An Open Letter to the Guy Who has a Crush on Me

Dear Guy Who is Deluded into Thinking He Likes Me,

I am touched in the deepest recesses of my heart that I have had the opportunity to be your crush. Thank you for this unique baptism, this utterly rare honor that you have chosen to bestow upon me. I shall never forget it.

I am at that point in my life where the turn of events has torn apart my safe haven and burnt it to ashes. To add to this misery, I have just finished watching a really good Korean Drama and after those unreal 16 episodes of pure bliss, I’m left more melancholic than ever.

So, I’ll quote the drama at you: Human beings are lonely from the moment they are born. I’ve not found any statement to be more true. At the core of every struggle and every pang of misery, at least for me, is loneliness. I don’t think I’ve ever fit in at any place that I’ve been at. I’m always longing for something else, for someone else, for someplace else. This need is insatiable, a burning fire that no water, no air, no land can extinguish. I’m always in want of something, something that is just out of reach and quite impossible, that I think would make life bearable. But it doesn’t, if I ever get it.

So with this stage setting in mind, with raging storms and unapologetic cyclones added to the drama for the amusement of whoever is the audience to my comically ironic life, you can imagine what a sunshine your misguided and unrequited feelings for me are. To be crude, it makes me feel less shitty about myself.

Like most people, I often feel starved for love and appreciation. One of my favorite songs at the moment, besides being the work of pure genius, has the lyrics that I have found myself feeling time and again:  “And all I do is cry and complain, because second’s not the same.” It’s a really shitty feeling to be drowning in all the time, when the radar that helps you detect all the avoidable bullshit in your life is broken.(Which is like 78.32% of the times.)

So in these waters, the fact that I am your crush makes me really happy. It’s unbelievable another human being could ever feel that way about me. And because of this, I think you are super awesome. I hope and pray you end up with someone who will give you the love you deserve until the stars fall from the sky.

All I can promise, in exchange for this priceless gift, is my undying adoration for you. I will always root for you in every aspect of your life; I’m forever Team You. I will never forget this.

All My Love

The Receiver of Your Unrequited Temporary Feelings

 

© That Girl in the Fray, 2017. All rights reserved.

Featured Image: ‘The Letter’. Art print by Wladyslaw Czachorski. 

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The Goblin’s Bride

They say I’m the Goblin’s Bride in faint whispers in my ears

They say I’m the Goblin’s Bride in faded words of the dying dirge

I know my destiny defines what I should do

I believed it all until the day I met you

 

My tragic fate is decided as is yours

Sealed behind the burden of iron clad doors

 

But I  refuse to believe I was born to turn you into ash

I choose to live loving you (while being teasingly rude and brash)

The first snow of the year melts in my heart when I hear your voice

Let the cherry blossoms bloom, the maple leaves fall, let the Deity know I stand by my choice

 

I choose you

Forever.

Salanghae

 

© That Girl in the Fray, 2017. All rights reserved.

We Need to Talk about ‘Uncontrollably Fond’ and Other Things

(Fair Warning: Contains Spoilers)

This week is difficult for me, as winds of change wash over the writings in the sand and the things that kept me going for a while come to an end.

It is my own hubris of watching Korean Dramas on a loop that has brought me to the brink of melancholy and hopelessness. And to add to the ending of all my favourite dramas, is the actual ending of Uncontrollably Fond.

With the Park Shin Hye starrer Doctors ending a few weeks ago, the lighthearted comedy Beautiful Gong Shim ending way before that and my favourite drama of all times W- Two Worlds being just one episode away from forever ever premiering a new episode, I feel hollow. Life seems pointless, among other typical withdrawal symptoms gnawing at my mind, body and soul.

The reason I started watching Uncontrollably Fond was singular, if I’m being pragmatic. And that reason is called Kim Woo Bin.

His return to tv after The Heirs was a big deal. I got hooked to the drama even before the first episode was released, following all the updates on Facebook and Instagram. I was counting down the days to its premiere, like thousands of others.

And, like thousands of others, I too was a bit disappointed with the way the plot of Uncontrollably Fond panned out to be.

I too cannot help but blame the writers for this. I’m pained that they wasted a really good opportunity, with a stellar cast being a part of the project and a great fan following backing the undertaking. The drama turned out to be a muddled mess that gave me more anxiety than a heartburn in the middle of the night and not enough divine moments of magic that usually balance out the sting of the necessary story-developing desolation. In this case, pretty much most of the desolation was unnecessary.

The characters struggled way too much, whether it was the female protagonist Noh Eul, trying to get out of the suffocation of not doing anything about her father’s murderer or the people who intervened when she tried to get justice, or whether it was the female antagonist Yoon Jung-Eun, the woman whose speeding sports car killed Eul’s father, as she tried to be an unrealistic villain I failed to feel the remotest pity for.

The way I see it, Jung Eun encompasses an indigestible mix of bad qualities. I failed to relate to that, because as we well know: it’s never all black and white. I wish I knew more about her motherless past to understand why she turned out to be who she turned out to be.

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I don’t understand Eul’s character either, to be honest. She’s a weak female whose only goal is to survive. While I can imagine there must be people in the world who are like that, it was traumatic seeing her fall and stumble, while never standing up for herself against the mighty and the powerful. Most scenes involving her gave me stomach ulcers.

The way the plot progressed was saddening: it was slow, brutally sad and painful and boring. Like the scene where Eul is supposed to go on a trip with Shin Joon Young, the protagonist, in the midst of all the pain and sadness. Eul and Joon Young promise each other to leave their troubled worlds behind and spend 5000 years together in their reclusive runaway home. And just before Joon Young can get the car, the police arrests Eul, while Joon Young crawls on the floor towards her after he has an attack due to his brain tumor. I died screaming after watching that scene, feeling so shitty and empty that I finished off all the Oreos I could find in my close vicinity and then ordered a pizza with extra cheese. I felt worse after that.
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It’s excruciating to watch Joon Young die slowly, with the fact that he is going to die being disclosed to us in the first episode and him actually dying in the last episode.

And in between these two episodes, it’s beyond excruciating to watch him punish himself for what he did to Eul in the past, pushing away Eul because he thinks he doesn’t deserve her and being downright cruel to her at every possible instance while pining for her at every other possible instance. Too much drama. Not enough romance. All the time that he had left wasted.

Although, if I’m being honest, this did help a tad bit to ease my pain.

Let’s Bitch About the Ending 

The ending of the series. The reservoir of broken hearts and unfathomable buckets of tears. The shatterer of souls and hope. The reason for me screaming and crying while hugging my pillow and rocking back and forth on the cold floor. It’s all pretty synonymous.

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It’s the way they ended it that knocked the wind out of me.

I was reading the comments on the last scene on Facebook and someone suggested that Shin Joon Young held for as long as he did because he was waiting to see his mother one last time. I sat still for a minute staring into nothingness after reading that.

What killed me most was how he falls asleep (then dies) on Eul’s shoulder and there’s this drop of blood, trickling from his nose throughout the entire scene as Eul says her goodbye. I could have very well imagined the blood, but this has to be one of the most painful scenes ever. The beauty of it was just how simple and serene it was, devoid of any unnecessary factors.

And then, we have to wait another five minutes to confirm that he actually died. I kept wishing, kept praying until the end that he beats the odds somehow, that he recovers miraculously, for this is a Korean Drama after all!

It was after the final scene of the show when the last shred of hope left me that I started uncontrollably bawling.

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Can We Talk About How Amazingly Talented Kim Woo Bin is?!

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While the entire cast does a pretty decent job, I believe it is Kim Woo Bin who carries the show on his bare shoulders, pun unintended because his shoulders were barely bare except in that one scene.

His acting is flawless in the entire series. While I’m not quite happy with Suzy Bae’s performance in a scene or two, I cannot at all complain about Kim Woo Bin. The scene that knocked me over was the one in which his mother comes over to see him, which turns out to be their last meeting before he dies.

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It’s one of the most heart wrenching scenes ever and the way Kim Woo Bin executes it is downright unearthly.

I love his work in Uncontrollably Fond more than The Heirs.

Moral? Verdict? Life Lesson??

It became a bit of a drag towards the middle, but I did love watching Uncontrollably Fond. The story will forever live in my heart.

This drama has escalated my love and appreciation for Kim Woo Bin as an actor. There were moments when I was enthralled and moments that touched my core. It has been, as it always is, another lesson in humanism and character.

I feel like the world is created in pairs that are polar opposites of each other. For every thesis, there is an anti thesis, for every good a bad, for every god a devil. We may not understand why this happens, but it does and it is something we need to remember while dealing with the world. There will always be suffering for happiness to exist and with every low, there will be a high. The characters in the drama prove this.

And while a few plot holes and story line blunders did mar a tad bit of its brilliance, Uncontrollably Fond was a good journey and I’m glad it exists in this world.

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© That Girl in the Fray, 2016. All rights reserved.

Twenty Again

For a twenty something puerile wander-lusting simpleton at the precipice of her life juvenile, the theme behind this story would not mean much in theory. But life is never theoretical. The reason I’m well acquainted with this fact is that I’ve mapped out the safest routes in my life on paper, leaned on the safest people to trust theoretically and followed theoretically approved philosophies. But at the end of every turn and every relationship, I’ve found the unexpected; the good and bad in equal have been my comrades.

In other words, to hell with theory. Life is life, unpredictably dark and stormy and blue and tranquil.

I can’t really explain why I relate so much to this Korean drama I’m obsessed with at the moment. It is after all the story of a woman who had to sacrifice her life to raise a child and to be a wife to an ungrateful husband after being bound in wedlock to him due to an unplanned pregnancy. It is a story of a weak soul who was so blinded by love and her commitment to maternal duties that she dropped out of high school, moved to a foreign country, nursed a child at 19 and gave up on her dream of becoming a dancer. (I do not call her weak because she let her maternal instincts sideline her career, but because she endured the taunts of a husband who treated her like garbage. Even after he wanted to divorce her, she was as blind to his flaws as ever.)

But this really isn’t all that this show, that has become a guilty pleasure of mine (for I spent about 3 hours binge watching the last few episodes instead of starting work on a college paper that is due in two days), is about. It’s about this woman going back to college to fulfill her long lost aspirations despite everything in her life standing in her way. The final push that makes this 38 year old join university as a freshman is the sudden discovery that she has only 6 months to live with the onset of pancreatic cancer. So to summarize the very complicated plot (and trust me, I am not doing the last 6 episodes of the show justice), a woman dying of cancer who is in the middle of a divorce joins the university her son has joined and her soon to be ex husband (who has been having an affair with the university’s director’s daughter for the last three years) has been deputed to  and meets (again) the boy who was in (unrequited) love with her in high school.

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The thing I love about Korean Dramas is their ability to encompass within them a plot so deep that I forget my own identity while being lost in it. This show is no different. The boy who loved her in high school, who was left broken when she dropped out and followed a husband he didn’t know of is now the man who vows to give her the life she deserves. His initial anger dissipates as the episodes pass and we realize he is as much in love with this broken woman as he was with the feisty girl who stood up to bullies and befriended underdogs. But rather, it is she who brings out the best in him, while fighting the world and finding the way back to her old self.

But the show is not as dark and mellow as I have made it sound. It is, in fact, comic to the core. It is hilarious to see the web of fated and ill-fated connections and how the different plots of the tale, of the past and the present, all knit a superbly crafted drama.

The thing I love most about this show is the growth of the characters. The woman Ha No Ra and the high school hottie Cha Hyun-Suk (Yes, I am in love with him *dreamy sigh*) change and meander and fall and get up and find a way to one another (though most of that is yet to be seen). I love the way he looks at her when she isn’t looking, the way he is always there making sure that she is happy and that she gets the life he thinks she deserves, now that he knows she is about to die. His soul aches that his soul mate lead a life of misery and is now at the end of her worldly journey. It really makes you think about the things we put off until tomorrow and the words we wait to say until what we think is the right time.

I also love the way Ha No Ra tries to fit into the college crowd, even though it is an entirely different generation. She does find a way to make them realize just how talented she is and it makes my heart melt that she is finally on her way to the greatness she was born with. I also love the university curriculum, culture and campus. It makes me want to quit my life and move to South Korea.

And besides all the deep metamorphic thoughts about living life well and embracing your fears, there are quips like these that make me fall off my bed after I die laughing.

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