We Are The Fandoms United

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It all began one lazy Sunday afternoon, I was merely having a quite lunch at a cafe, and in came Matt Smith with his ancient tweed jacket, that oh so bright bowtie, and the inevitable suspenders. Well, of course it wasn’t really Matt, but a fan in a cosplay. Heart thudding, I approached her, and viola, the rest is history. 

Immediately I was sucked into (quite pleasantly, I assure you) this alternate reality that is the Doctor Who Group, India, and later the Fandoms United India, where everyone is just as much into various fandoms as I am. People take insults to their fandoms quite seriously, something for which I had been mocked for my entire life! Finally, a decade after having been hit by the magic wand that introduced me to Harry Potter, I had a found a place where I belong.

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Here, age is irrelevant, and so is your geographical location, so long as you are passionate about the things that automatically render you socially inept, you are more than welcome. Any and every fandom is offered equal face time (unless you are a fan of the Twilight series, then you will be dragged into a dark alley and be politely beaten up with words that will hurt more than sticks and stones ever will). The only requirements to be a part of the Fandoms United is to be fun, geeky, passionate, bat shit crazy, and of course intellect.

For the first time, you may have more friends than you can count on both your hands (WIN). We come off as normal, with our fancy professional degrees, and our calm demeanour, but dare you bad mouth the characters we worship, and the force shall be with you, and not in a good way. We know what it is like to stay up until late into the night and obsess over things that can so easily be trivialised, and wake up early the next morning only to continue where we left off the previous night even before we have had our first cup of coffee. 

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There are things about us that can be categorised as weird or borderline OCD. Like say for example, crying every time our Doctor regenerates or suffers a major loss, rejoicing at the possibility of a deadly and evil villain being alive, reading a book into the night just cos our favourite character is in a fix, or waiting out in a long queue at the doors of a bookstore braving all kinds of climatic conditions when a new book in the series is about to be released. We laugh reminiscing about something geeky at completely inappropriate times, and we are so, so not sorry about it *nudge, nudge, wink, wink*.

We urge you to come and join us, so long as you do not spam our timeline, bore us with nonsense, and are genuinely geeky, for there is finally a place for you to belong. Signing off, Allons-y, Mischief Managed, Geronimo, Live Long and Prosper, You Shall Pass!

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Being a Geek isn’t Embarrassing, its Liberating!

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Since the beginning of comic books and geeky stuff, since the time people began to love and marvel upon the vast possibilities that books and sic-fi shows bestowed upon us, ‘normal’ people have tagged this group of people as ‘geeks’. So when you hear the word ‘geek’ in reference to someone, you immediately tend to picture someone in thick, gigantic glasses that takes up most of his/her face, dressed in ill-fitting clothes, and obsessing over something fictional in an enclosed space, cut-off from the outside world.

Geeks are so wrongfully looked down upon. A geek isn’t someone who simply thinks up some crazy controversies, or obsesses over something lame and insignificant, a geek in all his/her glory is someone who believes in a world beyond the one we reside in. He/she is someone who is open-minded to various possibilities beyond our regular existence, and lives in multiple worlds, as they are constantly exploring books, shows and movies that take them places that are far beyond the imagination of a single human being. 

 

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Sure, geeks can get obsessive and sometimes their obsessions make no sense to ‘normal’ people, yet, somehow geeks are ‘free’ in the truest sense possible. Once you admit you are a geek, there is no turning back, and you can simply give up trying to appease people who simply don’t understand you, and are constantly pooping on your party. It is beyond impossible to reason with this category of people, to make them see what makes you tick, and so its best not to try.

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Being a geek liberates you from having to act all ‘cool’ all the time, and trying to fit in. Admitting that you are a geek gives you the freedom to enjoy what you like doing the most guilt-free. It takes a lot of courage admitting that you are a geek in this time and age, where being ‘cool’ is all that matters. You could end up being picked on constantly, and also left out from the ‘it’ crowd.

However, my question(s) is, if you enjoy something tremendously, if you are capable of creating a universe for yourself that revolves around books, TV shows, and even movies what’s wrong with that? Doesn’t that prove that you have the ability to see beyond the obvious and mundane existence that plagues us day in and day out, the ability to dedicate yourself to something?

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Lets face it, reality sucks. I have said this a million times, and I will say it again. There is nothing extremely magnificent in our existence most of the time, so why not escape to a better place? A place where there are platforms numbered 9 ¾; a place where there is a mad man in a blue box who travels the universe, helping numerous species as and when they face an issue; a world where a highly functioning psychopath lives at 221b Baker Street and is willing to help out with police investigation so long as it isn’t ‘boring’?

Oh yeah, and that is one of the most important things- never having to be bored ever again. Being a geek keeps you constantly entertained, and there can be nothing better than that, can it? Everyday there is so much to do, so much to keep up with in the Geekverse, that there is no time for even a moment of boredom to seep into our lives. Simon Pegg has summed up being a geek to perfection:

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I Never Choose the Fandom Life

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I never choose the fandom life,

The fandom life gripped me tight and didn’t let go like a Whomping Willow.

I never choose the fandom life,

The fandom life broke me free from my mundane existence and ordered, “Don’t wander off!”.

I never choose the fandom life,

The fandom life taught me to shoot holes into a wall when bored.

I never choose the fandom life,

The fandom life pulled me aboard the Knight Bus in the middle of the night.

I never choose the fandom life,

The fandom life promised me all of time and space that I couldn’t resist.

I never choose the fandom life,

The fandom life caught hold of me and said, “Allons-y!”.

I never choose the fandom life,

The fandom life took me for a joyride in a TARDIS.

I never choose the fandom life,

The fandom life kept me up at midnight on my birthdays awaiting the friendly Giant.

I never choose the fandom life,

The fandom life opened the Pandorica showing me a better version of myself.

I never choose the fandom life,

The fandom life dragged me to 221b Baker Street, and I simply could never leave.

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My Safe Place: Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry

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If you were about to be hypnotised, and you were asked you to retreat into your ‘safe place’ what place would that be? When I pondered upon this question, it didn’t take me long to figure out that for me that place would unfailingly be Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Its not just the magic, and the amazing game of Quidditch that attracts me towards it, it is so much more than that.

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I maybe all grown up now, but since I was a kid, Hogwarts has always been the place where I would retreat into when the going got tough. Even though it was only in my imagination, it was still the best place to be. When everything around fell apart, the best and the most calming thing to do was to pick up a Harry Potter book and step into Hogwarts, where nothing was impossible.

Hogwarts is so much more than just the Victorian passages and the antique looks, it is home for so many people, when reality gets a little too much to handle. Its a place where you make the best of friends, and also learn to help your enemies out when required. You didn’t have to receive your letter of enrolment to be a part of it.

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Even today, when reality pricks, and people around are being complete jerks, all you have to do is pick up any one of the seven amazing books and dive into the world of Harry Potter. ­Even today, sometimes I wait by my window, straining my eyes to see if an owl is coming my way with a letter from Hogwarts, even though I know that I am a little too old to get in there. I like to think that I would probably be in Griffindor, given that I am a Leo and everything.

No matter how many fandoms I join, or how many books I read, my heart always goes back to Harry Potter and my alter-ego enrols itself into Hogwarts.

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Daniel Radcliffe in ‘Horns’

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Yes, you read that right, Daniel Radcliffe of the Harry Potter fame is going to appear in a whole new avatar in the movie ‘Horns’ directed by Alexandre Aja, which is also a novel by the same name by Joe Hills.

Here are some of the pictures that I found from the movie, take a look at how spectacular and different Daniel looks. The once cute and adorable looking young boy aboard the Hogwarts Express has truly arrived!

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The movie is set to release in mid-October. Man, living life on the slow track is so not fun! Wish I could hop onto a TARDIS and move on to the later bit of this year as all the amazing things are scheduled for then. Yes, I am referring to the Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Special, and also the possibility of Sherlock season 3 premiering in November. Although, I am not getting my hopes high on Sherlock, it could just be one of Moffat’s cruel jokes!

Haters Be Hating The Doctor

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Yeah, I have gone all Ghetto here and frankly, I don’t care what you haters make of it. Every day I read posts and blogs that keep trolling Doctor Who. Initially, I was outraged, but now I smile in amusement, cos you never know how great you have become until a ton of people start bitchin about you. Then you know that you have made it.

What is it that they detest about the show, I do not understand. Is it because it is so successful? How does it matter if the show is a little over the top, it is pure entertainment. Some people have a problem with it being a children’s show; well, the Harry Potter series started off as a children’s book, and look what a phenomenon that was.

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Others keep comparing it to Sherlock. Bitch please! These two shows couldn’t be more different when you take into consideration the fact that Sherlock cannot be caught dead with knowledge of the solar system, and the whole premise of Doctor Who revolves around the whole of the universe! There are millions of people out there who simple adore the show, and for good reason. All of them cannot be delusional now, can they?

I have read so many people say things like the show helped them when they were trying to get clean, helped them through the loss of a loved one, proved to be a companion to the loneliest of people, and yet so many people have a problem with Doctor Who. The show gives you infinite hope; hope that one day you may just prove to be as brave as Martha Jones who travelled all over the world spreading the Doctor’s word all by herself, that one day you may have a best friend like Donna Nobel who will save you from yourself, that one day Amy and Rory’s story of infinite patience and immovable love will be yours.

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Everyone is entitled to their opinions, but make sure that you have earned them. I am not saying that every person who watches the show has to be absolutely mental about it, that is simply not possible, but when there is no valid reason to hate it then why despise something that means so much to someone? Agreed, some people fall in love with the love stories in the show, but come on, its not like it is along the lines of Twilight, which is by God the parameter against which all the garbage on this planet is measured. I mean, the Daleks falling in love with the Cybermen will be a better love story than the Twilight horse shit. So be reasonable, be kind, and don’t judge.

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PS: Just had to add this picture of David Tennant’s, cos he is ADORABLE!

Why Choose Books & TV Shows Over People

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Ever since I learnt how to read and discovered the world of books, I haven’t stopped one bit. I have devoured one book after the other, and have loved every second of it. I discovered TV shows, great TV shows that is, a little later, in my late teens, and blimey, what a ride it has been. Never one for small talk or random conversations, I was always content with a book, holed up in my room.

However, there were times when I wished that sometimes I would experience a great friendship, a unique bond, like the ones described in so many books. Come on, who wouldn’t want friends like Harry, Ron and Hermione? And I found friends, not like I didn’t, not that socially inapt I am mind you, but it was never quite the same. Its human nature to expect; and it is the same very human nature to move on to the next best shiny thing that life throws at you. So people left, yeah, and there I was clutching my books and my external drive with lots of TV shows in it, and a thought struck me: why am I running after people, when I have all the company and support that I need right here, in the palm of my very hands?

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That is the day I realised that there isn’t a single human being that is better than a good book and a mind numbing TV show, cos if you pay attention closely, they have the most marvellous things to teach you. Where else would you find someone like Dumbledore, who is the greatest of great men and yet is so humble, where else would you find someone like the Doctor who would make other people’s problems his own?

Any good book is like a teleport that can take you to a whole new world, and so is a great TV show. I know this for a fact, because whenever I watch Doctor Who or Sherlock or read harry Potter, I am instantly in a whole new world, and when I finish the episode or a chapter and return to reality, it takes me a few moments to get my bearings. Are there people on this planet who can make you feel this way? Nope!

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Books and TV shows do not judge. No matter whether you have shaved your legs or are sitting about in your bathrobe without a care in the world, it will not matter to them. Also, books and TV shows won’t leave. They will be there for you at even 2 in the night, and will see you through your tough times. There is no drama involved, no fights, no arguments, you simply pick a book up, or watch an episode if you feel like and you are all sorted out.

They are both great conversation starters, and will not embarrass you in front of other people. Say if you talk of being a Doctor Who fan, your ‘cool’ proportion increases by a million folds; whereas if you are in the company of person who eats with his mouth open and burps in public, you will wish that the floor beneath you parts and swallows you up. 

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Fandoms unite, they do not discriminate, and this very blog and the number of amazing people I have come to know through it is living proof of what I am blabbering about. I could go on and on, round and round the merry go round, but the bottom line is that there is not a single being on this planet that is better than your favourite book and TV show, unless it is a 903 year old alien in a suit. Very specific, I know, its not like I woke up one fine morning and had a craving! Allons-y Alonso! 

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Puberty Works Differently in the UK

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Okay, I have to admit; right now I am trying to scrape up what was once my jaw, off of the floor and trying to fit it back onto my face. Why is my jaw on the floor, you ask? Because I just happened to watch these pictures:

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This is Matthew Lewis A.K.A Neville Longbottom of the Harry Potter series, and by God, just look at the transformation! The once plump and teddy bear-like boy can now give Adonis a run for his money.

If this wasn’t enough, I came across this

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This is Harry Mellings A.K.A Dudley Dursley, again from the Harry Potter series. These pictures are the reason that my jaw is now firmly logged onto the floor. Puberty is really a different story in the UK. Mind = Blown out of proportions!

A Decade of the Brits Rocking my World

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I clearly remember the day when I first came to know of Harry Potter. It was around the time I was first introduced to Shakespeare. I was all of 13 years of age, awkward with minimal social skills. I had already read Jane Eyre by then, and was in awe with every great piece of literature I came across. Okay, back to Harry Potter. I clearly remember the day, almost like it is seared into my memory. I was ogling at the movie poster of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, and I felt this bubble rising in my chest. I was too young to know what that feeling was, but now I know it was the feeling of my life changing forever.

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Between that day and the present time, I have endlessly be in pursuit of everything British, because come on, who can dispute that they have the best of everything; the best theater, the best literature, and the best of history. Hell they ruled most of the world less than a century ago! If I hadn’t discovered harry Potter and Shakespeare, I don’t think I would have been a writer today. The greatest writers and Wordsmiths on this planet, AKA Shakespeare and JK Rowling taught me the power of words, how they can create complete new worlds, make and break a person. That is the ultimate power of it all. And it was then that I decided that I wanted that power, not to destroy anyone, but to express, to put imagination to paper.

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After that I discovered Sherlock; that was more recent, as if I had time to obsess over anything else when the Harry Potter series had been going on. That show is better than any piece of television ever created in the history of mankind. Only 6 episodes so far, spread over two seasons, but what class! TV shows that have over 20 episodes in each season cannot even think of competing with the brilliance that is Sherlock. It’s a masterpiece that must have made Shakespeare weep with joy in his grave.

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Only recently did I discover Doctor Who; yes, I know its late, since the show has been around for quite some time, but has it changed my life or what! Its like I wasn’t living until now, not until I saw this show. People who aren’t watching Doctor Who cannot even imagine the extent of the awesomeness that they are missing out on. Its not just the time travelling with the stunning Doctor and the amazing companions, or the cursed fairytale that cannot have a happy ending, it is so much more than that. Its about responsibilities, about doing the right thing, or perish trying. It is about living to the best possible extent, not an ordinary one and about taking a stand for what you believe in. I could go on and on, there is so much to the show that it would take many more posts to cover it all.

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It’s the Brits, always the Brits with their amazing legacy that have given me more than I could have even thought to take back from this lifetime. One moment I am in Rome watching the fall of the great Julius Ceaser, and the other I am aboard the Hogwarts Express gobbling up a Chocolate Frog. One moment I am marveling at the powers of elimination that Sherlock possesses, and the next I am travelling across time and space in the TARDIS. Thank you so very much for all the amazing memories that you have bestowed upon me, for all the gifts of literature and the TV shows that have been my guiding light all my life.

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Expelliarmus: The Solution to Everything

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When you come to think of it, Expelliarmus is a simple little spell; it just disarms your opponent, and gives you quite an advantage. However, there is something deeper and more reliable about the spell, and this fact is simply hard to deny when it has been tested in the world of Harry Potter, and also Doctor Who.

Expelliarmus is the spell that saved Harry from the very grips of Lord Voldemort. It’s a very ordinary spell, nothing fancy like say Sectumsempra, which mind you creates wide and deadly gashes in your victim leading him to bleed to death. However, it comes handy at the weirdest of times, and not only at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, or some grim graveyard located in the Muggle world, but also in the year 1599, in the time when Shakespeare was most prominent and his works were played at the Globe Theater.

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Yes, as it so happens, Doctor Who along with Martha Jones travel back to 1599, and they are right in the midst of witnessing the greatest wordsmith of all time. However, things are not all right, as a pack of wicked witches are plotting on using Shakespeare and his power over words to forward their cause. As usual, the Doctor comes to rescue, and the witches are at the verge of getting a dose of their own medicine, only, this time along with a good dose of the spell Expelliarmus. Yes, that is the spell that sealed the deal and saved mankind from extinction.

Well, if the spell can hold back the darkest of wizards, then what chance do a pack of daft witches stand, right?

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