Caught behind but not out!

Monday, November 28, 2005

Cow Shampoo- its good for your hair!


I'm sure you must have encountered that wierd search term on your blogstats that lead to your blog and I know none of you are complaining about it. MSN search leads to my blog when you type the terms 'lost cow shampoo'. Who in the world would be on the look out for cow shampoo? The sherlock in me began to find out what cow shampoo was and yes it actually exists! For those of you who are interested here's the recipe.

Ingredients: -
Cow urine 2 kilo
Aritha (English: Soap nut tree, Latin: Sapindus trifoliatus) 50 gm
Camphor dali 15 gm,
Ajwain (English: Country barage, Latin: Coelus amboinicus) sat 10 gm.

Process of manufacture: -
Crush aritha (Soap nut tree fruit) to form fine powder and put it in cow urine. Then evaporate the liquid part of this mixture while stirring it. Take it off from fire when 500 gm remains. Filter it. Mix camphor and Ajwain sat (Essence of Country barage) in a bottle for some time. Then mix it with rest of the filtered cow urine.

Utility: -
Apply in hairs while taking bath (where else would one apply shampoo!!)

Check out the link for the website: Cow Urine manual

I'm sure some of you have already started wondering what it tastes like-
pungent, hot, easily digestible
(No! I haven't tried it previously..I'm just going by the book)

Only cow urine of cow of Indian breed should be used for treatment
(to me this appears very racist!)

It gets even more scandolous. Here are some of the exceprts which shocked me!

Excerpts from a really long article that details different cow urine recipes and the miraculous properties that it bestows:

How long can it be preserved?

Cow urine is useful eternally, lifelong. It should be covered nicely to avoid dust

(probably because the cow lives only in sterile environments. Shoo cow! go away from that dustbin)

What is the dose for pregnant women and child?

Half the general dose.

(I thought pregnant women were supposed to be given milk with saffron!!)

Why diseases occur?

Following are the reasons..........
Due to working against the voice of soul (i.e. immoral sinful activities).
Due to sins committed in previous births.
Due to entrance of spirits in body.
(And to think that the world wasted all its time trying to award Nobel Prizes to people who figured out what disease is :P )

How cow urine wins over diseases?

Cow urine has amazing germicidal power to kill varieties of germs. All germ generated diseases are thus destroyed.
Cow urine contains many minerals especially copper etc. It compensates for bodily mineral deficiency. Presence of gold salts protects body against diseases.
Cow urine is an elixir. Stops ageing process. Destroys diseases.
(If it was so valuable why doesnt the darn cow keep it!)

And much much check out the link.

To me this appears to be a whole lot of bullshit (this is in no way indicative of any medicinal properties that it might possess and I sincerely hope not.) If the consumption of cows afflicted with Mad cow disease in Europe lead to havoc, I wonder what would happen if.........

Utter chaos

I recently came across an article on chaos theory which sent my grey cells into action. Chaos theory is based on the statement that the final state of the system is 'extremely sensitive' to the intial conditions.
The "Butterfly Effect" is often ascribed to Lorenz. In a paper in 1963 given to the New York Academy of Sciences he remarks:

One meteorologist remarked that if the theory were correct, one flap of a seagull's wings would be enough to alter the course of the weather forever.
By the time of his talk at the December 1972 meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Washington, D.C. the sea gull had evolved into the more poetic butterfly - the title of his talk was
Predictability: Does the Flap of a Butterfly’s Wings in Brazil set off a Tornado in Texas?
Here is an interesting link on the Butterfly effect. You can see the butterfly emerge in an applet

A day in the life of a normal person like me turns out to be quite exciting because of this. I wake up in the morning and yawn forgetting that my yawn sets off Hurricane Watzizname.
Coffee! Add sugar and stir and you end up being responsible for the tornado in Brazil.
Sneeze and you just sent the whole universe into turmoil and a kitten got run over by a car because of this. This is indeed a cruel world.

So remember, when a slap is what greets you on opening your heart to a girl, or that F grade stares at you blatantly on your arithmetic test, or even when Ganguly has a bad bat. Its no ones fault. No one is to blame except for the butterfly that flapped its wings in the Amazon.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

The Thanksgiving day sale

And finally the phenomenon called Thanksgiving is over. Though it seemed like any other day- cold and windy and I'm wishing that I could be on a frying pan until I thawed away... but no it still was just another day out here. Black friday happens to be the time that the big sales are on...when people are waiting in the lines from 2 or 3 in the morning. I wonder if they feel cold.

Apparently that is the bear the freezing wind, to wait at the end of a line that just made it to 1.2 miles, to make it past the entrance without getting trampled. Yes! Darwin was right. This is the survival of the fittest.

I realized there are three kinds of shoppers: The ones who are truly into the sport of shopping, who shop not because they need something but truly shop for the sake of shopping. That is so noble! Their lives rest upon the sole aim of making the world a happy place to live in by shopping (well it is happy for them!) You can easily spot them since they will be the only ones with sleeping bags in their hands when they go for shopping.

The second kind of shopper is the one who needs something but also develops the urge to get more than what he needs. Thats the sale factor. At the end, you find that he gets tires for a truck that he never owned and you wonder why- "Because they are free after mail in rebate" or the guy who purchases 100 bags of doggy biscuit- "because they said you get one free if you buy 99 bags!" But yes their lives are happy ones as well. (except when they need to fill in the mail in rebate forms)

The third kind of shopper is the one who goes there because everyone else goes. Its a hangout, a bar, lots of people, lots of fun. This guy is the player.....the kind who is always on the look out to open the door because the woman's hands are full or just around to say "Oh you dropped something, let me pick it up for you. And by the way my number is....."

There are other categories as well like the ones who have no choice but to go since they need to drive the shoppers of category one, two or three to the mall..but then again I will leave the process of making this list any longer to you. Drop me a note if you have classified any more shoppers.

The one's who stay at home sleeping deserve special mention. Though they might be regarded as the scum looked down upon by the rest of the world, they are the ones who experience true salvation. A warm room, coffee when they wake up and the contentment of owning a toothbrush that isnt free after mail in rebate.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

The price of integrity

This morning seemed like any other morning until Vivek pointed me to a blog by Gaurav. It relates the the murder of an ex- IIM student who was murdered for placing a seal on a petrol bunk on account of the sale of adulterated petrol. Sad as it seems, looks like integrity has a heavy price to pay.

Gaurav weaves this in very nicely: "Rest in peace, Machan. Whatever place you are at right now, I am sure you are rocking it. You staked your life on your integrity. I really doubt if I would have done the same, had I been in your shoes. Hats off, and bye, Manju."

Sunday, November 13, 2005

A penny for my thoughts 2

the firecracker

Sundar and Jumboo waited anxiously outside a quaint little room of a Government hospital. Just like any other Government hospital, it didn’t seem a hospital at all, but that was all fifty rupees could afford…

As Shashi Tharoor beautifully put it, “While driving forward in life it’s sometimes good to take a look into the rear view mirror.” And exactly seven days before this was what had happened.

As the hours drift like the lonely clouds into the glorious sunset, one day always inevitably leads to another. Just put the days together and a month suddenly comes into light. Such months, twelve of them had almost passed. For Sundar and Vijay and a whole lot of other people in India it meant that the Festival of lights, the wonderful festival called Diwali was just around the corner with just seven days to go. Sundar was eleven years old, a cheerful and fun- loving boy, who always was in the happiest of moods. One could hardly have seen a tear on his face. For him, life was wonderful (though I am certain he had no idea as to what the word ‘life’ ever meant). Vijay was the tiny tot, the one who needed care and support, being only eight years old. Not that Sundar himself was too old, but he was a boy who was determined to take responsibilities into his hand. This necessity wouldn’t have arose to any school going kid on the busy streets of Chennai, but the two boys represented the dearth of the Indian society, the downtrodden and the demeaned, that’s how society had deemed their lives to be. Society…the combination of people who call themselves cultured but would take every liberty to behave in the nastiest of ways you could ever see. People, who would cut you down at every chance and at every traffic signal, giving them a sense of achievement worth speaking of in life. Sundar and Vijay were rag pickers, the very word that sends out shock waves into the heads of some people. Well they were a little dirty, having had minimal opportunities to take a bath, and of course they don’t use a Yves Saint Laurent, but otherwise I guess they are pretty much human. Pretty much consisting of the very same blood we are made of and breathing the same polluted air amidst which we live our lives.

The Festival of Diwali is perhaps the most adulated and adored festivals of all celebrated in India- A most colourful and joyous event, that spares no community in India. Sundar and Vijay had watched them year after year. They had seen the smiles on the people, when the wick of the firecracker is lit, and when the anxiety of waiting turns to joy as the night sky glows with the brilliance of a thousand suns. A year before, Sundar and Vijay had vowed to light one of those firecrackers on the next Diwali. Their job fetched them very little revenue, that they hardly found sufficient to fill their own stomachs, but the burning desire within them pushed them to save every possible rupee to buy that one of those wonderful firecrackers.

That morning, Vijay peeped into one of the houses in the neighbourhood. He looked earnestly into the house but at the same time cautiously. And he saw the calendar!It showed that there were seven more days to go before Diwali. His joy couldn’t be contained and he rushed back and woke up a tired Sundar. Pain meant nothing at that moment of ecstasy. He told Sundar in his own twisted way, “Seven days to go!!!!!.” But that was good enough for Sundar who gave a weary smile. “We have collected Hundred rupees so far Vijay, I think we can make a little more money over the next three days and buy those firecrackers.”, said Sundar. Vijay gave a tight hug to Sundar. The sun had just begun to rise. It’s a pity that the two had to wake up at such an early hour of the day but life hadn’t endowed them with a place to live. Platforms would get very crowded soon and inconsiderate people might step onto a hand or a leg. Sundar tugged at his sack and Vijay just tagged along. “Let us go and see Jumboo”, said Sundar “ I hope he is in a good mood today”.

Jumboo was an old man who took care of the news mart. Sundar would go and give him his share of collections for the day and in return Jumboo would give him some money. Jumboo invariably was never in a good mood. He found it odd that people could be happy and cheerful. However, he knew the lives that the little boys lead. He had known their mother and father who died in a tragic accident, which had forced these two boys onto the streets. Jumboo had a soft corner for the two of them. Vijay rushed and hugged Jumboo and excitedly said,” Jumboo Maama, Diwali is fast approaching and Sundar and I are going to buy a certain firecracker.” His eyes lit up as he explained how that ‘certain’ firecracker would go up and burst in the sky into a thousand colours. Jumboo listened with patience and at the end of it said, “Well here both of you , take 10 rupees. My Diwali gift for you.” He smiled. His smile was a rare thing to see. In your life time you might see more giant pandas than Jumbooji’s smiles. Sundar unloaded his collections and Jumboo took a good look at them and gave the boy 20 rupees. Sundar thought to himself about how ‘lucky’ they were.

In front of Vijay’s eager eyes, Sundar counted out the money they had collected carefully. They needed only fifty rupees. That night after their frugal dinner they kept staring at the sky. Sundar said, “Do you see that star up there that is shining brightly Vijay:? Jumboo once told me that Papa and Mama stay there. How worried they must be about us! But then when we send that firecracker right up into the sky and it bursts out into a thousand colours with all it’s glory, maybe it will tell them that we are happy and that life down here is as wonderful as can be. Next Diwali we will send them an even better cracker!” But nay, Vijay was fast asleep. Sundar tender eye’s too grew heavy. Just as the tender lily floats down amidst a stormy breeze and slowly falls to the earth, Sundar’s eyes closed with happiness.

The next two days were very busy for Sundar and Vijay as they worked hard to make up the void of money. Finally they had earned their fifty rupees! Vijay couldn’t wait to buy the firecrackers, but Sundar was prudent to decide that, being a little late into the night, they rather buy their firecrackers the next day morning. Dawn comes quickly to those who sleep well. The sun rose and the day had dawned..the day before Diwali.

The city was at it’s best. People were in a shopping frenzy. Children were even happier, tugging away at the wicks of their favourite firecrackers and lighting them, watching them go off with a big bang. They found it very exciting. Grandmothers were the busiest of them all. They took charge of the kitchen making Diwali sweets. The city seemed to take on a life of it’s own. Diwali seemed to take on a life of it’s own. Sundar and Vijay loitered the streets strewn with the remenants of the firecrackers. They couldn’t wait to get to the shop and buy their own firecracker. Sundar thought to himself as he always did “How lucky we are!”

Children will always be children. Carelessness comes hand in hand with their very innocence. A lone fire cracker had been lit by an infant and he rushed back into safety. He shut his eyes and ears and waited. Fate is very strange and invariably puts you in the wrong place at the wrong time, and so it was for Vijay. His timing was impeccable and the cracker went off with a bang, on Vijay’s leg. Vijay screamed with agony. Sundar was shocked. He immediately carried Vijay to Jumboo’s shop. Jumboo, as I have said seldom showed any emotions, but the situation demanded it. He quickly put down the shutter of his shop, which was doing extremely well on the holiday, and helped Sundar take Vijay to the hospital.

That brings us back to the quaint little government hospital outside which, Sundar stood along with a worried Jumboo. The doctor came out assuring them that all was fine. Sundar rushed inside and saw Vijay lying down. The wound fortunately, wasn’t very serious. Vijay gave a little smile. The enthusiasm and ecstacy had disappeared…so had their fifty rupees. Vijay, with a small sniffle, said “I’m sorry Sundar. It was because me that we couldn’t buy the firecracker. Now Mama and Papa will never know that we are happy here. ” Sundar had no answer.

Jumboo then patted them both and said in the kindest of voices, “Sundar and Vijay, do you think your Mama and your Papa need a firecracker to let them know you are happy?
The concern that Sundar showed for you is more than anything in the world that would let them know the two of you are happy. So forget about the firecrackers and take some rest.” He then told them sternly, “I knew that these firecrackers were always wretched things, so NO MORE firecrackers!”

Sundar smiled weakly but little did Jumboo know that he had already started to plan out how he was going to buy the firecracker next Diwali.

Life is a whirligig and humans are meek creatures falling into the same well again and again and again……

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Bath and beyond

Disclaimer: If reading this article has a profound influence on you and as a consequence of it you lose out on an amazing social life that you had, I am not responsible.

to bathe or not to bathe that is the question Hamlet asked and 200 years later I asketh this to thee...

I love wrtiting about baths simply because I don’t like taking them. I think they are a waste of time. They are rituals man has been cursed to perform to please the bath god. While people end up wasting a few minutes of their precious day pleasing Bathus maximus (Latinizing it to make it sound like a greek god) - probably because he will grant them three wishes after they have worshipped him for a hundred years- I have breakfast or catch up on lost sleep. One bath a day is understandable (though I recommend a bath in probably two days for the larger interests of mankind which I will elaborate on) but then, there are these strange people probably from Planet Gazook who take three or four a day.

Hmmm… apparently baths keep people clean. I wonder where people got this impression from , inspite of rubbing a piece of slime that has gone through a lot in fifteen days of the month and is still being put to this act of eternal damnation. But then I must concede that baths do help keep odour away and that’s probably the only reason why I reluctantly take one at least once in two days. For times when I don’t there is always Calvin Kline or Axe to the rescue. Made for each other. We are. (does this sound like Hemmingway?)

Water statistics (mine of course) indicate that 10.01 litres of water is used up for every bath (of course this is a minimal requirement excluding those who like to soak in tonnes of it and cause regional water shortage problems) You can do the math to figure out how much this exploding population of ours consumes. Yup! You are right…we consume an exploding quantity of water.

Friends Romans and umm…and umm…. And yea the rest of you guys…listen up! Every time you take a bath, think of the water that falls off you and ends up in the sewer treatment plant. Think globally. About Somalia where people need to walk miles to get a litre of water. Water is a global resource and conserving it anywhere in the world is conserving it for the whole. Think of the future generations to come. Show them some of the blue that you saw along the shores. (yuck! I sound like a sentimental pig out here...but if it works I' d do anything!)

Not to forget the potential dangers in bathing such as drowning in your bath tub or slipping in the shower or ...or....something terrible happens!

So whats the first thing I would do if I become ‘king of the world’ or maybe president of the U of A would do. (considering its easy to do that provided your IQ is below zero like mine is) One day is all that you have and one bath is more than what you need (sounds like a catchy one liner for the presidential campaign). Maybe I should institute a ‘No bathing day’ to remind people of the solemn responsibility that rests in their hands. Conserving water and oh not to forget- world peace! (the tag line that gets people krying) Wonder if the next Miss Universe will model for my campaign...... after all we share common interests- namely world peace.

So what are the solutions to taking conservative baths:
Ideally one would like to not take a bath at all..since this has some practical limitations (like the lack of a social life or generally people preferring to talk to you over the phone), workable options include waiting for the rains. If you are in India, you should keep in mind that it might be a while before your first bath. If you are in the Sahara, dont bother.

I’m sure that some of you would have realized how wasted your life has been with all the baths that you have taken and how much harm you have caused the planet. Trust me! Its not too late to change. Big things come in small packages and its this small act that you can perform that can make a huge difference to the evolution of the human race.

So, if you are reading this article in the morning and are just about to pick up your towel you know what to do! Drop me a line if this article has changed your life ☺ Remember that with every bath you end up not taking you earn a brownie point. Don’t forget to let me know how many brownie points you secure at the end of the month. Exciting prizes to be won if you earn 30 points next month!!!!!!

Signing off......