DIRECTING PYGMALION

My-Fair-Lady---_2877510bWell today we had our ‘big event’. This is what our English teacher calls the day when we perform the plays that we have in our syllabus as a part of the course and on which we will actually be marked in the exam. You know I find it extremely surprising that given how much I hate him, he probably is the one person that I would have talked about the most. Not that I want to talk about him in this post as this post is solely dedicated to me creating our own version of Pygmalion, which we better know as My Fair Lady, starring Rex Harrison, Audrey Hepburn and Jeremy Brett (;)).

But first who don’t know about either-Pygmalion 101. Pygmalion is a Greek tale of this, I want to say, king who did not find earthly women good enough for him so he created a statue of the woman, he felt would be a perfect one and when he was done he realised that he had fallen in love with this woman. He prayed to the gods and they granted his wish by bringing Galactea, i.e. the statue to life. Now in Pygmalion, the play, written by George Bernard Shaw, we see Professor Higgins, an almost misogynist decides to take on a bet to make a Duchess out of a flower girl, or at least make people believe that she is a Duchess, as he was a linguistics professor who would turn her cockney accent into that of the genteel class. Thus we see them embarking on a tiresome journey which eventually brings Prof. Higgins success as Eliza, the heroine manages to befool everyone that she is a Duchess.

In the play, she ends up with a guy called Freddy because she does not like the way Higgins treated her as if she were a doll which he could throw away when he would get tired it. She was just another challenge to him and not a human being. We also see this character of Eliza’s father who realises that her daughter is being used by some like Higgins for an experiment and hence decides to extract money out of the situation, thus highlighting the clash of the moralities. But in the movie she ends up with Prof. Higgins, I guess to sort of give it a happy ending. Besides, there exists this extra character called Carpathy in the movie who is another distinguished linguist, a student of Higgins himself and the real test for Eliza thus becomes to fool him.

Now apparently, it was written to be performed as a musical. Hence even when we see the movie, we see quite a lot of songs, a lot actually. Now we did not have such terrific singers hence we decided to ‘bollywoodenize’ the situation. So, firstly, because everyone wanted a ball scene complete with a queen and everything, so I decided to keep Mr. Carpathy from the movie but so that the essence of he play remains, we sent Eliza with Freddy. Now these ideas literally just came up randomly in the periods that our English teacher used to give us for ‘Play Practice’, we used to go to the ‘allotted rooms’, one for each play and then ‘practice’. We really did not have a script till the last day. Our last scene was created minutes before our actual performance. Oh My God, I was laughing so hard upstairs in the sound box from where I was controlling the lights on stage thinking of what we had been doing throughout. I think I finished fat book while passing time in this free time he had given to us for efficiently using them to put up a show on the day of the ‘big event’.

Then we added a bit of humour by putting in Indian songs wherever, they seemed fit. So when Freddy and Eliza first collide, we added the epic tune of DDLJ (it is a very famous Shahrukh Khan movie that has been running for years and years because the fans love it so much you can hear it here- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CDeNqC2R5-E ). Now towards the end Eliza runs away from Higgins’ house in the night, so here we played Gumshuda, another Shahrukh Khan song which basically means someone who has gone missing (hear it here-https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7N29spcYPBc ) I actually also hate the guy who played Higgins, he is such a kiss ass, but because I was directing, I got to boss him as much as I wanted. Most importantly, he took upon himself to cut the script short on the condition that no changes will be made to it. I agreed because it reduced my work. So when the script actually came, I never really paid attention, so when I tried doing what I do best,directing, he kept coming in between saying don’t do it like this, my way is better blah blah blah….Argh. Then I simply gave up and said you want to direct, go ahead because, I cannot tolerate insubordination. I know what you are thinking, I should be in the military, some day my friend, some day. But eventually people got fed up him because of his extremely stupid ideas. He wanted to switch the genders of the protagonists and create a whole new story. Great idea, but no way in hell would anyone want to put in that much effort for the English Teacher’s play, believe me, our teacher has a knack for pissing anyone off. Moreover because my friend who was playing the cockney Eliza (we had two Eliza’s one cockney and the other who spoke proper English) is a huge Audrey Hepburn fan, so she was extremely excited about the play, so much so that she wanted to direct and let me be Eliza and not half but with the entire set of dialogues. But I convinced her to change her mind, more so because I was not willing to put in the effort of learning the dialogues again (oh yes we have to go through this torture twice in the first year of the college, last time I was in Antigone by Sophocles, playing Antigone herself) and the gender swapping ideas had made her mind go numb with rage. This is when I decided to intervene and take my charge back again, actually because now the script had been once explained to the cast so I knew what I had to direct. Thus finally we put up Pygmalion.

HIMYM v F.R.I.E.N.D.S.

I do not understand why people actually even compare these two because obviously, Friends is way better, still, on my cousin’s advice, I decided to watch How I Met Your Mother, to finally come to the conclusion that Friends rocks and here is why. First let me make this clear that this analysis comes from a viewing of 3 seasons of HYMIM and well all seasons over Friends, maybe 10 times over. But but I assure you that I will try to write as objectively I can.

Now firstly, why did I say that there is no competition because I saw so much of Friends in HYMIM. Theodore Vivian Mosby, the lead- I want to fall in love and get married, now haven’t we seen this before? Haan haan, first episode of Friends…….

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Then another one which I saw was Ted has a habit of correcting people incessantly….Again does it ring any bells?

Then please nobody can disagree that Barney is the slightly cheaper version of Joey- complete with their own catchphrases, I hope this needs no explanation.

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Lily is again a I’d say less prettier version of Monica. Why? Both are the mother hen of the group and also the ones who take care of everyone an are compassionate.

Now this is something that I just saw in the last episode of season 3, Barney suddenly starts liking Robin-Oh wait- Did I say at how many levels, Robin and Ted are like Ross and Rachel. Ok Ok lets first talk about that. So, everyone knows how the girl is out of the league of the hero and the girl cannot handle a serious relationship right now. I agree that is not quite the case for Ross and Rachel but what makes them similar for me is the fact that they both date for a year and after breaking up they have this lingering tension between them and keep going on and off and even end up sleeping with each other. The hero and heroine want to get together but don’t.

Coming back to Barney and Robin, Joey also fell in love with Rachel, the ex of the hero, whom he still has feelings for. Then one last thing, this one is actually lame but still all are in New York. So how much ever anybody tries to convince me that HYMIM’s better, it is just something that is another thing which is like friends except newer and with a fresh story twist but it does goes around friends who are each others family and look for comfort within this small group of people.

This is something that I recently noticed which was that they have a Thanksgiving tradition to.

But again I would chose Friends over HYMIM any day. So, you know………..

THE MARKERS OF A LAW STUDENT

I have always been skeptical as to how law school will change me because come on, one needs a serious commitment to become a fully functioning adult which I am sure I don’t have. But the thing with law school like any other educational institutes is that it creeps into you very sutlely. But what is different about the way the law school brings about this change is highly visible. When you want to be an engineer or an architect or a musician or a doctor or fashion designer, you tend to show interest in activities related to the field before hand. Like for architecture or for fashion designing you need a basic skill set of being able to draw with a steady hand, which I can’t do for life.

Or maybe I am being stereotypical but I guess in India, law is the probably the last resort in India, STILL…. I don’t feel that one requires any extra special skills except for maybe a bit of logical reasoning. So I guess the changes are rather noticeable. I decided to list the changes. I felt that we start using fancier words in daily conversations. Especially words like ‘legitimately’, ‘legally’, ‘technically’, ‘well according to the law’ etc, etc. The thing with using these fancy words is that they make you slightly irritating because you start correcting people and sometimes one doesn’t realise that the other person does not really give a shit about what you say after the ‘aforesaid’ words. And the best part is you do is unconsciously, you don’t notice it one bit.

Then of course, this habit is something that you can even see in my posts now, my posts are in the justified alignment. Our research papers are to be written in Times New Roman, 12 font, 1.2, justified alignment of the text. So now every time I write, I ensure that at least it has justified alignment if not the other things cause I have realised how infinitely cooler it looks and more neater.

Then, there is one thing that I really am not proud of. Finding humor in judgments. It makes me feel sad that we find stuff that judges say funny, it is ironical. So there was this judgment called Suresh and Anr. v State of Uttar Pradesh and it was delivered by Judge Thomas and the judgment was written so fantastically that I read it twice, the second time just for the fun. It is basically an awesome judgment. We just keep mentioning it when we talk about great pieces of literature. Or funny laws, it is just weird that our source of humor has come to this.

Thinking that Saturdays will be a holiday makes you feel that your weekend is suddenly longer, maybe that is college specific because we have classes on saturday quite often, and I have made a rule that if saturday is working then I don’t go home for that weekend hence my weekend become much better if Saturdays are a holiday. Though we have the incentive of having to stay back is that Saturdays are Chinese for dinner and I just realised that I missed the mango shake that is there for today. Shit!

You become experts in faffing or basically discussing stuff that you have no idea about or you can use big words and put the same point again and again differently each time. There are whole activities are dedicated to it also called- Parliamentary Debating. Even to some extent mooting.

Then of course, again unconsciously, you become argumentative and in daily conversations r especially when you are publically speaking, you tend to use words like “what we are trying to tell you” or “we come here and tell you” and stuff like that, that one bugs the hell out of me. So this time, while giving the farewell to the outgoing batch, one of the passing out students gave a speech, while doing that he pointed out a few faults with other speeches given. I wanted to shout that please don’t do that, don’t ruin farewell by giving such an argumentative speech, but first years can’t do that can they :(.

Then there is simple stuff like noticing details and pointing out faults with people’s s statement, especially while watching ‘Newshour’ with Arnab Goswami, I love it when he makes mistakes with law cause I hate watching the show but for some reason my dad seems to enjoy watching people shout at each other incessantly but then this helps me get back at the show. It is precious.

These are things that I have just noticed, well, if you feel there are more why don’t you post it in the comment 🙂

THE LESS-KNOWING TEACHER’S COMPLEX

With about a month to go to me finishing my first year in law school, I have come up with this theory, The Less Knowing Teacher’s Complex, not in any way related to law. But first things first, sorry for such a long delay. You know when I see a few of my teachers, I realise, when one really doesn’t know enough about one’s topic that they are supposed to teach us, a class of 78 students, what goes on in their minds?? Now I am not being mean, OK, nor am I badmouthing my college. Today we gave a farewell to the batch of 2015 and though this is completely unrelated to them passing out of college but it still made me think, what am I doing with my life? And that is when it got me thinking about my teachers and how some of them annoy the crap out of me, because of well, you guessed it right, the less-knowing teacher’s syndrome.

Now, the first sign of such a teacher is their heavy reliance on powerpoint slides, even if it was the subject of their PhD. If they do not have their slides, they tend to stutter while teaching or if there is no choice, make a move to a topic for which they have the slides. Then they will practically read out stuff from the slides and assume that you are listening to them and hence there is no need for you to note down the stuff in the slides. These slides, as they like to think, are their secret weapons. They will never give you these slides even if you beg. They know that if they give away the slides, no one will pay attention to what they are saying because even they themselves know that no one pays attention to what they utter in class.

Another thing I have noticed, that works both ways, is that these teachers , flowing from the fact that no one actually pays attention to them, either feel that the one moment that they need to be in the eyes of everyone in the class is when they come in. They will ensure that everyone is standing and only then greet the class. They will be willing to spend a full 5 minutes to ensure that everyone acknowledges their presence by standing up in their honour. They will provide randomest of the reasons to do it but they want people to just do it to maybe get that 15 seconds of fame. Or these teachers might just come and start speaking without noticing whether people have actually settled down or not. Maybe they feel, if they don’t break into that rut of their speech, they will forget what they are here to talk about.

Also these teachers are the ones that feel that they can do anything in the college including mandating attendance for something like an utterly unnecessary and pointless class that was not supposed to be there in the first place -wait for it- by the academic rules as in legitimately the teacher cannot ask you to show up. Because they cannot exert their influence anywhere else, they try to do it through any other means that are in their control like your project/research paper topics. They try to threaten you through these two things, namely attendance and projects, because hallelujah, marks for both count.

These teachers have ego issues- and they have them big time. So if they allege that you were talking or doing any other ‘unparliamentary’ (sorry law school effect) and you merely say that you weren’t, they will feel that you are calling them a liar or talking back to them . Hence if anything goes wrong in class, they will without knowing who actually did it will hold you responsible and thus you will end up being subjected to a long series of not being given attendance (when you valiantly, or not so valiantly, tried to fight sleep through his/her class), less marks for papers or projects etc etc.

They also have other ways of asserting their importance- mentioning exams. They feel if they point out stuff like, today’s discussion will come in the paper, they think people will have this sudden urge to actually leave Facebook, 9GAG, ScoopWhoop, Tumblr or in my case Stumble Upon and pay attention, sometimes I feel such pity for them. And, they will definitely avoid taking questions from people who are prone to asking smart questions. Because, obviously, if they will not be able to answer them, it will become a huge prestige issue for them. They will also refuse to give you free periods because their supremely important subject might suddenly lag behind in syllabus because of a free periods here and there. These teachers will also have problems with you leaving class because that again for them is an affront, even if you have a hand that is bursting with puss and requires a change of bandage or if you actually genuinely want to go to the washroom.

These teachers also have a tendency to suddenly take discussions away from the topic that is actually being discussed in class to something completely unrelated and preferably something related to their own experiences, especially, if they are self-glorifying experiences. These teachers also love taking the first class of the day because they feel that their subject needs the maximum amount of attention, because it is oh-so-technical that we will understand only in the morning when we are actually still waiting for the caffeine to kick in. I think Nescafe has stopped working on me. They will repeat what they have said at least five times, I guess more for themselves than for us, probably, want to be sure what they are saying is correct :P. They also have this annoying, not that all of it before this was not annoying, habit of suddenly asking questions on some homework that they had supposedly given us. This also gives them another chance of pointing out how incompetent the class is and how great our luck is to have such a teacher, who knows all about this supposed homework that we had to do and will hence be enlightening us about it.

I don’t know whether it is law school or just me that my tendency of committing murder,mind you- not CULPABLE HOMICIDE, is increasing everyday. It feels like a pointless day sometimes but then I guess this is what is called paying your dues.