Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The Dark Side of Grey's Anatomy

Before I reached my rebellious, I'll-do-what-I-want phase, I had to follow the rules that were implemented at home. There weren't too many of them.. just some general curfew rules, and some about studies. I didn't have a problem with most of the rules. But the one rule I remember that irked me was the 'No-TV-on-weekdays' rule.

My father was always the anti-TV person at home. He believed that TV was a waste of time, especially for kids. He wanted my sister and me to do something "constructive" with our free time. He always told us to get out of the house, play something, try something new, do anything other than spending an hour in front of the TV. (He still says that, actually). And that was the time when IIT had just gotten many new channels on cable... Cartoon Network and Disney Channel were the new "thing" amongst the kids. And so, that 'No-TV-on-weekdays' rule really irked.

Then, when I grew past the age of having to follow the rules, I entered an obsessive TV-watching phase. I discovered the wonderful, wonderful world of downloaded episodes, fell in love with Patrick Dempsey and spent most of my after-class-10th vacations making my father hover on the brink of shouting at me by obsessively downloading and watching the entire series of Grey's Anatomy, among other shows. College in Singapore put a halt to my excessive downloading, but then the online streaming of Will and Grace and Two and A Half Men started.

After years of all this, I have, of course, realised that the world of TV-watching isn't as harmless as I had claimed when I argued with my father about his rules. I don't know whether all the violence on TV influences teenagers or not, or whether the "Western beliefs" showed on TV are infiltrating and corrupting my "Indian culture". I do, however, know that these TV shows can be highly depressing.

I don't generally wish that I had a guy as perfect as Derek Shepherd from Grey's Anatomy in my life, or go "Awwww...." when Derek and Meredith's legendary love overcomes all obstacles (such as Derek being married) in the show. It's not the love stories that make me jealous or melancholy. It's all the drama in TV series that I find depressing. I find myself wishing that my life had some of the constant drama that exists in Tree Hill or Seattle Grace Hospital. I want my life to be more interesting. I want something, anything, to happen!

That's why I think watching so much TV is bad for me. Not because it wastes a lot of time that would be better spent doing the work I have piled up, or because it gets me very involved in the lives of people that don't exist, but because the hectic and dramatic lives of those non-existent people makes me feel bored and unsatisfied with my own normal life.

Friday, March 13, 2009

I'm Actually an Adult!

It's a little weird how living so far away from home is forcing me to do all sorts of things I never would have had to do if I was living at home. For example, I wouldn't have to pay (or bother) to do my own laundry, nor would I have to hunt for vegetarian-food-serving restaurants (or cook for myself). I wouldn't have to walk to college while it's raining bloody cats and dogs, and get completely soaked on the way, or pester my hostel-in-charge to come and fix the blocked sinks in my unit.

I also wouldn't be in a situation where I would find myself homeless in a month unless I arrange for some accommodation myself. I wouldn't have to call a dozen real estate agents, searching for a decent, affordable apartment that meets the varied specifications and expectations that my 4 flat-mates and I have. I wouldn't have to negotiate the rent down, pay commission to the agent, or sign leases.

But, after a couple of weeks and $60 worth of phone calls and messages, I finally have an apartment. And a really killer one at that. We sign something called the 'Letter of Intent' today, and the official lease/contract sometime next week. I have to say, I'm a little proud of myself for doing all this work. Even though I didn't actually manage to negotiate the rent of this place down by much, I did talk down the rent for two other apartments that we didn't end up taking, and I did it all almost by myself.

I don't know whether this experience and all the other experiences that I personally don't believe I'm old enough (or sensible enough) to be having right now are teaching me anything, or making me more mature and sensible. But I do hope they are. Starting April, I will be living completely unsupervised in an apartment with four other girls, and I really hope I'm ready for all the expected responsibilities (such as paying the bills and the rent on time) and the unexpected responsibilities that we will all have to bear. I'm actually an adult now; I'm growing up!

On a slightly related note: sometimes, the amount of independence I have here overwhelms me. It hits me at random moments: how I'm completely free to do almost anything I want. I have complete control over my expenditure. I can buy things that my parents certainly wouldn't let me buy if I was at home, I can go out and not have a curfew, I can skip a lecture and go shopping instead. I think this freedom actually teaches me more responsibility than I could ever have learned living at home. Maybe I actually can deal with having my own place better than I think I can.