Home Hyderabad Column The lost art

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It’s still the first month of the year, one that we start with hope and optimism, especially in terms of our love lives. Despite all the reports we keep hearing about men misbehaving, when it comes to approaching someone, women definitely have way more courage than men. Or at the very least, they know how to do it right. So guys (and girls),  listen up on what to do – and, what not to do to break the ice.

LOOKING

Do: Make Eye Contact
If you receive it, smile. If she responds, you have what I call ‘the window of opportunity’. Act fast. Smile a lot and act like you’re having fun, even if you’re with that
boring co-worker whom you don’t like hanging out with. You’re subconsciously attracted to those women because they’re chatting and laughing with friends. Now reverse that and ask yourself if you seem appealing?
DON’T: Stare
We do this anywhere, anytime we see desis. I call it “the look.” You know when you’re in a mall in
Las Vegas on a holiday and you see brown people? Your brain quickly registers…oh look, Indians? It’s okay to do that, but look for the smile and act fast. Otherwise move on before you look like a creepy, insecure weirdo. Also don’t do “the scan” where you’re constantly looking around the bar for hot girls. Women are also paying attention to you. So stop it. You’re not the terminator.

APPROACHING

DO: Greet
Say Hi. Hello. Namaste. Ask what her name is. Avoid pickup lines, she already smiled back. Many people think they have to be quick, witty, funny. The art of conversation and basic human interaction is slowly dying, so those who still remember what we learned in second grade will do well.
As I’m writing this in an airport lounge in Hong Kong, a lady just dropped her boarding pass. I ran to give it back, but she was at first startled, then relieved, then super sweet and we exchanged a few words. There was no point of flirting here, but it just reminded me how wound up we are with our own spaces.
DON’T: Be Freaky
Walk over with eight of your guy friends. Don’t take four shots before you walk up because you’re looking for courage in a bottle. If in office or somewhere else, don’t Facebook add and start messaging on office communicator before you’ve even shared 10 words together. The guy who installed her desktop already did that and now he’s on probation.

CONVERSATION

DO: Be Easy
Ask the obvious questions (what do you do, what’s your name), but only in the beginning. If she asks you questions in return, then that’s a positive sign. If she only replies with short answers, get the hint that she wants to leave. If you don’t know what to say, talk about the news, what’s a good drink here and so on.
DON’T: Keep talking about yourself
Don’t make jokes about yourself that show you’re doubtful. For example: “I hope I’m not bugging you, haha, want a shot?” Don’t slouch. Body posture is so underrated, but most guys are taller than women. And you, leching just looks even worse.

— Sanjay Manaktala

(Sanjay is a stand-up comedian who performs all over India. When not performing, he is an IT geek who makes funny videos )

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