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


How to get rich by selling “homemade” rudraksha seeds

Prayer beads made of rudrakshas* (also spelled as rudrakshs) are very commonly used by Hindus. My grandfather had one which he used like rosary beads to count the number of times he had recited a mantra. TeleSkyShopping Network, a direct-to-home shopping outlet that sells various charms and amulets in North America for hundreds of dollars mentions the alleged “powers” of the one-faced or “ekmukhi rudraksha” in many of their television commercials.

First, it is useful to know what exactly a rudraksha is. The rudraksha seed comes from an eponymous broad-leaf evergreen found in South and Southeast Asia. The fruit is bright blue and generally of no interest, but the seeds are named according to shape and associated with various unsubstantiated divine powers. According to Indian mythology, when Shiva wept, his tears turned into the rudraksha.

She became an IAS officer by wearing a rudraksha

Still with me? Now TeleskyShopping Network claims to sort through rudrakshas of one particular shape, bless them, claim that they have divine electromagnetic properties, and sell to you for around 150 dollars per seed. And as with other televised commercials there are testimonials portrayed by actors: a partial list of problems that the seed allegedly remedies includes illness, legal problems, failure in competitive exams, the “evil eye”, impotence, evil spirits, and unemployment. I’m curious how anyone ever dies with one around their neck, but I’ll leave that point for the experts.

He made friends with female colleagues because of the rudraksha

They even have someone, presumably a paid actor, who plays a scientist in the commercial. This expert lets viewers know that the seed is “scientifically proven” to work. And because it is shaped like a brain, it is supposed to influence the brain by balancing the hormones. The argument that the  shape of a remedy impacts a similarly-shaped organ in the body is not unique. In fact, a similar claim is made for the ability of the leaves of brahmi to improve memory and cognition. Proponents claim that because it is shaped like a brain, it exerts influence on the brain.

The commercial claims that Rudraksha influences the brain because the shape of the seed resembles the shape of the brain

How to get rich by selling rudrakshas.

I am eating this peach as I write

If you have access to the rudraksha tree then you do not need to read any further. You already have access to a goldmine that will provide for your children’s education  and your retirement since the devout will always believe in the powers of the seed.

If you live outside of South Asia then you have to be a bit creative. Fortunately, people are gullible and with a bit of convincing you can probably pass off a seed of roughly similar size and texture as a rudraksha. For those living in temperate climates, I recommend the seeds of fruits like peaches or apricots.

My rudrakshas are high in Vitamin C

For example, today I bought a pound of peaches from the grocery store. My idea is to wash and store the pits of the peaches after I’ve eaten the edible part of the fruit. Now, not only can I get my daily recommended allowance of Vitamin C, but I can also make some money on the side.

I encourage you to try it too. And if you don’t like peaches, then you can try cherries and claim that the seeds work just as well.

Do share your thoughts and if you have other ideas for passing off unwanted seeds for hundreds of dollars let me know!


*also spelled as rudraksh from Rudra (or Shiva) + aksha or (eye), though rude + rakshas (demon) sounds funnier.

This is the first 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.

Fair-use rationale for images: All images are low-resolution. Screenshots from commercial are used only for purposes of demonstration for no monetary gain where a free alternative does not exist. Copyright of original works resides with the original creators. Photos of peach was taken by me. The second photo of the peach is used with permission from SxC.

Did Prahlad Jani survive 70 years without food or drink?

As someone actively engaged in the dissemination of scientific information, I find it incumbent on myself to sift through the news to see how science is being represented by the media. Last week many media outlets including the AFP, reported a curious case of an Indian holy man who claimed to have survived without sustenance in the form of food or water for seven decades.

Prahlad Jani, 83, claims that a goddess blessed him at a very early age and since then he has not taken in a drop of liquid or a morsel of food. If you thought this claim was fantastic enough, there is more. India’s Defence Institute of Physiology and Allied Sciences (DIPAS) confined Jani and observed him for fifteen days during which time, to quote the AFP article, “he neither ate nor drank and did not go to the toilet”. However during this time, he was allowed to gargle and bathe.

It is not uncommon for humans to survive long periods of time without food. Physiologically, the body first uses up glucose and then glycogen. Once these ready sources are depleted muscle-mass starts to decrease. Ketones are used next and after a few days, fat is used in “survival mode.” Mahatma Gandhi fasted several times during his life (including a 21-day fast in 1932) during which times he did not eat any solid foods. There are reports of people surviving 40 and even 50 days without food. However, reports of people living without water or other liquids for over ten days are somewhat rare.

I am firm believer in the maxim that fantastic claims require fantastic proof. While it is possible that Jani has trained his body to live without food and water for days, the claim that he has done so for years is far-fetched and should not have been touted without a healthy dose of skepticism. Further, the fact that he was allowed to bathe casts a cloud of unreliability on the claim that he did not drink or urinate during the time. The experiment should have been performed without the provision of bathing.

Another point is worth bearing in mind. Extrapolating from a fifteen-day experiment to the conclusion that Jani has not eaten for 70 years (as some media outlets have done) is similar to accepting a claim that someone can swim from New York to London across the Atlantic because they can do 100 laps in an Olympic swimming pool.

The AFP report also notes the following:

“During the 15-day observation, which ended on Thursday, the doctors took scans of Jani’s organs, brain, and blood vessels, as well as doing tests on his heart, lungs and memory capacity”

Notice anything strange apart from the poorly-constructed sentence? Yes, exactly! The tests are all fine, but why doesn’t the report mention the one vital statistic that you and I are thinking of? Why is there no mention of Jani’s weight at the start and at the end of the experiment? One would expect his weight to fall, which immediately would rubbish his claim for living 70 years on divine yogic breath.

Finally, the comment by observing physician Sudhir Shah is extremely alarming:

“If Jani does not derive energy from food and water, he must be doing that from energy sources around him, sunlight being one.”

The conclusion that Jani does not derive energy from food and water has not been firmly established, but Shah is already hinting at the possibility of sunlight as a direct source of energy. This concept is easily digestible to Hindus and Jains who share a special reverence for the sun, but is a reckless one to make.  First, a mountain of evidence must be accumulated to support that Jani possesses metabolism unlike all other humans and multicellular animals. That possibility seems unlikely. Second, there would need to be some observation that sunlight is the direct source of his energy. Finally, a process by which it occurs would need to be provided. Contrary to popular opinion, science does not satisfy its adherents by being phenomenological. If I were to claim to live on air alone, I would be required to provide a plausible hypothesis for how I was doing so that either obeyed the known laws of the physical and natural world or under very rare circumstances modified them. Providing outlandish untested hypotheses based on poorly-designed experiments is shameful.

A final word on the state of Indian science. There are many serious, hardworking Indian scientists toiling away in labs that do not get this sort of attention. If India wants to be treated as a country with scientific potential, it must get its priorities straight. A top-down approach in which government mandates how much will be spent in a year is good for building bridges, but not adequate for fostering a scientific temperament. Government institutions like DIPAS should know better than to waste money on poorly-designed experiments.

© Text, 2010-2012, Anirban

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.