Friday, April 9, 2021

Week 12 Lab - Microfiction: New Beginnings

Drabble Version
New Beginnings

The wind howled as she slammed the door on the truck. Turning, she put her hands on her hips and surveyed her new home.

"It's not bad, but it could be better," she said to herself.

Walking up to the front door, she unlocked it and stepped inside. Inhaling, she breathed in the smell of new beginnings. They smelled oddly of...pot? "That's going to be fun to get out," she thought to herself.

The next few days sped by as she unpacked her life, rearranging it to fit into this new one.

At the end, she knew she'd be okay.

Image of a Moving Truck.
No Changes Made. Source: pixy

New Twitter Version

I just moved into a new place, and I can't believe this is actually happening. The people who lived here before me were apparently big into pot? Like, even the garage smells of it?? Besides that, I guess I will be busy unpacking. Here's to new beginnings! Hopefully it's all good!

Author's Note: These stories are of a woman moving into her new home and settling in, and they are inspired by the facts that I'll be moving after I graduate next month, and the fact that my current neighbors love hotboxing their apartment, leading mine to smell like pot most days. I thought adding that detail in might add humor into the stories. I decided to make the second version a "new twitter version" because I love Twitter (probably too much). Hope you enjoy!

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Reading Notes: Sita Sings the Blues, Part B

I think the second part of "Sita Sings the Blues" did a great job of using the parallels between Nina's and Sita's story to show how they were both treated poorly by men and spent too long trying to be perfect for them, only to finally put themselves first in the end.

This was also reflected in the fact that, at the end, it was Vishnu rubbing Lakshmi's feet, not the other way around like in the beginning. I really love the message of female empowerment! It was different than the message I got from the original Ramayana.

However, one thing that stuck out to me was the song that Sita's sons were taught to sing to praise Rama. I at first thought it was weird, but then I realized it was a perfect summary of how Rama is portrayed throughout his whole life. He is treated as divine and perfect and unable to do wrong (he is an avatar, but still!).

I don't have as much to say about this part because it was shorter and much faster paced, but I do think I enjoyed it more than part A. I think if I were to write a story on this part, it would involve something about a girl learning to choose herself over her relationship.

Image of Sita and Ravana from "Sita Sings the Blues".
No Changes Made. By: Nina Paley in 2008. Source: Wikimedia Commons


"Sita Sings the Blues" by Nina Paley in 2008. Link: YouTube

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Reading Notes: Sita Sings the Blues, Part A

This is definitely the most unique reading I have done so far for this semester (ignoring the part where it's actually a movie)! While I definitely can't say I would watch this on my own, I still thought it was a very unique retelling of the Ramayana.

One thing I found very interesting, and that I didn't know before, was that Ravana's kingdom of Lanka is actually Sri Lanka! I thought that was very cool. I also thought it was interesting how Nina Paley's story was interwoven with the story of Rama and Sita.

The thing that stood out to me the most, however, was about 30 minutes into the movie, when the narrators argue about why Sita didn't escape Lanka with Hanuman when her first found her. That is such an interesting idea! One of them argued that maybe she was trying to "glorify Rama" but letting him save her. I call bull on that! I hate how Sita is shown as so powerless during the Ramayana, and I think Sita securing her own escape would have been an excellent way to showcase her as a powerful female character.

That also leads into one thing I didn't like about this film so far. I didn't like how the fact that Sita was singing the music meant that while she was just off singing, all of the action in the story happened without her. She sang both while Hanuman burned Lanka, and while Rama defeated Ravana.

For a story based on this reading, I think I would go off from the idea of Sita securing her own escape from Lanka.

Movie Poster for "Sita Sings the Blues".
No Changes Made. By: Nina Paley in 2008. Link: Wikimedia Commons


"Sita Sings the Blues" by Nina Paley in 2008. Link: YouTube

Sunday, April 4, 2021

Week 11 Story: Dear Diary, Radha Here

Dear Diary,

Today is officially the worst day of my life. I woke up to sunshine and birds singing, smiling because I knew today was the day Krishna would ask permission to marry me. Oh, diary, how I had waited for this day. It seems like my love for Krishna grows with each day, and every time I see him my heart swells.

I waited for the news of Krishna's actions by the river that runs on the edge of Vrindaven. After all, what better way to spend time daydreaming of one's future than to spend it among nature?

However, the day soon started becoming the worst one ever when I spotted my love walking towards me. His face was drawn, his countenance sad, and I knew at once in my bones that what I had secretly feared had come to pass.

Sure enough, when Krishna came near, I could see the tears in his eyes.

"Krishna? What is wrong?" I asked him. "Did your parents not give you permission?"

"No, Radha," he replied. "It is more than that, though. They took me to a priest, and he showed me the will of Dharma. I am sorry, my dear, but I cannot marry you."

And with those words that I knew would forever change my life, Krishna just left me.

Yes, Diary, you read that right! He did not even offer me comfort or more of an explanation. So I sat on the bank of the river for what felt like hours, numb to everything. If I am honest, I still feel a bit numb. What am I supposed to do with my life? How am I supposed to experience the joys of being a mother? I love Krishna so much it hurts. How am I supposed to find that with someone else?

Diary, if I wanted to be even more honest, I am angry with my Krishna as well. How is Dharma against our marriage? I know he loves me as I love him. I don't understand! How could he just throw us away, as if our love is nothing? I do not know what to do.

I guess, I will have to learn to love again.

Image of a Statue of Radha and Krishna in Kolkata.
No Changes Made. By: Jonoikobangali. Source: Wikimedia Commons

Author's Note: Hi reader! The inspiration from this story came from Episode 13 of Epified TV's Krishna series. In this episode, Krishna seeks to gain permission to marry Radha. When his parents cannot convince him not to, they take him to a priest who tells Krishna that he is the saviour of Dharma, and he cannot marry Radha so that he can fulfill his destiny. I thought this tale was heartbreaking, but I did not like how we did not get Radha's point of view. So, that's how I got the idea for Dear Diary, Radha Here! I had not done a story in a diary-style format, so I thought it would be fun to give it a go now that the semester is nearing its end for me. I hope you enjoyed my story!


"Krishna Episode 13 - The Saviour of Dharma" by Epified TV (India) in 2015. Link: YouTube

Saturday, April 3, 2021

Reading Notes: Epified: Krishna, Part B

This second part of Krishna's story was even more interesting than the first! I was saddened when Krishna and Radha could not marry, and I was happy when Krishna fulfilled his destiny by killing King Kamsa. I also enjoyed the illustrations in this part as well as I did in Part A.

One part that stood out to me was Krishna's healing of Trivakra. This very much reminded me again of Jesus, who healed many people during his lifetime. I think it is so interesting how Krishna, an avatar of Vishnu, has a story with so many parallels to Jesus, who is a huge part of Christianity. I wonder if that is just coincidence, or if one of the tales inspired the other?

Besides that part, I also enjoyed the story of Krishna taming Hastin and showing the people of Vrindaven the lesson of kindness. It was very sweet to see how Krishna easily tamed the bull by simply feeding him sweets and playing music, though I do wonder why no one else in the village had tried to similarly tame Hastin before? It seems similar to techniques people use today to tame wild animals.

I think for a story on this section, I would maybe want to write about Radha's feelings when she is told she will not be able to marry Krishna. We got to hear about Krishna's feelings on the topic, but not Radha's. I want to give Radha a chance to react to the news and have feelings, either of anger or sadness.

Statue of Krishna at Sri Mariamman Temple.
No Changes Made. By: AngMoKio on 2-15-2011. Source: Wikimedia Commons


"Krishna Episode 13 - The Saviour of Dharma" by Epified TV (India) in 2015. Link: YouTube

"Krishna Episode 18 - Krishna Kills Kamsa" by Epified TV (India) in 2015. Link: YouTube

"Krishna Episode 16 - Krishna Arrives at Mathura" by Epified TV (India) in 2015. Link: YouTube

"Krishna Episode 12 - Krishna rides Hastin" by Epified TV (India) in 2015. Link: YouTube

Reading Notes: Epified: Krishna, Part A

I really enjoyed this set of videos about Krishna's childhood! I do not know anything about Krishna besides his part in the Mahabharata, so it was interesting to learn more about him. I really enjoyed the illustrations that accompanied the stories, I think they helped me to visualize the different facets of Krishna's stories. 

The video that stood out to me the most during Part A was the fact that Yashoda did not even question the fact that she had a baby boy next to him. She was portrayed as seemingly forgetting that she gave birth to a boy, not a daughter like she thought. That is insane to me! It seemed like weak storytelling, honestly, to make a mother just forget the gender of her child. I think I would like to rewrite this and make Yashoda sad and confused at the loss of her daughter. 

Another thing I found interesting is how King Kamsa started killing newborns in the hopes that one of them was his nephew. That totally made me think of the birth of baby Jesus and how King Herod killed newborns and Mary and Joseph had to flee to save Jesus!

Overall, I really enjoyed the format of videos for the weekly reading. It was a nice change of pace!

Statue of Yashoda and Krishna.
No Changes Made. By: Metropolitan Museum of Art on 12-18-2019. Source: Wikimedia Commons


"Krishna Episode 2 - Vasudev Meets Yamuna" by Epified TV (India) in 2015. Link: YouTube

"Krishna Episode 4 - Putana" by Epified TV (India) in 2015. Link: YouTube

Friday, March 26, 2021

Week 10 Lab - Microfiction: The Adaptation

Drabble Version

The Adaptation

She plopped down on the couch, holding a bowl of popcorn in her arms. She excitedly pressed play on the remote and snuggled under her blanket to watch the show.

Of course, she knew the story, having read the books countless times, but she did not know what they would look like on the small screen.

Nervously biting her nails, she hoped the stories of her heart would not be disappointingly changed.

Though if that happened, she would always have the books to revisit.

One short hour later, she smiled as she knew her dreams had been made into reality.

Cartoon TV.
No Changes Made. Source: pixy

Hint Fiction Version

The Adaptation

She excitedly watched her favorite books come to life before her as all of her earlier worries were assuaged. After all, seeing really is believing.

Author's Note: These two microfictions, which I wrote for my Week 10 storylab, were based off my own feelings. I am sure I am not the only one who has been disappointed by book adaptations in the past (I'm looking at you, Percy Jackson movies!). With Shadow and Bone releasing on Netflix next month, and my all-time favorite book series ACOTAR by Sarah J. Maas getting a TV adaptation announced today, the worries of liking an adaptation have been on my mind frequently lately. My favorite books, especially YA fantasy ones, are deeply personal to me, especially the characters, so I really hope these two adaptations do their novels justice.

Week 12 Lab - Microfiction: New Beginnings

Drabble Version New Beginnings The wind howled as she slammed the door on the truck. Turning, she put her hands on her hips and surveyed her...