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Month: October 2019

Bending the cracker culture.

Bursting crackers is an acquired taste.

It’s rare that one naturally gets it.

There’s a steep learning curve with the risk of getting hurt, the theatrical silence, the anxiety inflicted by the loud sound and only once it’s over do you sense the adrenaline rush.

And you are hooked!

How does a culture undo this?

Logic, rants, taxes only go so far.

  • In addition, can we as a culture refocus on a Diwali where you see your family making bundles of happy memories, hear their laughter, giggles and talks, smell the aroma of diyas, agarbattis, flowers and feel grateful.

Outselling hell is hard, show them the heaven instead! (metaphorically!)

  • Replace the habit with planting trees, decluttering homes, visiting relatives, donating to a cause.

Bending a culture is hard, do it anyway.

The diwali dilemma

Every Diwali cleaning, I wonder how the dumping stack keeps piling up.

It needs to reduce, isn’t it?

But it seems to keep getting messier, dirtier, and more unorganised than the previous year!

With virtual assets, 1 click downloads, photo bursts, endless device space the digital clutter per person is huge!

An easier approach would be:

  • to declutter at the origin.
  • saying no to a low value or no value item.
  • assigning a specific spot for each. belonging (physical and digital) dutifully.
  • donating/deleting/decreasing.

What you looking for?

There are days when I notice nothing. Everything looks similar, sounds familiar, feels normal.

As a culture, we frown upon these days as Nothing significant came of it, no historical feat was achieved, it just passed by.

But little do we notice and be grateful that nothing bad occurred to us, we didn’t fall ill, lose money, family and all hell held up!

Look for a sliver of blessing and you’ll notice it on an otherwise boring day

What you look for is what you find.

Stage fear never leaves you.

Before the big event, after you get done with your speech, in the middle of your speech where you forget the immediate next line,when the mic gifts you feedback (the noise that makes your eardrums knot), The introducer messes up yourcareer records, or worse paints it with platinum words!

Stage fear stumps, shock and surprises you in many unique ways!

We end-up passing the opportunity altogether, staying put or apologising to the crowd.

Instead, dance around the fear. Do it in spite of it. Use it to your advantage.

Your audience can’t wait to hear what you have to say.

Rushing the flow.

Going with the flow is logical.

Yet, we can’t keep up with the slow-paced, seemingly monotonous, repetitive process.

We succumb to a compelling short-cut, an easy hack, a rapid fix! We want to rush the flow.

Instead, let the flow take its time, effort and price. You, stay the course.

Who are they working for?

Train the filters, algorithms, feeds to give you what you want.

Usually it’s not what the platform finds profitable.

Get them to work hard to find relevant, meaningful and purposeful information to you.

Block, unfollow, hide, report, unsubscribe.

Fine-tune your virtual world to work for you.

The money games we played.

As kids, we were hardly given cash.

We could go to any store near our home and buy whatever we wanted. The shopkeepers would hand it over more than gladly and we’d bid thank you!

Only years later did I realise that they’d had a separate ledger for accounts from our family and Dad settled it at the end of every month.

This was a wonderful training in disguise!

We’d buy things without seeing the price tag and when we’d get indulgent we had to explain why we bought it to an elder in the family.

It made us focus on the value of the products instead of the price. The benefits instead of the cost of making it at home. The utility over fancy packaging.

In parallel, there was a fun competition: to count bundles of cash with Dad and uncles. Almost every weekend, After dinner They’d give us bundles of notes to count!

We’d have a sort of race to verify, cross-check and correct the elders and the cousins! It was so thrilling!

Every wrong count led to a pat on the hand and the rest would burst out giggling.

Little did I realise that I was getting comfortable dealing with and keeping a tab of large amounts of money!

Eager to pay

The market is always eager to pay.

A problem it’s been grappling with, a loophole it’s accommodating, a gap that is actively ignored.

Give the market what it wants, not what you think it wants.

And my question is…

Why do you ask a question in a public forum?

To sound smart? To shamelessly plug your startup? To seek reassurance?


To clarify a point, elaborate a perspective, seek insights?

When asking a question at a conference, workshop or open house:

    You enter the venue with prepared questions.
    Keep it short, specific, well-scripted, open-ended and relevant.
    Stretch the hand all the way up. And a little more. If that doesn’t get noticed, stand up and keep the hand raised.

Ps: If you can, prepare a handwritten thank you note for the speaker! While everyone stacks their calling cards in her wrist, you hand over a generous and genuine gratitude card!