040521 – Meditations

Had to wade through brainfog to be able to get these 800 or so words out. May not make a lot of sense.

7:07. Been up since 6:30 or something.
Wait, I need to spend less than an hour on this.

So, yesterday was weird. I started at around 9 and worked till about 8:30. Post that, went for a walk (and was on work calls even then) and was unnaturally tired while I walked. So tired that after just about 3000 steps I wanted to sit at someplace. No, not sit. Lie down. In Shavasana. However, since I was on a call, I endured for about 5000 steps and then I just couldn’t continue. I gave up.

I then hailed a rick and asked him to drive me around. Lol, poor man’s car ;P

The guy took me to Juhu Chaupati and then I asked him to take a U-turn. The ride was weird and good at the same time. I think I saw the life beyond the bylanes of Andheri after a while. I am the kind to anyway not step out beyond a certain radius, the lockdown has made me even more contained. At least for me, despite all my privileges, it is getting increasingly difficult by the day to live a life in a shoebox. Us humans were not designed to rest in one place. We are hunter-gatherers. We are colonizers. We are supposed to meet people and thrive. We are social. We are animals that need other animals – both stronger and weaker than us. The ones that are stronger scare us, inspire us. The ones that are weaker allow us to justify our existence. But in isolation, in a lockdown, when all you have is you and your thoughts, it’s impossible to be what we are supposed to be. Damn, I hate this.

Now I know what solitary punishments feel like. I at least have the freedom to move in my house, what if its all of 120 sq ft big? In a jail cell, you probably are in a stinking crowded room that’s half this size without any comforts!

While I was thinking about this in the morning, a character popped up in my head. It may sound autobiographic but imagine a regular person that sort of flips in the head because of the lockdown. To continue with his sense of adventure, he hacks together a sniper gun and starts knocking off people at random. And since he is on a higher floor of a high-rise in a country like India, he remains hidden and inaccessible.

No, I dont know what happens when he’s eventually caught. I did not think that much. But at least he gets to a sense of purpose! Lol!

Anyhow. Coming back to yesterday. The other thing worth noting is that I felt bloated for some reason. Probably this is why I couldn’t walk around in the evening. May be, I am eating a lot of crappy food? I can probably keep a log in terms of what I ate – yesterday, I had Dosa, Idli, Ice Cream, and Sandwiches. All these things were ordered (I don’t have a functional kitchen) and are super-high with carbs! May be that’s causing the stomach to inflate like a balloon?

Thing is, I’ve always had the guts of steel (thanks to growing up in a lower-middle-class part of Delhi) and I could digest whatever came my way. But I guess with age, I am becoming a soy. Maybe it’s all the seating on a cheap plastic chair for hours to get things done. Maybe it’s stress? I don’t know.

But I can fix things that I think are causing this. I think I will get back to eating less and eating lesser carbs. At least I won’t feel knocked up. So, will order today.

PS: I could workout as well but then I know I cant. I can walk for hours. I can do some yoga but I cant work out. It bores the hell out of me. I dont know how people go thru it.

In other things, I started reading Chuck’s Consider This and I am hooked already. To a point that I did not want to put it down, if not for work. I can see that I will fall in love with reading all over again if I can finish this book. I mean this book is more on writing than on anything but it still is written like a typical Palahniuk style!

Moving on. So one of the things that I decided yesterday was that I will get ready early enough and start with work. I did that and I think I did a lot yesterday. I just didn’t end on time – I think should stop “working” at 8 hours dot. Let’s see if I can.

I had also decided that I will not sleep during the day. And if I am sleepy, I would walk to the nearest Starbucks or Blue Tokai and grab a coffee. Yesterday, I wanted to but I could not find the time or opportunity to do so. By the time I did get the time, I did not feel the need. So that worked out. Let’s see how it goes today. I suspect I will need it. I have a lot to do and I don’t have a lot of energy – I feel drained even though I’ve just woken up.

Oh, I’ve also observed that the days I am groggy (the way I am today), the words for the morning pages don’t flow. This one was a struggle to write. To a point that I had to take frequent breaks. And still, I am not happy with the outcome. Ok, it’s almost 8. Need to get going.

See you guys on the other side. Here’s streaks…

  • Morning Pages / Meditations – 142
  • #aPicADay – 0
  • 10K steps a day – 0
  • OMAD – 0
  • #noCoffee – 55. I plan on ordering some today.
  • #noCoke – 55
  • 10 mins of meditation – 1
  • #book2 – 0
  • Killer Boogie – 0
  • Original Work (limited time only) – 0
  • Surya Namaskar – 0

030521 – Meditations

Inane updates from an inane life of an insignificant man. Talks about films, coffee and random things.

6:16. Lemme dive right in. If you remember the post yesterday, I made a promise that I will attempt a 72-hour fast. I am proud to say that the promise lasted all of 72 seconds. As soon as I hit publish, hunger pangs started to bug me and I waited like a dying man to have the Swiggys and Zomatos of the world open up. And as soon as they did, I ordered enough to feed a baraat. Sigh. I will never have six-packs. I will never climb Mt. Everest, even if they put an escalator.

In other news, I attended a session on the life and work of Satyajit Ray yesterday, thanks to Jai Arjun Singh (do read his fabulous blog). While I did not understand half the things they talked about (apart from Felu Da, I haven’t consumed anything from Satyajit Ray), I could see that there were some 100 people in there, each smitten by Ray and his life and his work. There were people that were inspired by his work, that had gone to infinite lengths to consume things that Ray had created. The best? There were people that felt a personal loss when Ray passed away. Wow!

The other thing that I got to understand that he was like a lone genius that had a team of other geniuses working alongside him. The guy could write, direct, run a camera, sketch, design, paint, doodle, and whatnot. If he’s not a polymath, I don’t know who else is.

I am inspired. Must attend more such sessions to know more about the lives and work of more such maestros.

So that.

The other thing I need to fix is the damn lethargy that I get shrouded by all day long.
I don’t know if it’s the stale air that am breathing in this house?
Or is it the boredom set in by working from home?
Or may be it’s the age. You know, that simple!
Or is it the lack of actual, physical, 1 on 1 interactions with people?
Or may be it’s the lure of easy accessibility to a bed yoga mat.

I don’t know what it is but this has to stop.

I am thinking every time I feel lazy and feel like stretching myself, I will go walk to the nearest Starbucks (there are 4 Starbucks outlets in the 2 KM radius of where I live, so I can choose which one do I want to walk to; and I can walk to a different one every day) or a McCafe (there’s one less than a KM away) or the discovery of the last lockdown – Blue Tokai (again there are two, both about 3 KMs away!).

I know I will OD on coffee but at least I would not sleep randomly. If anything, I will probably stop sleeping all these hours.

And the deal is that I can not order in. Even if I am getting large discounts, I will place the order and collect from the cafe.

I hope that unlike the 72-hour fast thingy, I am able to do this one. This sounds more plausible. This has components of everything I like – walking (will help the 10K count thingy), coffee, taking breaks, interaction with real people. So let’s see how that goes.

Actually, must admit, I don’t like coffee as much I like coffee shops but this walking to a coffee shop and getting it home is the closest I can get. Let’s see how it goes.

Ok. Remember that NFDC competition that I wanted to send an entry to? Well, they have extended the deadline to the 17th. I have another 14 days now to submit an entry. Lol! Not that I don’t have the time – I waste way too much time with these morning pages (I don’t know what end these pages serve), sleeping, and in general moving about. May be I will push myself. Maybe it’s a sign! May be I will limit the time I spend on these morning pages to just about an hour. The thing is while I write this, I tick other tiny things off my lists – responding to important emails, planning the day (for example, on today’s list of things, one of the agendas is to write a letter to one of my earliest penpals (PD)). Plus, I sort of wake up. The engine in the head starts to crank up slowly and I get ready for the day. So I like this time. But may be I will reduce this to strictly an hour. The next hour, I could spend on thinking about the book, walking, maybe working? I don’t know. Let’s see. Let’s experiment from today itself. As soon I hit publish on this, I will get ready and get in the work mode. And start with the book. Or the script.

The final thing that I want to talk about today is a combination of a few things. I was talking to SG2 last night and she reminded me of this tee-shirt that read something like, “ek zabardat toofan aaye aur uda de chuppi ki dunia“. Couple it with what’s happening in the country (you know, people dying and lack of apathy from the government). And then on top add my inability to help – I mean I have not moved a single muscle in this crisis to help others. If anything, I have been an escapist. I have shut all conversation channels where people are sharing their pain and anguish. Not that I don’t care but I am unable to offer a shoulder or even blurt out a line of sympathy. It overwhelms me – I did not know it would. But it did. And still does. The only good thing is that I am not triggered per se. I am functional, in whatever way. I am onto things. But I did not do shit for people that are suffering. Ok, before this becomes a rant and self-flagellating piece, lemme come to the point.

I will no longer remain on the sidelines. Enough of being chupp. Enough of inaction. I may not be an effective ear or shoulder, but I am an awesome brain for sure. So that shall be used. I dont know how or why or when. I will figure out and act.

So yeah. That’s it. It’s 7:21. I’ve been up for more than two hours now (woke up at 5ish) and I have been on this page for more than an hour. Let’s get going. Lemme get ready and start acting. Till about 10, I own my time. Will probably work on the book / script. Let’s see what I start with.

Here’s the streaks for the day.

  • Morning Pages / Meditations – 141
  • #aPicADay – 0
  • 10K steps a day – 1. Did 10K yesterday.
  • OMAD – 0
  • #noCoffee – 54. I plan on ordering some today.
  • #noCoke – 54
  • 10 mins of meditation – 0
  • #book2 – 0
  • Killer Boogie – 0
  • Original Work (limited time only) – 0
  • Surya Namaskar – 0

020521 – Meditations

Inane updates from an ordinary life. Skip if you wish to.

4:27. Woke up 5 mins ago. I know this is freakishly early for most people but I have wanted to be up at this hour all my life. In fact, I want to be up at 4. The time when they asked us to wake up when I went for Vipassana. It’s rare that I am up at this hour, to be honest. Most days it’s between 6 and 7.

I am not sure what to write. I have been in and out of sleep last night. I was in the bed by 9:30 but I think I slept at 10ish and that too, was interrupted. I kept checking the phone and in sleep, tried to play chess. Oh, wait. Lemme delete it. I spend more than an h our on it everyday. Not worth it. Done.

So, today I am up because I have a podcast recording at 7:30. I actually made the mistake of accepting it. I sort of took it as a challenge in upmanship and agreed. Next time on, I will say no unless it’s one of those heroes. Nothing can, nothing must interrupt my morning. #note2self. I thus just have an hour or so before I need to go and do prep (research, etc). Here we go.

Have to log in that today’s MG’s birthday. She’s one of those rare ones that I care for. May she lives long and prospers. I will not be able to meet her, thanks to the lockdown but my wishes remain.

Next, over the last two days, I ate to my heart’s content. Way too much ice cream (Apsara’s > NIC > Naturals if you ask me). Parathas, Rice, Maggi, Upma, and all that. I was craving some great dosa. Had an ok one. A dosa can’t be had at home. You have to have it at a restaurant when it’s hot and cooling down fast. And you are trying to eat it faster to catch the crispies before they get soggy. But in the times we are in, that’s the best I could do. So that.

Today on, I am attempting a 72-hour fast. Before getting back on a low-carb diet. Not that I lost weight while I was on it over the last 15-20 days but at least in my head, I felt great that I was doing something about eating better. That’s all there is to life. Feeling great in the head! Let’s see how many hours do I do this time around. I typically tend to give up at around the 50-hour mark.

In other news, I am still tripping onto music from Murshidabadi Project. Specifically this one.

Oh, yesterday was yet another day when I did not shower till about 12. Thing is, I start with morning pages, and then I slowly start with work, and before I know it, it’s 10. And then someone or the other wants my attention and next time I see the clock, it’s 1. The day just goes by. So, today on, I will ensure that I shit-yoga-shower-powder-meditate before starting any work. I may not be able to do so today (you know, the recording at 730) but I will try for a shower for sure. Let’s see.

Next up, youtube played Chaap Tilak by Ustad Farid Ayaz and Ustad Abu Muhammad Qawwals. This. Loved the mehfil and their group. I never knew I would become such a fan of Hindustani music. But, I am. Also, this track is 47 minutes. The time that I have to write this piece. I in fact these longish tracks as my Pomodoro. There is this 24-minute track by Ustaad Shujaat Khan. I play that when I need to focus for 30 minutes or so. So that.

Ok, time for some serious things. While this is not a review or goalsheet per se, I have to move the needle. So in the month of May I have HAVE to ship one of my projects. I have to do 10K steps even with the pandemic raging. I have to get one more client for my work. I have to put in place building blocks for a startup for sure. Enough of this service business. Need things to be scalable and independent of me.

That’s about it. Need to rush. Here’s the streaks…

  • Morning Pages / Meditations – 140
  • #aPicADay – 0
  • 10K steps a day – 0
  • OMAD – 0
  • #noCoffee – 53 (will start on this next week)
  • #noCoke – 53
  • 10 mins of meditation – 0
  • #book2 – 0
  • Killer Boogie – 0
  • Original Work (limited time only) – 0
  • Surya Namaskar – 0

Slacking on most things, except this morning note. Need to pull my socks pants.

010521 – Meditations

Quick, short post on what’s clouding my head. Little confused and little all over the place.

8:12. I woke up a while ago. Heard some music. Saw two short films (The Gift and Who are you?). I’d recommend them highly. Really really good stories told really well. While I was seeing, I could relate to them at a human level and I had a tinge of envy – I wish I had made those. Every time I see something amazing, for some reason, I want to be the person that played a role in its coming to life. I don’t know why. I don’t know what in me makes me pine for such things. Anyhow.

So, we are on the first day of May. That means one-third of 2021 is over. Time to review the month and the quarter gone by. I know I am will not fare well but I’d love to do a review of sorts and see what I am failing at. May be next weekend. There’s a lot that needs to be done today.

Lemme talk about something that I have been thinking spotting for a few days. For some reason, everywhere I see, everything I watch, each conversation I have tends to tell me to work on the next book. I am sure this is not the first time I’ve had these strong signs but I think this time around, I think I will action!

I mean look at the signs – so strong and yet no action. Here are some…

  1. The day before I wrote about a friend wanting help with a book.
  2. Last night I saw a film and it used revenge as a minor hook.
  3. A bunch of kids that I gave some 10-15K to help produce their short-films came back with a poster and I realized that they need a lot more than money if they have to do well.
  4. Who are you? The film that I spoke about in the beginning.

So that. I must action.

Also, a new idea popped into my head. I mean new for me. Not new to the world. In fact, I tried to work on that idea with GD and Shatru way back in 2010 or something. I don’t even recall when it was. In one line, the idea is to create a library of characters, assets, literary work, assets, etc that can be monetized over the long term. It’s like planting a sapling that will start giving fruit after 100 years.

For example, I commission a few young kids to write edgy characters, plots, and stories. We release those in the world and let them take their own routes and evolve into a life of their own. And at some point, create a larger, more mainstream piece. Look at Raj Comics. They have this insane library of characters created by Pran and others. They can now monetize by creating such amazing content. Marvel and Disney have shown the way already with the way they are going. I love what Legendary does.

I did attempt it with TRS, PPP, and others but I realized I couldn’t control their destinies. I mean I am not a control freak but I believe platforms can do a lot more if I was in the driver’s seat. I am not the driver by design. I wanted to do multiple things. But this inability to move things is frustrating. I think the next thing I put together, I will want to be there. Let’s see what that is.

Anyhow. I am on a 100-year plan to create something that is larger than me. I just hope it plays out.

Let’s see how that happens. May be I will raise capital for that. But then, who’d invest patient capital to create things for that long? Know anyone?

In terms of more immediate things, I think I will get going with the second book. Something that I have been sitting on my ass for I don’t know how many years (7 if you are curious). So that. Lol, I am still “thinking”. Of action. #facepalm! Kya hoga mera.

Thing is, I know why I am not acting on the book. I need immediate feedback. I need to see progress. I need to see traction. The book is like, you know, takes a year to write and then months to see how it will pan out. On other things, I can see immediate output, experience immediate feedback, tweak if I have to.

The other things that I indulge in give me all these. And thus the things take longer to deliver get delayed. Plus Dal Roti. Sigh.

Plus, the other thread is conflicting interests. I like teaching (whatever little I can share). I know I like writing. I know I like helping others. And I know I want to have a lot of money. But for some reason, I haven’t been able to find a thing that marries all these. I mean have done independent things in each of these buckets but I haven’t found one thing that brings all these together. So that.

So the conundrum is – wanting long-term things, wanting to drive things, wanting dal roti, wanting to teach, wanting to want a million things. Lol.

Ok. Super jumbled in the head. Will pick this again tomorrow or something. Abhi need to get on with the day. A lot needs to be done. #toThink

Time to start the day. Here’s the streaks.

  • Morning Pages / Meditations – 139
  • #aPicADay – 0
  • 10K steps a day – 0
  • OMAD – 0
  • #noCoffee – 52
  • #noCoke – 52
  • 10 mins of meditation – 0
  • #book2 – 0
  • Killer Boogie – 0
  • Original Work (limited time only) – 0.
  • Surya Namaskar – 0. Have missed this for 5 days now.

300421 – Meditations

For a change, today’s morning pages is a list of things that I am grateful for. And a list of things that I must work on. Read on.

7:21. Woke a few minutes ago. Not a lot of the mind as I wake up but for some reason heart and the head is heavy. I don’t know what this is but I can hide behind the garb of ennui. Don’t get me wrong. I have a lot of action happening. I am learning new things. I am talking to multiple people. I am getting stretched to the edge of my mental faculty.

I think I am just bugged that I’ve been holed up in this house. I think (I will have to dig out what I wrote) but I was fairly happy with my previous house. In the sense that it was new, spacious, airy and I could walk around. I think I am perfectly ok with the loneliness and staying alone, as long as I can meet people once in a while.

In this one, none of those is true.

Anyhow. What started as description of what’s on my head ended up a rant. Lemme talk about a few things I am grateful for. Let’s see what I have.

a/ I paid salaries to people on my teams – C4E, Podium, TRS, PPP, and more. I even added a team member at C4E for a project. So all in all, grateful that I can support some other people. No, none of these people are paid a lot. No the money we pay to these people is enough to run the house. But we do offer meaningful, polite, aligned to their interests work. Of course, people come and go (I’ve always wanted to create businesses where people do not leave but people do leave and that’s ok) but I am very sure that not one person would have complaints about how I work. So that’s a good thing I guess.

I just hope I could scale the business to a point where all of us are chasing our dreams and have more than enough!

b/ Got back to taking extensive notes. Since I moved to Goa, because I was on the move all the time (no place to work, bad internet, too much baggage, etc), I had stopped taking notes with a pen and paper. Now that I am back, I am beating myself in the head about why I even stopped! It was THE best thing that happened to me. So so so glad to be back on it.

Krishna gave me an amazing tip. He said I could have positioned myself as the productivity guy – you know, a combination of habits, notes, and multi-tasking. If I can teach this to the world, it would be awesome! Need to think. #note2self.

c/ I started to port these meditations to Roam. With time, I want to move all my content ever (all blogs, books, photos, memories etc) to a system like Roam and actually create a repository of all my things on the cloud.

The idea is to discover patterns and hidden connections in my thoughts. And then act on those. Someone told me that as you grow older, you start with the journey on the inside. I think tools like Roam are going to revolutionize how knowledge workers live and play!

d/ Discovered The Murshidabadi Project while searching for new music. Loved it! Love love them. Especially the way the dude sings. Love the nirvana he is in when he’s performing. Wow! I am tripping on this track. Prior to this, I saw this. If soulful music is your thing, you must check these people out.

Side #note2self. Must pull some strings to get to teach at MDI Murshidabad. I really think teaching is my calling. Even if I am not paid, I would like to deliver impact as a teacher. Plus I am the happiest when I see others see their dreams come true. Let’s see.

So that.
Ok felt good.
Lemme now get back to the mean. And be harsh on myself and talk about things I did not do. Here’s a list as well.

  1. Did not do Surya Namaskar. I think it’s been 4 days now since I’ve not done it. I am not walking. I am not doing anything for fitness. Damn.
  2. After almost 15 days, I ate crappy Indian food. I had this sudden craving to eat crappy carbs loaded with spicy things. I tried to resist but could not. As the last resort, I tossed a coin 5 times. Out of that 4 times, it told me to go ahead and eat. And I did. I ordered Aaloo Parantha and some Ice Cream. My taste buds couldn’t comprehend the sugar rush from the ice cream. Now that I’ve broken the clean eating thingy, I plan to order Maggi, Pizza, Chole Bhature, Samosa, and maybe some more Indian over the next two days. No, no Coke. No Coffee. Maybe I will get started with coffee. Let’s see. But from Monday on, I will get back to serious Keto. Probably get a subscription, even though it’s expensive. I hope whatever my irrational mind decides, I can justify it on my blog.
  3. I have been immersed in work so much that I haven’t had the time to write anything new. Nothing on Roshan. Nothing on book2. Grrr.

That’s about it for the day.

Here’s streaks.

  • Morning Pages / Meditations – 138
  • #aPicADay – 0
  • 10K steps a day – 0
  • OMAD – 0
  • #noCoffee – 51
  • #noCoke – 51
  • 10 mins of meditation – 1
  • #book2 – 0
  • Killer Boogie – 0
  • Original Work (limited time only) – 0.
  • Surya Namaskar – 0. Have missed this for 4 days now.

More tomorrow.