There has been a mantra that people in positions of power have had their minions sing from the time the Egyptian Pharaohs built their pyramids to the era when the London haut ton* had to simply raise their little fingers to get people to dance to their every whim and fancy.  

The Pharaohs are now resting in their sarcophagi. The haut ton had to give way to the forces of democracy. But the mantra they got their minions to sing is still very much around.

It’s a mantra that has been skilfully adopted by the Corporate Ton* and is still sung by labour all over the world in different languages.

In India, the mantra is:

Dum Laga Ke, Zor Laga Ke….Haisha!

For the benefit of my non-Indian readers, let me explain what the mantra means. To learn the pronunciation, check out the audio recording at the end of this post.

Ever witnessed a band of labourers pulling on a rope to lift or drag something very heavy in India? If yes, you would have heard those labourers chant “dum lage ke, zor laga ke….haisha”. If you haven’t been fortunate enough to hear those labourers chant, you are surely missing out on something as the sound is really musical and pleasing to the ears.

I guess the workers sing the mantra to ease the agony and strain of their hard labour.

What does the chant mean?

It means ‘give it all your energy’ or ‘give it whatever you’ve got’. The word dummeans strength; laga ke means apply; zor is a Hindi word for force; and Haisha is probably just a lyrical word to round up the phrase. Or, maybe it is just a phonetic representation of the grunt that inevitably issues from humans engaged in punching above their weight.

Sound familiar? It should because Dum laga ke, zor laga ke…haisha was chanted in the days of slave labour and is still chanted all over the world in different languages, day in and day out. It’s a song loved by the ton in government or business – all in the name of economic and personal growth.

Want to succeed?

Come then and sing aloud the corporate mantra with me….

Dum laga ke – give it all your energy….give it whatever you’ve got….

Zor laga ke….apply all your strength….

Haisha…..let’s hear the music of the grunt, which tells me that you are engaged in punching above your weight.

Keep singing. Your bosses will love you for it. I know. Because dum laga ke, zor laga ke was certainly the corporate mantra I followed pretty much right through my career. It pays off, you know. You rise through the ranks till one day you are the one teaching greenhorns the age old chant.

Starting out on your career? Quick, learn the chant and you will find, like I did, that it is a surefire method to rapidly becoming the boss’s pet.

This is an extract, modified for this post, from the book A Dance with the Corporate Ton: Reflections of a Worker Ant. 

If this teaser post has intrigued you, click here to purchase the book. Or, see the book widget on the sidebar.

*The London Ton was a term used to refer to Britain’s high society during the Regency period (the reign of George IV or thereabouts). The haut ton or ton were the fashionable elite of Georgian society who were bound by strictures to always display a ‘high tone’ and refined manners. This was deemed vital to displaying good breeding and status (definition extracted from from Regency History: What is the haut ton by Rachel Knowles).

The Corporate Ton is a phrase coined by the author of A Dance with the Corporate Ton: Reflections of a Worker Ant. 

Corporate Ton: Reflections of a Worker Ant. 

This post was originally published on on February 24, 2016. Copyright © 2015 · All Rights Reserved ·

Featured Cover Image Credit: Fingerprints Advertising, Chennai, India. All rights reserved for the cover image on this post. Fingerprints Advertising, the copyright holder, reserves all rights provided by copyright law, such as the right to make copies, distribute this work, perform the work, license, or otherwise exploit the work; no rights are waived under this license.


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