best indian podcasts 2020

Best Indian Podcasts

Sanjay Manaktala helped start the current comedy boom in India and created the Global Comedian podcast, which was voted by GQ Magazine as a top podcast in the country.

Kubbra was nice enough to come on my podcast sharing her story.

He currently runs the Birdy Num Num podcast, a fresh long-form content show all about inspiring the creative Indian.

Having received hundreds of thousands of listeners on his shows as well as this blog, he charts out the future of podcasting in India along with some advice on who’s currently doing it well in this country in the English space.

Want to know the top podcasts in India you should be listening to?

Podcasts in India are just getting started.

Indian Podcasts Top

America has demonstrated the power of podcasting platforms like Apple Podcasts, iTunes, Spotify, and Stitcher.

India is now playing as well with Saavn, Audioboom, and others. Soon the Indian players are catching on and it’s going to be a free for all.

As of February 2020, they’re now various Indian long-form podcast shows online about:

  • Bollywood talk shows and celebrity interviews
  • stand up comedy (hey that’s me!)
  • Funny Indian short stories
  • Fitness and mental health
  • Music and indie music
  • Technology and engineering
  • Entrepreneurship and Startup
  • Dating in India (me again)
  • Education
  • Lifestyle podcasts
  • Financial podcasts (there will be many more in India coming up, just watch, Sensex, nifty, CNBC, yada yada)
  • and pretty much any niche you can think of, soon to be multiplied by Tamil, Hindi, Kannada, Punjabi, etc..

As the market heats up, I’m going to list some of my favorite Indian podcasts I enjoy as a millennial in this space.

Well, barely a millennial.

Note: These are podcasts I picked because they actually put out new episodes week to week.

These also aren’t Hindi podcasts because well, I hardly know of many and also, I only know English.

Well, ok, I’ll put one Hinglish podcast on the list.

What is a Podcast?

A podcast is an interview or solo audio program (although the video is often released) usually listened to on the phone. It might be a chat show, it might be news or business, but it’s usually of people discussing a topic as broad as Bollywood or as niche as fitness or Indian food.

Since podcasting is still growing in India and Pakistan and Bangladesh/Sri Lanka, it’s important to define what a podcast is for new listeners.

indian web series
My favorite free trial for a podcast service for Indian users.

the Future of Podcasts in India

In India, where internet is dirt cheap, podcasts will grow as languages like Tamil, Hindi, Punjabi, Kannada and more start podcasting for all sorts of areas. For example:

  • Uber drivers in Odisha might listen to a podcast on fishing
  • A factory owner in Rajasthan might listen to a podcast in Marwadi about making money blogging.
  • All of India in any language will listen to podcast commentary on cricket.
  • There might even be a podcast to teach you English as we saw in that Mithila Palkar movie Chopsticks
  • A housewife or househusband may listen to a podcast on cooking Italian food.
  • A YouTube makeup artist teenager in Hindi may listen to a podcast on makeup, or start one.
  • Or various English podcasts, like short stories in entertainment, Bollywood Gossip, the news, advertising like IVM podcasts have done, mental health like Dr. Shyam Bhat has started (below) etc…

Why are Podcasts in India Growing?

Spotify just came to the Indian market, Saavn and Audioboom are expanding the market in regional languages and all the other platforms are like to “bro we need to do podcasting.”

YourStory: Podcasts globally are becoming a 20 billion dollar Industry.

But nobody really “gets it” yet.

Do you feel me?

Media portals are probably just going to recycle their YouTube as audio clips or try to bank on celebrities opening up about “their struggle moving from Bandra to Colaba” or just rely on guests to keep the momentum going.


I’m still figuring it out myself. (And it ain’t pretty).

But they’re people who are genuinely trying.

And you should give them a listen to see what it’s all about. Listen in your Ola, at the gym, whatever.

It will be more productive than that 800th IPL highlight or film song.

India is hungry for intellectual and passive/long-form content other than comedy nights with Kapil, so give yourself a chance to get on board with infotainment rather than settlings for that great Hollywood movie but dubbed on Bindass.

What are the major podcast platforms in India?

As of 2019, the major podcasting platforms used today in India are:

  • Spotify
  • Apple iOS
  • Android or Google Podcast App
  • iTunes
  • Apple Watch
  • Alexa
  • Stitcher
  • Saavn
  • Audible (Free Trial)

In fact for some of my podcasts currently, if I simply look at the last 1000 plays on certain episodes, I can see about 50% are from iOS devices.

Which probably means podcasts are still not a “for the masses” product…yet.

I can also see a massive 40% of plays coming from a certain streaming platform in the last year. Can you guess which platform that is? (Comment below).

How to Start a Podcast in India

The crazy thing about podcasting that took me years to figure out is most people will quit after only getting 3 listeners, and after wasting money on gear they don’t need.

But if you’re serious to invest a year into podcasting, and want to start, you need to:

  1. Figure out a topic to talk about, whether lifestyle/motivation, finance, dating, cooking, fitness, etc… You can’t just “talk about what’s on your mind” and also nobody will listen if they can’t understand what it’s about.
  2. Plan ten episodes out. For example, if you were doing a Bollywood podcast you could write:
    • Episode 1: Why Bollywood Doesn’t have an Oscar
    • Episode 2: Latest movie Review
    • Episode 3: Thoughts on SRK Latest interview
    • etc..
  3. Record the podcast into your phone’s audio recorder. Most phones have great microphones these days in a quiet room/dining table, and if you can’t start with that, you have no business buying a professional recorder. Once you’ve got comfortable with a phone recorder, buy a Zoom H4N (Amazon) or similar device.
  4. Use free software Audacity to edit your podcast.
  5. Export final mp3 file and use freemium services like Buzzsprout or others.

Best Indian Web Series on Every Major Platform (October 2019)

ALSO SEE: How to Record Stand Up Comedy

How Long Should a Podcast Be?

Ideally, if you’re listening to a podcast of someone solo, between 10 and 30 minutes. Most interview shows are between 30 and 60 minutes, and some such as the Joe Rogan podcast go for 3 hours or more.

Podcast Hosting in India

Once you have your podcast file done, use a service like AudioBoom, or Buzzsprout to upload your podcast and share it with your friends. There will be more coming in the near future, like Saavn, Spotify and more.


So What are the Best Indian podcasts? They are:

  1. Dr. Shyam Bhat – The State of Mind
  2. Sundeep Rao – the Baby Bed Podcast
  3. Rupen Paul – the Right Room Podcast
  4. Comedian Kritarth – Walks of Life
  5. Kunal Kamra – Shut Up Ya Kunal
  6. Maed In India – Music
  7. Morcast – Interview Chat Show
  8. Cyrus Broacha – Panel on Current Events
  9. Corner Flag – Football with Indian Point Of View
  10. The Ranveer Show – Interviews
  11. Advertising Is Dead – Marketing
  12. 3 Things – Indian Express
  13. The Sandip Roy Show
  14. The Musafir Stories – Travel
  15. The Indian Startup Show – Entrepreneurship
  16. BBC’s My Indian Life – Kalki Koechlin

16 Top Indian Podcasts of 2020.

As of February 2020, these are the best Indian podcasts and why they’re on this list.

1. Dr. Shyam Bhat – the State of Mind Podcast (Mental Health)

Shyam Bhat runs the Live Love Laugh foundation with Deepika Padukone and also is one of the most well known mental health professionals in India.

His advice is so sound and his voice so smooth you won’t even realize you’re improving your life.

Why so dreamy bro? Even if you’re into an Indian spiritual type of podcast, what I love is Shyam is a doctor and doesn’t go all religion/spirits off the bat.

It’s for people who just want to get a hold of their mind, plain and simple. Especially in chaotic India.

It’s never been crazier to be a middle-class Indian, not because we’re patting ourselves on the back for being so stressed but because social media, Swiggy, Bollywood, and pitfalls of modern society have a unique impact on Indian’s that other middle classes may not. (e.g. I used to clean the house when I got stressed in America, now I just stare at my maid and also have a harder time helping myself).

Shyam also answers questions on the video comments and is highly engaging with these topics. He simplifies things like depression into something the common person can understand without fear of judgment.

2. the Baby Bed Podcast with Sundeep Rao (Explicit)

Bangalore based comedian (and my friend, disclaimer) Sundeep Rao is India’s only partially blind stand up comedian but also what a Radio voice this EX-RJ from Radio Indigo has.

I love his take on evergreen topics and he keeps guests to a minimum.

I think too many podcasts in India (mine included) rely only on guests instead of building the artists voice which takes years.

You know Bill Burr did like 500 episodes by himself before we even knew their name right?

And he would call into some phone service to record his podcast, straight up like a ghetto voicemail.

So what’s your excuse to only have guests? Podcasts are a great way to figure out your voice and communication! Sundeep’s topics aren’t always clear from the titles but listen to this episode below and you’ll likely be hooked on his candid way of speaking and his hilarious puns.

Oh the puns! One of my faves!

3. The Right Room Podcast (Interviews with Experts)

Rupen Paul has been working hard at stand up comedy in Bangalore and his Indian podcast is one of the most consistent I’ve seen.

He just started doing new episodes by himself and also reaches out to interview guests from across the world, which I love.

It’s occasionally Indian comedy lessons but also a lot of random topics like:

  • middle-class Indian problems
  • mental health,
  • hustling and working hard
  • Things people between 21 and 35 need to hear.
  • Social media addiction

4. Comedian Kritarth Srinivasan  | Walks of Life Podcast (Alternate Careers)

Kritarth is onto something with his interview series about Indian leaders doing cool careers, and as each episode is different, all I can say is you will find something is so close to home it freaks you out.

A guy who left his Green card to open up a restaurant in JP Nagar? Check.

A girl who designs cartoons after working at Infosys? Check.

Those are examples but you get the idea. Do check it out and find yourself in one of these episodes. And make sure you drop a review on iTunes or whatever platform you use that takes ratings.

5. SHUT UP YA KUNAL KAMRA (Hindi, Politics)

I’m happy to see somebody who doesn’t care about money and fame (I think) getting success in doing something so natural.

Although I personally am not into politics these days, because I think we no longer consume news, we consume anxiety, it’s nice to see someone take the mainstream on its head and do exactly what podcast is meant for…long form honest content with hardly any crazy edits.

As Kunal is having a great year and an even better diet, (see us together on this podcast while it’s up), I’m happy to see real conversations with figures the media keeps poisoning our perception of.

Also Read: Best Indian Shows on Amazon Prime

Also Read: Best Indian Shows on Netflix

6. Maed in India | Mae Mariam Thomas (Music)

Added July 12th, 2019: I’ve known Mae since the early days of comedy clubs in Mumbai. She’s a heavyweight voice in the radio scene with a long history and an amazing personality that always has a smile on her face.

You light up the room dude! I know it’s been some years but glad to see you grinding!

India’s Indie music scene also has it’s own quips and quirks, where mainstream success alludes a lot of people but at the same time, brands and those who “are in” love to be part of the cool subculture.

Mae seems to blend both in this rapidly growing podcast that I’ve been hearing so much about. Reminds me of KEXP YouTube with an Indian twist and I love it and hope it grows (along with my own LOL).

7. Morcast (Chat Show)

Anshu Mor is an older comedian who started later in life, but I’ve been observing his grind the last few years.

He works harder than most younger guys and this podcast is evident of how hard he’s trying.

He has a nice style and candid demeanor and I see a future Atul Khatri in the making. (I mean that as a compliment, not an insult LOL).

Keep it up bro. This episode with Kubra Sait opening up about working in the Bollywood Industry, Sacred Games, her journey and so on is honestly what podcasting is all about.

Long-form honest content that is both vulnerable and unfiltered and highly engaging.

8. Cyrus Broacha Says (Panel)

Hello Hello Cyrus. Please also let other people speak though.

I love this because he’s been at before it was cool and continues to just do his thing despite all his other media commitments. This Indian news and pop-culture podcast talks about everything under the sun and it’s quite engaging to hear them all go at it. (That’s another trick with podcasting, is to learn how to not step on each other’s conversations).

I personally don’t think podcasts in India need to have the full studio setup (you can hack studio sound in your dining room if you learn what you’re doing) but regardless, it’s great how they jump right into whatever topics and guests. I see you, Abbas, also.

Most entertainers who try to do podcasts don’t realize it’s gotta be raw, casual and metaphorically in your chaddis and I just love the tone they took in the studio with buddies hanging out.

RANT: What annoys me the most is people who try to start podcasts and gel their hair and treat it like some super fake/produced show. Ufff. I don’t need to see fairy lights in the background at 1.8 aperture with Ananya Pandey telling me what she ate for breakfast. Podcasts should feel honest and intimate or casual, not put on as a marketing exercise. I don’t care about Quinoa Shilpa Shetty.

That’s not podcasting! (But it still gets views…sigh).

Find a cool topic that’s at least somewhat interesting and drill into some honesty!

Ok rant over, check out this clip from Cyrus Says which is also by one of the main podcast studios in Mumbai, IVM podcasts. I hope things pick up in this medium! (LOL and I hope a good chunk stays in English for those of us who only communicate in that).

But even if more Hindi podcasts catch wind I guess that’s a good thing overall. As they do, you’ll start seeing your Uber driver listening to a chat show about India’s next space mission, or maybe your maid listen to someone talk alternative careers. The scope will be quite cool!

Speaking of Being Honest about yourself, If You Care What People Think, Think again.


9. The Corner Flag (FOOTBALL)

Indian fans of the European and Worldwide football can rejoice in this chat show about sports with comedian Amogh Ranadive.

If you like hearing commentary on the latest Premiere league (or other) antics with an Indian twist this might just be the Indian chat show for you. I personally don’t follow sports at all (not even Cricket, sorry) but if you enjoy hour long discussions on the latest sports gossip give it a go!

10. The Ranveer Show

Popular YouTuber BeerBiceps who I discovered through my buddy BeYouNick (another funny sketch channel) initially started as a fitness channel but is not moving into longer form content about unique stories and life advice.

He has naturally collaborated with others in the YouTube space but now also interviews people who have unique Indian stories about money, entertainment, finding your passions and more.

11. Advertising Is Dead

Varun Duggirala discusses all things marketing in this podcast about advertising, digital India, marketing, agency life and a bunch of other topics that those in the ad worlds of Ogilvy and the like would enjoy.

It was also Ogilvy who said that your headline is 80 cents on your dollar and these guys know that with engaging episode titles that will surely make you want to listen!

12. 3 Things – The Indian Express Podcast

Wow, over 600 episodes! But thanks to being in the news genre there is always content and these folks deliver on a daily episode that either recaps the news or goes deep on a few key Indian stories.

In a time of dwindling journalism and unethical media it’s nice to see some folks still grounded in educating the country on what matters! While still recognizing most of us only have the patience for three things!

13. The Sandip Roy Show

Another gem from the Indian express from a veteran journalist trying to make sense of the good parts of the world in another wise crowded and noisy world.

Intelligent conversations with engaging momentum. Perfect for the weights after the treadmill or on those one hour Delhi to Mumbai flights!

14. The Musafir Stories

India has so much to see it’s a shame most poeple just go to the Taj Mahal and bounce.

This is one of the best Indian travel podcasts whether you’re a mountain baby or just a city dweller looking for some audio relief and travel ideas.

15. The Indian Startup Show

UK based NRI Neil Patel talks to key Indian people from across the world doing interesting things in entertainment, finance, startups and pretty much anything non-conventional.

If you’re looking for a podcast on Indian entrepreneurs this is it and it’s updated pretty frequently.

16. BBC and Kalki Koechlin – My Indian Life

YouTube comments are a little polarizing depending on the topic but a well produced show makes for an interesting intersection of society and East meets West with a well known name in Bollywood.

Kalki Koechlin is well known in the cinema circles and also on newer progressive topics, and it’s easy to see why here.


Read Next: Alicia Souza gets Real on Being the top Graphic Designer in Indias (Podcast)

Dating in India: 3 Questions We All Face

Best Indian Web Series on All Major Platforms

Any other podcasts you want on this list I don’t know about?

What do you personally think are the best podcast to listen to in India? Or even in South Asia?

Do comment below or DM me on Instagram and I’ll have a look.

But ideally, comment so I know you read this. I simply ask that these podcasts are updated regularly.

If you really want to chat, also tell me WHY these podcasts are interesting (e.g. more than just they talk to Bollywood celebs).

Happy listening!

Sanjay Manaktala is one of the top stand up comedians in India who started building the comedy community in the country back in 2010. Since then his stand up comedy videos and podcasts have helped millions laugh or get motivated. His latest effort is the Birdy Num Num podcast, helping you learn creativity in life after engineering. You can learn about Sanjay here or check out his YouTube channel here.

Your Strategy Is An Excuse to Avoid Work

It’s never been a more exciting time to do work…yet nobody seems to want to do it. 

Online courses can give you five years of on the job skills for the price of an appetizer. 

Data driven companies and tools like Facebook Ads, Ad Words, HotJar, Instagram and a million more let you A/B test your logo, your designs, your jokes, your images, your content and of course…your product. 

Yet so many people have: 

  • business ideas that never get off the ground, 
  • podcasts they never make, 
  • books they never write.
  • apps they never launch,
  • and a million more examples I’d love to hear from you in the comments. 

So Why Exactly Is That?  

In an era when you have sample code for everything, WordPress plugins galore, templates for any creative and tools and sample code and Google to answer whatever you want…why are we still so…unproductive? 

Well, for lack of a better explanation…I think many of us in the middle-class are so comfortable with our paychecks and fear of failure…that we’re unsure of what will happen if we actually succeed.  

It’s easier to critique and contemplate than make mistakes.  But real people know mistakes were meant to be made.  

In fact that’s the entire point. 

Software has bugs, films have editing, books have rewrites, FMCG companies have focus groups…even relationships have hardships that make them amazing.  

Just Do It

Nike may have trademarked (or copyrighted?) the slogan, but I’m pretty sure Phil Knight selling shoes out of his car had more to do with the slogan than an athlete getting up and going to the gym.   

If a Stanford graduate recognizes that you need to roll up your sleeves to try and push a commodity (shoes)…well, you get the idea. He actually got on his knees and laced his shoes on people outside of high schools…and you can’t be bothered to ask a friend to like your Facebook page or install your app?!?

The principles are the same, but we live in a time when the Internet and social media gives a voice to sadly those who may not use one properly.

I forget who said this, but… I recently read that “In the future…intelligence is going to be knowing what to ignore, not just what to listen to.” 

I have so many friends who love to sit at bars, talking about films that never get made, products that should, shortcomings of Uber and Swiggy and what else…yet never seem to want to pick up the phone and make things happen. 

  • “Yeah we could make that app..but what if Amazon just adds it as a feature?”
  • “Yeah you could try that movie, but I read on Twitter nobody likes that genre as much.  Or so-and-so did something similar so everyone will think we’re copying them.”  

But that is all fine.  

You could spend years trying to perfect your first novel, or you could spend two years getting the junk out, learning the publishing game, testing out your tone and voice via blogs (and instant feedback).  

Those who try the former get heart broken when after years of cafe trips, writing in Bali and inspiration seeking they realize their first attempt was just as bad and the game has changed.  Those who try the latter realize having an ego is just bad economics.

Attention spans are dwindling, and trying to get a 300 page book read today versus in 2010 are much different beasts.  

You could spend years theorizing about the perfect app, fleshing out every requirement and getting opinions from 100 people. 

Or you could JUST MAKE ONE for a few thousand dollars, drink at home for a few months…and use your first 50 users as a way better barometer of success than any focus group ever could.  Yes the requirements weren’t perfect and your developer may want to eat your head…but again…”done is better than perfect right?” (Sheryl Sandberg)

But Isn’t Failing to Plan…Planning to Fail?

Maybe 20 years ago, when a logo cost $10,000 and was actually paid attention to. But you can redesign a logo or register a new domain for again…the cost of a drink. 

Some of the best startups and tech founders talk about pivoting, about being the first movers, and about the importance of marketing and sales.  

Artists think they don’t need social media or digital marketing, because (I also used to agree) that the art should speak for itself. 

But in an increasingly crowded world, when billion dollar movies have billion dollar marketing budgets…and even Will Smith thinks he needs a social media strategy to get you to pay attention…who are you kidding bro? 

Don’t judge a book by it’s cover…but go ahead and test a bunch of covers until you find one that sells.  You’re not “selling out” if you try to find a cover that sells…you’re letting your hard earned art reach the masses so you can then get more feedback, more experience, more data…to ultimately make a better book the next time around.

What’s Wrong With That?


The internet and technology has made billion dollar companies off of a few people’s laptops.  Look at WhatsApp…17 billion dollars…less than 100 employees.

If it’s never been cheaper to succeed….it’s also never been cheaper to fail.  

I’m all for planning, having a strategy, getting the best equipment and doing your grunt work to understand an industry, technology, or idea…but you can easily make tomorrow’s winners with yesterday’s tech. 

Your logo might be amazing after 19 design sessions…but if nobody gets to see your homepage because they scroll right passed it…well…you get the idea.

How to get onsite opportunities

How to Get Onsite Opportunities | Ultimate Guide (2020)

Sanjay Manaktala was born and raised in America but spent 10 years working with an IT company that rhymes with Baccenture. He spent 5 of those years in Bangalore and knows what it takes to be selected for H1 sponsorship. He is now a stand-up comedian, podcaster, evangelist for IT people across the world, digital filmmaker and author of the Harper Collins book “My Beta Does Computer Things, Your Guide to Love Success Rock and Roll in India’s IT Industry.”

Updated Jan 2020

So You Want To Get a job Onsite Huh?

Do you want to know how to work onshore or get some overseas assignments?

Either with TCS, Infosys, Accenture, Capgemini or whichever IT company you work for?

Most people in India or South Asian countries want to experience working and living abroad and the best way to do that is usually in IT or tech or other STEM fields.  

In this post, I’m going to explain how you can get a job in America or Australia or Canada instead of being frustrated by fixing support tickets in your job that seems to be going nowhere. Most things online just say “speak to your manager” but so many techies try that on Day 1, and then the last thing their manager wants to do is make it happen for that spoiled brat (sorry for the honesty).

If you go overseas bring chocolates.

Whether you work at Cognizant, Wipro or Manjunath Infotech Private Solutions Ltd, this is real advice you may not like to hear about what you need to do to get that onsite salary and experience.

It’s a long post, but I hope it helps if you’re serious about your goals. 

Onsite Opportunities | How to Get Selected

Every day, for the last 25+ years an influx of software and business professionals make the migration from offsite (India) to onsite.

And by going onsite, or onshore, I mean the basic practice of having your company give you a posting in places like the US, Canada, Australia, Europe wherever. 

For a young professional in IT or tech, onsite jobs are often considered the holy grail.  

It has its charm…the obvious financial gains, the thrill of traveling and work experience and of course the social aspects of dating, Las Vegas and social media bragging to your friends about awesome your life is. 

So naturally, as someone who has worked for years both offshore and onshore, I’d like to give you a few pointers on how to make it happen. 

I know it’s on your mind, I know you love India…but I also know you want to go overseas and ironically that feeling isn’t going anywhere.  

Yes I know he was a fraud.  And that he was looking for Indians.  Well, 500 years later they did arrive….

Disclaimer: This article is not about leaving India or any national agenda.  I know they’re some sensitivities around the brain drain train, a term I just coined in my head about people going and never coming back.  But honestly, I’ve worked, lived in and loved both places. This is just a general guide on my own experiences in working onsite and offshore.  You obviously need to ask yourself what you truly want and what your long-term goals are, but since a majority of you are young, single and will obviously want to mingle, let’s do this.  

1. Why do some people get selected for onsite opportunities?

Well, they have a skill they’re good at which is also USED BY CLIENTS

It’s kind of strange that although so many jobs have been outsourced with advances in communication and collaboration, an increasing number of engineers continue to go work overseas.  The simple reality of that is two things at play: Skills and Proximity.

Skills for Onsite

What you decide to learn and focus on during your career will be one of the biggest determinants of getting you on site.  

It need not be the current hot skills of big data or analytics or whatever buzzword is trending on nerd Twitter aka Stack Overflow.  

Plenty of Java and SQL server admins still get their H1B visa each year, but so many young techies try Python or Hadoop or some tools they have no clue about just because they think folks might be hiring overseas.  

Dan Ariely is the man.

In reality, if you’re in an area you truly enjoy you will likely get good at it.

And if you’re good at it, you’ll be the one turning down projects because you’re a stud and have a buffet of options at your disposal.

You want me in Arkansas at Wal-Mart? No thanks, that’s like the veg cutlet. I’ll just head over to these Prawns in San Francisco. Nom nom nom.

Offshore Allstar with choices to choose from.

The only caveat in your technical skill selection is that it should be client/customer-oriented.

For those of you in HR or Facilities or internal tech support (e.g reset my password when I logged in too much cause I was watching Game of Thrones and not paying attention), I’m sorry to tell you it’s a lot harder to make a case here.  

The majority of onshore roles go to folks who are supporting customers/clients and not internal IT related functions.  

Top 2019 Technical Skills for USA according to Linked IN

Source: CNBC

  1. Cloud
  2. AI
  3. Analytical Reasoning
  4. UI Design
  5. Mobile Development
  6. Software Testing
  7. Data Science

I’m sure it’s still possible to go just like they send people for manual testing jobs overseas even, but if you find yourself in that situation start making changes to get you on the product side. Or switch to a different company where you’re MAKING money for the company (e.g. charging to the client) and not spending it (e.g. coming from their pocket).


I have friends who go onsite to America…from India…and then work from home.

Read that again.

You being relocated is a matter of convenience but also part organizational behavior (e.g the company has so many H1B slots to send every year).

Simple Reasons you’re Onshore:

  • Clients don’t want to wait 12 hours for an answer on a minor bug fix.  
  • The client likes you.
  • They want personal face to face time to discuss designs and development.  
  • After having grown dependent on you as their right-hand man or woman during late night/early morning calls, they recognize it would be easier to have you in town.  

As you increase your skills and value to your onshore counterparts (e.g. in plain English, do more and more their work) while working offshore, the case for proximity becomes that much stronger and makes a good push to get you on board.

2. Now Learn Additional Technical Skills 

Getting good at Java? Cool…now try doing C#.  

If you’re doing great on data warehousing projects using Informatica, play around with the other tools out there.  

When I used to interview candidates in IT, a lot of people would say things like “Sir I just want to do Oracle” or really only try to master one field.  

My Beta Does Computer Things
Feel free to write a review if this was helpful.

They’re different schools of thought here, but in business reality, you might have six years of experience in Oracle, two years in SQL Server and then find out the SQL Server role is the one that ended up changing your career. (I really wanted to do SAP, got stuck in Business Intelligence, and I’m so happy I did).

Don’t become a jack of all trades and master of none, but generally once you know one tool/software it becomes easier to learn another, it’s sometimes just a matter of process and where to point and click.  

Vendors and internal decision-making also change which tools you may use at any given point, so this is an added benefit.

Every day so many engineers cry to their boss or friends “Nobody is teaching me big data, my life is over.” Ummm…for the PRICE OF YOUR LUNCH OR A BEER you can become an EXPERT AT BIG DATA on sites like Udemy so what the heck are you waiting for! I did the same for blogging and here we are.

If I hear another group of techies on the bus going “macha how to get USA opportunity in TCS da” while then just going to get drunk or stuff their faces with biryani I’m going to cry.

ALSO SEE: Who enables you to be Mediocre?

Pinal Dave from (Who is a friend) might disagree with me as he is SRI Sri CursorMan, the Lord of .NET

3. Build Relationships with Clients while Offshore


When you start work in Wipro or Accenture or wherever in India, you will likely have a team leader who will be speaking to your own team members and clients onshore.

You will spend the first few months listening quietly while your team lead handles all the communication. A good team leader will slowly integrate you by having you tell the client a pre-rehearsed update on something simple.

Slowly you will get more and more responsibility and eventually that team lead will sit back and shadow you while you handle the call. Eventually, the client and you will have a usual rapport, you can understand the type of person and moods they have and you both will be colleagues. Naturally, when the roles and opportunities open up for who to bring over, those with a steady relationship and a proven track record would be sure-shot approvals as the risk is minimal.  

They don’t feel you’ll quit for 15K more over at Microsoft, they know you can do the work well and most importantly you’re a pleasure to be around.

Your only contribution in year one of offshore calls.

4. Have Social Skills

Often times the guy or gal who gets to go onshore isn’t the smartest or most technical.  

But that need not always be the case. The second best DBA might go onshore over the first simply because he’s funny in meetings or has a smile on his face. Or simply because he takes a shower.

Your company and management want to make sure that you’re going to assimilate well with the people paying them.  

You not only deliver your work but you can carry a conversation at lunch, can help others who are making the journey, and can handle critical situations (e.g when some angry client lady in New Jersey is right in your cubicle asking you why the ticket is not resolved that you know how to compose yourself and handle it appropriately).

Human beings are generally social beings and being the engineer who sits in the corner with minimal interaction in some IT dungeon is not the best way to live, so put a smile on your face and at least make an attempt to get to know those around you!

Programmers make the product, but powerpoint makes the profit.

How amazing would you be if you can do both?

Software developers can know Tamil, Hindi, Kannada, English, C++, Python, Java, HTML, CSS, and 20 other things. Then you ask them to help with a deck that communicates a product’s benefits in the market and they get a little upset.


Almost 2M views, thanks techies.

5. Be Patient

Applying for an H1 visa takes about a year.

You also need a few years at your company to prove that you’re committed, loyal and oh yeah, do the work well. Nobody is going to spend thousands of dollars bringing over a 22-year-old on all-expenses paid business vacation, so don’t expect it. I’m sure it’s not impossible but for the majority of us…get to know yourself, build your skills, make friends and just enjoy your time in the early years of making a career.  

I would say most onsite techies are between 25 and 35. The younger ones aren’t ready yet and the older ones are probably too settled or content in their current roles/personal lives to be interested. Once you accept these timelines, it makes it easier to enjoy each day and improve your own work in the process, which will obviously only make you onshore case that much stronger.  

It will also help in passing the time since you know, you’re not just waiting for the next role and feeling miserable in the current one.

6. Talk to People who have Been There

What does someone actually do onshore?  

  • How is it different than the work you’re doing in Bangalore, Chennai, Hyd or Delhi?  
  • What is expected of you different from the coding you’re already doing?
  • How much are the expenses?
  • How much can you save per annum?
  • Are you ready for another 2-3 year commitment in your current company?  

If you haven’t asked yourself these questions, you shouldn’t be blindly looking for an onshore role.

Most people in any career don’t do the simple task of asking someone “Hey, can you be my mentor.”  

It does sound like a marriage proposal, I know.  

But to be honest, if you actually ask someone they’ll most likely be flattered and have no issues speaking to you for 10 minutes every three months on how things are going.  Don’t go ask the CEO when you see him in the elevator, but it doesn’t hurt to ask someone a level or two above you to guide you over a coffee from time to time.  Onshore or not, this matters.  


If they say no, just think of it as practice for the next girl you want to ask out.

7. Tell Your Manager You Want to go Onshore Eventually

This is the last point I’m making for a reason (unless you comment a few more additional points you’d like me to discuss).   The number one turnoff for an interviewer, when interviewing someone for a job or a project is when candidates ask for onsite roles in the first few months on the job.  

It shows an indifference to the actual work of learning the technologies and getting good at your profession and more on the perks and benefits. But obviously, you should let it be known so the whole “Be Patient” thing pays off.  

A good manager will recognize your hard work and want to reward you down the road, while also juggling how to ask his or her managers to get the ball rolling on your deployment.  

So let it be known, but don’t push it.  

A good rule of thumb is to bring it up after 18 months, and then remind your manager or leads every 4-5 months and as common sense dictates (e.g. don’t bring it up in the middle of a crisis but maybe just over a coffee when things are smooth).

Human beings generally want to rewards those have helped them out and a good team leader/manager will recognize getting you onshore is a better alternative to losing you completely.


Read Next: 10 Years at Accenture | My Experience

Going onsite is not rocket science, although pretty soon you might go there in a rocket.

If you do the techniques above, you will have plenty of onsite opportunities at your disposal.

Now good luck with that visa interview.

Happy hunting.

I know plenty of amazing people who work offshore, and plenty of less than stellar folks who work onshore.  And of course vice versa.  But one of the most exciting parts of your early career is the travel and experiences which come with it.   So I hope the above tips were helpful and comment any questions below!

This post is based on an excerpt from Sanjay’s Book by Harper Collins “My Beta Does Computer Things, Your Guide to Love Success and Rock and Roll in India’s IT Industry.”


how to defeat stage fright

How To Overcome Stage Fright

His palms are sweaty, knees deep, mom’s spaghetti. 

Those lyrics may come to mind when you think of being on stage with the spotlight in your face, looking at an infinite sea of black which might actually be 500 people briefly focused on you until they decide to go back to their phones.

What will you do?

You only get one shot, do not miss your chance to blow, this opportunity…

Ok drama aside, for many the same feeling might arise when you’re presenting a powerpoint to 4 people in your team. 

Welcome to the wonderful world of stage fright. 

Why You Need to Overcome Your Fear of Public Speaking

We live in a world where everybody needs to be a creator. 

Whether you’re a car dealership, an accountant, a dentist or a software engineer…you’re going to need to use the wonderful medium of live video, webinars, digital advertising, social media and graphics to sell your story.  

You may hate it, but the future is now, and it requires you to speak up. 

Google has its developers making YouTube channels, dentists are crushing it on Facebook Video (who wouldn’t want to go a funny charismatic dentist?) and closer to reality, B2B businesses are all leveraging LinkedIn, Facebook Ads and free tutorials to educate you on their products.  

Between you and me, I’d much rather watch a video about my industry or newest software offering than read another 40 page white-paper.  

If you want to stand out from the crowd, well, you got to stand up in front of the crowd. 

The good news is that it’s totally doable.

The bad news is most people still won’t do it. Those who embrace this rather than say “Oh I’m camera shy or public speaking gives me anxiety” are the ones who will get on top in today’s dwindling attention spanned world. 

What’s that saying…success is usually right outside your comfort zone?

So are you ready? 

How To Overcome Stage Fright

So how do you overcome your fear of stage fright and public speaking? Quite simply:

  • Memorize Your Slides/Talk and then Improvise 
  • Practice
  • Eye Contact
  • Modulate your Voice
  • Keep it Short
  • Rinse and Repeat. 

It’s really that simple.  No apps, no life hacks, no crazy tricks…just good old fashioned doors closed practice.  Your favorite stand up comedians, Ted speakers and keynotes all pretty much do the same thing. 

Now, let’s go through each one.  And no, imagining your audience naked or in their underwear is a bunch of nonsense. 

1. Memorize and Improvise 

How can a developer at Google fail at a presentation when they know the ins and outs of the tech, while some douchey sales guy can get a massive round of applause? 

That always bugged me, because the tech guy was doing all the hard work yet failing at communicating any of it to clients. The sales guy was selling garbage yet had clients eating out of his hands.  

What was going on? 

No, this wasn’t rocket science. This was the simple fact that the sales people know that reading off slides or going into details on a super dense piece of text was going to be a snooze fest. It doesn’t matter if you had figured out how to crack the speed of light, nobody was going to pay attention or really be focused when social media was a thumb scroll away. 

Memorization is a skill we lack these days thanks to Google letting us keep our brains in the cloud, so rather than try to focus on building those connections we simply assume we can check it on our phones.  As a result, we apply that to everything.

But those who continue to focus on the fundamentals will be at an advantage. When you do need to get up in front of the crowd, the fact that you’ll never have to refer to your notes or or slide will enable you to do what counts…get your message across in an effective way. 

Most people are bad at public speaking not because they’re inherently nervous…but that they’re so focused on reciting their lines they don’t have any charisma to keep the audience interested, regardless of what those lines are.  

Ditto for acting anyone? 

2. Practice

Practice makes perfect sense.  It’s beyond me why nobody does it.  When you actually stand up and practice in front of a mirror or an empty boardroom, it’s not childish or lame.  It’s effective. 

You learn your timings, you understand where you have gaps, you realize you’re still looking too much at the screen, and you find transition points between slides or topics.  

I don’t know when practicing became this amateur thing that most business or corporate folks felt was beneath them, but those in the performing industry know it’s called rehearsal for a reason.  And if we’re all going to be performs in our respective domains in the future, time to get rehearsing right? 

3. Eye Contact

Eye Contact is not something you need to learn from a pickup artist course or be scared of.  It’s just when you’re talking to a group, it helps to give everybody equal attention. If you’re in a large hall or concert, then give each section a bit of attention with a slight preference to the middle. 

When you’re in person a good rule of thumb is to look at someone just long enough to notice the color of their eyes, but regardless, this should be organic.  If you have anxiety or uncontrollable tension then just look over their heads (we’ll assume you’re looking at the person behind us) and it will be fine.  

But connecting with different angles of your audience is like changing camera angles in film editing.  It adds to the variety and keeps the movement flowing, so your audience subtly feels more engaged than just a dead center presentation.  

And as mentioned before, if you don’t memorize your talking points then there’s no point flowing around the stage as you’ve just amplified the fact that you need to keep reverting back to your notes. 

Also Read: Who Enables You To Be Mediocre?

4. Modulate Your Voice

This one takes time, we hear our voice quite differently than everyone else thanks to the vantage point of our ears to our vocal chords and vibration and yada yada.  Point being, there is a reason many of us can’t stand to hear our own voice…because it sounds way different when we hear ourselves talk from the inside versus hearing it out of speakers. 

Now imagine your audience.  Your voice is fine, but if there’s no variation, no characters (e.g. change you voice when you go into a story, or pretend to say “You must be thinking”) then those folks will start to wander.  

Again, it’s never been harder to keep people engaged as the digital platforms continue to hack away at all the tricks, but the easiest way to adjust on the fly is simply play with your voice.  

You may not always have an option to do this, but if you’re talking about a slowdown in the market, try slowing down.  If you’re pretending to be a customer, change your accent or tone. Whatever you need to do, try and mix it up. 

5. Keep It Short

A lot of young engineers and corporate kids think if they are given a 15 minute speech, they need to pack it in with as much detail as possible.  Well, quality over quantity my friend. 

In comedy we say less is more and to cut the fat, but the real truth is when you’re in these workshops or conferences or keynotes, nobody will say “What an amazing presentation but he still had 3 minutes left.”  You’d much rather have a killer 80 minute movie with a banger ending (and leave the audience wanting to watch the behind the scenes on the DVD) than a 120 minute stretched out drama.  

If you’re confident about your software tool, your design strategy or your product updates, you should be more than able to fill in the remaining time left with questions, or extra talking points you may have as a backup.  Or just end on a high note and leave them wanting more! 

6. Rinse and Repeat

I’ve seen 50 year old men tremble and shake when asked to present a talk or do stand up comedy, and I’ve seen 21 year old “life coaches” and sales reps just nail it for a large group of baby boomers.   The digital revolution is changing the ways in which we communicate but the messaging principles stay the same.  

In copyrighting they talk about A.I.D.A. (attention, interest, desire, action) and whether you’re working on a 10 second Instagram ad or a 45 minute keynote, the principles will more or less be the same.  Once you learn the notes (e.g. memorize over one 90 minute session) you can pretty much play the song however you want and remix to your heart’s content. 

After a while you’ll thank your lucky stars that taking an hour a month to nail down your talking points and actually work on them away from Instagram got you years ahead of your peers. 


Stage Fright and Public speaking are totally understandable, but also totally over analyzed.  

The strange thing for me personally was when I started doing stand up comedy, I ended up getting promoted faster at my IT job because those speaking skills translated really well in product demos and client visits. 

If you want to have an edge on your peers and improve yourself for the better, you need to learn to speak to a group and make your voice heard.  Schools don’t teach it but the School of hard knocks require it to graduate (aka Life) so get to it! 

Sanjay Manaktala is a stand up comedian and podcaster who worked at an IT consulting company for ten years and been a stand up comedian for just as long.

signs of a toxic relationship

Are You In A Toxic Relationship?

Relationships are so wonderfully complicated aren’t they? 

We spend our whole lives believing that a partner is the key to our happiness when the real answer is quite different.  

Another person can’t make you happy, they can only complement your existing happiness.  

Funny in 1956 and funny today.

And trying to make yourself happy is the real question in life most of should focus our efforts.  Then when we at least have an idea on how to get there…sure, go ahead and share the journey with someone worthwhile. 

Unfortunately thanks to:

  • Hollywood and Bollywood, 
  • pop culture, 
  • the rise of social media
  • hookup culture
  • the cloud of comparisons the internet has to offer

we’re all realizing that true love is a lot less Cinderella and a lot more Gone Girl meets My Crazy Ex Girlfriend. 

Guys are stupid, women are crazy and women are stupid and guys are crazy.  

While there might be someone for everyone, there isn’t everyone for someone and a lot of people end up in relationships that are far from ideal. 

I’ve been there and chances are if you’re reading this you might have ended up in similar territory.  Insecurity in a relationship are normal but when insecurities define the relationships…boy oh boy.

Toxic behavior, toxic love and toxic relationships get thrown around a lot these days on toxic Twitter, so lets try to tackle at least one of them.

Even if you’re the most normal, clean cut, honest and sincere person on Earth…chances are, you’ll probably fall into a toxic relationship at least once in your life.

What is a Toxic Relationship?

They’re lots of definitions of what a toxic relationship is, but unfortunately just like the word “shaming” has been used and abused online, every single argument or fight isn’t grounds for the Toxic Relationships awards. (Can we call these the Toxies?!?)  

Your doctor telling you that you’re too overweight isn’t fat shaming, and every fight with your girlfriend isn’t grounds for toxic behavior.

All couples fight, all have disagreements and and anything worth doing requires commitment, sacrifice and effort.  

However, when it’s more trouble than it’s worth and you spend more time walking on eggshells in fear of pissing the other person off, well…you might just be in a toxic relationship.  Constant fighting in a relationship is also dangerous if it hints at something deeper than just “You didn’t make the bed!”

For the purposes of this post:

A toxic relationship is any romantic relationships in which two people are constantly fighting, controlling or trying to compete with one another.  Or in simpler terms, a toxic relationship is one in which there is no respect for one or both partners. 

What Isn’t a Toxic Relationship? 

If you truly love and admire your partner and think that you’re blessed to have found your soulmate, chances are you’re not in a toxic relationship.  

Most happy marriages (which doesn’t seem to be the majority mind you based on 50% divorce rates) have squabbles and the occasional volcanic eruption, but for the most part are based on respect for the individual and the overall goals of the couple and their families. 

Yes, love can fade, mishaps happen, life has stress and things can be unpredictable.  Money, the news, families and personalities can all clash.

But if you in your heart of hearts have unconditional love for your partner the way you do for your mom or siblings, you’re probably not in “toxic relationship” even though the fights are getting a little too frequent.

Not all bad relationships are toxic but I’m pretty sure all toxic relationships are bad. 

Signs of A Toxic Relationship

If you’re unsure if you’re just “going through a rough patch” and don’t want to quit when it counts, I totally get it.  Nobody wants to risk their future on challenging times and there is no guarantee other relationships won’t have similar issues. 

If however you’re really pulling your hair out and this is starting to feel like more trouble than it’s worth…well, read on and see if all of this feels a little too familiar. 

1. First Reaction When They Call

One of the first signs of an unhealthy relationship starts at the most basic level…communication.

When your phone rings and you see that it’s him or her, are you easy, neutral or excited? Or is your first thought…”FU*K!”  

If the latter, well, starting short and sweet…you know that’s probably not a good thing. 

It’s fine if you’re a texter and she’s a caller or vice versa, but simple communication need not be so stressful. 

Side Note: If you have a friend or sibling who you think is in a bad relationship, notice how their facial expressions change when they answer a partner’s phone call.  

2. The Past is Always In The Present

  • You dated that person, what were you thinking!  
  • You liked my cousin or best friend first! 
  • You slept with so many people before you knew me.  
  • You’re just like your father.  
  • Your mom doesn’t like me. 
  • You’re not over your ex. 

Sound familiar? 

History is great to learn lessons for the future, but unfortunately in modern romance it also sometimes becomes part of the present. 

In many relationships a guy might like a girl because she’s this super hot dancer or model or whatever, and then never let it go that she always had romantic options and you know, took advantage of them. 

Or a girl might be in love with some Don Juan playboy, then go bonkers with insecurity and doubt from all his female friends.  

It’s totally human to have jealousy and insecurity, but if you jump into something or someone for the wrong reasons those things don’t just vanish with time.  Be honest about yourself and your relationships, which leads me to my next point. 

3. There Is No Respect for Him or Her

My mom says this to me all the time and I thought it was just typical auntie speak so I rolled my eyes throughout my teens and twenties when she’d preach it.  But now it makes so much sense. 

It really just boils down to respect. 

Think about it. 

Have you ever heard someone say “Man I love him so much.  Oh but I don’t respect him?!?”  

Let’s be honest…we all have friends who marry the first person they meet or hookup with despite a million red flags.  Maybe that’s you?  

You’re scared to be alone, or you think you’ll never find someone else again.  I get it.  

Starting over is scary.   But so is quitting your job to pursue your passion or starting a business.  But people do it all the time.  

If you never really respected the person beyond the first hookup, well, this is like building a foundation that’s ready to crumble. Other ways to see if you have a respect problem:

  • If you think you’re a hot shot at your tech job and her social media job is BS, chances are you have zero respect for your partners professions.  
  • If you’re a doctor and he’s a nurse, ditto.  
  • If he’s a comedian and you’re an investment banker, don’t pretend like you admire his early hustle when deep down you’re waiting for him to return to the corporate world. 
  • If your family is loaded and his parents are lower middle class, and you secretly never want to visit their house or bring them around…well, I mean…come on. 

Respect is such a simple thing, but it’s often overlooked due to physical attraction or insecurities.  

Don’t let it happen to you.  

Respecting a man or woman doesn’t just mean opening the door for them or paying the bill sometimes.  It means you look up to them (or evenly) and want to share this journey called life together. It means you have partners you admire and qualities you know will also make you a better person and vice versa. 

4. You’d Break Up, But You Don’t Want To Be Alone

I don’t understand why it’s so hard to admit “I’m lonely.” 

We’re all lonely bro. 

Sure, it might have taken you 25 years to get that first human to touch your lips, but so what? It also took you 22 years to get a paycheck, or an MBA, or a flight overseas. 

I also understand that maybe you’re 34 and you’re not going to meet another guy tomorrow who will then be ready to have kids by 36. 

But again, people do it all the time. 

And you know what’s worse than being single at 35 with no kids and a ticking clock? 

Being single at 45 with the same situation. 

So why do you want to double down on a losing bet? Marriage and kids ain’t gonna solve this headache Sharon. 

Also, while it might have taken you years to get comfortable with your toxic ex-boyfriend or girlfriend, trust me, as you get older, it thankfully gets way easier to know if someone is right for you. 

The best part of bad relationships is that they may not teach you what you want, but they do teach you what they don’t want.  

And using that lens is a surprisingly effective way to clear through the modern dating clutter to find someone who really makes you feel happier again. (Not happy in general, that’s all you fam). 

If you’re 40 and realizing this isn’t going anywhere, then:

  • Cut the cord (e.g. End it)
  • Hit the gym (we all need to go).
  • Sign up for the apps (online dating is now just dating)
  • Be honest about what you’re looking for.
  • Go On dates (get ready for tens or even hundreds of awkward encounters)
  • Ignore your ex’s hobbies on social media and let them make a fool of themselves.
  • Get to know yourself again. (hardest on this list)
  • Embrace boredom and being alone.
The truth here is so scary.

It won’t be easy, but take it from someone who has done all of the above it will probably be one of the best phases of your life in hindsight. 

5. You Keep Track of Everything

Scorecards are great for competitions, but unfortunately relationships aren’t basketball games and keep the shots on the court. 

I don’t know who has paid for dinner more between my brother and I, yet in toxic relationships this is the first quarter in which people start keeping score. Then it moves into things like:

  • I helped you get that job. 
  • Who connected you with that vendor? 
  • I fixed your dad’s garage. 
  • I made dinner last night, last month or last year. 

I’m not saying you should pay for everything in a relationship (one of my biggest peeves is that) but when you keep score of who does what for the other person it says a few things about your situation.   One, you’re helping with expectation (a problem most of us have) and two, the score says that one of you is winning. 

Winning what exactly? 

Ahh, so you’re comparing yourself to them.  One of you needs to have the upper hand. What else is going on? 

It’s normal to let these things come up (I mean, if you bought your wife a car for her birthday and got a cake at yours, sure, go ahead and feel a little angry) but when you track EVERYTHING CONSTANTLY is when problems arise.  Didn’t I make dinner for you last month? How can you say I never cook? 

Having conversations like these on a weekly basis are treading into toxic territory! 

6. One Person is Too Dependent 

I just love him too much. 

What does that even mean? 

I see it all the time however, especially in situations when one highly independent person dates or marries a highly dependent person. 

The independent person likes to continue to go out with his boys (or girls), hang out with colleagues and travel for work. The dependent person has morphed his or her world to match that of their partners. 

Problems ahead? You betcha. 

Now one person feels suffocated, while the other continues to feel neglected. That turns into arguments, fights and resentment. 

Every relationship needs balance.  

On the flip side both of you shouldn’t be doing your own things all the time and only meet at night or for sleeping, but make sure you get somebody who is on your wavelength. 

Whether that be communication styles and frequency (more on that below) or on simply existing together, most healthy relationships are ones in which differences can be celebrated rather than highlighted.  

It’s good your partner wants to go on that Yoga retreat for 5 days to improve his or her mental and physical well being, so rather than go nuts wondering why they don’t want you to come (Do you even Yoga bro?) appreciate the effort and let them shine?

Everybody agrees on a balanced life, so why can’t we agree on a balanced relationship?  

7. They Can Never Be Happy For You

  • You got promoted at work? Nice, so did your boss quit?
  • Netflix called for your TV show script? I mean, wow, I heard they’re super competitive, don’t get your hopes up!
  • Why do you even work with her? She’s such a bi***.  (But you always thought your boss was fine?). 
  • Your friends wedding was nice, but was it really required to spend so much money?

Attitudes are contagious and so is negative thinking.  

Just like one slice of pizza can ruin an entire day’s workout, so to can on 30 minute rant affect your entire outlook on work or family.  

Misery loves company, and if you found yourself younger being so happy go lucky and now jaded and resentful, this might be your relationships. (It could also just be the career grind as you get older, to be fair).  

In relationships, two negatives don’t make a positive but one negative definitely makes the whole thing negative!

I don’t know the science behind negative people, but it’s easy to spot genuine excitement versus resentment, jealousy or fear of you moving on.  You might be so excited you got that position you worked so hard for, but all they might hear is now you’ll have to travel more and meet other people.  

A good litmus test would be to share exciting news with your partner, and then share it with a friend completely unrelated to the accomplishment at hand. (e.g. If you passed your law exam, share it with your aunt or medical school friend).  

Isn’t it odd how your friend, family or acquaintance showed more excitement and sincerity than your husband or wife?

People who constantly belittle their partners, or even themselves are not the kind of toxic people you need in your life. Help them, or help yourself and move on.

The toxicity of our city…(System of Down reference anyone?) 

8. Controlling Relationships

You know what really grinds my gears? People who tell you where to go when they can’t even drive. 

In relationship speak, these are people who want to throw their weight around even when it’s not required. I don’t know what controlling behavior stems from, but I’m going to guess it has to do with insecurity and self doubt.

According to Psych Central: 

“Maybe people control because they are afraid of being abandoned. They don’t feel secure in their relationships and are often testing to see if they’re about to be betrayed. The paradox is that their behavior creates exactly what they fear the most.”

We see it all the time.  

  1. Your husband giving you career advice when he has no clue about your field.  
  2. You’re ok with the waiter taking five extra minutes to bring the water, but your spouse needs you to be just as irritated. 
  3. One of you has a headache, and now both of you better not go to that birthday party. 

Controlling behavior also stems from projection, in which maybe I never followed my dreams of starting a business so now I’ll be annoyed if you do.  We project our own insecurities and doubts on someone else and only feel validated when they have the same experience.  

How is that good for anyone? 

Read Next: Should You Date Someone Ten Years Older?

9. The Non Stop Messages

Radio was one of the earliest forms of modern communication.  Radio signals are made of radio raves. Earlier I said find someone who is on your wavelength.  

Coincidence? No wave! (ok sorry)

Point being, communication in relationships shouldn’t be so difficult.  Or at least day to day communication shouldn’t be this challenging. 

A good early sign for many relationships is if he or she is a constant effort on WhatsApp or texting.  You want to be at work (with it’s own stresses) uninterrupted and focused, but now you feel those 600 messages in your pocket. 

Uff, spare me the horror. 

If that kind of non stop, no time for anything else messaging is your cup of tea, then sure, find someone who is like that JUST AS MUCH.  But if not, live and let live? 

It only takes a second to plant a crappy thought in someone’s mind for the rest of the day, and renting out negative space in your mind’s real estate should warrant Park Avenue prices. 

I have friends and family who purposely put off talking to their spouse or consciously avoid 100 messages until they’re ready to tackle the whole thing on a coffee break, but again, why let it get to that? 

Sometimes silence makes the loudest noise, and true love, living together and companionship is knowing that life is not just movies, meals and talking all day.  Learn to appreciate (and value) your time away as that’s what makes your time together important.

You worked hard at school and work to be this well rounded individual that was so attractive to your partner in the first place, now why do they want to be front and center and make the rest of that so difficult? 

Focus on the quality of your communication, built on trust and respect, versus the quantity and frequency.  

10. The Social Media Whiner

Does your partner run to Twitter, Instagram or Facebook to complain about “some people” every time you have some argument?

Do they constantly put up selfies of themselves looking for comments/feedback (especially when times are tough) to remind you that they’re so popular? 

Are they constantly looking for validation on whatever opinion they’re currently holding on to? 

I feel bad for people who air their dirty laundry in public because not only is it difficult for the other partner who is meant to see it, it’s also letting everyone else know that tough times are aplenty.  That continues to chip away at respect, doubt, insecurity and the rest of the toxic relationship cocktail. 

What did these people do before social media? What will they do after as organic reach continues to dwindle?

Also, if you hate your relationship so much, why don’t you do something about it? Oh that’s right…you won’t…you just want to make both of your lives miserable. 

While this particular reason might not stand alone as the litmus test of toxic behavior, it’s not a positive sign.  You might find it cute or funny at first but we wary of things to come!

11. You Can’t Be Alone, Together. 

A lot of girls might roll their eyes on this one, especially coming from a guy and say things like “If you want to be alone all the time, why not just be single?” 

Fair, but the news has never been stronger that we all need mental health, mindfulness and peace of mind now more than ever. 

Not to mention, willpower is limited but distractions are infinite.  Every time you put down your book or laptop to fight argue with your partner, you slowly deplete the dedication to finish that book or work (or even a TV show you were looking forward to watch). 

The average person sees thousands of signals, advertisements, updates, messages and more EVERY DAY.  

We need to learn how to have time to yourself.  And just like in relationships, yes, time with yourself should be quality time. 

Some days (not all) you do want to watch ESPN repeats while she wants to watch a romantic comedy.  Sometimes she may want to read a book after dinner while you actually want to Netflix and chill.  

Being together means well…being…and if you can’t coexist without putting pressure on the other that kinda sucks.  

Set aside time for the activities that mater and sure, be willing to improvise.  

Some days you just really need to cuddle it up and be pampered, but we’re all adults and we’re all trying to navigate this thing called life.  In college you and your bestie could just faff away on your phones all night and organically just break out into convo as and when, so why can’t you and your hubby do the same? 

Read Next: Who Makes You Mediocre?

Read Next: Nice Guys Finish Last But That’s the Point


You can’t help who you love, but you also need to learn to love yourself.  Being self centered gets a bad reputation because there’s a thin line between it being self centered and being selfish.

But if the list above made sense…well, you deserve better and you’ll realize it as you start taking care of yourself.   If you’re also looking for signs that your ex is miserable without you, you probably have it if you finally understand some of the tell tale-signs of a toxic person.

Disrespect, anxiety, always asking for help and advise could all be signs you’re in a bad relationship, or at the very least dealing with a toxic person.

Many of us are taught to be nice, treat others well and always putting folks before ourselves. Unfortunately this leads to mismatches in behaviors and expectations and before you know it, you don’t understand how you’re such a jerk and the mayor of Toxic town. 

If your relationship is more stress than it’s worth (and be honest if you’re just being a lazy baby) and you know in your heart of hearts a huge weight off your shoulders would be lifted if you just didn’t have it…well, you have your answer.  

Now go be an adult and make the changes necessary to fix your situation.

Sanjay Manaktala is a stand up comedian, host of the Birdy Num Num podcast, author of My Beta Does Computer Things and digital content creator.

how to break into bollywood

How To Become an Actor in Bollywood

Bollywood is a fascinating industry that makes some amazing web series, TV shows, serials and films…but also a bunch of horrible ones.  

Every day hundreds if not thousands of people flock to Mumbai to see if they can make it on the evolving silver screen. 

But unlike Hollywood (which is also difficult to get into), there is less of a process and no direct entry for Bollywood registration.  This isn’t like engineering or medicine, where at least some path into breaking in is structured. 

The good news however is that it’s never been a better time to try and be an actor in Bollywood or the rest of India. Amazon and Netflix are pumping loads of money into the country, along with the other studios like Hotstar, Zee5 and Alt Balaji.

If you have a flare of being charismatic or dramatic on screen…and you work hard, you can make things happen thanks to the good old internet.

Just remember, medical school is easier than making it as a superstar actor. Acting isn’t an easy profession to easy money, despite what society tells you…which ironically, is all an act.

Blogging is one great way to make into Bollywood.

So as someone who gets called almost weekly for some TVC (TV Commercial) or Web series audition or the other, I thought I’d share my experience, so you, the newcomer can know how to become an actor with no experience in Bollywood. 

How Do You Enter Bollywood? First start recording yourself/posting on social media and shooting small films like YouTube or Instagram sketches, then sign up for local theater classes, and then use either platform to message contacts virtually or in person.  You can also emcee or do stand up comedy, magic, singing or other creative things to grab interest from casting people.  

Most people move to Bandra or Andheri East or West and think they’ll start taking acting classes and figure it out.  But I can guarantee you while that might have worked at one point, these days you have a much better shot with doing that plus also staying busy with digital platforms.  

Most casting directors and agents care about how you look on an expensive video camera for an ad they’re shooting, not how great your theater skills are to hold a bag of Doritos and say “wow yaar, yummy.”

They’ll also likely check your Facebook and Instagram anyways to see how you look in your latest stories and posts, so you may as well treat that as a resume.

Once you start getting basic ad work or small YouTube screen time, then you can increase your skills with acting workshops and drama. After that go ahead and try to find contacts at agencies like Kwan or whoever.

There’s a lot to consider as you learn how to become an actor in India let’s go! 

How To Get Started in Bollywood

If you haven’t even messaged somebody who does theater in Bangalore or Chennai or Delhi, or attended a workshop, or watched many plays…why would you move to Mumbai and just think somebody is going to put you in a commercial because you have nice abs? 

I’m not saying it won’t happen, but just like college kids make apps so they get a taste of the technology career lifestyle, you should also know what acting is REALLY all about right? 

For the newbie with no acting experience who wants to get started in Bollywood, here’s a rough playbook of what you could do, whether you already live in Mumbai or are in another Indian city like Hyderabad or Pune. 

  1. Get involved in local theater.  Message those people who do it on Facebook or go to some play for a 100 rupee ticket, trust me, they need the audience as most theater plays lose money and any audience, even yet another acting hopeful is fine. 
  2. Learn Hindi. If you’re Hindi is not great, start practicing it to  make sure it is. Bollywood actors need to speak Hindi, whether for ads or small roles and eventually the movie gigs. 
  3. Know friends or distant people who make YouTube videos or small commercials? Ask them if you can act in any, or hold a camera, or help with sound, or even serve tea. Yes, I get asked these things all the time and when I do need somebody, I look in my spam folder to see who recently emailed me rather than try to call 10 friends and see which one is available.
  4. Learn the basics of filmmaking.  You can take a course on Udemy for like 500 rupees or start taking 100s of free courses on YouTube already.  Don’t see a channel in Hindi? Go ahead and make one!
  5. Start making sure you have a nice Instagram feed, and put “aspiring actor” in your bio.  IF you don’t believe in yourself, how will anybody else? And yes, casting people sometimes search based on that also! 
  6. Get familiar with the acting lingo.  Self test, sides (the script they want you to read), reference take, non compete (e.g. if you’re auditioning for Samsung they want to make sure you never did an Ad for Apple), etc…  You can look at websites like Backstage to figure all that stuff out. TVC, Print, Digital, slates…all stuff you need to know. 
  7. Try to work at a radio station as an RJ or producer.  Try to join or start your own improv team.  Talk to restaurants to let you do events there and invite your friends and record it. 
  8. Eventually you will get called to audition for a commercial, whether on TV or YouTube.  Then when people know you do this, you might get called to act in a web series or serial or TV show.  From there, you’ll be on your way to small roles in films and more! 

The majority of my friends are stand up comedians and all of them walked into Bollywood not by just trying to be an actor, but by building up a resume of talents for which Bollywood then called them.  

Don’t just ask yourself “How Can I be an actor?” but also ask yourself “How Can I build up my portfolio online and in person so that people want me to be in their work?”

How Kubbra Sait Got Into Bollywood

Kubbra Sait is a friend of mine who I know through her brother Danish Sait. 

Both of them interned at radio stations in Dubai and India.

From editing small commercials at a radio station on a slow Dell PC they eventually got to talk on the radio after a year or two, even recording jingles which are simple musical ads. 

The work was probably peanuts but good experience in a medium that is now moving online. 

Danish went on to make funny pranks on his Soundcloud, and Kubbra moved to Mumbai and started to get Emcee work. 

She did any work, including:

  • Shopping malls,
  • company events…
  • Earning 500 rupees emceeing thankless marketing activations (another thing you need to google)
  • to then saving some cash to take acting classes in Mumbai,
  • to then being a full time emcee who was eventually #paidToTalk and later #paidToAct.

Once the emcee stuff got her bigger projects, she then started hosting events and award shows where producers and movie people “Hey we should use her for that TV anchor role in our show” or “Hey she would be good to be a sports announcer in this film!”

While continuing to emcee as her full time job, Kubbra slowly landed roles in Salman Khan’s movie Sultan, Gully Boy and of course her breakout role as Kukoo in Sacred Games Season One. 

Her brother Danish more or less did the same thing by leveraging Emcee and Radio work to start hosting IPL events and then move into the South Indian film industry. 

The point is, in the Indian film industry everybody has their advice on how you should make it or try it.  But when you have no experience the only technique is to make your experience and then things happen. 

I know people who do hundreds of acting classes and land no work, and people who have never done any acting and get tons of roles.  And everything in between. 

Madhuri Braganza acted in my sketch comedy videos while doing theater and later got bigger roles in Malayalam cinema. You never know who is watching what!

How To Market Yourself in Bollywood

Once you have built a good Instagram following, taken a few acting classes and learned the ins and outs of the industry, now the real hustle begins.  

If you don’t know anybody, try emailing casting companies in Mumbai directly off their website with professional photos and list of things you’ve done. 

You’ll probably get 1 response out of 100, but it is a start. 

From there, message small time actors or producers on Facebook and Linked In.  

But again, the most important thing you can do is also try to write and shoot things on Instagram, Facebook, or whatever else.  This is a sure shot way to get ahead and also give you experience you’re going to learn on set anyways (shooting, rehearsing, editing, angles, lighting, etc..) 

How To Respond to an Audition

When you’re new, you can feel intimidated or nervous if somebody is calling you to audition for some Samsung or Godrej ad.  Casting agents can also easily determine that based on the questions you ask and if you call them “sir,” even though many of them might also just be 21 or 25.  

My suggestion, if you’re able to…act like you’ve done this 100 times.  You’ll get a call like this:

Casting Agent:

“Hi, we saw your profile on Facebook (or Instagram or YouTube) and have a requirement for a TVC (Television Commercial).  Can you come in for an audition?”


“Sure, can you send me the audition script or reference take on WhatsApp?” 

A reference take is just somebody in their office doing the same audition so you get an idea of what they’re looking for.

You can also ask them (if you’re really confident) how much is the role, what language is the role in (Hindi, English, etc…) and if you can just send a self recording.  

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Read Next: Best Indian and Bollywood Movies on Netflix India


These days you can make your own way as the gatekeepers no longer have as much power and a TV commercial will easily take the guy with followers and good theater credits than somebody who just knows the producer but otherwise only hang out in Santacruz coffee shops. 

If you have specific questions comment them below and I’ll update this post with the answers!

Plus most people with large social media followings end up making more money through their influencing than even some of the TV shows!


They’re many ways to get into Bollywood, or Tollywood or even Hollywood so this post was just meant as a way to guide you on your options. I’m sure many people who went the theater/Mumbai dreams right probably have different viewpoints, but there is no one size fits all approach.

If there was, we’d all know about i by now right?

Related Questions

Auditions for Acting in Bollywood Movies

Most auditions for Bollywood films take place at offices in Andheri or Juhu, or via sending an audition recording via WhatsApp.  

While casting couch days should be long gone, you should always exercise caution when going to some random building or studio. 

Major casting companies that I know include Piyush Raina Casting and Casting Bay, although I’m sure they’re many others.

If you get a call, google them, check their Facebook page, look up the person’s number on TrueCaller and just do your general research to make sure the person seems sorted. 

Direct Entry Into Bollywood

But what about that girl who got into a big movie at 21!  Oh you mean Ananya Pandey or somebody else?

Well I’m sorry to tell you, but nepotism is alive and well. Just like your uncle got your cousin into Infosys, we as Indians network to our heart’s content. 

Kangana Ranaut isn’t crazy, she just speaks the truth about people pushing their family favorites.

I’m not saying products of nepotism can’t act well (I’m sure some do), but for the average person with zero contacts, you have to build a portfolio on your own.

That means learning to do small roles in digital stuff that propel you further up.

That is exactly what folks like Nidhi Singh and Sumeet Vyas did with The Viral Fever (and more folks do daily) as well as Mithila Palkar with Dice Media and Filter Copy. 

They probably made nothing or just 5 to 10K per video, and then went from there since people saw them act well. Ditto with Mallika Dua and AIB sketch videos and others who are making leap from YouTube to your local multiplex.

Bollywood Film Industry Jobs

If you’re reading this article you probably want to be an actor, maybe a director or producer.  I would suggest if you have zero experience to make short films on YouTube and master your camera, whether it’s an iPhone, Canon 5D or Sony A7S (or whatever the newer ones are).  

A basic 30,000 rupee camera or even less is enough to show your skills, and you can learn film editing for free using Premiere or other tools. 

Another good way to break into the production crew, although doing sound and lighting in India aren’t the respectable union jobs they appear to be in the west, is to apply to production houses like Nirvana Films or Yolk Studio (both in Bangalore) or Supari Studios in Mumbai. 

Sanjay Manaktala is a stand-up comedian, author of the Harper Collins Book “My Beta Does Computer Things: You’re Guide to the IT Industry” and digital content creator. His latest effort is the Birdy Num Num podcast, helping you learn creativity in life after engineering. You can learn about Sanjay here or check out his stand up comedy YouTube channel here.

working at accenture india

Working at Accenture: Truth after Ten Years

I started working at Accenture in 2006.  

I saw my other young friends who were working in consulting and banking and traveling around the world and I wanted to do the same.  

To be honest, when I applied I just cared about getting frequent flier points and hotel stays. The specific details of the type of work and technology I didn’t care about as long as I was in tech, at a big company, and my salary was similar to my peers which was my only frame of reference. 

However, despite the usual “finding what you really want to do” struggle (and existential despair) of being young and in your twenties, I had a great time working there.  

Consulting and corporate life get a bad rap, but although there were many Michael Scott from The Office types of days, large-tech and consulting companies are a nice extension of college and give you time and money and at least ONE direction to start moving towards.  

Where you go from there is up to you. 

I had no other ambitions but a paycheck and student loan repayment (who does at 22) so this was just fine by me. 

It was fun, it was tough, there were long days and easy ones, but overall I took care of them by doing what I was supposed to (even when I initially had no clue how to) and they took care of me with decent pay and stocks that eventually did better. 

I was also grateful that Google existed and I didn’t need 600 Java or SQL or Business Objects (now an SAP product) manuals on my desk like all the older folks. 

I personally:

  • spent four years flying around the USA,
  • went to St. Charles (near Chicago) a bunch of times for various training weeks (which is awesome when you’re younger),
  • took a few months leave of absence to debate going to business school,
  • then got an expat gig in India and decided to embrace it. 

I spent the next 5 years in Bangalore, Mumbai, and Chennai just living the outsourcing lifestyle while pursuing my comedy hobbies as a young single dude on the side. Even when I was still in India, I got to take a leave of absence again to decide whether I wanted to stay or go. 

I left in 2016 to do stand up comedy and digital stuff full time, as there was a comedy revolution in India and for better or worse (in hindsight) I wanted to be a part of it.  Not because Accenture sucked (it was fine), or my boss sucked (he was great), or that I hated being in the corporate world (I love nice offices and free food and per diems I don’t always spend), but I just had this creative itch that wasn’t going to go anywhere and found something I liked doing even more so than the cool tech job with good perks and pay.   

Had I never discovered comedy and YouTube and even writing this blog (all of which is much harder than staying up late fixing database issues), I’d probably still be there trying to sign million-dollar analytics deals, reading white papers, attending conferences, reviewing IT strategy roadmap decks and pretending to be excited on all the client calls.

I got some jokes about working in Tech Consulting here 🙂

I won’t lie and say I was “super passionate about helping our clients achieve high performance” or whatever corporate BS you have to say (which clients can sniff a mile away), but I found a job I liked and that was good at, which was just swell.  

I think most people in tech who don’t flat out hate their job probably feel the same way.  

It’s not rocket science, but you’re getting paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to do something respectable, not super stressful yet sometimes challenging, and compensates you to live the life you really want (family, house, perks, boat, travel, whatever). 

What’s so bad about that? 

You can be a VP at Salesforce and be happy, or you can be an entrepreneur and be miserable, or vice versa.  A job, just like spouse or kids won’t make you happy. It’ll just help get you there.  

Most People’s Experience in IT or Corporate Life

A lot of people, both in India and America have a strange sense of entitlement on what companies are supposed to do for them.  And the more the companies give, the more we expect. 

In fact, I once met the CEO of another massive IT company that rhymes with “WINFO-CISS” and he said the same thing, that the youth expects too much too soon without putting in the time.  

It’s like “Bro, that’s great you’re 22 and you want someone to send you to America or Sweden tomorrow, but put in the time for a few years so we know that if we train you, you won’t just leave for another company to make $5K more ok? 

In India, you’ll hear things like “Biggest thieves dirty IT scoundrels and cheats they owe me two weeks back pay after I quit” and in America, you’ll hear people talking about busting their butts or being a corporate slave or whatever else people write on Glassdoor.  

But like, give me a break maybe?  

Take control of your destiny and extensive resources and make good things happen for yourself chief. Quit and start elsewhere if you find yourself in one of those miserable password reset support roles with no end in sight or step up and put in the hard work and emails and training courses to find something else, either internally or externally. 

Everybody who complains about their job acts like it’s the company’s fault, when these days so many massive companies give you so many benefits and leeway. 

The only thing they can’t teach you to do is to speak up for yourself, which you’ll have to learn on your own.

Many large tech companies even have these “make your own role” type of opportunities where you can just find your own corner to be productive in after a few years, yet people are still just jaded and upset. 

The reality, I think is that people probably have bigger problems which they just want to blame on their employer (or spouse, or society) than figuring it out for themselves. 

Remember That All Jobs Can Suck

I’m not saying Accenture is this amazing place, or technology consulting is all fun and no boring soul-crushing work sometimes, I’m just letting you know that every job can suck.

  • Projects can be a waste of budget or be pointless,
  • Managers can be horrible (I met a few at Accenture just like anywhere else)
  • Finding purpose in your work on some ERP system you have no clue about for people you’ll never meet isn’t exactly easy.

But neither is eating your vegetables, learning to code or trying to learn a foreign language. 

Eventually, however, you grow past it, find a way to make things line up for you, and build a unique experience that you’ll hopefully know what to do with down the road. In millennial words, you learn how to monetize your resume.

Also, you ever notice you only pay attention to the bad reviews and skim past the good ones?  Restaurants, Amazon products, and yes, even at large companies on job review sites.

Is Accenture A Good Place to Work? 

Accenture is a great place to work if you want a career, but not just a job.  

They give you a couple of basic skills or put you on a technology path, but then you’re kind of just a freelancer looking for jobs again, only this time all the jobs are within Accenture.  

From there you make contacts, upskill your resume and play the game of squeezing as much out of it as you can.  

You could end up on some lame role QA testing stuff for 5 years being miserable or you could learn how to convince someone 3 years older than you (a skill you’ll need anyways in life) to find a way out of that role, learn Python in your free time and then find another project you like.  

In America, you’ll likely deal with folks in India to get things done while doing business analyst or reporting type stuff for a client, and in India, you’ll probably be more technical and manage your own team while also reporting to your US counterparts.

Eventually, you move up and now your responsibility is to keep pushing your clients for more projects *cough* sales *cough*, and more money means more pressure, meetings, targets, etc… A lot of people exit here (as I did) to do other things elsewhere, and many other push through to be a partner and hopefully find a happy medium for themselves. 

It basically becomes a game of executives keeping other executives happy.

Accenture Work Culture

If I had to describe the Accenture work culture I’d say they look for people who are the cool kids in the room, but the nerds in their families.  

If you’re just a Java or programming ninja with no social skills or get nervous giving a powerpoint demo for 3 people, you’ll have to learn soon or better just work as a coder somewhere else.  

Similarly, if you’re a sales guy or girl who won’t touch even a piece of HTML or SQL, you’ll probably have a hard time too. 

If you want a company that holds your hand every step of the way, telling you what to do and when to do it (which is fine), the other players might be better.  If you like uncertainty and doubt but trying to find your own path (in a somewhat closed structure) then Accenture could work for you. 

What does Accenture Do?

Accenture is a technology consulting firm.  They’re in the B2B (business to business) space and are a massive corporation that helps other corporations with their (majority) software projects.  

The funny thing is I bet you that most 22-year-olds who get hired into tech consulting companies really have no idea what they do either. 

  1. For example, a company like Citibank might need building or upgrading its online banking service, or ATM software or credit card systems. 
  2. Since the tech part is not part of their core business, (e.g. someone who helps open more checking accounts doesn’t care about upgrading Linux or Windows on the banking server), they’ll usually hire Accenture (or TCS or Deloitte or whoever) to manage that.  Accenture may then keep a lot of those employees in India to cut their own costs, with a bunch of expats to oversee it all. 
  3. On a similar note, a company like Accenture might have 10,000 expats, all of whom need’ to figure out their taxes when spending 4 months in Texas and 8 in India.  Who pays for what? So they hire Ernst and Young for figure out 10,000 complicated tax returns. 
  4. And Ernst and Young might have a hard time recruiting hot-shot kids from college who could work at social media startups, but instead, they need to convince them that taxes are exciting. So they’ll consult with a recruitment agency that may specialize in Instagram or Social Media HR for that. 

Accenture Work Timings

Usually, in America, you’ll work about 8:30 AM to 7 PM with random downtime in the middle, and in India, the timings are like 10 AM to 7 PM with a lot of chilling in the middle.

Chai breaks, long walks around the campus, whatever.  Of course, if you’re busy you minimize those, but the culture is a lot more relaxed since a lot of people feel they’ll take a call later at night or early morning. 

I spent about 45 hours a week, usually working from 8 AM to 6 PM and checking emails here and there in the evenings just to look like I was busy.  

Shorter Projects are Worse Than Longer Project

I did get put on one project for 2 months that was a nightmare, where I worked 8 AM to 1 AM pretty much daily, but looking back I’m glad I learned how to make things happen when my back was against the wall.  I honestly don’t remember if I put in overtime or not then, but it was a nightmare but also something I thought “you just do as you pay your dues.” In reality, I just had a bad manager who didn’t tell us what we were supposed to do and then we just ran around trying to figure it out. 

The Pros and Cons of Working at Accenture

  • Accenture has a fantastic employee referral program (at least it did when I was there) and the higher the position, the more you’ll get if the employee is hired and stays there six months.  
  • For example, someone who gets a friend or ex-colleague hired at a Manager level with Analytics or SAP (whichever app or system) could make $7500 to $15,000 or more (taxed at half though).  
  • They also recruit heavily in India and at campuses across America and the world, so there really is an opportunity at every corner and anywhere in the world.
  • If you’re on a bad project, you can put in six months to a year and then start making excuses to get out it of and go somewhere else. 
  • The pay is competitive but not the highest. A lot of people can earn double working as a contractor for a client they stared at while still with Accenture (happens all the time), but then they have sort out their health insurance, taxes, whatever while also losing stocks in a bull market (which we’ve been lucky to be in for some time). 
  • The travel is exciting when you’re younger, being 25 and in the business class seat. It sucks after a while and you never want to see a hotel again. 
  • A lot of tech projects are for support and development on systems you don’t care about and never will. 
  • It’s hard to see the impact or find meaning from your work (I know it sounds harsh but I’d say the same thing about finance and investment bankers as well).
  • So many company emails and organizational changes and people you sometimes don’t know who’s who.  You also start ignoring every email or townhall session.
  • As with any company, you can also find a corner and earn six figures doing nothing for 6 hours a day and think it’s cool and then eventually just be miserable. 
  • It’s the only tech company I know where you learn tech skills, office politics, public speaking, HR (even if you’re a developer) and more all in one go.  


Read Next: How to Get Onsite Opportunities

Should you work at Accenture? I can only give you my experience, but if you’re tech-savvy and also fairly extroverted it might be a good fit.  

If not, you still can but it might be out of your comfort zone.  You’ll definitely be a lot more well rounded than someone who just worked at Microsoft for ten years, and might get 15 years of work experience in half the time.  

So if that sounds cool with you, for sure. 

On the other hand, it iss hard to bounce around the country migrating databases if you’re strictly technical and don’t care beyond the role itself. Or if you have a family or don’t like to travel or just want something a bit more stable and straightforward, I’d advise against it. 

Although, who really has a stable life in today’s fast-paced world anyways right? 

Let me know your feedback and thoughts in the comments, if you quit, are still there or debating. I’d love to jam on that with you!

Sanjay Manaktala worked in IT for ten years and now does stand up comedy and digital content creation. His Book My Beta Does Computer Things was recently published by Harper Collins.

Should You Date a guy in his 30s

Should You Date Someone Ten Years Older?

I was answering a couple of questions about dating on my podcast yesterday and one of the questions was from a girl who has always been a supporter of mine. 

Should you date someone much older than you?
Results at the end of this post (700 votes)

I didn’t expect this question from her but it also made me realize this is a very common situation not just in America or India but pretty much everywhere. So I thought I’d list out my thoughts.

Should you date someone older than you? I personally believe it’s fine to date someone older, as long you’re very honest WITH YOURSELF about the pros and cons of doing so.  Usually, anything more than a 7 year age gap will mean that you’re at very different places in life. This can cause long term friction in relationships.

This is my just my experience so I thought I’d explain a lot more details and examples of what I mean.  If you’re dating someone and have a different experience please let me know in the comments. And if you’ve already started dating someone older and are hopelessly in love, well…good luck.

Should You Date an Older Guy?

Well, it depends. What’s important to you?

I grew up in the online dating world of and OkCupid and then witnessed the Tinder and Bumble generation when I had some bit of maturity about the opposite sex. 

I know the apps have really changed the rules of dating and part of that is we really just swipe on a person’s highlight reel, not the behind the scenes which is the real version of their personality.  

Seeing a 35 or 40-year-old dude who flies planes, has a boat, is in good shape, killing it at his career and/or rocking the salt and pepper hair (hey there) can be enticing and also welcoming from the younger non-commital culture.

Video podcast where I answer a question about dating a divorced dude with 2 kids. (around 30:00)

Benefits of Dating an Older Man

It’s nice to know someone has their stuff together and if you’re 22 or 30 and see someone in their 30s or 40s, they’re a lot of pros to dating an older dude.  Specifically:

  • They’re usually done screwing around. 
  • They will have their career and finances sorted. 
  • They know what they want. (well, maybe)
  • They recognize their metabolism has slowed down so they’re active.
  • Most are a lot more accepting of marriage in their 30s (or 40s) than they would have been at 27. 

Cons of Dating an Older Man

Of course, all the pros of dating an older dude also have some negatives.  

One of the hardest parts for guys of all ages, at least with long term dating or marriage is not the marriage itself…it’s just learning how to not be single.  

We grow up so used to figuring our own meals, lazing around letting things be a little dusty, forgetting to call back or make plans that many times this can be unsettling for a long term partner.  Now imagine all of that PLUS an 8-10 year age gap, and they’re a few cons to dating an older dude.

If you’re a 24 or 25-year-old girl who still wants to go clubbing every weekend, go on an excursion filled holidays to Bali or Thailand, want to spend the whole night in the you know what or simply talk till 2am…you also have a lot to think about:

  • They’re done with the wild birthday nights and after-parties. They wanna go home by 11 and watch Netflix or do stuff on their laptop.
  • He doesn’t want to travel every free moment or go to brunch every Sunday.
  • Might have ex-wives or kids or other baggage you may find difficult, even if you think it’s mature to just deal with it.  
  • Usually pretends to be more outgoing and energetic than he actually is. 
  • Pretty set in his ways after 30+ years of doing so (food, health, alcohol, job, entertainment, etc…)
  • Probably one and done in the “you know what” department.

I’m not saying dating an older guy doesn’t work. I’m just saying don’t think that if you’re 22 and a 35-year-old wants to marry you, when you’re 27 and he’s 40 that there won’t be minor hiccups. 

  1. Maybe on your 27th birthday, all your girlfriends want to go to Vegas or Goa and he can’t or won’t.
  2. Maybe you were pressured to have kids too soon (or maybe it was perfect for you) and feel you compromised too soon.
  3. Maybe he wants to whisk you away to another country forever while you still want to do that masters program at home.
  4. Maybe you still like ordering in while he likes to cook at home and expects you too also…who really knows? 

You just need to know what you’re sacrificing or compromising on, which is usually going to fall on the younger partner because usually an older guy or girl won’t take a younger person’s problems as seriously because they’ve moved on from that phase. (e.g. bachelor parties, office functions, whatever).

Tips on Dating an Older Guy

If you’re dating or married to someone at least 6 years older, there are a few tips you should know about all of us, from 25 to 50. 

1. We’re not as busy as we’d have you believe. 

Just like a 25-year-old looked like this super fancy dude when you were 19, a 35-year-old is the same immature person, just with a bit more money.  

So if you’re 27 and your 35-year-old dude is saying he’s tired, or doesn’t have the time (yet is pretty active on Instagram), just know for those people who are serious about their relationships…there is always time.  Call them on their bluff and watch them sheepishly agree or laugh and say “ok let’s go meet your friends.”

2. Set expectations from the get to. 

An older podcast about Tinder and the new rules of Dating.

It’s nice to date someone older because they ground you in what’s important.  Spending quality time or not going out every Friday is a good thing.  

Later, even though he didn’t do it at your age, you might be glad you had kids at 29 versus 36.  

But I would say at the very least if an older guy wants to date you seriously or long term, make sure you’re vocal about your wants, desires, and expectations. 

Express your hesitations and hold them accountable. “I told you my friends 25th birthday is important and we have to go, now why are you being a jerk and saying you want to stay in, etc…”

And if your parents express their doubt, it’s not bad parenting, it’s just being cautious.

3. Excess Baggage is well, extra. 

I don’t care if you’re 1 pound over or 10, those airlines are going to get you to pay.  And usually, if you pay for one pound, you’re paying for an extra suitcase. In the same way, if your older dude has kids or an ex-wife or (yes, very common) still married and said he’s “working on a separation,” well, trust me…this issue can and will come up. 

I know you say you’re “so chill” and it’s going to be fine, but I have seen girl friends of mine make these mistakes time after time because they had wishful thinking about a lot of this stuff.  

A lot of older guys are just lonely in whatever phase of divorce or late 30s they’re in and they’ll probably tell you their baggage isn’t over the weight limit because well, that’s how you board the flight and get to where you’re going. 

Now for the young chaps…

Should You Date Older Women?

Well, how much older is she? 

A lot of young guys like to joke about cougars and “Bro, she’s like 34, she’s so wild bro, she knows things” and all of that. 

But a lot of those same guys are just all macho talk and want the companionship and sadly, need to be babied and looked after. 

Regardless, if you’re a 22 to a 30-year-old man and you’re seeing (or will see) someone older, then you should weigh the pros and cons as well.  

Benefits of Dating an Older Woman

Older women are usually more clear about their lives and what they want and when they want it.  

Sure some 30 something women drift around in Goa or shun corporate life while not doing anything else as an alternative. However, compared to SOME 22-year-olds who are just confused and pick a grad school mindlessly or take whatever job they can, older women, for the most part, are trying to line things up for the long term.  

Usually, if you’re dating a woman that’s 5 to 10 years older than you, the benefits include:

  • Less silly games and jealousy that we all suffer from in our youth.
  • Working professional that has chosen a direction. 
  • Probably enjoys chilling at home rather than going out all the time (if that’s you too).
  • Enjoys things like hikes, gym, parks, movies as opposed to bars and clubs and holidays. 
  • Probably has a dog or a cat (hopefully you do too?).
  • Family-oriented. 
  • They will give you a good mature butt kick to get your life in order (e.g. finances, health, friends, etc..)

Cons of Dating an Older Woman 

One of the most emailed podcasts.

As usual, let’s start with the obvious.  

And again, these are from a younger guy’s point of view, not from a similar like-minded 34-year-old guy. 

  • Girls between 28 and 35 usually want to make sure this is going to end in marriage, where you might just think this is a 1-2 year fling. 
  • The ticking clock for kids is an added pressure.
  • Chances are, you’ll have large financial differences which may or may not cause issues.  (buying or renting a house, travel, personal tastes, etc…)
  • May expect more out of you than bars and Netflix (e.g. more meaningful conversations).
  • May not 100% communicate what is really important to her with the hopes that you’ll want to settle down, then simply waste another 2-3 years.  

Tips on Dating an Older Woman

If you’re a 22 to 25-year-old man and seeing a girl in her thirties or forties, here’s some guidance for ideally both of you.

1. She Probably Wants To Get Married, Even if She Says She Doesn’t

I’m not saying she wants to have kids or marry you tomorrow, but unless she’s divorced with kids and not looking to do all of that over again, chances are she wants to get some stability and move on to the next phase of life.

A lot of girls I know, again, will say one thing just not to scare off the younger dude they’re dating, but we all want companionship and usually, women are keener than guys to do that sooner in life.

So if you found yourself a nice cute sugar mama just make sure you’re honest with her that you plan to bounce in the next few years or this is just fun for you, because it’s not going to get any easier on either of you when you tell her you’re moving to Thailand at 27 when she’s 33 in the city.

2. Relationships Are Way More than Physical

When you’re 21 or 25 with a little bit of career swag, most guys just want to make up for lost time and try to hook up with everything that moves. This can be exciting if you start seeing someone older but trust me, it gets old fast.

I know it won’t make sense to your testosterone and Instagram model filled daily life, but if you don’t know this beyond three months of a honeymoon phase you’ll learn soon enough. Make sure if you are into someone much older it’s because they’re just the coolest person you’ve ever met, irrespective of their age relative to you.

3. It’s Ok to Man Up

A lot of guys will get high fives from their buddies when hooking up with an older girl, then also get called whipped or changed when they no longer come out every Friday, party less, or get caught making pasta on her Instagram story.

Your friends your age are going to continue to party away their 20s, so as long as you’re fine exiting that lifestyle, by all means, march on. Nobody ever says “I’m so glad I went out drinking on that pointless Friday night seven years ago” but people regret a lot of wasted time, all the time.

So if you find someone older who isn’t really changing you but just making you a better version of yourself, go ignore the noise and enjoy your life (and this is true for dating in general).

Read Next:

Dating In India: Three Questions We All Face

How To Stop Being a Mama’s Boy

Best Indian Movies on Netflix


dating someone in their 40s
450 for yes, 244 for no. For once I don’t agree with the audience but hey what’s what learning is all about 🙂

I know so many girls who stay in relationships after 30 that are clearly going nowhere, and instead of making a clean break and starting over, they double down and then are single again at 34.  

I also know so many guys who date a younger girl thinking they can keep up, going back to their lazy comfy ways and then disappointing that person who’s just trying to revel in their youth. 

Instead, I wish both of those girls and guys realized while yes it sucks to start over at 31-35 year of age, you’ll probably now have the skills to identify the right one a lot faster and make a better long term decision even if after dating someone for just a year or two in those later years. 

You may not know what you want, but you’ll definitely know what you don’t want and that ends up taking you the rest of the way there. 

Does that make sense?

It did for my parents and maybe yours too.

While dating someone much older in today’s digital world is personally not advised (by me), it’s just something you need to tread with caution in an already complicated modern dating landscape.

Plenty of people use less social media, are truly happy about their partner and life goals when younger, and put a determination towards their relationships that many of us don’t. 

In fact, I ‘ve noticed that most of us who grew up in big cities are so confused, that in our 30s we realize the small-town folks who got married young had it right all along.

If you have that conviction and have very clear goals about what you both want…well, happy dating 🙂 

Sanjay Manaktala is a stand-up comedian, author of the Harper Collins Book “My Beta Does Computer Things: You’re Guide to the IT Industry” and digital content creator. His latest effort is the Birdy Num Num podcast, helping you learn creativity in life after engineering. You can learn about Sanjay here or check out his stand up comedy YouTube channel here.

keto diet india

Keto Diet India | Works Great Which Is Why It Fails

I did Keto for about 3 months last year and lost 11 KG (24 pounds). 

I did it entirely while living in Bangalore India.

I knew the diet was good at getting results but I also knew the experts were divided on the real effectiveness of it long term.  So as somebody who is on it again (only for a single week as part of a new meal plan), I thought I’d list my experiences. 

Does the Keto diet work? If you want to lose weight fast, which in today’s society is like asking if you want it now…then yes it works.  If you think you’re going to keep it off long term and have a weekly pizza a year from now, it probably won’t. 

I asked 3,000 people on my IG story if Keto worked for them. 600 voted and the results were pretty much split. See below for Twitter poll from today.

Can’t I just lose extra weight then gain 25% of it back and normalize that way?

That’s basically what I did but I noticed the 25% of the weight I did gain back was in all the wrong places.  

I still went down from 175 pounds to 150 to now at 160 (for the last year), but my clothes fit way off and despite being off alcohol and sugar and exercise and having a truly balanced diet, I feel like my fat is in all the wrong places. 

TL; DR: I feel the 25% I gained back went straight to my tummy and nowhere else. 

Of course, your experience and opinions may vary, but you can google 100 articles online and 50 will tell you that keto works, 50 will tell you that it’s horrible. 

French Fried Kamra from 2017.

Even with doctors and hospitals the terminologies and disclaimers are so vague that nobody really puts a stake in the ground. Plus a lot of people go EXTREME and do only 5 carbs a day which is insanely dangerous. 

In fact, I remember when I was at Manipal hospital for a master health checkup the nutritionist (who was also not in the best shape ironically) looked at my ketones in my blood work and just kind of rolled her eyes and said: “ok you do you, buddy.” 

Keto Karma (he’s lost even more since).

So this just how I did keto in India and what I learned, and why I’m even doing it again for a week. 

A Simple Definition of Keto

What is Keto? The Keto Diet is a low carb, high-fat diet.  You normally eat less than 20G of net carbs a day (carbs minus fiber on the nutrition label) and after 3-5 days your body is in a state of ketosis.   

I’m not a doctor (although my wife is) so I won’t even try to give you the scientific advice which you can find at the link above.  I just want to explain my experience because I feel my situation is similar to many. I didn’t care about a six pack but I wanted to look good for my wedding and was also curious if my abs really exist.  

I never found out if they did, by the way. 

In a nutshell, you only eat eggs, protein shakes, chicken, bacon, avocado, cheese, spinach, lettuce, and butter. 

If you have even a slice of toast or a small handful of rice or potatoes and fries, you’re setting yourself back weeks or months. You can’t drink beer but you can probably have a Glen or Johnnie here and there. 

The Keto Diet Works Well for Indians, Which is Also Why It Doesn’t

India LOVES its carbs.  

Middle-class India also loves its carbs delivered straight to its lazy millennial hands, thanks to Swiggy and Zomato and cheap labor and Netflix or Amazon. 

I’m guilty of it for sure. 

Even if you order plain tandoori chicken and ask him to not include onions (you’re not supposed to really have onions either), he’ll look at you funny. 

Or you go to a restaurant and just ask for Chicken Tikka Masala (Not perfect but hey sometimes a little tomato is ok) the waiter will ask you how you’re going to take it, roti or rice?

Watch his face when you say by itself. 

Combined with many restaurants being vegetarian only, keto is not hard to do in India but it is a little inconvenient.  Nowadays so many big cities also have keto kitchens or restaurants with menus that say they’re Indian keto diet-friendly. 

Somewhere streetside place I saw opened up, I’m sure your city has a bunch too if you google around.

After a week, you get into the groove and all is smooth sailing.  

You do some light cardio, bite on an onion or one french fry here and there, but within a month the weight is flying off. 

You will then most likely

  • buy skinnier jeans, 
  • look better in that Chinese collar shirt 
  • Pat yourself on the back for having figured this super-complicated weight loss thing so easily
  • and get a few compliments from the ladies or dudes.  

Jesus Christ, that was easy wasn’t it? 

Time to trash all those old clothes, update the profile pics and upgrade to Tinder Gold. 

But alas, as with anything get rich quick scheme or dreamy job title…if it’s too good to be true, we know it probably is. 

Is Keto Sustainable Long Term?

Of course not. 

Do you really think you’re going to give up bread for the rest of your life? 

Or only eat it once a month? 

Do you really think only chicken and bacon is what you’re meant to eat when we’ve evolved to have all those veggies on the ground for a reason? 

You will definitely crave bread less long term and start ordering lettuce-wrapped burgers even when you’re off keto, but having dal (lentils), rice, potatoes, onions, fruits (apples, bananas, oranges) and all of that is going to have its place in your life. 

What are you going to do when somebody is giving you Prasad full of sugar and says you have to eat it and 20 people are watching you? 

What are you going to do when auntie is visiting and insulted you didn’t have her ghee soaked Paratha at 11 PM after 4 cups of masala chai? 

I’m not saying you can’t avoid sugar and bread…you 100% can. 

But instead of tricking your body for years and years, why not recognize the benefits of Keto (short term emergencies or motivation) then make a long term solution. 

Again, look at all the data in the screenshots above. 

Ignore paid media and ask 10 people around you in your circle what their experience with a ketogenic diet was. 

When Should You Go Off Keto?

I went off Keto after my wedding, and I was happy I did it.  I felt more confident and felt great before, during and after.  I also had some buffer weight (e.g. I lost 4KG more than I planned) so I wouldn’t feel bad when I gained some back. 

But once you’re back at your routine I would simply transition to a more balanced diet, hire a personal trainer or figure out what is important to you.  

The only thing is you’ll have to start a new disciplined approach with a new diet all over again.  Intermittent fasting, one meal a day, carbs only before 4 PM, or whatever else. 

keto diet india

But word on the street (or tweets?) is don’t do keto for more than 2-3 months tops, and then figure out a way to keep pushing the pounds off. 

Chances are you’ve now developed a taste for spinach and grilled chicken which you can carry into having small ragi (millet) bread or oatmeal. 

Keto Does Have Some Benefits

Which is exactly why I’m doing it again today for just a week.  I’m on day 3 of 7.

If you need to lose weight fast sometimes you just gotta do it.  I’m not judging and all of us leave things until the last minute…so I get it. 

Go get that Sabyasachi wedding dress boo. 

Once you do keto for a few months and then gain some or all of it back, that discipline you have is also something you gained.  Now after going from 100KG to 75KG and back to 99KG, you’re going to realize that it wasn’t so hard at all to commit to something with conviction. 

My podcast with video on the same topic.

Combine that with your taste buds now craving less bread than six months ago, you’re well on your way to a truly balanced diet.  It’s like you went on holiday, got a taste of the good life, and now you’re motivated to save money and buy that villa in Ibiza the long sustainable way.  Had you never lost the weight short term and seen the other side, chances are your mind wouldn’t make it happen for you. 

Remember, weight loss is literally just eating less calories than you burn.  



We over-complicate things in our lives so much these days don’t get caught up in analysis paralysis. 

I find myself reading 30 reviews, spending 30 minutes debating which toothbrush to buy for 30 rupees. 

Don’t do the same thing with all these diets.  

Do what’s right for you but remember the basics. 

But yes Keto for me was a short term kick in the butt to making long term changes, just not in the way it’s marketed. 

Happy eating! 

Related Questions

1. What do You Eat on Keto in India?

An Indian Keto Diet plan includes the following:

Meats and a Non-Vegetarian Indian Keto Diet: 

  • Tandoori Chicken, 
  • Tandoori Fish, 
  • Chicken Tikka, 
  • Roast Chicken, 
  • Lamb Curry, 
  • Roasted Lamb. 
  • Egg Curry
  • Egg Omelet

Most items like Chilli Chicken in Indian restaurants have maida or flour so you’re probably eating carbs in the chickens coating or batter so you don’t realize it. 

Vegetables or Vegetarian Indian Keto Diet:

  • Spinach (Palak)
  • Cauliflower (Gobi)
  • Lettuce
  • Carrots
  • Green Chillies
  • Avocado (Butter Fruit in Karnataka) 

You can’t have any dal or any dosa bro. 

Saw this on Twitter as I was writing this and oh the irony of being veg and on keto on Tuesdays.


  • Almonds
  • Walnuts
  • Cashews (a tiny bit maybe I’d advise against it)
  • Pistachio (a tiny bit maybe but I’d say avoid it)

2. Can You Do Keto as a Vegetarian in India?

Yes, I know plenty of people who do it but it’s very inconvenient.  Your Infosys company outing really won’t have anything you can eat except maybe paneer, and even those starters will be coated in maida or flour. 

You can even do Keto as a vegan, but you will not enjoy anything you eat. 

Cauliflower rice and soy only? 

Or avocado and cauliflower rice and soy? (that sounds good actually). 

For every meal? 

3. Do You Exercise on Keto?

I ran about 5KM a day on Keto, three times a week.  The other days I did light weights for 30 minutes while listening to podcasts.  

You’re not really in a heavy bodybuilding mode but for most of us, we just want to get lean and trim so cardio and situps/pushups/core exercises is basically all you really have to do. 

Read Next:

Nice Guys Finish Last but What’s the Hurry (my most popular post)

How I Quit Alcohol and Smoking for Six Months

Body Oder and the Indian Man

4. What are some Indian Keto Recipes?

When I first started keto and wanted chicken tikka masala with rice (e.g.s Cauliflower rice) I just found Headbangers Kitchen and he had a ton of nice options. 

But I found all that psyllium husk and almond flour and yada yada was just not worth my time after a few weeks. But it definitely helped curb those initial cravings to cheat the brain.  In fact, Chinese chicken fried rice made with cauliflower (if you soak it in water first to remove that cauliflower taste) is so good sometimes you can’t even taste the difference.

Sanjay Manaktala is one of the top stand up comedians in India who started building the comedy community in the country back in 2010. Since then his stand up comedy videos and podcasts have helped millions laugh or get motivated. His latest effort is the Birdy Num Num podcast, helping you learn creativity in life after engineering. You can learn about Sanjay here or check out his YouTube channel here.

how to quit drinking

How I Stopped Drinking for 6 Months (and smoking)

Alcohol and going out to bars and pubs are a favorite way of passing time for most people in their 20s and early 30s.  I did it and I’m sure you did as well. But growing up I would periodically get anxiety that while I didn’t have a problem with booze, I wasn’t operating at my best capacity.  I knew I could get all the things I thought drinking would give me some other way.  

So I tried to stop and here’s what I learned. 

How did I stop drinking? I simply stayed busy with nightly gym classes and other hobbies during the evenings and once the clock passed 10 PM, I was out of the danger zone. It’s not really quitting the drinking that’s hard.  It’s the WANTING to quit drinking that you really have to question.  

In fact, most people don’t want to quit drinking, what they want to do is turn their life around.  And that’s where saying no to alcohol becomes step one. 

Of course, your experience may vary but aside from saying “you just have to do it”, for me the tactical advice of simply avoiding the prime time was how I got moving.  Then once I found myself at company events or stand up comedy shows with free booze in my face, I found other hacks to avoid the sauce that made it super easy. And trust me, stand up comedians drink a lot and this is not an easy profession to stay sober in. 

They’re a lot of factors that will make you realize that quitting drinking (or even smoking) isn’t that hard. 

It’s just like a diet.  

A little bit of discipline in those first 14 days makes the rest of it easy peezy. 

Knowing Why You Want to Quit Alcohol

I remembered hearing this podcast that featured James Swanwick that did it for me with really one quote, which was basically that he could make $200,000 in a whatever job for the rest of his life knowing he was operating at 75% capacity with pointless company outings, or he could make some big changes and at least know he was at 100%. 

I kept drinking for a few more months but that kind of just kept ringing in the back of my head. 

A couple of months later my wedding bills racked up, I noticed my bank balances going under levels I was comfortable with and also just knew I was capable of so much more. 

Real advice from the cities biggest bar owner.

So after one particular bender I stopped, thinking it would be for a month.  Given the podcast I heard earlier, it wasn’t even cold-turkey.

Just like brand awareness in digital marketing, I was actually quitting warm-turkey, as I was thinking about this for a while and my mental state was already prepped to the idea.

For me in particular, it was also the realization that thousands of drinking nights weren’t even that memorable.  It’s tough to say no to a beer when you’ve had a long day, but nobody who says no ever thinks the next day “Oh man I wish I had that beer last night.”   

In fact, most of us just say “Oh I’m so glad I didn’t have that beer last night because I don’t miss it at all and I feel great today.” 

I realized I wanted to quit because more than being the life of the party or having fun at comedy shows I was performing on, I really just wanted to be better at everything I was doing.  And duh, I wanted to make more money. 

So find your reason, whether it’s:

  • to be a better father,
  • lose weight,
  • make more money,
  • have better health
  • find a girlfriend or a boyfriend
  • or whatever it is.  

Then go drink some more. 

Quitting Alcohol Gradually

I used to be a heavy binge drinker.  I didn’t even have a problem. For all of 2018, I gave myself a rule that I would only drink on the weekends.  

But the second Friday 8 PM rolled around, guess what?  I went hard. Literally until Sunday at 11 PM. 

What’s the point of not drinking during the week if you’re just going to make up for all of it in 2.5 days? 

As mentioned above and as counter-intuitive as it sounds, once I knew I wanted to eventually stop the alcohol I kept drinking for a few months.  I started enjoying it less and less and that helped me not miss it at all after a few weeks once I did stop. 

You still will at least twice a month for a while though.  

How to Avoid Alcohol

Once you skip that first Friday or Saturday drinking with the same friends talking about the same garbage, you realize even after just one day it wasn’t so bad the next morning. 

The irony of course for me in my thirties now is that I still wake up feeling hungover or with a scratchy throat (I quit smoking on the same day also) but I guess that’s just age. 

A lot of people think if they quit drinking the managers and executives at the company meeting or dinner are going to look down at them. 

the Birdy Num Num Creative India podcast.

Or they think they’re friends will somehow be disappointed in them. 

Not really man. 

Your friends are just annoyed they don’t have a buddy to drink with, because it makes them feel bad rather than both of you being on a sinking ship. 

So how do you AVOID that part?

You don’t avoid the bars and pubs.  You also don’t make the same plans over and over. 

Start going to the gym or coffee shop or movies or mall or fun restaurants instead of straight to your local dive bar to avoid being around it.  But when your buddy calls you to see what the scene is for the evening, go ahead and continue to meet them. 

Just grab that diet coke.  Or say you’re sick. Or say you want to stay out even later once they’re ready to wind up. 

You’ll get a couple of “dude you’re so bored now” or “you’ve changed” but just like with a diet, those same people who want you to bite into the ice cream will be the same who commend you when you discovered you had abs after all. 

I used to quit alcohol for one month every year from 2012 to 2018 and I can tell you I never lost any friends those months or any time after. 

Related Questions

1. Should I quit alcohol with a friend? Yes, having a buddy system helps but it also goes off the rails easier when one of you starts drinking again.  You are ultimately the only one who is going to live with this decision for a long time so I say find your formula that works for you (e.g. announce it to the world or don’t, avoid outings or embrace them, etc..)

2. Is your life better after drinking? The ironic thing about stopping alcohol is that you won’t necessarily be more productive.  Plenty of teenagers and grown men in their 30s play video games all day eating Cheetos and don’t drink a single beer.  But they’re just as lazy and useless sometimes. But chances are the time and money you save not drinking will be just a fraction of the potential you unlock to spend time and money doing other things you’ll probably enjoy a lot more for your specific interests.  Whether it’s to find a girlfriend or boyfriend, getting promoted, having more time for your family or who knows what else. 

3. How do you quit Smoking? I personally found that if I quit drinking, I would naturally smoke less.  That eventually led me to going out less, and since I was out less and drunk less, cigarettes went from 10 a day to five a day to 2 a day until a day went by and I realized I hadn’t even had one.  Again, stay busy with things you enjoy aside from getting drunk and having the same conversations and all this stuff seems very trivial. 


If you recently quit or are thinking about, how do you plan to quit?

Alcohol is funny because the joke is you drink when you’re happy and you drink when you’re sad. But if that’s the case, what difference does it really make?

Read Next: Nice Guys Finish Last but What’s the Hurry (my most popular post)

Read Next: Who Enables You To Be Mediocre? (my favorite post)

Read Next: How to Start a Microbrewery in India (real business advice from Toit)

Nobody ever looks back on their pointless outings with colleagues and is glad they had those 5 beers instead of 4. Nobody ever actually meets girls or guys or their soulmates thanks to the beer they had while out with 9 guys.

Find out what you really want out of life and then find a way to to get it without alcohol, and then drink however you want.

Not the other way around.

How To Write Stand Up Comedy Jokes

How To Write Jokes and Stand Up Comedy

Stand up comedy continues to be on the rise, thanks to Netflix, YouTube, Instagram and pretty much all of social media. 

The appeal of not requiring vocal or musical talent, being the only star on stage and the draw of “anybody can do it” makes all of us wonder how to be a comedian. 

Sanjay Manaktala BBC
Jokes can cross borders, cross genders and more practically…great delivery delivers a great message. This was on BBC but there was nobody in the crowd.

However, as with anything in life, if it’s too good to be true, it probably is.  

You can 100% become a stand-up comedian, but if you want to make a living, you’d probably have an easier time in medical school. 

The good news is that we’ll cover just one aspect in this post, which is how to write jokes and comedy writing rather than the much harder question of how to have a career in stand up comedy which I also covered a year back and continues to get a lot of nice messages, so thanks for that.

How to Write jokes? Joke writing is all about surprises, originality, and oftentimes relatability.  They’re various forms, techniques and types of comedy that jokes can take. Puns, act outs, impressions, sarcasm, one-liners, rule of three, storytelling, callbacks and more.

Ultimately if you remember to surprise your audience in a clever way and try to make it ABOUT THEM, you’ll probably be fine.

Let’s Set It Up

Before we just dump a million joke examples on you as many comedy blogs do, let’s understand why you want to write jokes in whatever stage of life you’re in. 

Richard is the leader on R/standupshots with 70K upvotes on this pic and I can vouch for him that this joke works live ALL THE TIME.

You can easily reverse engineer jokes and your favorite bits from all-star comedians, but that’s like learning how to drive in a Formula 1 race car when you first need to just get to your job in a Honda Civic.  

Also before you read on…there is no better experience than getting off your butt and going to the open mic to see how jokes are responded to live.  I’ve had things retweeted 1,000 times but trying that joke on stage got crickets.  

Remember, comedians create jokes but not all jokes are created by comedians.  That joke in your office or funny forward isn’t something a comic can or will do on stage, so yes, knowing how to write jokes isn’t exactly the same as how to write stand up comedy, and we’ll cover the differences also. 

Why You Want to Learn How to Write an Original Joke

It’s no secret that after sex, humor is the number one seller.  

Whether you want to spice up that boring office presentation, break the ice on a date or just blog/write about things in your industry (gaming, technology, finance, marketing, real estate) with a humorous tone, using comedy is a great way to do it.  

Comedy and humor is a skill that everybody should learn because even if you have no aspirations to spend half your life in dingy open mic bars, you can use that skill to improve your public speaking, kill it in sales or learn how to grab and hold people’s attention in a world where that’s the most important.  

And grabbing their attention is half the battle. 

I’ve seen million dollar Google engineers who were smarter than Bill Gates lose a room explaining billion-dollar technologies that were going to change the world. 

I’ve also seen party-crazy frat boys captivate 100 PHDs on an IDIOTIC piece of social media software because they simply know how to communicate in an effective way. 

Jokes are a great way to fix these problems because again…they grab attention but also grab confidence. 

Types of Comedy

The various types of comedy you see in 2019 include:

  • Stand Up Comedy
  • Improv
  • Sketch Comedy Live
  • Sketch Comedy (YouTube, Instagram, etc..)
  • TV Sitcom
  • Film
  • Late Night Talk Shows (monologue, current events, panel with guests)
  • Vlog

While all of these are formats of comedy, they all leverage basic joke structure.  Even a silly meme like “When just actually just wants to Netflix and Chill” of a dog not getting any attention or whatever is a joke about the bedroom, rejection, whatever.  

Do You Need to Be Inherently Funny to be a Comedian?

I know that sounds ironic or obvious but not necessarily.  

Is your baby or dog or fraternity friend puking in the corner funny? Of course.  

Is that going to be funny for a group of strangers on vacation on a cruise ship? Probably not.  

Some great comedians are duds off stage and joke writing for the public is actually a craft that takes dedication and patience.  So while yes, being funny naturally helps, translating that to the stage and performance takes time. 

Gary Gulman is one of my favorites and even has a new special out about depression. But look at any of his tweets and you’ll see he’s very hardworking and methodical about the words, the cadence, the craft and much more.

They’re probably 1/1000 people who are just naturally gifted and who are “just a natural.”  But it’s very rare. 

So How Do You Write Jokes?

Steve Jobs said simplicity is the most complex, so I thought long and hard on how to narrow down the key steps to getting you into making those writing exercises less exercise and more routine.

1. Pick a Topic for your Material

Yes, your joke has to be about something.  

Donald Trump, Your Childhood, Working in an office, Working in an Investment Bank, Working at Google, Dating, Your Date Last week, Tinder (yawn),  Being Chinese, whatever…you need a topic.  

In order to give your joke a good chance, try to pick a topic in an area you know (e.g. your family, your work, your career, whatever but that anybody could understand) 

A lot of comedians think they can go out there and riff, or just do crowd work, or dress well and talk about easy things. No-no-no.  

Just like every film needs a story and plot, you at least need topics.  Even short one-liner comics like the late Mitch Hedberg and others had entire topics in seemingly tiny sentences. 

If you talk about people who don’t really get talked about, you can find new comedic ground to cover.

Pro Tip: One of the best ways to stand out early in your comedy joke writing is to write about topics people don’t talk about, but is probably 100% known and relatable. 

I made a good chunk of my career talking about working in Information Technology.

I don’t expect 300 million Americans or 1 Billion Indians to enjoy hearing software humor, but I could grab a large chunk of 50 million software engineers and that’s just fine with me. 

Chances are if you simply need to learn how to write comedy for your office or presentation, picking a topic your audience knows but nobody else does is a great way to connect (e.g. that clunky payroll system, the company CEO’s hobbies, a recent news event in your Industry). 

2. Look for an angle on the topic that people haven’t thought of before. 

Jokes are all about the reader or audience not expecting the punchline. 

Whether it’s a tweet, a live performance, and heck even a meme or Instagram story, it has to be unique enough for someone to appreciate the uniqueness of it all. 

These days everybody knows the late-night punchlines of Donald Trump is sexist or George Bush was dumb or whatever.  But what else is there about him that could still surprise an audience? 

  • What if he’s actually super smart? 
  • What are his kids like? 
  • Maybe his wife is the real brains? 
  • What do world leaders think of him? 
  • Maybe you voted for him? Why? Why not? 

Try to reverse what pop culture says, because your goal is for your reader or audience to not see it coming. 

  • We get that on Tinder everybody is ghosting. 
  • Or that black people are like this and white people are like that.  
  • Or it’s tough to be single or all the men in Hollywood don’t like you. 

There was a time when those topics were fresh and new, but now you have to find new topics to spin a humorous angle on. 

Once you have a topic, like growing up poor or being bad with women…try to write everything you find amusing or ironic or strange about that.  

You’ll probably write down 100 things and one of them will work on stage. 

Welcome to comedy. 

But if you know that your first 100 jokes will have a 1% success rate, is sets the expectation and makes the future a lot easier, rather than spending a day and quitting after one open mic. 

For example… let’s write down anything without judgment until something at least makes us smirk. 

I’m so bad with women that…

  • Tinder gave me a refund. 
  • Tinder said “don’t bother.” 
  • The waiter asked my date if she was at the right table. 
  • The extremists made me one of the 72 virgins. 
  • I work in HR and I’m still single. 

Again, the point isn’t to judge these jokes but to start dumping all the first thoughts out of the way so you can make room and really warm up your creative muscles. 

Growing up poor is:

  • Fine with social media.  I just photoshop myself at the beach. 
  • Ironic when you have siblings.  That first kid was a $200,000 expense.  Great, let’s have another. 
  • A lot of pressure.  It’s like your parents had you thinking…let’s name him “Return on Investment.” 
  • making six figures in San Francisco.

Growing up rich is tough because…

  • You guys have to find your dreams.  I have to find my boat. 
  • Everybody expects you to pick up the tab.  I mean I can..but like…
  • Does she like me for me, or my money, or…? 
  • (I clearly didn’t grow up rich so I really have no clue about it)

3. Setup and Punchline

The beauty of working hard on a unique, ironic or surprising angle is that you may have already completed the joke.  

What’s the traditional definition of a joke?

A setup or premise and a punchline. 

Even if a comedian tells a long 5-minute story there are probably a bunch of mini setup/punchline combinations also building onto a bigger setup and punchline.

Don’t over-engineer it.  Setups are the topics or situations and punchlines are the delivery or payoff. 

Once you’ve made sure your joke has a payoff for the reader or audience, you can go ahead and test them out at the open mic, Toastmasters, a public speaking group in your area, or even on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram stories and social media. 

4. Memorize Your Jokes (for live comedy)

If you’re going to perform as a comedian or use jokes in your speech or presentation, you NEED to remember your joke so you nail down your delivery and timing.  

What nobody ever tells you is that some comedians are way better at delivery and performing than the actual joke itself when read on paper and often times audiences may not even know the difference.  

So if you want to make sure your joke has an adequate swing much like going for a home run with a fastball straight down the middle, make sure you deliver it well.  The simplest way to do that is too simply memorize the ten to fifteen jokes you want to try, and deliver with them conviction. 

Otherwise, reading them off an index card when nobody knows you ruins the confidence of your audience and jokes that had potential get wasted away. 

5. Deploy and Test

I feel bad for the creatives of years past because they had to wait for somebody to tell them if they were funny or a good writer or could sell well.  

In today’s world, gatekeepers still exist (and many, such as major comedy club booker or late night booker are still valuable in knowing what works for their format) but the public’s reaction is king. 

Look at how the Rotten Tomatoes scores of Dave Chappelle’s latest special differed between the people who “hold the keys to good reviews” and well, the ticket-buying public. 

If the critics are also way off, wouldn’t an ad executive, or a filmmaker, or a company CEO who slowly sees his company get disrupted by a new technology? 

The point I’m trying to make is, you need to get your jokes out there now and see what sticks.  But don’t give up too early. 

Stephen King had tons of GREAT books passed on before he found a publisher who wanted to get him in front of eyeballs, and then destiny took over. 

Just cause your joke got one like, it may not be so bad if Facebook didn’t show it to anybody or you have no followers on Twitter who saw it. 

There are no hard and fast rules, but if your joke gets a laugh consistently over 5-10 live tellings or gets a lot of love on social media (especially from strangers), it will likely get a laugh in your comedy future or presentation or movie or sketch.

As you continue writing about your life or topics of interest, you’ll start to clumb all those dating jokes together into a 4 minute bit on dating, and use the two lines about realizing you were gay as your introduction, or whatever.  

6. Cut the Fat

In comedy, less is definitely more.  A common mistake people make when writing jokes is to include unnecessary details. 

I grew up in Minnesota, we had a small blue house.  It’s so cold there in the winters. We were poor. The landlord came to evict us but the house was so bad nobody took it over.” 

Why do I care that the house is blue?  Is Minnesota really required? Either find a funny twist on why you mentioned Minnesota or just start the joke from “we were poor.” 

Once you test out your jokes (after memorizing) a good chunk of joke writing is actually joke editing and trust me, comedians are constantly removing and adding things to their material to make it tight and funny.

Belly laughs (or some comics like to go on jokes per minute) is a great way to keep the laughter rolling and that takes years of editing and timing to master.

Common Misconceptions

There’s a lot in this post that I’m sure comedians who are one to five years in want to say, but again…this is just the training wheels of joke writing.

There’s no point playing to the back of the room if you can’t confidently hold an audience’s attention no matter how meta or clever your bit is.

1. I just want to be a comedy writer for TV.  This stuff is hacky or lame. Kay and Peele don’t do that. 

Don’t they?  

Again, the point of this article isn’t to get you a Netflix special, it’s to teach you the ABC’ or how to dribble and make a free throw.  

Once you learn the basics you can build and build and build or start doing crossovers and nailing half-court shots.  

But whether it’s a sketch about “how guys can’t call their girl a b**ch” or Alec Baldwin doing a bit on Trump, the jokes are there once you dig under the hood. 

2. What are the comedy writing secrets?

There are no secrets to writing comedy just like there’s no secrets to getting rich.  However, they’re definitely shortcuts and more effective ways that a lot of comedians don’t do.  

Leveraging (rather than scoffing at) social media, keeping a schedule, putting down the beer, avoiding easy crowd work (I’m guilty) are all the tools you can do to polish your jokes sooner and sooner. 

3. Are comedy classes worth it?

I’ve never taken a comedy class, but I did take a sketch writing class with one of the Kay and Peele writers a few years ago and I’d do it again.  

Did I learn anything crazy new or turn my career around?  Not really.  

But for the price of 15 beers over my next 3 open mics I got to meet people, put discipline on my writing for 8 Sundays in a row and spend my money on things that pushed me towards my goals rather than pointless movies or drinks.  

My main beef with comedy classes (and blogs, which is why I tried to write this a bit differently) is that they use part of your fee have you all perform in a comedy club at the end.  

You walk out into the world with a tape of your 5 minutes and a great crowd, but when you join the real front lines of comedy you realize nobody cares and the crowds aren’t like all your peers in that class. 

So if you recognize that and have the time, I would 100% give it a shot probably just ONCE.

If nothing else, comedy classes are a great way to force you to write your first 100 jokes because we all know you’re not going to do that on your own. 


The hardest thing with writing comedy and creating jokes is the same as starting any new hobby or skill. 

Where do you begin? 

When I started making YouTube videos, I was so caught up with the type of Camera I wanted and reading 100 Amazon reviews, I didn’t realize lenses were more important than cameras, and content was more important than both.  

Then learning to be comfortable on screen, editing, understanding data, figuring out a routine, etc.. Ultimately, if your content is good, (or your joke funny), people will laugh.  

Joke writing is the boring and hard part, but it’s also the part that is over-engineered, over-analyzed and when many of us get success, the most overlooked.  

Your brain uses more energy thinking than you might do at the gym, which is why most comedians give up after writing for 20-40 minute a day/week.  

Are there other ways to write jokes? 

Of course. 

Is there only one way to write jokes? 

Of course not.  

I read Comedy Bible by Judy Carter when I first started and then, later on, I figured out what I wanted to pick and choose from the 100 other books out there.  

I hope this article does the same for you.  

If nothing else, write 10 jokes and keep them aside for a rainy day. 

Happy writing! 

Sanjay Manaktala is one of the top stand up comedians in India who started building the comedy community in the country back in 2010. Since then his stand up comedy videos and podcasts have helped millions laugh or get motivated. His latest effort is the Birdy Num Num podcast, helping you learn creativity in life after engineering. You can learn about Sanjay here or check out his YouTube channel here.

best makeup artist india

Being the Best Bollywood Makeup Artist | Sandhya Shekar

The makeup and beauty industry is booming in India and across the world.

A good portion of that has to be thanks to a few different factors as it relates to the Indian makeup industry:

  • YouTube
  • Bollywood
  • Indian Weddings and Bridal Makeup
  • Hollywood and Indian Actors
  • Diverse looks across the globe
  • Fashion and beauty bloggers

I recently sat down with my buddy Sandhya Shekar to talk makeup, being one of Deepika Padukone’s favorite makeup artists and traveling the world learning makeup from the world’s best.

Who is Sandhya Shekar?

If you follow Bollywood celebrities, Instagram fashion bloggers or the makeup and cosmetics industry India..the real question is Who Isn’t Sandhya Shekar?

She’s from Mangalore, got started doing makeup for small shoots after working in the media industry and then hustled her way to the top.

We talked on the Birdy Num Num podcast about the makeup industry, upping your skills and how to be a makeup artist in India and beyond.

1. How Did You Start Doing Makeup in India?

Sandhya: I was working at Yes Bank and got bored with that. So I asked some of my friends who were in styling and fashion about it, and just thought let me take some courses.

My goal wasn’t even to work with many stars, it was just to pay the rent and see if I can make this a viable career option and do a few bridal shoots.

Then I went to a one month course in Mumbai and did another course at the London School of Beauty, and came back to Mumbai and started assisting other makeup artists.

Then after 8 months of assisting, in 2005, I got my first gig with MTV.

2. What should people know about having a career in the makeup industry?

Sandhya: I think with our job you have to keep studying, all the time. Just like a programmer has to be up to date on all the technologies, so do we have to stay on top of the latest styles and trends.

For example, I used to do one look that required six different tools. Now years later it only requires 3. As you progress you then are rated based on how efficient you can output quality work and being to update is how you get there.

So even though I’ve been at this for like 15 years now, I still go take a 3-5 day masterclass if I see anything is happening in Mumbai or elsewhere with folks I respect.

3. How did You Convince Your Parents?

Sandhya: I left Yes Bank over a 3 month notice period, then I came home for a few months before heading to London.

They thought I would get into the Bollywood machine and get “corrupted” or “exploited” but in all honesty that’s not been my experience at all.

4. What is Contouring?

Sandhya: (laughs) It’s when the light falls on your face in a flattering way.

5. Were you always into beauty as a profession?

Sandhya: Yes I think so. I used to stain my lips and cheeks with beetroot and other things since my mom wouldn’t let me use her makeup. I kind of got into all of that at an early age.

6. You were at the Met Gala with Deepika Padukone’s team as one of her makeup artists. How was that?

Sandhya: Honestly it was such a fun experience. We had our schedules, we got briefed properly on her outfits and her changes and it was just so exciting to be a part of. Bollywood and Hollywood are both great so it was nice to see two sides to that coin.

Read Next:

Best Indian Podcasts

How to Be a Fashion Blogger in India


The full one-hour interview links are below, but the major lesson I think we can all take away from the beauty and makeup industry is that like with anything, complacency can ruin your career.

Sandhya started her journey in 2005, but a lot of people look at her now or her 70,000 Instagram followers and think wow she’s so great and so popular.

But with anything in life, the highlight reel is far from the reality of the behind the scenes, and quite literally Sandhya earns her showreel behind the scenes.

Questions for her? She’s reading this blog and agreed to answer questions if you comment below.