Life hacks from Agony Akka Opinion

English Win-glish

Illustration: Satheesh Vellinezhi  

Dear Agony Akka,

I have specialised in my chosen field of psychophysics and I have many advanced degrees in the subject. I am now teaching in one university in north India. I spent many years of my life becoming expert in above mentioned field and have also branched out into its sub-sections like Psycho-acoustics, Neuronal Response and Neurotoxicology etc. I am by nature a modest man, but I wish to inform that I have two Ph.Ds. So, it is a mystery to me that when lockdown has come and so many hundreds of Zoom conferences are being held every single day, I am not being invited to even one as expert speaker. Even TV panels are not calling me. My wife is asking what is the use of so many degrees. And I am myself getting little inferiority complex. Please help.

— Scientific, Superior Human

Dear SSH,

This is important question you have raised and similar questions are being asked by many doctors, scientists, engineers and diplomats. Why they are not being invited to speak on the hundreds of fora that have bloomed like cacti in desert sands during the lockdown? From one organisation alone daily I am getting 2-3 notifications for online sessions on topics ranging from vegan food to Ray’s cinema to flea-powder varieties to foot-and-mouth disease in cattle.

Now I am giving one-time all-encompassing answer that can be used by all who have written to me feeling deeply about being neglected.

First of all, whether or not you are expert must come last. First, get into Clubhouse and Spaces type platform where everybody is always singing and talking. Also acquire large number of followers on Twitter and Facebook. You must also try to get blue tick on Twitter, which is a delightfully capricious exercise that is not based on whether you are a bot or not, but mostly on some sort of ancient tribal barter formula. One expert is trying to crack the code and I will tell you answer also.

Secondly, you must learn good English. If you know how to build rocket to moon but can only speak Maithili, then nobody is caring. But if it is the opposite, i.e., you are speaking fluent English but you don’t know the difference between propellent and pest repellent, then you can be invited for many conferences ranging from string theory to string instruments, sometimes on same day. You only need to change background image.

Thirdly, try to get transfer to New Delhi. It will make you automatic expert in most subjects, and you will be invited to talk about political crisis in Karnatak or ancient water-harvesting system in Keral. Remember to wear slightly faded kurta and hold masala vadai in hand while talking.

Fourthly, you can take baby steps in public speaking by first sending reworked CV to TV channels. In new CV, you must not mention your degrees. You must measure and share your voice decibel levels, number of tweets per day, and your opinion about Kangana Riot. Once you pass this acid test, you will soon be invited on panels discussing election results, feminism, Indo-Pak relations and more.

Fifth and slightly important point. What is this funny subject you are studying? Anybody knows? Anybody cares? Focus on cinema, cricket, religion. Mug up the number of runs Tendulkar has scored in this life and past life. Or write one book about how to suck up to CEOs and how to organise successful cocktail party. It will make you instant choice for every talk show.

If you and wife can do all this together, both can be invited.

— AA

agony.akka@gmail.com


Our code of editorial values

Related Topics
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Sep 23, 2021 12:20:33 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/english-win-glish/article34966635.ece

Next Story