Busted!: Burden of gold
This weekly column debunks the various myths propagated by Indian cinema—Tamil films in particular
The smugglers are plotting their next heist. They are intricately planning out the entry and exit points of their operation. The timing is most important. It is crucial that everyone is on board and in sync for the operation to flow smoothly. What are they smuggling? Well, Tamil cinema’s favourite object to smuggle: gold biscuits, which, of course, are gold bars. They steal the biscuits, place them into a briefcase or a suitcase and then run like the wind. We’ve seen this in so many films, from Jai Shankar classics to more recent films like Suriya’s Ayan. The problem is, you can’t really do that. Abhishek Mundra, a bullion merchant in gold whose family has been in the business for nearly a hundred years, can’t see how it can be possible.
“It is impossible to carry a briefcase full of gold bars — not as casually as they do anyway. Gold is a dense metal, and the denser the metal, the harder it is to carry, let alone run with.”
Abhishek goes on to explain that a standard gold bar, weighing one kilogram, is approximately 7-8 cm in length, 3-4 cm in breadth and less than a centimetre thick. “Now if you stack them one on top of another in a briefcase, you would have easily about 40-50 kilograms of gold in a briefcase. Imagine carrying that kind of weight with a single arm, and so casually. Even if you were super-fit, you wouldn’t be able to run with it, and not fast enough to beat your chasers anyway!”
So, what Abhishek’s essentially saying is, “Busted!”