Popular Posts

Tuesday, November 7

How to be even more interesting





Guys, this post is an example of plagiarism in real time.Lol. Or maybe it's collaboration in real time across geographies:-) Must read this post of Russell Davies on 'How to Be Interesting'. In fact it's a must before you read this addendum to the post! And let me slot this post under the active planning series!

I restate the two assumptions that Russell makes.

1. The way to be interesting is to be interested
2. Interesting people are good at sharing.
and have added a third. 3. Talking doesn't cook rice(Doing is more interesting than thinking.)

And then 14 more things to do to be even more interesting...Many of them are experiential. I feel us planners(in India) need to loosen up a lot more.

1. Once a quarter watch a Bollywood movie in a theatre you don't generally frequent.
I watched Farhan's Don in a theatre in Patna( of course by default). And believe me the experience is a rich reward.

From the white kurta clad local crony with his two similar attired side-kicks, to the interiors that hadn't changed in two decades, to the system of allowing women and 'Family' inside the heavily grilled theatre before the show began, to the heavy gender skew of the audience. It was return to a decade back...Two India's and all that...

Don II will stay in my mind. So has Don I which I saw in Benaras some 25 years back...

2. In my post 'Do You Zoom' I had said to experiment with a new restaurant, cuisine every month...
Am a laggard myself when it comes to experimenting food. But I did visit Thai Ban in Bandra on Sunday and tried some new stuff...And the taste lingers...

3. Talk to strangers in the park, in the parking lot, while on the metro, with the taxi driver, with the barber, parlour wali!
I once chatted up with a guy in the line to an STD booth in Delhi. That guy turned out to be a 'hot air ballooning'and 'para-sailing' expert. And me and my wife had our first and only para-sailing experience!

4. E-mail to strangers in different categories. But beware. For every 10 e-mails that you send, you might get just one response! But it pays to be persistent.
Now I can bounce off stuff from a quali researcher in New York and a senior copy-writer in Indore...I even got an article( well actually a comment) in Hindi published in Nai Duniya!!

5. Make friends with creative people if you don't already have a couple of them ....drink a lot of beer with them.

Believe me they need planners more than the planners need creative people. LOL.
Make sure they pay for the beer...

6. Goto the raddi wala, buy a lot of magazines( okay this point Russell has already made) and read them on at least one week-end of the month.

Practice pattern recognition...If you don't get it e-mail me...

7. Talk to kids, observe toddlers play. Chat with the young. On-line, off-line...
My three year old son Neo teaches me to be a wonderful negotiator:-)

Talk to your father, mother,aunt. They have interesting perspectives, fears, take on the whirlwind changes happening in our world! Theirs!

8. Take a cab and generally idle in a Bazaar/ not necessarily a mall. Smartly bill it to the office(under R&D)...

9. Check out the wine bar in Worli, Hard Rock Cafe and any new hang-out/ pub/ cafe in the city!
Immerse in the sight and sound of the new places. Blog them...

10. Read interviews, biographies, watch shows on interesting people. Meet interesting people. I had managed to meet/ converse/ watch 'Suraj Ka Saatwan Ghoda' with Shyam Benegal and his family at Bandhav Garh(in Madhya Pradesh) at a camp organised by my friend Ram(he runs a small boutique travel agency called Soulitudes.

We had long morning conversations on culture, politics, society, Bollywood...It was the best planning training I have had ever...

11. Hit the lonely planet. Learn about interesting places. The quaint corners of the world! For starters around the edges of Mumbai. Then pack your bags and hit the road...Roop you are bang on target...Maybe we all need to learn from you...

12. Chat a lot( about movies/ planning/ music/ books/ trends/ everyday life/ what you saw while driving to work).... Sometimes even at the expense of the deadline.
Be careful...

13. Learn a new word everyday. Use it ....You can keep a check on the vocab scores of our copy-writers eh!

14. Give back something to less privileged people/ to a cause....Interesting people help others....Till a few years back, I was a very selfish bastard. I am reforming a lil at a time LOL...I am engaged in a very small way with i-Volunteer and yesterday I became a Greenpeace member...

Hey, do I do everything on the list...No, think I get a 9/14 on my list and 6/10 on Russel's...

But yes maybe I am a lil bit more interesting than what I was last year...And that's what counts...

12 comments:

pooR_Planner said...

Manish to add to your list ... what I also do is chat online with perfect strangers from all across the world ... (infact I keep a dictionary/thesaurus/langauge interpreter open all time.) So Chat...chat...chat ...online at yahoo...msn...orkut...Gtalk...ICQ..woteva ... find new and interesting Pick-Up lines...so that you get a reply back in the first place...its truely challenging ... typing an interesting pick up line to engage a beautiful babe from Romania ('Imi Placi' is I like you) in Romanian or a handsome hunk from Italy in Italian to converse ... I bet you wont get a single reply out of the first 10 IM's that you send out in the first place ... but practice makes the art perfect ... oops ...;-)...you never know you can even get to meet them too... objective is to know more about everything around us from any and every source possible.

:-( I am just 4/10 in Russell's list and 7/14 in your list...got to catch up...(can't bill my office either, sigh)

Manish said...

hmmm that sounds very interesting and promising...need to learn Russian! which are the better chat rooms for novices like me...

How busy are you? Want to do a small project together...outside the boundaries of WPP and Omnicom
:-)lets talk on this if you wish...

pooR_Planner said...

Any Chatroom... try Google Talk or Yahoo to start with ...

Am game, if its challenging :-) ... always ...

Manish said...

define challenging ...and define a project that you wud like to do!
ping...

pooR_Planner said...

Okay ... a project which will be mentally stimulating, enhances knowledge base and helps in earning pot full ;-) ...anything from conducting research, consultancy, setting up a new business (ofcourse with someone elses dough), insight hunting, campaign development, evaluation and the whole lot that we do in our day-to-day work. (NB: Any third party involvement should be paid for)

Manish said...

there is no money...and no big themes/dreams either ... i just want to do some simple snooping and observing JLT...maybe I will do it myself ...

pooR_Planner said...

Lol ... I am game .. pass it on ... I thought you giving some big project... I do work free of cost to satisfy my knowledge hunger.

pooR_Planner said...

I think I misunderstood the term project...sorry for that, hope you haven't taken my earning in pot load, literally.

Kajal said...

hey, a couple of other things that I find help: (read Russell's Post which got me thinking and then this.. so maybe some overlap!)

1. Watch films from all over the place. italian, japanese, french whatever.. v easy if u're in delhi or mumbai as cultural societies do screenings, but if not.. try youtube or video libraries

2. go to exhibitions, art galleries, museums, melas if you can. I went for a blind school mela last month and met this brilliant artist who showed me how he cuts intricate designs in paper to look like lace

3. Try to learn a new skill every year. Whether that's photography or cooking or something you're really interested in. Even if it's a short term course, you come way knowing just a little bit more AND you meet some interesting ppl

4. ASK questions. really. I think I ask my boss about 7 somewhat stupid questions (he gives me this *look* some disdain but always tells me or allows me to debate a pov). But I also ask creatives and account management things about their jobs. I ask the washroom attendant what she does all day when there's no one at the restaurant. basically. don't be afraid to ask... (this comes ofc from talking, but also be willing to admit that maybe you DON'T know sthg and open to learning a little bit more everyday)

Manish said...

kajal...i just got 1/4 on your list...:-) it's a shame since its quite possible to do more of the stuff in bby and delhi! cheers

meraj said...

love the one on ladies and kids being put inside the grill much before the movie timings...

Manish said...

hey meraj...welcome back... i knew it wud make sense to you. others wud not be able to appreciate it that much :-)