Wednesday Watching Post: What Are You Reading and Watching and Thinking and Listening to While I Enjoy California Sunshine (Finally!)?

Happy Wednesday! And also, happy first full sunny day since I have been in CA!!!! It actually feels like a vacation, and this afternoon we might go to a beach!

I’ll start!

Reading: I bought “Spare”, Prince Harry’s book, at the airport and read the whole thing on my flight out. My goodness, he needed a better editor.

Watching: Let’s see, my first night we watched The Romantics, the next night we watched The Room, and last night we watched Chennai Express because my friend has been saving it for 10 years. She confessed she felt better knowing there was one good SRK movie she still hadn’t seen, but now there is Pathaan, so she has another unseen good SRK movie out there to replace it. Tonight, perhaps JHMS? She’s already seen it, but only once. And as we all know, it’s the second viewing that really gets you.

Thinking: It is so nice to have friends! I get to visit this lovely person in CA, and while I am here, my friends back in Chicago built me a pantry so my kitchen will be less horrid when I return.

Listening: I still refuse to watch DTPH again, as I have the entire 7 years we have been friends, but she is making me listen to the soundtrack. This is currently playing in the kitchen. EVIL.

Question! Vitally important! If we do watch JHMS again, what is the ONE THING I should give her to look for while watching?

She is fluent in Hindi, so I am tempted to do the “bird” motif that Lisa just pointed out in the song lyrics and which went totally over my head because I don’t know enough Hindi. Or, just how much SRK looks at Anushka right from the start? Or the class idea, where he is considered a non-person because he is a servant and she is rich even though in Europe they are equal? Or the “ring” idea, how they are tied in a constant circle together? SO MUCH!!! And you can’t possibly see it all on one watch, so what is my ONE thing???


35 thoughts on “Wednesday Watching Post: What Are You Reading and Watching and Thinking and Listening to While I Enjoy California Sunshine (Finally!)?

  1. Sounds like your California trip is a huge success so far! Enjoy the sunshine today.

    Room is HEAVY! I was so emotional just reading the book that I can’t even image watching the movie. How was it? Did everyone cry?

    What did she think of JHMS when she watched it the first time? Did she love it? Did she think it was just fine and cannot understand the obsession with it? Did she think it was meh/kind of boring? I think what I would have her focus on would depend on her first reaction to the movie.


    • No no, not Room, The Room. The famously terrible movie that has become a cult classic. I’ve watched Room once and never feel the need to see it again. The Room, I could easily watch again and again.

      I dragged her and her husband to see JHMS in theaters with me and she was of the “pleasant, very well acted, rom-com” feeling. So, not rejecting it out of hand, but not OBSESSED. Which is where I was after my first watch, and I think maybe you were too? It takes a second watch to really see what is happening.

      Even higher stakes, she has never seen Love Aaj Kal 2. And that is a HARD one to sell!!!! Maybe if she “gets” JHMS on a second watch I try moving on to LAK2?



    Ashoka Vanamlo Arjuna Kalyanam ( Arjun’s wedding in the garden of Ashoka trees) with Vishvak Sen. I love Vishvak for Paagal which is one of my most beloved films, and here he is even cuter and sweeter.
    It’s a story of 33 years old bachelor, who is finally getting engaged (it’s arranged relationship). He and his family travel to Telangana for the engagement, but right when they are about to come back to their town, the lockdown starts, and they are forced to stay in the fianceé’s house.
    The plot doesn’t look very interesting written like that, but the force of the movie is in the performances and dialogues. This movie has everything a good rom-com should have: good actors, good chemistry, the guy is cute, the girl has his own character, work and passions, the music is good, it’s colorful and the clothes are pretty. I had this big grin on my face and during one scene I almost cry, because I needed this kind of romanticism so badly.
    Last by not least: Vishvak being super cuddly and wearing shirts a little too tight made my ovaries explode.

    Liked by 3 people

      • It was a very good week for movies. I made some changes in streaming subscriptions I had – canceled Netflix and Discovery+, because both became boring, and got Aha and an Italian ott with lots of great things e.g I finally watched Hitchcock’s Rebecca and started 7 brides for 7 brothers. Unfortunately they don’t have What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? which is another classic I’m searching.


    • Omg, I’m surprised you hadn’t seen this yet but I’m glad you loved it! AVAK was one of my favorites from last year. I think I saw it about 4 times last year and it made me a fan of Vishwak. Every time I showed it to someone else, they complained about how slow it was. The director’s first movie, Raja Vaaru Rani Gaaru, was also pretty sweet though I liked AVAK more.

      Have you seen Vishwak’s remake of Oh My Kaduvale? I remember that it’s a movie that you love but I thought Vishwak and Mithila Palkar did a pretty decent job with the remake.


  3. Great to hear about the weather and I hope you have a great time at the beach!! Not a lot of reading happened this week but yes there was quite a bit of watching and listening on Spotify.

    Watching: Zamana Deewana! Back when I first watched it I liked it, but I couldn’t fully articulate what it was that made me want to see it again. Now I think I know 😃 Plus a couple more rewatches of JHMS, because I can never get enough of that one. I think I also gave Zero a watch at one point, and I think I like it in parts more than in its entirety.

    Listening: Alright so in keeping with my JHMS obsession I think I also tried to see if there were any podcast-reviews that viewed the film positively and managed to find at least two or three. Also I wound up listening to various versions of Chaap Tilak.

    Oooh re: watching JHMS for the second time. That’s a good question, primarily because I think there are different themes and motifs in the film that can appeal to different people.

    For me the primary theme that seems to bind everything together seems to be that of Home and Journeys. If we look at – say – the bird motif from that angle: in Harry’s case birds are migratory animals, who fly as per the demands of nature and their bodies, and when he refers to himself as a bird returning to its nest in Butterfly, it indicates his return to his natural way of life. In Sejal’s case it’s different, because her problem isn’t being physically away from home; it’s the emotional disconnect she faces from her family and fiancé. So then the bird motif takes on a different meaning for her. As does the meaning of home, or of belonging. So if there is one thing I can think of to focus on, it’s what home means to different people. Similarly, rivers and oceans are an important part of the landscape and form a part of a local person’s culture and stories, so it was fitting it became a constant motif throughout the film.

    Another focal point could be how the concept of “layak” changes from Sejal to Harry. Sejal uses the word to indicate a specific kind of desirability. And Harry, although he never actually says the words, nonetheless believes he is unworthy.

    I hope your friend enjoys the second watch!! And I hope things get more and more better for you!


  4. I’d say that the thing to watch out in JHMS is the inner angst of Shahrukh’s character that is depicted in so many ways. That was the biggest thing that connected to me. And also please use subtitles because imo the Hindi dialogues are not very good and hard to follow what they mean in essence. Subtitles are so much better in JHMS


  5. I’m finally finished with the semester except for the purposeless meetings I have to go all the way to campus to attend.

    Yea, California! I hope you’re not in one of the places it snowed! (I guess not since you’re going to a beach).

    I finally finished one of my movies, Code Name Tiranga. It hardly needs to be said, but don’t bother. The last scene is shot from Parineeti’s POV, so it looks like a video game, where she just picks off bad guys one by one, while, no kidding, “Vande Mataram” plays in the background. You see her hands reloading in front of you, so it’s exactly like a video game.

    I decided I’m at peace with not finished Karthik Calling Karthik this time around. It just is so dated now, not just because it’s about an answering machine.

    Halfway through both Qala and The Romantics (I keep falling asleep, not the fault of the content). Enjoying both!


  6. I need to rewatch JHMS as I watched it once in theatre’s and thought it was ok but not rewatchable.

    Watching: I watched Shor in the City which was great. It was really funny and fresh though you could see Raj&DK were still quite raw in the techniques of their first film. I did wish that Tushaar Kapoor and Radhika Apte got a little more screentime as they were delightful and the best part of the film. Overall, I felt the acting from the main cast if a little stronger could’ve made the film even better but I enjoyed it lots. Currently watching The Banshees of Iniserin which is a totally different movie than I thought it was.

    Reading: Farewell to Arms since I don’t have so much time to read but I’m determined to finish the book off and move on to my next book that is Possesion by A.S. Byatt which is the book I was actually excited on reading.

    Listening: Kandukondain Kandukondain soundtrack since it is one of my favouirte movies and has the best soundtrack from the 2000’s according to me. Especially that song with Aishwarya singing by herself in a studio reminiscing “Yengae Enathu Kavithai”.

    Thinking: Summer and the weather since it has already started becoming hot where I live. I feel when I come back home that I am so dehydrated and it almost feels like Spring was skipped this year.


    • The Husband joined last night, so we did Chak De India, one of the all time best Husband movies. He loved it, of course. We all got super stressed at the ending shoot out, and agreed that we don’t want to hang out with Kabir Khan because the man is OBSESSED with Hockey and nothing else. Also, it’s weirdly both a feminist film and an anti-Cricket film.

      But tonight I have been promised JHMS!!!!

      Liked by 2 people

      • I LOVE Chak De! And I would totally want to hang out with Kabir Khan, I feel like we have had this discussion before. I would just play Vande Mataram or some other patriotic song to get him in the mood and then let things happen. 🙂


  7. Oh also, Husband and Mr. Toddles (who has reached an age where he cannot communicate yet but clearly knows how to throw a full on tantrum) are joining me in the Caribbean on a work trip the next week. Our first flight is fully booked and we are afraid only one of us will be able to sit next to Toddles. The flight is also during prime time fussy time! UGH!!!

    I welcome any tips on how to deal with a cranky 15-month old on multiple flights. Alternatively, just wish us luck!


    • I can only give Ear Tips for what has worked for me. Anything that involves cupping the ear to create a small environment is good, so if you have those ear protector sound head things for babies, that would be helpful. Or just your hand gently cupping the ear to create a seal. Or (a flight attendant did this for me once and it was amazing) Styrofoam cups with a steaming hot paper towel inside to make a little steam container that can be put around the ear.

      Otherwise, maybe sunglasses? Those planes are BRIGHT. And obviously, as much time crawling around as possible while waiting to get on.


      • Ooh thank you! We usually just have him drink his milk and that is usually enough for his ears but I will look up the ear cupping technique in case he is not hungry.

        And yes, we plan to let him loose before the flight to get his energy out and hope his immune system is strong enough to withstand the germs.


    • My husband would make cracks about benadryl and cherry coke with regards to the toddler because he loves the song Choctaw Bingo. BUT realistically dramamine comes in kids doses and my family HAS to use it because we have had so many vomit adventures on planes, and it does put at least one of my kids to sleep as well. USBORNE has some cool puzzle and plane books – they aren’t small to pack but can keep kids entertained for a while.

      Honestly when we had to take flights I essentially spoiled my kids with a new toy, wrapped as a present, every hour. Squishy dinosaurs, a tube of Safari toys, dry-erase coloring pads, picture books, and of course, toy airplanes.

      It looks like our favorite winde-up airplane book isn’t in print anymore, but they do have other wind-up options.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Genevieve— I just read this whole thing to the husband. Thank you so much for the tips and for introducing me to the winde-up books!

        We are going to the toy store tomorrow to pick up some small sensory toys.


  8. Margaret! Thanks so much for the card, how sweet of you <<<333 I haven't been around because real life has been insane, idk when it will let up honestly.

    Let me also recommend The Spy Who Dumped Me if anyone's in the market for a fun, easy watch.


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