Friday, May 28, 2010

Holy Cow!

Along with several jackpot payout notifications from Microsoft, Shell and Yahoo, and offers to launder millions of dollars by fugitive Princes and corrupt ministers, I have recently been the lucky recipient of two issues of a revolutionary new magazine called The Vedic Times. Written by Kiran Kumar B, an alumnus of the prestigious Indian Institute of Science, two thought-provoking issues have given me a fresh perspective on many, many issues. I feel it is my duty to share these issues with as many people as I can; so I have uploaded them online, for public perusal:
  1. Cows
  2. Reincarnation
For example, the "Cows" issue reveals this startling fact, that six years of training in chemical engineering (including two years in the author's alma mater) failed to teach me:
Cow  ghee,  when  poured  on  burning  cow  dung cakes,  it  produces  phenomenal  amount  of oxygen  and  clears  contamination  from  air. Studies  have  proven  that  pouring  ghee  on  cow dung can fight pollution effectively.
And here we are, trying to reduce emissions and causing tensions among countries, squabbling over greenhouse gas emissions! We are even concerned by the greenhouse effect caused by bovine farts. The solution is simple. We need to collect and burn their shit, adding copious amounts of their own ghee, and voila! End of global warming. And more oxygen for all of us.

Another money quote:
Cow  urine  is  useful  in acidity,  stomach  disease  and  many  other  illnesses. According  to  Ayurveda,  cow  urine removes  leprosy  and  other  skin  diseases.  The cow and cow products are incomparable in the eyes of Ayurveda.
Apart from the obvious medicinal uses, I wonder if cow urine can decompose crude oil. The USA is currently facing a massive oil spill crisis off the coast of Louisiana. I was wondering if a scientifically determined combination of cow urine, ghee and dung, with appropriate combustion levels, could check this ecological and socio-economic disaster.

The advice, however comes with a warning:
Do  not  hate  cow  urine  and  cow  dung.  Never eat  cow  meat. By  following  this  advice,  human beings can become prosperous.
I have decided to immediately stop eating those succulent beef rolls,  the Kerala beef curry, the tender  beef chops, the rare steaks and the fragrant biryanis. I  hereby eschew the delights of chilli beef, beef spring rolls and beef kababs. No more barbecued beef, beef stew or grilled beef for me. Heck, I shall even give up beef manchurian, beef rumsteak, beef noodles and beef kheema; from now on, all my drinks will be laced with cow urine - all in my shameless pursuit of material wealth!

In fact, I think Shri BS Yeddyurappa, the Honorable Chief Minister of the State of Karnataka has taken the right step in banning beef in his territory, thus ensuring economic growth in the years to come. I implore other states to follow his admirable example.

I was wondering if cows could solve some of the world's other problems, and came up with the following conjectures. After considerable literature search, I came up with the following revelations:
  1. Cow urine can be converted to high-octane fuel (using vibhuti as catalyst at standard temperature and pressure - and the best part is that its a liquid phase reaction) that can power petrol and diesel engines alike. It burns in ordinary IC engines with a 99.7% efficiency. Furthermore, it prevents no fire hazard whatsoever, as it can only burn in enclosed spaces.
  2. Cowdung is the most complete source of nutrients, and a 5 gram tablet of dried cowdung, washed down with a glass of cow urine provides an entire day's nutrition. This is because of the special enzymes present in the cow's intestines, that convert grass and roughage into vitamin complexes and proteins. In fact, a single day's production of cow excreta of the city of Varanasi can feed the entire population of Somalia for a year.
  3. Cow urine is a proven antiretroviral agent; injections of cow urine in cultures of HIV-infected T-cells have significantly reduced the population of the pathogen as compared to control samples.
  4. Rancid ghee (got by leaving a 40.2%-vol mixture of ghee in water in sunlight for 24 hours) can absorb noxious fumes of sulphur dioxide from the atmosphere. Research is on, to harness this reaction  for municipal use.
  5. Cowdung, if powdered and spray dried at 18000 Kelvin and 300 atm, yields superconducting and self-assembling nanoparticles. A single such particle can store 1024 times the information that all of Google's servers together can hold today.
 Thus, we have excellent growth potential, and we know which animal to thank for that!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Uniquely Indian Scams and Crimes

Indian scientists may not be creative enough, and our movie industry may be filled with plagiarists galore. However, our scamsters and criminals distinguish themselves by creating crimes that bear the singular stamp of our great country. Here are some uniquely Indian crimes and scams:
  1. Khap killings - An obsession with incestuous relationships makes the words "m****c***d" and "b****c**d" as ubiquitous as the "namaste" in the wheat and dust bowls of Punjab, Haryana, Delhi and Rajasthan. No wonder that their society has come up with a unique cause for honor killing: the crime of marrying someone with a common mythological ancestor. However, we all know that pop music (especially of the rap genre) is an outlet of rebellion against societal norms. The youth of Haryana have chosen to rebel through music, asking the elders to go away and mind their own business, as this excellent music video shows

  2. Stamp paper forgery - Abdul Karim Telgi is the criminal's criminal. If crime were to be compared to batsmen, Dawood Ibrahim would be the equivalent of Sachin Tendulkar: adaptible to all situations, with a wide repertoire of strokes and a man for all occassions. The naxalite mastermind Kishenji is like Rahul Dravid, underrated but consistent. Harshad Mehta would be more of a Yuvraj Singh, a maverick, hard hitting batsman who takes no prisoners while he is in form, but fades away with a whimper when he is not. Telgi, however is a dream amalgamation of Brian Lara and Michael Hussey: an all-time great, an artistic maestro with a propensity to inflict little cuts that gradually bleed the victim. His greatness lies in the fact that he managed to screw the government of several millions of dollars while flying completely below the radar. And the quality of his forged stamp papers is so good (he even used the same ink as the mint itself) that there is still no way to distinguish between his fakes and the real deal. Also, like Lara, he has faded into oblivion since his career ended.
  3. Miracle workers - Another uniquely Indian scam, these geniuses have managed to con even highly educated and accomplished persons, not just in India, but all over the world. Sathya Sai Baba commands the respect of all dignitaries in India, including luminaries like Vajpayee, Abdul Kalam, Manmohan Singh and MM Joshi. Maharshi Mahesh Yogi, Deepak Chopra, Rajneesh and even Nithyananda are other examples of successful Indian miracle workers who have managed to con rich and poor, illiterate and PhD-holder with equal efficacy. Among them, they can materialize Rolex watches from thin air, leverage quantum theory in meditation, organize orgies, and a lot more.
  4. Fairness creams - Less of a crime and more of a scam, these products explicitly exploit our inherent racism. There is even a new generation these that target men. Celebrities like Srikkanth, John Abraham, Deepika Padukone and many more, all endorse these miracle gels that promise you a Michael Jackson-like transformation in weeks. Even a well known victim and opponent of racism, Shah Rukh Khan has no qualms about being a poster boy for a fairness cream for men. A hugely profitable segment in the subcontionent, these are made and marketed by the world's leading FMCG companies.
  5. Cash for riots - Pramod Muthalik was a hero. We believed that he and his army were selfless messiahs of Hindu culture, risking  life and limb in beating up those who violated our ancient scriptures.

    We were outraged when some misguided and loose women women decided to hurt our sentiments further by sending him offensive gifts as an act of revenge. Our world has come crashing down now, as we realise that behind the facade of the selfless crusader lies a venal mercenary, a thorough professional who commands a high price for his skills. Yes, Pramod Muthalik and his army are merely freelance professionals who will do your bidding if the price is right.
  6. Porn doctor - Voyeur cams are popular all over the world, but trust the Indian masterminds to add a whole new dimension to voyeurism.  Bedrooms and bathrooms are passe; one mastermind has instituted an altogether new genre of voyeur porn - the doctor's examination room. Dr. Prakash is truly a visionary. Starting with filming patients being examined, he soon diversified into more conventional categories of pornography, becoming the Indian Larry Flynt. He enlisted professionals and coaxed and threatened amateurs and innocents into performing for his camera.Unfortunately, the government was not amused, and he now cools his heels in jail.
These are just some crimes and scams which I believe have a unique Indian flavor to them. We have more than our share of terrorists, bigots, brigands, ponzis, extortionists, embezzlers, rapists, racists, murderers, forgers and and every other kind of criminal possible. But that is the subject of another, and probably more fascinating story.