Rudraksha- Red Eye Correction

Continuing with the absolute bombardment of ridiculous claims , this week I bring you – Rudraksha, the answer to all human problems and suffering!

Rudraksha, which literally means ‘red eye’ or ‘eye of Shiva’ can cure a lot of things: it can lead to tremendous success in professional and personal life, it can help you ward off evil spirits, effects of voodoo ( so explicitly shown in an awe inspiring animation in one of the ads I shall write about later… a computer generated skull and bones and a voodoo doll homing in at a constant speed towards another animation of a man wearing a rudraksha product and then, due to the force field around the caricature, caused by the glowing rudraksha ‘protection system’ around his neck, disintegrating into computer generated dust…ahh…sheer visual banquet), make you popular and cure your pimples/wrinkles ( no cure for stupidity or gullibility, alas).

There are two ‘television shopping networks’ that peddle the stuff and both have (for lack of better words) celebrity endorsements. In the red corner, making you see red, is Arun Govil, former soft pr0n star, later divine actor (who played, hold your breath: maryaada Purushottam Ram, the incarnation of Vishnu known for temperence and monogamy, the ‘best among men’). In the blue corner, we have Bheeshma Pitamaha (no, it does not mean ‘Great Greek Bread’ but refers to the patriarch of the family) of Mahabharat, Mukesh Khanna, who spent the last episodes on Mahabharat looking much like a voodoo doll himself, then skewered our senses like a voodoo doll by appearing in red tights (underpants over pants, but of course) in a serial called Shaktimaan (‘Powerful’ which seems to be the case, since it never runs out of sponsors or repeating the same shit over and over again)

The modus operandi is different for both: Govil is calm and simple, with a beatific, never fading smile that makes you wish for an interactive 3 D TV, so that you can bash that irritating smile off.

Khanna, on the other hand, bursts into inspiring purple prose at the drop of a topi, his voice quaking with absolute belief, probably in the fact that the director will pay him his full wages.

During the ads, you have small time actors with negligible acting ability giving you the before and after picture of how they led lives in the suburbs of Loserville till the rudraksha came along and gave them health, wealth, happiness, children and what not. They try to convince you to make the move (to their abandoned houses in Loserville, probably), with subtle (!), convincing arguments.

To help you in your attainment, the sellers have also, very thoughtfully, in my opinion, provided cassettes that include chanting mantras repeatedly till you are hypnotized and ready to lift cars and a Shivling, made of crystal ( I think; am not sure of the material)…Also provided is a booklet of chants and how to take care of your precious rudraksha.

For more ridiculous information, you can go here.

Some gems (or is it rudrakshas?) :

Note:- The below mentioned benefits are just general effects. We strongly advice that you consult a proper astrologer or an expert in this field before you buy a Rudraksha and not procure a bead on the basis of the information given here.


The Site begins with:

Rudraksha, the most powerful and awesome bead ever. This bead can help you achieve all you want – a healthy mind, body and soul, a wealthy life that many dream of and only some achieve, and a happy you making you the target of many a envy. Words in the dictionary fall short of describing the immense powers of the Rudrakshas. For thousands of years mankind has benefited immensely from them. But how can today’s technology wizard use them to his advantage? What would you get from it?…. Well let’s find out.

To a Question on ‘do Rudrakshas really work?’ the answer is:

Of course they do… but not always. Acquiring an authentic Rudraksha is a challenge in itself. But the hunt doesn’t stop there. If the bead has not been purified, sanctified and energised, it is as useful as a button on your shirt!!!

(And after all that energizing, it becomes as useful as…?)

There is a section called ‘Facts’ which I was immediately attracted to, to find a section called: “are there any definitive tests?”

I naively assumed they would talk about the efficacy and track record, but the answer that is given is:

Unfortunately, no. There are no definitive tests to test the authenticity of a Rudraksha except the discerning eye of an expert.

Translated, it means that the ‘experts’ will continue to fleece more and more people on the basis of their unknown expertise. Sigh.

Update: Where can you find the Rudrakshas as well as the wonderful zodiac rings and pendants? Right here, at I swear, I am not making this stuff up. Added bonus: you will also find Bejan Daruwalla (still not known which daru-that’s liquour- he has been imbibing all these years) here, who seems to either have a hotline with Lord Ganesh or megalomania and therefore, runs a column called ‘Ganesha says’


Sad? Dam, No!

So, it has been decided that Saddam Hussein will hang. No nucular weapons around yet, but one more monster down. The verdict brought back memories of another hanging, carried out more than sixteen years ago, which did take place and was carried out under the instructions of the very man sentenced today. The name of the man was Farzad Bazoft. Yes, I remember his name to this day, with the correct spelling. Here’s the link to the wikipedia entry.

I was around 10 years old then. I saw the photo of this man in newspapers and on TV ( I think it was on the World this Week, but am not sure)…and hearing the story, I was convinced that he was innocent. To see a grown up man, talking on TV, and being told that he would be killed when his crime was in question was something that disturbed me. A lot. I remember spending one night, very disturbed, not able to sleep. It disturbed me to get a ringside view of this man’s fate hanging in balance. And then, some time later, I read the news: his fate had ceased to hang in balance, it was he who had hung. The shock was huge. But what made the knife turn in the wound was a statement by the Iraqi information Minister ‘Thatcher wanted him alive. We sent him home in a box’.

It became clearer much later that Saddam had taken a personal interest in his hanging, but for a 10 year old boy, no more proof was ever needed about the cruelty of Iraq and Saddam Hussein, who attacked Kuwait just a few months later.

Today, the ashen face of Saddam Hussein, visibly shaken, trying to shout down the judge as he read the sentence by saying, of all things, “allah hu akbar” (Allah is great), all seemed like what they really were: nothing but the cries of a man, who made millions fear for their lives, in mortal fear of his own, and probably, crying out to the Lord for help.

Some ghosts have been laid to rest.