Procrastinating like a pro

-noobs here’s your chance at greatness

To say the least, procrastination is an art. It’s like painting or dancing or parkour: there’s a thin line between mastery and absolute douchebaggery. Most of what I know is what I learnt procrastinating before exams. So to every pundit who resorts to Wikihow to generously share the 10 Things to do Before Exams in  misleadingly technical terms and cooked-up psychological inputs, I say – “Non, je ne regrette rien” (I regret nothing!) For most of us exams are periods of unspoken terror and anxiety. If you have an IQ the size of a telephone number and actually enjoy exams you might as well stop reading right now and go sit on your high horse while the rest of us, motley of messed up souls, wish it walks off a bridge into a bottomless abyss.

Now, there are no two people who procrastinate the same way. Each method is as detailed, as intricate, as befuddling on a psychological level as its creator. It could differ by a touch of anxiety, a sprinkle of depression, a dash of broken dreams, a tablespoon of over-confidence or a bucket of apathy. Whatever be the case, I hope this article does it justice.

~ The Sudden Soul-Searching ~

It’s all hunky-dory before the exams. The universe has put you right where you were meant to be – in your ignorant corner of the Western spiral arm of the Galaxy. But, come exam night and suddenly you are struck by the insatiable need to discover yourself. Amudsen might have asked you to hitchhike to the Antartic but I follow more conventional methods. These quizzes do just fine:

  1. The Pierley-Redford Personality Test – known to be the creepiest quiz ever!
  2. The Dante’s Inferno Test – which level of hell will you end up in? If you get purgatory, you Mr. are one self-righteous bastard.
  3. The Kinsey Scale Test – if you want to know where you lie on the spectrum of capitalist degeneration
  4. The Mach Test – named after the one and only Niccolo Machiavelli, his famous treatise on politics and governance ‘Prince’ will give you the drift of what this might be
  5. Which Utensil are you? – I got strainer. Now that is some deep shit.
  6. Which Game of Thrones character are you? – probably the one that gets betrayed and killed #AllOfThem
  7. Who were you in your past life? – You my friend have hit the zenith of crastination, better hit your books now.

~ The Helpless Humorist ~

When they told me I might be expelled, I said it was too bad for my education and wondered whether doodling was a viable profession. If you are addicted to self-deprecatory humour you probably fall into this category. Humour might be your defence mechanism but it is also a vortex into mind-numbing procrastination. You can walk out 14 hours later witty as a whip but you haven’t picked C in a while still isn’t a good enough reason.

  1. The Russel Peter Chronicles – This Indo-Canadian Stand-up artist tells all – from how God fucked Indians on the deal, to the curious case of the Indian version of the American Dream, the disaster that is inter-racial dating and the funny side of racism. Whatever race, caste or creed you are he has something to piss you off and then double back in laughter.
  2. Pretentious Movie Reviews – hosted by Bangalore based humorist Kanan Gill and IIT Madras guy Kalyan Rath this is an insane take on the weirdest movies Bollywood has ever sanctioned from ‘Aap ka Suroor’ to ‘Prem Aggan’ to ‘Main Prem ki Diwani hoon’. Ridiculous over-acting, bad lip-lynching, deadpan delivery, unnecessary CGI parrots and flying dads. This will keep you in splits till the very end. Also watch out for their take on ‘Indian Optimism’.
  3. All India Bakchod – Rohan, Ashish, Khamba, Tanmay these guys need no introduction. They might have been catapulted into fame by their Alia Bhatt- Genius of the Year video but they have way better stuff. Check out their Musical Comedies and Political satires and also their perennial struggle to land offers and explain their employment situation to their families having a cuss word in their title. #AskAIB
  4. 9GAG– Somewhere along the way, The Joker’s Advice starts making sense. It’s one measly exam. Surely an indifferent paper, set by an indifferent professor, in an indifferent milieu isn’t going to decide your life. You made it this far. Your fear is a projection of your lack of belief. Why so serious? You should kick back and relax for a while. Incidentally the treasure trove of the world’s greatest humour archive has the same tagline. What’s common to Bad Luck Brian, Confession Bear, Socially Awkward Penguin, Success Kid, Derp, Derpina and Disapproving Dad Dog? Yes, they were all on 9GAG before you were.

~ The Trance-inducent Adolescence ~

You must have heard High Hopes – Pink Floyd. Remember the first time you heard it and you thought it was an absolutely disgusting song? Yeah, we were all there. Then after a while it started to make sense, but it was on a different plane altogether. Well, you just dabbled in psychedelic rock without knowing. The notoriety of the 60s is over. We need the trance without the acid flashbacks, the soothing notes without the messed up timescales and bad trips so a well-known trend is to plug in those noise cancellation ear phones and cosy up with Jimi Hendrix. To those new to the trend here are a few to get you started:

  1. I am the Walrus – Beatles
  2. Voodoo Child – Jimi Hendrix
  3. The Mind Flowers – A Dionysian Symphony
  4. Dark Star – Grateful Dead
  5. White Rabbit – Jefferson Airplane

~ The Motivation Fallacy ~

Motivation is defined as an inner-drive that cannot be substituted by a marathon of quote-bearing, meaningless slides and Mahatma Gandhi and Muhammad Ali references. The mere irony of the pursuit! But my job is not to judge or at least try not to judge hence if you are into that kind of stuff, here is something that might actually help.

  1. The Secrets to Success – Will Smith
  2. FEAR – Les Brown, Eric Thomas
  3. The Pursuit of Happyness (2006) – Gabrielle Muccino
  4. Our Deepest Fear – Coach Carter
  5. David Beckham – A Footballer’s Story
  6. Rocky Balboa – Speech to Son
  7. Eric Thomas – How bad do you want it? and Pain is temporary?
  8. Larry Smith – Why you will fail to have a great career

~ The Rewardist Mentality ~

My best part of reward-driven time tables is the reward. What they don’t tell you is that- such time-tables might not be the best form of motivation for people with skewed up reward systems such as myself. I usually treat myself to an unhealthy dose of entertainment after 10 sums, or like 5, 1, maybe half. I am not proud of myself.

  1. Game of Thrones (GOT) – So Leah you kissed Luke once, Cersei thinks that’s cute.
  2. Breaking Bad– Have you met the most badass chemistry teacher ever?
  3. Prison Break – If you think it’s just a tattoo think again. Also, skinheads have all the fun.
  4. The Walking Dead – This is as great as post-apocalyptic horror dramas go.
  5. Orange is the New Black – Don’t drop the soap.
  6. Criminal Minds – Dr. Spencer Reid puts Will Hunting to shame.
  7. The Big Bang Theory – The only show where the engineer gets heckled. Thank you Sheldon Cooper.
  8. True Detective – This King in Yellow adaptation has taken the world by storm.
  9. House of Cards – Psychopathic, narcissistic and Machiavellian – the golden trio but somehow you love the show.



~ The Classicalistic Fatality ~

Admit it; you have never bothered for classical music. You don’t know who Ustad Amjad Ali Khan is, let alone Mendelssohn but suddenly before the exams every one is a connoisseur. Thanks to some random article on the net that is of the opinion that classical music soothes the Brain and increases concentration Chammak Challo and Munni Badnam gets pushed aside for Mozart and Beethoven with the occasional Tchaikovshy.

  1. Chopin for Hannibal Lecter – 8tracks (not for the faint-hearted)
  2. Top 100 Classical – 8tracks (for the mundane)
  3. Apocalyptica covers Metallica on Cello – Youtube (for the experimentative)
  4. Carnatic Classical Music – Raaga
  5. Hindustani Classical Music – Sadhana’s Blog
  6. The Classical Opera – Bluebeat Music

~ Bonus Tracks ~

  1. Chicago – Cell Block Tango Believe me after seeing 6 murderesses dance to the tune of their crimes your life will never be the same again. After all, the guy just couldn’t hold his arsenic.
  2. Vines – and A.R. Rahman’s latest twist on the ‘Uravsi Urvasi’ is a standing ovation to the world of Vines and Viners. I have watched every compilation from 2012 onwards. That is allegiance to the cause and ofcourse, Denial.

 Teesta Dasgupta 


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