Man performs surgery on himself after reading a book

February 17, 2010 at 9:57 pm | Posted in Bhery Phunny, Faking News | 5 Comments
Tags: , , , , , ,

Cross posted from: Faking News 

Gandhinagar. In a surprising series of events, a bookseller from Gujarat performed surgery on himself, after being inspired by a book. Panna Lal, owner of Jai Shri Krishna book stores in Gandhinagar, slit his wrist after reading management guru Arindam Chaudhuri’s bestseller – “Discover the Diamond in you”. Panna was hoping to find some diamonds inside him, an embarrassing reality that he was initially reluctant to admit.

The incident came to light when Panna Lal went to a doctor’s clinic to get a wound in his arm stitched. When he couldn’t specify the cause of the injury the doctor became suspicious and called the police. After being grilled by the Police, Panna Lal revealed that he believed that there were diamonds in his body and he wanted to find them.

“I could feel them at various places in my body but the book didn’t tell me anything about finding them”, Panna Lal told the Faking News reporter. So he began his treasure hunt by getting his body scanned. In one USG test, the reports revealed the presence of three stones in his kidneys.

“That day I was convinced that my body is a diamond mine”, he said. However when the kidney stones came out after painful deliberations, Panna Lal was heartbroken to discover that they weren’t diamonds. In fact, to his horror, the stones didn’t even have any astrological worth.

At last, in one desperate attempt, Panna Lal tried stitching diamonds to his body. “If you can’t find them, fake them”, he said “I had just read Abdulmutallab’s story and I thought it was a good idea”. So he bought some diamonds, cut open his wrist and tried sewing the diamonds in. But he didn’t have any previous experience with sutures and he couldn’t access Google because his internet connection was down. So when the blood loss didn’t cease, he decided to go to a doctor and thus his deeds (and diamonds) were discovered.

When asked for his comments, Author and Professor Arindam Chaudhuri said that he was surprised that his book could have such an effect on a person. While Panna Lal has been sent to Government Mental Hospital for further treatment, Faking News advises its readers not to go ‘by the book’ on every occasion.

Disclaimer: All in good humour and in case you didn’t realize, this is a fake news.

Related post: Volkswagen runs into a rough patch, sued by Indian Company

Not related but read it anyway: Daaru Pradesh – Gawd’s Own State

Save our Tigers, Really?

February 11, 2010 at 12:00 pm | Posted in Random Rants | 69 Comments
Tags: , , , , , , ,

‘Save’ is perhaps the noblest of all four letter words that I’ve come across. It doesn’t have the hidden desperation that other four letter words have. ‘Save me’ sounds much better than ‘Love me’, much more earnest in its desperation.

When I first saw the ‘Save our tigers’ ad on teewhee, I rubbished it, you know, like we rubbish everything from Save Haiti to Save Hockey. That way. But having 400 friends on Facebook does have its disadvantages especially when sending invites to stupid clubs is the favourite pastime of some of them. But when some of the ‘sane’ friends also sent me invites to join ‘Stripey the club’, I was sure something was amiss.

It happens so that ‘Stripey’ is an innocent tiger cub whose mom ventures out in the forest and doesn’t return. You know, like women venture out in Goa(or Delhi or Bombay or <insert Indian city>) and don’t return. But let’s not digress. So Stripey’s mom has been killed by some poachers or so the commercial says and it then punches a figure of ‘only 1411 tigers left’ in your face. Very poetic. Figures always move people. You know, when anchors were screaming the number of Swine flu victims on news channels, people were scared shitless. Similarly this 1411 figure brings a sudden horror. Add to it a cute tiger cub and you have a win social initiative. Good job Aircel. Not.

Save the Tiger – , in my honest and unwanted opinion, is a very poorly executed social initiative. I am not sure if this has brought any mileage to Aircel but apart from creating some buzz, the initiative hardly does anything worthwhile. It lacks the soul and resolve that a social initiative requires. It applies armchair activism to an issue where its effect is debatable, and the extent of change that can be brought is extremely limited. Let’s do a quick post-mortem of the initiative.

1. The Videos:

The only saving grace of the Save our Tigers initiative is the promotional video/ad. A lot of people apparently find the tiger cub cute, most of them are distressed to see its fate. This ad also had a significant effect of kids. My mom tells me that every kid in her school now knows that there are only 1411 tigers left in India. This video is followed by some pleas by Dhoni, Baichung and Some other dude – The less said about this, the better. Shahrukh does a better job in convincing me to use face wash, than them. But that is just me.


2. Roar Online:


On the home page you get an option to Join the Roar. It is basically a wall thingy where you can pledge your support, reserve a pixel by adding your name to it, and a tiger-jigsaw-puzzle-thingy finishes as more and more people join up. You have to enter your name, your email id and if you wish, your mobile number. Which is a very good way to form a mailer list and build numbers. But once you join the roar, the website fails to tell how to roar, or even purr.


3. What can I do?


When you click on this link, it gives you five sweet options:

  • Roar Online
  • Be Informed
  • Speak Up
  • Donate
  • Lead the Change

We’ll comeback to the Roar online thing later. Let us click on Be Informed.



It gives you links to three pdfs. The awesome part? They are scanned copies of news clippings. One TOI and two HT stories, scanned. Are you informed enough? A Google search on Save Tiger will give me more information than those clippings. The page doesn’t even mention other sources of information. No links, nothing. Not even links to WWF’s articles. Not one mention of Project Tiger. This is where my faith in Save our Tigers took a big nosedive.


Next, Let us Speak Up.


Write a letter or an email to editors of popular newspapers and magazines, asking them to support the cause and highlight the urgency to save our tigers. The more people we can reach and inform, the stronger our roar will be.

That’s it. Two lines. How short of ideas/content were you when you prepared this webpage? Two lines? They don’t even make sense. I mean, isn’t your ad already showing up on all popular newspapers, magazines and television? This is your idea of speaking up? Of making noise?

By this time, I had lost all hope in the campaign but for the sake of analysis, let us tread further.

The Donate page is another excuse of a page. A few lines and a link to WWF India’s donation page. No pleas, no requests. Remember you are asking those people who most probably didn’t donate a penny for the Haiti earthquake(barring a few ofcourse). You are asking people who generally don’t spend anything to help humans, to shell out money for animals. At least make a good case for the cause. Tell them where the money goes, how is it utilized, why is it needed. But no, we made this website in a hurry, we had to save Stripey you see.

Then there is a Lead the Change page, which tells us to:

  • Spread the word
  • SMS: Dear Aircel, How about donating some money to WWF, everytime an sms is sent on your network?
  • Write to editors – as if the majority population reads editorials and this considering the fact that they already have print ads.
  • Donate: Okay, we’ll ignore the recursion. But they ask us to donate clothes for forest guards. I am not sure if that makes sense but I’ll give it the benefit of doubt.
  • Volunteer for our Tigers: Finally! A brainwave. But where do we begin? Any pointers? A list of NGOs perhaps? Profiles, list of training courses, opportunities? Nothing. They have a list of wildlife sanctuaries plotted on India’s map for visual pleasure but they couldn’t make a list of NGOs where people can volunteer.
  • Preserve our Natural Resource: Ha!
  • Be a responsible Tourist: Double Ha!

I can ramble on, but let us have a quick look at the Roar Online page:

  • Youtube: Where you have all the ads in one place
  • Twitter: 3000+ followers but only 17 tweets. Hell of a difference that made. Listed at 51 places, following only WWF but a whole lot of opportunity blissfully lost.

I’ve been on Twitter long enough to understand its potential. I’ve seen several campaigns being pulled off with amazing ease on Twitter without a corporate backing. Be it people chipping in funds for the welfare of the girl child on Diwali or people coaxing others to donate for Haiti, Twitter has been a very strong medium for translating arm-chair activism to something worthwhile. Sadly, Aircel with all its mighty powers fails to understand and put Twitter to good use, even moderately effective use. 

  • Facebook: 99000 fans and counting. 253 Links, half of which are updates linking back to – which as you all can see is a storehouse of information. Stripey ofcourse says a few cute things once in a while, like “I can hear 50,000 roars for me and all the tigers of India! I feel this is only the start of good things to come.”

Good and bad. Good because the photos section has loads of photographs some of which are brutal and can bring a change of heart. Good because there are loads of discussions.

Bad because no body is moderating. If you read a few discussions you’ll know. Even the participants are confused because there is no plan of action. They lament the fact that the website is outright lame. There isn’t much information. Still some of them are meeting on Valentine’s day I hear. Some are trying hard to pull something together and I wish them luck. But the candles will burn out, like they eventually do and this will just be another protest. Our memories are short. Aarushi anyone? 

  • Stripey’s Blog: Two Posts. One with 2100+ comments, another with 21 odd comments as of now.

Immense potential. Down the drain. Two posts. Just two. I went through 19 pages of comments. Scanned some 1000 odd comments looking for blog posts, bits and pieces. The levels of trolling are limited, not like say the godlike Rediff or even Youtube. But believe me, it wasn’t easy.

I shouldn’t comment on grammar and spellings, being a usual offender myself. But it often got out of hands. Some myths that featured regularly in the comments are:

  • Almost everybody thinks that stating the fact that Tiger is our National Animal is unique. Almost every Indian (apart from a few who take part in Splitsvilla and Rahul ka Swayamvar) knows that Tiger is the National Animal.
  • Everybody wants to ‘join hands’.
  • Everybody thinks ‘Its High Time’
  • Everybody wants each other(or India) to ‘wake up’
  • Some go off in the preamble mode – We the citizens of india….
  • Others pass the responsibility – Plz save the tigers..
  • The opinion is divided – Some blame Indians, others blame humans.
  • Most want to save tigers because they want their children to see them – I am assuming most of these are the same people who haven’t taken their kids to the zoo and think the Discovery channel and Playstation are better teachers.
  • The religious kinds offer a Jai Mata Di in the comment.
  • Then there are the Orkut kinds who leave a ‘Plz reply me’ in the comment.


But there were some real gems in the comments and the blog posts that I read:

  • A guy had an acronym ready –


  • Another fellow announced an NGO giving a link to his blog.


    join now when u join u help save the tiger
    I need 2000 members there will be 15 main the lucky ist 15 members or be 2000 strong volunteers.

  • Then this:

we must do at least a bit 2 save this priceless organisms
togetherly our single bit would 1 day form a huge contribution

  • And the most outrageous thing that I read in a forum:

Aircel has recently launched a campaign to save tigers in India. I hereby, writing a post to do my bit. Well, there are only 1411 tigers left in India. This number is too less to keep an ecological balance. and if not protected, this number will go down soon. How much do you thing should be proportion of Tigers as to humans? Though there is no perfect answer to this, I think it is around 1:10. How did I figure it out? Well, a sheer judgement. Now some people might not agree to this proportion. For them, lets apply a factor of safety of 10. So this proportion is now, 1:100. This means there should be 1 tiger per 100 human beings in india. Now India’s population is 1.1 billion (110 Crores). So there should be 1.1 Crore tigers in India. and how many have we got? One Thousand Four Hundred and Eleven. Now look at that huge difference. So we are short of 1,09,98,589 tigers. One Crore, Nine Lakhs, Ninety Eight Thousand, Five Hundred Eighty Nine. God, Where do we get those many tigers from?
Now, look carefully at the picture of cubs of tigers, above. Look at the grace on their face. This genetic gift of nature will be completely and permanently lost if tigers are not preserved. We will never be able to see that beauty again.
Now I want you to tell the best ways and means to save tigers. Let me start here by telling one. Let them live on themselves with zero human intervention in their territory.

Tigers = Maggots? Though I do agree with his bit that we must leave them alone.

I have some 12 pages of comments that I can quote here. People who think the tiger is on the ‘virge’ of extinction, it is a symbol of our ‘bravory’ and we must stop the ‘cheep people’ (read: poachers) by giving AK-47s to our guards. There was someone who wanted us to ‘defeat the battle’ for ‘survive tigers from extinct’.

Bad grammar or typos isn’t my point. The point is that this comment section isn’t moderated. No body is separating the wheat from the chaff. There is no grading of comments. I found of a lot of good comments, NGO descriptions, links, even some blog posts by bloggers that I know. But no body is aggregating them, reposting them as blog posts. All the information is blissfully wasted.

On top of it the second blog post says:

“I’ve read all your comments and it’s really great to see everyone not just stopping at showing support, but also giving ideas and suggestions to help us. With more people joining us every day, I hope you’ll spread our message far and wide.
And I’m really excited to see the discussions on my Facebook page too (Stripey the Cub).

With people planning events, discussing ideas and actions to help us and getting actively involved, it gives me hope that this is just the beginning of great things to come.
I can’t wait to hear more suggestions and see the people of India lead the change!

Looking ahead with pride,


If they keep ignoring the info that is being oh-so-totally ignored in the comment section, I’m sorry, I won’t look ahead with pride. The pride thing almost reminds me of Neo’s post on being a proud Indian. Stripey dear, you are wasting all the buzz that you’ve gathered.

I want to suggest a lot of things here. Put a list of NGOs there. Tell people to work, volunteer for them. Urge them to donate. Tell them why. Tell them about Land encroachment deals that the government is approving thereby clearing the Tiger’s habitat one by one. Ask people to file an RTI. Tell them how to do it. Most importantly tell them WHY it is so important to save Tigers. But that will be useless. All that is already mentioned in the comments and the facebook discussion forums. If only they had the good sense to put it to use.

I am not sure why I am even bothered. So, in typical TGAT style I’ll offer them a few out-of-the-box-into-the-dustbin suggestions and a comic:

#1: Change our National Animal:

I once tweeted: ‘Whatever we want to screw officially, we call it a National symbol.’

I really feel the National tag carries a curse. One look at Hockey’s condition or River Ganga’s plight or Peacock’s population will give you an idea. It is time we abolished the National Animal/Bird thing and chose a National Icon.

How about a pigeon? We already have pigeon anthems like Kabootar Ja Ja Ja and the Atariya pe lotan Kabootar re or the recent Masakali(which is a dove but most people think its an albino pigeon). Pigeons breed well. No need to demarcate sanctuaries, you’ll find enough of them in Bombay. This will also justify their shameless loo practices. You’ll be proud when the national icon poops on you. This move I think will save the tiger definitely. No National Status, no assassination.

#2: Redesign the Food Chain:

I think the Tiger being the at the top of the food chain has a lot to do with the threat to its existence. Being at the top of any chain brings a lot of pressure and accountability – look what it did to Ramalingam Raju.

It is time we constituted a scientific committee that proves that the Tiger isn’t actually at the top of the food chain. In fact we humans are at the top. It is widely known that Scientific studies can prove anything. So taking this burden off the Tiger’s shoulder can go a long way in solving this problem.

#3: Made in China Tiger Products:

Poaching is prevalent because I hear there is a huge market of Tiger products – nails, teeth, hide etc. – in Tibet and China for uses in traditional medicine. Now borrowing China’s concept, if we can start making ‘fake’ Made-in-China-or-Japan-or-Taiwan-or-Ulhasnagar-Sindhi-Association Tiger Products, we can save the tiger. You know, fake medicines, fake nails made out of plastic or fibre and so on, with a ‘Maa Kasam Made in India’ Tag.

So the poachers don’t run the risk of confronting a tiger and the tiger also survives. Win-win situation.

#4 Shift all tigers to zoos:

This idea has actually been borrowed from Indian politicians and Bollywood movies. You see, whenever there is a threat to a politician’s or criminal’s life, they surrender. They are taken to the police station and are safe. Similarly if we move the remaining 1411 tigers to zoos all across the country and keep them in preventive detention, there won’t be any losses. They’ll slowly get used to the environment too, seeing the pathetic way in which other animals are treated in the zoo. They’ll eventually fall in line, fall in love with a tigress maybe and give birth to more Stripeys.

#5: Build Tiger Statues:

I think Tigers have suffered a huge inferiority complex with Mayawati ji’s Elephant Statue programs. It is a ‘mammoth’ insult to the Tiger kind. They’ve been pwning the elephant population since ages and still elephants get statues while the Tigers get gunshots. Unfair. I feel the Supreme Court must pass an order that all Elephant statues be taken down and remodelled into Tiger Statues.



Rahul Roy must be made the brand ambassador of Save our Tigers project. Considering that he was brutally killed for turning into a WereTiger in Junoon and his career was also brutally murdered although for difference reasons, I think he deserves to be the face of the Tiger. Also the keyword ‘Rahul’ works wonders these days.


With that, I guess, I’ve done my bit for Save the Tiger. Yeah, go save some Tigers now. or like @oldmonkmgm says: Don’t save the tiger, it is better to save the Tiger Project. 


Apologies for the extremely cynical tone through this post. Initially I wanted to do an analysis of this campaign in a very unbiased manner. But somewhere down the line, the half-hearted-ness of the whole thing disturbed me a lot. Apologies again for mentioning some comments in the blog post. After spending close to two hours on comments on that blog post, trying to extract meaningful comments and links, I was too frustrated because the amount of trash and repetitive sentiments were overwhelming. If you find these offensive, mention that in the comments and I’ll take them down. But I’d like them to remain there because they prove why asking people to blog isn’t always a good option for a social media campaign. Especially in an Orkut-infested country like ours.

Again, I’ve seen both sides of the coin – I’ve participated in Armchair activism as well as activism on the field. I’ve worked with an NGO trying to ‘save’ another national symbol – The Ganga river. We’ve fished out dead bodies from the river, cleaned ghats, held rallies, struggled to collect funds etc. – so I know how difficult it is to bring about even an iota of change. I am not trying to ridicule the intention or the cause. I am complaining about the laxity in the effort. This is an issue that needed attention, maybe five years ago. We are late and even when we are, we aren’t doing it the way it should be done. It is as good as remaining silent and waiting for 1411 to decrease to two digit figures.


I picked up the following links from the comments section. Some of them are blog posts, others are comments. If you have time on your hands, you can try going through them.

If you actually read the entire 3300 something words, send me your mail id, I’ll send you a Valentine’s greeting.

Till saner times return, Roar!

A visit to the Zoo

February 5, 2010 at 11:25 pm | Posted in Bhery Phunny, Random Rants | 16 Comments
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Allen Forest Zoo (Hindi: कानपुर चिड़ियाघर / कानपुर प्राणी उद्यान) is a zoo in Kanpur, the industrial hub of Uttar Pradesh in North India. It is the largest open green space in Kanpur. As such it can be classified as the lung of Kanpur. Originally a natural habitat for fauna, it is unique as one of the few zoos in India which have been carved out from a natural forest. The zoo is also referred to as the Kanpur zoo. – Wikipedia

Well, let me just say that I live very near to the Lung(s) of Kanpur(don’t ask me about the other organs though). As mentioned in the wiki, It is the largest open green space in Kanpur(of course the animals disagree). Originally a natural habitat for fauna, it is now a home to several species of animals, birds, plants and humans.

Now living close to the zoo has its own advantages. You can always imbibe some real ‘animal magnetism’ from the animals, which explains why your neighbour’s dog began humping your feet when you asked it to fetch the ball. You can also take every second relative that comes to your place for a picnic to the zoo. It keeps both your relatives and the animals entertained.

But apart from serving as a source of entertainment and distraction, a zoo is also a place of learning. In the 547(and counting) trips that I’ve made to the zoo in the last 20 odd years, I’ve learnt a lot of things. In fact I’ve discovered a new species of animals and a beverage.

The Himalayan Black Beer:


If you follow me on twitter, you might have seen this before. The Himalayan Black Beer is a special flavour of beer sold only in the Kanpur Zoo. It is the official drink of Parvatiya Kala Bhaloo or the Himalayan Black Bear. So when the Himalayan Black Bear drinks the Himalayan Black Beer, it goes wild – like a Gummy Bear tripping on Gummy Juice – and shit happens.

On a related note, you might want to take this quiz before you visit the Kanpur zoo – How long could you survive after kicking a bear in the balls?

Now, I was so ecstatic after finding the Himalayan Black Beer that I almost ignored what was going on around me, till my seven year old nephew tugged at my shirt and asked me – “Otta ki?” *What is that?* – pointing to this:


Ladies and Gentlemen, You just saw the first pictures of a new species of humans – the Homo Sapiens HornioCouplus.

The Hornio Couplus are always found in pairs in shady corners of ‘public spaces’. They are most active around government holidays and weekends but can often be seen during weekdays and college strikes.

Favourite activities include cuddling, excessive baby talk, adjusting clothes, groping and random conversation.

The Hornio Couplus are widely hunted by Moral Police and the real Police for their money and the feeling of having embarrassed someone. But they are far from extinct due to their superior camouflaging skills and their ability to dodge predators. Several wildlife documentaries have featured them – which are popularly knows as MMSs and which can easily be accessed by typing ‘Indian Couples’ in Google.

However this is the first attempt at classifying them as a species. So the Nobel Peace Prize for Socio-Biological Anthropology goes to me. *applause cue card in*

By now, you’d have formed your opinion about me. Some of you must have labelled me as a voyeur who clicks photographs of couples who are merely ‘sitting’ next to each other. Others might be thinking that I am this loser who pokes fun at couples because he is single. You are marginally wrong.

I am a voyeur in the sense that I saw Shweta Tiwari on Iss Jungle se mujhe bachao. I am a loser because the computer beats me at Hearts once everyday. Apart from that, I am a family guy, who had taken his nephew to a zoo and had to explain to him that they are just people like us who have come to the zoo to talk.

Now kids are kids(duh!). They ask questions and they want answers. Sample this:

A cousin of mine was watching Titanic in a Kollkata theatre. An old man was there with his super-excited grandson. Throughout the movie, the grandfather explained the tid-bits to his grandson, adding non-existent trivia.

“This was the biggest ship in the world. This is going to India. <insert trivia about Kolkata being a port> A ship has four engines. Blah Blah Blah”

All this was very cute till Kate Winslet decided to shed her clothes and later to manufacture steam in a vintage car. Now it was the kid’s turn –

“Dadu, eera ki korche” – Grandpa, what are they doing?

“Dadu, oo jama keno nabaache” – Grandpa, why is she undressing?

and Grandpa was short of words and trivia. All he managed was a ‘Chhup thako!’ – Shuddup!

I was going through the same. Sex education is difficult, but trying to teach that to a seven year old is even more so. Even though I was surrounded by the Birds and the Bees, it was really difficult to explain the analogy to the kid. Of course when he’ll grow up, the internet will teach him everything(and worse) but now was not the time.

So I told him that they were couples who had come to the zoo to discuss their homework.

Don’t get me wrong. I have nothing against Public Display of Addiction Affection. I’ve been accused of the same at times. I even know how to react to public display of affection.

But I do have a problem with the interpretation of the word ‘Public’. A beach is public, a road is public, a public school is public a cafe is public, a shopping mall is public. Because I hail from Kanpur, I used to think that a place where you can spit Paan Masala, is a public place. But Multiplexes changed that definition. So let me just say that “Jahan Public hai, woh jagah public hai”.

By that analogy a zoo is a public place. Heck, you can even spit there(or piss if you find a large enough tree). So Public Display of Affection must be allowed in a Zoo. Agreed. If you want to cuddle, hold hands, kiss even: do so. I don’t have a problem.

What bothers me is when the Hornio Couplus sneak into a corner. That is a private display of affection(a little too much affection methinks). A zoo is where animals are bred in captivity, humans are bred in hospitals and honeymoon hotels. The Hornio Couplus intend to breed in the zoo.

A zoo is a place meant predominantly for kids. Schools organize trips to the zoo so that the kids learn a few lessons. They learn to love trees and animals. They learn to care about nature. At least they are supposed to learn all that. Admire bio-diversity (you know, like the Thakarey brothers admire diversity, that way). A zoo is not a place for sex education. Bollywood and Television are doing their bit. The rest is being properly covered by the Internet and Playstation. We need not give them a live demonstration of natural sexual selection and whatever that follows post-selection.

What frustrates me more is that I can’t walk up to the Hornio Couplus and tell them to get a room. Because getting a room is difficult. If they had a room, they wouldn’t have risked this rendezvous in the open. After all the (im)moral police and the not-so-moral police are always on the prowl.

That said, the Hornio Couplus are a harmless, peaceful species. They do not like to be disturbed and won’t disturb you too unless you are pointing your mobile phone in their face. But like pigeons who shit on statues, they don’t mean what they do.

So this Valentine’s Day I’d request the Homo Sapiens Horniocouplus to take a pledge to stay away from the Zoo. Go to the beach, have a candle light dinner. May you appear invisible to the moral police. Stay safe, have a good time. But please, stay away from the zoo. Spare the sight, save the child.

Disclaimer: I am not a bad person. And my relationship status is one which Himesh ‘Himessmetal’ Reshammiya has bludgeoned to death. *points to Facebook status*

Previously: A visit to the Hospital.

Next Page »

Entries and comments feeds.

%d bloggers like this: