Hello, all! I've been posting here a little while now and...um...I never actually introduced myself, did I?
1. Name? Leila.
2. Age? Kali Yuga--oh, you mean MY age! 31!
3. Any nicknames preferred? Lei, Neela, or Hey You! all work fine.
4. Where are you from? New Orleans originally; I live in Canada now.
5. Occupation? Medical transcriptionist. (I type medical reports on my home computer.)
6. Interests? Religion is my main interest at this point in my life. I like to try different things and have done/learned a lot over the years - music, theatre, dance, languages, history. It's all been wonderful, but I've never been so happy with any of these things, as I am with anything religious.
7. Hobbies? Reading (mostly religion books and sacred texts, but poetry as well), writing, blogging, and trying to stuff as much knowledge into this stubborn head of mine as possible!
8. Favorite mythological serials? Why? I can't really declare a "favourite," as I've only seen two - Om Namah Shivay and Shree Ganesh - and adore them both. (Canadian networks don't show Indian television, so I can only follow the shows that I buy on DVD, or that are available on YouTube with English subtitles.)
9. Favorite mythological actors? Actresses? Aw, I can't really give too much input here; most of the folks you all list, I've never seen! I adored Manjeet Kullar (ONS, Sati), but she isn't really a regular mytho actress.
With regard to actors, I could sing the praises of Samar Jai Singh (ONS and Vishnu Puran Shiva), Sanjay Sharma (ONS Indra and SG Narada), and Nimai Bali (ONS Jalandhar and SG Tarkasur) for hours. They're all fantastic and would definitely be in my ideal mytho casting!
10. What is your favorite scene from your favorite mythological(s)? I'm going to cheat and list three scenes from each...I only know two mythos anyway!
Om Namah Shivay: Shiv-Sati's wedding was so beautiful and sweet; the entire thing was really lovely. Everybody looked so happy! (Well, except Daksha. :P )
When Shiv was alone, talking to Sati after she died, I cried. He was so stricken and devastated, and was speaking so tenderly. That was utterly astonishing acting work, and when I first realised just what an amazing actor Samar Jai Singh was.
Finally, there's a scene much later in the series when Narada is giving one of his many lectures to Indra. Indra, angry and annoyed, asks Narada why "the law of nature" seems to mean that the Devatas always lose heaven to a demon, then get it back, then lose it again to the demon's cousin or brother or son or whatever, and what is UP with that anyway. I had to pause the episode because I was laughing so hard I couldn't hear anything. Funniest scene ever, since he just summarized the plot of the last hundred episodes or so.
Shree Ganesh: First, when Ganesh is standing guard for Parvati's bath, the scenes where he's fighting everybody away from the entrance are just great. They're actually pretty well-choreographed, and the boy playing Ganesh is quite a good actor, performing the role with just the right mixture of defiance, confidence, and mischief.
When Daksha curses Narada, it's amazing: Narada's face, in less than one minute, goes from shock, sadness, realisation, understanding, acceptance, to happiness. Before Narada even opens his mouth to reply to Daksha, he's won, completely. To transform a curse into a blessing is really powerful, and so was that moment.
Finally, there's a scene much later in the series where Parvati gets quite angry at Narada. He starts the scene very cheerful, and gradually wilts as she scolds him, reaching the point of almost sobbing outright. That scene almost had me in tears too. How terrible for a devotee, to make a mistake and offend Devi, and how sad it was to see.
11. What is the most important lesson these serials have taught you? There are too many to count - I learned so much about faith, devotion, and history watching them - but there are two lessons that have been very important.
The first was to call upon God more, to put my faith and trust in the Supreme, after seeing over and over how the Devas always help their devotees! I thought it was "strong" and "noble" to handle things alone, but watching everyone pray and do penance in the serials, I realised it's actually much stronger to call God's name when there's trouble. And when there isn't trouble, too. :)
The other was not to be a stubborn, prideful idiot. I wrote about it in the ONS thread, about how I was practically screaming at the screen every time the Devatas did something stupid and impious...and then I realised, I was yelling at them for not praying or doing good deeds, but how often did I pray or do good deeds?? It was a nice, humbling lesson on how NOT to judge others!
12. What is your favorite song from your favorite mythological? Om Shool Panaye Namah from Om Namah Shivay; no other song even comes close. Everything about it is just perfect, so heartfelt and devoted, and the visuals are beautiful.
13. Any extra things you would like to add about yourself? Yes - I ramble a lot, so my posts are usually very long and babbly, just like this one. :P