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Thursday, June 21, 2012

A few thoughts about "A song of Ice and Fire"

As I was doing a reread of the famous series "A song of Ice and Fire" by the author George RR Martin, widely regarded as one of the best fantasy series ever written, I noticed a few things which I would like to share here. The series is often classified under Epic Fantasy. However, a closer look at the story would reveal that there is no epic/central plot line. There are two broad plot lines- one where all the people are playing the Game of Thrones. And the other where the Night's Watch are fighting the Others. The series is more like a rope whose strands have come loose and now are billowing in the wind wrapping around each other and unraveling. There is no central plot to keep the threads together. The various POV characters are having their own adventures, often crossing paths with each other, however as in real life there is no unified ending of the loop in sight. This is not to suggest that the series is not good. Epic or not it is definitely one of the best fantasy ever written.

Though I don't understand why would anybody want to be a peasant in this cold gritty unforgiving universe GRRM has created. If you are not a soldier, chances are you are going to be beaten bloody, raped, looted multiple times, mutilated, tortured, and enslaved. I would have thought that would be enough reason for all people to take up arms instead of shovels. I am sure GRRM is trying to make a point here about wars and male chauvinism by highlighting the darker sides of them so brutally. But I did not like that aspect of "The Prince of Nothing" by Richard Scott Bakker or "The Sword of Truth" by Terry Goodkind, not that the latter is comparable to A Song of Ice and Fire by any stretch of imagination. What actually galls me about these medieval fantasy is that the torturers/slavers/rapists escape justice because of various circumstances. And the lords and rulers often encourage them instead of despising them. Torture and Rape has become an accepted part of this world. What I am trying to say is that the Human element is missing even for characters like Daenerys who are practically the embodiment of all human virtues. Even Daenerys doesn't understand the need for vengeance of the maegi Mirri Maz Duur who had been raped multiple times by the Dothraki. How could one such as the maegi ever reconcile with the Dothraki.

There is another aspect of the story which is strange. The faith and the old gods reside peacefully. I am sure there is a bloody history somewhere which GRRM hasn't told yet, because no two religion can tolerate each other. GRRM rectifies that somewhat by bringing in the religion of the red god Rh'llor later in the series. But I thought more blood would have flown in the clash of religions compared to the clash of kings as our own history suggests.

Now a word about my favourite character. It is Tyrion Lannister . I do love a sarcastic cynic, trying to survive in this big brutal world with a handicap. Of course being a grey character I hate him at times like how he quietly accepted what happened to Tysha when he thought she was just a whore.

Now I want to read it again.......Hopefully the next two books will be published before GRRM expires himself.

Monday, June 11, 2012

From my LAPTOP

I have a huge collection of junk in the various partitions of my hard drive. As I was going through one such folder the other day I found some hilarious and weird notes which I must have collected from somewhere. So here they are:


'Actual conversation after 3rd ODI between India-Pak played in Lahore Paskistan on 13 Feb 2006:

Rameez: So Inzy, disappointed with your performance today?
Inzy: Bismilla-e-rehman-e-rahim. Thank you allah.ya the indian batsman is play very good today. we is try very hard but is not win the game.

Rameez: Any words for Dhoni?
Inzy: Ya dhoni is play very well. He is hit his shot very hard in our gaps. In start, we is protect our gaps very well. the grass is also thick.. but dhoni is split our gaps with his bat.

Rameez: Another ordinary bowling performance?
Inzy: Ya our balls is loose. the bowler is went for many run. Asif is bowled well. Also, after some shots the ball is out of shape. umpire is not give another ball. it is tough to play with one ball.

Rameez: Dropped catches.. did that prove costly?
Inzy: ya the ball is not stick to our hands. we is practice a lot sticking our bat in our hands.. but now we is more practice sticking balls in our hands.

Rameez: Any plans for the next match?
Inzy: ya India is on top but we is try to bounce on our back. Insha allah we is play better.

Rameez: All the best Inzy
Inzy: Thank is you"

Okay I have to apologize now. Because I don't think the conversation actually went as above. Besides Pakistani or not, Inzamam ul Haq was a damn fine batsman to watch and definitely deserves my respect.



 Lesson 1: 

A man is getting into the shower just as his wife is finishing up her shower when the doorbell rings. The wife quickly wraps herself in a towel and runs downstairs. When she opens the door, there stands Bob, the next door neighbor. Before she says a word, Bob says, “I’ll give you $800 to drop that towel.” After thinking for a moment, the woman drops her towel and stands naked in front of Bob. After a few seconds, Bob hands her $800 dollars and leaves. The woman wraps back up in the towel and goes back upstairs. When she gets to the bathroom, her husband asks,…
“Who was that?” “It was Bob the next door neighbor,” she replies.
“Great!” the husband says, “Did he say anything about the $800 he owes me?”

Moral of the story:

If you share critical information pertaining to credit and risk with your shareholders in time,
you may be in a position to prevent avoidable exposure.

Lesson 2

A sales rep, an administration clerk, and the manager are walking to lunch when they find an antique oil lamp. They rub it and a Genie comes out. The Genie says, “I’ll give each of you just one wish” “Me first! Me first!” says the administration clerk. “I want to be in the Bahamas, driving a speedboat, without a care in the world.” Poof! She’s gone. “Me next! Me next!” says the sales rep. “I want to be in Hawaii,relaxing on the beach with my personal masseuse, an endless supply of Pina Coladas and the love of my life.” Poof! He’s gone. “OK, you’re up,” the Genie says to the manager. The manager says, “I want those two back in the office after lunch.”

Moral of the story: Always let your boss have the first say.

Lesson 3

A priest offered a lift to a Nun. She got in and crossed her legs, forcing her gown to reveal a leg. The priest nearly had an accident. After controlling the car, he stealthily slid his hand up her leg. The nun said,”Father, remember Psalm 129?” The priest removed his hand. But,changing gears, he let his hand slide up her leg again. The nun once again said, “Father, remember Psalm 129?” The priest apologized “Sorry sister but the flesh is weak.” Arriving at the convent, the nun went on her way. On his arrival at the church, the priest rushed to look up Psalm 129. It said, “Go forth and seek, further up, you will find glory.”

Moral of the story: If you are not well informed in your job, you might miss a great opportunity.

Lesson 4

A crow was sitting on a tree, doing nothing all day. A rabbit asked him,”Can I also sit like you and do nothing all day long?” The crow answered: “Sure, why not.” So, the rabbit sat on the ground below the crow, and rested. A fox jumped on the rabbit and ate it.

Moral of the story: To be sitting and doing nothing, you must be sitting very high up.

Lesson 5: Power of Charisma

A turkey was chatting with a bull “I would love to be able to get to the top of that tree,” sighed the turkey,
but I haven’t got the energy.” “Well, why don’t you nibble on my droppings?” replied the bull. “They’re packed with nutrients.” The turkey pecked at a lump of dung and found that it gave him enough strength to reach the lowest branch of the tree. The next day, after eating some more dung, he reached the second branch. Finally after a fourth night, there he was proudly perched at the top of the tree. Soon he was spotted by a farmer, who shot the turkey out of the tree.

Moral of the story: Bullshit might get you to the top, but it wont keep you there.

Lesson 6

A little bird was flying south for the winter. It was so cold the bird froze and fell to the ground into a large field. While he was lying there, a cow came by and dropped some dung on him. As the frozen bird lay there in the pile of cow dung, he began to realize how warm he was. The dung was actually thawing him out! He lay there all warm and happy, and soon began to sing for joy. A passing cat heard the bird singing and came to investigate. Following the sound, the cat discovered the bird under the pile of cow dung, and promptly dug him out and ate him.

Moral of the story:

1. Not everyone who shits on you is your enemy
2. Not everyone who gets you out of shit is your friend
3. And when you’re in deep shit, it’s best to keep your mouth shut!



You May Be A Taliban If
  • You refine heroin for a living, but you have a moral objection to beer.
  • You own a $3,000 machine gun and $5,000 rocket launcher, but you can’t afford shoes.
  • You have more wives than teeth.
  • You wipe your butt with your bare left hand, but consider bacon “unclean.”
  • You think vests come in two styles: bullet-proof and suicide.
  • You can’t think of anyone you haven’t declared Jihad against.
  • You consider television dangerous, but routinely carry explosives in your clothing.
  • You were amazed to discover that cell phones have uses other than setting off roadside bombs.
  • You have nothing against women and think every man should own at least two.
  • You’ve always had a crush on your neighbor’s goat.


A lot of people will attest to the fact that Trey Parker and Matt Stone are a couple of Genius. Not only they have made a show like South Park, they often manage to produce something even beyond the ridiculously high expectation level they have set. Here is one such example. The episode was "Fishsticks" and they spoofed Kanye West with this awesome lyrics rendered to the tune of the song "Heartless". I have made those parts which I found worth a ROFLMAO bold. Enjoy. For best effects read it while listening to the song on youtube here.

I've been so lonely, girl
I've been so sad and down
couldn't understand
why others joked around
I wanted to be free
with other creatures like me
and now I got my wish
I know that I am a gay fish
(gay fish, yo)
mother fuckin' gay fish
(I'm a fish, yo)girl
I am a gay fish
(it's alright girl)
makin' love to other gay fish
all those lonely nights
at the grocery store in the frozen fish aisle
feeling like a whore
'cuz I wasn't being true
even though everyone said
that I had to make a switch
(gay fish)
now I know that i'm a gay fish
(gay fish, yo)
mother fuckin' gay fish
(I'm a fish, yo)girl 
I am a gay fish
(now where I belong, girl)
makin' love to other gay fish
I used to be scared, denying
who I was
actin' straight,
but then goin'
out to the gay fish clubs
dancin' with the marlins,
makin' out with all the snappers
i'd take a salmon home and
work that coddle fin for hours

but now i'm out and i'm free
to love what I want
be it yellowfin or bass or that
trout in vermont
I slap that marlin ass, make
that grouper butt shake
i'll come to your house and
have an orgy in your mother fucking
fish tank

mother fuckin' gay fish
(I'm a fish, yo)girl
I am a gay fish
(now where I belong, girl)
makin' love to other gay fish
I really get around
i'm a slut of the sea
when I say I got crabs
I mean it literally
I was eating dinner
and just had to go down
on that mackerel on the dish

'cus i'm the gayest of the gay fish
mother fuckin' gay fish
(I'm a fish, yo)girl
I am a gay fish
(now where I belong, girl)
but I got to settle down
I can't be a whore
I ain't gonna just sleep
with any fish no more
found me a lover
a brother who's a
cross-dressing pike named Trish
and together we are gay fish
mother fuckin' gay fish
(I'm a fish, yo)
girl I am a gay fish
(now where I belong, girl)
makin' love to other gay fish


These tidbits are not penned by me. I just found them worth collecting. What do you say?

Friday, June 8, 2012

A Proud Moment

Being an Indian Citizen has its perils. There are so few moments of pride. I am sorry to say I did not feel proud when our national anthem was selected as the best in the world by UNICEF. Because it was an internet hoax spread by some jingoistic fool. I did not feel proud when the Taj Mahal was selected as the first among the Seven Wonders of the World. Because it was selected via SMS votes and India has a huge population.

Then as the maggots of the government corruption began to ooze out on practically a daily basis, that was probably the lowest point of national morale. Not only the knowledge that most of the people in political power were corrupted to the core (which was mostly known), but the sheer scale of the scams (CWG, 2G, Coalgate) was a shock to the morale. Sadly, then came the unconstitutional opposition to these scams in the form of a voice to have LOKPAL by certain groups which comprised of people who themselves are corrupted and attention seeking. Youths across the nation started supporting the campaign (they were supporting that in Facebook though) to have a feel of how it was to protest against the regime. Of course they were just trying to emulate the great Bhagat Singh, Sukdev, the Mahatma, SC Bose, etc (having born much late after Indian Independence they missed out on the war for freedom. This was their way of having a new "movement", a "revolution") Who doesn't love a revolution against an oppressing regime? However I did not feel pride in that. As soon as India won the World Cup 2011, everything was forgotten though and people went back to their lives. Not even the unearthing of the huge Coalgate scam could elicit a response from the people who had become numb to corruption. ("Cholche. Cholbe" Zindabad). It wasn't a moment to feel proud. Then the government started to tinker with the secondary education system which they had started doing ever since they came into power after NDA. And by secondary education system, they only saw the ones which actually work, viz. the IITs. Ignoring the rest of them which don't work, they started doing some exceptional work to bring back the proud IITs to the average. Surely not a moment of pride. (Though the proposed system has lots of merits given certain modifications like elimination of the board marks as means of qualification)

Then came this news late on 8th June 2012.

IIT Kanpur defies Kapil Sibal, to conduct its own entrance test

It is not a big news by any means (No one was terrorized, no one was raped, no scam surfaced, no minister was granted bail, Sachin did not score a century, It wasn't an IPL Scandal, it wasn't a Poonam Pandey/ KRK tweet, Aamir Khan did not cry on national television, no Bollywood star was involved in an affair, Mamata Banerjee did not oppose some act, Digvijaya Singh did not open his mouth and Manmohan Singh remained as commentless as ever). But Man! did it feel good. Having studied at an IIT (albeit an IIT which is the first to agree with the MHRD on anything and everything) I will always feel a kinship with any IIT. And this was a moment of pride. The very fact that IITK senate decided to throw dung at the face of Mr. Kapil Sibal ("I am a 60 year old spoiled kid. I want my own toy. Gee, the "IIT" toy looks shiny") lifted my spirits to such high that I immediately started writing this post. Such was the excitement that my abysmal living conditions (extreme heat, humidity, a nearby hornets' nest and some other bothersome pests) bothered me no more. It was such a "Fuck you" moment that I forgot the pain of my childhood hero transforming into a political lackey for the moment. Definitely the way to show the middle finger. Remember it is very difficult to come out of the grip of the government for the IITs (despite them being "autonomous") because most of their funds still come from the government unlike their counterparts in the more developed nations. So it is very difficult to stand up to the government like this. I don't know if IITK is really going to go through this or fold under the pressure of the all-knowing illiterate politicians. But damn if it wasn't a moment to savour, a MOMENT OF PRIDE.