Category Archives: Film

On Being Cultured

A counter culture comes out of people who don’t identify with the mainstream culture. 

I have spent a lot of time at boarding school. Due to which I feel like I don’t know much, and i haven’t seen much of the world. Like when  i got out of there, it was so overwhelming for me, i am still recovering. But what came as a culture shock for me was that the people I idolized, they were so much more advanced than I was. They read Goethe, Freud, and blah blah. I on the other hand read  just the mainstream young adult novel series and had read so little books. I wanted to write, but they were so much better writers than me. I knew nothing about the references they made. I felt left out. I felt timid and unpopular. I felt like I could never fit in.

I watched Disney, I watched chick flicks, I listened to Ke$ha and my room was covered in pop culture celebrities’ posters and pin ups, I had spent thousands of rupees on collecting music cds and DVD’s that were looked down upon as trash. I was like that naive young character in the movies who speaks in a paindoo southern accent and steps out into the big city and people make fun of him. Like that receptionist guy from 30 Rock. I was a misfit in the world of people i wanted to be a part of. And i knew not how to navigate it.

I have always had this complex where I’m not supposed to have the things others have, or i need to be the first one to have it; i need to have something when others don’t have it. It has not got to be mainstream, it has to be hidden, but at the same time it’s supposed to be cool and “me.” I will not go for different things for the sake of being different, it has to connect with me. It has to make me feel unique and lost and at the same time, more refined and left out. While it worked at boarding school where I was bullied on my choices, I realized that in the real world, nobody re reads their Princess Diaries novels daily (I would literally have read the series about a 500 times) and imagines they’re in a music video and sing the songs out loud (yes, i think my life is a music video and my iPod is the soundtrack supervisor).

But this approach didn’t work. I was left lonely and confused about where I stood. I was then thrust into med school ( I use thrust because it’s not something I wanted at that time). That didn’t get me time to actually go through all the things that “those” people loved and who made them who they were. But I didn’t stop doing what I liked. I didn’t stop liking what I liked. Mainly because I didn’t have time to refine myself due to the workload, but I kept being myself. That was my mantra, be myself.

I felt the dire need to be cultured. To refine my taste according to the people who were cool. I would go to those hipster hot spots in Islamabad and feel rejected. I didn’t like Bob Marley or Dylan, nor did I like Nirvana, sorry. I’m sorry I haven’t watched Casablanca or Gone With The Wind (nor read it). I make my own vanilla latte at home, and I cook my own lasagna and I dream, dream to be included and accepted somewhere. I didn’t study at a liberal college, nor had I done A levels. I didn’t like going to art galleries (back then) and i didn’t quote Sylvia Plath or some famous cultural icon. I didn’t listen to vinyl records. I didn’t have an iPhone or a mac book (I still don’t). I wasn’t sophisticated. And I was not OK with it.

Then I started to grow up. I felt emotions I had never felt before, and I needed something to relate to. That is when I started reading books that made sense, discovered artists that I could earlier not connect to and be able to sit through two hour long indie films that would earlier put me to sleep. I started thinking more. I started exploring life more. I felt like growing up, I totally changed and along with that, so did my choices. I now proudly tell people that I liked Lorde when she had barely seven thousand likes on her Facebook page, which now boasts three million plus likes. I predict which indie band will make it big and i watch films before they get famous. I watch unusual tv shows that people haven’t even heard of, and the films, don’t even get me started on the kinds of films I watch, it’s boring and influencial. Over time, I have refined my taste, a lot.

I read books that you can find at the back corners of book stores that you find on amazing discounts, I write poetry that never follows the ways that people love, I wear clothes that define me and not what i should follow. I offend my elders because I speak the truth and I offend my peers because i don’t conform to their labels. But I like it. I have found what I like. I can finally find things I can relate to. I feel like I am a culture myself.

But I also now feel people can relate to me too.

I could never have forced myself to like something because somebody else I liked liked it.

I could never have been me.

Growing up helped me find myself, I didn’t get stuck in one place and God forbid if i do. I like this growth. I like this phase where I don’t really have an opinion on anything. I like being simple. I like not going deep. I like not finding meaning. I like liking for the sake of liking. I like not conforming to the rules of cool. I love Katy Perry, but at the same time I like Brandyn Burnette and Shura, who are indie artists I’m sure you’ve not heard of.

It’s very important to give yourself time to find where you stand and what you like. And it’s also important to realize that you’re only cultured if you think you are. You cannot let the fact that you don’t read a certain genre of books like most literary refined people do, get to you and bring you down. Explore. Find treasures only your heart can cherish. You can either read Tao Lin, or you can read Stephanie Meyer, it’s your choice.

Your Choice is your culture.

And know, that you are cultured.

emma watson quote

Comic-Con Comes to Pakistan as TwinCon2014

My little brother’s an anime fan. In a big way. So much that we have to fight over who gets to take over the internet (he wins, little ones always do). And as much as I hate fighting, I hated his addiction to anime. I used to think that these “cartoons” were a waste of time. Well, until I attended Comic-Con’s very Pakistani version in Islamabad, TwinCon.

I had always seen and heard of Comic Con in cartoons and films and had a long time wish to be able to attend one of those. I mean, come on, even India has one. So when ComicCon came to Pakistan and I saw the word going around on facebook, I just HAD to attend it. But it was on a weekend where our family had to be out of town. Lucky for us (unfortunately for some), the event got delayed about three weeks, and the joy on my little brother’s face was unbelievable. And, I was the one who had to take him there, so my wish to attend one of the Comic Cons was gonna be fulfilled too.

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I had my reasons to go; the hype, the fascination, the cynicism, the excitement, the dressing up i never got to do cuz my outfit clashed with another someone else’s and the colors and brightness of it all. But definitely not because I was an anime or manga fan, although I do enjoy manga sometimes, not enough to call myself a fan. Also, cuz of mu little brother. He HAD to go, so duh!

Although I had not expected people to cosplay, but in truth, most of the people did. And that is what made the event even more fun. I had no idea people actually were into this sort of thing, surely I would’ve gone as Harry Potter (Comic Con actually is more than Anime or Manga). It was so creative! (see the pics in the gallery below)

As for the events, my fav had to be the BeyBlade competition (which a little boy won, duh) as it was super cool to see them in action in a desi way, through the use of a ‘paraat’ (a big steel dish). My cousin participated in the sketching competition (the much hyped battlefield and batman he sketched) and one got to see amazingly talented individuals on that panel. Then there were the discussions panel that took place that I thoroughly enjoyed. While I was not able to understand all of it (just a little bit of characters and games did I know) I realized how big of a deal all of this is and how much absorbed people are in it and how it’s such a huge part of their lives. You could understand it by the passion with which these creative and brilliant individuals participated in the Japanese Speaking competition. I was an eye opener.

Oh, and the ramen stall! I bought it twice. Plus, the cool Assasin’s Creed dude, his costume was off the charts! The cute Pikachu baby. The extremely talented Hollow Ichigo/Asad Shams, the dude stole the show with his voice acting.

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I think, for me, the event was mostly about stepping out of my comfort zone and realizing that there’s a whole fun world out there. I was not bored. I was happy. Tired, yes, but not at all bored. You need to get an experience of something before you can truly judge it. For me it was TwinCon changing my perception about Anime.

Kudos to the organizers for having arranged such a cool event in Pakistan. And add the fact that it was the biggest cosplay gathering ever in Pakistan. So yeah, a job well done guys. You actually managed to change my heart towards anime.

And thumbs up to all the people who went all out on their costumes. You guys made the day so much memorable!

And now, the images!

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5 Must Watch Shows that are Underrated in Pakistan

We all know everybody loves Gossip Girl or Vampire Diaries and Glee and Big Bang Theory and Friends and Seinfeld and BREAKING BAD and GAME of THRONES. Well, being the hipster that I am, I tend to avoid watching mainstream stuff. I do know about them enough to converse with people, but that’s that. They’re great shows but the problem is I can’t stand being a part of the cult. So I’m sorry if it disappoints you if I don’t watch the shows. I might, but just later on. I started watching TVD from it’s pilot episode, so I just hate it when all the later people say that they’re such huge fans. It just bothers me.

So anyways, I noticed that when it’s a trend to watch such shoes, people only watch those, a lot of good shows are ignored during the process of acting/trying to be/be cool and watch the shows everyone watches so you can be a part of the crowd. I tend to stay away from the “in” thing. I remember when I started wearing sneakers and everyone made fun of me. Two years later, they wore the same thing! So whatever.

Here I compile my list of 5 must watch shows that people in Pakistan NEED to see ASAP in case they are done watching GOT or BB.

1. American Horror Story:

Currently in it’s third season, the show is a thriller/gore/mystic/supernatural show that just keeps you on the edge. And the best part is that every season comes with it’s own storyline. Created by Ryan Murphy of Glee fame, this show’s second season was nominated for a whooping seventeen Emmy Award nominations. Now it just CANNOT get better than that. You love critically acclaimed stuff people, here you have a show you’re so desperate to ignore.

And for people who absolutely love horror movies, this one’s a must watch for you!

Plus, the third season features my long time crush Emma Roberts in the main characters so i, for one, cannot just let it go.

IMDB link here.

2. Hannibal:

The show is only one season old and it’s receiving rave reviews, that it totally deserves. Hannibal is a TV show about a psychopath psychiatrist who is -you guessed it- a cannibal and his relationship with a special FBI investigator who is investigating the crimes Hannibal commits, not knowing it’s actually his counselor. Hmm. Interesting.

This show is your answer to Dexter and it’s gory and thrilling and he storyline is pretty interesting. It’s a bit slow paced, but the gore should be enough to keep you awake.

While the show did not receive any Emmy Nominations , it did win hearts of the critics. Here’s hoping the second season get’s some much credited attention.

If there’s one show you need to watch before it get’s famous in Pakistan, it’s Hannibal!

IMDB Link here.

3. Skins:

Okay, I admit the series has ended, BUT look at the fact that you guys still watch Seinfeld and Friends. So compared to them, this is practically nothing.

The show chronicles the lives of teenagers in a town in England and spans different characters for different years, but somehow inter-relating them. The reason the series is a must watch is because unlike the CW series that glamorize teen life, this show is true and hard hitting and gives a great insight into what the “real” teen life is.

It has won lots of awards and gained lots of nominations, so please do yourselves a favor and watch this show in case you’re looking for something teen and not so hyped CW-ish.

IMDB link here.

4. Community:

I love this show. It’s one of the most real life comedies and funny stories one could ask for!

It’s about a group of community college students who accidentally become friends only because a guy wanted to ask one of the girl in their group out. What leads from there is a hilarious adventure through their college lives.

It’s pretty old and currently into it’s fifth season with huge critical acclaim. Lot’s of awards and nominations and blah blah blah! Go watch it LOL right now!

IMDB link here

5. Awkward

Now I know MTV is notorious for it’s nudity in Pakistan, but give this MTV show a chance. It’s real, funny and funny as hell.

It’s about a girl whose accident is mistook for a suicide attempt. And there’s the fact that she’s in a closet (literally) relationship with the school’s most popular boy. And she’s the most unpopular girl. Delve into her mind and her blog that show how awkward life can be.

IMDB link here.

Worthy Mentions

The Inbetweeners: Now the UK one is the original one and it’s the famous one, give the US one a chance too. Both are fun.

Hart of Dixie: It’s about a New York City doctor who needs to do a year practice in the far off southern town of Blue Bell which is not ready to let her in. Watch her win southern hearts and make her way into the society that oh-so-fanatically won;t accept her.

Twisted: The show is new, so catch up on it soon. It’s making waves. The show marks the life of a teenage boy who murdered his aunt as a kid and is now back from Juvi and people are not willing to accept him, including his two childhood best friends.

Carrie Diaries: It’s the young SATC and not so good, but makes up for an interesting time. It’s not so famous here as SATC and I know my generation hardly knows about SATC, this show should lead you up to it!

Zinda Bhaag and the Oscar ruse: Thokha ho rya aay taaday naal.

That Paki Boy:

hmmmm… :/

Originally posted on Galaxy Lollywood:

So by now almost all of you know that the up-coming film Zinda Bhaag is going to be Pakistan’s official entry in the “Foreign Film” category at the OSCARS . Furthermore it has been 50 years since Pakistan last submitted a film so this makes it even more special. Other films in consideration included Josh, Chambaili and Seedlings but Zinda Bhaag is the chosen one.

So what’s the thokha ( yes the Punjabi title was apt considering that the film is in Punjabi too) you ask? Well doesnt it seem strange that a week from the release all you read about the film now is how its the Oscar consideration? All the publicity is kind of riding on it? While I cannot judge the film Zinda Bhaag as I have yet not seen it but those who have had a chance to see it also claim that Chambaili was the far better…

View original 605 more words

9Lining All the Way

Hey y’all!

‘Sup!

I’m in a funky mood right now so please forgive the light hearted mood right now. I’m super psyched because I just got this amazing tee that sparks the funk! It’s this new online store and brand by the name of 9Lines that I’m falling in love with. In this modern day world dominated by online apparel stores, 9Lines stands out for their ode to pop; literally. Their stuff pops out, is stand out material and is eye catching. So no wonder you see a few fashion celebs sporting their stuff. And considering I’m one of those fashion conscious people who want something not found in normal stores, I must say, 9Lines is fulfilling all my needs to stand out from the crowd.

Heavily influenced by the Pop culture, their stuff ranges from Lady Gaga notebooks to Audrey Hepburn bags and necklaces.

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Their notebooks are a must have item, as a blogger/writer. For the old type who love scribbling down whatever comes to mind, or jotting down notes in class, their notebooks and diaries should be there in your bag and on your desk. Also, calling out all fashionistas, buy them. If you like stationary, this is your calling. Plus, it never hurts to have a few extra notebooks lying around. And notebooks as cool as these make really cool gifts. Also check out their desi pop notebook line. It’s sure to add to your fashionable patriotic spirit.

Plus, they also have great iPad covers for the gadget conscious bloggers and gadget loving people (I’m looking at you Umair Mirza), so you can expect to stand out at all the blogger events. They’ve got your pop covered!

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And then comes the t-shirts! Known as their Tease line, this collection features funky pieces one must have in their wardrobe. I got The Beatles tee and I’m loving it. Wear the mustard color with either red, or maroon trousers. Black is overrated, though it will do too. The rest of the tees were not to my taste, but were pretty good nonetheless.

TEASE

Furthermore, they have amazing file covers. If I were still interning at Kuch Khaas, I’m sure the loads of pages I accidentally printed wrong would suit great there!969455_532630696790894_1453751306_nThey even have awesome posters to make statements in your room or apartment.

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And then there’s so much on the store, you just can’t stop but drool when you open it up!

But apart from the store, their facebook page has posts that I love a lot. And the series that they started, of “We <3 (heart) Crazy Popstar Style” has me going gaga!

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So check out their store here and like their facebook page here.

Ooh, and they’re on instagram too. Follow them here.

Happy shopping!

Images Courtesy: 9Lines Facebook page.

Feminists All Over Pakistan, Rejoice: “Burka Avenger” is here!

And all the haters keep hating.

1074594_595762270454408_1654096621_oYou see, if Lena Dunham was here right now, she’d be so happy. It’s power to the woman and what not. While I am very happy somebody seems to be taking notice of giving power to the woman, I fear how the nation is going to react to it. It’s something positive. And we have a tendency to turn everything evil. Could this be the Illuminati invading our nation? Or is GEO doing enough of that? or maybe it’s a US funded project or what not? It’s definitely a conspiracy theory.

Whatever.

I for one am very excited to see what this show hold. It’s promising, encouraging and moreover is in sync with the idea that a woman can be more than what the man thinks she is. At least what the man here in Pakistan thinks. And please, all that talk about nazar ko bachao and be-hayaee and stuff. Well, face palm! It’s Burqa Avenger. Can’t a burqa clad lady kick ass? Yes, she can. Woman is no longer the frail object of desire that can be easily manipulated. If this show takes off in the right direction, it may very well help young girls see what they can become and that there’s more to being veiled than being overpowered by this male dominant society.

The Burqa Avneger is to be a teacher at a girl’s school in this show, where she shows us how the pen is mightier than the sword. What could be more positive than that?

With Bilal Lashari on the production team, this show has got to be an awesome one. And with Adil Omar and Haroon contributing to the OST, it seems like a very interesting mix.

So let’s hope that with the devil trapped in hell right now, we give this show the positive feedback it deserves.

About

Don’t Mess With the Lady in Black ™

A Unicorn Black Production

Description
The Burka Avenger is an amazing action-comedy
animated TV Series that follows the adventures of
the Burka Avenger and three young kids in the
imaginary city of Halwapur as they fight the evil
Baba Bandook and his henchmen.The Burka Avenger wears the burka veil to hide her
identity like superheroes do. Her alter ego is that of
a mild-mannered teacher at a girls’ school. Her use
of pens and books as projectile weapons to fight the
bad guys is symbolic on many levels. Her main motto
is “Justice, Peace and Education for all”.

Man of Steel Makes Me Wanna Be a Superman!

When I was watching the movie, I was noticing how there’s so much to get inspired from in it. There were so many dialogues and quotes in it that are cryptic, for me at least. After watching the movie, I thought, this movie tells us so much more than superman being a super hero. He’s a human being. He’s a super human and the movie tells us so much about what humanity is. So here I am with a few quotes from the film and how I relate to them.

Plus, having a body and looks like him won’t hurt too ;)

Clark Kent – age 9:The world’s too big, Mom.

Martha Kent: Then make it small. Focus on my voice. Pretend it’s an island out in the ocean. Can you see it?

Clark Kent – age 9: I see it…

The scene where Clark can’t understand what’s happening to him, and he locks himself up in the janitor’s closet and then his mum comes and says this to him. I can so relate. When I was little, I remember my first day of school, and I was 3 or 4 years old. It was exciting but scary too. When the time came to get into the van to leave for school, I ran and hid behind the couch, crying, and everyone came looking for me, but my mother knew where I would be. She calmed me down and told me that everything’s gonna be alright.  And I stopped crying, and believed her. There’s just something about mothers, they know how to calm down their kids. And everything gets better!

Plus, I think it’s a symbol of how the world is so small and how you can do so much with so little of this world and be a better you. Use your resources well enough and try your best. And the world is yours.

Lara Lor-Van: He’ll be an outcast, a freak. They’ll kill him.

And much later

Jor-El: [to Lara] Out there, amongst the stars, he will be free.

Okay. I admit. I’m a freak. Always will be and be proud of who I am. And the world HAS tried to kill me. Honestly. Kill my drive, kill my passion, kill my creativity but I will not give up. I will be who I am and keep doing my thing. Pretty soon, I will be a man of steel too and i will show that their bullets can’t hurt my spirit! Amongst the stars: how to put it? Well, i do mingle with celebrities and they are the stars and since I blog about them or tweet about them, it feels good. yuo can call it kinda free. But that’s not how I would take it. You see, I have big dreams and ambitions, almost like everyone else. And while looking at the stars does blind me (the sun is a star people!) it does make me imagine myself among them . I have always shown my love for sunlight, so no wonder it makes me feel free. So yeah, If I be myself and try hard to reach to the top, and keep trying to improve myself, I can land among the stars and feel free. Hopefully.

 

Jor-El: Embodied within that hope is the fundamental belief the potential of every person to be a force for good.

I wanna see the best in every one. I try so hard to see the best in everyone, I do. But they disappoint me so much. But then I see a little spark in them. Spark of positivity, and then I believe everything’s gonna be alright! You see, people can be very selfish. And this selfishness leads them to be vicious. And that hurts. But there’s this shy little part of them that’s afraid to be good because it fears it might get hurt. And thus this chain reaction of evil starts and well…it’s just lame. I wish everyone would be the best of themselves so this world could be a better place. And that can only happen if we trust each other. We must learn to trust, and learn not to break others’ trust!

Jonathan Kent: You just have to decide what kind of man you want to grow up to be, Clark. Whoever that man is, he’s going to change the world.

I just hope one day I can be the kind of a person who can change the world for good. And if not the world, then at least the world of one person. Once i am firm enough to take the first step, and once anyone is, that is when the true change begins. You change yourself, and you change the world. It all begins from you.

Jonathan Kent: People are afraid of what they don’t understand.

See, that’s the truth. And how I will relate it to my life and almost every other Pakistani youngster’s life is that there are a certain career choices one is supposed to take. Pre med, pre engineering or Icom or computers. And that’s that. Everyone thinks these are the only career paths that will make them money, but now the world has expanded so much, there are so many opportunities out there that it maybe scares our elders. Yes, it’s confusing our minds, but what’s wrong with taking a chance. In the end, you’re only learning more and making mistakes is how we and others learn, right? What’s so wrong with becoming a media student and why do we have to look down upon people who opt for simple BA or BSc.? Isn’t the world all about exploring and making a wonder out of yourself? How will you live if you won’t venture into the unknown. Unknown feelings, unknown words, unknown emotions, unknown actions, unknown selves? How will you learn to just be?

Jor-El: You will give the people an ideal to strive towards. They will race behind you, they will stumble, they will fall. But in time, they will join you in the sun. In time, you will help them accomplish wonders.

I wanna be a pioneer. I love the Levi’s Pioneers jeans advert. It’s just amazing. I wanna be that guy people strive to be like. I wanna be influential. I wanna be an inspiration. I wanna be me. I wanna be followed. I wanna be somebody. That’s it. I just wanna help people like me reach to a  place where they themselves are somebody. I wanna be a beacon of hope. Mind it, I don’t wanna be leader, because then it’s so much responsibility. I just wanna help people, freaks, introverts craving to be big, misfits to fit, and just be themselves.

Jonathan Kent: I have to believe that you were sent here for a reason. And even if it takes the rest of your life, you owe it to yourself to find out what that reason is.

That is pretty self explanatory. This world was made for us. We need to find out what part  we have to play in it to make it a better world. And for that, we will need to find ourselves, who we are. Once we figure that out, we can see the puzzle coming along together and we will then see what we were meant to do in this world. We owe it to ourselves to find out who we are, where our skills are strong and then implement those talents to make the world a better place to live not only for us, but the whole of humanity.

Jor-El: The only way to know how strong, is to keep testing your limits.

Once we set on that journey of finding ourselves, we will only know how capable we are by venturing into the unknown and testing our limits. How will we know what we can do if we don’t find a way to see we can do it?

Jor-El: Your mother and I believed Krypton lost something precious, the element of choice, of chance. What if a child dreamed of becoming something other than what society had intended? What if a child aspired to something greater? You were the embodiment of that belief Kal.

THAT’S ME. I’m superman! I wanna be that kid who wants be something different from what is planned for him. And whatever I have said in the previous words pretty much sums it all!

Something Real and Good – A Review

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Sometimes I just want to lay back in my room and succumb to my bed and watch a movie. I prefer indies over mainstream. They’re eye opening and make me think. Think hard. About life. And today was one of those rare days I get to watch a movie like that. And I don’t want those few rare moments to go to waste. So, the movie I chose, Something Real and Good, rose to my expectations. At least it didn’t make me sleep! It was entertaining enough to make me wanna know what’s gonna happen next.

So we’ve all heard about two people meeting at the airport or a station and falling in love. Well, this movie isn’t one of your typical fall-in-love types. It’s about opening up to the world and making new friends. The movie shows us wonderfully how, if, you open up to a person, a whole new world opens up to you. You feel renewed and alive and learn all kinds of new things, DO all kinds of new things. Life can be more than just laying back and living in your shell. The world is your “F***ing oyster” and you’re looking for your “f***ing Pearl and you gotta find it.

Two people meet and hang out for hours because a flight is delayed. Sounds boring? NOT! Apart from the mellow appeal to it, it’s got pretty thought provoking dialogues that sometimes feel like they’re my poems! This movie is cool and for everyone who’s looking for a good movie when they’re tired – plus, I can relate a lot to it. It’s refreshingly good!

Something Real And Good – Trailer 2013 by divxteam-net

Things Don’t Need to Last Forever to Be Perfect

“People will Tell you nothing matters, The whole world’s about to end soon any way. But those people are looking at life the wrong way….”

From Daydream Nation-The Movie

I just fell in love with how the scene was portrayed with this particular dialogue in the movie and i just HAD to share…

Hope you guys find it interesting