4/10)

The Premise: Categorised as 'a slice of life' on my cousin's movie list, it's about a boy growing up from 6 years old to his first day of college. Richard Linklater filmed this movie over 12 years with the same actors and a flexible script based on the development and experiences of the people involved. As someone who is naturally obsessed with how we change over time, this is my kind of art project.

Thoughts: So this is what it's like to be a boy? Yeah, seems believable.
I think that Mason's last lines "It's constant. The moments... it's like... it's always right now." encapsulates the concept of this movie perfectly. When you think about everything that has happened in your life thus far, that's how time appears. The only exception to this seamless passing of time that I noticed was all the different haircuts, some cuter than others. And if there's anything that could be physically representative of our childhood and adolescent phases, would it not be our hair?

Snack: carrot sticks and hummus (5/10)


The Premise: Teenage cyborg girl living in a dystopian world with epic battle scenes and a questionable love interest. This is all my teenage YA book-loving fantasies brought to life.

Thoughts: I loved the friggin bionics, with characters being pulled apart and put together again. It was so disconcerting yet so goddam cool! Jennifer Connelly plays this selfish doctor-lady who builds monster bionic robot parts, and I think I've found myself a new career dream. How many ethics laws does that violate?

Snack: Nongshim Onion Rings (8/10)

It Felt Like Love
The Premise: The lengths a 15-year-old girl will go to explore her sexuality and date a thug. Or was it to fall in love. I wasn't sure.

Thoughts: This is, like, a scarily accurate albeit highly exaggerated representation of a teenage girl's mind.

Snack: green grapes (7/10)

How to Be Single
The Premise: Dakota Johnson and Rebel Wilson star in a romantic comedy that is not a romantic comedy.

Thoughts: This movie completely shits on serial monogamy. I've watched How to Be Single so many times since originally seeing it in cinemas when I was 16, and every single time I've had this feeling where I'm like fuck boys, I wanna hike the Grand Canyon on New Years' day and live in a cute apartment in New York City.

Snack: Harvest Snaps (9/10)


Mr. Nobody
The Premise: Jared Leto in a science fiction movie about life, the choices we make and fate.

Thoughts: This movie was so odd, kind of Kafka-esque, like, so many random things just kept happening. There were different lives, a spaceship going to Mars, heaven, the moment the universe stops expanding and starts contracting, which means that time goes backwards, the butterfly effect, true love, and lots of swimming pools. I feel like the soundtrack was really good.

Snack: Kettle Sensations white chocolate, macadamia & coconut popcorn (10/10)

Hot Summer Nights
The Premise: An angsty teen movie where Timothee Chalamet becomes a drug dealer

Thoughts: This is exactly how I'd imagine Timothee Chalamet to be if he went to my high school. Well, not my high school (I went to an all girls' private school), but maybe the catholic school next door.

Snack: Vege Deli Crisps purple & orange sweet potato + taro (9/10)

The Purge + The First Purge (the prequel)
The Premise: For one night a year, all crime is legal for 12 hours.

Thoughts: It's a horror movie, but then you realise that instead of a monster, it's people hurting other people. This movie explores human nature, violence and the shocking capacity we have to harm others. The prequel then scopes out the political reasons behind such a tradition - to eliminate the poor and the sick. After watching the movie my dad remarked, "Honestly, a better solution would be to release COVID-19 on the world. That seems to be doing the trick."

Snack: Grain Waves (6/10)

The Premise: A man with anterograde amnesia (meaning he can't make short term memories) tries to avenge his wife

Thoughts: Absolute mind-fuckery, plot-twist ending, highly recommend. Nice work Christopher Nolan, as per usual.

Snack: KitKat Snak 'It Sweet & Salty (6/10)

She's All That
The Premise: You know those TikToks that make fun of how in all 90's chick flicks the most popular guy in school makes a bet that he can turn the weird girl into prom queen, but then he falls in love with her? This is the movie they're talking about.

Thoughts: This used to be one of my regular go-to chick flicks when I was 13-16. Watching it now makes me realise how deluded teenage girls are. I mean, if I were the main girl, I'd be cringing at my entire life - the incredibly low self esteem, the fact that she needs someone to give her a makeover because she can't just makeover herself, and the fact that a guy is making a bet about her in the first place. That just goes to show how our views change for the better as we grow up. But I still love Freddy Prinze Jr, forever.

Snack: Peckish sea salt Puff Bites (5/10)

The Departed
The Premise: Leonardo DiCaprio versus Matt Damon in a double-agent gangster thriller

Thoughts: It was kind of like Killing Eve except Leo DiCaprio and Matt Damon aren't into each other. Imagine if Leo DiCaprio and Matt Damon were into each other.

Snack: Chippeas chicken salt flavour (4/10)

The Premise: Another Sofia Coppola movie! about a man, who is a womanising movie star, and his relationship with his 11 year old daughter, who is Elle Fanning.

Thoughts: Being a girl is so complicated. First and foremost, you're a human being, and then secondly, you're this thing to be objectified. But is it possible to be both? Once he sees you as a human being, can he still objectify you?

Snack: sour cream & chives black bean Harvest Snaps (4/10)

The Premise: A musical by Star Kid about Jafar, the misunderstood vizier. It's basically a Wicked for Aladdin. The whole thing is on YouTube.

Thoughts: What the f*ck did my friend just tell me to watch? It was actually really good and funny and whacky. I highly recommend.

Snack: Milky Bar cookie bites (7/10)

A Beautiful Mind
The Premise: Russel Crowe plays John Nash, the American mathematical genius, schizophrenic, 1994 Nobel Prize winner.

Thoughts: A truly moving movie. I feel like this is what they should've played us in that lecture where they tried to destigmatize schizophrenia. It was way better than a Ted Talk.

Snack: Infuzions mango & chilli salsa flavoured corn poppers (7/10)

The Premise: A Korean movie about a man who is imprisoned for 15 years without knowing why. Now that he's been let out, it's time to look for some answers.

Thoughts: I honestly feel traumatised. In my life I have seen a total of three Korean movies: a horror movie when I was young, Parasite and now this. Perhaps it's the genre I'm choosing, but all of these have been so magnificently horrific. I kind of love it.

Snack: Red Rock Deli cinnamon & apple crumble glazed nut mix (6/10)

The Edge of Tomorrow
The Premise: A groundhog day science fiction movie where Tom Cruise is unwillingly forced to fight in the front lines of an alien battle, during which he meets badass warrior Emily Blunt.

Thoughts: Just a movie with a really really good plot.

Snack: Bhuja Chip Mix butter chicken flavour (7/10)

Anyway, if you've got any movie recommendations, I've got nothing but time.