Untitled – 27/28 Jun 2024

As always, I dont know what to write but I feel like sharing. I started writing it on the 27th but I was unable to finish it. Continuing today.

Let’s go.

1/ Money

I am close to the month’s end. And that means I have started to get jittery about money. I need to pay my people. While it is a feeling of bliss to pay people who choose to work with me, often it adds to random chaos in my head.

This time it will be especially stressful as we haven’t been paid by all the clients (and of course that shouldn’t matter to others) but I have to pay folks on time. And I am at the end of my credit line. So I dont know what to do.

Let’s see. I’ve learnt that life often finds a way. I am sure it would find this time around too.

2/ Marketer’s Responsibility

Yesterday day before I was dinnering with some friends and we were seeing music from Moosewala and Gurdas Mann and Rabbi Shergill and the likes. I lamented that the music made by these people was to push a narrative (I dont have an opinion if they were right or wrong), educate, inform and all that. My generation grew up on that. I wouldn’t know about Bilquis Bano unless I heard it in a Rabbi song. Indian Ocean back in the day made me curious about Rewa even though they didn’t talk about its significance. More recently, listening to Moosewala made me aware of Sec 295.

Compare it to what people are listening to today.

The top 10 tracks in India today include the likes of Jhumka Gira Re, O Maahi (I dont even know what this is), Sajni and more.

Nothing wrong with these.
Each must be a fascinating piece of art.
But are they stirring my soul?
Are they making me think deeper as a human?

No, I am not sure.

So that’s it.

PS: I know I am cherry-picking a few tracks to make a case – both from my time and from the time of today. And there may be musicians and artists in this day and age who are making people aware but it’s not reaching me.

Now, extrapolate this to communication and marketing.

Which was the last campaign (not just an ad) you saw that made you take note of what’s happening around us? Which piece of communication from a brand last stirred your soul into doing more? Which brand has taken a solid stand that you believe the world needs? No, I am not talking about token activism by brands around Mother’s Day, Pride Month et al.

I can think of Share The Load as a campaign that made at least me aware of how certain kinds of work have been gendered. For my life, I can’t think of any other campaign at this time.

I know that as marketers we ought to think only about selling our wares better. But we have the blessings of a marketing budget. And that’s an opportunity to push the narrative needed by the times! I believe we have a FAR larger responsibility than we imagine (of selling only our wares) and I see fewer and fewer people even thinking about things. Especially in this day and age when one smart-alec piece of communication is on-purpose designed to “go viral”. I mean look at the latest piece from Tanishq. I wish they had dug deeper.


So, while I am appreciative of the great art and craft and thought used by these brands in their communication, as a marketer, I am disappointed that we are not building conversations and communication pieces that nudge the culture.

Rant over.

3/ Fitness

I dont know why I am unable to work on my fitness. I just dont have the discipline. And I will change that from today. This is the millionth time that I have promised myself and the world that I would work on my fitness. Let’s see if I can manage.

I plan to start with some yoga. I dont know how to carve time in the morning. I dont have time during the day. And at nights I am too tired. Old age, you see. But I will find time. Maybe I will wake up super early – like at 4:30. And then get some work done before 7 AM and then do it? I don’t know. I will see. May be I will NOT travel for the next few days and then see if I am able to get a schedule in.

I will also change my diet from today. I ate Suraj Lama Momos for like 100th time last night. No, they are not that good. Just that they deliver super fast. Like in 10 mins. Faster than instamart.

I will go on a lo-carb, high-protein diet. I will try for a few days. If I can’t sustain, I will find myself a cook. So that.

4/ Baarish

Yesterday it rained. And it poured. And it was windy. And it was relentless. And I was in it. At the C4E Sunset Club. And it was fabulous. Oh, while I was in the rain, I was on a call. And I loved each minute that I was there.

I wish there were more rains and more opportunities to get wet and more ways to enjoy it. I wish I lived in a house that was near the beach so that I could go there more often. I wish the monsoon was not a two month phenomenon. I wish I have less and less places to be so that I could be at the Sunset Club, under the rains.

Bas itna hi.

5/ Action

The last night I was talking to an acquaintance. She asked me how I was. And I gave my usual answer. Here’s a screenshot from the conversation.

Let’s park this as A. I will come back to this.

Last night (while getting drenched in the rain), at the C4E Growth Session, I encouraged each person at C4E to list their values. I also tried to list my values. I’ve done this a million times but I thought I would do it again.

Here’s a list. Let’s call this B.

Now, when I marry A and B, I realise that life has become monotonous. There is no action, no movement, no fun.

I may say that I’ve become stoic (after all, I am stressed that I dont have the money to pay my people, I can be sad that I dont have a romantic partner, I could be fucked in the head about my inability to steer C4E in the way I want to and many more things). Or I may accept that I’ve become lazy and dependent on others for things. Funnily, in my life, I was never this. I was always atamnirbhar. I was always the go-getter. Always the kind to do things by myself. And if the events of the last few months are anything to go by, I need to operate from the place where I am all alone. Everyone leaves. It’s not if. It’s when.

Saw this couplet by Faraz on Instagram and I was amazed that some poets can capture emotions so well. This is EXACTLY how I feel on most days. He says,

बुझी नज़र तो करिश्मे भी रोज़ो शब के गये
के अब तलक नही पलटे हैं लोग कब के गये

करेगा कौन तेरी बेवफ़ाइयों का गिला
यही है रस्मे ज़माना तो हम भी अब के गये

मगर किसी ने हमे हमसफ़र नही जाना
ये और बात के हम साथ साथ सब के गये

अब आये हो तो यहाँ क्या है देखने के लिये
ये शहर कब से है वीरां वो लोग कब के गये

गिरफ़्ता दिल थे मगर हौसला नही हारा
गिरफ़्ता दिल हैं मगर हौसले भी अब के गये

तुम अपनी शम्ऐ-तमन्ना को रो रहे हो “फ़राज़”
इन आँधियों मे तो प्यारे चिराग सब के गये


The couplet in bold and underline is what caught my attention the most.

So that.

Coming back.

Maybe I need to be a lot more hands-on.
Maybe I need to be a lot more particular.
Maybe I need to push myself more.

I dont know the answer.

Let’s see.

Chalo, work beckons. Enough for the day.

Untitled – 19 Jun 2024

An untitled rant about things that are clouding my head.

Morning ladies and gents. Here are the things that I want to catalogue on the 19th of Jun 2024. This is a brain dump of all that I’ve been thinking about over the last few days.

1/Rain is here in Mumbai 🙂

Love it!

I know there is muck and stink and all that but I am ok as long as I can go home and shower. I think it’s my most favourite season. While it’s still hot and muggy, the shower sort of cleans you from within. Like a shower for the soul!

If I had my way I would get wet each time it rains. Someday I would have a house with a terrace and I’d just lie down while the rain gods belt me with their amrit and prasad.

I know a lot of folks I know dont like rains and it’s ok. I also tend to not like it when the aircraft shakes likes a mixer in the monsoons. But then its a small price to pay for the gorgeousness of baarish 🙂

Here’s an exhibit.

2/ Am taking a backseat from day-to-day operations at C4E.

Something that I’ve wanted to do for long.

Not because I want to retire but because I want to be able to do more with my time. I want to expand us beyond the borders of India and build more things for the entire village. I also want to take a shot at building a unicornable idea. Right now, C4E does not look like one.

I tried to go offline and pass on the baton a few years ago and when I did that (I went to EBC) and I lost 66% of my business.

Fast forward to 2024. In C, I have identified a fairly able person. Plus I’ve trained over the last two years. And we’ve set things in motion.

We are experimenting till Sep of 2024 and then we’ll see where it goes.

I just need to figure if she would stay with me for the long haul. My experience of having people stay with me is not the greatest. And since it’s just not one person that has moved on, it has to be me at fault. So that.

Also, my insecurity with “my” people has sort of resurfaced with this decision. I thought I had made peace with people moving on. But now I know I haven’t been able to. And I dont know what to do to settle this. I dont know how people find people that would stay together for lifetimes. I dont know how to get used to see people drift away from your life. I dont understand how people you decided to build your life with are no longer in your life. There are times when I still think about all those folks that have moved on. While I need to have happy memories, I tend to get not so pleasant ones as well. And now that I have put this ball in motion, am mindfucked half the times, thinking about when (not if) when C moves. Ok, clarification (realised this while editing). It’s not about her. It’s about me and in my inability to hold people together. Plus this is a recency thing. I realised that less than a month ago that one of my super-long-term friends moved on without telling me. And I am yet to come to terms with that. So that.

Anyhow. We’d come to it when we come to it. For now, the transition is in place.

3/ Lost sight of 40 crores target.

For context, I had decided that in this financial year, I would do a topline of 40 crores. And Q1 is almost over and we are not even at 40 lakhs. I’ve lost sight of the goal 🙁

I can justify this by saying that am building the base for the next phase of growth. After all, we have processes for most things, we have documented a lot of things, there’s a transition happening at C4E. There is no need for me to be involved in large decisions. Etc etc.

But the hard cold fact remains that we are VERY VERY far from 40. Heck, the way we are going, even doing last year’s 4 looks tough!

And no, I am not worried or anything. I am putting this on record. And no, there’s no pressure on anyone from my team to do more than what they want to. Just that we need to be aware of this and then at some point act on it. And since the transition is underway, it’s C’s problem now ;P

4/ Being unhealthy.

I dont know what to do about it. Despite being a diabetic, I haven’t moved a muscle on things. I dont know what to do. Thing is, apart from this health thing, I am NOT lazy at all. And even when I see my energy waning, I am not inspired to do more. Just today I walked 1000 steps and I was puffling like I had run a marathon!

I even have my why to live and yet I am not willing to work on my how or what. As an aware, intelligent, smart and all that man, I know this is not the right thing if I have to do more in life.

But I am unable to fix it. Maybe I will pick some sport. Maybe yoga. Maybe I will finally join a gym, my hernia be damned. Or dance. I really really would like to have a chiseled physique like Jason Statham’s. Sigh.

Oh, I am munching on snacks as I write this!

And this is it. No, no intervention is needed. This is my public journal of thoughts and ideas. I am ok. As ok as I can be. Thank you for indulging me ;P