An obsession is a way for damaged people to damage themselves more.– Mark Barrowcliffe
It all started when I decided to drop my introvert image and take the first step in initiating a conversation.
After a long and tiring day at the office which extended way beyond the regular working hours, I was sitting in the cab waiting to return home, when I chanced to glance at my co-traveller. She appeared to be busy in watching something on her mobile. Soon the cab driver asked us to mark our attendance on his mobile. Since I was new to this system, my co-traveller guided me. After that, before she could pop her ear chords back on, I readily made small talk. Our conversation drifted from our profession, work-related hassles and challenges, to our families and then eventually to what all the latest videos or series were we watching. It was then that she revealed that she was watching a Korean series. Initially, I just expressed an interest to let the talk continue. So she explained the plot to me, and I found it to be pretty cute and interesting.
I wasn’t keen at all to watch a South-East Asian series, as I always believe that we Indians look better and can rule the small screen if we just experiment beyond the saas-bahu routine dramas and target a younger generation audience. If not, there were the American serials to watch, hence the thought of me watching something like a K-Drama and liking it was beyond me. I mean they all look the same, it is too difficult to distinguish between them, at least that is what I thought. Also, these series are not dubbed, but only English subtitles are available, so how could such a series establish a proper connection with an international audience was something I did not understand. So I dropped the idea of viewing the same. Until chitchatting with my friends and colleagues, led to a revelation that a lot of them were actually already huge fans of the franchise. Curiosity does kill the cat. In my case it was boredom, and stress at work which lead me to explore these dramas. At last on a Saturday evening with nothing else to do, I commenced watching my first K-Drama – Boys over Flowers. Needless to say, I liked the storyline and fell in love with the series as well as the actors, and like an overenthusiastic fan, started checking their info on the net.
Soon I who always fell short of any topic for discussion found something to talk about and made a lot of friends. In these conversations, I got more suggestions as to which K-Drama I should watch next. Also, I learnt that each and every girl who watched these have had a crush on at least one K-star.
Initially, I binge-watched a K-actor, Lee Min Ho’s serials. I got a lot of banter from my father who used to see me sitting idly with my cellphone and not doing anything productive, but I just couldn’t put the damn phone down.
I used to watch these early in the morning, till late night-before breakfast, after breakfast-before lunch, after lunch till I ran out of my data pack and had to borrow the internet or till the battery died down.
I moved on to a new K-star and soon to Chinese dramas too. Right from, While You Were Sleeping, Scarlet Lovers, Kill Me Heal Me, to Ashes of Love, Princess Agents, The Untamed, to name a few. I have watched all, in fact, all the episodes in one go. They have a drama to suit every mood or every individual. They are short, simple and sweet. So beautiful, so real! The storyline, the actors, the ending everything was great. I used to eagerly lap up any news that I came across regarding the same. The Hallyu wave had hit me hard.
I had become obsessed with these. I started suffering from insomnia, stopped connecting with my friends on social media, my eyes were in pain and strain and I started living in a fantasy world, imagining myself to have got the opportunity to star in one of them, not able to concentrate on my work or my studies.
Then I realized what actually might be the cause of my addiction. All of these dramas usually ended on a happy note. Enveloped in the same, I was unwilling to face the reality: the hustle-bustle of everyday life, the long office hours, the denied promotion, seeing your peers excel in their professions, my dwindling self-confidence. I was depressed in a way and my desperate mind sought these dramas as an escape route. I was not facing my problem heads on, I was running away from it. I was hiding behind a curtain.
It was high time for me to take stock of the situation. I started with baby steps like reducing watching these by an hour or two, taking up everyday household tasks like cooking, cleaning, washing as well as igniting my old love for books.
Instead of watching these shows the first thing in the morning, I started completing my tasks for the day which I had decided for myself and only in the remaining hours did I catch up on these shows. Started learning something new every day, started having talks with my colleagues as well as my manager, began to focus more on my job and soon everything fell into place. I resumed pursuing my hobbies and at the end of the day, I rewarded myself with maximum an hour of K-dramas (the guys in these shows are so cute, you can’t completely evade them!!!). Soon I picked up on BTS too!
Everyone has their own set of problems. Life is full of twists and turns. If Life was that simple, it would be boring and monotonous. The real joy lies in facing the challenges of life heads on, coming back on track after being diverted, getting the reward for your patience and hard work and not hesitating to seek help when you need it.