Due to technical issues with WordPress the blog has been shifted to: Blogspot Do keep reading!
If you are a guy who has spent more than 20 years in the education system and you still haven’t found a way out of it, read this. Unless your college is a fashion-design institute, or is in a tourist destination, or has stables, or your university is listed on the stock exchange, the male to female ratio is bound to be a miserable 25-30%. To stand out, every guy subconsciously creates a position for himself. The following test would help you determine what your positioning strategy is (that is if you are not aware of it already).
Seven Positioning Strategies
1) Do your biceps move more in a day than your cardiac muscles? While sneezing, is your priority ‘rolling up your sleeves to expose biceps’ than ‘trying to grab a handkerchief’? Do you understand less than 35% of the words that people say to you in a day? Are you unable to complete a sentence without mentioning someone and his sister? If yes, then you are Mr. Bodyguard. You succeed on the principle that women gravitate towards security.
2) Do you fiercely defend (and have a jersey of) sportspersons who care two hoots about you or your country? Do you greet people by strumming an imaginary electric-guitar instead of shaking hands? Do you take caution to not be accidentally polite to anyone? Do you skip a couple of alphabets in every word you write (and add a few where none are required)? Do you have tattoos of venomous creatures? Do you have piercings that make other people slightly nauseous? Do you require more hair gel than food? If yes, then you are Mr. Kewl Rebel. Your message to the ladies is, “you don’t need originality to be cool; you need us 😉 ” A lot of them buy it!
3) Does it take you more than an hour to buy a T shirt? Are you aware of the colour of socks that you are wearing right now? Do you not like an LED screen because it doesn’t allow you to see your reflection in it? Do you have more than 3 pairs of shoes? Do you sleep in Tommy Hilfiger shorts? If yes, then you are Mr. Slick Dresser. You succeed because women appreciate attention to detail, and someone they can discuss clothes with.
4) Is your dad a millionaire? Do you have a big car? Do you think you’re god? If yes, then your positioning strategy is called Mr. Richie Rich. There not much to it really, you succeed because women hate paying for things themselves.
5) Do you start sweating at the sight of women? Do you still use coconut oil for your hair? Do you keep showing to the world that you have bigger problems in life than the inability to attract women? Did you have a minor heart attack the last time a super hot girl asked you an address? If yes, then you are Mr. Hopeless. It is surprising but you too succeed often. Women apparently, are a charitable breed!
6) Is your ideology, the same as that of your grandfather? Do you need to have too many perspectives about things? Do you feel like you have an experience of almost everything? Do you use jargon wherever possible? Is the wildest thing you’ve ever done ‘given birthday bumps to XYZ’? Can you make people yawn within 60 seconds of them meeting you? Is your name straight out of a 70s movie (Ramesh, Suresh, Rajesh etc.)? If yes, you are Mr. Experienced Idealist. You succeed frequently. Women are attracted to you because they see a father figure in you!
7) Are you attention seeking? Do you try to put down other positioning strategies? Do you like discussing topics that are alien to women? Do you quote Woody Allen and Friedrich Nietzsche and prefer Pulitzer winning books over Booker winning books (and not fall asleep while reading either)? Do you listen to Richard Clayderman and Yanni? Do you love creating a controversy? If yes, you are Mr. Pseudo Intellectual. Sorry dude, you are not going to succeed. In real life there are no Padma Laxmis! Adopt some other strategy.
MBA teaches you various skills of great use in the real and the virtual world. I have previously shared some useful tips about an extremely valuable skill in a post. This post goes far beyond that skill and tries to make your life seem less miserable in an MBA program. In fact these skills make B School life very comfortable for a lot of people I know.
Seven Skills an MBA Student Must Have
1. The Central Tags: An MBA course is likely to ruin your social existence beyond recognition. Offline, this situation may be painful, but it need not appear so on your networking sites. Learn the art of pushing through the crowd to be able to score the central position in every photograph being clicked. Parties are often remembered (only) by the photographs taken of them. The party would appear to be revolving around you and you would appear to be having ‘A Blast!’ Tip: Not using a deodorant and dancing to real fast numbers helps secure that coveted position! You can always photoshop the surrounding disgusted faces later.
2. No Shame No Shame: This is what Rocky Balboa would be screaming had he been an MBA student. A true MBA student has the audacity of calling an assignment for which he didn’t even think of moving a muscle, his own, and happily claims marks for it. He leaves his project work to some guy in the group and keeps himself occupied with spamming social networking sited while the other fellow burns dawn oil and yet has the guts to look into the toiling fellow’s eyes in the morning and ask him whether he has finished the assignment and if he could explain it briefly.
3. Spontaneity in PPT: The art of presenting slides that one hasn’t prepared, or gone through, or even bothered to look at. Skip any lines that you don’t understand and explain every word that you do. You may not be able be make the effort of the person who made those slides, worthwhile, but you may yet be able to save your face and that of your group. If you can’t figure something in those slides, ask the audience in the name of an ‘interactive session’.
4. Multi-slacking: The skill of being able to watch a movie, listening to a song that your roommate is playing, constantly keeping an eye out for any ‘likes’ to your latest comment on facebook, talking to the guy who came in to borrow money from you and forwarding a text message, at the same time! It helps you be extremely entertained, particularly before a test.
5. Team Work: Understanding that teamwork is a strategy which helps the mediocre benefit from competent people. It is about division of rewards without division of labour. Since most MBAs are Mediocre But Arrogant, it is in their best interest to incessantly promote teamwork. So don’t even draft a mail without consulting your TEAM.
6. Statistics and Quantitative Techniques: You should be able to forget all your payables and remember your receivables and also work out the dismal possibility of actually receiving them. You should be able to calculate the cost/benefit of every atom of work that needs to be done before you do it (or don’t). You should be able to compute your popularity index before you try to gain favours from others which you don’t intend to return. You should be able to quantify all favours you grant to people, and multiply them with the largest possible factors. “When you owe people money, they remember your name.” says a friend who is perpetually in debt. He somehow always manages to calculate and reduce his odds of being thrashed! Calculations help your basic survival!
7. Most important skill: The ability to survive the great people at MBA who are bursting with above skills. Sarcasm helps!
Being rejected by a lady is like being hit by an exploding bullet. Even if the wound heals, the shrapnel still remains embedded in you. This post is a tribute to all my brave friends who have faced bullet after bullet with honour and have in turn, given me the courage face the fire (a significant number of times!). Here is a collection of some rather great rejection lines that have been thrown at me and my friends. They are as painful as they are true. We have had numerous post-mortem sessions trying to fathom what exactly the girls were thinking when they shot us in the heart, (I have put their thoughts in brackets.) and what they gained out of it. All we gained were the following scars.
Seven Painful Rejections You May Have Faced
1. “I never thought of you that way.” (Let me see, I have thought of you as a free transporter, assignment finisher, food sponsor, concert tickets arranger, agony aunt and yeah, bodyguard! Have I ever thought of you as a boy? Ummmmm…. nope! Sowie!)
2. “My career comes first!” (Ooh cool that’s a nice nick name I’ve come up with for that super good looking senior: Career Kutcher! I’m awesome!)
3. “Look, it’s nothing personal but I only date good looking guys.” (See how subtly I put that across? Am I a sweetheart or what?)
4. “I’m just not ready for a relationship right now.” (I have to go shopping and then get a haircut damn-it!)
5. “You are one of my closest friends and I can’t risk our friendship.” (Hey wait, let me keep him on a standby while I wait for my price charming! Let’s give him some hope.) “But I never want to lose you!”
6. “It is against my religion!” (Ewww, you dog food!)
7. “Do I know you?” (Oooooooooooh, shiny!!)
It has been 4 months since I started blogging. Not much has changed since. People, as they did before, still get surprised that I can write. “Yes I can write.” I tell them with the proud grin of a four year old. In the last six posts I have received as much appreciation as criticism. I also found some genuine compliments like “Dude that’s actually good!” a little disconcerting. Most of all, the blog managed to get 700+ hits which are about a hundred times the number of hits I had expected! It has been a great experience and I thank you all for the support and encouragement.
Seven Things I Learnt by Blogging
1. A blogger’s life revolves around the ‘number of hits’ on his blog. A blogger would do anything from spamming on Facebook communities to commenting on popular blogs to secretly using other people’s computers to hit the blog a few times (since your own visits to the site are not counted) in order to increase the number of hits. I even summon my Orkut account from the dead, to help me get a few hits. (Warning: If you come across my blog link on the website of a ‘performance-enhancement drugs’ company, it is pure coincidence. I did NOT promise to buy their products if they got me a few hundred hits!)
2. Every blog should have a theme. I realised this after my blog got dropped from a blogging contest in favour of a blog about the different sizes and shapes of turds. If you have nothing to say when people ask you what you write about and you say “Everything!” people usually think you’re another crappy poet or the guy who puts up nauseatingly emotional quotes on Facebook that get a hundred ‘likes’ from girls. From this point on, the theme of my blog is HEPTA-MICRO-SOCIO-ECONOMICS.
3. More trading happens in the blogging world than in a stock market. Everything here is quid pro quo. You read mine, I read yours. I’ve had to read 700 different blogs to be able to get the 700 hits on mine!
4. I desperately need to reduce the length of my blogs which has been growing exponentially since the first one. I have had to change my tagline from “Short but not sweet” to “About Everything”. I have started meeting people who tell me they could find time to read only a portion of my latest post. And I would have conveniently ignored these signs, had a close friend in his very honest opinion about the length of my blog, not said “Increasing? I though the length of your posts was decreasing and that is why you started publishing seven posts together!”
5. Having a blog has no awe value whatsoever. Not even a 6 year old thinks it is amazing anymore. The 6 year old probably has a blog more popular than yours. Saying that you have a guitar or a 12 megapixel camera is more impressive even if you don’t know how to properly hold either. Saying “Have you read my blog?” evokes the same response in a room full of people as a hand-grenade without a safety pin does. Do not be surprised if someday you hear something like: “Oh you have a blog? Big deal! Oh wow you have a phone? Awesome!!”
6. I realize I may have gone the Ayn Rand way on my blog a few times after I received comments like “Dude that was amazing. I didn’t understand much of it but whatever it was, it was great!”
7. Never commit to a number of things that you’ll say. If you see the last few points on my posts you would notice that I am always stretching to reach my committed seven things. I wish I could change this blog to a-couple-of-things 😦
Here is a list of my favourite celebrities (fictitious and real) and the reasons why I am a die-hard fan of them.
Seven greatest celebrities!
1. Harry Potter: The protagonist of the most exciting series ever written is also a great conversation starter, ice breaker and a brilliant instrument for hitting on chicks without the risk of appearing gay (no offense to twilight fans!). Overuse of harry potter may however be disastrous.
Boy: I must be in Flitwick’s class! You’re charming!
Girl: Well then i have failed miserably because I was trying out vanishing spells on you.
Boy: Ouch! You must be confusing my heart with a phoenix. My heart is not the thing that regenerates after burning!
Girl: Rowling on the Floor Laughing!
2. Katrina Kaif: She is the most inspiring celebrity on the planet. She proves that you don’t need talent or wit or even the basic knowledge of your work to succeed! You can make it big without it all. She also proves that persistence pays! I would take this opportunity to congratulate Katrina for finally getting her first facial expression right in ‘Rajneeti’ after struggling in the industry for seven years. You’ve earned it girl, you’re an inspiration for us all!
3. Sourav Ganguly: Never mind that he has had a few disgraceful exits from the team. Dada, as his fans call him, is still God! I wasn’t a huge fan of dada until a Bengali friend and a diehard Dada fan made me realise why people worship him. “Dada never disappoints.” He said “Dada either plays as expected, or when he scores some runs, better than expected!”
4. Himesh Reshammiya: If you hate his nasal voice, his catchy but irritating songs and his relentless narcissism, you’re not alone! Hundreds of online communities with thousands of members hate Himesh Reshammiya too. People made Raavana statues with beards and caps, stopped naming their kids Himesh, and gave rise to WWE superstars like HHH (few people know that it stands for Hardcore Himesh Hater). I hated him too until one day I was invited to a couple’s third anniversary celebration. Throughout the party they never even looked at each other. I wondered what kept them together. It turned out that the only thing they had in common was hatred for Himesh. I suddenly started admiring and hating Himesh at the same time. Cheers to Himesh Bhai for uniting the world in mutual hatred!
5. Barack Obama: He is the original hope generator! He gave people hope and became the most powerful man in the world. He gave the nobel academy hope and won the nobel peace prize. I put his book beside my fish bowl and my goldfish jumped out of it hoping to be able to fly. There are now get-well-soon cards being printed with his photo on them with messages like: Hope all your teeth grow back! Here’s hoping success for his first music album: Hip Hoper!
6. The country club president: I don’t know his name but he tries so hard to be a celebrity by being present in every single one of Country Club’s advertisements. He’s a little fat, has a Rajnikant hairdo, wearing sunglasses and smiling at you with his thumbs up while saying “Welcome to country club”. Nobody actually acknowledges him as a celebrity or a model so I would like to honour him with celebrity status on my blog. He sure is entertaining!
7. Woody Allen: He is perceived as an intellectual but is not very well known. He is someone who is witty and cool. He is also the perfect celebrity to validate your original quotations. Pass off your own quotes as those of Woody Allen and see them appreciated much more than they deserve to.
“The toppers think the others know nothing. The others think the toppers know nothing. Unfortunately they are all right!”
– Woody Allen
Use discretion though. The following quotes may not exactly be convincing.
“Da difference between da localites and da hostellites is dat da hostellites ROKK. LOL!”
– Woody Allen
“’Seven things’ is the freshest new blog on the net. It is like freshly brewed coffee from the plains of Costa Rica.”
– Woody Allen
A fourteen hour train journey in a sleeper coach in India is probably more entertaining than the entire LOTR trilogy (and is only half as long) provided you meet some fascinating people. Here are some people who make the hassles of travelling non-AC, totally worth it.
Seven Fascinating People you meet on a train!
1. The Vuvuzelas: They are usually old. When you first see them, you pity them for having to travel alone at that age, however soon you realise that their family is in the adjoining compartment. They are alone because they are strategically planted in your compartment. They would have a constant frown on their face which would not change even for the small kid who regularly brings them something to eat from the next compartment. Every few minutes you see them move their thigh a bit, make a thunderous vuvuzela sound and straighten up without altering their frown by a micrometer. They even reply to your questions (Could I switch on the fan?) with the vuvuzela sound!
2. The Statistician Patriots: They will convince you with their 3 hour long monologue, that corruption is the single greatest challenge that this country faces. They would furnish the latest (generated 7 seconds ago) statistics about people and their behaviour and propose strategies to change this country by 90% (whatever that means). When the TTE (train ticket examiner) arrives, they take less than 7 seconds to slip him a 100 rupee note to speed up the seat allocation process by 200%. “It cost me 50% more last time!” They’ll tell you later with a huge grin.
3. Gold-Fingers: They would probably be sitting next to you. They have a mutant nail on their little finger (could be an inch long). The nail would keep probing every orifice on and around their face looking for gold. However after passionate searching, once they have found the gold, they just flick it away with the indifference of a monk towards treasure. Your journey suddenly becomes exciting, trying to keep yourself away from the projectile of the relinquished riches. You mind also stays busy trying to keep the gold-finger away from your body.
4. Chhota Kotler: He’s young, about 25, a little naive and has just started a new business of making stuffed toys. He is carrying pictures of his products and is trying to show them off to everyone in compartment, the neighbouring compartment and to the TTE. Everyone patronizes him. The statistician patriot gives him some advice to reduce the costs by 50%. The gold-finger runs his prized asset all over the pictures before handing them to you. Even the vuvuzela chips in by trying to give a squeaky sound effect to the picture of a stuffed squirrel that you are watching.
5. The Lady Boys: Even the strongest dudes shudder on hearing the sharp claps marking the arrival of the lady boys. They extort you and there is nothing you can do about it. Your biceps and your ‘contacts’ are rendered useless once they start calling you ‘mere SAROOKH’ and blow kisses at you. You simply pay up. Sometimes you may get flattered when they call you “Aamir Khan” and decide to give them 10 bucks extra, but you tend to change that decision a second later when you hear them call Mr. vuvuzela, “Hrithik!”. Nothing scares them except perhaps Chhota Kotler who tries to make them see his stuffed-toy-pictures!
6. The Snipers: They never sit by the window. Their mouths are so full that when they talk, all you hear is gurgling. After continuing in gurglish for a few minutes they finally decide to give their drowning tongue some space by leaning over your shoulder and letting out spittle jet with the accuracy of an archer fish, right out of the window. From about 2 feet away they manage to empty their mouth without spilling a droplet on the window bars or your shirt. It’s an act that deserves a standing ovation. Better entertainment than Ripley’s!
7. The Wandering Targets: They show up at 4 am with their stereophonic chants of ‘CHAI CHAI’ and collect more abuses than orders. Their true value however lies in the reactions that they invoke. The vuvuzela greets them in his signature fashion. The statistician patriot sleepily mumbles a strategy to reduce the Chaiwallah’s kin by 90%. The gold-finger, disturbed by the commotion, tries to find comfort by setting his wild animal free and Chhota Kotler wakes up with a start and rummages through his bag to find the pictures before the Chaiwallah disappears!
About two months into the MBA program, I have finally completed my research about the origins of management and related subjects! Intensive research (based on primary and secondary data) has revealed to me the source and the underlying philosophy behind management subjects. Here is my analysis for you all (before I send it to the Harvard Business Review for publishing).
Seven Facts about Management, Uncovered!
- In 1945 when the Nazi regime was about to come to an end, a decision was taken by the Nazis to keep their propaganda alive in the form of Management Education. Management education was designed by them to promote hatred. “With every lecture they should hate their teachers, with every assignment they should hate their group mates, and with every result declaration they should hate themselves!” These were the words of the Fuehrer himself. The underlying mission was to create an army of hateful drones to massacre all art and creativity on the planet. Their legacy lives on.
- In 1963 a bunch of nerds with zero social acceptance, decided to become ‘cool’ by developing an alien language. However when development began, they realised that none of them had an ounce of creativity in them to carry out such a feat. They therefore decided to incorporate what they understood rather well, into the language: numbers! The resulting ‘alien language with numbers’ became an instant hit all across the world and is now globally recognized as ‘Finance’.
- In 1965 an Arab-American boy who was a descendent of a long line of Persian Alchemists from the medieval age, was challenged by his American friends to bring them a fragment of the ‘Philosopher’s stone’. They threw cow excreta at him and asked him to make gold out of it. Enraged, the boy returned to his motherland to find the stone. Within two years the boy returned to America with the stone which could convert bullshit into gold. However, to maintain anonymity and for his own safety he renamed the stone as ‘Marketing’.
- The average number of brain cells used by a management student during a lecture is 35. This number is slightly higher than the number of brain cells used by a coma patient in a minute. This is also 2 more than the number of members of All India Tusshar Kapoor Fan Club.
- ‘Deception 101’ is a subject secretly taught to all management faculties as an integral part of their job training. “The idea is to see how well the students deal with deception” A renowned education expert says. “The faculty would ask the students not to cram and then judge them only on cramming skills. The students would be asked not to attend the lectures if they aren’t interested, but if they skip a lecture they are ******! It’s a part of their training for the corporate world.”
- Around 1990s Neo Nazi organizations over the world realised that in spite of the effectiveness of the Nazi propaganda, people still appeared to be satisfied with work. Detailed marketing research revealed that this was due to ‘Hope’ that people had. In order to make their Pandora’s box full proof by destroying all hope, they created a sophisticated hope squishing instrument called ‘Human Resources Management’
- The greatest management research company in the world is ‘The Carlsberg Group’ which empowers and enables young and inexperienced researchers like yours truly to accomplish great tasks of uncovering some of the deadliest secrets in history.
Some professors make you believe in magic. Every word they utter sounds like a sleeping curse. You keep trying to fight that overwhelming urge to sleep. If you fail, you’re promptly kicked out of the class. This blog is an account of the brave souls who fight off these spells for as long as three hours at a time, without a splash of water or a trace of fresh air. This blog is a tutorial and an inspiration for the others.
Seven Things People Do to Stay Awake in a Lecture
- Write frantically: Keep pushing that pen without a pause. Use the pen like it’s a lifeline keeping you alive. Write everything on the board, the projector and every syllable the faculty speaks. Here is an excerpt from my notes in a lecture. ( ..This determines the need for HR policies…now….can anyone tell me how the awareness of these is important? Anyone? You there? Can you answer? I’m talking to you….stop writing and answer me you idiot!)
- Resort to art: People start sketching subconsciously in their notebooks. Women end up decorating their alphabets with twisty, curly tails, drawing sketches of leaves and veiled village girls. Guys usually draw living beings out of basic geometric shapes (two circles for eyes, triangle for a nose and circles and rectangles for a variety of other human body parts) the more artistic ones draw Wagon-Rs that look like bat-mobiles and Mickey Mouse flying an F-16 with a cockpit smaller than his head.
- Eye jack: People strain very hard to keep their eyes open and in the process end up looking super interested. If you’re a teacher and if your class has their eyes popping out, you’ve either had a wardrobe malfunction or you’ve just bored them into a coma.
- Survival games: Try to hold your breath till your teacher utters 50 words. If your face turns red and sweaty, you may even be excused from the class. Count your yawns per minute (My record is 5) count your friends’ yawns per minute. Count the number of yawns you can squeeze in between your friend’s yawns.
- Manual goading: Do the following in the ascending order of desperation. Rub your eyes, break your knuckles, stretch your back, scratch the back of your head, drill your nostrils, pinch your cheeks, bite your thumbs, slap yourself hard on the cheek, slam your head against the desk, stab your pen into your thigh, choke yourself.
- Bend Physical Rules: Go quantum mechanical. Try and bend time and space. Tilt your head at weird angles to see new dimensions and planes. Keep trying to fold time and space and glance at the watch every three seconds to see if has clocked an extra second. Experience Doppler Effect (periodic intensification and numbing of sound) in spite of the source and the listener both remaining stationary. If your teacher is really good, you’ll even be able to see subatomic particles being flushed out of your brain and flowing out of the window.
- Write a blog about staying awake in class.
It takes about a month of working, on an average, to realise the fact that ‘managerial motivation’ is an oxymoron. I would however give full marks to managers (and bosses in general) for persistence. They never stop motivating you to work harder. A manager, who stops motivating, is like a shark that stops swimming; both are bound to drown. It takes some time however to figure that a manager is the devil’s messenger and the sweet message he has for you is nothing but a curse, gift wrapped in jargon by demons. Here are some of the most inspirational quotes (at face value) from managers. Most of them are original and authentic.
Seven Most Inspirational Quotes by Managers
- “As human-resources, we must focus less on our humanness and more on our resourcefulness.”
- “There is tremendous growth possible in the project. There are huge opportunities. It’s just that you won’t see them.”
- “You are unhappy because you are unable to align your personal aspirations with your company’s objectives. Alignment is the key to happiness.” (If this makes sense to you, think about it for a while. You’ll get the cruel joke.)
- Encouraging a programmer to document the beautiful piece of code he’s written: “I gave you good work and you did it well. Now I’m giving you horrible work and dare you do it horribly!” ( Drocumint virgeon 1.0 usar giude…..)
- “Under me you’ll have a lot of freedom, provided we have a good understanding of each other. You can do whatever you want. Heck, if we share a good rapport, I’ll even let you resign!”
- “You have been doing so exceptionally well that I can’t evaluate your performance just on the basis of the work you’ve done, anymore.” (True story!)
- The most inspirational managerial quote however, to this day, remains a gem from Scott Adams. Pointy Haired Boss shows his subordinates a picture of his breakfast, bacon and eggs, and tells them “While the chicken contributed, it was the pig that was truly committed.”