How To Get Onsite Opportunity

Want to Quit Engineering or Hate Tech? Wait.

I grew up in what I’m going to assume are similar circumstances to yourself.  

I enjoyed playing games, hanging out with friends and checking off each milestone in life as it came.  

I wasn’t begging for food, but I wasn’t 16 with an Audi on my first major birthday either thanks to a rich family who “did business.” 

In fact, now I despise those people.  

At 20 my goals were simple

  • I wanted to do well in high school so I could get into the right college.
  • Then I wanted to do well in college so I could get into the right job (not career).
  • Eventually, parlay that into the right graduate school.
  • Be successful and have fun with romantic interests and international travel and onsite opportunities.
  • Rinse and repeat, and then hopefully settle into cruise control by the age of 25.

The problem with that approach was that only once I was stable and settled, riding along the highway called life that I got the faintest idea of where I wanted my life to go. 

The happier you do the boring tech work, the quicker don’t have to.

I didn’t know what to do with my life, but I knew I wanted to do something. 

I mean once you have the time to enjoy the drive rather than finish the race…you tend to look around.

Unfortunately, a lot of people get off the highway at 25 or 30 years old… right when the ocean was about to come into view.

I Hate the Tech Industry


Why would you hate software engineering or hate coding or development?

Does a race car driver hate physics and mechanical engineering or an astronaut hate medical school, Ph.D. papers and studying astrophysics?

A lot of wall street bankers hate spreadsheets and pointless powerpoints, but we all need to swipe our visa’s and transfer money between accounts.

You might hate your current role in tech, the same way the foreman and team who haul cement probably hate construction but the architect loves it.

In which case, for a lot of people who hate their tech job or hate computers and code…you ironically speaking of finance…hate wanting to pay your dues.

You also aren’t patient enough to see where those dues take you. Why do most software engineers hate their jobs? Because they call them jobs in the first place.

Do you want a job or a career bro? Because a job is something you do but a career is something you make.

Even if you’re in a dead-end job with a horrible boss who is taking advantage of the current labor market…you’re being blessed to innovate and learn how to side hustle to find your way out of it.

We have to learn the ABC’s and multiplication tables so we’re equipped to make creative things later with those same boring skills…and all that boring BS you deal with in tech is eventually something you need to crawl in the mud through.

Somebody has to test that software anyways right?

For example let’s say tomorrow you embraced tech, wrote a killer app or blog or game and then had 100,000 users in a week.

Chance are you’re gonna need some staff to:

  • reset passwords,
  • fix bugs
  • help with your accounting/refunds/whatever.

And isn’t that 22-year-old kid you hire is going to hate you the way you hate your boss?

But you’ve been through staying late at night trying to understand what happened to someone’s transaction and how it all got messed up, so you’ll do the extra leg work and make sure processes are in place because business is so predictable and you’re covered for every situation even though you built that app in your bedroom without event commenting code properly.


I’m a Comedian but I loved Corporate Life

This is not some article about follow the arts or how corporate life is so boring and stupid.

On the contrary, as I’ve said various times online, I’m a huge fan of going into the corporate machine and recognizing the pros and cons of that lifestyle.  


Rather, since I get a few messages every week from jaded engineers and people who are curious why I am (or appear) to be so happy and joyful about my software industry experiences, I thought I’d jot them down here.

So if I grabbed your attention with the headline let’s get right into some explanation and tips on why you’re a twenty or thirty-something with a decent salary, great professional and social prospects and still…miserable.

My Job is Not What I Thought I’d Be Doing

Most tech jobs will have a cool-sounding job description like:

“Ability to work on cutting edge enterprise technologies.  Innovation and Leadership required to interface with senior management professionals across a set of global clients.”  

This makes you think you’re gonna be hacking away some revolutionary big data code while on a private jet surrounded by the attractive person of your choice like Hugh Jackman in Swordfish.

Hey I liked that movie.

In reality, you’ll spend your first year getting to know Microsoft Office and googling around to figure out the little software stuff they trust some kid out of college to do.  

When I was 16 at birthday parties and the aunties would say “Oh look at Suman’s son Tarun, he is an engineer at Sony.”

I would imagine Tarun working with some NFL quarterback on motion capture for the next Madden game when he was probably writing the index pages on the PDF manual.  

In Spanish.  

This is completely fine, normal and expected. Since you’ve chosen the safety net of a stable job/company (as did I), nobody is going to hand you the keys to the kingdom on day one.  

It’s normal to hate your job, realize it’s not what you wanted, and even asking yourself at 25 “WHAT AM I DOING WITH MY LIFE?”

While you fight those weekly demons please remember one thing.

In order to put them at bay for good, get to know your area, master it, and then grow from there.  

Whatever clunky piece of software or testing or developing you have to do it…push through it with a smile on your face the way you had to eat your vegetables.

Others will come to take your place and it’s up to you grow beyond it rather than get complacent, miserable and simply resent it.  

You might be:

  • the guy raising tickets to users have access to a system,  
  • testing software and filing bugs,
  • or you might actually be out of your comfort zone coding away from the get-go.  

Either way, it is completely normal.

These days with sites like Udemy or other India equivalents that can teach you Big Data for the price of a beer you have nothing to complain about.

You can honestly up-skill yourself instead of that biryani for lunch, walk into a company or project at your office, showcase how much you know and slowly the right opportunities will present themselves. When I was working in IT we had to wait for some manager’s manager to give us permission to take some training and even then we may have just wasted a week.

Now, you control your destiny even within your own company. If your internal resume has all these skills you self-taught, I mean…if project is open, why wouldn’t you get it?


Everybody Else Seems to Have a Better Job

One of the major reasons I worked in consulting over any other profession earlier in my career was because I cared way more about traveling, hotels, airline points and talking about those things than the actual work I was doing.  

In fact, the second you leave school the rat race truly begins.  

We all have that one friend at Facebook who will start sharing photos from all the cool things he or she is experiencing, the other creative friend who might get a role in some TV show or movie, and so on.  

And we look at these things, on our phones, during our lunch breaks and continue to build a heavy case in our minds of how what we’re doing is so much worse.  

The good news is that eventually, this will stop.  The bad news is it’s not gonna happen any time soon.  

The only solution I’m afraid of is to look inwards again and ask yourself…

What the Hell do I Really Want? And Why?

I’ve had so many people in various companies, both while working in India and the US tell me things like “Sir I want to be a Business Analyst” or “Sir I want to go Onshore.”

These are generally kids in their early twenties who don’t really have an interest in what they’re doing, but they’re more interested in job titles, travel experience, and financial incentives which will eventually steer them towards the things they really want to do.  

Most young people don’t want to “do” anything. They just want to “do” whatever gets them to live overseas or earn money staying in hotels. And how can you blame them, who wouldn’t?

I’ve been in the same boat, and how to get that onshore role is a whole other article, but only once you’re honest with yourself about what you want will you start making moves (e.g. Turning down projects/jobs which might not get you there) that will help in getting those things.  

And secondly, when I ask these kids “Why do you want to go Onshore?” or “Do you know what a business analysts does?” the answers are typically some fluffy thing about “building solutions and requirements” but not: “chasing down stakeholders to get them to give details about how the new tool should work, scheduling meetings, driving home decisions, etc..”

The majority of freshers I see at most companies come into the machine, get placed into a project and then get lost into the ether from there.  Some leave after a few years to find something else.  

Some get married.  Others stick it out.  

But NOBODY in a large company is going to come down and give you what you want if you don’t know yourself.  

And ESPECIALLY if you don’t make it known.

You Code but Don’t Develop

Lastly…most engineers lose track of something in their boring day of sifting through Eclipse or whatever IDE they use.

Do you just cut carrots or are you making a salad for the president?

Coding, Engineering, Math…all of that stuff is meant to build products that people buy and use.

  • Nobody would give a sh*t about big data if it didn’t let them find a YouTube video in half a second.
  • Nobody would care about SEO if it didn’t help them get their advice
  • Why would I care about compression unless I could download 2GB movie in 5 minutes?

If you’re in a tech job you hate, it’s probably because your working for a tech product you hate. But even a nice company like Facebook or Snapchat or whichever hot startup there is tomorrow is going to need someone to sift through lines of code and reset passwords.

In Deployment Conclusion

People who work in technology are special.  We tend to be of the mindset that we could do any job, but not anybody could do our job.

It’s kind of like “I got a computer science degree buddy.  Marketing, Sales, HR? That’s child’s play.”  

But not respecting the pros of those fields tend to hinder our own progress.

  • We don’t speak up or learn to communicate properly.
  • We don’t look internally to figure out what drives us aside from being good at the jobs/software/tools that depend on us.  
  • We think just because we can code in Python the world owes us something.
  • A good chunk of us are unhappy and always hunting for that “next thing.”  
  • And the majority of us (myself included) do absolutely nothing about it.

Ask yourself, if you spend even 5% of the time you spend complaining about your situation on actually trying to fix it (e.g. learning a new skill, speaking to your manager, working part-time elsewhere in a new field), would you really have anything to complain about?

This is an excerpt from Sanjay Manaktala’s book “My BETA DOES COMPUTER THINGS | Your Guide to Love Success and Rock and Roll in India’s IT Industry.” You can also listen to Sanjay on his leading podcast about creativity called the Birdy Num Num podcast, inspiring the creative minority.

why are you so average?

Who Enables your Mediocrity?

I was chatting with my brother the other day and telling him how one of the toughest parts of freelancing is that it’s so easy to do nothing.

I don’t mean the “sit at the wall in clinical depression” type of nothing, but the “watch eight episodes of your favorite new show while ordering food on your favorite app” nothing.

With a trivial gym break in the middle of course.

How to stop being Average?

So how do you stop being so mediocre and live up to your full potential?

  • You recognize that you can learn any skill in the world that used to take thousands of dollars…for the price of a burger.
  • Then you learn to siphon your time. Netflix and torrents might be free but they’re costing you a lot more than you think.

Most adults learn this only once they have kids and life forces them to value their time. If you learn this in your twenties you’ve pretty much won.

I’ll explain what I mean now for the rest of this post.

We’re all Average at Something

The real issue is that most of us assume a six-figure salary and a house are the end goal. But in reality, most guys and girls who attain this by 30-35 realize it wasn’t so difficult at all with stock options, corporate benefits, working from home, frequent flier points and who knows what else.

That’s when your internal appraisal machine really freaks out…because society gave you above average results for your very average performance.

How much did all that work you did at Deloitte really impact you OR that company David?

I’m an Artist and I’m Also Mediocre

Depending on where you live (I’m currently living in India although writing this in LA) a lot of professions allow you to make enough money to be good but complacent enough to skip the great.

And that’s a big problem.

I mean maybe not that big.
I mean maybe not that big.

Whether you’re in the corporate hustle, the creative space or a small business owner in some hybrid of the two, you are always going to be fighting self-inflicted mediocrity.  

  • When you’re making six figures but web surf 4 hours a day, you’re doing it.
  • When you’re earning your rent in a single night by being a musician/artist/comedian/video maker and then getting stoned for the next three days, you’re doing it.  
  • And when you’re simply wondering at 35 how did I get all these things and still find myself a bit uneasy or unhappy…you’ve done it.

The obvious reason is income (e.g. If you’re not starving you won’t stretch yourself) and the obvious answer that you’ve read a 1000 times is to find your passion and do what you love.  

But I’m letting you know that I do what I love and sometimes…I’m still a lazy piece of shit.

So my real question is what (or who) enables your mediocrity?

You probably dabble with thoughts of:

  • hating your life,
  • or your boss,
  • or not knowing what to do with yourself.

But in reality, you may just be on a long drive with the gas pedal only pressed halfway down.

Or in simpler words:

Why do you continue to do just enough when you know deep in your heart of hearts that you are capable of doing so much more?

Again...who or what enables your mediocrity?

Ok, I’ll go first.  

And I don’t mean this in a mean way at all because I cherish her with all my heart…but for me it’s my mom.  

My mother saw me working in high school/college and then the 80 hour weeks to pay off my student loans, and then sort of just observed as I matured through my professional milestones and always acted busier than I was. (Side Note: Make it a point to entertain your parents for 5 minutes a day on the phone, Facebook isn’t gonna go anywhere and you can always check it while they’re on speaker).  

In her eyes, I need to relax a bit more, not get so stressed out and if I miss my 8 AM alarm…I deserved the sleep and my body needs time to recover (From you know, all that drinking and slogging I was doing at the open-mic).  

She’s the same type of lady who would call me “healthy” instead of fat when I really need my friends to kick my ass into high-gear.  

motivational images sanjay manaktala

I’m the quintessential Indian mama’s boy, and I can smile about it now because I’m fully aware of it and take steps to mitigate it.   Am I going to stop talking to my mom? Of course not. But recognizing her well-intentioned attitude towards me and the fact that I’m growing up in a different time albeit with many similarities, allows me to stay focused and stay hungry without compromising our relationship and without letting me get fully dependent on her to do things I can easily do for myself.

 She doesn’t want me to be mediocre, but doesn’t fully understand this is the age to hustle and “I gotta do me, baby”.

So who or what enables you to be mediocre?

Is it the job that allows you to coast while keeping your lifestyle as comfy as you want it?

Because the charm fading away from this will one day hit you like a ton of bricks.  All the miles, hotel points, and cash/perks/houses aren’t going to motivate you any better when you’re still staring at your screen with no purpose or motivation.

Up in the Hair

Or is it your friends who are obsessed with girls and travel and could care less about what you do as long as the tinder matches still come in? I’m talking to you twenty-year-old dudes who grew up with Ted and Barney (or 30-year-old dudes with Chandler and Joey).


Or is it something as simple as alcohol and drugs?

Meme-ception FTW

Maybe it’s a partner you spend more time arguing with instead of having as an actual “partner” who helps you complement each other to be better people.

If your first reaction when your girl calls you is "Fu*K", it's not love.

And most importantly, it’s obviously a huge chunk of you.

That would be so trippy.

Just to be clear, there is nothing wrong with the house on the hill, the two kids, the cars and the whole deal.  

But have you noticed how most of the typical case studies on success….Zuckerberg, Musk, Gates, Bezos… all did amazing things well beyond the years they had no financial incentive to?

Or in simpler words, they were rich as hell before really impacting upon their life’s work (and more importantly, some had families before the real grind began).  

They could have bought the private island or huge apartment in New York, partied with celebrities and danced/laughed/screwed their way into obscurity.

But they didn’t do that.  

In fact, Elon Musk once said the idea of sitting on some beach “sounds horrible.”  And eventually, after 1000 Instagram selfies and packaged holiday after packaged holiday, you’ll start to agree.  

There is nothing wrong with being average, but there is something wrong in treating yourself averagely.

Sanjay-San from Kyoto

I don’t have the answers on how to stop being mediocre or on how to accomplish greatness.  But I do know that 99% of us, (a stat I just pulled out of my ass) know that we can so easily do much, much more.  

When you finish college the real challenge begins, but everybody acts like the hard part is over.

In school, you had that friend who you always wanted to do better than but rarely did.  

You had the coach who pushed you to run another mile when you thought “OMG I’ve never run more than 3 miles ever.”  

Somewhere along the way…you stopped doing all of that.


Additional productivity tips from the Birdy Num Num podcast.

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.

Bangalore comedy audience

Why Most Comedians Quit

Stand up comedy is a very interesting art form in that to the casual observer it appears anybody can do it.  

You’re a human with a microphone, talk for 30 minutes and you move on after selfies and adulation.

However, as we’ve all learned in life… if it’s too good to be true then it probably is.

And stand up is no exception.

Comedians in Bangalore Hummingtree
Share the stage but share a lot more.

There is nothing funny about the funny business and comic after comic will tell you it’s a grueling journey that only the strong survive. Like a soldier going to war, the ties that bind are the ones that help you make it or break it.  

How do I survive doing stand up comedy?

How do you survive your first five years in stand up comedy? The simple fact is that you need to make friends in this business to have the patience to stick it out.

I’m not talking about kissing ass or only hanging out with people who can give you social media clout or book you on shows. I’m talking about:

  • buddies you waste 4 hours with doing a show for 2 people who don’t pay attention
  • fellow comics who will tell you if a joke has scope or legs to stand on
  • people who want to grow and put in the work on video editing, social media, film making
  • people who don’t just want to bitch and drink and moan about who slept with or who got what spot, (although those gossip conversations do help you alleviate some stress when things don’t click which normally they don’t)

Comedy is Networking Whether you Like it or Not

Most comedians are either introverts who think if they just write jokes the rest will fall into place OR extroverts who think if they just hang out and make friends, the gigs will fall into place.

Very few comedians are both, and that’s where the sweet spot is.

A guitarist can be an introvert and then just toss up a YouTube video and show the world how awesome he is…but YOU need to the same thing with your jokes AND get out in front of the public or producer and get your stuff recorded.

That takes social skills, my friend.

Just like you can’t climb the corporate ladder without attending a few office functions or simply being a friendly face amongst your peers, you can’t grow as a comedian if you don’t learn how to scale.

I myself am so used to booking rooms, running marketing, helping others, managing my career and doing other things but you need to learn to let people do things for you. They will mess up, you will know you could have done it better yourself but you need to build a web of people because I got something to tell you:

Most comedians who book rooms or shows aren’t actively wondering about who will kill the most. They just think about the last 10 comics they interacted with who have a solid 20 minutes (should be most of you after 5 years) and then dig deeper if required.

Also, friends, networking and an innate sense of human nature around relationships (both professional and social) are what keeps most of us in it for the long haul.  We grow together, we cry together, and ironically, we laugh together.

The irony of our profession is that while you’re one man or woman on stage, you probably need a team off of it.


How do I make Friends in Comedy?

Comedians tend to grow up in classes similar to your batch mates in college or high school that you make your way through life’s milestones with.  

The group of comics who you started performing with from dingy little coffee shops to those better shows at bars and ultimately paid shows are the ones you’ll become close with.  

Your pain and constant effort to improve becomes the shared experiences your working group of comics will never forget.  

  • You slowly start to depend on each other as writing buddies,
  • you hang out and bond over those long hours before a set,
  • and when it’s all said and done you dissect the game plan on what worked and what didn’t over a few cold ones.
  • Post-show bonding is one of my favorite aspects of comedy because your mind is already firing on all cylinders anyway.

Most importantly if you spend enough time with someone you start to trust them.  

You trust if they hear about a good show they will refer you and vice versa.

You trust if they perform before you or you before them, you will do a good job warming up the crowd and be grateful for the opportunity they’re extending your way hopefully to return the favor in the future.  

Quid pro quo which exists amongst our friends in their more traditional professional service jobs is also an unwritten rule in comedy.  

Just like your old college flatmate may help you get that dream job at Google or Facebook, the comic generally never forget their pals while moving up the ranks.

Nobody Is Out to Get You

I hate to break it to you but you’re not that important.

Not even to hold a grudge against.

Comedians love to call out the world but never call out themselves.

One of the misconceptions that occasionally occurs in the stand-up comedy world and also contributes to people giving it a try and then quitting is that they aren’t part of the “cool” crowd.  

They come from nowhere to an open mic, wait a few hours, tell a few jokes that don’t go so well, and then disappear never to be seen on stage again.

These people then think nobody laughed at them because they weren’t pals with the host or some other childish but understandable reason, get discouraged and move on.  

Fortunately (or maybe unfortunately?) this is far from reality.  

As a host of several events myself, this is the last thing on the host or organizer’s mind.  

He or she is simply providing a platform for his or herself and others and is trying to move a quality show onwards while giving everybody a fair shake. We’re all vulnerable and far from apathetic, and the kid who that person may have seen us being chummy with could have been the same person that got booed off the stage a year earlier.  

It’s just that these people continue to show up, put in an effort, and like a coworker that grows on you over the months and years, this new performer starts to become a part of the struggling family.

They’re so many comics I’ve seen grow up who used to annoy me all the time, but I can’t help but want to help them when they keep showing up to put in the work.  

The best advice I’ve heard given to any performer is simply “show Up.”

Bangalore comedy audience
These guys don’t care how well connected you are. They just care about a good time that evening and if the opener was late and you’re manning the camera, a good host will ask you to do 5-10 mins.

You never know who will cancel, or be late with traffic, or need help with something and how that inconvenience could be a blessing in disguise for you.  

We’ve all been beginners and remembering that on a daily basis from the fresh faces that show up, the last thing we intentionally do (at least most of us) is hinder an aspiring beginner from even getting started.

It’s just too much work to be a dick to someone on purpose. So stop being insecure and just keep your head down and do your shit.

You Will Still Meet Jerks

While the majority of comedians operate in the manner above, you do also meet people in this industry who may be polar opposites.  

They see other performers and those in the business of comedy as mere stepping stones.  

These people pay lip service to get a show or two in the beginning but in the end, it may simply about them and what they do, and they would be damned about making lasting friendships in their chosen creative profession.

Some want to be famous actors, some want to do YouTube, others just want to get laid.

Whatever it is, it doesn’t affect you and your journey, so again, suck it up.

This is probably true of life in general.  

While I’d love to say karma has a way of course-correcting these selfish folk it’s not a guarantee and I’ve learned shouldn’t really be something on your bucket list.  

Finally, as you get older in your comedy journey the phrase it’s not who you know but what you know becomes a little less relevant.  

Luckily for the comic, no matter who you know, ultimately the judge of your worth will come from the audience who in the beginning cares entirely about the opposite.  They judge you on what you say while on the stage and how they feel about it.  But the chance to make it on the stage first is where relationships in comedy gain such significance why it was worth talking about here.

So many comics wonder about what other comedians think of them while forgetting what the audience might think of them.


Comedy isn’t easy but like going to war or being in medical school, knowing your not alone is what makes it a lot easier. You still need to nail your final exam and score highly all by yourself, but the rest of the time you need to find a way to study with others.

After years of doing this profession, building up a scene and having my own ups and downs I would suggest the best way for you to survive in this business, and this is for completely selfish reasons…is to just work hard and be nice to everyone you meet.

I know it’s a bit ironic, but you’re begging strangers to hear you talk, so any ego you had should have been dropped the second you thought about doing this.

Questions or comments? Agree or Disagree? Hit me up on my Instagram or comment below.

ALSO SEE: How to Do Stand Up Comedy in Any Country

Reasons Why You're Single

Why You’re Still Single (Indian-Asian Version)

A ton of dudes in India, Asia and yes America struggle with interacting with half the population.

Sounds crazy, doesn’t it?

I used to always wonder why was I still single, is there something wrong with me, how come some people are so natural while others seem to have no luck?

So why are you still single? You’re still single because you:

  1. Overthink
  2. Don’t utilize your downtime to improve yourself, the way you would if nobody is giving you a job. (let’s avoid the easy joke here)
  3. *drumroll* You never actually asked anybody out directly, you just beat around the bush on social media.

In this post I’m going to explain all of these in details.

I’m also going to give you some tips so you can eventually learn how to get a girlfriend.

Hint: You don’t learn how to get a girlfriend. You learn how to be a well-rounded person that is attractive to every other person on planet earth.

21 and still single? It’s normal.

Valentine’s day just passed and I saw a lot of stuff about getting friend-zoned, being alone, “love is a sucks” and whatever else 18-30-year-olds say when they have their hormones raging and nowhere to channel that energy.  

Having been there myself (albeit quite some time ago), I distinctly remember the helplessness most dudes feel when you realize you can’t even be around women, let alone talk to them.

So that being said and since I enjoy a dose of Senti in between my increasingly random comedy videos, I thought I’d pen some thoughts on why you, the average nice guy Indian male (or non-Indian male, I grew up in California) might be struggling with the ladies.

25 and still Single? Yep, still normal.

Time to learn about ISO, Shutter Speed, and Aperture. IG:shivayya16

Why You Don’t Have a Girlfriend

Society, Instagram and the movies have taught you some really bad things you need to unlearn. I’m well into my thirties and despite what every romantic comedy (Hollywood and Bollywood) tells you…I’ve never met someone at a bar and gone home with them that night. And with regards to what your friends might say… I feel it’s pretty much the same thing although they’ll never admit it.

Society confuses 20-year-olds so much they pay all their money to get bumped, shoved, pushed, sweat and spit on just to think they’ll meet their soulmate at 2am.

1. You Spend Way too Much Time at Bars

It’s no secret that we can drink at home for a lot cheaper.  

But the promise of being Joey or Barney and having eye candy to stare at doesn’t exist beyond the TV screen.  So naturally Friday comes around and you decide it’s time to go be around some girls.  Except in most cases, the average bar in Bangalore/Mumbai/Delhi has about 75% dudes (if not more) and even if it does have a 50% split, chances are you and your 4 guy friends aren’t getting in without spending too much to convince the bouncer that you’re a valuable addition to the party.

So rather than dedicate all your energy to spending 1K a night (at minimum) on drinks ($20 USD), why not look at things more simply.  

Elon Musk said “if you want to try something new, you have to get things down to their most fundamental truths and reason up from there.”  

In this case, that truth is you’re spending money to be around women.  

Can anyone deny that?  

Yes there is alcohol and music but let’s be honest, that’s all just secondary right?  So instead of wasting so much time at the bars, go to other places the women might be.  

Where can you meet women outside Bars and Pubs?

Not being creepy when you try to approach a woman is a whole other post, but assuming you know how to do it, most guys who don’t want to be single and succeed at finding someone probably do at places like:

  • House parties
  • School/College
  • Networking events
  • Art classes (photography, painting, salsa, French, whatever),
  • Weddings
  • Flea markets
  • Friend or colleagues birthday dinner or lunch
  • Park on Sunday with your dog
  • Online Forums (maybe you both are Quora experts at something?)
  • Cafe
  • Bookstore
  • Gym

Which brings me to my second point:

Is it Really Awesome bro? IG:shivayya16

2. You Don’t Spend Time at the Gym

I don’t mean get a six-pack and I don’t mean be the creepy guy who is staring at the yoga girl doing downward dog…but I mean spend time at a gym on a Friday or Saturday evening.  

Trust me, this video isn’t what you think. Hi Conan!

You’ll be around people who actually enjoy dinner, conversations, movies, and have a strong enough mind to not always follow the herd of the weekend = party.  

And while you should definitely not be that guy at the gym who seems to be only friendly with the ladies (bro who are you fooling we can all see right through you), you will make new friends and have other social activities to go to once in a while.  

My favorite reason for going to the gym, however, is that even if you lose, you win.  

You’re still getting in shape which is only going to further help your confidence and answer that question of “How do I find someone to date?”

30 and still single? Still normal, but spend that dollar on tinder plus please.

3. You Refuse to Use the Apps

Future Black Mirror Episode IG:shivayya16

I have so many friends (girls especially) who act like they’re either too cool, too scared or just too lazy to use the apps.  

What’s wrong with you?

Unless you’re not actively looking for a partner or a hookup why wouldn’t you put yourself out there?  

There’s no need to be desperate to post  “I want a Girlfriend ” or “somebody please tell me how to make girlfriend” on your social media, but if nobody even knows you want to audition for the movie how will you ever get casted?  

And once you decide you want to use Tinder or or Bumble or whatever you’ll have a whole other set of challenges on how to design your profile, behave, and so on.  

Being a stand up comic I see so many guys who spend a year before they try an open mic, and then once they’ve gotten over the stage freight realize the real hustle is now beginning.

They ask me “Hey bro I finally did my first open mic after a year, it was so fun. Can you get me more stage time? To which I reply “I could have a year ago, but now you gotta get in line and make it happen for yourself.”

So get to it bruv!

40 and still single? Again, Still normal, but look inwards not outwards.

4. Have a Side Hustle or Extra Source of Income

I’m glad you have that amazing job at KPMG and you make however much money.  

That’s great you went to that conference in New York or Singapore.  

Oh wow you handle foreign exchange and assist large-cap companies and zzzzzz……….

It amazes me how many people in India (and the world) who belong to the middle-class kind of just think their life is defined by their 9 to 5.  I’ve also never seen a girl impressed by a guy talking about his job at McKinsey beyond just knowing it’s McKinsey.  While you should be proud of your job and salary and future, in the pub or the party where everybody is spending the same on overpriced food and drinks…you’re probably not that much different from the next guy.

Now that we’re living in a time where freelancers exist everywhere, there’s an app for everything and yada yada, I’m surprised that more people limit their professional aspirations to just their job.

It’s so easy to do multiple things, and single people need to realize that:

the best wingman is your accomplishments.  

If you have a standard IT or Finance or Consulting or your dad’s business type of job, at the very least, try to do things which make you interesting because your girlfriend isn’t going to be spending time with you at the office.  

Finding Hobbies Outside of Work

  • Do you like traveling the Himalayas?
  • Taking photos and using Lightroom to do amazing portraits?
  • Maybe you want to know how to play the guitar?
  • Learn to speak French in Bangalore?
  • Do stand up comedy in Delhi?
  • Enjoy film making
  • Have a nerdy obsession with planes
  • Perhaps you want to start your own outsourcing firm for banking software and you’re looking for weekend offices?
  • Make your own gym?  
  • Maybe you enjoy being a frequent flyer snob and love getting free deals to travel the world.  
  • Or maybe you’re the graphic designer I asked to illustrate this blog and put this sentence here to see if he’s reading it?

If you don’t have a side hustle at the moment that’s fine, because most of us don’t even know until 25-35.  But the point is to start looking.

 More than just finding a girlfriend for you, it’s going to help you have a much more balanced and rounded lifestyle.  

Think of the things you’re attracted to in the opposite (or same) sex…that girl who at the office who also does Zumba or that dude at school who treks in Nepal…or even that guy who just sings Karaoke well.  

Whatever it is, for the love of God find some hobbies and income streams on the side to fill your day with.  

You have way more time than you think.

Side Note: I have done 3 TedX talks. IG:shivayya16

5. You never actually asked anyone out.

It amazes me how simple this is.  As I wrote about here, it has its own challenges.  

But regardless, life requires you speak up when you want something.  And in India people are so scared of the basic “Hi Hello can I take you out for coffee sometime” that many misguided souls go right ahead straight to the bobs and vagene.  

Because if you’re going to get rejected, you may as well swing for the six (not the other word.)  

Anybody who complains about being single yet has never at least, 2-3 times a year tried politely asking a girl on a date really has nothing to complain about.  

And if you’re the good looking guy who always gets girls messaging him, go to hell.

6. You Go Out with 5 Guys Instead of 4 Guys 1 Girl

The best wingman is accomplishments.  

The second best is a female friend.

In the 90s the rom-com’s like When Harry met Sally said “men and women can’t be friends” but to be honest, you need to learn to make platonic female friends.  

They’re your best asset.

Girls are out at bars and events to also meet people, but if it’s just ten of you dudes please just skip going out.  

If you’re struggling, go out with your buddy and his girlfriend, or keep your group to 2-3 non-threatening looking guys.  

When you step out with 5 guys (unless it’s an Infosys work dinner), you tell the ladies “Hey, not only do I not know any chicks, all the people I hang out with don’t either.”

7. You don’t have nice shoes or accessories

Every guy goes out with the same outfit.

The full sleeve button-up shirt or polo and jeans.  

I’m no fashion expert but I do know they’re small things you can do to make big differences.  

Simple fashion tips to stand out (from someone allergic to style):

  • Wear a watch (I know, who needs one but still)
  • Clean your shoes, (and honestly in India, you can get a nice pair of shoes for the price of a drink and keep cycling through them)
  • Have cufflinks if a semi-formal event or just something that says “Hey I’m trying.”  
  • Don’t wear chappals (slippers) when you’re out. Yes, they’re comfy. No, you’re not looking cool. And yes we know you don’t care.
  • Wear a belt. Belts are like socks. You may not see them directly but if you catch a glimpse the effort is at least mentally noticed.
  • It’s also amazing how many women notice a guy’s shoes.  

8. You stare and Don’t Smile.

Whenever I’m with my friends who are on the prowl, one thing that bothers me the most is how they scan the room.  

Bro, can you stop making it so obvious?  

A lot of people don’t realize this but everybody literally processes everybody’s face at a bar.  

Ask yourself this question…If Brad Pitt walked into the bar I frequent would I notice? Yup, probably.  Which means you’ve also quickly processed everybody else’s face as well and done a few double takes while you were at it and your mind went “Nope, not Brad Pitt.”

That being said, that cute girl you like in the corner or you think you know from work or school but never talked to…well, she probably noticed you too.

Now you can either try to eye hump her the entire night and then walk over with whiskey breath after the moment has passed, or you can actually smile (fake it even) with your friends and act like Sandeep explaining his 10th trip to Michigan was really that exciting.  

The point being, if you project like you’re having fun (even if you’re not), your chances of meeting someone at a pub, bar or coffee shop at least increase a little.

Dating in India is Broken.


I’m no expert on love but the older I get I do realize the most complicated problems have the most common-sense solutions.  

And to be honest, the fact that billion-dollar industries exist (pick up artists, nightclubs, alcohol, dating sites, self-help) in order to help you meet literally 50% of the population, or literally every other person on earth…tells me the problem shouldn’t really be that complex.

As Steve Jobs said (I think)…”Simplicity is the most complex.”

Savage yet true.

Learning to talk to a girlfriend or even find one is a challenge in itself, but once you do get one the real challenge of how to make him or her happy begins.

So get to it 🙂

comedy is hard career struggles


I don’t know what I’m doing
It’s time I feel I’m losing
Wake up and read the news
Facebook Gmail then evening booze
Life can feel very routine, despite the abundance of distraction
Does the law of attraction apply if your momentum gets no traction?
My dog…he seems so happy…despite this life that seems so crappy
Sitting all day that in that empty house, satisfied with life’s simple pleasures
The only happiness I understand is the types of things that I can measure
I read about depression and they said you’ll have a hard time waking up
I get up just fine but by afternoon I’m like “What the Fu*k?”
I’m not sad, I’m not mad, I’m just confused on my attitude considering the abundance that I’ve had
Sitting on a beach is fun but just reminds me of the things I haven’t reached
This is such a random feeling, so how can they even teach?
“Hey mom…I’m healthy, I’m fine, I got money in the bank…but I just feel something is off in my heart and think tank?”
“Beta, I understand, so let me say this to you lightly.”
“Shut the fuck up and be greatful, do Yoga if you have to.”
“You have a paradox of choice, but at least you have a voice.  The hard part now is just filtering the noise.”
….Hmmm…Thanks, I needed that.
praveen kumar comedian

Comedian Takes Photo with Mic In Hand

34-year-old Infosys employee Comedian Praveen Rao recently changed his Facebook profile photo to a shot of him holding a microphone, NDTV reported late Thursday evening.

The incident sent shockwaves to Praveen’s 754 Facebook friends who were completely unaware the Masters in Engineering student from a leading US university had turned his hobby into a profession.

Praveen performs at an open mic with a broken mic.

“This totally changes everything.  When I saw the pic of Praveen holding the Shure SM58 microphone in a dimly lit coffee shop I thought wow, he’s finally turned pro.  There must have been at least 12, maybe 15 people in that audience.  NOT COMICS,” remarked Nivi Arora, who was in the cafe to catch up with friends and had no idea there was a comedy show.

The Pulitzer prize winning photo was captured by amateur photographer and college student Shunky Sharif, himself an aspiring comedy enthusiast.

“I was just really excited I got the focus and dedication in his face as he delivered that line about cheap Gujarati uncles.  Fu*king edgy stuff” Shunky remarked while packing his camera into the seat of his Activa.  “I was hoping Praveen would return the favor and take a photo of me, but I guess I’ll just leave my DP as the shot of me holding my DSLR looking into a mirror.”

“I really like that one,” he added.

The photo was uploaded at 10:42AM IST and immediately accumulated 74 likes and 13 comments, the success of which was attributed to the insanely insightful caption “FOLLOWING YOUR DREAM TAKES GUTS!”  

A slew of supporters left encouraging remarks such as “Way 2 Go” and “All d best macha.”  

Praveen’s uncle Suman Hinduja also contributed to the career-defining milestone with a game-changing “Superb Snap.”

Praveen's older profile pics did not hold microphones.
Praveen’s older profile pics did not hold microphones.

“Thanks Uncle…Looks like SRK and Russell Peter (singular) has competition!” replied Praveen, immediately liking his uncle’s comment as well as his own.

“Hey check it out, it’s Louis OK!” added jaded comedian Sanjay Manaktala, who then received more likes on his comment than Praveen’s entire post.

At 11AM the photo started trending on major social media sites, albeit with a tad bit of controversy when fans of the twice-on-stage comic pointed out proper photo credit attribution was not given to Shunky for pressing the shutter button.

“Ahem, *cough cough*, nice pic” remarked one supporter, Kritarth Banerjee.

Sources confirmed the caption was later updated to include “PC: Shunky” and believe Praveen will be using this photo for years to come in all future comedy business, once a high-resolution version has been mailed to him for which he will pester the photographer until received.

At press time it was believed Praveen was opening up a Facebook fan page while torrenting a series of comedy specials from Bill Burr and George Carlin.