The Internet Personified: Where you lead, I will follow
(So I tried to send this newsletter out on SUNDAY, but stupid Tiny Letter flagged it for some reason--think because of an Amazon link--and is not responding to my thousand emails or tweets. At least now we know their support is buggy. Anyway, if they decided to unfreeze that last email at some point, you might get two copies of this newsletter, so kill the spare, as Voldemort would say. Onwards!)
This was the week of the much-anticipated, long-awaited Gilmore Girls reboot and I'm sure I and my fellow fan girls annoyed the hell out of everyone else on our Facebook feeds by discussing it endlessly, but hey, every fandom has a right to speak out, right? I don't know why GG fans aren't taken as seriously as Star Trek fans for example (i.e. within the fan WORLD. Not actually seriously). Actually I DO know why. It's because GG is about relationships and relationships are too boring, too mundane, too feminine to be of larger interest. WELL. I think all the gazillions of fans who actually got this reboot to happen would disagree with you, SO THERE. (Who is this "you"? I don't know. I'm just picking a fight.) Anyhow, so I watched the Four Seasons and had lots of feels, but I appreciate that you may not want spoilers in your inbox, so.. yeah. Watch it, because you MUST watch it, but also.. hmmmm. You'll know what I'm talking about once you've seen it.
This week in entertaining: For my GG viewing party I made dip for chips, which is very easy to make and always fancies up a party, a whole vat of popcorn which I sexed up with an olive oil-oregano-salt-pepper dressing (this was the stove top popcorn, not microwave, so it came without butter etc) and I also invented a drink with tequila but I used Bloody Mary vodka proportions, which meant it had to be watered down a LOT before anyone could drink it. Never mind, I have now perfected it. (Tequila + triple sec + pomegranate juice + soda + lime + a dash of Tabasco. It had a GG-themed name for the day, but today (i.e Sunday), when I have some friends over for brunch, I'm just calling it Pom-Paloma.) (UPDATE: was a TREMENDOUS success.)
This week in Discussion: I read this book called A Murder In Time, in which an FBI agent finds herself in the 18th century solving a crime there. Thrilling. But it also made me think about time travel tropes, which I tweeted about a little, but will now expand.
i) Everyone who time travels is always so goddamn knowledgeable about the time they've travelled to. Like take Claire in Outlander. She knows so much about the Jacobite revolution, she may as well be a non-fiction author on a very specific subject. I think I would wind up super lost and confused, because really, who has any head for dates? Unless it's only the people good with dates who are able to travel in time, which seems unfair.
ii) How do you deal with your period? How do you wipe your bum? (If I time travelled back in India, everything is still very civilised.)
iii) So I picked a year off the top of my head. Say I time travelled back to Delhi in 1765. I would be LOST, right? I decided to do some Wikipedia-ing to see what my story would be. In 1765, Delhi has a puppet ruler, one of the Mughals only, but a lame one, called Shah Alam II (aka Gauhar Khan). Ol' Shah Alam has been in hiding for a bit, but the Marathas are on this massive conquest of North India and are going to put him back on the throne in another year or so. MEANWHILE, the Brits have just established Company Rule, Warren Hastings is a young hip administrator and Robert Clive is a few years away from the great Bengal famine.
iv) Original plan: kill Hastings, get in good with the Marathas, pause British rule long enough for Indians to be able to take back their country before is too late. Forgot: we don't really have a united India yet. Also, how to get to Hastings? Simple: will pose as ayah to Brit family. Like this lady.
v) Hastings turns out to be not only cute (see photo below) but also good guy. Who I want to kill is really Robert Clive, who is not only ugly but also responsible, pretty much, for ten million deaths.
vi) However, if I kill Clive and no Bengal famine and Brits kicked out in general, then no Indian Administrative Service, no parents meeting in Delhi over IAS exams and I would not even be born. Is my life worth ten million others? Would something worse have happened if the Bengal famine hadn't? DISCUSS. (As promised, here's young cute Hastings.)
vii) PS: re: periods, I could either use a soft cloth or just leave a trail of blood like the Germans did.
Video of the week: LOVE love this "evolution of girl band" video done acapella by ONE very talented woman.
This week in stuff I wrote: As Aunty Feminist, on shutting down horrible women without being sexist. ** In my relationship column, all the music that men have left behind for me. **
Reading list: How a hiker vanished into thin air in the Himalayas. ** Via Isha on Facebook, this story from 2011 on a weird suicide pact and a couple in Goa left me feeling strangely haunted. ** Great interview with Karthika who is sadly leaving Harper Collins just as they're about to publish my next book. ** In The Daily Pao, Mumbai's best speciality bookstores. ** Can you reduce neonatal deaths just by encouraging women to hold babies to their bare skins? They're trying it in villages across India. ** RWAs and how they secretly (or not) rule your life. ** Behind India's offline meme: Sonam Gupta Bewafa Hai. (Saw it scribbled on the door of an empty ATM the other day.) ** Huff Po interactive: where do you fall on India's income pyramid? The results will shock you. (Well, some of you.) ** How Bollywood has fucked Ladakh. (And irresponsible tourists as well. Let's not blame Bollywood entirely, guys.)
Phew, very long newsletter this week! Thanks for reading, guys. Have a great week and I'll see you Sunday with our usual programming.