Category Archives: Writing

In Real Life and on Facebook!


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Myself . By T.V. Antony Raj

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FB I want my friends back
Note: This was originally posted in Tamil on Facebook by an anonymous person! On reading the original I beat my breast and said: “Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa! Lord, I too have erred! I am no exception.”

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This is what most people post on Facebook!

After bribing the traffic police:

Let us do away with bribe

The once erratic drivers and riders after marrying and begetting children:

Obey road rules!

After bargaining with their labourers:

Down with capitalism!

After drinking Pepsi and devouring KFC chicken:

For economic growth of our country drink king coconuts.
Save our country from foreign entrepreneurs!

The guy who rides his bike to go to the next street:

Save the environment. Avoid pollution!

Romeos who ogle women on the street:

Respect Women. They are like your mothers and sisters!

The person jealous of his neighbour who earns 10 rupees more:

Unite. We are all brothers!

One who takes two steps back when an old destitute stretches her hand towards him:

Help the poor and the needy. Let us eradicate poverty!

The guys who show a quick face for namesake at the funeral of his neighbour:

My heart bleeds for those dying in Palestine, Israel, Africa and Timbuktu…

Fellows who don’t even speak a few words with his mother:

Writes pages of poetry about love for one’s mother!

Some men

Though stingy, project themselves as philanthropists on Facebook!

And some women

Flirt in life, but manifest as a virtuous person on Facebook!

How about you?

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I Kill about 60% of My Darlings Before Publishing


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Myself By T.V. Antony Raj

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blogging-tips

I edit what I write several times before I hit the “Publish” button.

On many occasions I leave my darlings aside for a fortnight or so; and then I read them, cut, append, read, juggle sentences and paragraphs, juxtapose, add, drop, umpteen times in no specific order until satisfied to a certain extent. In most cases I publish only about 60% of what I originally typed.

In her post titled “Kill Your Darlings” W. Michelle says:

Being a good writer means knowing how to edit: taking what you’ve written and stripping out the dulling distractions so your ideas shine. It’s not always easy, but it is necessary.

She quotes American writer and Nobel Prize laureate, William Faulkner: “In writing, you must kill your darlings.”

This is Michelle’s advice to bloggers:

  • Today — whenever you’re reading this — start a new post. Write until you’ve said everything you want to say, then save your draft — but don’t publish.
  • Tomorrow, open the post and check the word count (hint: it appears at the bottom of the editing box). Edit your post down by 10%, then save it and forget it again.
  • Repeat on two more days, until you’ve done three days of editing.
  • After three days of editing, hit “Publish.”

If your original draft was 1,000 words, the piece you ultimately publish should be around 730; if you started with 500, you’ll end up with 365 or so. If you’re a flash fiction writer who starts with 50, you’ll need to get yourself down to 36. (If you have a bolt of searing editorial insight and want to cut it down more than 10% on any day, feel free.) Whether you’re a long-form or short-form blogger, learning to wield your red pen ruthlessly will improve your writing.

A fellow blogger and poet Tom Balistreri commented to Michelle’s post:

After I write I go back and remove all my typos.
Then I go back and correct my sentence structure.
Then I correct my grammar.
Then I throw out anything that’s frivolous or doesn’t make sense.
At that point I have a blank page.

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What Does LOL, LMAO, ROFL, BRB, AFK, TY, THX, etc., Mean?


Readers have viewed this post more than 375,076 times.

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Myself . 

By T. V. Antony Raj
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Internet slang - 1

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Internet users coin “internet slang” to save time on keystrokes. It saves the writer’s time, but most writers do not realize that the reader of their slang spends more than twice the time to understand what the writer is trying to say. That is why I strive not to use internet slang in my communications.

While surfing, and by searching the internet, I deduced the meaning of a few internet slang plus a few others which I would like to share here with you.

Listing of Internet Slang and Acronyms

Slang and Acronyms  =    Meaning

1                                 =    One / exclamation mark

2                                 =   To / Too / Two

4                                 =   For or Four

AFAP                           =   As Far As Possible

A&F                             =  AAF Always And Forever

A3                               =  Anywhere, Any time, Any place

AA                               =  Alcoholics Anonymous

AAB                             =  Average At Best

AAK                             =  Alive And Kicking

AAMOF                         =  As A Matter Of Fact

AAP                             =  Always A Pleasure

AAR                             =  At Any Rate

AAYF                           =  As Always, Your Friend

ABD                            =  Already Been Done

ABH                            =  Actual Bodily Harm

ABN                            =  Asshole By Nature

ABT                            =  Absolutely

ABT                            =  About

ADL                            =  All Day Long

ADMIN                        =  Administrator

ADN                            =  Any Day Now

AEAE                           =  And Ever And Ever

AEAP                           =  As Early As Possible

AFAIAC / AFAIC            =  As Far As I Am Concerned

AFAICS                        =  As Far As I Can See

AFAICT                        =  As Far As I Can Tell

AFAIK                          =  As Far As I Know

AFC                             =  Away From Computer

AFD                             =  All F***ing Day

AFT                             =  About F***ing Time

AGW                           =  All Going Well

Aight                           =  Are you alright, Yo

ALOL                           =  Actually Laughing Out Loud

ANY1                          =  Anyone

AYSOS                        =  Are You Stupid Or Something?

B                                 =  Be

B4                               =  Before

Bb                               =  Bye Bye, Goodbye

BBIAB                      =  Be Back In A Bit

BBL                            =  Be Back Later

BBS                           =  Be Back Soon

BD                             =  Big Deal

BRB                           =  Be right back

BRB                           =  Be right back / Bath-room break

BRT                           =  Be right there

BTW                         =  By the way

C                                  =  See

CSWS                       =  Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop

CU                               =  See you

CUL                             =  See you later

Cuz                              =  Because

CYA                            =  See you

CYS                             =  Check Your Settings

da                                 =  The

dat                                =  That

der                                =  There

DIAF                            =  Die In A Fire

Dunno                         =  Don’t know

FAQ                              =  Frequently Asked Questions

FOAD                           =  **** Off And Die

FTL                                =  For The Loss

FTUW                          =  For The Uber Win

FTW                              =  For The Win

FWIW                          =  For What It’s Worth

FYI                                =  For Your Information

G2G / GTG               =  Got to go

GAL                              =  Get A Life

GFY                              =  Good For You

GG                               =  Good game, Good going

GIYF                             =  Google Is Your Friend

HAND                        =  Have A Nice Day

HS                                =  Holy Shit

HTH                            =  Hope This Helps

IACL                            =  I Am Currently Laughing

IANAL                        =  I Am Not A Lawyer

IANARS                    =  I Am Not A Rocket Scientist

IC                                 =  I see

ICYDK                      =  In Case You Didn’t Know

IDGI                           =  I Don’t Get It

IDK                             =  I Don’t Know

IIRC                            =  If I Recall Correctly

ILY / ILU                   =  I Love You

IMHO                        =  In My Honest Opinion

IMNSHO                 =  In My Not So Honest Opinion

IMO                            =  In My Opinion

IRL                               =  In Real Life

ITT                              =  In This Thread

IYDMMA                =  If You Don’t Mind Me Asking

JJ                                 =  Just Joking

JK                                =  Just Kidding

JOOC                           =  Just Out Of Curiosity

JP                                =  Just Playing

K                                  =  Okay

KKOk                         =  Cool / Ok Kewl

KL                                =  kool, cool

Kwl                              =  Cool

L8r                              =  Later

LLAH                         =  Laughing Like A Hyena

LMAO                       =  Laughing My Ass Off

LMFAO                    =  Laughing My F*cking Ass Off

LOL                             =  Laugh Out Loud

LQTM                        =  Laugh Quietly To Myself

M8                              =  Mate

MYOB                      =  Mind Your Own Business

NLS                            =  Not Life Safe

NOYB                      =  None Of Your Business

NP                             =  No Problem

NSFW                      =  Not Safe For Work

NVM                         =  Never mind

NWS                         =  Not Work Safe

O                                =  Oh

O3                              =  Out of Office

OIC                             =  Oh, I see

OJ                               =  Only Joking

OMG                         =  Oh My God! / Oh My Goodness!,

OC                              =  Out Of Character

OP                              =  Original Poster / Original Post

OT                              =  Off Topic

PEBKAC                 =  Problem Exists Between The Keyboard And The Chair

Pic                              =  Picture

PITA                           =  Pain In The Ass

Pix                              =  Pictures

Plz / Pls                       =  Please

PPMSLL                       =  Pissing/ Pissed Myself Laughing

POSL                          =  Piece Of ShIt

PPLL                           =  People

PTTLL                         =  Pop To The Loo

RL                              =  Real Life

ROFL                          =  Rolling On The Floor Laughing

ROFLMAO                   =  Rolling On The Floor Laughing My Ass Off

ROFLMAOL                 =  Rolling On The Floor Laughing My Ass Out Loud

Shudda                       =  Should Have

SMH                           =  Shaking My Head

SO                             =  Significant Other

SOS                           =  Same Old Shit

Soz / srry                 =  Sorry

SSDD                        =  Same Shit, Different Day

STFW                       =  Search The F*cking Web

sup                            =  What’s up?

sup homes            =  What’s up, friend?

SWW                      =  Sorry, Wrong Window – typing in the wrong box

Thnx                          =  Thanks

Tho                            =  Though

TIA                            =  Thanks In Advance

TTFN                          =  Ta Ta For Now

TTYL                          =  Talk To You Later

TTYT                          =  Talk To You Tomorrow

TY                              =  Thank You

TYT                            =  Take Your Time

U                                =  You

W8                              =  Wait

Wanna                      =  Want to

WB                             =  Welcome Back

Wd                              =  Well done

WDUWTA?                   =  What Do You Want To Talk About?

Wile                             =  While

WOOT                         =  We Own the Other Team

WTH?                          =  What The Hell?

WURSC                     =  Wow, you are so cool

YCM                           =  You Copied Me

Ye                               =  Yeah / Yes

YMMV                      =  Your Mileage May Vary

Yo                               = Hey / Your

YSVW                       =  You are So Very Welcome

YW                              =  You are Welcome

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Spoof: Part 2 – Rape Festival In Assam, India


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Myself By T.V. Antony Raj

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The American news satire website NATIONAL REPORT claim and labels itself as “America’s #1 Independent News Team”. But it is better known for pushing the boundaries of good taste than making its readers laugh. On November 2, 2013, it published a post titled “The Assam Rape Festival In India Begins This Week.

Earlier on January 8, 2013, the SUPER OFFICIAL NEWS posted the article titled “The Punjab Rape Festival In India Begins This Week“. The NATIONAL REPORT just copied that article word-for-word. The only change was in the title – the Indian state “Assam” was substituted in lieu of “Punjab” to read: “The Assam Rape Festival In India Begins This Week.

The Assam Rape Festival In India Begins This Week

The article claiming a non-existent, wishful (in the mind of the author) vulgar event taking place in India was a spoof by a person writing under the pseudonym Jimmy Rustling.

Jimmy Rustling

The social media was abuzz with reactions to the article. So far, it has been shared more than 312,000 times on Facebook and around 3,000 times on Twitter. It has besmirched the image of Assam and has sparked widespread protests in the state.

The article does not display any disclaimer saying it is a spoof. However, there is a general Disclaimer page on the NATIONAL REPORT website:

DISCLAIMER: National Report is a news and political satire web publication, which may or may not use real names, often in semi-real or mostly fictitious ways. All news articles contained within National Report are fiction, and presumably fake news. Any resemblance to the truth is purely coincidental . The views expressed by writers on this site are theirs alone and are not reflective of the fine journalistic and editorial integrity of National Report. Advice given is NOT to be construed as professional. If you are in need of professional help (and you may be if you are on this page), please consult a professional. National Report is intended for a mature audience and not for children under the age of 18.

Linked to the “Rape Festival” articles in SUPER OFFICIAL NEWS and NATIONAL REPORT is a common website Giveindia.org that looks like a genuine Indian website seeking donations for the welfare of Indian women.

At the end of the article there is the following statement:

For more information about the festival or if you would like to participate, please call the 24-hour India Rape Festival hotline at (785) 273-0325.

Fred Waldron Phelps, Sr.
Fred Waldron Phelps, Sr.

I googled and found that the given hot line number (785) 273-0325 belongs to Fred W. Phelps Sr., an American pastor heading the Westboro Baptist Church, an independent Baptist church based in Topeka, Kansas in 1955. Address: Westboro Baptist Church, Address: 3701 SW 12th St, Topeka, KS 66604, United States.

According to Phelps, basically everyone, who isn’t a part of their “religion” and “church” is doomed and will go to hell.

 

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Phelps’ group protests all over the United States at Gay funerals and Soldiers funerals. The first Amendment under the U.S. Constitution protects them to do these despicable hate acts.

Although the  “church” started as only hating “fags” they have now moved on to hate Australians, Canadians, Jews, Swedish, and even the Amish. To picket hey use signs such as: “God Hates Fags“, “Fags Hate God“, “America Is Doomed“, “Soldiers Die God Laughs“, “Thank God for 9/11“, etc.

Many people in USA, India and other countries believed the contents of the article as a true fact even though no such festival exists or existed in any part of India. And the article was widely shared even now via social media. It has been blindly copied and posted in sundry websites around the world without verifying the facts, thereby tarnishing the image of India.

Here is an example of this spurious, apocryphal copying:

The Assam Rape Festival In India Begins This Week - news.ugo.co.ug

On November 6, 2013, Patricia Kahill, posted the article verbatim without verifying facts in UGOnews with the following introduction:

Reports from National Report say that this week in Indian men readied themselves to begin celebrating the annual Assam Rape festival. This festival sees that every unmarried girl between the age of 7-16 who has not been hidden is raped. (sic)

This article published in UGOnews evoked many scathing comments. I have reproduced some of them here:

Prashant Moni · Textiles
It is very sad that some mentally sick peoples are publishing the scenario of a region in a very bad manner. To be make clear that there is NO ANY SUCH FESTIVAL in Assam or even in any other region in India. This is nothing but an output of mentally sick person (s). (sic)

Rajeev Gohain · J.B College, Jorhat
What a rubbish story. The picture is from a festival from Uttar Pradesh, Tamilnadu is lakhs km far. The names are not Assamese. The creator of this story is that the psychic who is dreaming about this type of festival , so that he also can go and participate it.. I am requesting to whole the world not to believe this type of fake story, but come and enjoy a beautiful green Assam famous for One horned Rhino and Tea.

Ashish Das · Online Entrepreneur and Blogger
Stupid website… research before publishing.

Manashwi Sharma · Student
This is absolutely NOT TRUE. There is no such freaking festival celebrated in Assam or in any part of India. I Request everyone NOT TO BELIEVE whatever is written on this website. This is totally a FALSE NEWS.

Prasanta Dutta · Guwahati College
I am from Assam and 33 year’s old, Its a is totally a Stupid news. Women is always respected in Assam more than other part of the world. (sic)

Sukanya Goswami · Dibrugarh University
this is unacceptable!!! shame on your mentality!!! u people published such a wrong thing about a region without knowing any thing!!! shame on u!!!! go and research before doing such stupid things!!!! u people dont knw any thing ,never heard about assam and but ready to publish nonsense about it!!! stupid website!!!! (sic)

Shreeja V Shetty · Software Tester at GlowTouch Technologies
Well this news is surely not true. India is a lovely country. But action should be taken on the one who wrote this! So that nobody repeats such nonsense again!

Lekha Borah · Works at Working as a Freelance Photographer
Want to make it clear that there is no this kind of \\”DIRTY FESTIVAL IN ASSAM”// or in INDIA. This is nothing but a fake RUMOUR of some mentally sick persons.Very sad and very shameful thing happened made by psycho people. (sic)

Slickèr Qalie Ndlovu · Member, Organisation of African Youth (Zimbabwe)
people stop lying please (sic)

On November 12, 2013, Patricia Kahill posted another article in UGOnews titled “The Controversial Assam Rape Festival” in which she says:

Last week we reported about the Assam rape festival a controversial and satire story that was first published by National Report a USA based website, lead to a number of comments on our site from the Indian community.

According to Lets Gist the point of the story was activism, to educate people about what is going on  in India on a daily basis, because a lot of people don’t know.

Hindustan Times received a statement from Tarun Gogoi, Chief Minister of Assam immediately that said:

“the fraudulent and extremely unethical article about the completely fictitious festival is an act of serious disrespect and total disregard shown towards the humble and unsuspecting people of our beautiful state of Assam. The writer of such a piece of pure evil is not fit for human society.”

Bharat Narah, press adviser to Gogoi, told Gulf News:

The Assam Rape Festival article is not at all humorous. It is distasteful, unethical, abominable, despicable and must be abhorred by all sections of society. We have taken up a suo moto case against the website and the author of the piece. It is a highly sensitive matter which cannot be ignored. We are assessing all our options and are in touch with the Cyber Cell of the Police Department.

Regardless of race, culture, or nationality, any decent and moral person should be offended by this filth. Media plays a very critical role in forming opinions. If media will start acting so naively, then the responsibility of spreading information through media should be taken away. We Indians know that this news is totally fake, but people in other parts of the world are getting the wrong message about our nation. This mischief by the media should be dealt with very strictly.

The comment by Nancy Powell, US ambassador to India, when she addressed the students of Xavier Institute of Social Science (XISS) in Ranchi, on November 19, 2013, is an epiphany for the state of affairs now prevailing in India.

When a student asked: “Why aren’t American students coming to India for studies?

She replied: “The concern for personal security and perceived increased danger to women as a result of the rape cases was perhaps a factor in US students’ decision regarding study in India.”

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← Previous post – Spoof: Part 1 – Rape Festival In Punjab, India

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← Previous Spoof: Part 1 – Rape Festival In Punjab, India

Spoof: Part 1 – Rape Festival In Punjab, India


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Myself By T.V. Antony Raj

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On January 8, 2013, an American website SUPER OFFICIAL NEWS posted an article titled: “The Punjab Rape Festival In India Begins This Week,” written by a person using the pseudonym ‘Jimmy Rustling‘.

The Punjab Rape Festival In India Begins This Week

Since January 2013, this article, camouflaged as a news item, circulated through blogs, email, and social media. Its claim that the tradition of the Punjab Rape Festival dates back to 43 BC is utter nonsense. Factually, there is no such event as the Punjab Rape Festival. The story was simply concocted by the psychotic Jimmy Rustling.

This obviously false story caused a great deal of apprehension and dismay after it spread through the media. Not realizing that there is no such event and never ever was, many decried the imaginary event and wanted it stopped.

Here is an example of one such silly call titled “HELP ME STOP’The Punjabi Rape Festival in India by Neil Padayachee posted on January 16, 2013.

'HELP ME STOP'The Punjabi Rape Festival in India

The comments for the post “The Punjab Rape Festival In India Begins This Week”  show that the average follower of SUPER OFFICIAL NEWS  is an ignoramus who could be manipulated to believe any unauthenticated absurd news, as he would when he reads the religious scriptures, mainly because it is in print.

As usual, pranksters too joined in and added fuel by defending the festival and stating they were looking forward to participating in the hypothetical event.

Sarab H:
This is so messed up! I demand justice!

M ShelatI agree. Something needs to be done to stop this!

Mark Dauglas ZnenitzI would go to this festival. Probably not participate but I would go

Eva Monreli: They are not even considering that one can get viral diseases (Like AIDS)from these people. This should be stopped!

Holly Marys: I have many many many MANY demons in me that need uncorking. May I, as an American and not Punjabi, participate so that I may perhaps be rid of my demons once and for all?

Catherine: Sick people! This is 2013 for God’s sake. Stop these archaic Men form doing injustice to the girl child.

Naga sadhus who had gathered at the Allahabad Maha Kumbh Mela 2013.
Naga sadhus who had gathered at the Allahabad Maha Kumbh Mela 2013.

The above photo of Naga sadhus at the Kumbh mela was used along with the ‘rape festival’ story. This photo of Naga sadhus gathered at the Allahabad Maha Kumbh Mela 2013, deceives readers into believing that the Hindu sadhus were rushing to rape unmarried girls in the age group 7 to 16 years.

Sharell Cook
Sharell Cook

Sharell Cook, an Australian traveller researching distinctive cultures from her early 20s, initially visited India in the year 2000 and found it a total assault on her senses, confronting, but then oddly inspiring and captivating. Even today, this impression about India has not changed. Even now, Sharell is residing in cosmopolitan Mumbai where she writes full-time while learning Hindi. This is her impression about the Allahabad Maha Kumbh Mela:

The Kumbh Mela in India is as mesmerizing as it is spiritual.  This ancient northern Indian festival is a meeting of mystical minds. The largest religious gathering in the world, the Kumbh Mela brings Hindu holy men together to discuss their faith and disseminate information about their religion. It’s attended by millions of people each day.

Many Indians living in the United States called for the removal of the article from the website and wanted authorities to take punitive action against the author and the website that published it.

In late January 2013, the writer responding to the angry calls posted the following message on his Facebook Page:

Paul Horner alias Jimmy Rustling
Paul Horner alias Jimmy Rustling

I’ve been getting emails from people saying that I should remove my story entitled, “The Punjab Rape Festival In India Begins This Week.”

The point of the story was an activism piece to educate people about what is going on over there on a daily basis, because a lot of people don’t know. I read everything I can get my hands on and every day there’s another story about another horrible rape or murder of a young girl in India…. usually where the guy gets off, not being punished, or worse, where the victim is forced to marry her attacker.

So I wrote up the most exaggerated, ridiculous thing I could think of… it gets people to pass around the story and then question what’s going on over there if they didn’t already know. A simple Google search of “Punjab rape” brings up 100+ different stories of young girls getting raped, murdered, forced to marry the man who raped them… it’s disgusting.

Anyway, that’s the point of the story and I’m not pulling the article.

In an email to hoax-slayer.com the author wrote:

One of the other MAJOR factors for doing the story was collecting money for the women of India for schooling, clothes, help in leaving abusive situations. So, a few months ago I added this to the bottom of the story:

WANT TO HELP THE WOMEN IN INDIA? THEN DO SOMETHING!
Click here to learn more.

I checked out that charity thoroughly. They are 100% legit giving 90-95% of collected funds to the cause.

To keep the controversial “Rape Festival” spark alive, SUPER OFFICIAL NEWS on May 7, 2013, posted yet another spoof story in bad taste written by Jimmy Rustling titled: “Surprise Winner At This Years Punjab Rape Festival.

Surprise Winner At This Years Punjab Rape Festival

Once again the stupid readers of this post came out with absurdities:

Sarah H: They give awards to men in India for raping woman? WOW.

Samantha: This is just disgusting! They don’t arrest them for rape but they give them awards??? SOMETHING NEEDS TO BE DONE ABOUT THIS!

Lena: Govt must come forward to support RAPE FESTIVAL. This is the only world class entertainment ,where every one love to participate. Tourist visits to India ,will generate collosal amount for the nation. Allow everyone to participate,give them FREE CHANCE to win award. GOVT must provide FREE VISA Access. Let people of the world to enjoy and feel free to taste of RAPE. RAPE reduces heat,its good for health and for the growth of man kind. C.M needs to be changed,since he wants to snatch this freedom from people of punjab, which is against the will of the nation. Democracy in India should not tarnished at any cost.

Readers of SUPER OFFICIAL NEWS made these comments despite the following image posted proudly on its site on the page “Super Official Awards.”

Fox News Called Super Official News A 'Fake News Site'

The name Jim Rustling is the pseudonym of an author named Paul Horner, a Staff Writer for NATIONAL REPORT who claims to have won numerous awards for journalism including a Peabody Award and a Pulitzer Prize.

How authentic are the writings of Jimmy Rustling a.k.a. Paul Horner?

You will find the answer if you read the article titled “President Obama Presents Paul Horner With Super Universe Ultimate Award For Excellence In Winning The Game” posted on November 5, 2012 in SUPER OFFICIAL NEWS.

I understand that  “Fred Dursk” is another pseudonym of Paul Horner. Now, I wonder how many other pseudonyms this person has, and whether the name “Paul Horner” itself is real, or is it another pseudonym of some other person hiding behind these names.

A disclaimer right at the bottom of the posts in SUPER OFFICIAL NEWS reads as follows:

Disclaimer: Lulz killing of any kind will not be tolerated. If you are being a buzzkill, your comment can be altered or deleted. This entire site is pretty much just a resume containing a collection of my writings and such for the off chance that someone like The Onion or The Daily Show ever happens to stop by. Until then just remember, if it’s on the internet it must be true.

Next → Spoof: Part 2 – Rape Festival In Assam, India

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Who is Bapu?


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Myself 

By T. V. Antony Raj

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On November 13, the day after I posted my article ASI Hits Dirt After Following a Seer’s Dream of Fool’s Gold a person commented with a poem, slightly out of context to the subject. Nevertheless, I am reproducing it here since it impressed me somewhat.

This is a free translation of the author’s Gujarati poem that he wrote on January 30,  1984.

By the way, the author Hemen Parekh celebrated his 80th birthday on Sunday, June 27, 2013.

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Mahatma Gandhi
Mahatma Gandhi

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Who is Bapu?
 By Hemen Parekh

There was a time
When you were our Bapu,”
A Mahatma;
For a lifetime long
A tortured Atma;

To wash away the sins of your children
You died a martyr’s death;
Now those very children
Have opened-up a shop
To sell ” Gandhi-ism ”;

They are even maintaining
Two separate books of accounts,
One for income from ”Unknown Sources “,
Strictly as required by the law!

Even out of curiosity
Do not venture
Anywhere near;
No one will recognize you
Without your NSG / Z+ bodyguards!

And children from city slums
Will chase you, shouting,
”Ben Kingsley, Ben Kingsley, “

And when they ask you for your autograph,
Do not sign,
” Mo Ka Gandhi ”!
Just pretend that you are Ben Kingsley,
TV cameras, Reporters, Anchors
Will follow in your footsteps;

Just forget that
You were our Bapu!

Hemen Parekh

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  • Bapu (praveenndtv.wordpress.com)

An Invitation: Write for ‘Impressions’


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Myself . By T.V. Antony Raj

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blogging

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Do you have something interesting to share with our readers? Then, be our guest.

You can write for Impressions as a guest writer even if you are a budding or seasoned writer.

Rules for submission of articles:

  • We wish to publish only unique and impressive articles written for ‘Impressions.’ The content should be your own original material – not duplicated, copied or plagiarized.
  • Your article should be between 500 and 1000 words in length.
  • Each submitted article should have at least one image relevant to the subject.
  • We do not guarantee publication of the article submitted by you. After scrutinising your article, we will let you know you whether we accept it for publication in ‘Impressions‘ or not .
  • We do not pay for accepted and published submissions. What you gain would be your exposure as a writer to our readers.
  • After your article is published in this site, you are free to publish the same elsewhere but with due recognition given to ‘Impressions” as having published it first.
  • After the acceptance for publication, we reserve the right to edit, format and modify, if necessary, and we will remove any inappropriate link before posting on this site.
  • Please do not submit articles that hurt religious beliefs of others or pornography.
  • Since comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site, we reserve the right to edit or drop comments on your published articles.
  • We accept articles written with Microsoft Notepad or Word document format., jpg or png images, and video URLs from YouTube.

Please send your submissions to: tvaraj@gmail.com

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50 Common English Phrases That Are Used Incorrectly by Some Writers


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Myself By T.V. Antony Raj .

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The-only-thing-Ive-learned-from-my-mistakes

Many probably have their own pet peeves while writing. I am not an authority on writing. When I was young I overcame the writer’s block on reading the masterpiece Say What You Mean” by Rudolf Franz Flesch. Even so, I confess that my grammar is not that good and I do make silly mistakes in my writing.

Here are some common phrases which I have come across that needs everyone’s attention whether they are bloggers or not. I feel the phrases on the left are incorrect,
while the ones on the right seem to be correct.

01: All of my children | All my children

02: A mute point | A moot point

03: Anyways | Anyway

04: Baited breath | Bated breath

05: Begging the question | Raising the question

06: Brother-in-laws | Brothers-in-law

07: Case and point | Case in point

08: Chester drawers | Chest of drawers

09: Circumvent the globe | Circumnavigate the globe

10: Curl up in the feeble position | Curl up in the fetal position

11: Each one worse than the next | Each one worse than the last

12: Expresso coffee | Espresso coffee

13: Extract revenge | Exact revenge

14: Fall by the waste side | Fall by the wayside

15: For all intensive purposes | For all intents and purposes

16: Free reign | Free rein

17: He did good | He did well

18: Head towards the door | Head toward the door

19: Hunger pains | Hunger pangs

20: I’m giving you leadway | I’m giving you leeway

21: I could care less | I couldn’t care less

22: I made a complete 360 degree change in my life | I made a complete 180 degree change in my life

23: Irregardless | Regardless

24: It’s a doggy-dog world | It’s a dog-eat-dog world

25: Jive with | Jibe with

26: Make due | Make do

27: Momento | Memento

28: Near miss | Near hit

29: Nip it in the butt! | Nip it in the bud!

30: Old timer’s disease | Alzheimer’s Disease

31: On accident | By accident

32: On tender hooks | On tenterhooks”

33: One in the same | One and the same

34: Outside of | Outside

35: Pick / Peak my curiosity | Pique my curiosity

36: Runner-ups | Runners-up

37: Scotch / Scott free | Scot free

38: Self-depreciating | Self-deprecating

39: Less than 300 characters | Fewer than 300 characters

40: Should of | Should have

41: Sneak peak | Sneak peek

42: Statue of limitations | Statute of limitations

43: Step foot | Set foot

44: Suppository of information | Repository of information

45: The spitting image | The spit and image

46 They made her an escape goat for the breakup of the family | They made her a scapegoat for the breakup of the family

47: What’s your guyses opinion? | What’s your opinion, guys?

48: Without further adieu / Without further a due | Without further ado

49: Wreck havoc | Wreak havoc

50: You have another thing coming! | You have another think coming!

How to write good

The Girl Who Changed Pakistan: Malala Yousafzai


by Shehrbano Taseer
Oct 22, 2012

Shehrbano Taseer takes an insider’s look at the 15-year-old girl who may finally turn the tide on extremism.

Malala Yousafzai in 2009 (Photo: Veronique de Viguerie / Getty Images)
Malala Yousafzai in 2009 (Photo: Veronique de Viguerie / Getty Images)

The teenage girls chatted to each other and their teachers as the school bus rattled along the country road. Students from a girls’ high school in Swat, they had just finished a term paper, and their joy was evident as they broke into another Pashto song. About a mile outside the city of Mingora, two men flagged down and boarded the bus, one of them pulling out a gun. “Which one of you is Malala Yousafzai?” he demanded. No one spoke—some out of loyalty, others out of fear. But, unconsciously, their eyes turned to Malala. “That’s the one,” the gunman said, looking the 15-year-old girl in the face and pulling the trigger twice, shooting her in the head and neck. He fired twice more, wounding two other girls, and then both men fled the scene.

Over the screams and tears of the girls, a teacher instructed the bus driver to drive to a local hospital a few miles away. She stared in horror at Malala’s body, bleeding profusely and slumped unconscious in her friend’s lap, then closed her eyes and started to pray.

As of this writing, Malala fights for her life at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, England. Her would-be killers have not yet been caught. But it’s clear who bears responsibility. And in the days since the Oct. 9 assault on her, sadness, fury, and indignation have swept the world.

For months a team of Taliban sharpshooters studied the daily route that Malala took to school, and, once the attack was done, the Tehrik-e-Taliban in Pakistan gleefully claimed responsibility, saying Malala was an American spy who idolized the “black devil Obama.” She had spoken against the Taliban, they falsely said, and vowed to shoot her again, should she survive.

The power of ignorance is frightening. My father, Salmaan Taseer, was murdered last January after he stood up for Aasia Noreen, a voiceless, forgotten Christian woman who had been sentenced to death for allegedly committing blasphemy. My father, the governor of Punjab province at the time, believed that our country’s blasphemy laws had been misused; that far too frequently, they were taken advantage of to settle scores and personal vendettas.

In the days before my father’s murder, fanatics had called for a fatwa against him and had burned him in effigy at large demonstrations. His confessed shooter, a 26-year-old man named Mumtaz Qadri, said he had been encouraged to kill my father after hearing a sermon by a cleric, who, frothing at the mouth, screeched to 150 swaying men to kill my father, the “blasphemer.” Qadri, a police guard, had been assigned to protect my father. Instead, on the afternoon of Jan. 4, my brother Shehryar’s 25th birthday, he killed my father, firing 27 bullets into his back as he walked home.

My father, one of the first members of the ruling Pakistan People’s Party, was frequently imprisoned and tortured for his unwavering belief in freedom and democracy under the harsh dictatorship of Gen. Zia ul Haq.

But in later life, as he spoke against the blasphemy laws, his views were distorted to suggest—wrongly—that he had spoken against Prophet Muhammad—just as Malala’s views were twisted by both her Taliban attackers and opportunistic politicians peddling poisonous falsehoods for their own gain.

One would think the nightmare and the brutality of the Zia regime ended when the tyrant’s aircraft fell out of the skies in 1988 and he was killed. We were so wrong.

These clerics are raising merchants of hatred, believers in radical Islam (Photo: Lynsey Addario / VII))
These clerics are raising merchants of hatred, believers in radical Islam (Photo: Lynsey Addario / VII))

What the attack on Malala makes clear is that this is really a battle over education. A repressive mindset has been allowed to flourish in Pakistan because of the madrassa system set up by power-hungry clerics. It’s a deeply rooted indoctrination, and it sickens me to see ancient religious traditions undermined by a harsher form of religion barely a generation old. These madrassa, or religious schools headed by clerics, are the breeding ground of Islamic radicalism. The clerics don’t teach critical thinking. Instead, they disseminate hate. These clerics are raising merchants of hatred who believe in a very right-wing and radical Islam, to hail people like Osama bin Laden and Mumtaz Qadri as heroes. They train children how to use guns and bombs, and how not to live but to die.

Since my father’s murder, I have often wondered if Qadri would have killed him had he known my father’s actual views and not what they had been twisted into by media anchors and clerics on a hysterical witch hunt. Maybe if he had listened to what my father really said, Pakistan would not have lost its bravest man and I my center of gravity.

After his bloody deed, Qadri was hailed as a hero by right-wingers and fanatics. In a loathsome display in front of the court where he was to be tried, hundreds of lawyers charged with upholding justice instead showered the murderer with rose petals in praise of him taking a sacred life.

But terrorism bears within it the seeds of its own destruction. What schools with a good syllabus can offer is the timeless and universal appeal of critical thinking. This is what the Taliban are most afraid of. Critical thinking has the power to defuse terrorism; it is an internal liberation that jihadism simply cannot offer.

This time, with the attack on Malala, what is different—and encouraging—is the outpouring of support in Pakistan for this young girl. We cannot, and we will not, take any more madness.

Malala was only 11 when she started blogging entries from her diary for the Urdu-language website of the BBC. Her nom de plume was Gul Makai, meaning cornflower in Pashto and the name of the heroine of many local folk stories. A star student with olive skin, bushy eyebrows, and intense brown eyes, Malala wrote about life under Taliban rule: how she hid her schoolbooks under her shawl and how she kept reading even after the Taliban outlawed school for girls. In an entry from January 2009 she wrote: “Today our teacher told us not to wear colorful dress that might make Taliban angry.” She wrote about walking past the headless bodies of those who had defied the radicals, and about a boy named Anis, who, brainwashed by the Taliban, blew himself up at a security checkpoint. He was 16 years old.

Encouraged by her father, Ziauddin, a schoolmaster, Malala quickly became known as she spoke out on the right to an education. Ziauddin had two sons also, but he told friends it was his daughter who had a unique spark. She wanted to study medicine, but he persuaded her that when the time came she should enter politics so she might help create a more progressive society—at the heart of which was education for all. In Pakistan, 25 million children are out of school, and the country has the lowest youth literacy rate in the world.

"For one Malala shot and silenced, there are now thousands of younger Malalas who cannot be kept quiet,” says former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown. (Photo: Arshad Arbab / EPA-Landov)
“For one Malala shot and silenced, there are now thousands of younger Malalas who cannot be kept quiet,” says former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown. (Photo: Arshad Arbab / EPA-Landov)

“I hope you won’t laugh at me,” Ziauddin wrote in an email to Adam Ellick, an American filmmaker, after Ellick had stayed with the family in Swat for several months. “Can I dream for her to be the youngest to clench a Nobel award for education?”

In the film that Ellick made for The New York Times in 2009, the bond between Ziauddin and his daughter is evident as is his pride in his young daughter’s accomplishment. “When I saw her for the first time, a very newborn child, and I looked into her eyes, I fell in love with her,” Ziauddin says at one point in the film, beaming. “Believe me, I love her.” (Her mother, a homemaker who speaks only Pashto, is also supportive of Malala’s work; she wasn’t depicted in Ellick’s film for cultural reasons.)

At the time, the Taliban had swept through Swat, banning girls’ education and attacking hundreds of schools in the province. But Ziauddin—who, in addition to running a school, is also a poet, a social activist, and head of the National Peace Council in Swat—defied the Taliban by refusing to cancel classes, despite continued death threats. “They were so violently challenged,” says Ellick, who is still close to the family.

As Ziauddin explained his motivation at one point: “Islam teaches us that getting an education is compulsory for every girl and wife, for every woman and man. This is the teaching of the holy Prophet,” he said. “Education is a light and ignorance is a darkness, and we must go from darkness into light.”

Ziauddin “has given Malala a love, strength, and confidence that’s rare,” agrees Samar Minallah Khan, a Pakistani journalist and filmmaker who knows the family. “She has an incredible spirit and a mind of her own because of the confidence he has given her.”

In three short years, Malala became the chairperson of the District Child Assembly in Swat, was nominated for the International Children’s Peace Prize by Desmond Tutu, was the runner-up of the International Children’s Peace Prize, and won Pakistan’s first National Youth Peace Prize. More recently she started to organize the Malala Education Foundation, a fund to ensure poor girls from Swat could go to school.

Sharing her father’s eloquent and determined advocacy made Malala a powerful symbol of resistance to Taliban ideology.

Former British prime minister Gordon Brown said the attack had given rise to a children’s movement, with children proudly wearing “I am Malala” T-shirts and defiantly asserting their rights. “Young people are seeing through the hypocrisy of … their leaders [who] deny millions of girls and boys the opportunity to rise,” Brown said in an email. “For one Malala shot and silenced, there are now thousands of younger Malalas who cannot be kept quiet.”

Ziauddin is reportedly shattered by the attack on his daughter and unable to speak, yet he plans on returning to Pakistan once her treatment is complete. He wants to return to their work on education with renewed commitment and strength. He told Ellick: “If all of us die fighting, we will still not leave this work.”

In order to operate, the Taliban need the acceptance—or submission—of the population. A Gallup poll conducted two years ago shows that only 4 percent of Pakistan’s 180-plus million population views the Taliban in a positive light. But the TTP, as they are known, have capitalized on the mounting anti-Americanism spurred by civilian casualties of U.S. drone strikes. Keen to cultivate favorable public opinion, Mullah Omar, the spiritual leader of the Taliban, issued a “new code of conduct” in 2010 that banned suicide bombings against civilians, burning down schools, and cutting off ears, lips, and tongues. On the Web, the TTP rallied against drone strikes, condemned attacks on shrines, hospitals, schools, and marketplaces. In practice, however, the code was spottily enforced and did not necessarily mean a gentler insurgency. Critics claim that any changes were cosmetic—a tactical shift in preparation for a long-term fight.

The assault on Malala seemed a departure from Mullah Omar’s “charm offensive”—a desperate but well-known attempt to spread fear. Even among those who had supported the TTP’s ideological goals in the past, there was revulsion at the attack on the little girl. “The shooting could be an attempt to show that they are still active,” says author and analyst Zahid Hussain. “They want to send a message.”

Instead of being chastised by the popular outrage both in Pakistan and in the West, the Taliban has responded by threatening local journalists who have covered the attack on Malala. The TTP has even threatened cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan, claiming he is a liberal and therefore an infidel. The threats surprised many since “Taliban Khan”—as many refer to him—is perceived as an apologist for the extremists. In fact, in the days after the attack on Malala, Khan was strongly criticized for not taking a more forceful stance on her shooting. (Khan said he could not speak too openly against the Taliban because that could imperil the lives of his supporters in the north.)

“Pakistan has arrived at its with-us-or-against-us moment,” Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, the son of the president, told Newsweek by email. The 24-year-old Bhutto Zardari succeeded his mother, Benazir Bhutto, as chairman of Pakistan’s ruling party after her assassination in 2007. (The family believes that the Taliban killed her, though an al Qaeda commander initially claimed responsibility.)

Even as Malala fights for her life, people continue to twist her views and words to suit their own incendiary narrative. Samia Raheel Qazi, herself a mother and a senior figure in Pakistan’s largest religious party, Jamaat-e-Islami, posted an image of Malala, her father, and the late U.S. envoy Richard Holbrooke on Twitter, adding a caption that falsely claimed that Malala had attended “a meeting with American military officers.”

In Pakistan such character assassinations and conspiracy theories are unfortunately not uncommon—and they benefit the Taliban’s odious campaign. “Liberals would like to believe this is a turning point for Pakistan,” says journalist Najam Sethi. “That’s what they thought when a Swati girl was publicly flogged by the Taliban in 2009.” Pakistanis were at first outraged, but the anti-Taliban consensus soon evaporated, he recalls. Sethi believes that upcoming Pakistan elections will further politicize the attack. “The government will make the right noises but fall in line with exigencies of party politics. No general or civilian will risk precipitous action.”

Pakistan’s government is funding Malala’s treatment and will present her with a national award for courage. It has also promised jobs to the family members of the other two girls who were shot. But many fear that—despite the arrest of almost 200 people—the investigation into the attack will conclude as most investigations do: with a failure to prosecute those responsible. Our antiterrorism courts have a shoddy record of convictions. The judiciary and law-enforcement agencies clearly lack both the will and the means to bring perpetrators to justice. “If we do capture the terrorists who attacked Malala, I do hope they are brought to justice,” says the government spokesman, Bhutto Zardari. But sounding less than convinced, he cautions in the same email: “This is a war zone. Just as NATO or the U.S. will not capture every terrorist in Afghanistan we cannot capture every terrorist in Pakistan.”

Malala’s English teacher, who is close to the family, clicks his tongue when asked if he believes the attackers will get caught and punished. “I don’t think so at all,” he says. “When have they ever?”

There is talk now in Pakistan of further military sweeps of militant strongholds. But it is clear that the solution cannot be purely military. The government must address the root causes of terrorism as Malala argued. “If the new generation is not given pens, they will be given guns by the terrorists,” she said before she was shot. “We must raise our voice.”

Reproduced from The Daily Beast

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