Would you buy a car if a girl and a snake selling it ?

Alright, name of the game is “find the relevance”.

Hint: This is snapshot of today’s Times of India. The news is on auction of 2G spectrum.

Now, GO.. your time starts now. What is the relevance between news item and the girl ?


Answer: If you read the caption real close, it quotes, telecom companies playing “wait and watch game”. And the girl, is “waiting” !!! Get it ? That’ the relevance. It was total coincidence that she was scantily clad.

Okay, if you really liked this game, I have one more for you. Now guess what she is selling? (I wouldn’t have got it right with a million chances)

Car advert

Answer : A car !!!!!!!!!

Formula one – Hamsters running on wheels

Formula one, I still opine, as nothing more than hamsters running over wheels. It’s pointless, waste of time, money and talent. There are at least 10s reason why I still hate it. Go ahead and prove me wrong.

  1. It’s not sports: Don’t call a bunny-turtle race, a sport. You give same car to all drivers, and then we’ll talk.
  2. It’s not race: What kind of race needs one of its competitors to slowdown due to team order? It’s like Yohan Blake asking Usain Bolt to slowdown because Jamaica said so.
  3. Crashes: I was told spectacular crash will be spectacular to watch. Even I was informed movies like Death Race is inspired by races including F1. If is true, its really sad.
  4. It’s not exciting: Around six blokes always ahead of game, the rest always behind. I take a nap, take a shower, grab a coffee and browse back to the channel – they will be still racing in same race in same position!
  5. It’s a pit race:  By the sound of it, races are won in pit stops rather than tracks. It’s like cricket is won in dug out, not field.
An “Exciting” moment in F1
An “Exciting” moment in F1
  1. Expensive: Considering you’ll only see start, finish and one glimpse per lap! Even 1$ is expensive if the deal is to sit there and yawn.
  2. Technology: I was also told, money is being put into good use of invention automobile industry. A $500mil a year for each team from last so many years, I had expected some alien car craft!  They still breakdown at signal.
  3. Rich-men sport: How easy is it makes an entry for a team? Suppose you do, how many years you need to compete to make a single point on board?
  4. Hype: F1 is nothing more than a ponzi scheme of sports world with blown up go-karting.  People follow because it is uncool not to follow. It’s a fashion statement.
  5. F1 geeks: They irritate me every day with specifics of turbo engines, rpms, cylinders and other part which never amused me!

This is part 2 of what I had written few years back.


Update 25/01 : Due to a lot of good friends of mine objected the wording of #3 on crashes being spectacular,  I have reworded it to have less exaggeration.  But content remains same. I cant believe you never heard about it. One example right away, this author explains the romance between danger and dependency of F1 revenue on it. He writes :

……No one, myself included, wants to see drivers die, but by eliminating the potential for death (as nearly as possible), the danger which led to the popularity of the sport is lost. 
The remaining glamour, without the danger, is empty and superficial—glamour for glamour’s sake—an endless parade of celebrities shuffling up and down the pit lane and drivers throwing their cars into turns knowing the risks have been diminished should they get it wrong.

I still stick to all other points, unless convinced otherwise.

My experiments with perfume samplers

Perfume samplers are perhaps most annoying bunch of salesmen out there. They are like urban cowboys with a set of perfume bottles in their holster and will shoot at sight like dirty Harry. It hardly ever happened to me that I went to shopping mall and did not get ambushed by them. Its not seldom I ended up buying one of those expensive perfumes, plus came out smelling like a bouquet.

My sympathies with all those who got scammed like this, welcome to “I got tricked into buying perfume I didn’t like” club. We meet on Thursdays.

For others, I dare you to try once. Go to any mall in India and this is how whole process goes:

  • He will start with, if you like is “Eau de Toilette” or some other phrases you don’t even recognize. That’s your clue, if you are impressed with his knowledge on few European phrases, you are trapped.  Simple psychology is, if you don’t understand what is asking, most probably you will stick with what he recommends
  • Then he will ask which flavor of perfume you like, fruity, nutty or shitty. Don’t answer that – it’s a rhetorical question. He will pull one sample no matter whatever you answer. Don’t get scared, not at least – not yet.
  • Then, like a ninja pulls a ninjastar, he’ll pull one sampling strip. He does it so fast you will be tend to think its magic. If you must ask, go ahead and enquire if he does birthday parties.
  • What he does next is something amusing. He will pose like Usain Bolt, like he did after winning gold. Or maybe it is T’ai chi, you’ll never know. Anyways, He will hold paper strip in one hand and bottle in other with a appropriately calculated distance.
joey tribbiani as perfume sampler
joey tribbiani as perfume sampler
  • Then he’ll spray sample into air, more precise than sparkplug of a four-stroke engine! in slow motion.  I was like – OMG splay it already!
  • Before it disperses into air he will wave the testing strip where he sprayed. It’s like a WOW! This is that exact moment you’ll think this guy really knows what he is doing, and perhaps he is topper in fragrance sampling college.
  • And just when you think he will give it you to sniff, wait, there are more steps! how else would this poor fellow justify overpriced liquid? He will blow air on that perfume strip before handing over to you. Don’t be surprised if it smells like onion-fish fry he had that afternoon.
  • There’s more to procedure if you challenge his choice of perfume. He will make you smell some coffee beans. Then procedure repeats from beginning
  • Finally only four thousand saar ! You pay, then you go home having spent entire days budget in one counter,

share your thoughts,

How to survive Arnab Goswami through logical fallacies

As you already might have guessed, I am a regular viewer of the the Newshour by Arnab Goswami, and a big fan. It is a ‘complete’ show. There are multiple reasons I choose to watch this – It provides good entertainment, alternatives are poorly scripted; also in a weird sense, this is a kind of adventure sport, for panellists.

Surprisingly though, there is not even a single guide available on how to survive his show. I expected at least a book in market, something like “Arnab for dummies”, nope! So I thought I’ll write one, not book, a post. If you happened to be invited to his show please feel free to use any of these.

BTW, if you do not know Arnab Goswami, please go back into your cave and close the rock door properly. I heard spiders are good protein. For others, let’s start.

Arnab Goswami
Arnab Goswami

Right, Thumb rule is, there is no correct way of doing it. However, there are several wrong ways.

  1. You can never win an argument, you can only survive it. So stop trying to convince him, it will never work.
  2. Do not practice! In fact, you don’t even need to know what the discussion is all about. He will set the premise, then he will ask what “nation needs to know”.
  3. Never ever ask for a proof. If it exists, he has seen it. As it was famously described before by media crooks –  every piece of document, including your bus ticket will have to go through his desk. Stamped.
  4. Use the words he uses, he may show mercy on you. ‘National’ television, you’re ‘exclusive’, etc. While there, don’t use the words ‘paid’ and ‘media’, or ‘you’ and ‘PR agent’ in same sentence. Prostate exams seem better than what follows.
  5. Use this as final resort, only if you are cornered. Close your ears and eyes and sing a song, need not be a patriotic song, even Sheela Ki Jawani should work.
  6. If that doesn’t work, use your rugby skills

I will update the list as and when I find more, but as of now above should help you through half an hour of his show.

On a different note, below are some rhetological fallacies I noted. This is in general, rather than Arnab’s show. These are real fallacies, I did not make any of these.

  1. Burden of proof – It’s not my job to find proof, it’s yours. E.g. Give me proof for something I claimed
  2. Special pleading – pleading for exemption without justifying the exemption. E.g. Give them time, they will prove eventually, so don’t scrutinize.
  3. Insufficient sample – broad conclusion on a tiny sample E.g. The latest ‘ground-breaking’ survey had “..about 2000 people – was small and was concentrated on the 18-45 age group”
  4. Relative privation – argument on existence of severe, but unrelated, problems. E.g. How can Madhuri Dikshit and Salman Khan can attend a show while people don’t have blanket in refugee camp.
  5. Appeal to accomplishment – because of his credentials! E.g. have you ever read Arvind Kejriwal’s Resume?
  6. Nazi card – simple branding. e.g. we are liberals, by definition we are open to all ideas except anything remotely right.
  7. Appeal to ridicule – E.g. Idea of abolishing income tax is ridiculous, we don’t even need to talk about it.
  8. Appeal to nature – argument solely dependent on the topic being ‘natural’ or ‘unnatural’. E.g. Homosexuality is unnatural.
  9. Appeal to novelty – better because it is modern. E.g. since it is written in books before
  10. Appeal to fear – fear towards the opposing idea e.g. FDI in retail will bring devastating impact in economic fabric
  11. Appeal to the majority – Since majority seems to think so, must be true E.g. majority is gullible
  12. Cherry picking – celebrating on few features of an achievement while ignoring significant information of related cases or data that may contradict that position. For example Delhi water problem solved!
  13. Appeal to ignorance – because it is not proven false; so true. e.g.  You did not give him a chance yet, he can do wonders.
  14. Appeal to common sense – I cannot imagine how this could be true, therefore it must be false. E.g. I can’t imagine how such a big actor can drive over people sleeping on footpath.
  15. Hedging – using words with ambiguous meanings, then changing the meaning of them later. E.g. we said we will live like common man alright, we also agreed to end VIP culture. But that simply means we won’t use beacons, but gas guzzling SUVs stay. Apparently practising austerity is not for common man.
    More will be added here.

Blasphemies again

Blasphemy cases in India are mostly one way traffic ! For example, Sanal Edmaraku do you remember? He had to flee India to avoid arrest for showing scientific temper and exposing a hoax, while guys like this make complete use of “freedom of his religion” and get away with that !

There are already some Taliban style Fatwa’s on him, but we all know nothing much gonna happen anyway.


There is nothing much to worry about him though, he will not be the next Malik Kafur! I know this kind, I have seen many, he’s going to spend rest of his life writing heart_and_arrow signs on public toilet doors and may be some sex toons too.

But I am worried about Sanal, he represents free speech and scientific temper in India, and I am guessing blasphemy case on him will stay for next couple of decades!

Let me know your thoughts anyway.

George Carlin on religion

Another Gem by George Carlin. I conclude he is the most hilarious, ruthless, honest public intellectual ever! I mean, look at this line on GOD “…. he has a special place, full of fire and smoke and burning and torture and anguish, where he will send you to live and suffer and burn and choke and scream and cry forever and ever ’til the end of time! …But He loves you.!!”

If you love this, you may like his saving the planet as well, have a look.

When it comes to bullshit, big-time, major league bullshit, you have to stand in awe of the all-time champion of false promises and exaggerated claims, religion. No contest. No contest. Religion. Religion easily has the greatest bullshit story ever told. Think about it. Religion has actually convinced people that there’s an invisible man living in the sky who watches everything you do, every minute of every day. And the invisible man has a special list of ten things he does not want you to do. And if you do any of these ten things, he has a special place, full of fire and smoke and burning and torture and anguish, where he will send you to live and suffer and burn and choke and scream and cry forever and ever ’til the end of time!

But He loves you. He loves you, and He needs money! He always needs money! He’s all-powerful, all-perfect, all-knowing, and all-wise, somehow just can’t handle money! Religion takes in billions of dollars, they pay no taxes, and they always need a little more. Now, you talk about a good bullshit story. Holy Shit!

But I want you to know something, this is sincere, I want you to know, when it comes to believing in God, I really tried. I really, really tried. I tried to believe that there is a God, who created each of us in His own image and likeness, loves us very much, and keeps a close eye on things. I really tried to believe that, but I gotta tell you, the longer you live, the more you look around, the more you realize, something is fucked up.

Something is wrong here. War, disease, death, destruction, hunger, filth, poverty, torture, crime, corruption, and the Ice Capades. Something is definitely wrong. This is not good work. If this is the best God can do, I am not impressed. Results like these do not belong on the résumé of a Supreme Being. This is the kind of shit you’d expect from an office temp with a bad attitude. And just between you and me, in any decently-run universe, this guy would’ve been out on his all-powerful ass a long time ago. And by the way, I say “this guy”, because I firmly believe, looking at these results, that if there is a God, it has to be a man.

No woman could or would ever fuck things up like this. So, if there is a God, I think most reasonable people might agree that he’s at least incompetent, and maybe, just maybe, doesn’t give a shit. Doesn’t give a shit, which I admire in a person, and which would explain a lot of these bad results.

So rather than be just another mindless religious robot, mindlessly and aimlessly and blindly believing that all of this is in the hands of some spooky incompetent father figure who doesn’t give a shit, I decided to look around for something else to worship. Something I could really count on.

And immediately, I thought of the sun. Happened like that. Overnight I became a sun-worshipper. Well, not overnight, you can’t see the sun at night. But first thing the next morning, I became a sun-worshipper. Several reasons. First of all, I can see the sun, okay? Unlike some other gods I could mention, I can actually see the sun. I’m big on that. If I can see something, I don’t know, it kind of helps the credibility along, you know? So everyday I can see the sun, as it gives me everything I need; heat, light, food, flowers in the park, reflections on the lake, an occasional skin cancer, but hey. At least there are no crucifixions, and we’re not setting people on fire simply because they don’t agree with us.

Sun worship is fairly simple. There’s no mystery, no miracles, no pageantry, no one asks for money, there are no songs to learn, and we don’t have a special building where we all gather once a week to compare clothing. And the best thing about the sun, it never tells me I’m unworthy. Doesn’t tell me I’m a bad person who needs to be saved. Hasn’t said an unkind word. Treats me fine. So, I worship the sun. But, I don’t pray to the sun. Know why? I wouldn’t presume on our friendship. It’s not polite.

I’ve often thought people treat God rather rudely, don’t you? Asking trillions and trillions of prayers every day. Asking and pleading and begging for favors. Do this, gimme that, I need a new car, I want a better job. And most of this praying takes place on Sunday His day off. It’s not nice. And it’s no way to treat a friend.

But people do pray, and they pray for a lot of different things, you know, your sister needs an operation on her crotch, your brother was arrested for defecating in a mall. But most of all, you’d really like to fuck that hot little redhead down at the convenience store. You know, the one with the eyepatch and the clubfoot? Can you pray for that? I think you’d have to. And I say, fine. Pray for anything you want. Pray for anything, but what about the Divine Plan?

Remember that? The Divine Plan. Long time ago, God made a Divine Plan. Gave it a lot of thought, decided it was a good plan, put it into practice. And for billions and billions of years, the Divine Plan has been doing just fine. Now, you come along, and pray for something. Well suppose the thing you want isn’t in God’s Divine Plan? What do you want Him to do? Change His plan? Just for you? Doesn’t it seem a little arrogant? It’s a Divine Plan. What’s the use of being God if every run-down shmuck with a two-dollar prayerbook can come along and fuck up Your Plan?

And here’s something else, another problem you might have: Suppose your prayers aren’t answered. What do you say? “Well, it’s God’s will.” “Thy Will Be Done.” Fine, but if it’s God’s will, and He’s going to do what He wants to anyway, why the fuck bother praying in the first place? Seems like a big waste of time to me! Couldn’t you just skip the praying part and go right to His Will? It’s all very confusing.

So to get around a lot of this, I decided to worship the sun. But, as I said, I don’t pray to the sun. You know who I pray to? Joe Pesci. Two reasons: First of all, I think he’s a good actor, okay? To me, that counts. Second, he looks like a guy who can get things done. Joe Pesci doesn’t fuck around. In fact, Joe Pesci came through on a couple of things that God was having trouble with.

For years I asked God to do something about my noisy neighbor with the barking dog, Joe Pesci straightened that cocksucker out with one visit. It’s amazing what you can accomplish with a simple baseball bat.

So I’ve been praying to Joe for about a year now. And I noticed something. I noticed that all the prayers I used to offer to God, and all the prayers I now offer to Joe Pesci, are being answered at about the same 50% rate. Half the time I get what I want, half the time I don’t. Same as God, 50-50. Same as the four-leaf clover and the horseshoe, the wishing well and the rabbit’s foot, same as the Mojo Man, same as the Voodoo Lady who tells you your fortune by squeezing the goat’s testicles, it’s all the same: 50-50. So just pick your superstition, sit back, make a wish, and enjoy yourself.

And for those of you who look to The Bible for moral lessons and literary qualities, I might suggest a couple of other stories for you. You might want to look at the Three Little Pigs, that’s a good one. Has a nice happy ending, I’m sure you’ll like that. Then there’s Little Red Riding Hood, although it does have that X-rated part where the Big Bad Wolf actually eats the grandmother. Which I didn’t care for, by the way. And finally, I’ve always drawn a great deal of moral comfort from Humpty Dumpty. The part I like the best? “All the king’s horses and all the king’s men couldn’t put Humpty Dumpty back together again.” That’s because there is no Humpty Dumpty, and there is no God. None, not one, no God, never was.

In fact, I’m gonna put it this way. If there is a God, may he strike this audience dead! See? Nothing happened. Nothing happened? Everybody’s okay? All right, tell you what, I’ll raise the stakes a little bit. If there is a God, may he strike me dead. See? Nothing happened, oh, wait, I’ve got a little cramp in my leg. And my balls hurt. Plus, I’m blind. I’m blind, oh, now I’m okay again, must have been Joe Pesci, huh? God Bless Joe Pesci. Thank you all very much. Joe Bless You!