060621 – Morning Pages

Unlike the last few days, a leisurely post where I write about things on top of my head, hoping to get clarity. No, no clarity happened but.

8:34 AM. Woke up a few minutes ago.

After two-three days of non-activity, I am back. To a point that I am rearing to write. Like you know, put my keyboard on fire! Lol!

So without any ado, let’s go!

In terms of updates, here are the things that are at the top of my head.

1. I got the second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine yesterday. Yeah, it’s Covaxin and that means I may not be able to travel a lot. And yeah, I did have some side effects. I mean the arm is still sore and literally slept through the day even though I had a good night’s sleep the night before. I feel ok as I write this (apart from the soreness).

2. They are most probably opening Starbucks outlets from tomorrow (till about. 4 PM), I cant wait to get back out there and work! The two flipside are that a, I will have to get back to coffee (which I am again trying to stay off) and b, I will not be able to use Starbucks for calls. Starbucks has a lot of ambient noise. I will have to come back. But then, for a bit, I will have a place to go to that is NOT my freaking house. The other thing that may work in my favor is that I will probably stay away from eating till about 4:30 and thus can try and attempt for OMAD! So all in all, a great sign! The world is healing!

3. Thanks to the break imposed by the vaccine yesterday, I am at the last episode of Mare of Easttown. I will hopefully spend a large part of the evening today reviewing it. Let’s see how it goes.

4. I discovered the joys of writing with Hemingway Editor. I stumbled on it by chance. I was cleaning my bookmarks and spotted it. Logged in and was blown by what I saw! Loved the immediate feedback. Grammarly does that as well but for some reason, Hemingway felt more intuitive. Lemme share a screenshot of this text (unedited and in its raw form).

This is a screengrab from Hemingway Editor about the text that I’ve written. The menu on the right tells me that a second grader can read this as well. Not sure though πŸ™‚

But, you see that point #2 about Starbucks needs rewriting. I mean, I refuse to re-write it, but you get the drift. So if you are the kinds that require a lot of writing to be done, you must must consider Hemingway. Of course, the problem is that it’s an expensive piece of software (some 30 dollars). The free version, on the web, does not save documents. So unless you copy-paste, you lose data. For my use case – where most writing happens on a WordPress or a Google Doc and I can easily copy-paste things, the free version suffices.

5. Staying on writing and storytelling, I stumbled onto this course at Khan Academy where Pixar is teaching The Art of Storytelling.

Wait. What?
Pixar?
Free?
Storytelling?
Wow! What else can you ask for? Divided into 6 lessons, this could be the most definitive 101 that you need to be able to write for films. Someone like me needs this FOR sure. On it. Along with the course on writing the first novel.

6. Lemme rant about work for a bit. One of the things I do makes me talk to designers – specifically, the ones that layout ebooks, whitepapers and other such things. Of course I can’t pay a lot of money and I am thus unable to dictate terms. I have to live with whatever designer I can find. And the ones I work with, I kid you not, just dont want to work. They assume that I am doing them a favour by giving them feedback or asking for iterations. They forget that they could be polite. They dont understand that its free market and there are many more options available. I wish people understood that you typically work with people and little politeness, goodness and kindness goes a long long way!

Ok rant over. I mean I try to not rant but people are way to inflexible and set in their ways. I dont know why they dont understand that if they dont change, things wont move for them. Anyhow. Deep breaths, Mr. Garg.

If any of you is reading this and knows any go-getter designer, please connect me. It would be awesome.

7. Next. I dont know what next. I dont know what else to write. There are things on my head that need resolution and movement – SoG Book (the goal for June), moving out of this house, moving out of India, The Aram Nagar Documentary, making money, making an impact beyond just making money, life goals, and all that.

Guess this is it. I didn’t really put the keyboard on fire. But good to have got some words out of the system. Time to get going and get on with work. Meanwhile, here’s the streaks.

  • Morning Pages / Meditations – 175
  • #aPicADay – 0
  • 10K steps a day – 0
  • OMAD – 0
  • #noCoffee – 0
  • #noCoke – 87. 13 more days to go before I go swim in that pool of coke ;P
  • 10 mins of meditation – 0
  • #book2 – 0
  • Killer Boogie – 0
  • Surya Namaskar – 0

050621 – Morning Pages

Quick post that I wrote in like 15 minutes flat!

10:05. I have exactly 15 minutes today. I need to be somewhere and that means I need to get ready, leave, and all that. So let see what and how I write in these 15 mins. Oh, I need to eat as well.

I got late even though I slept early. May be cos I hadnt slept day before. May be all the coffee that was running in my system finally ran its course. May be I am just getting old πŸ˜€

So what’s on top my mind? Lemme make a list without thinking too much.

  1. Excitement about starting a new thing at The Podium. Thanks to AD. More on this in a few days.
  2. Lethargy at not being able to raise enough capital for the microVC.
  3. Sore shoulders and neck – I use a cushion as a pillow and I think I need to change that.
  4. Curiosity about would the breakfast contain. I am actually indifferent as I will eat whatever they’ve sent, even if I dont like the taste. I am trying to kill this faculty that chases taste. It was probably built in us humans to detect poisons but over time we have abused it into seeking culinary delights. But we would never know.
  5. Planning to buy a new iPhone. This Android life is not for me. Lets see when and how that happens.
  6. How money can indeed buy happiness. I fought with a friend (she’s 25 or 26) and when I did not know how to make up for my rudeness, another young friend suggested I send her flowers and this simple act of sending expensive flowers made her happy beyond belief!
  7. Today is 5th. I was supposed to let go of my house today. But I havent been able to decide on the next destination. Maybe I need to first let go and that pressure will make me decide? Maybe. Lets see. Maybe this weekend, I will try and sort things and discard and dispose of things I dont want to retain. And then the ones I want to, will figure out something. Good idea!

Cant think of more even though I am sure there is a lot on my head.

So yea. That’s about it in a jaldi jaldi post. More during the day. Or tom. Over and out. Here’s streaks.

  • Morning Pages / Meditations – 174
  • #aPicADay – 0
  • 10K steps a day – 0
  • OMAD – 0
  • #noCoffee – 0
  • #noCoke – 86
  • 10 mins of meditation – 0
  • #book2 – 0
  • Killer Boogie – 0
  • Surya Namaskar – 0



040621 – Night / Morning Pages

Unedited, unfiltered, unreviewed, unstructured, unabashed, undercooked, under… thoughts from a night when I ODed on Coffee.

4:37 AM. I have not slept a blink since yesterday. Blame it on work. And too much coffee. And of course, I am drowsy. You know, age and all. I am writing this in that delirious state where you are not up, you are not asleep. You are like hungover. You are probably hallucinating. Guess this is what drugs must feel like. May be I am on drugs. I mean I’ve so much coffee and faux sugar that I probably am flying high like a kite. Faux sugar is the sugar they put in Keto desserts. Even though it tastes like shit (being honest), I want to like really really really lose weight and get them six-packs. Of course, towards an end – the Everest baby!

So let’s see what all I want to probably talk about. Lemme try and sober up a bit. You know, by having some water.

Life Purpose.

LOL. The most cliched thing ever. Lemme spill some ink bits on this. So, I was talking to a friend that I am helping with some writing. While talking to her, I realized that I love it when I give feedback to people and I see a bulb light up in their head and the twinkle sort of dawns into their eyes and it eventually come to rest in that tiny quiver of their lips that is parting to either spew some work of amazement. Or yelp in surprise! That!

Ok, I digressed. The point was, I love helping other people. Specifically when they’ve written something and I give them input and that input helps them tweak what they’ve written and it becomes better and all that. Wow, that sentence was so long and so bad and so convoluted that it should be a crime to use such a sentence in a post about how I want to be a writing coach.

That. That’s what I want to be. A writing coach.

I know I dont have a great command over the language. I know I cant write flowery things. I can’t rhyme to save my life. I mean I don’t know even know the word that can sound like life. Maybe wife, strife, trife. The similes and metaphors dont come easy to me. They are as hard as the hardship faced by Arjuna when he was forced to slay his brothers and uncles and teachers and all that. What I write cant move a mole, leave alone a mountain. I still think in Hindi and then convert that to English and then I write. I still rely on Grammarly (free edition) to ensure that my emails don’t have stupid mistakes. None of my stories has sold any significant number of copies. The publisher apparently pulped copies of what I had written. I will not be in the history books. My work is not worth preserving. And yet, I dare to proclaim that I want to be a writer. I dare to say that I want to work with people that want to write and help them realize their dreams of becoming writers.

Yet another thing that I want to do in life that I don’t know has how many days left! I think whenever I die, I will die an unhappy man with more things on my #toDo list than I would actually end up doing.

Brings me to the next thing that I want to write about, as I wait for the day to break and some food to get delivered and all that. FOMO.

FOMO.

I have to admit that each passing day I get the feeling that life is passing by me and I am missing out on good things that life has to offer. Truth be told, I’ve had a very very interesting life. I have traveled the world, lived pretty much on my terms, and mostly work on things I like and run my life the way I want to. Agreed that I am mostly reacting to things – got bored of and took another one; got kicked out of a relationship, picked another one; drifted from day to day, month to month, and from year to year. But if I look back, there is no one but me who’s to either blamed or praised for how I have fared.

On one side, I can be glad that I am still surviving, even if I had to take on debt. On the other, I can kick myself in the backside that people that I started my career with have completed their Monopoly runs with what a friend (Mansi) calls the ultimate sign of having lived well – two houses, two cars, two kids, two maids and two vacations a year. The ones that dont have these twos have chosen to not get these. Unlike me. Who’s wanted to have many houses, scores of cars, no kids, an army of helps, and a life that’s more vacation than it has vocations. For the 38 years I have spent here, I have a negative balance that runs in high seven figures and some 2000 pieces of blogposts rants that I have been gathering since 2004.

I really really wish that I was a tad more lucky and I was delivering impact at scale with my work. I love scale. I just love it. I want to bring out a fucking tsunami and not just cause ripples in tiny puddles. I want to move the mountain and not just toss them pebbles around. The shrieks in my head are deafening. The silence in my voice is blinding. The ambition I have in my heart is parched.

The worse part? I dont know what to do about it. And I dont know who to go to. To cry about it and rant about it and all that. No one sees the obsidian that keeps gnawing at my heart all the time.

So yeah. That. It’s 5:47. I wish there was some 24-hour coffee shop or something that I could go and work chill out of at, at this hour. I mean right now there’s a lockdown and nothing is open. I haven’t stepped out of the house for 3 days, I think. But even when things were open, the only option was the expensive and unconducive-to-work lobbies at 5-stars. Money is ok. I am happy to spend on such things but the damn places look down on you, the moment you flip out a laptop.

Anyhow. Enough for the rant. The deliriousness that I talked about in the beginning has begun to wear off and I will try and catch some sleep before waking up to I am sure escalations and urgent matters needing my attention.

Till tomorrow, so long!

Here’s streaks.

  • Morning Pages / Meditations – 173
  • #aPicADay – 0
  • 10K steps a day – 0. Been like three days since I’ve stepped out!
  • OMAD – 0
  • #noCoffee – 0. Have been having a lot of coffee lately. Had two venti Americanos in the last 24 hours. I think I will need to order one more to survive the day. And from Saturday, I will try and quit again. Even if I am sleepy and all that after that. Let’s see if I am able to.
  • #noCoke – 85
  • 10 mins of meditation – 0
  • #book2 – 0
  • Killer Boogie – 0
  • Surya Namaskar – 0

030621 – The Thug Life

A quick short post on a day when I woke up late and did not have time to write for the stipulated 45 mins.

9:59 AM! I woke up 10 mins ago. This has to the late-est I’ve woke up in a long long time. And work starts at 10:30. So I don’t have a lot of time to write per se. But I do need to get some load off my head. You know, morning pages. So here we go. For 30 mins.

Let’s dive right in.

I finished the third episode of Mare of Easttown. I had planned to see 20 mins a day but I am clearly spending an hour on it. The third episode was a bit of a drag, to be honest. The first two, far better. But since I am seeing this from the perspective of learning about writing, I have a deeper appreciation of things they are doing in the show. So that’s cool.

Staying on writing, these days am trying to write #book2 with the help of this course on Coursera. I am still in the first week and that means there isn’t much that I’ve written apart from the logline and the story structure. In fact, I wrote about those publically here on the blog a few days ago.

Why I mention this today is because over the last two or three days I have been getting feedback from others enrolled in the course. Most of the feedback is from first-time writers (I think) and most of it has been very encouraging. To a point that I am enthused to write more! This simple input from strangers is making me go back and write more!

I think that’s the point of peer feedback. You feed off the energy of others. You get validation and you are pushed to do more. I am encouraged and it clearly works for me. And if it works for me, I am sure it works for others as well! Why dint I think of this earlier to get more things done?

Anyhow. Der aaye, durust aaye. Aa to gaye!

Also, must think of exploring more of this cohort-based training. Something that companies like On Deck are leveraging on and monetizing and delivering impact. This is EXACTLY what I want to do in life!

Lol. Kya kya karega, Garg Kumar!

Lemme pick the validation bit from the text above. This validation thing has been an important thread in my life. Especially in the romantic one. Ya ya. Too personal shite on a public blog. But that’s the point of living in public.

So, almost everyone I have been romantically involved with has had issues with my talent, achievement, and all that. No, not in the negative sense – they have been some amazing women. But in the fact that *each* of them believed that I was / am so talented and I can do so much more, and yet I am doing nothing. To a point that they start ridiculing me – without knowing that they ridicule me.

This has become such a recurring pattern that I dont know how to get out of it.

So that. More on it someday later. Time to get going and start the day. Miles to go and all that. Glad that I could get these 500 words in. Probably my shortest post ever. I can really get used to this thug life where you wake up aaram se, order your 300-bucks coffee and laze around!

Here’s streaks…

  • Morning Pages / Meditations – 172
  • #aPicADay – 0
  • 10K steps a day – 0
  • OMAD – 0
  • #noCoffee – 0
  • #noCoke – 84
  • 10 mins of meditation – 0
  • #book2 – 0
  • Killer Boogie – 0
  • Surya Namaskar – 1 (Managed 12 rounds yesterday)

020621 – Morning Pages

Random updates from a busy day. More or less, I talk about my struggle with losing weight and food.

6:18. Woke up a bit ago with a clogged respiratory tract. Must be the combo of the rain and the fan. Oh, did I tell you guys that I hate the fan? To a point that I catch a cold if I spend too much time under a fan? Put me in an air-conditioned room for 2000 hours in Alaska, I will be ok. I will come out human. But put a fan on 5 (the max reading on a fan in India) and I will die in less than 5 seconds.

Yesterday was one of those days where I admitted to a colleague that I either need a drink or a date. Drink – I don’t. Date – lol. The point is, the day was long, busy, and demanding. And that’s more often than not a good thing. I wish I have more days like that when I am so busy that I don’t have the time to even think. I mean before I knew it, it was 7. And then I had to wait to upload some footage and then it was raining and then I just came back and slept. Oh, and I saw the second episode of Mare of Easttown. And because am taking it is as a challenge, I am taking notes!

Anyhow. Today should be yet another busy day if my calendar is to be believed. I start as early as 8:15 AM and the last meeting planned is at 6. A work email reminded me that we are at mid-year. That means I need to do my half-yearly review. Adding to Asana.

Ok. I don’t know what else to write. May be I can write the temptation to order in every time I see someone else eat or talk about food. Lemme do that. So, last few days (almost 15 days now), I have been on this so-called Keto Diet that I subscribed to at Baesicfit.com. While the guys that run this are excellent in terms of service and all that, I don’t think the diet is working. I am not eating anything but the food they send me and have some black coffee but I don’t think I am in Ketosis. I am not losing weight. I did not catch the Keto flu since I started this. I am even eating in a 6-hour window (thus trying to take advantage of time-restricted eating) and yet not losing weight. I am doing yoga 2-3 times a week. Most days I walk 10k steps. And yet I am not losing weight. Apparently, they serve me only 2100 calories. Again, I must lose weight purely by this calorie deficit. Worse, the stomach continues to remain bloated. Maybe it’s all the paneer they are feeding me? I mean I am sick of eating so much paneer. It literally sucks. I am so so so so tempted to eat my comfort food – Rajma Chawal, Dal Makhani, Paranthas, Dosas, Chips, Chole Bhatures and all that. Damn am so much Delhi with my food! The mouth is watering as I type this and my fingers are crawling towards Swiggy as I want to order and let the chase of fitness and Everest go to waste.

But no. I shall persist. However, it is getting increasingly hard to do so. I find myself thinking about it a lot. And I find myself trying to rationalize by ordering cheat meals. But then, Keto doesn’t have the concept of cheat meals! I remember, last night I was thinking about ordering in, just to celebrate 15 days of Keto journey and I wanted to order a Biryani. Lol.

Thing is, if I am busy, I don’t miss food. Or if I am engaged, I am ok with merely sipping onto coffee and all that. Like yesterday, I did not even care about what I ate. But the moment I came back to the house I sleep at, remember I told you I needed a date or a drink? I was so fried that I wanted to order in. Sigh!

In fact, I have been thinking that I need to get back to Diet Coke. Purely because I miss the taste and the feeling of holding onto a can. I know that the chase of these hedonistic feelings does nothing to help you reach your lifegoals but then I am human πŸ˜€

Ok. Rant. Moving on.

I havent done yoga in a while now. At least three days. I was supposed to do yesterday but I had so much work that I skipped it. Today, come hell or high water, I will. Right after I publish this.

Ok, so I have 6 more minutes to write before I need to go. Thinking what to write. 4 now. Lol. Fucking countdown. Let’s just publish and save time.

More tomorrow.

Here’s streaks…

  • Morning Pages / Meditations – 171
  • #aPicADay – 0
  • 10K steps a day – 0
  • OMAD – 0
  • #noCoffee – 0
  • #noCoke – 83
  • 10 mins of meditation – 0
  • #book2 – 0
  • Killer Boogie – 0
  • Surya Namaskar – 0