Don't Read This

Don't read this post.

Please. It's not meant for you.

Why are you still reading?

Because you don't like being told what to do, do you?

You, independence-loving, autonomy-addicted, you.

Some call it Reverse Psychology. Some call it just the good old plain logic.

Many years ago, the King of Prussia, Fredrick the Great, also known as Fritz, heard about a new root called Potato. Enamoured by it's nutritional value, he decided that his subjects need to start including potato in their staple diet.

Grand announcements were planned. Drummers would walk across town, singing paeans of the benefits of eating this potato. Cooks would publicly demonstrate recipes with potatoes. I would go out on a limb and say, French Fries was not one of those recipes, because what happened next would just not justify it. 

The public rejected potatoes. That's right. Rejected.

Hard as it may sound, the people didn't want to be told what to do. So, they did not take to potatoes.

Old Fritz was surprised, but he knew his way around. He planted potatoes in the royal garden and put up tall walls to protect it. He got the best of his security guards to keep a check on the garden and not let any common people in. 

But he left a small hole in the wall. Just enough for people to peep in. And peep the did.

What is it that the Royalty is eating, that we cannot eat? Injustice. Unfairness.

A plan was hatched and finally, one commoner entered the garden, stole a plant and started selling the produce for a premium in the market. 

"The Royal food, which we are not allowed to eat? Of course, I am going to pay for it." 
And before they knew, potatoes were a part of the Prussian diet. Just because they were told not to do it.

Old Fritz laughed gleefully, as he dipped his golden French Fries in Ketchup and watched his court performers dance. It is said, people still commemorate his memories by leaving potatoes on his tombstone.

To a life long and after-life supply of French Fries!

Reverse Psychology is one of the oldest forms of persuasion that marketers and public policy enthusiasts have used. Though, I do feel like the younger social media start-ups need a crash course in this. So here's my two bit advice:

If you want people to tell you what's on their mind, Facebook, it would help to not ask them. May I suggest changing your status update prompt to:

"I don't care what you are thinking. I am reading an awesome book and I am too busy to care about your thoughts."

Lo and behold, don't be surprised if people will start sharing their biographies with you. 

Or actually, maybe you shouldn't do that, Facebook. 

(See what I did there?)


PS: Apparently, there's a Blogathon going on. So, why not?


  1. Your gyaan on reverse psychology!!! Awesome :)

  2. Loved this. Keep em coming.

    I'm gonna use that title for my next post.

    Happy New Year!

  3. hahahh! lovely little story and very interesting post! this happens all the time esp in childhood, as kids we used to try particularly what we were told not to do!


  5. He was in his 60s. She was four decades younger.

    One night, the priest went to a neighborhood party. He came back late, after 9:30 p.m., and knocked at her room.

    ″‘I need to meet you,’” he said when she cracked open the door, insisting he wanted to discuss her spiritual life. She could smell the alcohol.

    “You’re not stable. I’m not ready to meet you,” she told him.

    But the priest forced open the door. He tried to kiss her. He grabbed at her body, groping wherever he could.

    Weeping, she pushed him back enough to slam the door and lock it.

    She was too afraid to challenge him openly.

    “I couldn’t imagine taking that stand. It was too scary,” she said. “For me it was risking my own vocation.”

    So the fierce nun remained silent.

    In Malayalam, the language of Kerala, sisters who leave the convent are sometimes marked as “Madhilu Chadi” — Wall Jumpers. It’s a mocking term for the sexually frustrated and is often used for nuns and priests who have fled religious life.


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