Master Of The Game – Sidney Sheldon

At the age of 12 I first read this Sidney Sheldon novel, the first “grown up” novel that I can remember ever having read. It remains one of my favourites and also brings me nostalgic memories of a much simpler & care free time.

Master Of The Game is about the almost Queen like Kate Blackwell, on her 90th birthday still running a huge company. We are flashbacked to her dad, Jamie McGregor, who at 19 moves to South Africa to find his fortune in diamonds. He is cheated by the richer Saloman Van Der Meer and as revenge Jamie seduces and impregnates the former’s daughter Maggie. Jamie rises to power based on the wealth of his diamonds and soon starts a company called Kruger-Brent. Second child of Jamie & Maggie, Kate does not get to know her father and brother as both are killed in South Africa’s slave uprising. Maggie runs the company with the able help of Jamie’s young deputy, David Blackwell.

As Kate grows up she falls in love with David and despite the age differences, she uses her power as the heir to a huge company to manipulate things in such a way that David stays with her and they finally marry. David dies in a mining accident before his son is born and Kate raises young Tony to take over the business – but the young man has other plans. Always shy & retiring in front of his mother, he loves the arts and wants to be an artist in Paris. However, Kate interferes by first arranging for a model to fall in love with Tony and then sabotaging his art carrier by buying a critic to write bad reviews on Tony’s paintings. Tony marries a young German woman, who dies on delivering twin baby girls and Tony finds out that Kate encouraged his wife to have the kids against doctor’s advise.

Tony snaps and shoots his mother but she doesn’t die while Tony is admitted to an asylum. Kate raises the twins, Eve & Alexandra but it turns out that Eve is a jealous, ambitious & selfish brat who wants everything for herself. She can’t even share things with Alexandra, who’s oblivious to Eve’s jealousy & hatred and worships her older twin. Ever sleeps around and has flings, lies and tries to get Alex killed a few times. When Kate finds out, she disinherits Eve. Eve meets George Mellis, an abusive, ambitious & sexually violent handsome Greek and sets him up Alexandra. The plan is to kill Alexandra and get all her family’s wealth for herself and then get rid of George. However complications with the Greek make her change her plans and she kills him instead. She is later punished by a doctor who blackmails her to marry him and though he loves her, he purposefully damages her face in a plastic surgery that was done to actually get ride of some of her wrinkles.

With Eve punished, we now come back to Alexandra. Distraught over the death of George, she seeks comfort from a shrink, Peter Templeton. He & Alexandra marry and have a son Robert, who at the time of Kate’s 90th birthday is only 8 years old. He wants to be a classical musician and as we end the novel we read that Kate is interfering with his life by saying that she will recommend him to a friend who happens to know famous music conductor Zubin Mehta. Kate still believes that she acted properly, even though everyone in her family has been negatively affected by her actions.

Bagged By The Hag

When I was 14 I was punished for a crime (in the eyes of the school principal) that I did not commit. On the last day of school (grade 9), a bunch of us wanted to go out to the town post the final exams and watch a movie together. Usually on the last school day we don’t wear our uniforms and come dressed in jeans and t-shirts or any other casual wear. However that year the principal declared that the students must wear their uniforms on the last day. Now we didn’t want to go to the theatre in our uniforms, so we had an idea. All the guys who were to go for the movie would pack our jeans and a shirt in our school bags and once the school was over we would go to the back and change into the casual clothes and then go for the movie.

This seemed like a good plan and we went to write our final exams the last day. Now grade 9 students had only 1 exam paper that day and the rest of the day was free for us. We spent the afternoon chatting and spending time with our teachers. Now there was construction being done on the second floor of our school and some of my friends & I went to check out that area. We were soon told by the principal’s clerk that none of us were to be there and to come down immediately. We all did —but some of my friends had an idea to smoke. So a little later they went back up. I wasn’t with them but I had left my school bag with them. I was in the school grounds with some other classmates a little while later when I saw that those friends of mine were running towards the back gate of the school and they looked like they were running for their lives. As they passed me by, one of them yelled out to be ‘bag, bag’! I couldn’t make out the rest.

I went back into the school building and looked around for my bag. I found it in front of the principal’s office lying in a heap along with some other bags. Not knowing what the issue was, I took my bag and went back to the students I was talking with. A little later a clerk called me to the principal’s office and I was confronted by the bitch. She was quite angry and explosive and yelled at me. She demanded that I give her my bag. I said that it was mine but she thought that I was handing out the bags of those friends of mine who had ran away – they had ran because the principal had caught them smoking and standing in the section of the building where she had earlier forbidden us to be in! I didn’t know that but stood by my claim that this was my bag and I was just taking back what was mine.

She slapped me across the face. Hard, it stung like a bastard for most of the day. I went back to my teachers who knew that I was innocent. A couple of them even went to the principal and explained to her that I didn’t do anything wrong and went only to get my bag. The fucking woman (and I use that term lightly) refused to listen and confiscated my bag and said that I wouldn’t get it back. Even after I named all the items in it & described them to her she still refused to give it back to me. I was furious and it was only my favourite teachers who could console me. I went back home and explained the situation to my folks who spoke to the principal a few days later at her house. By then she understood that I was innocent but her fucking pride prevented her from saying so. She laughed with my parents and said that ‘oh I know he is a good boy”! Bitch.

The next year, grade 10 and the final year of high school for us I got my bag back from her. At the time she said “Oh I admire your patience and your control. You never came to ask it back from me”. Yeah you old hag; also admire the fact that I so controlled my temper and didn’t knock you back flat on your arse. To my surprise, she also wanted to make me a school leader (one of 4 that takes charge of school activities and stuff) and I did get selected. I would rather have gladly arranged her funeral.

Anyway, of you are still alive you bitch, for this and for all the other shit that you have done to the students, I hope you die slowly and painfully and I also hope that you rot in hell.

ROSHAN’S ELEVEN : Police Series

This is my list of favourite tv series with the central theme being cops. This is my list, which may differ from yours. So if you don’t like it, bite me!

  • Cold Squad
  • Law & Order : SVU
  • ChIpS
  • CSI : NY
  • N.Y.P.D Blue
  • DaVinci’s Inquest
  • CSI
  • CSI : NY
  • Hill Street Blues
  • Blue Murder
  • Castle

I did not include shows which focussed on individuals who were cops (like Due South, or TJ Hooker or Kojak) or which focussed on just a couple of cops (Starsky & Hutch, Dempsey & Makepeace etc). I wanted it to be a group effort. Although Da Vinci’s Inquest is named after the Coroner Dominic Da Vinci, the show revolves around a group of Vancouver’s cops, patholigists etc.