Tag: Thoughts

The Never-Ending Debate of Books vs Movies.

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It was a peaceful Saturday sit-in yesterday for my husband and I. We kicked off the day with some music from the 80s on YouTube and ended with The Bodyguard starring Kevin Costner as the titular character and Whitney Houston as singer-actress Rachel Marron, the client whom Costner’s character was paid to protect.

After the movie (which we watched for free on Yes Movies), I remembered that I wanted to watch The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel as well. Actually, I was supposed to watch that movie immediately after reading the book. But I completely forgot all about it and to be honest, if I did watch it now, I wouldn’t remember the storyline much as I had finished the book last year. But still, it wouldn’t hurt to watch it anyway.

So I did.

But I stopped halfway through the movie.

Because I realised that the movie had not followed much of the book at all! Granted most movies don’t actually follow the book word for word, but there were no proper transitions at all between each scene and the early parts of the movie had not properly explained who each character was and why they had decided to go to India. Whereas in the book, there were chapters that were dedicated to describing each character and his or her purpose in the story.

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Which brings us to this never-ending debate of whether books are still better than movies or vice versa. Of course, it depends on whose side you’re on and what sort of person you are. If you’re like me, an avid reader who swears by the novels she reads and doesn’t let e-books get in the way of your paperback relationship, then books will always triumph over movies. If you’re hardly a reader and prefers to have comic books as your bed-side choice, then movies will be your source of joy and happiness.

It is undeniable that a book always takes the cake over its movie version. Movies will never ever replace the power of imagination that a book has for you through its pages. With books, you can close your eyes and pretend that you’re arm-wrestling with cowboys on the moon with Spongebob Squarepants and Patrick Star on Robot Pirate Island. You can already hear the mechanical sounds in your ears. That’s what imagination does to you and to think that Spongebob and Patrick didn’t even need a book!

But wait, let’s not get too ahead of ourselves. Not all movie adaptations are evil. Some are pretty good even if it meant that they had to be clipped to fit the standard duration. The Lord of the Rings trilogy, the Harry Potter franchise and the Chronicles of Narnia were pretty decent movie adaptations.

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Movies can do a lot of things, like making us see a lot of things. They can bring whole new worlds to life before our eyes and turn characters into living and breathing bodies. Movies leave us on the edge of our seats as nail-biting battle scenes are being fought in front of us, or leave us heartbroken and in tears over a death, or smiling with joy at a birth of a newborn child.

Books require complete silence and are a pure, undiluted form of escape, there’s nothing like sitting in a cinema with only the lights streaming from the big screen in front of you, devoid of any other distraction (save for the errant ping of an ignorant cinema-goer) and your attention is paid only on the story playing on the screen.

Movies are amazing creations but they don’t have the same kind of magic that books have. With movies, you’re merely an observer. You don’t feel the emotions that the character feels; you aren’t reading every single one of their innermost thoughts, their doubts, fears and hopes. Movies also have the bad habit of leaving us with this thought, “That’s not how I pictured it to be!” Just like the movie that I watched last night. The book and the movie did not match at all, with what seemed like missing key characters or characters thrown into the mix just for the sake of being there. It’s kind of like fluff-writing where you add in unnecessary items just to plump up the plot and make it seem longer.

But with books, you feel everything, you know everything and you live everything! You can be the saviour of the world; you can be the girl who battles a life-changing disease; you can be a demigod, an alien, an angel, a god, a villain or a hero. You can be anything and everything. There are no limits to who you want to be. There is no limited storytelling time with books compared to movies. Movies have to be condensed to the point of removing or deleting parts which also leads to what I call as mis-transitions. Changes of scenes that have no rhyme or reason of being there. That’s because movies have to be done and over with within a maximum of 3 hours. Any longer and your cinema-goers might just nod off in their seats.

Books don’t need the power of visuals to allow readers to put the story together with the elements in their minds. The stories that you read in books will stay with you forever. Just like music and vinyl, and writing and books. Movies don’t have much to offer except for the scenes that you have seen with your eyes.

That is why books for me will always be better. When you read a book, nothing else exists around you and you can be that whole other person in a completely new and amazing world. You can be someone else, live that person’s life, be free of your own troubles, even if it’s only for a few hundred pages. Books are the medicine for your mind, the magic for your imagination. Which is why I stopped halfway through The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel movie and preferred to maintain the pristine image of the story in my head since I’ve read the book. Which is why for me, movies may be great but books will always be greater.

The Waiting Game.

Paid to Wait

To be fair, we do a lot of waiting in our lifetime. From the time when we are born until we grow old and die.

Well, you kind of start the waiting game the moment you are conceived in your mother’s womb! You aren’t allowed to decide when you want to be born. You have to wait nine months and then possibly a few hours or days (or weeks, if your birth is a difficult one) before finally entering the world with a wailing battle cry.

After that, you wait.

You wait to grow up. You wait to start your education years (although some of us couldn’t wait to get out of school and start college or start working). You wait your turn to receive your degree certificate from the President of your university. You wait to get your first girlfriend (followed by first kiss, first time in bed with your significant other, first time losing your virginity, etc…). You literally wait all your years in growing up to grow up.

There is always a first time in doing or getting something, and that’s also when the waiting game begins. The game only ends once you have achieved what you set out to do, and then it starts over when you decide to go for something else.

Imagine, though, just imagine. Come, let’s humour this blogger a little today and imagine, what if we were paid to wait? What if we were paid for every moment that we had to wait for something? Can you imagine how rich we would all be by now? We don’t have to be paid in big amounts of money. Even if we were given a one dollar (or in Malaysian terms, RM1) for every hour we waited, we would still be effin’ rich by the time we enter old age. Heck, with all this dough ‘ka-ching-ing‘ in our bank accounts, we don’t even need to work!

After all, we do wait a lot, don’t we? Think about it.

  • What happens when there’s a line at the supermarket counters? You wait for your turn to pay for your groceries.

  • What happens when you’re not well and need some medication? You wait to see a doctor at the clinic.

  • What happens when you’re going on a vacation? You wait while checking in your luggage at the airport.

  • What happens when you apply for a job? You wait for the company to call you back (and then you wait some more if there is a second round!).

Mind you, these are only four scenarios in your entire life of waiting. Whatever you do in your life, be it personal or otherwise, you have to wait. So, imagine being paid all that money for waiting… Oh boy, this is one game I will never want to stop playing! It’s better than gambling, and even better than Jumanji! It’s just like a get-rich-quick scheme, only you don’t have to do anything but wait.

Hey, I could even make a movie series out of this whole waiting issue. Just like THE HUNGER GAMES movie trilogy, I could call mine THE WAITING GAMES, with the first, second and third instalments called PAID TO WAIT, KA-CHING!, and DOLLAR SIGNS.

Wait (see, it’s that word again!) a minute… For this post to go up to my blog, I still have to wait for the website to load, right? C’mon, where’s my money?

The Idle Mind is Talking.

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Do you know what happens when you suddenly stop being busy and productive? Your mind stops being the same. Your body is still active because of the certain activities that require you to be up and about, but your mind becomes idle and you end up shooting blanks.

If you’re like me, retrenched and unemployed (having applied for jobs but are now waiting for replies), staying at home most of the time because you’re sharing a car with your spouse and he or she has taken it to work already, then you will end up with an idle mind.

Some people end up thinking about things they normally don’t think about when they’re busy and on their toes at the office. Tons of emails to reply, schedules to follow, meetings to attend, tasks to clear up, trays to empty before joining the rush hour traffic to go home.

Some people end up thinking about extramarital affairs because they’re at home most of the time and have to deal with works and repairs done on the house. The number of male and female strangers going in and out of the home, tending to your household chores or babysitting your firstborn son, or fixing the kitchen sink, leaky bathroom taps or doing a major renovation on your home. These are the only men and women you’ll be seeing for the next few weeks until you find a job that will finally take you out of the house for good!

And then some people are like me.

I don’t think of having an affair with the workmen (although that seems to be a constant scene in porn videos) while my husband is at work. Because I’m not that kind of person. I don’t want to have anything to do with babysitters because I don’t have children, unless the babysitter is a part-time dancer-cum-stripper like Magic Mike. Thanks, but no, I’m still not that kind of person.

The person that I truly am is someone who starts dreaming about the things that I could have and should have done.

I wanted to be like Peyton Sawyer and own a leather jacket. She looked so badass in one in the One Tree Hill TV series. I wanted to be like Jake Jagielski (the single father in One Tree Hill) and own a pair of canvas Converse sneakers. He looked so cool in them.

Suddenly, I wanted an electronic keyboard. Like the pianist in the Boney M music videos.

The idle mind is at work now.

While watching the Boney M music videos on YouTube with my husband after dinner, I noticed the pianist having a grand ol’ time stabbing away on his electronic keyboard while the lead singer and backup singers had their share of fun and fame upfront with the audience. The way he swayed while keeping his fingers and hands hovering steadily over the black and white keys, the way he made music flow, the way he jived to the tunes… That brought me back to my childhood days when I used to learn how to play the piano.

I used to enjoy learning how to play the piano when I was young. But when I reached Grade 3, I found that I was beginning to lose my interest in it. That was because I used to have a piano teacher who was the pits! Every mistake I made, she rapped my fingers with a plastic ruler. When I wrote the wrong note on my piano exercise book, she rapped the table, circled the error with a red pen, and tossed the book aside as if to show that she was sick of teaching the unteachable. That made me feel sad and useless. My mother soon realised that her daughter came home after each lesson with her head down, quiet and unresponsive. Eventually, we stopped the lessons altogether. Now when I look back to those times, perhaps I could have grown thicker skin and forced myself to finish until Grade 8. Then I would be able to hold piano lessons for others or pursue an education in music, go places and do wonders! See, the idle mind is talking again.

Hmmm, maybe it still isn’t too late to teach myself to play again. After all, I’m sure they have portable electronic keyboards for sale online or I could go to a music store and try them out. Not that I have any skills though, besides stabbing away at a laptop keyboard.

I started browsing through Groupon Malaysia and Lazada Malaysia for good bargains. I began researching on how to buy electronic keyboards for beginners. I started scrolling through websites with keyboard e-chords and music sheets that can help me learn how to play. Oh boy, I did everything desperate drug addicts would do when they needed a fix!

But when I got to bed, I realised that this might just be a passing fancy because I’m not working yet. I’m at home with my daily blogging, reading, and gaming, household chores to do, swimming when the weather is good or pumping iron when the feeling is there.

Alright,” I thought, “Once I have started working, I will see if I have time to teach myself something new, on top of the daily blogging which will still be there (I hope), the reading and gaming at night before bedtime, the various exercises that I still have to do to keep in shape and stay healthy, and the household chores that will be pushed to weekends because that’s when I have the time to actually do them.

Unless I can find some time to slot in for personal lessons, I will decide if I still really want to learn to play an electronic keyboard.

What happened last night was a crash course on how the idle mind starts talking when you’re neither busy nor productive.