180221 – Morning Pages

A note on my scattered-ness and a dump of things in my head.

8 AM. Starbucks Worli.

This trip to Mumbai, I am having a bit of a bad run. Busy more than bad. I am so busy with work that I don’t have time to do anything at all. And old age is not helping. I get tired easily and I need those 7 hours of sleep. The house continues to be a mess. Ok. This is beginning to look like a rant. Lemme not do this.

Back to morning pages.

So, I am at Worli right now. I have a meeting at 1030 and to avoid traffic, I came in early and have parked myself at this Starbucks. I can do whatever in life but I can NOT get stuck in traffic. It takes my soul away like mad. So, Starbucks.

I am kinda scattered in my head right now. I don’t know what to do or write. There are way too many thoughts in my head. This is the first time am feeling scattered and overwhelmed. Of course, the entire world can see my problem with attention. They call it a problem, I call it diverse interests. Listening to this. On loop. Thinking about things. Oh, I am wearing pants. After I don’t know how many years. And I am carrying shoes. For the two meetings that are up next, I need to be in my formal best. And it sucks, especially after you come from Goa where the best formal attire is shorts and chappal. No, the locals don’t dress up like that. They are actually among the most well-dressed people I know. But they accept with open arms if you choose to wear shorts and a tee. Unlike Mumbai and other places.

A large part of this scatteredness is that the work has picked up. And I am juggling three things right now. And there’s so much to do that am scrounging for time. I am making calls from taxis and ricks. I am eating while working. I am sleeping and thinking about things. I can now relate to those Americans that talk about how they need to do 2 jobs to make ends meet. I know that I will have to cut on my sleep if this continues.

So on work, like I said, work has picked up. And that means that I no longer have to seek help (if I can continue to deliver to existing clients). Just that the work I do is low-value and thus I get paid shit. No, this is not even building my brand per se but it’s helping me tide through. This tide through is important. A friend told me something cool. She said when her husband quit his job to do a startup, they cut their expenses so much that they would take buses and trains and avoid taxis, etc. They decided that they need to lay low for a few years and consolidate and build from thereon. They did all of that and more. And they did tide through. And today they are doing great with three houses, fancy cars, and whatnot. May be I am in that place right now. Even if the work I do is low value, it allows me to survive. And that’s what matters. I need to lay my head low, work hard and try to upgrade the value of work, and do more.

And yes, I continue to look for more work. Higher value. Point me in the direction!

Apart from this, I need to book my Goa travel. While the decision to live there and create a coffee shop is still not firmed up, I need to help a friend manage an event on the weekend and I need to be there for that. The good news is that events are making a comeback in Goa at least. The bad news is that the ticket size remains dismal. Acche din aane wale hai 🙂

Oh, I met Ashima and Parijat yesterday at their house. It’s a big feat, considering they have a dog at home that hates me. But I survived the day and we got some work done and Ashi stuffed me with some of the best Rajma Chawal (my comfort food) I’ve ever imagined in the world and we talked about all the decisions that I need to take in life.

What decisions? Here’s a list that I chatted with Ashi on…

  1. Where to live (Mumbai? Goa?)?
  2. How to get fit and live for long?
  3. How to manage money?

There were 2 more things that I have redacted.

I have to say that a simple conversation with her is so so therapeutic! I could speak freely without any fear of any judgment or bias. And while I don’t have answers but I do have direction. For example, for the Mumbai vs Goa decision, she simply asked me why do I want to get out of Mumbai and I realized I don’t have an answer, except seeking a cheaper place to live. And suddenly, places more than Goa opened up! I mean why not Delhi? Pondicherry? Pune? Thane for fuck sake! Yeah, yeah, Goa gives me access to eclectic people and creative crowds, and newer opportunities. But that’s that. If this is my years to lie low and consolidate, why get stuck on Goa?

Yes, I am more confused than ever. But I do know that the variable I was looking at was incorrect. I need to fix it. Let’s see what I decide.

Before I move onto the next thing, here’s a plug. Ashi is a homeopathic doctor for people like you and me. And pets. I have referred her to a few friends that need help with their pets and EACH person has great things to say about Ashi. You must see her website and in case you want a homeopathic opinion for your pet, do reach out to her.

Next. Car.

So I was in a car yesterday that was as big as a lavish1BHK in Mumbai. I pine for a time when I’d have a car. I am not materially attached to it. It could get scratched, bumped, and all that. It could be any make, model etc. But I need a vehicle to get around. In fact, I think I should actually live in a car and shower at the hostels and all that. After all, my best ideas come to me when am either showering or I am in transit! Lol!

What else? Nothing I guess.

I started this with a rant on Mumbai and lemme end with another Mumbai rant. This trip, I am having a bit of a lucky run. Oh, I have to mention that I am having a bit of a lucky run! I said that I am scrounging for time. Every time I miss the deadline, somehow, magically the client would push it! I know this is not sustainable and a time would come when everything would come on my head at the same time. So, need to pull socks! I have used this pulling of socks a few times. Need to expand my dictionary.

That’s it for the day.

Over and out. And no, nothing on #book2. 🙁

170221 – Morning Pages

A longish post where I have dumped all that is clouding my head. I talk about Mumbai, Goa, Money, Work, Shah Rukh Khan and more!

7:43 AM.

Am at a Starbucks. The Powai one. This is where I wrote most of #tnks from way back in 2013. Or was it 2014? Whatever it was. I used to love the early morning grinds (this one opens at 7 AM) and flurry of words that would come out. Truth be told, I miss it. I mean I still live a tiny hop away from Starbucks (4 of them!) but for some reason, the one at Powai feels like home. Things have changed – your know, ambiance, people, staff partners, what I do in life but for some reason, the Powai Starbucks feels like home!

So, the morning pages. I have quite a few things to dump on paper. I am not sure if I would have the time. I have a LOOOOOOOOoooot of things to work on. Actually, lemme start with that.

Work. So thanks to COVID and the general fuckery with which I live my life, I am struggling to make ends meet (no wonder! Mr. Garg, you are wasting 500 bucks on average coffee, you dumb-wit!) and as a result, I took on everything that came my way. Most of these things are where I need to create make. And that means I am left with very little time or energy to do things. And that means I am unable to make things move. Remember what I spoke about movement the other day? And what Sheba told me as well? That!

So, I need to find more work where I am paid well for being a mere manager. You know, not invest a lot of time and get paid for experience and expertise. Right now, I am slugging it out like a modern slave. I am paid for my time. I exchange money for time. I am not getting rich while I sleep. The hourly rate that I charge can continue to go up but at the end of the day, I am paid for the hours that I put in! And that has to change. Naval has talked about this so many times that it’s impossible to miss it. I just need to find a way to get to a point where I no longer need to charge for my time. So, that.

This is also related to what PG has been saying for years – Maker and Manager. PS: PG is probably the best essayist that we have on the Interner right now. Do read his stuff. Gold.

So that’s first thing I need to work on. Someone, help me please!

Moving on. So this trip to Mumbai (wow, did I say this trip to Mumbai?), I have been indulging – you know, watching TV, spending money and all that. And you know what I realized? I like love to spend money. The only pair of shorts I have, it was housing dirt and muck and I don’t know what else from at least 3 months. And since I don’t have a washing machine or help or even the time to let it dry after I wash it, I had to buy another one. I bought the exact same one and I loved the feeling of swiping my card on a machine at an almost fancy store (Marks and Spencer). And I am wearing it today. And I feel good about it. In fact, I was out with a friend last night (well, thug life) and while talking both she and I agreed on the following relationship between money and happiness. I call these ‘SG’s Rules of Scarcity or Abundance of Money‘. These are not really my original thoughts but a mere articulation of what I’ve read and what I understand about it.

Here we go…

  1. While money may not buy you happiness, it definitely makes your life comfortable. If you are indeed sad, you’re better off being sad in the comfort of your plush home (or the backseat of a Merc) than being sad at a place that doesn’t offer you any privacy. You know, in shared accommodations, large families, Internet (lol!), etc.
  2. While money may or may not make you happy, not having money will definitely make you sad. I am the biggest living, breathing, moving, thinking testimony of this. I operate at my best when I am comfortable.
  3. Money gives you the freedom to do what you want to do. And this ability (or inability) to do things that you want to is often is the root cause of happiness (or sadness).
  4. Money allows you to control your time. You become the master of your time and this mastery is what drives happiness or sadness in large parts.

Am sure, there are more. I will write them in a separate post and publish em here. But one thing’s for sure. I love money. I love earning And I love to spend. I can’t wait for the achche din to be back. Come on, Universe!

So that’s that. The next thing? Happy Accidents. At the Starbucks, I bumped into an old acquaintance. This is what I love about places like Mumbai and Starbucks. These places allow for serendipity to happen. Plus, there is something about a hug that a Zoom can never make happen. We are social animals and while we adapt fast (and we will), at least for me, the handshakes are as important as breathing. I just hope that I am not obsoleted to a minority that still wants to meet IRL. Sigh. That’d be sad.

Once I understood the power of living at hubs, I have tried hard to find those and move there. The move to Andheri helped me like mad. If only I had some passive source of income, I would have done a lot more. Wait…


Epiphany just happened.

I just dawned onto me that I love Mumbai WAY too much to not live here (#facepalm). Even though I don’t have anyone here that I can call my own. Even though I hate the dirt and the filth and mess and all that. Even though the place is expensive af. But I love the convenience of living in a big city. I love that I can dream here. Unlike in other cities. I like the idea that people are open. For ideas, conversations, business, work, and all that.

But then I like the idea of being a rootless bird as well. I loved the time I spent in Goa (for all the fuckery around the Internet) and I am getting serious about a cafe in Goa. I’ve made a few phone calls, have connected with a few folks, have started to do the maths! Again, I am not sure about it. I will let it simmer in my head and see where it goes.

The point is, while I was in Goa, I loved it. Now that I am in Mumbai, I love this. I am easily swayed I guess! Let’s see where I go life takes me and what I choose and what’s in store for me. To be honest, I am very very ok with the ambiguity and randomness and all that. Just that I need to be comfortable 😀

There’s one thing though that I’d like to know. How would the world change with WFH and all that? I tend to believe that places and things that thrive on IRL human connection will continue to remain in vogue. You know places like Mumbai and businesses like films. And things that do not need you to be in the same room as others, may change radically. Places like Silicon Valley and things like technology and software.

So that. Any ideas?

Before I move to the next thing, am at 9:47. Been writing for two hours now! And I still have a lot to write about! Lemme use bullets to take notes and I will probably pick these up tomorrow. And in case I don’t, at least I would send these to my Roam.

  1. SRK (who else but Shah Rukh Khan). I dont know where to start talking about him. Or where to end. He is, well, one of his kind.
  2. Met Sid Saahil from TID Podcast yesterday and shared notes. Learned that despite him coming from an affluent background, he hustles 10X harder than what AD and I engage in at Podium. We have to pull our socks. Such rude shocks are required once in a while to keep us on course. Will write a Twitter thread about the lessons from the meeting.
  3. A documentary on Aram Nagar. I was at Aram Nagar yesterday. Realized that someone needs to make a documentary about it. I mean it is as iconic a place as any and the contributions of Aram Nagar to Bollywood has been immense! I wonder why it’s not been captured so far? May be it has been, just that I haven’t seen it yet.
  4. Writing Tips. A few days ago, I started a series of writing tips. Primarily to friends that are nonwriters. Here’s the first one. You can join the no-spam, admin-posts-only WA group here.
  5. Someone asked me what was I doing when I was 31. I had no answer. When I asked her to tell me the year (I was 31 in 2013), I could remember with great clarity where I was! I always thought people operated in terms of ages but I realized I operated in years. Dunno what to make of it. I just found it interesting and amusing. Here’s a question for you. What do you remember better? Age? Years? And what were you doing when you were 11? 21? 31? 41? 51? Do tell me!
  6. Another conversation yesterday made me realise that you need to find underserved markets that could be immensely boring! Cases in point? Recruitment for young startups, digital marketing for mom and pop shops, content farms etc etc. These are really boring and non-sexy businesses and yet they deliver exceptional opportunity!

So yeah. That.

I know it’s a lot for a day. Guess this was a long time coming. Am glad that I could finally pour things out. I just need to continue with the flow and get going on #book2. And no, I am clearly not working on #book2 today either 🙁

The ‘Rule of Three’ in Writing

In this 30-seconds-to-read post, I talk about ‘The Rule of Three’ in Writing. A simple tool that you can use to become far better at writing!

Here’s a question to get you started.

What is common to the following? 

Roti, Kapda and Makaan
Satyam, Shivam, Sundaram
Blood, Sweat, and Toil
Aap, Main aur Bagpiper 
Mind, Body, Soul
I, Me, Myself
Dharti, Paatal, Aakash
Etc. etc. etc.

Three things. 

All these are in triads. In threes. As part of one message.

This is typically used in writing (see this) and other similar disciplines (comedy, performing arts, etc) and the law finds application at multiple places.

You know three lives that you got when you played Super Mario? Contra? Or most other computer games? 
Three meals of the day? 
Three steps to success? 
Three wishes that you could make from the genie? 

There is so many places where you see it. It is like the Golden Ratio. They are applied at places that you often fail to see. In fact, these “laws” are used by master communicators to influence conversations and moods. Reminds me of that famous talk by Steve Jobs at Stanford where he talks about some stories from his life. See it here…

Steve Jobs at Stanford

Can you guess how many stories does he talk about? Lemme know in comments.

You have three guesses. You know, three strikes. 

In fact, most stories, folklores, and even films follow the three-act structure. The Hero’s Journey (the universal storytelling structure) is about three parts – go into an adventure, win a decisive battle, and come back. I am sure if someone were to dissect more great narratives, they’d spot these laws being used at multiple places in those texts! 

So, the lesson for you and I while we write?

Next time you have to talk to someone, try by saying that you have three things to talk about. And then like a numbered list, say, first.. this; second that and third, whatever. 

You would see that the audience pays a little more attention. Try it.

Next time when you have to write, try to write in threes. You can use this to write stories, essays, films, books, IELTS applications, blog, content, and whatnot.

Like this entire post is in threes. Just that this is the second thing of the third section. What about the third one? Guess?

160221 – Morning Pages

Nothing special here. You may skip reading this one.

6:43. I slept at 2. Woke up around 15 mins ago. Not sure what all to write but a few things on the top of my head.

Its been a few days that I am in Mumbai. I ideally want life to fall into a routine of wake up -> Starbucks -> Work -> Eat -> Sleep. But it would not happen. I need to run way too many errands for way too little time that I am here for. And I want to meet quite a few people (friends, mentors, strangers etc.). This meeting with strangers has helped me find work over the years. And I need to continue to do this if I want to make my ends meet. You know, tough times call for tough decisions.

So, morning pages.

Yesterday was a long long day. I worked non-stop from 8 AM on. Till about 6. And then from 8 till 1030. Well, work was a combination of writing, editing, powerpoint-int, giving gyaan, seeking gyaan, and whatnot. After living the thug-life over the weekend, yesterday was good. Just that, when I came back home to the dump I am living in, I was incredibly sad at that. Plus, yesterday was one of those days when I did not want to come back to an empty house. No, I don’t want an object per se that wants to wait for me. But someone that I could be myself with. And allow that person to be herself. And be her home. And all that. I guess you get the drift. And no, am not crying about working hard.

Oh, I have to put this on paper. Since I was working like mad yesterday, I had way much coffee and I did not eat anything till about 5:30. The last meal was at 1 AM the previous night. So, without planning for it, I ended up eating once a day and fasting for about 16 hours. Yay for that. Let’s see if I can do the same today. I have as much packed a day as I had yesterday. Time shall tell!

Yesterday a friend asked me for tips on how to live a life of a freelancer and I realized I had no clue. What I did know is that I could find places and opportunities where I could point her to. While searching for things, I found this Twitter thread by Chuck Gopal (I love everything he does) and I think if you are thinking about going freelance, this is worth its weight in gold! Do see it.

This also made me realize that I need to act on that large idea of mine where I want to make Goa a hub for knowledge workers where they can live and work remotely from. The guide to living and working from Goa was the first step. As the next step, I want to aggregate resources, pool businesses, and invite people to work from Goa. After that I have to create an on-ground infrastructure to make this happen. I mean you may read a post and you may land in Goa. But what after that? So there’s a lot of work. Need to get going with this. #note2self

Finally, as I end this, here’s a good thing that happened. Today, I start editing / proofreading yet another book. Yay! For someone else. This is the second book I am working on. And I am getting paid for it. And this is fiction (the first one that I am still working on is biographical). I love this feeling of helping others. And this allows me to learn from what they are writing! I mean what else could I ask for in life? The only trouble is that am way too particular about things and I will probably take more time than I estimated. And I need to be able to deliver enough value that more people are keen on engaging me!

So that, I think this is about for the day! Time to get going with the day. Like I said, I have a long one!

No, nothing on #book2 today either. I think I have lost the plot with the daily notes. It sucks to not chase what fans my fire 🙁

PS: The rasa, the juice, the joy, the pleasure on these morning pages is disappearing. This has started to feel like a chore now that I do mindlessly. The amount of writing I get done is reducing by the day. I mean it requires me to think about things on the top of my head. And then write. And edit. And then publish. And all that. Of course, my writing muscle remains active. But then what? To what end? Can I make this better in some way?

So, I need a new strategy for these morning pages. Sigh. Funny the kind of questions that I trouble myself with! Chalo, over and out.

150221 – Morning Pages

I talk about how I spent the weekend, think I am thinking on and new things am planning!

8:18. I thought it was 8. Time flies. Anyhow. Morning Pages. A new week.

This one comes from, well, a Starbucks! The one at Versova. I cant imagine to tell you what a relief it is to have a business that is operational and allows you to work in peace (and offers Jazz music as background noise). I wont be surprised if I decide to stay back in Mumbai just for a Starbucks! Really!

Or maybe create something similar in Goa? I wish I had the money and I would have done that!

Anyhow, so, the weekend was spent like a thug. Watching TV, eating like a man who’s been starving for years, going to dinners, lunches, coffee dos, taking pictures, tracking the sunset, making phone calls etc etc. Primarily with friends from MDI (more on this later). I think that’s not a bad life to have if you have a stable job. I mean you get paid a bomb and you spend all that money on fancy things at fancy places with fancy people. What’s wrong with that? Who cares if young activists are being jailed? Who cares if people are losing their jobs over tweets? Farmers are anyway not our problem. So let them stay camped on the borders of Delhi. COVID is no longer a threat. Let’s party.

Damn. I feel so so so guilty of wasting time over the weekend. I should have simply worked and finished things that were open on my plate and used the time to meet people while I am in Mumbai. Damn I need to be less critical on myself 🙁

But then what’s gone is gone. I can make sure today is better! Will try to not waste time. Let’s see how it goes. On to morning pages. As I write this, I know I will not have the time to work on #book2. I will try to but I can’t promise. Let me get on with it and unlike a journal, lemme try to write about things that are clouding my head. You know, the original purpose of morning pages.

A. Mumbai vs Goa
I don’t have very structured thoughts here. Ofcourse. Lemme just dump things here. So, when I am in Mumbai, I feel I have more time on my hands. I don’t know why. It just feels like that. Maybe because I spend less time chasing the Internet? And the entire city around me trying to work and get things done and all that? Maybe because of moving around / traffic etc, I think I am a lot more planned with time and all? I haven’t been able to pinpoint. Let’s see how this week goes. And I’ll hopefully figure out the answer.

But I have to say that I spend a lot more time in traffic when I am here. I mean, on the weekend I spent 9 hours commuting. Really. 9ish hours. Andheri to Worli. Worli to Bandra and back. Worli to SoBo to Worli to Bandra to Andheri. In Goa, maybe cos I don’t venture out of North Goa, I spend far less time on travel?

So that. Guess this week will help me add many more dimensions to how I am thinking about Mumbai vs Goa thingy.

B. Friends from MDI
Like I said, over the weekend, I met friends from MDI and it was nice. I was myself and there was this tacit camaraderie that I think I miss when I am with others. I guess that’s what shared backgrounds do. I guess this is what they mean when they say that relationships compound.

The other thing I realised that I am not the life of the party. I was with friends and most of our conversations were dry, drab, philosophical and you know, boring. JKB came in and suddenly, the place and mood was so much lighter and better and funner. JK is amazing. Glad that I can call him a friend. But the point is, I am not that. No, I dont want to be that. I am just stating.

The other thing that I realised is that I do not have a lot of friends or people that I go back so long with. While its fairly easy for me to meet new people, I think I shouldve invested more in people. No, it’s not too late. I will invest starting now. I think the drive I was on where I would prioritise myself over others need changing. I need to be there for my friends when they need me. I think Vivek will laugh at this 😀

C. Starbucks.
How can I write something and not praise Starbucks? So we were at this new coffee place in Bandra where all the hipsters were hanging out. This group of friends and I were trying to find a place to sit. There was this lady sitting on the table next to it. We asked her if the table we wanted was empty. She politely said, yes it was. And we sat. And then I thought I knew her. I asked her if we’ve met. Lol, no, not as a pickup line. She said she worked at a Starbucks in BKC and now she’s here. And then, she told me that she remembered me (and not my name, which is ok) and told me that my regular order was an Americano and I would come in early and I would take the only chair and table at the outlet. And then she said you are still dressed the way you were all those months ago (formal shirt, linen shorts, chappals).

Insane how well trained these people at Starbucks are! The lady remembered how I dress up, what order I had and where I sat. And I havent been to that particular store in

Oh, here’s a pic from that new place…

Clicked by Saurabh Garg, at JavaPhile Bandra

D. My first Clubhouse
After lurking in the shadows for so long, I finally made my Clubhouse debut. In a room where we talked about books. We were to talk about a passage from a book that has left an impression on you. I talked about a para from Jack Kerouac’s brilliant para from On The Road. It goes…

…the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue centerlight pop and everybody goes “Awww!”

From On the Road by Jack Kerouac

I think I enjoyed being there. Need to use it lot more.

So yeah, that’s about it for today I think. Have a crazy day / week ahead. I like this rushed life to be honest. I am not made for taking it easy!

Chalo, more tomorrow. Over and out.

140221 – Morning Pages

Nothing important on this one. Just a random piece of text from, well, a Starbucks!

9:36 AM

I am writing this from a Starbucks and I am telling you that there is no better feeling than this being able to walk-in to a store, sit on a comfortable chair, hike the laptop on a table that’s just at the right height, and a connection that works! It’s magic. Actually, it’s not magic. It’s more hygiene than anything else but when you live (or want to live) in Goa, these things look like magic!

So, morning pages.

Yesterday was interesting. I was like a vegetable and thugged it out. I binged on Brooklyn 911 and fuck it’s amazing. Exactly the kind of humor I want to have. I also saw Pride and Prejudice in parts. Fuck it’s been done so well that I actually pined for the freedom and opportunities to create things like that! Ok, too many fucks in one sentence.

The thug-life did not end at the binge. I actually went out with a few friends for dinner and drinks. No, I don’t drink. Yes, I ate like a mad man. The place where we were at, there were so many people that probably would put pre-covid parties to shame. The other shameful thing I observed was that kids as young as 16 (they looked like 16 or younger) were smoking, abusing alcohol, and living their hedonistic life. Yeah yeah, I sound like their father or that disgruntled uncle that you can’t seem to ever please.

In fact, in the spirit of living in public, here’s a confession. I am one of those that is never satisfied. I want to be divinely discontent but I think am devilishly discontent. What this does is that it leaves me asking everyone around me to push themselves to do more. And I often border on being pushy. And that means I am often not so kind when I talk to people. You know that question that Indian parents ask when you score 98%? Am that! So yeah. That. Why do I bring this up? I don’t know. It just came up when I wrote about kids indulging. I don’t understand how people do not work and while time like that. Vegetative-ness is not for me.

So that. The house still remains in mess. To a point that I dont even want to start cleaning it. But then, me being me, I did start with it. At least the bedroom. The problem with the rest of the house is that there’s no space to even walk. Yeah. Mumbai houses. And the boxes that contain all my life’s things. Imagine. Life reduced to a few boxes and eventually an urn of ash. And not even that if you decide to walk into the forest (the way I want to go, when I go). Fuck reminds me of Carl Sagan. Do see this.

Do that.

Oh, I have been sending some “writing tips” to a people on Whatsapp. I am not sure they work for people but I really enjoy writing those. In case you want in, you can join this admin-only group.

Guess that’s about it. I know I have more to say. I know I should say more. I know there is more to morning pages than a quick journal. I know I know a lot. I know I dont know even more than what I know. I know am merely indulging now and have stopped making sense a long time ago. I know. I know.

Over and out.

130221 – Morning Pages

Just another update from just another day in the string of days that seem to blend into one another. Wow, what a line!

8:34 AM

Starbucks! Yay! This thing about being able to walk into a place that’s ready to help you get to work (AC, Internet, Coffee, Chair, Table, etc) is one of the most underrated things in life. Thanks to this “predictability”, yesterday I shuttled between three different outlets and I spent close to 2000 bucks. No, I did not pay for coffee per se – it was more for ambiance, AC, cleanliness, politeness, friendly nods, and more! Businesses in Goa need to understand this tweak how they work.

So I have a lot on my plate today. While most people tend to chill on the weekend, my weekends are more packed. Simple reason. I try to do things that I haven’t had the time to work on during the week. And most people that need me to get back to them do not work. And thus I have a super relaxed time when I can do things that I want to, at my pace, in the way I like to.

No this is not a rant. I am sorry if it comes acorss like that.

Moving on. The morning pages journal for the day. Lemme address this conundrum between pages and journal. When I started, it was supposed to be a tool to help me with my creativity. But when I started writing, this became a journal where I would rant and write about things that happened in the day that went by and the things that I have planned for the day ahead. So, the “creative” journal has reduced to a daily journal. I feel that I need to break out of this habit of journaling but then I don’t want to. I mean I started this more than two months ago. Proud to say that I have not missed a single day. There were days when I was busy – those days I wrote less. But I did. Along the way, learned discovered quite a few things about myself. I think this is one of the best habits I have acquired in the recent past. I just need to nudge this to create better things. If you are reading this and want to pick a hobby that makes you better, morning pages.

Anyhow. Onto the pages.

Like I said, I have a lot on my plate today. And a lot more on my mind. Lemme try and pour it all here. Like always, in no specific order.

I am shifting to a calendar-based system for managing time. And funnily I was supposed to write these from 8 to 9. And one of those people that I really care for called and she wanted to chat about life and work and the calendar went for a toss. Sigh. But then the idea of a calendar is to be able to do more and enable more people like here. So, if I cant shift my calendar to give as much time to my people, no point. Oh, and she told me that apart from her vitals, everything (including lunch is on her Google Calendar). Guess this is a sign!

Met M&m yesterday. Kids are probably the most amazing creation of the universe. Though I maintain that I hate em, I like these two. Each time I meet them, I am inspired to do more. To be able to give them a better life. No, I can’t do better than what is already being done for them but still.

I had a call with a random person about some work. Think of it as a pitch per se. We were to figure out if we could work together. When I spoke to him, I found that the guy had done enough research on me to know that I am from Hissar and I like Nagraaj and Super Commando Dhruv! I am not sure I have ever written that! The dude was that good with his research. Damn living in public!

The other thing that I did yesterday was to move data from cloud on the new M1. The offline copies would help me cope the Goa Internet. Oh, the piece I wrote about Goa? I am so so grateful that I did. It is making me meet so many new people and making me learn so many things and sparking so many ideas that I am tempted to write more. The only trouble is that for someone like me, writing takes far far longer than what it takes for other people. So that!

I think this is it for the day. When I started writing, I had thought I would write a lot more but I guess not. May be tomorrow.

And no, no #book2 today either. There’s work to be done 🙁

120221 – Morning Pages

Large part of what I wrote today is a rant. You may want to skip reading this. Nothing interesting or insightful here 🙁


I am at the Starbucks where I wrote #tnks from. Powai one. I have some really incredible memories of this place. In fact, I love Powai better than all of Mumbai. I wish I would live here. If I do choose to move to Goa, I will probably find a few friends in various parts of Mumbai and make a shacking arrangement with them. This is very unlike me where I have wanted my privacy and my room and my comfort. But then, desperate times call for desperate measures. What to do.

Ok. Morning pages for the day. Like yesterday, I am rushed af. There is like a million things that I need to do. I have never been this rushed in life. I mean I am sure I would have been but I feel the pressure. The sad part is that all this pressure is neither giving me enough to make my ends meet nor creating a brand for me that I can leverage in the future. I often think that I should’ve taken the easy way out of Naukri and by this time I would be making a pot of money and would have had a comfortable house and a fancy car and those two foreign holidays. And no, there’s nothing wrong with it. It’s a very comfortable position to be in. What if you need to manage random politics? What if you are loaning the best years of life to help others realize their dreams? Won’t it be better from wake-shit-shower-work-work–work-work–work-work–work-work–work-work-eat-quickily-work-work-tindering-aimlessly-hoping-for-matches-sleep cycle that never seems to end? Ok rant ho gaya.

Moving on.

So Mumbai. Day 2. After almost 3.5 months. There are quite a few thoughts in my head that I want to pour on paper here but I don’t know where to start.

Do I like being in Mumbai?
I don’t know yet. But I like that Internet works. Things are easily accessible. Internet works. I mean the Internet at a random Starbucks in Mumbai works better than the co-working space in Goa that has the best internet!

Do I miss Goa?
Hell yes. I do.

Will I choose Mumbai over Goa?
I don’t know yet. I am undecided. Like VK said, I need to chase money. I’d go wherever money takes me. So that.

Chalo, lemme take a random track altogether. I’ve been asking people on Twitter for music that I could listen to. Vijesh (someone that I’d NEVER EVER ignore) recommend that I listen to Osho Jain. The dude’s called Osho! So I decided I would check him. Cut to the Mumbai house. Around the new year, I had participated in a couple of Secret Santas and there were a couple of books waiting for me. I opened those today in the morning. One of the books in there was by the Osho. Too many Osho’s in life happening too fast. I don’t know what to make of it. But what I do know is that Osho Jain’s music sounds like the kinds I would want to listen to! I love it! Here’s some

So that.

What else.

Ok. The house is in a mess. And I don’t even have the time to clean it. Since I have not really lived there, I don’t even have a house-help that I could rely on for all the chores. And I need to find one pronto. I hate hate hate hate mess. I should’ve probably called ahead and got it cleaned but I am yet to unpack all the boxes that my stuff is wrapped in since I moved. I thought I would spend a couple of days cleaning things but I am not sure that I have the time to do so. I am on a clock you know (need to back in Goa by 20th max).

Guess this is it for the day. Too much on my head. To a point that I was tired exasperated last night.

I was so fucked that for a change, I felt the need to have someone around me. Guess old age is catching up. Need to become more stable, more stoic, more detached, more atamnirbhar.

Come on, Mr. Garg!

No, no #book2 today either. I am slacking like a bitch. Sorry, Krishna.

110221 – Morning Pages

A quick post on talking about the fact that I am back in Mumbai! Yay! Even though I would go back in about 10 days.

8:11. I have 19 minutes to do this.

Today’s one of those days where I cant even die. AA would laugh at this but it’s true. So, the things am thinking about are…

I am in Mumbai as I write this. At least till the 19th.

I am here after exactly three months (went to Delhi for Diwali on 10th Nov and then Goa on 6th Dec). When I reached home, a rude shock awaited. The house was in a mess. There were inches of dust, dead bodies of cockroaches, moss on the furniture, the stale smell in the almirahs, and whatnot. If you know me, I want things to be perfect af and I am anal about cleanliness. I was fucked in the head. But then I was too tired from the damn train journey and I slept. Fuck I am at that place in life where bodily comforts are more important than mental stimulation. Old age, boys and girls, sucks!

Lemme talk about the train. Yesterday I said that I will see if I could work from train. I am happy to report that the experiment failed gloriously. I couldn’t get a single thing done. The train journey is way too uncomfortable and obtrusive. The guy sitting next to me could not stop peeping into my laptop, my phone, my shirt, and I don’t know what else.

And that means that I have this BIG pile of things that I should’ve done yesteryday. And thus this rush to get over with these morning pages before 8:30.

So, the good thing is that I am writing from a Starbucks. Love that the store is clean, AC is perfect, cheap jazz is playing. And I just got myself a coffee. After a few days. I wish Goa offered such predictability. But guess that’s the charm of living in Goa and that’s what makes life fun. But the point is, at a Starbucks, I come into the rhythm, the zone as fast as, well, a train.

Anyhow, there’s more but there’s no time. This tweet by Anusha summarised my life so perfectly.

Let’s see if I can find more time during the day to write more. Till then, over and out. And its 8:29! Fuck so cool!

PS: This is not really the morning pages that Julia talks about but I had to keep the streak going.

100221 – Morning Pages

Nothing significant to report, except for a rant here and there. Mostly about old age and other people’s coolness 😀

0801. I woke up 10 mins ago. I have a lot to do and then I have a train to catch. I am thinking why am I even taking the train? Why am I going to Mumbai? Apart from one or two people that I may want to meet, I don’t know what else is in store for me there. I mean Mumbai has been home for a while now and there is no way I will quit it completely – I have to do films at some point in time in life and films can not move out of Mumbai for a bit. So that.

Lemme talk about the train. I have thought that while I am on the train, I will get some writing done. The inspiration comes from my experience in the flights. Every time I have taken a flight longer than 2 hours, I have realized that since I don’t have the phone beeping on my face all the time, I think deeper and I do better work. Some of the grandest and maddest thoughts come to me when I am holed in a plane.

So, I am thinking, on this long train, can I actually try and write? And unlike the plane, the train will probably offer me some space to walk around. Assuming that seats are as plush in the train and the AC is as “controlled” and the train doesn’t sway like a pendulum. Writing in turbulence has always been a, well, crazy experience. So, let’s see if I can get some writing done. If I can, this could become a great #lifehack where I take these long-distance trains to get the writing done. I have put my headphones, my Jio phone, my battery back, and every other device on charge. I want all the juice, you know. Let’s see how it goes. Will report tomorrow.

In other things, yesterday, I had a meeting at 11 PM yesterday and by the time it started, I was yawing like mad even though the person I met was among the most interesting ones ever. He must have hated the meeting. But to be honest, I had a blast of a time. It was after a while that I met someone who’s a combination of writing, emerging tech, hustle, global audience and much more. Need to be like him. And yeah, like all the cool people, he’s younger than me! Being old sucks. Really. For both reasons – no energy to do things after a certain hour and far fewer opportunities in front of you. Sigh!

What else. I don’t know what else to write. Oh yes, time. So, work has been picking up (yay!) but yet to be substantial enough to start paying the bills (damn!). The time is thus increasingly at a premium. So yesterday, I promised myself that I will wrap morning pages in 30 minutes or less. Including what I write for book2. Today, I have another idea. How about I play this track everyday and start and stop morning pages with it? This is about 23 mins long and I’ve heard it so many times that I remember every beat, every up and down from here! If nothing else, this will help me get into the groove easy. Let’s see. I played it some 15 minutes after I started writing and let’s see if I can finish this with the track. So today’s would be about 38 minutes. Which is ok I guess. Here is the track for your listening pleasure…

So yeah, that’s about it, I guess. I have 8 minutes on the track. Lemme try to write some for #book2. Here we go…

How could she take the plunge? How could she take the easy way out? Wasn’t she the kind to fight things out? She finally understood what Nidhi would have gone through to do things she did. Your back is against the wall so bad that you are left without a choice. But then Nidhi acted. Rujuta was merely reacting. Just because she’s been so unlucky in love so often, how can she let those rocks below smash her bones to pieces? How could she become a feast for the fishes? How could she let the sea engulf whatever was left of her after the rock and fishes had their way with her?

Ok, the words are not flowing. Publishing with just one para. Apologies 🙁