How to treat non-lethal bullet injuries: lessons from Bollywood movies

Abstract: There is currently insufficient detail on how to perform emergency surgery for ridiculous bullet wounds that result from confronting Hindi film villains in everyday situations. Therefore, a clinical survey was undertaken with the purpose of identifying acceptable medical procedures compliant with known Bollywood practices. Two case studies presented here demonstrate that despite identical etiology, disparate outcomes result from the state of inebriation of the patient during the medical procedure. Here, the “daru kharab cheez hai” (liquor is evil) theory is validated using the popular Bollywood actor Dharmendra as a test subject. Therefore, it is the recommendation of the author that caretakers use alcohol only as a local disinfectant in order to avoid unnecessary molestation of health-workers. It is hoped that the research presented here will ultimately lead to a renaissance in modern health-care.

Figure 1: Successful surgical procedure for ballistic trauma

Introduction: The goals of this study are two-fold.

One of the least appreciated concepts in modern medicine is the “daru kharab cheez hai” theory widely prevalent in Hindi films (Vide Anthony Gonsalves et al. 1977). Briefly, this theory states that filmi heroes perform uncommon and unnatural acts under the influence of alcohol, which they would otherwise avoid. However, alcohol is also widely used in Hindi films as a local disinfectant for emergency surgical procedures and to prevent hypothermia after song-and-dance routines in Switzerland. To address this disparity, a comprehensive review of the wide body of relevant Bollywood filmography was performed.

The second goal of this study is to recommend appropriate field practices for treating trauma injuries. Filmi heroes are known to be exceptionally prone to non-fatal ballistic injuries suffered from poor aiming at close quarters by villains and/or their cronies. These injuries can be identified by a simple chemical examination for tomato sauce or water-soluble paint.

Methods: One filmi hero, Dharmendra, referred to colloquially as Dharam Paaji (D.P.), was subjected to different ridiculous, but non-life-threatening injuries (Vide: Kartavya; Shehezaade). A knife was sterilized by the acceptable method of heating on stove. The heroines (Rekha and Jaya Prada, respectively) were then instructed to remove the bullet. In the control study, D.P.  did not drink any alcohol, whereas in the experimental analysis alcohol was taken by mouth at the dose of one bottle of Old Monk desi rum and one bottle of VAT69 blended phoren scotch.

Figure 2: Validating the "daru kharab cheez hai" theory

Results and Discussion: The results presented herein (Figures 1 and 2) unambiguously establish the benefit of using the “knife to wound” method for treating bullet injuries.

Based on the results presented, the author would like to caution against allowing the filmi hero to imbibe alcohol during the 24 hours before or after the surgical procedure as it can result in undesirable outcomes.

Acknowledgments: The author wishes to thank the makers of Kartavya and Shehezade for sharing of materials and methods.

Mandatory Disclosure: No animals were harmed during these experiments.

References:  1. All images are low-resolution and used only for the demonstration of the purpose of the study. Copyright of original works resides with the original creators.

2. The text is subject to copyright (registration in USA and India) and cannot be used without prior permission from the author and publisher (A.M.).

More Bollywood Science here.


55 thoughts on “How to treat non-lethal bullet injuries: lessons from Bollywood movies

  1. Daaru Kharrab cheez hai….Mujse Ghor paap ho gaya…lightening…LoL lol lol.

    Have you seen that movie? Love aaj Kal? प्रतिज्ञा…आम जनता. the mango people. Lol these movies na. They join and add anything anywhere.

    1. Jaky, these are proven facts. If you heat a knife over a stove you can remove bullets without infection. I have seen it in so many movies. 😉

      Aam Janta is funny. Should I watch Love aaj kal?

  2. heheh….you have an acute sense of humor…

    The bullet wound after being sterilised by ‘daru’ never gets infected. You do not need any medicine at all.

    Gotta keep that in mind when I have to perform such surgical misadventures on my hero when we get caught in a hail of bullets.

  3. Hillarious! I mean hats off to you. You actually sat through these movies and skimmed the information!

      1. Rats! Then I will have to present in 2011. 😉

        Hope I don’t get scooped by anyone. I am more proud of this than the paper we got in Nature a few years ago.

        Disclaimer for my former and current bosses: I am only KIDDING.

  4. Hehehe.

    You have successfully illustrated the effects of the consumption of undesired intake of alcohol during the treatment of non-fatal bullet wounds.

    I will pass this along to my female friends. Hopefully, they shall bear in mind to give me (or not to give me, depending on what they want) alcohol the next time I get shot, which should happen any time within the next 2 weeks.

  5. It is very very important that there be a lot of highly contorted facial expressions as the bullet is removed with a knife. Veins on the neck and forehead MUST pop out, and there should be plenty of sweat as well. As you rightly point out, Dharam is a master at it, and I would nominate also Kabir Bedi and Shashi Kapoor in their dacoit movies as being very good at same. Also it is imperative that the bullet be removed by a female with no medical training whatsoever.

    1. Very astute observations. Medical training is not required, only a hot stove and a bottle of rum.

      Doctors work behind the scenes in hospitals with big flasing red signs saying “Operation Theatre”. We only see their theatrics afterwards when they say either “I’m sorry” or “can’t say anything before 72 hours”.

      Heroines on the other hand have a 100% success rate.

  6. Sir…Accept my bow!!

    You are the beacon of future science miracles!!

    Loved the post yaar 🙂

    PS: Bollywood science section thought is a good one…Do it!

  7. Hahaha! Clever. Am waiting for the next lot on the life saving skilss of “sharir ki garmi” and its usage as in hindi films over the years!!

  8. Insufficient data. Please resubmit with TEM images of sections of critical area showing lack of bullet fragments and do control ghor paap ho gaya studies!

    1. Sure. We are currently working out the details of the patent.

      There was a lively discussion on Twitter regarding the omission of the “hero-in-pain-slaps-heroine” step. The Medical Board is currently reviewing this oversight right now.

  9. Ah, science! Important work you’re doing here. I only hope that some day, after rigorous contributions from all of us bloggers, we can figure out how to make song-teleporting work. You’re so noble to start your film science reserach with something of such value to film heroes!

    1. Thanks, Beth. Song-teleporting is a great way of putting it. I’m sure if we all put our heads together we will be able to figure out the physics behind that one. We’d get the Nobel Prize for that I’m sure.

      1. Agreed! Let’s notify the committee ahead of time so their minds won’t be so _completely_ blown they can’t remember to whom to award the prize 🙂

  10. I’m wondering if brand might have been a factor here. For instance, if, rather than having on hand VAT69, the preferred liquor of scoundrels, Jaya had been able to offer Dharam a relatively less criminally-associated whiskey — like, I don’t know, Famous Grouse, or something — do you think this sad outcome might have been avoided?

    1. That is an interesting question, Todd. I agree that VAT69 is the preferred liquor of scoundrels and, of course, Johnie Walker Red Label, is more for rich folks.

      You have a theory that I need to test out further in the lab. I’ve never had VAT69, but even it turns me into a lascivious bastard, I’m willing to risk it. All for science.

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