210121 – Morning Pages

Random update from a random day about random things that I thought about during the day gone by. And what I plan to do today.

6:59.

This one comes from the new M1. First things first. The keyboard is a tad different from the one I am used to (on the 2016 Air) and it’s taking a bit to get used to (this is affecting the speed at which I am working but I am hoping in due course, it would get better). But one thing’s for sure. This is fast. Plus the new OS (Big Sur) came preinstalled on this and there are tons of (great!) changes on this one. And they look interesting and intuitive and easy to use and effective and all that. I just need to get used to those. I hope this also helps in productivity. Let’s see.

So, coming to morning pages. Lemme use bullet points. Easy to write, think.

A. Last few days I’ve been jacked in the head. I still can’t point the reason (I suspect it’s work but it could very well be relationships) but I had a chat with SG2 yesterday. Heart to heart. Like I’ve not had with anyone in a long long time. I did not know who else to talk to. So when we spoke, honestly, she gave me no new insights but she gave me solutions (that I knew of already) but the way she put those were amazing. Filled me with hope. Rather than despair. So damn lucky to have access to her. The world needs more people like that. Thing is, the world will probably have people like that but they would be reserved, inaccessible, and all that. Wish the world was a more open place where people could talk freely without worrying about repercussions etc.

B. Yesterday was a super-duper crazy day with the internet. Like I haven’t had since I came here. It just did not work. The way things are with me (and if I need to act on the advice of SG2), I need to find a solution (which is essentially taking a house on rent in goa and paying through my nose to get 2 leased lines installed). If not that, I will go back to Mumbai. And if that remains unsustainable, I will quit Mumbai to go back to Delhi (where my folks have a place that is literally rent-free). Yes, it would be a blow. Yes it’s the last thing I’d ever want to do in life. But I guess that’s that. Oh, and one thing is sure. I will never ever now complain that the way our parents ran their lives (hoarding, chase of safety etc). It at least gives me a net when life throws lemons at me. The way I live my life, I dont even have a squeezey thingy to make lemonade out of that.

C. Another thing that is worth noting is this conversation with Vivek. He mentioned something deep af. He said that he’s made a promise to himself that anytime any of his friends is in deep shit, he would be there. I think this is a powerful thing. It says so many things at so many levels. Friends. In need. Shoulder. Support. Un-loneliness. I never thought about this and I think I need to make this a principle of my life. This one’s going in my Roam.

D. I’ve been doing OMAD last two-three days. Going ok. I want to push it and do a longer one. So, I plan to fast today. This means I will not eat anything today. The last thing I ate was at 11:55 PM last night. The next meal will be after 11:55 AM on Friday. So that’s 36 hours. Let’s see how it goes.

Guess this is it from the log of yesterday. To be honest, I can write more. Just that this keyboard would take some time getting used to. Making too many typos while typing and it’s breaking the flow. Plus I have a lot to do today and this means I need to get going. I always knew that morning pages would suffer as other things take priority.

Over and out.

Wait.

#freewriting for #book2. Has to happen. Duniya kya bolegi? Pradeep kya bolega? It’s 7:49. Will write till 8:15. Since this is a new laptop, I don’t think the battery is an issue for a change ๐Ÿ˜€

To move around, the vehicle of choice for people in Goa is a scooterette. Despite being a brand owned by a company, every small bike in Goa is called a Scooty. Just like every bath-tub is called a Jacuzzi across the world. Of course, some men preferred bicycles. And some heavy motorcycles like the Royal Enfield. But scootys is what rules the roads in Goa. So when Chintan asked Rujuta to hop onto one, she was mildly surprised. She had figured Chintan to be anything but a scooty person. She had thought he would be a Bullet person. But then that’s how Chintan was – a man of contrasts and shades. Tarana always said that everyone in the world is made of various shades. No one’s black or white. Rujuta knew Tarana would like Chintan. Come to think of it, she’d like even Mrs. Gomes. And vice versa. There was no reason for Tarana to stay back in Dharavi. She could easily spend his sunset years with Rujuta in Goa.

She had hopped on and Chintan was zipping through narrow roads of Anjuna. They were headed to meet Sherwin, one of those locals that knew everything that happened in that part of Goa and they needed someone like him to know more about the Japanese girl that had caught Rujuta’s fancy. You could send Rujuta on a holiday but you couldn’t keep her away from action!

***

Ok, that was a tough one to write. I know these two paras are mere lip-service (and no actual writing). Sorry, Pradeep. The words are just not flowing ๐Ÿ™

May be tomorrow on, I will start the morning pages with 30 minutes of writing on book2 and then get down to writing about things that are in my head? Sounds like a good idea. Lemme try tomorrow and see how it goes!

Over and out.

200121 – Morning Pages

One of those days when I have nothing special to report. Read. Or skip.

6:36 AM

A funny thing happened. I woke up without an alarm, even though I slept late and I think I slept well, even though I have a lot on my mind. Don’t know if this is a good thing or a bad thing. May be I am getting used to the idea of waking up around 6? After all, I have been consistent with it last two days. Lol. Consistent. 2 days.

Anyhow, so yesterday I got myself a new laptop (I had ordered it last week and took some 10 days to get delivered). It’s the new Apple M1 Air, which, if experts are to be believed, is the best damn laptop that Apple has made in years.

Got something this expensive after I think 4 or 5 years or so (and this too from the points that I have accumulated. I am in no place to make capital expenses). However, surprisingly, I am not excited about it at all. The older me loved gadgets like I love life. I’d fiddle with gadgets for hours, read up, do some geeky things. I would configure things, try to optimize things and I don’t know what all but no, not with this one. After I logged into the Apple account, I haven’t even touched it. I am still on the old Air and typing away to glory.

I think I am getting close to being a robot.

A good thing and a bad thing. I am so detached from it that I did not even carry the box along with me (if you know Apple fans, they like to retain boxes, covers, stickers, packaging material and don’t know what all).

So yeah.

The other interesting thing that happened yesterday was that I worked out of this new place called The Design Centre at Porvorim (they don’t have a website – this page is closest that it comes to seeing information about them). I think byfar they have the best Internet connection among all the places I have been to. Maybe because they run an architectural firm from there? I should totally go there more often. Just that they do not have an AC.

In fact, it’s lovely in terms of where it is. In the middle of nowhere, surrounded by trees and vegetation and nature. I am not sure if I will be inspired more to work but the location is definitely inspiring. That’s the thing. Every place I goto in Goa, because it is Goa, it is done really nicely. Here are a couple of photos (very badly composed / shot etc)…

Of course, Indian Cricket Tam won at the Gabba after some 30 years. No, I don’t follow cricket anymore and I am not qualified to talk about. But I will talk about two things here.

A, I love the idea of brilliance that professional sports bring out. In fact I’ve always wanted to use a competitive game, a sport as a hiring tool. It shows character like nothing else. You get to know who’s a sore winner, a graceful loser, a person that tries hard, a player that plays for the team (and not for self), the one that doesn’t give up.

B, I am waiting for all the brilliant stories, op-eds, write-ups, and other such things that will come out in the next few days about the grit and the determination and teams. It is inspiring to read about people that work hard and do great things. And even more inspiring to read from writers that can capture the stories so well! Each piece makes me aware of my limitations – as a person and as a writer. And each time I reminded, I am inspired! To do more. To become better. To write better. To leave everyone around me better. If you are reading this, do point me to some interesting pieces I can read about. Here’s one such piece from the IPL that I LOVED about Rahul Tewatia.

Ok. So other things that I am thinking about?

Yeah. Societal appreciation of what you’ve done!

People don’t care what you’ve done (most people don’t go deep into what you’ve done, or how you’ve done). The only thing they care about is if you’ve done something. Certificates, tags, recommendations work. No one cares about the process. Remember the difference between a writer and a blogger? That! It is getting reinforced.

I’ve never craved for it to be honest but I do like the idea of getting doors to open for me when I am trying things. I have figured a way to do it. And I have done that for a lot of people now. But when it comes to myself, I haven’t been able to. I now

I also realized my limitation with making new friends / connections. I realized that I need a few conversations to get started with people. And once that happens I am ok. People generally like me. I generally like people. That works out well. But the trouble is, I am super awkward when it comes to social constructs – you know, at parties, at events, at public gatherings. I am so old that I am literally dead but I am unable to find a way to break through it! And unless I find a way out of this, I will probably remain a blogger and will never be a writer!

Guess that’s it. Nothing else to report. Ennui has set in. I am still not using Roam, Asana, and other such tools. Been away from them since I came to Goa – I think not having reliable internet is to blame. I’ve been talking to people and the only solution is to get two leased lines at the place you live. The one I am at right now is temporary. Come February, I will decide. Another 10 or so days to go. Let’s see. I am leaning towards a permanent move to Goa. Let’s see how it goes.

That’s it.

On to #freewriting for #book2. It’s 7:39. Will write till 8. Or so.

“When is enough enough?” Siddh Paul flung a question.

In attendance were the current group of 8 pupils. Each year, Siddh would identify 8 men to add to the ever-expanding family. Always family. Always 8. Always men. No backup. No exceptions. He couldn’t make exceptions even if he wanted to. It was coded in their book. The book was the last word on everything you ever did. The book said each year 8 new members had to be identified and then trained and then made to take the oath of allegiance to the family. No, the family did not believe in the bonds of the blood.

Ok, not happening. 7:57. Lemme change track and give another 15 mins. Till 8:15. Leaving the para above to demonstrate the struggle ๐Ÿ˜‰

Attempt 2 at #freewriting.

The father-son duo were a force to reckon with. The two of them commanded respect and reverence. From all corners of the tiny state they called home.

Siddh for his discourses about religion, his openness to embrace and understand both Hinduism and Christianity. For his acceptance of others that did not see the world from his lens. For his neverending well of compassion and kindness that he continued to pour out from. For his indifference towards the ones that touted him as a farce, a fraud. For the righteousness that was unexpected from someone like him. Someone that comes from the lineage, affluence, and old money. And for his detachment to the very things that make humans, human. Including his family and his only son, Ankit.

Ankit, for his ruthlessness with business, the stronghold he had with the politicians and local panchayat members across the state. For all the Goans he had given employment to in his various businesses, many that no one but Ankit only knew about. Some journalists estimated that he had more than 2000 people working for him. Most of these were insignificant. Mere hands that Ankit used to get things done. Easily replaceable, dispensable, and made redundant. What these journalists couldn’t see was that he also had scores of people of power that ran the complex web that Ankit ran.

***

Ok, I like this one! Yay!

With this, over and out. See you guys later.

190121 – Morning Pages

The day when I actually had work, the Internet decides to act up, even at the most expensive co-working space in Goa. Here’s my cry for help!

5:42

I’ve been up for a while. I didn’t sleep ok, to be honest. That’s why I am up and about. For a change, I am stressed. And no, it’s not induced by anything that gives stress to people (money, relationships, etc). I am stressed cos I don’t have internet and for a change, I have a lot to do. I mean this is regular work (promise I have not started anything new or picked up any new projects; if only I have reduced the number of things I am doing). The fucking Internet is being a bitch. I can change my life and stay up all night and work (when thankfully the net works a tad better) but most of my works is coordinating with other people and I am at the mercy of others. I’ve tried most things I can. Sit on the balcony of the house, perch from the rooftop, sit at cafes all day long (and sip onto expensive bad coffee), given a kidney to fancy co-working spaces that are as expensive as WeWork in Andheri is. And yet I can’t seem to get reliable Internet.

So that.

In fact, last night, around 9, I felt exhausted after a while. I realized why people in consulting kind of gigs become alcoholic. It’s impossible to talk to so many people and make them understand such trivial things that you’d assume as commonsense.

Ok, this sounds like a rant.

Lemme change tone.

So, I worked so hard yesterday that I was exhausted. Most of the work I did was thinking and moving around objects on a PowerPoint and on Excel sheets. But it was tiring. It’s all the thinking that tired me out. For a change, I felt as if I have earned my bread. Lol. Earned my bread.

I have to be honest that yesterday I was so frustrated that I couldn’t even log in to a website. I had to download a 30 MB file and it took me an hour. No kidding. And all this when I was at an expensive co-working space. I was so mindfucked that I thought I would go back to Mumbai. Last night itself. But the Internet continued to give me trouble, I couldnโ€™t even log in to a website. Even though I was a pricey co-working space. So much so that I thought I will go back to Mumbai. Anyhow, sense prevailed. But the decision is clear. If you have to live in Goa, you need to get used to the bad internet. There is no way around that. Unless you live in “cities” like Mapusa, Margaon, Porvorim, Panjim etc. But that’s not Goa. No?

Wonder how do all the other film companies, tech companies, SM companies operate? They need Internet like we need air!

No, the phone does not work either. Power cuts are frequent but that you can manage. For someone that wants to be so hyper-connected, I need to find a solution if I have to live here long-term. So that.

Ok. Enough. Moving on. I think the exhaustion was not from work but from the non-availability of the Internet!

The good part about yesterday is that I could manage OMAD. I actually did almost 28 hours. I could’ve one a couple more for sure. Rege would be proud of me. Of course, I ate fried rice and roti and aaloo and Kurkure and Lays and Diet Coke and all that but thatโ€™s ok. I deserved it. No, I did not walk as much yesterday. I told ya, bad day with work. Iโ€™ll see if I can do another 24 hours today. That means I will eat at around 10. As I write this, itโ€™s 5:30 and I am already hungry ๐Ÿ˜€

In other news, the ankles still hurt from all the walking that happened the day before. I think I need to wear shoes when I go on these long walks. I guess the flip-flops from Decathlon are not meant for long-term use. Let’s see when I walk next. I am thinking, tomorrow evening from 5 to 8 or something.

I think this is all I have for the day. I do have a long one today with back to back calls (again) and then a site recee at a forest-resort. So no time to complain.

Oh yes. I know what to talk about. When I was moving here, I had a list of people that I wanted to meet. Funnily off that list, I have yet to meet anyone, save Rajat Sir. And no, I have not been tardy with follow-ups or something but just that everyone is so busy and no one wants to travel around Goa much. Or may be it’s me? If I were SRK and I asked people to meet me, would they not take out time? Would they not travel? Hmmm…

PS: No, I am not sore about it. I understand that people have priorities. In fact, I expect nothing from others. Just that I get fuel for my fire when I get to talk to inspiring people. And I need that constantly ๐Ÿ™‚

Ok, enough. Over and out.

Time for #freewriting on #book2

“I wonder why would they make them forts in the first place? And that too on the top of a cliff. Who’s climbing up a rock to come attack you? And if it’s a mere watch-point to see if someone’s paying you a visit or planning an attack, all you need is a light-house or something. Why a damn fort that goes around ‘1988 meters’ around the hill as the board claims”, she spoke while reading the tourist information board outside Fort Aguada.

“I am not the Prince of Portugal or whoever made this fort. How would I know?”, he was both irked and amused. It was her idea to do the touristy thing and he did not want to say no to any opportunity to hang out with her. Was it her perfume? Or the easy going manner in which she went around? He couldn’t pin point.

“Chintan! Come on! It was a genuine question”, Rujuta looked at him.

“I know, I know. I also do not know genuinely who or why”, Chintan looked into Rujuta’s eyes.

This was the first time since Prakash died over 5 years ago that Rujuta had let her guard down to spend time with another man. If Tarana heard about Rujuta finding comfort in the company of Chintan, she would probably run to the printing press to get the Shaadi cards printed! Unlike other 70-something-year olds, Tarana was the one egging Rujuta to go sleep with whoever. She couldn’t see her daughter go from a happy-go-lucky, living-in-the-moment, hedonist young girl into a middle-aged woman that found no joy in nothing she ever did. They often argued about it and both of them were head-strong enough to not let the other dominate. But with Chintan, it may change.

Rujuta looked back at him with the swag of the Rujuta when she first met Prakash. The stare lingered on for a moment tad more than what’s between two good friends. She knew she was inviting trouble. Chintan was still a married man, even if he was separated and he carried way too much baggage about proving to his wife that he amounted to something. Things that Rujuta could fix easily. She knew what men were made of.

Chintan was not sure where this was headed. He was used to getting easy attention from the fairer gender and he knew that he knew the art of charm. People like that are dangerous. The ones that are good and they know that they are good. To Chintan, Rujuta felt special. She was unlike other women and definitely unlike his wife, “that bitch”, he muttered. Even the fleeting thought about the wife made him sore.

Their who-blinks-first bout was broken by a photographer who had walked up to them and said, “Sir, how about a picture of madam holding onto the sun in her hands.” He pushed an instant photo into Chintan’s face.

Rujuta played along and feigned excitement, “Wow, that would be so nice. Can I hold it over my head also?” She cupped her hands and held them over her head.

The photographer knew he has made a killing and he can sell them at-least 5 prints in 5 poses. Little did he know who Rujuta was and what her body of work with photography stood for. Especially since Prakash died, Rujuta had taken her work up by several notches and now was one of the most sought-after photojournalists in the world!

***

Fuck an idea. How about teach all these photographers the wonders of Instagram and get them more work? Worth thinking about. #parkedIdea. Will revisist someday.

For the time being, over and out.

180121 – Morning Pages

A rant-ful post about inane things. You may want to skip reading this one.

6:27.

I’ve been up for a bit. I slept at around 10 last night. And thanks to all the movement in the house next to mine, I had a fitful sleep. Did I tell you that the walls are wafer-thin here? But I think I feel as rested as I ever could be. There is some soreness in the ankles, claves, and legs – that I think I can blame on all the walking I did yesterday. I will come to it in a bit.

So, I have to say that I’ve not been myself for the last few days. I think more than anything else, the financial insecurity is eating me alive. Lol. Hyperbole. But yes I am worried about money. I mean I know that in the long run, I will be ok (wait, when exactly is this long-run? I am almost 40 and I have been in this hand-to-mouth state since I was 25). Anyhow, I need to pay salaries in about 10 days and rent in about 15 and I am not sure where would I get that money from. I did not want to take more debt this year and I don’t seem to be finding enough work. In fact, more than just worrying, it’s also making me into a person that I am not. I am avoiding people. And the ones that I do end up talking to, I am being curt with them. I am faking my emotions a lot more (even though I want to have coherence in my thoughts and actions). I am unable to express my true emotions and I am merely going with the flow. I like being in control (even if it’s a fake sense of control) and without the confidence that money gives me, I seem to be losing this ability.

The worse part is no one around me understands what I am going thru. They don’t have to, to be honest. They have enough shit in their lives. I am not their priority. This is one of those rare times when I wish I had someone to understand me, be my side, and tell me all will be ok. Maybe that’s why this rant on the blog? Am I trying to make this inanimate object, a bunch of pixels on the internet my companion? I think times like these and situations like these make people start believing in God and other cults? Maybe this is that weak point that everyone talks about that comes often in lives?

But then, I know, this too shall pass!

Ok. Hoping it will pass. Moving on.

So yesterday was like any other day. Did some work, slacked some, and then vegetated some. Vegetated as in, merely existed and did not do anything leaves a mark. Did not even talk to the two people I call friends in Goa. I know that I just have 1810 days left before I need to show results on my lofty goals and while the impending deadline inspires me, I am also fucked in the head because of my inability to move the needle. I am not sure what is stopping me. I think I have everything needed to whoop some mad ass and make an impact and get rich in the process. I am no longer lazy (I was till maybe 2017). I work harder, longer, and smarter than most people I know. Of course, I am smart. I have no clue what is that thing missing in my life.

Wait. Could it be the focus? I mean I’ve always been that person that does multiple things. May be this meandering at multiple places has got me to a place where I have some interesting things under my belt. And maybe to scale from hereon, I need to focus on one thing?

Will think on this during the day and report.

Anyhow. The good thing that happened yesterday was that I walked 20K steps. The plan was to do that on the trot but I took two breaks. Which is ok. I at least walked. From Baga to Fort Aguada and then back. I spend some 30 minutes at the Fort seeing the sun go down and see the day merge with the night. Absolutely loved the time I spent there. Clicked some great (I hope so) pics. Realized my limitations as a photographer. Wish I could be better at it.

Here are a couple of photos for you to gawk at…

I loved the spot so much that I can see myself going there often to catch the sunset. It’s kind of far from where I live (and once I take a house, where I intend to live) I think if I were not a loner, I think this trip to Goa has made me one. Am absolutely ok in my own company now.

Oh, the other crazy thing that happened last night when I was trying to get sleep was a deeper understanding of A R Rahman’s music. Because the internet was not working, I put on ARR’s Sufi set that is saved on my phone. The set has tracks not just from ARR but others that have adopted the Sufi way of life. And for probably the first time, I could relate to their music, the higher purpose, the bhakti, the effort they put in, and the connection they must feel to that nameless faceless thing that people call God, Universe, higher power, energy, whatever. I could feel how the music for them is not about entertainment. Or about practice. Or money. Or validation. But about respect. A tool they use when they want to feel closer to their creator. The trance they get in when they are one with their creator.

No, I have never felt such a connection with anyone or anything but I could clearly picture them living a life where they are in a complete submission to the almightly. I have to know more. Maybe I will chat with Sowmya one of these days. Maybe when I go back to Mumbai to wrap things.

That’s about it I guess. I have a long day today with quite a few things to work on. And a few IRL meetings to squeeze in. I plan to work from Felix for a large part of the day. Let’s see if their Internet holds up today. I have to find a solution to this Internet thingy if I have to be in Goa. It’s been acting weird since Friday.

Chalo over and out. Hope you guys have a great day. Onto #freewriting for #book2. It’s 7:27 and the battery is 6%. Will write till the battery is 1%.

The only complaint that Mrs. Gomes had with tourists that came into Goa is that they did not respect the local traditions. Especially from North India. The ones from the South were a lot more respectful. They probably understood the way of life in smaller communities. But they were far filthier than the ones from the North. It was like choosing a lesser evil and she would take filth over disrespect. So when Chintan first walked into Caravan Serai, Mrs. Gomes looked at him with the default disdain that she had reserved with middle-aged men from north India that wore linen shirts to hide their beer bellies that were bloated all the more with all the butter chicken they had probably eaten.

Chintan looked no different. He would have been smart in his younger days. He was atleast 40 and he still had a head that was full of hair. His hair was better than what most Indian men had and he had a hairband on to pull em back. He carried a leather man-purse that he plopped loudly on the bar counter. The bar was a curious choice. The entire place was empty and most people chose bars as the last option ever. Chintan clearly was unlike most. He pulled a bar stool with his leg and while trying to settle down on it, he got busy pulling out his paraphernalia from the bag that had seen a few years. Without looking up, he continued to fiddle with his things and said to no one in particular, “Could I have a glass of water? Cold, please? And a Gin and Tonic – whatever is your choice. And an ashtray please.”

These three lines told Mrs. Gomes that he was going to be an interesting person. He did not fuss about the brand of Gin or Tonic. He wanted his water cold. And he spoke with the authority of a man that knew how to command respect.

He had pulled a stack of loose sheets and was twirling a pencil in his fingers. He looked up to the bar with a questioning gaze at Mrs. Gomes. She took her sweet time to respond to him and said, “On its way. You new here in Goa?”

Mrs. Gomes had to know every patron that walked into Caravan Serai. Even though the place was now much bigger and much in demand, she still liked to run it her way. Basant and Udita often told her often to take it easy and cede control to one of those hospitality management companies that had sprung up. Mrs. Gomes clearly did not think that the two girls made sense. Each time they had this conversation, she would respond by telling them about the promise she made to her father and the legacy of her family, and then she would pace around with an apparent worry about who’s run the place once she was gone? She knew she wasn’t going away anytime soon. Even though she was 73, she was as lucid as she was when she was 23, could out-work Udita, some 50 years her junior, and keep a sharp eye on her staff of almost 30 people and all the patrons and guests that came and went throughout the day.

***

7:53. 1%. Gotta hit publish.

So that’s it for the day. See you guys tom.

170121 – Morning Pages

Nothing special to report in this one. This is more like a journal of how I spent my yesterday. You can skip reading this.

6:53 AM

Had a pretty ok yesterday. Compared to the day before. Worked some. Wrote some. Tried a new coworking space in Goa (Felix). No, the internet did not work well. Neither did the phone. So it is as good as Clay, just that Felix is free for the whole of Jan. So I can save some money. Will go again today and report. Oh, while working, a friend told me to play music from video games. He had a convincing argument – video games are designed to help me level up (difficulty, experience, immersion) but for some reason, it did not work for me. I’ll try again today before giving up. Nikhil is an advocate of electronic music. However, I did listen to (and enjoyed) this lo-fi version of a track that talks about how friends need to come to Goa once a week at least. Fuck I really want to write, make films.

Lol.

Irony.

Goa.

Friends.

Anyhow, I also managed to do OMAD! Yay! Realised that when I am busy and I don’t have options, I don’t eat a lot. When I work from Nicky’s place, I am in a cafe that makes amazing food. And thus I eat like a pig. When am Clay, the kitchen shuts at 5ish. And I don’t eat a lot. At Felix, the kitchen is non-operational and surprisingly, even if I was hungry, I did not feel like eating. So that helped. And yes, once I was back, I promptly had Maggi (lol) and some 20 kinds of chips.

Then, I sent an SoG after a while. Read it here. Need to move from Mailchimp. I also sent a Letter to Bade Log (Bade Log is some 10-12 people are senior and I know they care for me). In both, among other things, I talk about Living in Public. These morning pages is an attempt in that direction!

Finally, as I was waking up, I even had a dream. This one was funny. It had my parents, M&m, and me on some sort of a video call. No, my folks haven’t ever met M&m but it was funny to see them in one frame. Guess this is the acceptance my brain needed that M&m are an integral part of me? After all, when dreaming, we reinforce things that our subconscious is thinking of.

So that was yesterday.

Today, am going to try something daring. I will move my blog from blogger to this domain. There are some 2000 posts. Let’s see if I crash this one. I have Abhinav, Advait, and Arpit on standby ;P. You’d know tomorrow morning ๐Ÿ™‚

There is nothing large that is clouding my head to be honest. Except work ๐Ÿ˜€

Not sure what else to report on. Except I liked how I spent my day yesterday. I just need to add some friends and family during the day and I can continue to live like that. Of course, I need to identify something meaningful that I can spend my time on. May be writing it is? It gives me joy and it allows me to reach more people. I need to merely figure out how to get better at it!

Enough.

Onto #book2 #freewriting piece for the day. There is no mood per se today, unlike yesterday. So, let’s see what comes up. It’s 7:41 and I have a 27% battery. I will write till 8 (or till the battery runs out).

You know how it is when you are traveling on a train in India? The night has fallen and the scenery is rushing past you? In distance, maybe in some other coupe, someone is playing some really old, corny music that wafts to your ears. You know that you know the track but you can’t keep your finger over it. It irks you but it also comforts you. Everything about the journey is discomforting. The thunderous speed with which the train moves. The bright lights in the middle of nowhere that rush past you before you could figure what they were shining on. The slow dance the metal box is in as it moves forward. Tired eyes of strangers, over-friendly travelers that try hard to break the monotony with small talk. Wait, they are passengers. Not travelers. The only thing that comforts you is that faint music coming from that other coupe that crane your ears to latch onto.

To Sita, it seemed all the more strange. Her experience with popular Bollywood music was very limited. She was raised in a strict community where even the women were expected to learn how to fight. And no, not fight to save in case of an emergency but fight to go on the offensive and be at the frontline. Fight to become an assassin. Yes, they were told that all their training that they literally spilled their blood for may never be used. While they were ready to kill and get killed at the drop of a hat, they were told that they like almost everyone in their community, would die of old age. The unlucky ones that did die early on were the ones that were called to literally throw away their lives when they turned 18. What a waste. You train since you are 4. You spend 14 years learning how to wield weapons in a strict community. And as you turn 18, you need to fight a group of 4 other assassins that have been tasked to kill you. These 4 could be your parents, best friends, even your own wife. They don’t show no mercy when they attack you. And on your 18th birthday, you need to keep yourself alive in a melee that lasts an entire day. That’s your rite of passage. That’s your license to live from here on. Only to hope that you’d come useful in that unknown war that not even the seniors in the community knew when it was coming.

Sita knew she was the best of the lot. Maybe that’s why she was chosen to be sent on this journey. By herself. When you were called, you had to make the journey by yourself. Nah, they were not scared of those petty wayside robbers. They were more scared of the ways of the world outside the boundaries of their commune. Out there, the world moved too fast and it had no honor and no respect for traditions.

Unlike other kids, Sita had shown literally no emotion ever. Even when she bled for the first time, she was bereft of any fear or confusion. She did not even ask a question. She reported it matter-of-factly to her brother, who was 2 years older. The brother was aghast and did not know how to respond. When she skinned her first goat, her face was as stoic as that of a priest deep in meditation. On her 18th birthday, it was the other 4 that tapped out. It had never happened and no one knew what punishment to give to those 4. One of those was her own father. The community had probably found its future leader in Sita. And if not the leader, then the warrior that will lead them into the war. Whenever that war happened. Whenever she would be required to make that journey. The journey she was on. The journey where she sensed familiarity with those popular tracks. The journey that would not take her where she intended to reach!

***

Ok, I enjoyed writing this. The time is 8:13. And the battery is 9%. Did not realize when 8 AM came and went. Flow, baby! While reviewing, realized that it has come out nice. Need to work on sentence formation and grammar.

Over and out for the day.

See you guys tomorrow.

Also, I send this link to some people on WhatsApp as a daily update. In case you want to get this as well, lemme know.

160121 – Morning Pages

In this one, I talk about the anatomy of a bad day in Goa, all probably induced by unavailability of Internet and a phone network.

7:39 AM. Yesterday was a weird day. Regular day, if you know me well.

After I don’t know how many days I was spaced out. To a point that I did not even speak with the most cheerful people I know – Noops and Nicky. The Internet won’t work at all. The regular phone and SMS won’t work. Tried to avoid crap but I could not. The hands were literally shaking before I loaded myself with carbs. Skipped two events where I could’ve been at – a poker night and a Pecha Kucha evening. Missed the launch of a friend’s music video. Thought I would start a Clubhouse but the damn connection won’t happen. Locked myself out of the house (thankfully, I could reach the key from the window).

The saving grace? I went for a walk. Did some 12K steps. In like 2 hours. The slowest ever.

My phone tells me that I am averaging 2000 steps this year. Lol. The older Saurabh that I was, even in a wheelchair, he would average more than that! Finally when I was walking about, luckily the phone worked (still no data) and I made some phone calls. Spoke to two new people on LunchClub and CoffeeMug – at both places (and all such calls), I am asked what am up to with these random networking calls if I am in Goa. Need to find a funny answer to this. Spoke to an old boss. He told me that am like shit. Sigh. No, no. It’s ok. Everyone has their opinions. I know where I stand.

Another thing happened. As if stars align or something. Or maybe one thing led to another that lad to me. Gehani and Pradeep pointed me to two interesting tweets about the media and entertainment business. Need to think hard about those. They look like things that I can put my head gainfully to. For life. Lol, yet another thing. This has to stop, Mr. Garg. Let’s see. In fact, the content in those tweets is exactly what I’ve been thinking about lately. I know that I am not singularly great at creating content. But I know I can give a launchpad and wings to others for sure. So that.

These two tweets helped reinforce two beliefs. One, you must have a network that makes a piece of news that you can’t miss reach you. That clearly happened. Two, how the fuck did I miss these two tweets? Need to get back to being active on twitter!

Oh, AD gave me the responsibility of writing the first draft of the Founder Thesis book. Yay! If this happens, it would be the second non-fiction book that I would get to publish this year (apart from SoG Book). 2021 is already looking up. Just need to see how do I make money from these ;P.

Guess that’s that for how the day was. How I felt. How I am gonna cope up today. I HAVE to find a solution to the Internet thingy. Either I move houses (no, I can’t get Internet installed here – this is a temporary house) or I need to start going to a coworking space in Goa that has good internet and mobile phone access (the phone network at Clay sucks. Maybe at Felix it works better?) I’ll try Felix today and will report back.

No, I don’t like that this is becoming an open journal of sorts. But then, I like that I have someplace to go dump my thoughts.

Oh, I also need to think about what to do with WoW. Do I move it on SaurabhGarg.com? Or do I leave it on blogger? I am very very sure that Google will either sell or shut Blogger (they have made some changes to the product but they’ve merely fucked it up. Plus they are not even in the same league at WordPress and countless others). And I don’t want to lose all that I have written over the years. Will check with Rege or Arpit.

So that.

Coming to #book2. I am in the mood for some dark shit today. Let’s see what I come up with :D. The names are fictional (I mean the entire book is fictional but I am using random names right now).

“The ropes have to be as taut as you can make them go. Here, use this hook to pull more”, Kiran handed over what looked like a well-used, aged, pirate’s hand hook to Sita.

“The fuck is this?” Sita balked. It looked as if it was ripped from a real pirate.

“I use this as a grip when I need to clasp onto something. The pirates were geniuses.” Kiran replied and continued with this work. The way he was going, Sita knew this was not the first time he was doing something like this.

Sita held gingerly at it tried to pull the rope that she was wrapping over layers of plastic, tarp and jute.

Kiran continued and spoke matter of factly, “make sure it is as tight as you can. When we tie it to the anchor, it cant come undone.”

Sita merely nodded. That’s all she could do. She was merely going through the motions. The night that started as a celebration had taken a dark turn and now, it did not seem to be ending. When she boarded the train from her village 2 weeks ago, she did not know that her life would change so drastically. From a simpleton in a secluded village deep in Maharashtra, she has had alcohol, slept with a man that was not her husband, and now, become an accessory to a murder. And she was the reason for the fight between her husband and the young man she got carried away with. Such loss for such a small incident. If only Kiran understood why she did what she did, all this could have been avoided.

Kiran beamed, breaking her reverie, “wow, that looks good. I am almost done with the head and the torso. We just need to tie a big rock to his legs and then we’d be on our way.”

The plan was to dump the dead body deep into the sea but it had to be wrapped to prevent the parts from flailing and they had to put something heavy on it to ensure that it doesn’t wash ashore. Way too many amateurs were caught by the cops when bloated dead bodies arrived at the short unannounced. Kiran and Sita were not getting caught for sure. They had packed the dead body in three layers – plastic, tarp, and jute before typing it up till it resembled a mummy. There was no way fishes were going to gnaw and dismember various parts. With the two rocks that Kiran had identified, there was no way it was going to surface. And the spot where he was going to dump it in was known to have rocky terrain underneath. Like it had done for so many others, the sea would keep their secret.

Little did they know that while the sea wouldn’t rat on them, the young man they were busy with would be missed from the house of Paul’s and the impending search would unleash an inferno ono them and everyone else at Caravan Serai that the entire Arabian Sea wouldn’t be able to douse.

150121 – Morning Pages

I talk about how yesterday was a bad day and how I need to write about films and may be, make a quick trip to Mumbai.

7:34 AM. I had a disappointing day yesterday. More than external factors that I can easily pin blame on, I think it was me. A couple of really important meetings got canceled (no, this is not my fault). I missed sending an email to a prospective client (I should’ve been more careful). Another client call got fucked cos my internet sucked (I could’ve been at a co-working space rather than at a cafe). The two projects that I am thinking hard about – Shumbur and TRS in Goa, both are proving to be tough to crack. Both of these depend on other people saying yes and it’s a task to first find those, pitch to those, and then close. Of course, it is fun to do these but still. Life should be easier. I stress-ate crap like Doritos and chocolates and Chips and all. Despite eating well for a large part of the day. And promising to myself that I will not eat. All it took was a few taps on Swiggy. Even though it’s not installed on my phone.

I hope today is better. Even though am groggy and sore in the back and neck and joints (is this a result of eating crap?). I do have quite a few things lined up for the day. I plan to check out this new co-working cafe that has come up in Anjuna (Felix). Clay is anyway fun, just that the phone does not work there at all and I can’t do video calls. If I can get another alternative in Felix, why not! PS: While looking for directions to Felix, I figured, there’s another one – Nomad. Should’ve tried that as well! I did not know there would be so many coworking places in Goa. I have to get going with that Ultimate Guide to Remote Working from Goa.

So that’s the rant on how the day yesterday was.

Coming to what am thinking on. The favorite part of these morning pages for me. While talking to Shikha yesterday about TRS and where it could go, I realized that I want to write about films and Bollywood, and more. Though I am not as well-informed or well-read or well-researched about it, I think films have the power like no other medium. For most people, it is the most immersive, easiest to comprehend and understand the medium. And that gives filmmakers power like nothing else. While I am far from making films, I can definitely talk about this power. And how filmmakers are leveraging (and even wasting) the opportunity they have. I can’t talk about the craft per se. I can’t talk about deep, thinking filmmakers that have shown alternative realities to us. I am not even aware of world cinema. I am a mere aam aadmi that finds my escape in a film that is made well and I want to write about that. Of course, I do want to point out the problematic things they paddle in their films (body-shaming, hate-mongering, casual sexism, stereotyping et al). Films, after all, have to reflect the times we live in, talk about how can we move forward, and communicate things that simpletons like me do not understand. The good part is that in The Red Sparrow, I have access to a film platform that reaches far and wide. However, this access is not really a free pass. I still need to pass through the editorial filters of the team that manages it. I can’t bypass that. Even if I could, I don’t want to. The platform is bigger than an individual.

The other thing am thinking is that I need a trip to the chaos of Mumbai soon. I’ve been here 45 days. I know how it is to live here and I know the issues and I know the good things. I need to now decide on where I want to be. I want to make a trip to Mumbai before I do that.

On that trip, I can see if I like the comforts of Mumbai better. Or if I like the open expanses of Goa. If I decide on Goa, I can even wrap up the house and belongings in Mumbai. And if I do that, I will have to find a hostel or something that I can use when I travel there for these “break” trips from the peace of Goa. Let’s see when that happens. Plus, if I want to be in Goa, I will have to find a house for myself in Goa. I can of course use Rajesh sir’s house. He’s cool like that. But I don’t want to take advantage of his kindness. And if I choose to be here, I am reasonably sure that I want to be in Anjuna, Assagaon, or thereabouts. It has to be North. Beyond Baga and the touristy stretches and yet close to places where people hang out. I could go even further to Mandrem / Ashwen etc. but that would make me very far from almost everything.

Lol. I think I am getting ahead of myself. The entire para above is essentially me getting ahead of myself with things. Take a deep breath, Mr. Garg. I think it’s all the carbs that I ate last night that are talking. I don’t even know where would my work take me. What if work picks up in Mumbai? Or Delhi? Even Chennai for that matter? What if projects that am thinking about do not materialize in Goa? That’s something that I don’t have an answer to. I need to think. Let’s see.

So that.

Onto #freewriting for #book2. It is 8:31. I will write till 9. Let’s see how many words do I get in.

Blue.

The color of the sea.

Every time I see the sea, I am fascinated by the vastness of it. It is so infinite, so never-ending that it would have only taken the ingenuity of a human to navigate. I don’t think any of God’s creation has what it takes to circumnavigate all the waters that we are surrounded by. True, some fishes are known to travel more than 12000 KMs in search of food and warmth, and better seasons. They still do not come close to us. We may not have the fins or coated eyes of gills or large lungs or whatever. But we do have a thumb that moves perpendicular to the other 4 fingers. And we have the wheel. And we have tamed the fire. And we have sharp tools to make whatever we want to. And we have made them boats that tear around the sea and take us places.

I’ve never been close to one. I grew up in Punjab and while we did dip around in the lakes and canals and the rivers that dotted the state, I never knew of the infinite that an ocean is. Funny that I think about it from the closed confines of the cell that I am locked in. Often when the sea is in a mood and the winds are strong, they carry the smells from the faraway lands. On the nights when the ocean is angry and dueling with the rock, we are on the top of, the moans and the cacophony of the crashes drown even the voices in the head. That’s what all of us want in life. No? Drown them voices in the head? To get out of the shackles and the traps that our own minds have bound us in?

There were no easy answers for Raunak.

On one side, he was in jail for the rest of his life, without a possibility of a bail. Who would bail him anyway? There was no next of kin. No one even knew if he was alive.

And on the other, he held the secret to the greatest treasure known to mankind.

***

Ok, that’s about it for the day. More tomorrow.

140121 – Morning Pages

I talk about an important lesson I learnt – the difference between being a blogger and a writer. And the changes I’ll make in how I operate.

7 AM

Morning!

So, Rajesh Sir’s house is bang on Baga beach. And that’s a good great thing. And a bad. And that means that there is more hustle-bustle here than what an average road in Goa has. This means that I am not bored and there’s something to look at all the time.

And this also means that there are people at all times in all states of mind – sober, inebriated, happy-high, free, and so on and so forth. And that doesn’t auger well for someone that seeks peace of mind. No, I don’t. But others may. No, I am not complaining at all. Merely stating a truth. The fact that I can live here without worrying about basics is a blessing in itself!

So, yesterday was a mixed bag. Got some work done, got some mind-fuckery happening (even in Goa), spoke to some friends, met new people, passed on an opportunity to meet more people. But I think I am getting to understand how to go about it if I want to be known in multiple circles. A large part of it involves putting yourself out there and pimping yourself subtly. Truth be told, I don’t understand either – pimping self or subtlety. My life has been about muted peacocking. Lol, muted and peacocking in one sentence ๐Ÿ˜€ Lemme explain.

Muted. I don’t like the limelight. I don’t want to be seen. I don’t want to be known by the aam aadmi per se.

Peacocking. Without trying to be a PUA, the kind of clothes I wear and the way I talk and the way I behave, and the energy I have, all these make me stand out. Often as a misfit. Often as someone that people balk at. You don’t want to talk to someone that doesn’t care about how he looks. Someone that you don’t think of much of when you first lay your eyes on them.

That. Needs to change.

Talking of change there’s another thing I need to change in my personality.

This is something I intuitively knew and got reinforced in Goa. It is…

People want tangible things. Finished things. Finite things. They don’t respect a WIP.

For example, if you say you are a blogger, you get respect at, say, 6 on 10. On the other hand, if you say you are a writer and working on a book, the respect goes up to 9. Both are essentially the same but the subtle difference is in being a blogger and a writer. Just that the Blogger is a WIP. Ongoing. A writer is finite. Something that has been shipped.

People respect finished ones more than they respect WIP. We want to see output more than we want a process. The journey may be the reward for a few but most want a destination. The best part? They don’t care about the quality of what you’ve shipped. They just want to flip the pages of the book, see the URL of the film that is on Hotstar (not Youtube – youtube is WIP, an OTT platform is a finite destination). They don’t want to even do the work required to read or see. Just the signal that it’s out there is enough!

I have seen this in action in Goa like no other place. Probably because there are far less ‘finite’ ones than the ones that are ‘WIP’? In fact, this tweet that Krishna shared made this point beautifully well. And gives me further reinforcement.

I think that’s about it.

The lesson for the day is that being a finite is large in itself and will require me to make substantial changes in how I think and operate.

Here are two that I am making immediately.

A, rather than using all those adjectives that I think do an honest job of describing me (Jack of all trades, curious, marketer, podcaster, etc), I will introduce myself as a writer / storyteller. To hell with what people think about this. I am a writer first and then everything else. And that’s that. This is a sg5stars thing for sure.

Since this is new to me and not really my core personality, it will take time to implement. Do course-correct me if you see me doing otherwise.

B, the SoG series I’ve been writing for a few months? I will restart it at some point in time but I will also release the same as an e-book. And I have already initiated work on that. In case you want a copy, drop your email address on this form.

So that.

I also caught up with friends from the Long-Form-Writing Fans (LFW) Group. With the sketchy internet and a million mosquitos trying to sweep me away, the call was short and there was hardly any rasa but it was phenomenal to speak with them after this long. All of us shared our writing goals, issues that we’re facing (with writing and otherwise) and even spoke about our goals for this year. I wish we could meet more often. I wish we had more things to talk about. I think apart from Prak this set of people is going to be super-helpful as I go about book2.

Oh, I also met someone really interesting after ages on Lunchclub. Not to say other people that I meet are not worthy of a mention. This person was all of 27 and had so much clarity about life that I am left in awe. Apart from Shikha, I don’t think I’ve met someone with so much clarity ever. So that.

I think this is about for the day. The morning pages are now like a public journal but that’s ok. I think I like the idea of writing something to start the day. After all, remember what I said? I am a writer ๐Ÿ™‚

Oh, here’s the #freewriting piece for #book2 for today. A writer has to write. Right?

Here we go…

Fire is probably the most misunderstood among all the things that nature made for us. Most people revere it. They don’t revere it really, they are merely scared of it. It is impossible to stop, is all-engulfing and all-consuming. It’s hungry. And it does not relent. The older Paul once told Mrs. Gomes that each fire is as distinct as people are. Each fire has a character. Each fire has a voice. The fires speak. Fire growls. And whispers. Fire can creep up on you silently. And fire can leap on you when you’re least expecting it. Like a person, a fire has its own life. From a spark to a tinder to a flare to a blaze to an inferno and to the biggest of them all, Sun. Sun is probably the only share that the fire takes that we truly respect.

Ok, that’s about it. Love this short para that I’ve written. Among the best, I’ve ever written. Don’t want to spoil it by adding more ๐Ÿ˜€ What do you think?

130121 – Morning Pages

Conversations with friends and strangers. About Ikigai, writing, life purpose, success, failure, and more. Oh, and scarcity of time!

7:22. This one should be ok (unlike the last one). I have no pressing agendas today. Just the way I like it!

I think these morning pages have found a rhythm. I talk about what I did the previous day. Pick on a thing from what I spoke about. And then try to think more about it, while I write. And then I write a para for book2. The entire thing takes me about an hour and it is enough to put me in a good mood, to be honest, even if I wake up with a shitty one. In fact, as I type this, I have a smile on my face.

So, lately, I have found comfort in music from Suits. People have made a playlist of tracks from Suits and even though I don’t understand half of those, I love em. In fact, I have been discovering new music here in Goa. Like the other day at a hotel, I heard this track called Jerusalema. Since it was playing on a shitty speaker, I thought it was in Hindi (really) and even when I put my head to it, I could not make it out. And when I Shazam-ed, I realized that it’s in one of African languages!

The other thing was that I got to meet Karl yesterday. He’s been one of those that I look up to in life. He had a couple of interesting things to say about things that I thought i had a deep understanding of.

A, Ikigai. You know, the Japanese concept that helps you find purpose? I thought I knew where I want to (which is to enable and inspire others with what I do and create opportunities for them) but when I was talking to him, I realized that I need to sharpen this. My notions are idealistic (something Rashi also tells me all the time) and are not practical at all. He said (and I agree) that no one would pay me to inspire them unless I become a motivational speaker or something. My personality is anything but that! So, need to think more about that.

B, On account planning and strategy. He said that as a planner you have to get into execution as often you get sucked into Blue Ocean thinking and you don’t know shit about how your strategy is translating into actual work. This is very similar to being a management consultant where you don’t have any skin in the game. Now, I want to be anything but that. So, next time I get a gig, I will try and be a part of actual execution and implementation as well. This is a very very important lesson for me. #sgP1.

The other unintended consequence of my chat with him was that I read that Gaurav Jani passed away last year. I did not know him at all and to be honest, his passing was more news to me than a personal setback. But he has been one of those people that I have been incredibly inspired by since I can remember. When I was young, he did something that I would have, well, killed for. He rode to Ladakh on a bike and made a film about that. All solo. I mean imagine taking shots of your bike, all by yourself. How’d you even do it? And he did all this way back in 2006 when all this was not even known, let alone be cool. Plus there was no ubiquitous Internet, phones, mounts, cameras. I cant even imagine how’d he charge batteries and all that. The dude must have been another level shit.

Lesson? Time is a bitch. You gotta do things now. Err on the side of action. #lifeTheme!

Moving on. On another work call, where I was giving my opinion on how things ought to happen, I was asked to shut cos what I said was in direct contrast to what apparently Kunal Shah, the grand-daddy of all start-ups folks in India, had said. A, if he has said what he apparently said, he needs to be taught. B, even if he said what he said, it may have worked for him but in the specific case, it would never work. You can’t use one-size-fits-all with startups. Of course, this is not about him. This is about me. The conversation hit me like a tight slap on my face that you could be the most educated, well-read, opinionated, caring person in the room but unless you have tangible success to show for, no one gives a fuck about what you have to say. Your opinions are not important. They are invalid. You are asked questions that, well, question your credibility.

No this is not the first time something like this has happened to me. But thank God it happened. I am inspired. Need these bouts often. In fact, I am so so so much inspired to create a fucking massive success that when someone asks me such questions, I can tell them that I’ve built massive shit and they are fuck off.

I know revenge and being sore is not a good emotion (#note2self – Pale Blue Dot, This Too Shall Pass, Seneca’s lessons) but I am human. And I hate when people I care for do this to me.

Anyhow. I think I am ok now. Last evening I was seething in anger. To a point that I could not operate. The world thinks that I am a loser and that’s ok. I have no complaints. But when the ones that I am close to think like that and operate from that place, I hate it. Really.

Lemme talk of something good. Spotlight is finally taking shape. We are gunning for the first edition of the event on the 30th. More here. In case you want to pitch your startup to Dr. Malpani, here.

So, today on, thanks to the kick in the butt by Karl and this nameless-faceless person that told me that am useless, I will try to be a lesser loser. I’ll try harder.

The other thing that I want to talk about this party with some strangers that I was in. The host introduced me to some people as a famous author. For some reason, I felt like an imposter. I mean, all I have is one book. That too has failed to make any dent in anyone’s life. The kinder reviews say that it’s average at best. I don’t even want to read honest or negative ones. The second book is nowhere. Been on it for like 10 years and have nothing to show for that. I hated it when I was introduced like that. Yes, please do introduce me as a creative consultant, creative producer, writer (not just of books), marketer, podcaster et al. I am ok with that. But I don’t want to be just a “famous writer”. I want to be the person that tried. Not the person that rests on laurels. That too, not well-defined.

So that’s that for the morning pages.

As I edit, I realise this has become dark and harsh and ranty. But that’s that. The smile on the face of having typed all this is still around. So that’s some comfort.

So, on to #freewriting for book2. So, for this one, I have talked Prak into giving me a prompt every day to get me started with my thinking.

Today’s prompt is…

Red. The color of love and hate. Of life and death. Blood and rivers, hellfire, and heaven song.

– Prakruti Maniar, Jan 2021

Here we go…

Red was a funny choice for the color of the gown that she wore. Even though the host had clearly mentioned that the theme for the evening is white and blue, she wore red. Red stood out. What was supposed to be a party where dreams were to be talked about, futures were to be looked at, she chose Red. The color of love and hate. Of life and death. Blood and rivers, hellfire, and heaven song. She did not choose red on purpose. She did not have a choice. This was the only gown she had that could pass off as a decent dress into the party where the invite cost her a night with that old bastard, Paul. The party has been the talk of the town for a while now and who’s who was expected to be there. Together they were going to plan the future of the sleepy state of Goa. There were talks of taking the casinos on land, thereby greatly reducing the costs for the owners. One of the proposals was to allow for new high-rise construction near the beaches. They wanted to make coal mining a priority for the state. The coast was going to get opened for large scale music festivals that would get the who’s who of the world down to Goa.

The gates were being opened for the world to make its home in Goa. And at the same time, those very gates were being shut on the faces to keep out the ones that rightfully could call Goa home. The promoters blamed the locals for their lackadaisicalness. The locals wanted to be left alone. The two sides were never going to find a common ground. And this party was an attempt in the direction. In attendance were going to be socialites

Ankit Paul had put all he had and pulled all the strings he could to make this happen. His entire fortune and the reputation that his family had earned since forever was at stake. More so, after his father passed away, his personal credibility and integrity was being questioned. No, he did care for what people thought of him. He had more skeletons in his closet than the ruler of African countries had. But he did care about his bank balance. The power he wielded. The political ambitions that he couldn’t seem to find a route to.

This party was going to change all of that. Hopefully for good. And give Paul the respect that he’s craved for since he was a child. Respect that his father never accorded him. Respect that he had to fight hard to get. Respect that made him do all the things he did. Respect that mattered to him more than life or death.

***

Damn tough! But I like how it has come out!

What do you think?

And over and out. Hope it’s a great day!

120121 – Morning Pages

I talk about the two kinds of people – the one that want to stay with their families and the ones that leave the safe havens behind.

7:51 AM
This one would be short, I have to be somewhere. I have till 8:30 to write this.

I slept fitfully (guess that’s cos all the coffee I had?) but I did have a dream. That I can remember. Been a while since I had one of those. About Lucky Ali. And Rabbi Shergill. Both rolled into one artist. I somehow track this hybrid artist down and get to spend time with him and talk to him about all his friends from the past. It’s funny that I created an artist that’s the combination of these two. In that chat, this new artist mentioned KJ Paji, Vishal Bhardwaj, and another one that’s lost forever. Funny are the ways of life!

So, apart from this, yesterday was an eventful day. Among the most exciting things to have happened is that I found some money on a random hill near Baga. This is the second time this year that I have found money on the road. Like the one I spotted on the 1st of this year, even this one was uncanny. I was on a random hill, in almost pitch-dark (save for the glow from a mobile phone). Are these the signs of the tide turning? I even got a call from a placement consultant about a potential role. Again, something that hasn’t happened in a while! Yay!

Of course, I fucked my system by eating Maggi, Fried Rice, Ajinomoto (:D), and our old nemesis, Diet Coke. I have to say, I love eating. Thing is, I love eating things that I love anyway. I am not much for experimenting with food. If I were the kinds to have a great metabolism, I would love to eat Dal Makhani every day. I’ll probably eat Maggi often. I love the crisps like a man possessed. But then, all these are foods that are “rich” in complex carbs and oils and I don’t know what all. Need to stop with these.

The other thing that I did yesterday and I have to talk about this evening I spent with some locals. Well, local not as in someone from Goa but someone who’s been working here for over 5 years. The dude has been around and had his family back home.

So he took me to this rock beyond Baga that most people just ignore. It’s a 5-minute hike from the hustle and bustle and once you are there, all you see is darkness all around you. Except for this restaurant (called Tulum, is romantic af) on a rock, in the middle of nowhere, and the Baga-Calangute-Candolim shoreline (the way you’d see from a boat in the sea). Neither the photos nor the words I use would do justice to the sight I had access to. I am recommending the spot to everyone I know for when they come to Baga. Some may romanticize the idea, some may balk at the trek but it is worth a visit. It is THE IDEAL example of a place that I had ever imagined in my head. In an earshot to civilization. Secluded. Offers a bird’s eye view. You know the kinds you get from a high-rise? This is just high-far from the shore. I’d love to make it my home if I could!

Tulum, Baga
Baga Calngute Shoerline

The thing that I want to think out loud about is that when I spoke to this person, the “local” from Goa, he talked about how life in Goa is good and not good at the same time. From the perspective of someone who works here. He talked about how he’s the only one from his family that has to miss his family functions. When the entire world is partying (around Diwali, New Year, Summer Vacations etc), he’s hard at work. He then took me to a place where the locals eat (cheap food, BYOB etc) and there we had few waiters that were from North-East. Again, hardworking boys. Quick on their feet. Good service. But inherent sadness in how they moved. The owner of the place seemed like a kind man but guess the sadness is of being away from their loved ones.

I think the world has two kinds of people.

One, where family, neighbors, friends, community, etc become everything that they stand for. They are content with less. When I say less I do not want to undermine their work or achievement. I am merely suggesting that they would put their family and relatives over anything material. And there’s nothing wrong with the choice they are making. Their life. Their choice. But at least till the time they are alive, they get to give peace, comfort, happiness to the ones around them. They become the rock of their structures and they add to the fabric of their cultures and societies.

And the second, like me, where the family is important, relationships are important but more important is the dent we make. And for that, we are willing to leave behind everything. Some of us get to make the dent and go down the history books. Some of us don’t and die in anonymity. But most times what we do impact a larger number of people than the type one. Again, I am not glorifying people like me. I am merely postulating.

Look at Elon. Bill. Steve. Jeff. They probably left their families for a long-time to be able to do what they’ve done.

Of course, the best option is to be able to do both one and two. And the odds of that happening is rare and takes a while before that happens. Except for some freak incidents where you are lucky and you find a vocation while you are with your family. For the large part, you need to assume that you will have to make a choice. And once you do that, you better stick to it.

So, it is imperative for us to understand who we are and what side are we on. Once that clarity happens in the head, I think things fall in place and life seems to start making sense. In my case, I know what side I am on. What side are you on?

And that I think is the message, note of the day. What do you think?

Oh, no #freewriting for #book2 today. Not right now at least. May be during the day. If that, I will add to this post. And if not, see you guys tom!