Monday, August 20, 2012

5 'Hoaxes' you ought to know about

There are so many things we believe to be true just because we have heard it somewhere or read it somewhere. But probably, a little research would tell us that this might not be actually what we are being led to believe. In the past few months I have been making a list of such ‘hoaxes’ and here I present to you five of the top ‘make-believe’ situations that I have been in. If you are on facebook (there isn’t a reason why you shouldn’t be there), then I am sure you would have come across some of these at some point of time.


Myth 1: UNESCO declares Indian National Anthem the best in the world


This one is perhaps one of the most frequently seen ‘shared’ picture on facebook and somehow it has managed to be ‘new’ for over three years now. I would be lying if I say I didn’t believe this one initially. But seeing it one day recently after almost two years, intrigued me to make a Google search. The UNESCO site has no information regarding this and some other sites do say that the thing is a hoax. I am not being unpatriotic in saying this. I am just trying to bring in to notice that not everything we see should be true just because it makes us, as Indians, feel good.

Myth 2: ‘Facebook will donate 1 paisa for each time this picture is shared’


No! Facebook is not going to pay anything for any picture you share any number of times! Before believing such messages, which usually are very convincing with the picture of some disability or disease that would raise the levels of your sympathy for sure, just ask yourself: Why at all would facebook pay? I know the answer, and if you don’t, then start using your common sense!

Myth 3: Studying Sanskrit is all about ‘rattafication’


I had a good debate with one of my college mates regarding this. Sakshi was hell-bent to prove that Sanskrit couldn’t be learnt without rote-learning (and I am sure 95 % of the people reading this, would be thinking I have gone crazy). I studied Sanskrit till class 10 and scored 100 % marks in the CBSE board exams in the subject back in 2008. In the entire six years, never once did I have to sit and learn the many shabd-roops and dhaatu-roops. Probably I can credit my Sanskrit teacher, Mr Basudeb Mishra for this, because all of us who ever studied under his guidance have felt that he is a genius. [Out of 17 students opting for Sanskrit in the 2008 CBSE 10th Board Exams from my school, 4 scored 100 %, the class lowest- 90 % and the average- 96 %. What do you have to say about that?] 

It’s been over 4 years since I last studied the subject, but till now baalak and lataa shabds or path dhaatu in five lakaars are on my tips. In fact, in just a few months of starting our Sanskrit education in class 5, we could easily translate and write stories and articles in pure Sanskrit for our school magazine. Beat that! Surely, Sanskrit is NOT a language to be ratta-fied. And those who do rattafy it, do it because their understanding level is below average and they have no other way of scoring good marks! (Yes, I am accussing!)

In fact, I conducted a survey on facebook some months back. Here’s a screen shot:


My observation: Most of the people saying it doesn’t require rattafication are Sanskrit students or have no idea regarding studying Sanskrit at all!

4. ‘Comrade’ is a leftist term (Note: I don’t say this is a myth)


This is an old story. This is of the time when number of SMS’s didn’t have any limits. I was in the habit of sending Good morning texts to some of my close friends and used to use synonyms of ‘friend’ in the texts. I remembered Sir Cadogan’s dialogue from Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban which had Sir Cadogan addressing the students as ‘Comrades’. One day, I posted a message on my friend, Tanvi’s facebook wall, and happened to do the mistake of addressing her as ‘comrade’. What this resulted in was Tanvi deleting my post from her wall and telling me ‘Don’t use the word ‘comrade’ on my wall. It is a ‘leftist’ term and I have some friends with a different ideology who may not like this’. 

Leftist term? (A Google search later, I agreed) But dude, I am democratically using a word from the English language and it in no way means I am hurting the sentiments of any set of people and if I am doing that, then this set of people ought to understand that their understanding of the context is wrong! And why the hell did Sir Cadogan’s use of the word in the film go unnoticed, if Alfonso Cuaron was worried about this ‘other set of people’? Tanvi, I know you are going to kill me for this [:P]

5: iPhone 5 launch date declared [No myths here either]


Last week, my college mate, Gaautam, told me that Apple’s iPhone 5 was being announced on September 12 and it would be launched in the market by September 21. I, being a crazy Steve Jobs fan and knowing Apple’s secrecy well, was not ready to accept this. Returning home, I Googled it. Hola! Three days ago, three US magazines including Vogue have indeed reported this development! But how? How can Apple let go of its decade old secrecy policy under which even the media got to know about new launches just a day or two before the event? A little research later, I came to a conclusion: This could be a rumour. There is no Apple spokesperson saying anything about it anywhere. Or this could be an intended hoax by some ‘reliable sources’ from Apple Inc itself. Whatever it is, and however it is going to help Apple, we would perhaps get to know only as the D-day approaches. Fingers crossed!

A lack of new posts on my blog in over two weeks and this idea being in my head for months, I thought of putting it into words and hence, this post. Do leave your comments. Tell me what you feel of any of these ‘hoaxes’ or perhaps, share another one that you know of.

8 comments :

  1. good point...and that is why i had said "may"...anyway, goodnight comrade, see you on Wednesday :) :P

    ReplyDelete
  2. Good information...
    Even I didn't believe point number 1 and 2. Whenever I used to see those, I just used to smile and neglect:-).
    Coming to 3rd point, everything depends on teacher or Guru. But I definitely agree with you( point number 3). Even I had studied Sanskrit till 10th, still trying to read the literature in Sanskrit.

    And I like your posts, since it makes me to think and analyse. Keep writing.

    -Regards,
    Ranjana Shankar

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Ranjana. I am glad that something I write, is useful for somebody. And its great that you are reading Sanskrit literature- very few people take up that daunting task :)

      Delete
  3. Interesting and good points. I think you could have made it to ten.

    BTW, the header image is very impressive. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ten? Yeah, probably..another entry sometime may be ;)
      Impressive Header image? Thank you :)

      Delete
  4. Probably your bestest entry blending facts with humour... Simply refreshing!!!

    ReplyDelete

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