Saturday, December 17, 2005

Can you help Dawood?

After I have come to the US, one of my favourite pranks is to call up long-time-college-buddies- but-forgotten-after-they-left-for-US and say "Hey man! Where is the $1 million stash of drugs? If you don't tell me I will have my men waiting outside shoot your head off!" Usually there is a stunned silence! Other times they recognise me even before I complete my sentence and I feel like an idiot. But it is more fun than saying, "Hello! I am so-and-so and here yada yada yada!"

However that brings me into question the theme of this post. Take the example of the rich businessman Kantilal in Mumbai. He gets a phone call one fine day, "Oye Kanti! Apun Dawood ka bhai Rawood bol raha hai. Kal shaam tak Mandville gaon mein ek peti jama karne ka hai, nahi tho! (Loud laugh) HaHaHaHaHaHaHa! Nahi tho Kanti, teri ghanti baja dunga! Aur police ko bola tho tera pura family khallas!"

For the non-Hindi speaking, "Hon! This is big bad don, give me the mammon, else you will be shot down!"

Kanti is frightened but then also perplexed. Is this call for real? There are two possible assumptions and consequent actions.

Assumption 1: This is not a hoax call.
Assumption 2: This is a hoax call.

Action A> He assumes it is a false call and doesn't pay. But then it may turn out to be real and the cost is high, maybe even his life! This would be a Type I error. Assumption 1 jo socha ki nahi hai, phir baad mein pata chal voh actually hai!

Action B> He pays in accordance with the dhamki, but then he gets a call from the real Dawood bhai and finds that the earlier call was a hoax. His earlier payment would be useless. This is a Type II error. Assumption 2 jo socha ki hai, phir baad mein pata chal voh actually nahi hai!

I have seen snatches of The Film where a group pulls a few strings based on the same idea!

Now, flash to Dawood bhai!

Dawood to his Market Analyst: "Yeh main kya sun raha hai! Saala, koi chokra log mera naam use karke paisa le raha businessmen se. Mera brand counterfeit kar raha hai. Kya kare iska?"

I really wonder what they do? Obviously, they don't make I-cards or carry photos of Dawood around, or do they?

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