Monday, May 27, 2013

The license



The brothers could not believe their ears. Yudhishthir had agreed to play Shakuni again. This time the stake was different: whoever lost had to spend thirteen years in exile.

The two men sat facing each other, their eyes transfixed on the cross-shaped playing board. Each man cast his own dice. The audience waited with bated breath.

The unthinkable had happened! Yudhishtir had won!

The crowd was so taken aback that they even forgot to react.

Shakuni looked furious. He swore, and shouted at no one in particular: "But I cheated! I was supposed to win!"

Vyasa entered with a smile: "I’m the author, you know. I get to decide here."

***

Competition rules here.
Vote for me here or here.

54 comments:

  1. WOW!!
    Am i dreaming?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Possibly, but how am I supposed to know?

      Delete
  2. All said and done babu,still Krishna got to decide.
    It was he who rolled the dice.
    Vyas was but a pawn in his own game.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Indeed. But Vyas is cool. Super-cool.

      Delete
    2. Indeed. How else could he fool Ganesha into one long arse uninterrupted clerkship, where Ganesha got to do all the hard work: listen to Vyas droning on, transcribe the words, understand the content, and put it down in the final form. Kind of like a long social sciences PhD thesis.

      Delete
    3. Indeed. Ganesha was fooled, and goodness knows who else. But I've never thought of it as a social sciences PhD thesis.

      Delete
    4. I have always thought that this (Ganesha-Vyaasa story) would be part of an excellent Ph.D. thesis. The cases in legends where a mere mortal is allowed to defeat/fool a god partially is an extremely interesting narrative of cultural norms.

      Now, of course Indian mythology is rampant with cases where mortals defeated the gods at war, but that is different. Many of those (maybe not all, I am no ovshake in knowing legends) are portrayed in a way where some mortal obtains a boon from a god and uses it against them. Even if good qualities like valour are involved, they are kind of evil. But here is a guy
      who wants to do something good, while Ganesha's conditions
      seem to have a hint of arrogance, but is tamed by Vyaasa's brain. Also a big victory of brain (meanings of verses) over brawn (quick writing).

      Now, I am sure some smart people in Comparative Literature or some such area have done this already. In which case it would be fun to read a thesis like this!

      Delete
    5. The question isn't whether or not you have thought of it that way, but perhaps whether or not social science thesis-readers have...

      (Sorry - can't think of anything better right now - I just now saw "Jab Tak Hai Jaan". I think that The Vigil Idiot was being really complimentary to the movie.)

      Delete
    6. RGB, I guess you're slightly misled here. He was actually referring to Vyasa's trick.

      To quote Shashi Tharoor, the conversation probably went like this:

      Vyasa: “Hello this is Vyasa. I am looking for somebody to write a book for me. Brahma said you would be willing to help me out?”
      Ganapati: “That depends on what your book is about.”
      Vyasa: “The two main pillars of the book are sex and violence.”
      Ganapati: “So when do we start?”

      Delete
    7. Apoorva, how good is JTHJ? Is it Gunda? Is it Tehelka? Is it Jism 2?

      Delete
    8. It's our loss.In north India,valmiki jyanti is an off.If we celebrate balmiki jyanti as a holiday,vyas became uncool in depriving us of a holiday by not writing the epic himself.
      And do bengalis pronounce vyas as byas?

      Delete
    9. Vyas isn't uncool. He just didn't write anything religious, that's all.

      Yes, we pronounce him as Byas, which also means diameter. Go figure.

      Delete
    10. Aha! I did not know the joke. There was a lot of that though, despite a lot of reproduction being achieved through sperm banks and the like. I was still thinking about dyarthak shlokas.


      Delete
    11. Of course diameter was important. Why do you think Ambika was scared? :)

      Delete
  3. I suppose this has something to do with the results of a certain game.


    More seriously though, the author is allowed to decide on certain things, but he has to get a story. Therefore Vyaasa could never have used his license to get Shakuni to lose and still have a book; simply because who the hell would care that Shakuni lost? He would have to use his literary license earlier.



    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Vyasa had plotted out a story that everyone was supposed to know. And he cheated them all.

      Yes, the concept is, well, a bit weird. But then, I am weird myself. :)

      Delete
    2. Hmm. OK. I just got the feeling that timing had something to do with a certain game played yesterday. Characters there are also quite gray, but perhaps one team is being accused of cheating (even though that cheating is not necessarily to win.)

      Delete
    3. RGB, I really could not make head or tail of comment. I apologise, but being one of the most consistent readers, would you like to elucidate?

      Delete
    4. Well, a number of old friends have expressed joy at Mumbai Indians winning the IPL because they felt that Chennai had cheated, what with all the match fixing allegations flying around. So, in some minds at least, Chennai was 'scripted' to win by cheating, yet they lost the final. At some point I thought you were making a story about that too. Sounds like not.

      The reason I have been less than explicit is that I am not sure the idea about the IPL final makes great sense.

      Delete
    5. I don't really care a lot about IPL. Seriously. I mean this.

      Delete
  4. Nice one. May the best one win!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Replies
    1. Thank you. Tui likhbina? Aj last date.

      Delete
    2. manush jon der bola hok, main link e giye jayno tomar comment ta ke rate kore, otherwise vote count hobe na. jata lok jon ekhane comment korchhe, thik tawto jon jodi okhane giye rate kore, tahole....

      Delete
    3. Shameless promotion ei shuru korte cholechhi.

      Delete
  6. When you sent me the link for the contest, within a split of a second, all I could think of was the "Big Brother" post. No specific reasons. But Yudhisthir and that post was all that was on my mind. Strange! Anyways, loved this one.

    Re-quoting Parama Ghosh (October 5, 2012 at 10:20 AM) ~ JLT

    .. ... ... "Your portrayal of Yudhhisthir is the portrait of a winner, trust me. Atleast for me, there would be moments where I will sit and admire Him over Karnas and Arjuns."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is some coincidence.

      Or maybe not. Yudhishthir and cheating go hand-in-hand. He was perpetually at the receiving end. Possibly because he allowed others to cheat him.

      Delete
  7. More such contests.More posts from you.
    Participate more.Whether you win or not.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Indeed. Contests like these bring out the ruthless best in me.

      Delete
  8. You hurried the post to completion by making Vyas enter the court.What if Vyas had not entered?
    The characters would have set out in search of their author?

    Dhari

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nothing. Duryodhan and co. would have gone for thirteen years.

      There was a 110-word limit, Dhari. :(

      Delete
    2. Babu,even for a 110-word limit,deus ex machina is a rather poor way to end such a gripping rip-off.

      Delete
    3. Maybe I agree as well. It wasn't a good story, possibly.

      PS: Latin was never my cup of tea.

      Delete
    4. It kicked-off with high expectations...ended just as quickly.Babu,dare you write such short mythological tales again..i'll bombard you with unwanted spams...though the frequency of your blogging quite makes up for it.
      I am very happy with you for this :)

      Delete
    5. I'm not sure whether you're appreciating me or criticising me, but I'll thank you anyway.

      Delete
  9. Every time I feel sad, I read the ANONYMOUS comments of your blog. It works like magic.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Even I do. I simply adore the anonymous comments of my blog. They're indeed magical.

      Delete
  10. http://aashraya.blogspot.in/2005/11/vyasas-dissertation.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know, Suddha. Despite being a huge, huge fan of Crystal Blur (she's on my blogroll), I admit (with a heavy heart) that the lines are from Shashi Tharoor's The Great Indian Novel (which I definitely recommend).

      Delete
    2. I know. I read the book last year. But still crystal blur is funny as hell.

      Delete
    3. Absolutely. IMHO she (I've forgotten how I had come to the conclusion that it's a 'she') is the best mythology blogger around, and is a perfect combination of knowledge and wit.

      Delete
  11. Quite interesting! You gave a new view to see the classic sense of Mahabharata. I specially like the last line "I’m the author, you know. I get to decide here."
    I would like to vote for you. Good luck!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for visiting my blog, Supriya, and for commenting, for 'liking to vote', and of course, for wishing luck to an atheist.

      PS: When you like to do something, you should do it. Do not just like to vote. Do vote.

      Delete
  12. You are such a stunner !!! Definitely voting for you ... :):):)

    Lopamudra

    ReplyDelete
  13. Dice game was rigged already as per plan,though the happenings in temporal matrix was taken as pre-ordained,and then you put a foot in the past with Vyas' interruption-sort of meta fictive.Suppab!
    Don't beggar yourself by voting.It's your right.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you. Cheaters getting double-crossed is always a neat idea IMHO.

      Delete
  14. Yayyyyyyy !!!! You are the best ... Literally :):):):):) congrats on the win :):):)


    Lopamudra

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you. You people made it happen. The credit goes to you guys more than to me.

      Delete

Followers