Weekend is over here at IMT Hyderabad . Monday blues have set in. The professor says, “Why hasn’t anyone read the chapter? Weren’t you told on Friday?”.
“WE WERE ON A BREAK!”, says your annoyed face, silently.
You heard it too, in Ross’s voice (from F.R.I.E.N.D.S), didn’t you? It’s a recurring event in so many situations. Subconscious commentary from your favourite fictional characters, as if they’re watching over you like ghosts. When you buy popcorn at the movies and the friend who was ‘not-in-the-mood’ to eat, gobbles up half the tub- JOEY DOESN’T SHARE FOOD! (again, a character from F.R.I.E.N.D.S).
That’s right, he does not. And neither do you!
It is more than their dialogues that stay with us. All the screams of joy and shrieks of utter disappointment hurled at the TV screen are testimony to the connection we make with the fictional world. Some might say it is attributed to the lack of human connection in our daily lives, it is a mortal need to associate ourselves with a story that we can relate to. When the plot goes another way, we take it so personally, it’s memes feature on our Instagram feed for a week!
If you don’t agree to that, recall how you cried when Holly kept calling Gerry’s number to his voice one last time, after his funeral. Yes, “PS I love You” will always put tears in our eyes. Don’t you deny doing a victory dance when Arya Stark slit Petyr Baelish’s throat on Sansa Stark’s order, or for that matter, being scared when one of the dragons joined the White Walkers!
Our classes were shuffled this trimester. I was just coming to terms with parting ways with my mischief partner, when I found my seat taken by a new face. “THAT’S MY SPOT”, said the relentless spirit of Sheldon Cooper in me. Those were the first words that popped in my head and without giving me a chance to change them, they involuntarily came out of my mouth. Wow, the fictional world is taking over with ease.
Ted devoted his life to finding the right one. Just when he made it to the altar, Stella left him high and dry for a lover from the her past. I’ll admit, that made us all question our choice of partners. It made us wonder if things could really take a 360 degree turn in a fraction of a second. Tracy McConnell wasn’t as magical as the scene where she played la vie en rose on her ukulele. A rhythm so painful yet melodious. To this day, I hear the song in her voice, not the original piece.
The reason is, when characters on screen undergo any heart wrenching or overwhelming events, their actions are best portrayed through the audience’s reaction. Their character maybe following a script, but in reality, most of us have already lived that episode in our real lives.
You were as anxious as Ross when Rachel got off the plane and you also say ‘IM FINE’ in a squeaky voice, every time you know you’re lying. You wish you could foresee the future like Raven to avoid that traffic route or even predict the name of your next prime minister. Your friend who speaks in a weird accent is your Rajesh Koothrappali and every great advice you’ve given was accompanied by “I drink, and I know things”.
Of course you trust your friend’s opinion over your mom’s- If Gloria can let Manny wear a Columbia poncho on his first day of school, who knows what you might end up wearing to your cousin’s wedding!
All the characters we see in “reel” life (either on TV or the big screen), are relatable because we see ourselves in them in some way or the other.
It’s okay to not express your mood on the outside, as long as you were relieved when Miley Cyrus managed to hide her identity, cried when all the friends left their keys on the counter, were touched when Cersei died in Jaime Lannister’s arms and elated when Ted stole the Blue French Horn for Robin.
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–Sanjana Satapathy (Class of 2019-21)