A Few Facts That Will Scare the Living Sh*t out of You 

You’ll never be able to guess no. 4.

5 min read
Hindi Female

TL;DR: A book that wouldn’t let my thoughts be.

Recently, I picked up a small, red paperback that looked harmlessly light at a misjudged glance. It was lying on a shelf along with a bowl of misplaced potpourri. Undisturbed, quiet, and unruffled.

Facts That Will Scare the Sh!t out of You

I was not really expecting it to stay true to its name.

You’ll never be able to guess no. 4.
The cover of Facts That Will Scare the Sh!t out of You.
(Photo Courtesy: Google Books)

Here’s the deal. The book is peppered with a lot of  ‘essential sh*t’ about dull conversations, bacteria in unbecoming places, Donald Duck’s trousers, and many more such arbitrary things — the kind that remind you of gawky stems sticking out of neat, sheared bushes in your lawn, but you’re too lazy to do something about it.

But, as I read more, a growing panic started seizing my chest because a few other facts cropped up.

I was shaken out of my torpor.

I am now going to leave you with these facts, like a perfect gentlewoman, without any mental impositions.


Fact 1

87 percent people dread getting trapped in dull conversations at dinner parties

Is that right? I thought to myself. I did withdraw my gaze and start replying to non-existent mails when a bald stranger started explaining his family tree to me at a dinner party last week. After clearing his throat noisily, he took it from the top. The 1950s...

You’ll never be able to guess no. 4.

Wait up.

Stop thinking of dull conversations.

Let me just leave something else here:

Did you know that India is among the 49 nations that haven’t criminalised marital rape? This would mean that there is a possibility that countless women dread getting trapped in abusive marriages.

According to a UN Women’s report, by 2011, at least 52 countries had criminalised marital rape. Here, we’re still grappling with mass consensus.


Fact 2

Office desks have more bacteria than toilet seats

My rear-end will never feel the same again. Neither will my finger-tips. I felt far worse than Lady Macbeth would feel if planted in a washroom without running water.

I kept thinking, how much hand-sanitiser is enough sanitiser to carry on one’s person and yet seem socially acceptable?

You’ll never be able to guess no. 4.

(GIF: Giphy) 

Wait. Enough of that.

Here’s something else that will bother you:

India has recorded more crimes, stemming from religious intolerance, than 194 other countries in the world up until 2017. Also, since 2015, at least 74 people have been lynched in India, mostly because of skirmishes propelled by religious/caste-based unrest.


Fact 3

Donald Duck was once banned in Finland because he doesn’t wear any trousers

What about Winnie the Pooh? Would he have faced the same plight? He is a pant-less hero, right? Rocking a crop top while binge-eating honey makes him the queer hero of 2018, I remember reading.

You’ll never be able to guess no. 4.

But then, I remembered this:

Homosexual sex is still banned in India. It is 2018. Same-sex relationships between consenting adults is frowned upon and the Indian Penal Code (IPC) still latches on to a statute, aka Section 377, that is a Victorian era relic and dates back to 1861.


Fact 4

Being unmarried can shorten a man’s life by 10 years

How does one even prove that, I wondered. So marriage, as opposed to popular literature, can actually do a man some good?

But remember what Oscar Wilde had claimed? There is nothing in the world like the devotion of a married woman. It is a thing no married man knows anything about. One should always be in love. That is the reason one should never marry.I wondered who is right...

You’ll never be able to guess no. 4.

Anyway, talking of shortening one’s life...

Being killed at birth can shorten... wait, no... end a girl-child’s life... immediately.

Statistically, more than 63 million women are “missing” across India. By analysing birthrates and the gender of last-born children, a 2017 report estimated that more than 21 million Indian girls are not wanted by their families.


Fact 5

Caffeine is more addictive than marijuana

Well, that explained a lot of things. I really needed to rein in my regular caffeine intake!

You’ll never be able to guess no. 4.

Meanwhile, speaking of being addicted to a particular substance or activity...

Did you know? There is more literature available on religion, rituals, and horoscopes than there is on the effects on mental health of caste discrimination, intergenerational caste trauma, transphobia, homophobia, and patriarchial societies.


Fact 6

Humans can grow horns called cutaneous horns. They grow when the skin surface thickens, typically in response to disease

Woah! How could I ensure it wouldn’t strike me? Would I have to walk into my office one fine day with horns perched on my thick head?

You’ll never be able to guess no. 4.

Oh wait! Horns will reminded you of, you know, cows...

Did you know that recently a man from Rajasthan died after being lynched by a group of self-proclaimed ‘cow protectors’? He was carrying a freshly bought dairy cow. The policemen, reportedly, delayed intervention because they were drinking tea.


Now, I could further inundate you with bizarre facts about sneezes, marijuana, ‘beer goggles’, the stomach lining, pubic lice, and other delightful things, but they would lead to sadder facts and one can only digest so much in a day.

Six, wait, twelve... are enough for me. And, personally, there’s nothing more distressing  than thoughts. Especially when they are inching towards unprompted whataboutery.

Once they plant themselves in your head, you have to just let go of everything immediately and give those thoughts a thought. Right? Painful.

Bottom Line: Will Donald Duck ever be the same again?


(The above is a part of TLDR (Too Long. Didn't Read), a weekly blog that aims to crunch things down for you. I will give you the long and short of most things that need to be taken extremely seriously like your bookshelf, beer, existential dread, aimless conversations, rainy days and bubble-wrap. I promise to cater to all readers, but I brazenly harbour a soft-spot for skimmers, bathroom-readers and infinite scrollers. Now, let's bring the written word back!

P.S: Follow me @medhac1)

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