170421 – Meditations

Woke up late. Couldn’t find the words. Struggled to write. But got in a few words none the less.

9:02 AM. Yeah. Really. I woke up about 10 minutes ago. What can I say, I am living a thug life!

So morning meditations. Things clouding my head. Without any order, here’s a list. And the “solutions”.

A. In most relationships, I tend to give a lot more than I want to receive. You know, low expectations. However, at times most times, even the little I expect does not materialize. And it sucks. It’s a recurring pattern that I have seen time and again with multiple relationships, businesses and transactions. Of course, if there is are recurring incidents, I must be at fault. So, I need to fix this. Dunno what else to say.

Further, I think I survive on this give and take (even if my “take” is insignificant) and I start hurting when this “transaction” is not complete. I have literally lived my life to help others and yet I am told that I am not around when people need me. It just plain sucks. Takes the air out of me, like you know, I got sucker-punched in a bout that was supposed to be a mere conversation. So that.

B. I realized yesterday that I am so so lucky on so many counts. I have enough to eat. I have a comfortable enough house. I have some great relationships. My family is safe in these times. I am generally a cheerful, helpful person that’s mostly on the right side of the law and society. And yet I seem to spot and then crib about things that I don’t have. Now that’s a good thing – you want to do better and I am anyway inspired by fear more than by greed. But I think I woke on this negative reinforcement to a fault. I may need to tame it.

So that. Surprisingly two things. When I set out to write, I thought I would have more. Funny I am. So, here’s the streaks.

  • Morning Pages / Meditations – 125
  • #aPicADay – 106
  • 10K steps a day –0 because of the lockdown, I am unable to get the two hours out to walk 10K steps πŸ™
  • OMAD – 0
  • #noCoffee – 38
  • #noCoke – 38
  • 10 mins of meditation – 3
  • #book2 – 0
  • Killer Boogie – 0
  • Original Work (limited time only) – 1

And here’s the original work. I will write for an hour. It’s 9:26 on the clock and I will write for an hour. However, I still don’t have a coherent story idea in my head. Let’s see if it emerges as I write. Here we go…

Day 2

Satish stirred as he woke up with a heavy head. It had become a recurring pattern. He would stumble back to his house after spending hours and drinking bottles of hooch at the dance bar. No, he was not an alcoholic per se. He was forced to order something while he sat there and admired Janki. One of the backup dancers at the bar. She was not the prettiest. She was not the one with the best moves. She was not the one to dress provocatively. Even on the days when she was dressed the best, she could pass off as a regular woman in the chawl that Satish lived in. There were clearly more and shinier objects of affection that Satish could lust over. And yet Satish seemed to have a thing for her. Lust works in funny ways.

Satish was not a bad man otherwise. He was a graduate and held a respectable job as a security guard at a bank. He even could speak a few words in English if there was a need. He got lot of people from his chawl to get their accounts open at the large bank that were otherwise inaccessible to people like that.

That’s the thing. For people like that, everything was ok. The battles are of survival and not for love or honor or whatever. These words don’t mean a lot when you know that you need to be up at 4:30 and you’d have to walk 3 KMs to stand in a long queue to fetch two buckets of water that you would use during the day. At that time, honor could a hike. Pain could take a pause. Love becomes a long-forgotten thing that happened only in films. Or at these dimly lit dance bars.

Even though Satish was now a regular at the dance bar and he had made no bones about his affection for Janki, apart from him, everyone knew that Janki was not into him at all. Maybe he had an inkling as well. May be not.

But he was back. Day after day. Night after night. To stake claim at the tiny table placed bang in the middle of the hall and ogle at Janki, even when there were other pieces at display. The only time he would saunter his gaze to others was when she would disappear towards the back of the stage to change her costume or take a break.

[END]

Notes…

  1. The words did not flow. I think getting up late is the reason. Must ensure that I sleep on time so that I can wake up on time.
  2. These pieces I write, these are great narratives. But they do not look like or dead like a film script. So that needs to change. I need to reduce the wordiness. And shape these like a script. I am not chasing a book here, you know.

So yeah. That. Was a struggle but that’s it for the day. Over and out.

160421 – Meditations

Quick update on what I did yesterday. And day 1 of an attempt to write a film script in 15 days.

6:17 AM. Andheri.
Woke up at quarter to 6. Some fitful sleep. I think it’s the AC. Need to fix it.

Lets not be digressed by that. Today’s when I start writing a script or something and focus less on thoughts. Let’s see how it goes. To be honest, I dont have an idea in my head right now. Let’s see what comes out when I start typing. I will be at it for at least an hour. That’s the point of “forced creativity”.

Before that, there are some updates from the day gone by and things on my head…

  1. I went out! Yay! I walked up to the nearest Star Bazaar and brought some dry fruits. Grocery was an excuse – I just wanted to step out. On the way back I spotted more people walking than on other days on the Lokhandwala backroad. So I can walk too. I just need to find a time when it’s not as crowded. May be in the morning? Right after morning pages?
  2. Work has started to become hectic. Which is ok. Just that I need to be on the computer for like 10 hours. The only thing I am worried about is my eyes.
  3. KG told me about how Michelangelo would go hungry for up to 7 days and then pick up the chisel to work his masterpieces. Now that’s incredible. I haven’t been able to find any conclusive evidence on a cursory Google search. I am sure, I will find it if I dug deeper.
  4. Yesterday, I talked about Coconut Milk as a beverage. It’s the second day and I love it. To a point that I have stocked the refrigerator with it!

So that’s about it.

I can write more. But I am trying to shun negativity and live in denial. I am assuming that there’s no COVID out there. At least for the next 15 days. I will of course continue to write my thoughts on #sgEchoChamber. And here

Here’s streaks…

  • Morning Pages / Meditations – 124
  • #aPicADay – 105
  • 10K steps a day –0 πŸ™
  • OMAD – 0
  • #noCoffee – 37
  • #noCoke – 37
  • 10 mins of meditation – 2
  • #book2 – 0
  • Killer Boogie – 0
  • Original Work (limited time only) – 0

Now, onto the “original work” that I will write for one hour. It’s 6:43 on the clock. Here we go…

Day 1

What do I write about? Writing itself? A writer struggling to find his spot in the sun? Another trying to prove a point to the world, and to himself; that he’s worth a lot more than what the world gives him credit for?

Or I could write about someone intriguing that I read about. You know, a true story. Of someone’s heroic. Of someone’s extraordinary journey of becoming extraordinary. The world is full of such people. They do simple things in such a unique manner that you are left inspired. Just need to find someone like that and merely narrate what they were up to.

Then there is the question of my ability to look at these people with a lens that makes the story worth telling!

Or it could be about someone’s dreams, hopes, aspirations, ideas, and thoughts. Funnily most of these are so damn simple that you wonder if there’s a story in there on not. I mean at the end of it, each person seeks those basic things that our monkey mind has trained us for – safety, survival, propagation of the genes. For most, safety comes from a house (people call those homes), survival comes from a stable job that pays enough to build their house and propagation from a spouse.

Of course, this simple monkey-mindedness becomes an impossible chasm to leap over when one person’s wants start to collide with another’s. I mean you have a stable job. This stability threatens your colleagues’ survival in the same workplace. He would then try and do things that would jeopardize your stability. You on the other hand would not tolerate this game and you would first secure your place. And once that has happened, you would go back with vengeance. Even if you don’t want to. You are guided far more by your monkey mind than you can imagine.

I can also write about this image that I have held in my brain for I don’t know how long. Lemme narrate it. Let’s see what comes out of it.

So, I was at one of the busiest local train stations in Mumbai. I think it was Kurla. Or it was Dadar. The trains were jampacked. To a point that even the people that were hanging out of the doors were stacked like lego blocks. One on top of another. Interlocked so well that even the biggest canons, the wildest wrecking ball couldn’t make a dent if they tried it at the same time. Packed so tight that even air couldn’t pass through. Whatever gaps you could spot were shuttered by the sweat and in some cases, the blood. The greatest architcet in the world couldn’t build something as grand if she tried for decades. And here we are. In Mumbai. Train after train, bogie after bogie, day after day was so packed by strangers that you are left marveling at the sheer capacity to bear hardship, the sheer will to get things done despite odds, the sheer tolerance of pain, and heat and hunger!

As a newcomer to Mumbai, I would often sit at a busy station to see these men and women and the mass of humanity go through this grind every day. Twice. Every time I sat on one of those benches that were invariably donated by the kin of a rich person that is now long forgotten, I was probably the only person who was still amidst all the cacophony.

So imagine you are in the midst of this scene of life playing like a film. You are marveling at the scene unfolding in front of you. Pretty much on auto-pilot. A train stops right in front of you. Like a well-orchestrated symphony, the wall of people shifts shape. Some bricks come out. Some go in. The wall remains steadfast. The wall gets stronger than ever. People are packed tighter than ever. Anyone even thinking of breaching it would get discouraged by even looking at it.

The train starts to move, the wall starts to take it easy. And unknown to it, a young girl of not more than 14 starts walking towards it. She is unassuming. She is not rushed. She is relaxed. The train picks speed. The girl continues her easy pace towards the train that is now almost a blur.

The last of its bogie is in sight. The girl is now a few feet away from the train. From where I am, I can’t see her face. I don’t even know what she’s upto. But she’s upto something for sure.

As if on cue, she breaks into a sprint and hurls her tiny frame at the wall. And just before she’s about to collide into the sea of people hanging from the doors, she turns around. And her back thuds into a man that’s wearing a distinctly blue shirt. Out of reflex, the man grabs her. The wall comes to life. More hands appear and support the girl. Some bricks shuffle. They make the space that no one could have imagined existed.

While the reengineering was happening, while she was slowly becoming the part of the wall that was almost out of my sight, I saw her. And for a fleeting second, I saw the smile on her face. I saw the determination in her eyes. I saw her punch the air with her fists clenched tight. I saw the unbreakable, the immovable wall of humans make way, shift its shape and bow down to this young girl that I did not even know the name of.

[END]

Notes…

  1. Was tough to start. But once I started typing, it was easy. Takes me a lot of time to get to a point.
  2. There no no story right now. None seems to be emerging. Need to work on it if I am giving myself 15 days.
  3. What I write is very very descriptive. It does not move the story forward. I have only narrated one scene. Took like a million words for it. Screenplays are not that. The story has to move. I need to think differently.
  4. I, of course, need three tracks (A, B, and C). I need clear character arcs. I need conflicts. I need release and resolution. I need to follow the three-act structure. I need the inciting incidence. I need so much more!

Let’s see how it goes over the next 15 days.

150421 – Meditations

Yet again, a rant about how things are and how I am coping (not too good, if you want hints).

7:12. Andheri.
Woke a few minutes ago. The minds blank. I don’t know what to write. Even though I have a lot on my head.
Lemme try bullets.

a/
So, we have a lockdown from today in MH. That means I wouldn’t be able to go for my walk.

Damn.

The only thing that was keeping me sane. But that’s ok. I will prevail. I am stronger than that. I hope so.

This entire COVID situation is getting out of hand and the government seems to be failing at controlling it. From stupidity around election rallies to gatherings like the Kumbh, to allow the country to remain permeable, to even fudging the data, there have been numerous slips.

Also, honestly, I can’t blame just the government. You and I and People are to blame as well. For example, I can’t sit at home (if I call where I live home). While I may claim to take precautions, how do you enforce everyone to be sensible? How do you ensure that there are no slip-ups? We are human after all!

Plus people will die hungry if they do not step out! I mean, they can’t be at home. I don’t even know how to fix that. Damn, it sucks to be a mere armchair activist.

b/
On my way back from the walk last night, I took a rick. Got talking to the driver. I quipped that now that traffic is less, he must be having it easy while driving.

No, he was not amused.

He said he liked it where there was traffic. The meter doesn’t stop. The passengers don’t stop coming. The wheel of life continues to move. He said that if there’s a lockdown, he would be forced to go back to his hometown, somewhere in Bihar. And this is when he had just come back in December after an 8-month-long hiatus.

Funnily, minutes before this conversation, I had a friend tell me that the pollution levels in Mumbai would fall and it will get green and nice and gorgeous. Can’t say no to that. Mumbai is beautiful if you remove the filth that we spew on it.

In my head, what was contrasting was that these two worlds — one of the people that are perched atop their high-rises and the other of those that are literally crawling on the street — will never see the world from a similar lens.

The worst are people like me that are stuck in the middle. We don’t belong at either end. We are not privy to how either lives. We shuttle between resignation, acceptance, denial, and hope. We merely chase vanity and comfort. The high-rises inspire us. The streets are the epitome of negative reinforcement. We chase the comfort and go-getter-ness of the two extremes. We shun pain and try to unsee what these two worlds are going through – one behind the closed doors, the other, communal. Out in the open.

For someone like me, I dont even know how to communicate my anguish.

Someone that drives a rick, has an option to go back to his hometown. He will somehow find a train ticket and go. Someone on the 29th floor of a building that has 5 levels of parking to prop the 29th even higher, has an option to continue to live without getting affected. The only bummer for her is that her “maid” would not come to help on the next party they’ve planned at home – lockdown or no lockdown.

For someone like me, the one in the middle, I have no hometown to go to. Even if I had, I would never be able to jugaadofy a ticket. Of course, no savings per se to talk about. No backup plans in terms of where I could go or what I could do. No birthday parties to host. No domestic help to worry about.

Of course, like I said yesterday, lately I’ve been doing better and I am seeing some signs of how life is at a point where things are a little more stable. With lockdown and the random madness it has thrown on me, I don’t even know if I’d be able to deliver effectivity and continue this stability.

It’s just a weird situation. I am clueless. I have even lost the ability to think straight. My writing has become mundane. Boring. Assuming it was interesting earlier. I took pride in my strong mental framework and how I never got affected by things around me. People could come, go, die, live, win awards, lose jobs, I remained steadfast.

Not anymore. I find myself thinking a lot about people that have lost someone close, lost something important, lost hopes for the future. To a point that I am becoming less and less effective at work.

Thankfully I still sleep ok.
Thankfully I still try and cook up ideas.
Thankfully there is a continual adventure. Like yesterday I realized that all domains that I have hosted on net4 (literally all!) are at risk of obsolescence. I can’t even log in to the control panel. Trying to salvage some of those but let’s see. All the hard work of the last so many years will go for a toss. How are you to imagine that a 20+-year-old company, listed on the stock exchanges will go down? Damn!

Anyhow. Enough. Moving on.

c/
Here’s a thing.
Starting tomorrow (today I wanted to rant), on these morning pages / meditations, I will write not more than 200 words about the day gone by or about things clouding my head. I would rather gun for writing something original. I have a few options.

I want to write a script and enter the NFDC Scriptwriter’s Lab. While it is not impossible to write a script in 15 days, I will try. I could do that. Would make for an interesting challenge.

Or I could write towards book2. Lol!

Or I could work on SoG Book.

I dont know. I want to write something original. Let’s see what I choose to do.

d/
Even though I knew of Coconut Milk all this while, yesterday, I bought a pack on a whim yesterday and it was delicious. The pack says that they don’t put any additional sugar and I want to believe it. I will see if I can sustain my taste for it for the long term.

e/
sgM1 is giving me trouble. Heats up randomly. It may be because of the stand that I have put underneath to prop it up? I tried to search online if this is a common occurrence and I couldn’t find others that have the same issue. So, mine is a unique case.

If the laptop conks off (in less than 3 months of buying it), it would be unfortunate. Thankfully, I still have sgAir. Even though it doesn’t work as well as it’s supposed to, I at least would have access to a computer that works. Without a computer, my ability to make money would get dented.

I can only hope that the computer continues to work as expected. At least till this lockdown is over.

f/
My back has been troubling me lately. I think it’s all the hours of sitting in front of the computer. To fix it, I decided to try and sleep on a yoga mat.

I must report that the experiment failed miserably. I had to get back to a mattress. Old age. Lol! Plus, classic example of shit people do when they are clueless about what to do and are bored!

g/
Finally, even though I touched it briefly in point “a” above, I am surprised that I am this affected, triggered, anxious. I am clueless and I have like zero energy / focus / attention during the day. I always considered myself far more stable, far more sorted than this. I am clearly not. Must work on this!

Let’s see what the future has in store for me.

As I end this, reminding myself that starting tomorrow, 80% of what I publish here would be original work and not just thoughts. Wish me luck!

Before I end, here’s streaks

  • Morning Pages / Meditations – 123
  • #aPicADay – 104
  • 10K steps a day –3
  • OMAD – 0
  • #noCoffee – 36
  • #noCoke – 36
  • 10 mins of meditation – 1
  • #book2 – 0
  • Killer Boogie – 0
  • Original Work (limited time only) – -1 (starting tomorrow).

140421 – Morning Pages

A ranty post on the mindfuckery imposed by the lockdown. In case you read, please excuse the expletives.

7:02 AM. Andheri.
Been up for a few minutes. Had a fitful sleep. Guess it’s all the food that I’ve had yesterday. 4 full meals! Will try to fast today. Let’s see.

So they announced the curfew in the whole of Maharashtra. Plus no deliveries after 8 PM. So basically, I am fucked. I can hit the road today but I don’t know where to go. Goa is an option but the cases there are on a different trajectory. Plus irrespective of what people say, it’s impossible to get things done there (no phone / internet). Also, I am thinking if I have to get affected by COVID (of course I will try hard to not get the virus), I want to be at a place that has better medical facilities and I have a better shot at not dying! From what friends tell me, the scene in Goa is scarier than what it is at other places (cases, medical staff, general carefulness of people, etc). So that.

One thing is for sure. If I am stuck for these 15 days in Mumbai, at this place, I will have to find something that allows me to stay sane. I don’t know what that could be. Meditation? Some sort of home workout (this place does not have enough to spread a yoga mat – not sure how would the workout happen)? Keto? Ideas anyone?

The other thing I am worried about is all the time I would waste cleaning the house. I know I am not cooking but the metro construction across the road spews a lot of dust and particle material in my house. There’s a thin layer on top of literally everything. I will be forced to put in a lot of time just with dusting.

Sigh.
The fuck is happening.
And yes, I am one of those people in the favour of the lockdown. But not in the favour of not allowing me to walk on the road. Damn this powerlessness sucks.

Ok. Deep breath. Deep breath. I will find a way. And too dark. Wont delete.

First things first. I will restart meditation from today. I will restart OMAD. I will be religious about these things. Meditation right after I wake up, once I have opened the windows and all. I will sleep by 10, come what may. I will try and wake up at 5. 7 hours of sleep is good for me.

Lol. I sound like a desperate man.
Lemme change tracks. Lemme talk of three things that I am grateful for.

A. I walked 10K steps yesterday. I could’ve walked more. But I just took a rick and came back home. I did 15K the day before. Today, I will get about 20K for sure. Before the lockdown shit at 8 PM.

Walking is not important but what I do while I am walking is. I spoke to a couple of friends and helped them with what they are thinking about – one wanting tips on marketing. Another wanted inputs on how to do better.

Grateful that people seek my counsel.

B. I have money in the bank for the first time since mid-2019. I mean I still have a big debt that I need to repay but I am finally not worried where would I get the rent from. Or where would I get the money required for paying my people. Even though the cards are still maxed and I am merely rolling them over, I know that I have enough inflow to roll those over.

I am grateful for these opportunities that have come my way; that, in turn, has allowed me to get to this stability. This feeling is very very liberating. To a point that I am probably sleeping better.

I just need to augment this.

C. For all the cribbing and ranting and hate that I have for this house that I live in, I am sincerely grateful that I have a roof over my head. I may have complaints about the lack of space, I am grateful that I don’t have to share this with anyone. I may not be able to remove all the furniture, I am grateful that I have found some space to put my writing table and work on that.

So that’s that.

What else? Yeah! I am going to get started on Diet Coke. I havent had it more than 30 days. It’s time I get back to it. For a month or so. And then I will quit again. Help me decide?

Help me decide!

So yeah, this is it. No book2 today. I have a lot of work. To end the post, here’s streaks…

  • Morning Pages / Meditations – 122
  • #aPicADay – 103
  • 10K steps a day –2
  • OMAD – 0
  • #noCoffee – 35
  • #noCoke – 35
  • 10 mins of meditation – 0
  • #book2 – 0
  • Killer Boogie – 0

130421 – Meditations

What started as a recap of the day got converted into a rant. Lol. Read at peril.

6:56. Andheri.

Slept for some 7 hours. And I feel I have overslept. Even though I had a looooong day with a million phone calls and a billion things to remember, I feel overslept. You know how you feel you should’ve woke up earlier? I don’t think I can do 8 hours of sleep. But 7 I think is doable. Must aim for that.

So, I did a 10K yesterday. Walked on Versova Beach. Among other things, a lot of people play cricket there. While I was passing by some of those, I tried to catch a ball or two. I tried to stop one from my feet. I even threw a ball towards someone.

I remember as a child, I was pretty nifty with all these. I may not have been a Jhonty Rhodes but I definitely was among the better ones with my reflexes and hands and feel. I could stretch myself like a rubber band and dive further than a swimmer to take impossible catches. I could outrun the balls racing towards long boundaries. I could then throw right on top of the wickets, if not hit the wickets. I rarely missed.

However, yesterday, I felt I was reduced to a pale memory of my former self. And it hurt, it pained to observe that something that I was good at, I am not longer even considered eligible for. Guess this is how oldies feel when they sort of retire. It’s the worst feeling in the world!

Picture a young man of 22 who’s take a bus to reach the large departmental store where he was a security guard for years. Just that after 40 years in the service, he no longer looks strong. His actions are slower. His reactions are labored. And he knows that there are murmurs of them trying to find a replacement. Replacement of a person that has literally given his entire life to an establishment! Old age. Sigh. I hate this.

Anyhow. The good part is that I did 15K steps. I was tired but I continued to talk. One of the main issues why I can’t do some sort of a work out (apart from my Hernia that is troubling me all over again – need to get operated finally) is the boredom that sets in after a while. I think the secret is that I need to schedule the calls that don’t need me on video or a computer for the time I walk. For example, yesterday, I had calls from 6 till 830 that did not require me to be on a video and I walked for the most part of it!

Earlier I would listen to podcasts but I think I need something more engaging. More involving. More proactive. You know, like a conversation. Agreed that there’s background noise but I think most people are ok to make that concession. The world is kind like that.

In other news, there are rumors of a lockdown from tomorrow in Mumbai at least. If that happens, I will probably not survive. I mean humans are like cockroaches. They’d find their way through even the nuclear war (remember Wall-E?). But I can not be closeted in a house. A small one at that. I need space. I need to move around. I need people. Even if I don’t talk to them. I am ok to not talk to them. But I need to observe. Make secret jokes to myself about how they are dressed, how they behave et al. But I need them. I need the fresh air that the “modern homes” in Mumbai are not capable of providing. I need to, need to have access to literally an open sky. Of course with an AC in that room. Lol.

Ok. I am digressing. The point is, I can’t survive a lockdown. I have to escape it somehow. Even if I get fined by the cops or get a whack on my butt, I need to be out and about! Fuck this pandemic. Fuck the stupidity of people. Fuck the majboori of the world that they are forced to risk their lives to make ends meet. Fuck our incompetent policymakers and politicians and others that could’ve done better. Fuck Saurabh Garg. For always being on the sidelines when the crisis hits and not taking any action. I had more than one year to get active, learn more, foresee the crisis, and plan for the contingency.

Deep breath, Mr. Garg. You are ranting. The point is not to get angry. The point is to find an alternative to what is coming my way. May be I will borrow VG’s car and hit the road without a destination in mind. I will probably end up driving to Goa but still. If the North East was not that far, I would probably drive all the way there. Let’s see what the government declares tomorrow. Once that happens, I will decide.

So, It’s 8:14 and I have a call at 9 AM. So I have about 45 mins to write for #book2. Let’s see what I create. I am going to write about something that I have not written so far. I mean I may have written on one of the previous passes over the years but I will stay away from usual suspects (Rujuta, Raunak, Mrs. Gomes, Udita, Chintan, etc). Here we go.

[START]

“How much is enough?”

“More than what the world has to offer.” Despite what he did or what he was infamous for, he was a very well-read person at the end of the day. His repertoire included texts not just from Hinduism and Christianity but also from western philosophers, obscure thinkers, scientists, and statesmen. And he knew he was intelligent and knew all of that. And that coupled with his false sense of insecurity is what made him a highly functional sociopathic. And he knew this as well. And he used it to his advantage. Every time he had to do something that even he would not agree with, he would use the excuse of his sociopathic traits to get justify his actions. Like this time.

“How can one man have all of it already? And still want more?” His father asked.

“That’s the point. I know I am here for a limited time. Maybe another 30 years if I don’t get killed by all the vodka that I love. And I need to be sure that when I die, the world stops moving. If I cant enjoy all that the world has to offer, why should anyone else get an opportunity?” He was bereft of any emotion when he spoke that. As if it’s a universal truth that most pundits would agree upon.

His father was exasperated. There was no point in breaking his head over the stubbornness of his son. “This is not how it works. You are far intelligent than that…”

He cut his father midway and retorted, “That’s your problem, father. You never thought I was good enough to carry the fabled heritage of the Pauls. There was always someone else that had your affection.”

He took a pause. Poured himself some vodka and gulped it at once.

Even though his father was strict about not getting any alcohol in their house, the younger Paul was insolent.

“You think so?”

Ankit smacked his lips and said, “I don’t think so. I know. I am not dumb. You know it. I know it. There was always someone else that you held in higher regard. Ever since I was a child, you have ruled with an iron fist. I was punished for no reason. I was pushed against the wall all time. Why did you not just kill me right away when I was born? Why put me through all this suffering?”

He put his mouth to the bottle of Belvedere that he was carrying and took a big drag. This was not his choice of vodka, he had finer taste but this is what was available at the shop en route his ancestral home.

The father could respond to each accusation that was being hurled at him but he knew better. “Son…”

“I don’t want your fake sympathy. Give that to all of your proteges that you thought were better than me. I’ve come here to ask for the Green Book.” He dropped the bomb.

The Green Book was more treasured, holy, and inaccessible than the innermost Sanctorum of the most revered shrine in the world. It has been passed down their family for countless generations. Apart from the father and son, no one even knew that the book of life existed.

The father was not surprised at the demand. He knew that this day would come. Just that he did not expect it to come this soon, on the 30th birthday of the son. But then, the book did have hints of a big upheaval around the same time.

“What would you do with it? You know far more than what one book can teach you. And you have seen it. There’s nothing in there that you do not know about.”

“Again! I am not dumb, father. I know that that book is as worthless as toilet paper. But that book father is also when a Paul boy becomes a man. That book father is when a Paul passes on his reins to his son. That book father is what a Paul is born to inherit. It belongs to me and I am here to lay a claim to it before you betray the family and give it to someone outside. I will not let the Paul’s name go to ruin.”

It was ironic that the two of them were talking about the legacy of their family and both seemed to on the opposite ends of a river. Neither realized that they were at the opposite ends of a candle that’s burning from both sides. A far urgent, far ferocious inevitability. While the son could not see this, the father could see the writing on the wall. He had tried to delay this as much as he could. But the time seemed to have come. The book is never wrong.

He submitted.

“What you are doing right now is taking us closer to ruin than anything else has ever. The family has survived fires, floods, famines, false promises, and far more. You have read about it. I taught you myself.” He lowered his voice. “You were my brightest student, Son, but the book, the Pauls, you and me, this is where our story comes to an end.”

With a quick motion that surprised even himself, he flung the book into the fireplace.

[END] 8:57! Yay!

Anyhow. So, here’s the streaks.

  • Morning Pages / Meditations – 121
  • #aPicADay – 102
  • 10K steps a day –1
  • OMAD – 1
  • #noCoffee – 34
  • #noCoke – 34
  • 10 mins of meditation – 0
  • #book2 – 0
  • Killer Boogie – 0