There are times in the history of communities when a forceful individual can change social hierarchy and societal goals forever. Genghis Khan- slayer, reaver and visionary king- radically altered Mongol and Chinese identity. Out of a protean mass of familial and tribal loyalties, he extracted a molten essence and with it, forged a swift and terrible weapon to ravage and unify much of Asia. It was his rule that made trade on the Silk Route secure. Ideas, too, could now flow freely from Asia to the Middle East and Europe.
The political conditions in the late 12th Century CE were very similar to those in the world of Indian quizzing today. Given this similarity, it is clear that quizzing is at a crucial moment in history. Intelligent reflection based on historical consonance must be followed by a campaign of ruthless action.
The region that we currently call China was dominated by three great kingdoms: Jin, Xi Xia and Song. Genghis Khan and his descendants shattered their power and Khubilai Khan went on to found the Yuan dynasty. Far off to the west lay imperial Khwarezm: a magnificent civilization ruled by a weak and degenerate king who brought doom to his people.
These, then, were the rivals who defined Genghis Khan’s career. But before he could conquer them, he needed to unify the scattered clans of Outer Mongolia. It is in this, the sine qua non for the young Temujin’s career as a conqueror, that we see our first point of resemblance with Indian quizzing. Mumbai resembles Outer Mongolia, with scattered clans of quizzers separated by howling wastes, empty of quizzing life, battered by the chill winds of central air conditioning. Over the months, Mumbai’s quizzers have become adept at mounting great iron horses, their bodies toughened by savage conflict in the vast plains between the stations and in the stations themselves. The Mongolian influence on the architecture of these concourses of battle and death, in the form of peaked, roughly conical roofs, similar to the traditional Mongolian ger, is apparent.
This strange cultural convergence has affected dietary preferences as well. Mumbai quizzers, upon the completion of their brutal competitions, ritually consume vast mounds of steaming meat. They move in a terrifying horde, emptying the lands around them of food, drying up the qanats and the wells of water. The parallels with Hulagu’s sack of Baghdad are many and remarkable. Like the Mongols before Genghis Khan, Mumbai quizzers sometimes make quick and savage raids into other lands of quizzing, ravish the women,1 and return with bulging sacks of loot.
So much for the sons of Eternal Heaven. But even the most cunning and ruthlessly cruel warlord can do little if there are no worlds for him to conquer. As we shall see, the world of quizzing closely resembles the world outside Mongolia: a rich target, ripe for pillage and slaughter.
Business quizzing and the treacherous Tangut
The Tangut kingdom of Xi Xia developed their own unique language and script with the result that no one could actually understand them. Although Tangut remained on the edge of comprehensibility, any attempt to actually extract meaning from it resulted in utter failure for Chinese-speakers. They had a unique culture and architecture and were seen as being quite distinct from the Chinese. The neighbouring Jurchen and Song naturally laid irredentist claim to Xi Xia.
Business quizzers are exactly like the Tangut. They live in their own arcane world and their “quizzes” take on the aspect of quizzing, but many quizzers would deny true similitude. Genghis Khan attacked Xi Xia before the Jin in their mighty fortresses. The siege engines and other resources looted from the Tangut strengthened his hand and introduced new technology into the Mongolian way of war. Thus it is that Mumbai quizzer must assail the lands of business quizzing, slaughter all who would resist, accept the repentant into the fold and seize their projectors, mobile phones, sound systems and screens. The Mongols unroofed the tombs of the Tangut kings. We must bury the leading quizmasters in unmarked graves that the secretly faithful do not worship at their tombs and perpetuate this abomination. Armed with their technology, we must then go on to conquer the bastions of Chennai, Calcutta and Bangalore.
“To crush your enemies, to drive them before you, to hear the lamentations of their women: this is best in life.”2
Chennai and Inalchuk
Chennai is a powerful and wealthy empire, with many bookshops and a thriving sea trade. Its inhabitants are known for their hospitality to strangers, an attitude best demonstrated in their special pricing schemes for foreigners traveling by rickshaw. However, all is not well in the state of Chennai. Every year, many foreigners come down to the city for the Landmark quiz in the hope of establishing commercial relations with the influential Landmark trading family. The cruel annual slaughter of these hopeful travelers in the quiz mirrors the massacre of Genghis Khan’s trade delegation by the Khwarezmid governor Inalchuk. The hope that justice will be done is receding with the takeover of the quiz by a corrupt and conceited compere- much as Khwarezm was ruled by Ala ad-Din Muhammad. Offences against Eternal Heaven must be punished. The sack of Chennai will yield vast mounds of books to be used as weapons in the assault on the two great strongholds of quizzing: Bangalore and Calcutta.
Calcutta and the Jurchen
The Jin in the time of Genghis Khan were noted for their many defensive walls- rotting, all but useless against true foes, these were symptoms of inner decay. The infrastructure of Calcutta resembles that of the Jin- reflections of past glory. Reckless drinkers, weakened by the Irish influence, they are ripe for conquest. Securing this key littoral will complete the preparation for the final assault: Bangalore.
Songs of power
"Culturally, the Sòng refined many of the developments of the previous centuries. Included in these refinements were not only the Tang (唐朝) ideal of the universal man, who combined the qualities of scholar, poet, painter, and statesman, but also historical writings, painting, calligraphy (書法), and hard-glazed porcelain."3
Bangalore quizzing is consciously modeled on the Song, particularly in its obsession with ceramics and the highly arbitrary products that are processed in specialized ceramic containers.4 A systematic education system from early childhood ensures that generations of quizzers are trained for their proper role in the Bangalorean empire. With a thriving industry, plenty of beer and wide roads for quick transportation of men and materials, these are formidable opponents. Yet defectors from the empire have provided us with valuable intelligence with which we will destroy their strongholds, sow the earth with salt and drink all the beer.
The search for Genghis Khan
Over the last few months, a new force has entered Mumbai quizzing. He has been reuniting the warring clans of Mumbai and drawing in new recruits, while pitilessly slaughtering all opposition. I speak of Dhoomk2. Physically, he is quite similar to Temujin; tall and muscular, with narrow eyes as dark as the pits of Satan. The addition of a false moustache and beard will complete the resemblance. He will also need to cultivate a fear of dogs.
The time of ascension is near; the imposing mound of Cathedral High School will be our Burkhan Khaldun. The "louse on the mountain” shall ride out with the Devil's horsemen to destroy all in his path. Mumbaikars, rise! Mahalaxmi Race Course is but a train stop away.
1. Or fantasize about ravishing women.
2. Conan the Philosopher. Trans. Oliver Stone. Meditations on Reason, Ethics and Compromise. c. Hyborian Age.
3. “The Song dynasty”, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Song_Dynasty_%28960-1279%29
4. Frequently described in barbarian lands by a three word phrase: “extremely Random Shit”