Facile technology for warding off the evil-eye: inexpensive “nazar suraksha”

Abstract: The “evil-eye” better known as nazar is a severely detrimental energy field that impacts the well-being of individuals in South Asia. Previously, others have demonstrated the effectiveness of the evil-eye deterring pendant known as Nazar Suraksha Kawach which works by interfering the dangerous frequencies of the evil-eye. However, this is inadequate since the protective rays are blocked by layers of clothing and temperatures above and below room-temperature. Further, the pendant must always be in the line-of-sight of the nazar.  Therefore, an effective evil-eye deterring system which would be effective under all circumstances was desperately needed. Here, were describe a facile evil-eye deterring system that counters both the emission of evil-eye rays of the nazarwale and the reception in the brain of the nazarlagi.

Introduction: The evil-eye is the most detrimental cause of lack of progress in South Asia. Earlier scientific studies including television commercials have demonstrated that when individuals either related or unrelated look at others with jealousy or “extreme love” they case nazar or the evil-eye-induced harm (Figure 1).

Nazar is well known in popular culture too. For example, in the film Sasural, Rafi sahab sang the line “Teri pyari pyari soorat ko kisiki nazar na lage” (Your lovely, lovely face anyone’s evil-eye not touch) which is a very strong argument for the existence of this form of jealous energy.

Figure 1: mechanism of action of evil-eye

Women in South Asia have known this for ages and have often drawn a spot on their face to ward off the evil eye. But this is uneffective. According to the television commercial “extreme neurotic rays” converge on the center of the brain and are shot out of the eyes like red arrows created using Microsoft PowerPoint (Figure 1).  These arrows enter the head of the unfortunate recipient and “cause mental disturbance” which casts a dark cloud on the future. Evil-eye technology and other companies have come up with a Nazar Suraksha Kawach which emits blue cooling rays that intercept the red nazar rays much like arrows in B.R. Chopra’s  mythological television serial Mahabharat. Nazar interception may have also been the driving force behind President Ronald Reagan’s ill-fated “Star Wars” program.

There are a number of problems with the evil-eye deterring pendant that independent observers have noticed. First, it is not effective at temperatures above 24 degree Centigrade or below 18 degree Centigrade. The “ions” get restless under either condition. Second, the protective rays don’t work when the pendant is covered by layers of clothing, humidity is high, or the nazar enters through the back of the head. Finally, the cost for a set of evil-eye deterring pendants can run in the hundreds of dollars.

Therefore it was necessary to come up with a cost-effective method to ward off the evil-eye. In this research paper, we  present facile technology for warding off the evil-eye.

Figure 2: Current protection against evil-eye

Our approach was simple. Since anyone can give off rays through the evil-eye or nazar (even unknowingly), it would be best to filter these rays out completely. So we designed glasses coated with five layers of nazar-protecting material (Figure 3). Now when you wear these glasses (which have been scientifically proven to work), harmful rays can not come out of your eyes. They may look like ordinary sunglasses, but they are not. They have been tested in a nazar chamber with various saasbaahu (mother-in-law and daughter-in-law) pairs from desi teleserials.

To protect the brain from nazar rays already in the atmosphere, we designed the nazar-reflective helmet. This may look like an ordinary baseball cap with a bit of aluminum foil over it, but it is not.  It has undergone extensive testing and bears the ISO 90210 seal of approval. It is a protective device that will reflect all evil-eye rays and boomerang them back to the evil-eye-caster.

To order these two life-saving products please leave your name, address, and credit card information in the comments section of this article. It is our hope that finally, through the use of these two devices the menace known as nazar will finally be eradicated from South Asia.

Figure 3: A new effective system for blocking nazar (the evil-eye)

Can you afford to live your pathetic life in abject despair? We say no! Order now.

This is the second installment of a new series of posts on schemes that will help you either get rich fast or get lynched by an angry South Asian mob. To read the first installment click here.

Disclaimer: I guess I should tell people that nazar is real but the rest of the post is a joke, but I won’t. Go ahead. Do your worst. Cast the evil-eye. I’ll be waiting with my helmet and glasses.

Also worth reading Yogesh’s account of how you can make money by importing the Kawach from other countries.

Fair-use rationale for images: All images are low-resolution. Figures 1 and 2 are used only for purposes of demonstration for no monetary gain where a free alternative does not exist. The new product image (Figure 3) was taken by me and created using PowerPoint. Please feel free to share, but attribute the source, m’kay?

© Text, 2010-2012, Anirban

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Amnesia in Bollywood movies

Profound amnesia is exceedingly rare in the South Asian sub-continent, but a rather frequent occurrence in Bollywood Hindi films. The most common variety of memory loss involves an on-screen character who has experienced a traumatic life-event usually resulting in head injury. The character then shows no recollection of events occurring prior to the onset of memory loss, a condition known as retrograde amnesia. In Hindi films, the character then leads a new life in an assumed role surrounded by strangers until a second rectifying injury negates the amnesia from the first one.

A whimsical take on the filmi cure for amnesia in "Andaz Apna Apna"

One well-known example out of the countless in Hindi films can be found in Henna, in which a character by the name of Chunder falls in a river and loses his memory in India and is rescued in Pakistan where he assumes the name Chand. Chand becomes Chunder again after a violent ruckus, and in the process loses the memories he has formed as Chand. If it sounds confusing and medically implausible, then clearly you are thinking too hard.

I’ll give you a minute to clear your mind.

Now, If you are still thinking logically, then perhaps you should read this medical review in the British Medical Journal dealing with amnesia at the movies. The review covers some recent examples such as Bourne Identity and 50 First Dates. Although, the focus of the review is on Hollywood movies, Bollywood has generally been very good at following many of the same trends. The most severe causes of real amnesia are psychiatric and neurological disorders often resulting from infection or stroke. Of course, in the movies, it is almost always a result of an injury to the head. The review also mentions the standard personality change and recovery through a second head injury which the author sardonically calls “two is better than one”.

The author does point out Memento as a good example of a movie featuring anterograde amnesia. Recently, with Ghajini, a film loosely based on Memento, South Asian films ventured into new territory. In both films, the protagonist suffers a head injury and loses the ability to form memories after the injury.

I could not find a specific survey of amnesia in Hindi films, but I did come across medical articles entitled “Mental health in Tamil cinema“, “Malayalam cinema and mental health“, and “Psychoanalysis and the Hindi cinema [sic]” in the International Review of Psychiatry.

Not everything that is associated with filmi amnesia is medically inaccurate though. An outstanding paper published in the prestigious scientific journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on April 12 shows that emotions exist even after memory loss in amnesia patients. Conducted on a series of patients with severe anterograde amnesia (the Ghajini-type of amnesia), the scientists found that the emotions that they could invoke persisted long after the memories had dissipated. That we had to wait until 2010 to get this sort of a landmark study tells you a bit about just how rare this form of amnesia is!

Nevertheless, next time you see an amnesiac character in a Hindi film feel anger, love, or sadness even though they have no associative memory, remember that this is this is an aspect of the depiction that is plausible.

More Bollywood Science here.

© Text, 2010-2012, Anirban

A review of a pre-globalization society as determined from Maine Pyar Kiya

Civilized cultures existed in pre-Columbian Mesoamerica. Similarly, intelligent life-forms existed in South Asia before the proliferation of cable television, cineplexes, shopping centers, cell phones, and the Internet. Using the cultural keystone Maine Pyar Kiya, I have attempted to painstakingly piece together details about the life of the “common person” as he or she lived in the era predating globalization.

I present a Short Metaphysical and Anthropological Treatise on a Pre-Globalization Society in South Asia as Determined from Sooraj Barjatya’s Maine Pyar Kiya. If I have succeeded in presenting a snapshot of life in that long-gone era, I will consider my life to not have been spent in vain.

Suffice it to say that the Age of Maine Pyar Kiya was for all means and purposes an idyllic one.  However, there were cultural iconoclasts at odds with the prevailing customs of the day (cf. random grumpy faces). Deconstructing the themes leads us to the conclusion that there is irreducible complexity in Maine Pyar Kiya

More Bollywood Science here.

Disclaimer: These are my personal views and do not necessarily represent the position of the scholarly community. Fair-use rationale for images: All images are low-resolution and used only for purposes of demonstration for no monetary gain where a free equivalent is not available. Copyright of original works resides with the original creator (most likely Rajsri Pictures).

© Text, 2010-2012, Anirban

How to make medical decisions based on Bollywood movies

A few days ago, I wrote a short medical article on how Bollywood was an excellent source of information on how to treat bullet wounds. Based on the excellent feedback I received, I decided to search for a suitable venue for publication in a scholarly medical journal. Physicians and life scientists generally use PubMed, a comprehensive database provided by the U.S. National Institutes of Health.

In searching the database, I came across a medical article published in the March 2010 issue of The Journal of ECT entitled  “The depiction of electroconvulsive therapy in Hindi cinema.” You probably didn’t know this, but  electroconvulsive therapy or ECT is  popularly referred to as “shock therapy” in Bollywood movies.

Who knew?

The authors of the medical research article, all Indian physicians, felt that Hindi movies were a source of misinformation on shock therapy. To remedy the injustice, they first identified 13 Hindi movies between 1967 and 2008 “based on inquiries with e-communities, video libraries, and other sources.” These 13 movies were then listed in Table 1 of the research paper. The movies identified in this research were Jewel Thief, Raat aur Din, Khamoshi, Yarana, Arth, Coolie, Damini, Raja, Dastak, Har Dil Jo Pyar Karega, Kyon Ki, Woh Lamhe, and Manthan Ek Kashmakash (starring the other Sanjay Kumar and Anisha Babi if you insist on knowing).

The authors state that “between 1967 and 2008, 13 Hindi movies contained referrals to or depictions of ECT.” I hope they had good reasons for excluding Pagla Kahin Ka, Khilona, and Dhara , all of which that have explicit referrals to ECT within that time-frame.

Shockingly, the authors found inaccuracies in the depiction of ECT in Hindi movies. Who would have thought?

The authors also provide a thorough discussion of the implications of these inaccuracies. Two points are worth quoting from the abstract of the medical article.

“Although the inaccuracies are a cause for concern, we suggest that because Hindi cinema is generally hyperbolic, the public may be willing to distinguish real life from reel life when facing clinical decisions about ECT.”

Hindi cinema, generally hyperbolic? Although I probably couldn’t recognize a hyperbole if it burst out in song-and-dance wearing a tomato red chiffon sari, it is possible that the authors’ comment might be a slight understatement.

“Nevertheless, considering the potential for harm in the dissemination of misinformation, filmmakers should exhibit a greater sense of ethics when creating impressions that might adversely influence health.”

Shame on you Hindi filmmakers for not having any ethics! Priyadarshan, I know you probably haven’t had time recently to browse through issues of The Journal of ECT, but I really must protest. This sort of ignorance on medical matters clearly will not do!

The public deserves better.

More Bollywood Science here.

Disclaimer: These are my personal views and do not necessarily represent the position of my current or former employers. I am not a physician and have no knowledge of ECT so my comments should be taken with a pinch of salt. Fair-use rationale of images: All images are low-resolution and used only for purposes of demonstration for no monetary gain where a free equivalent is not available. Copyright of original works resides with the original creators.

© Text, 2010-2012, Anirban