Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Celeb Secrets Revealed - India's most famous plastic surgery

It was a day in the year 2500 BC - A fine evening worthy of merriment. However on this day, one man was unusually perturbed. He entered a relatively desolate lane of his town and stepped into a murky looking store. The board read "A-1 Clinic".

"I wanted to enquire about your plastic surgery services."

The surgeon observed that the man enquring was peculiar - his eyes a bit hazy, and some overdose of Ponds Dream Talc. There were some odd tattoos and skull accessories, but nothing too different from his usual clientele.

"Well we do a whole range of services - transplants, nose jobs, plumping. And it'll all be very discreet.... Is this about your blue neck? We can touch up and get rid of that right away".

"Thanks. The blue neck happened after crazy night I had with my head banging mountain boys. But that's not why I am here."

"Oh. So how can I help?"

"This is actually for my teenage son. What's your expertise in facial surgery"

"Well teenagers are our specialty. What is this about? Simple acne? Or some bigger fix on the face like the nose or eyes?

"How about the whole head?"

"The whole head?"

"Yes. You see, My son and I were having an argument and I accidentally chopped off his head...It's all a bit fuzzy...Anyway, I wanted to check if you do any head replacements."

"Sure we can. Where is your son right now. We can get started right away."

"He's strolling in a nearby mall. I've left him in this kids play area so he doesn't  bump into something which might you know..injure him. Although I think he's terrified all the other toddlers out there."

"That's not unusual. Some of our plastic surgery patients handled at night turn out to be quite scary. We will go with your guidance then. Would you say he's medium size?"

"I would play safe and go with XXXL. He's not been watching his diet too well since..well since birth."

The surgeon considered the XXXL request for a second.

"Well we do have some fresh stock. How keen are you for your son to retain his original look?"

"Actually I am quite hazy about his original appearance - I usually spend my days on the top of Mount Kailash. I am into Yoga nowadays."

"I see. Well, the head replacement I had in mind will work great for your XXXL son. Firstly, he'll have great memory. The nose is a bit obtuse - I mean, not like (insert racist comment) people. But slightly better. Would that be ok?

"Yes sure."

"He may also require some dental work at a later date, his canine teeth are a bit out there. But we will give you a voucher so you can try out our partner firm A-1 Dental Services".

"That's great. So can you wrap this up quickly? I need to be home for dinner in a couple of hours."

"This shouldn't take more than an hour. You can get your son in now. If you want to kill time you can head to a Family Restaurant nearby."

"Is it a Family restaurant and BAR?"


"BAR with Smoking?"

"Yes. But then you can't sit in the family section".

"OK. What if I want to boogie?"

"With that outfit, I don't think anyone will stop you."

"Sweet. I'll see you later."

6 hours later the man floats back to the clinic - "Wow that party was awesome! Did I forget something here?"

"You were supposed to pick up your son a while ago. He's sitting outside and is quite hungry. I suggest you buy some ladoos along the way."

He walks back home with his son.

"Dad, what happened to you?"

"I don't remember. Did something happen to you? You look different."

"I don't remember either."

"Hmm...I thought this was supposed to be the start of good times.."

A week later another man walks into A-1 clinic and asks for the surgeon.

"My friend told me you can do some real magic with head plastic surgery. He had one replaced. I actually would like to have some removed."

"Yes of course we can help you. Your name please?


(Inspired by "true" events, and our Indian PM's blurred understanding of mythology and science)

If you liked this you may also like to read:
Mangalyaan: A Guide to countering Mangal Dosh via Lord Hanuman
The Source of Atheism
So what do you call him?

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Mangalyaan: A Guide to countering Mangal Dosh via Lord Hanuman

#Mangalyaan was a great success , thanks to the countless hours spent by the ISRO scientists who made this happen. Reports state that they prayed to Lord Balaji (Source). To hedge their risks some of them might have also prayed to Lord Hanuman to counter Mangal Dosh (Mars ill-effect) . This Hanuman prayer for protection from Mars may have helped the team enter the orbit of Mars; the jury is out on that one. Speaking of Hanuman, in the recent past there was a bizarre incident regarding an Aadhaar UID which captured people's interest briefly. Let’s talk about that. If you suspect that this #mangalyaan introduction was just a thinly veiled segue to my dated post, you are right…

A few weeks ago we learnt that an Aadhar Card was issued for Lord Hanuman with a legitimate 12 digit ID (news link) The police eventually figured out that this regressive action was conceived by a progressive person named Vikas. His intentions for applying for a fake God ID were not malicious – but rather stemmed from some perplexing frustration at the Indian Government systems. What should not surprise you is the ensuing actions from the police – i.e “penalizing the enrollment agency”. But in this whole chaos you may have missed a few critical aspects of the incident which convey very heartwarming qualities about our culture.

First is the choice of picture for the card. The prankster Vikas had some wild choices given the level of media coverage for Hanuman’s life in his era – like multi god action picture, or literally chest bearing shoots, or even recent ones featuring Dara Singh. But he chose a front facing picture clearly adhering to identity card norms. Hanuman ji happens to be wearing a fat pearl string. I think a bit of jewelry even for male applicants is ok, as long as it doesn’t cover facial features. So that was commendable.

Second was the Father’s Name in the card, which was declared as Pawan.  Our trickster could have used any other Father name - like Rahman and stirred some deep, philosophical debates about Hanuman's real origins. But he chose to stay authentic and adhered to the complicated hindu mythology.

Thirdly, there was a clear mark of respect with the addition of Ji to both the card and his mythological father (Hanuman ji and Pawan ji). This clearly shows deep Indian values. Assuming Hanuman ji was a January born Capricorn was probably a quirky, mischievous move from Vikas. Considering the loyalty and calm temperament, except for the odd city burning tendencies, I would have pegged the Lord to be a Scorpio. But I could be wrong.  

You might also have missed the immediate actions taken up by the officials upon discovery of the card. From the fake card having a fake deity’s identity picture and fake DOB, they chose to try the phone number listed in the card. This is a clear sign of optimisim. I am not sure whether they were stunned by the outcome, but they accurately conveyed to the news agencies that the number was unreachable.

And finally, it was decided by the local postal department head Gobraj that the card would be sent back to the Bangalore UIDAI Centre as there was no recipient. This shows a clear respect for hierarchy and processes. Hanuman ji, the savior of those in trouble, the protector of the down trodden will probably have his card buried in a government cupboard classified under a ‘Person Unavailable’ tag along with a ~million other fake IDs (News link)

In case I do decide to get an Aadhaar card one day, I’ll pick some lessons from this incident.  I might not use a God’s picture, but I’ll consider wearing a string of Pearls.

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