My Monsoon Playlist.

Its July, 2018.

More importantly, its July in Mumbai. News flash for people who’ve never stepped foot in Mumbai in July: Its pouring here. All day, every minute and every second. Don’t get me wrong, I love it. I love the rains. I live for the rains and cancelled college classes. The rains are actually a weird route to self-discovery. They make you read more. They make you binge watch netflix more. And they make you discover tons of great music.

This is my Monsoon Playlist for July rains:
Girls Like You – Maroon 5
Is this Love? – James Arthur 
Budapest – George Ezra
Lie to Me – 5sos
Start Again – OneRepublic
Call me Sir – The Train

And here’s my new favourite Hindi songs!
Dilbaro – Raazi
Rangdaari – Lucknow Central
Dhadak title track

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Love, Simon (2018)

To say that I was excited to watch this movie is an understatement.

Love, Simon is based on a book called Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda – I read this book back in 2016 and I clearly remember it being my 2nd favourite book of the year. Becky Albertalli’s writing is addictive and easy and fun to read. Now, since I had already read the book (and LOVED it), I was extremely, totally excited when I saw the first trailer for the movie.

The movie is directed by Greg Berlanti (the creator of The Flash, Riverdale, etc.) and stars Nick Robinson (who’s had tons of movies this year and is so cute and adorable and tall), Katherine Langford (Go Hannah!), Jennifer Garner, Josh Dunhamel (MAN CANDY), Keiynan Lonsdale, amongst others. Despite being a relatively new cast, the acting in the movie is superb.

The basic plot of the movie revolves around Simon, a 17 year old closeted boy who finds the confession of another closeted boy at their high school on their confession page of the school (thats what I think it is!) – Simon emails this boy and they start talking and soon fall in love.

The best part about the book is that there are various chapters about these emails and was they write and talk about and so you can actually feel them and see them falling in love through the pages of the book and its amazingly beautiful.

Now, if you’ve read the book (just like me!) – then you already know who this mysterious closeted guy is and that makes watching the movie even more fun along with people who are clueless!

The movie is simple and cute and beautiful and a true win for the LGBT community and quite literally, a must watch (EVEN MY MOTHER APPROVED OF IT).

On top of everything, the movie has a GREAT playlist. I’ve found some of my new favourite songs and let me just bless your life with these:
Strawberries and Cigarettes – Troye Sivan
Wild Heart – The Bleachers
Love Lies – Khalid

The movie has the cutest ending scene and a happy ending which is so very rare in gay movies (I mean, Brokeback Mountain, Call me By Your Name, etc, etc, etc)

GO WATCH THIS MASTERPIECE OF A MOVIE IF YOU HAVEN’T ALREADY BECAUSE I’VE REWATCHED THE SCENES A MILLION, TRILLION TIMES.

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The Maze Runner: The Death Cure (2018)

After being a huge fan of the books, I obviously already knew what exactly was going to happen in this final installment of the movie series. (Spoilers: I was going to witness the brutal and sad and heartbreaking death of my favourite character)

Despite knowing how the movie would end, I was still silently hoping that by some random miracle the Director would’ve decided to actually keep my baby (Newt – Played by Thomas Brodie Sangster) alive. The movie starts off where the previous movie ended – Thomas and his friends deciding to rescue Minho and save a ton of other kids. Though the main storyline and crux of the movie is the same as the book, there are major changes; the biggest being that Newt figures out all on his own that he isn’t immune to the virus.

The movie is full of plot twists for people who haven’t read the books and by far is the best movie of the franchise. It also has a gut-wrenching letter that Newt writes to Thomas and by far the saddest part of the movie is when Thomas reads it. The movie is exciting and fun and happy and super sad all at the same time. The biggest low point of the movie is the fact that Minho barely has any role at all – which is completely opposite to the book.

On a whole, The Death Cure made me cry loads (for obvious reasons) but really is quite worth watching for anyone looking to end the series 45% happily.

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Call Me By Your Name (2017)

I’m going to start off this movie review with four words – “Watch this movie now.”

 

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Call Me By Your Name is essentially a love story. Its a love story between 17 year old Elio who’s spending his summer vacations at his family house, and 24 year Oliver who’s interning with Elio’s father.

This movie has everything. No exaggeration. It has brilliant acting by Timothée Chalamet so much so that he was nominated for an Oscar. It has a beyond brilliant soundtrack (my personal favourites are Mystery of Love and Visions of Gideon), and it has mind-blowing chemistry between Elio and Oliver – believe me, you will cry. The movie is based on a book by the same name and won the Academy Award for the Best Adapted Screenplay (so fucking well deserved)

The movie is just over 2 hours long and is beautiful and gut-wrenching, and I’ve re-watched my favourite scenes ten times. Call Me By Your Name is so beautifully simple that it sneaks into your heart and then messes with your mind at every step. Apart from the leads, Elio’s father is played by Michael Stuhlbarg and is by far my favourite character of the movie.

I’ve seen a ton of gay romance movies. And a ton of gay characters on a ton of different tv serials. I will say this. Call Me By Your Name is by far the best gay romance movie I’ve seen in a very, very long time. Granted, the movie is a little slow and without any action sequence that usually keeps the audience engaged, but the movie is so much more. I watched the movie two days ago and I really have no words to actually describe how the movie made me feel (warm, and fuzzy and happy and sad and teary-eyed)

My favourite part of the movie is when Elio’s mother translates a story for him and his father about a love struck man and quotes the following: “Is it better to speak or to die?” – the impact that this line has on the rest of the story line is monumental and won’t let you stop thinking about it.

One Direction and Zayn Malik

Today, when I was wasting time scrolling through facebook, I came across this really heartbreaking thing – Its been three years on today’s date that Zayn Malik left One Direction and simultaneously broke the hearts of a million people all around the globe.

Looking back to that sad day, I remember my friend calling me when I was eating dinner. I remember her asking, “Is it true?”, and remember having no clue what she was talking about. Then she asked me to check One Direction’s official Facebook account. Then I also remember checking their Wikipedia page (Side note: If something has a wikipedia page, you’re completely set.) – I remember showing the page to my brother where it very clearly said “Past Member: Zayn Malik”. Now, my brother has always loathed One Direction and their music and their adorable little faces, and my obsession with them. But on that particular day, my brother looked at the screen of my phone, then looked up at me and very sincerely said, “I’m sorry.”

I remember hating Zayn Malik for months. I remember hating his new single, and his new girlfriend. To this day, its my personal opinion, that One Direction going on a break actually started with that day Zayn Malik decided to leave. In a perfect world where he hadn’t left, I believe my favourite boys would still be intact, and together and making happy boyband music.

On the anniversary of this day when One Direction unofficially ended, here’s five of my favourite songs from the other bands I had to learn to cope with:

  1. 5 Seconds of Summer – End Up Here
  2. The Vamps – She Was The One
  3. Coldplay – Yellow
  4. Simple Plan – I Can Wait Forever
  5. OneRepublic – Let’s Hurt Tonight

Hindi Music and Meaningful Lyrics

I’d be lying out right if I said I’m a fan of Hindi music – I’m not. I haven’t been one for years; of course there was an inevitable time in my pre-teen years when I was a massive fan and by massive I mean, really, really super massive. I loved Hindi music and listened to Bollywood songs all day and made it a point to know the lyrics to every single song – all. the. time.

Now, as I grew up and people around me started to change (I went to a really fancy school), naturally my music choice changed. I’m not saying that I regret it, because I say this with complete humility – I LOVE my music choice. I love it. I love the bands I love, and I love the songs I love. I’m completely not ashamed with not knowing Hindi songs and actually knowing English songs more. Keeping that aside and looking at the industry as a whole, the quality of Hindi songs has quite fallen over the years and maybe its because of this opinion that I really shifted to English music. Hindi songs in the early 2000’s and during my parents time had a certain magic that songs right now do not. They had lyrics that made so much sense and lyrics that sounded beautiful, and on top of all of that, they had beautiful singers. If I had to do a survey, I’m sure at least 70% of the people of my age would feel the same and definitely agree that Hindi music a decade ago was MUCH better than Hindi music now.

Despite all this, once in a while, I stumble upon Hindi songs that I instantly take a liking to and then listen to them on repeat (especially in the gym). In recent times, I’ve also taken a liking to new remakes of old Hindi songs (good remakes, I promise) – So here’s a little Hindi music I’ve been listening to:

  1. Dil Diyan Gallan (Tiger Zinda Hai)
  2. Kya Hua Tera Wada (Pranav Chauhan – Unplugged cover)
  3. Jab Koi Baat (Atif Aslam, Shirley Setia and DJ Chetas)
  4. Tu Chahiye (Bajrangi Bhaijan)
  5. Lae Dooba (Aiyaari)
  6. Afreen (Coke Studio)

Books and more books?

I’m obsessed with books. Honestly, I feel obsessed is a very simple word, I think my obsession for books needs a word stronger than obsession. Because of this, every year whenever there’s a chance for anyone to gift me, I’m always hoping they gift me books. In fact, I make it a point to let everyone know that I really want, or even need, anything other than books. (It sucks when people don’t follow that)

I met my friend for lunch the other day and she gifted me four books for my birthday! The best part is people always ask me what books I want and I, shamelessly, send them a long list for them to choose from and so I’m always gifted the books I really want – (its a flawless technique, please try it)

I make my brother gift me books (mostly) on every gift-able occasion and I gift myself books of every gift-able occasion and thus currently my To be Read pile consists of 9 books (oops)

All in all, how unhealthy is this obsession? Or how healthy is it? I mean, I learn tons of things from various books, and I find a lot of wisdom between these pages and I’m never bored because I always have a book to read! So really, in the long run, isn’t it much better being obsessed with books than with cocaine?

On a more positive notes, here’s two of my favourite reads from this year!
1) The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck by Mark Mason
2) Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (because why not?)