A quick post on my attempts to fend off the boredom that has set in. And an attempt to find some sanity.
8:13 AM Woke up a while ago. The alarm first rang at 5. I was supposed to record a podcast at 830 but canceled it last night. There’s so much pain around me that I was in no position to make a coherent conversation. It’s really affecting my work and all 🙁
In fact, the last night I was on the bed for hours and couldn’t find sleep. I was so fried that even playing a game of chess was a pain. I just couldn’t even surf Youtube or any other website. I think ennui is back.
Actually, come to think of it, it’s not ennui per se. I think it was the mental fatigue that you feel after you spend a hard day at work. While it was not a hard day per se, I did do a few things. In fact, during the day yesterday, I had a breakthrough of sorts. Since I was sleeping all the time while I was home house, I decided I will go to a friend’s place.
And I did.
I went to a friend’s place to work. While the table there was cramped and the chair was uncomfortable, I managed to spend enough and more time on a computer. To a point that I even put the writing page live! Of course, I need to add a lot more to this page. But I made the start.
Plus I was not sleepy. I did not sleep. I did not feel drowsy. Maybe it was the venti Americano that I had. And all this despite the place not being to my liking. He did not have an AC in the hall and I was sweating like a pig with all the garmi. But I managed to stay alert till about 6 and I spoke to new people. I was as much in the zone as I would be on a regular working day. I plan to go to his place today as well. Let’s see how today goes. I have to finish three large presentations today. If I can manage these, It would be awesome and I would know that things that
In other news, yesterday, I attended the pitching session of DocEdge. It was awe-inspiring, spell-binding, and eye-opening to say the least. Filmmakers from across the world presented the projects they are working on, on subjects that ranged from personal stories to communities to even national boundaries. I realized that I am living in a cocoon and the cinema I want to stand for is probably in the non-fiction space. I mean I do want to entertain the world and all that but I really want to inspire the world as well and what better way to do that than cinema?
Oh, and in attendance was a filmmaker that has won a Palme d’Or. Adding that to my #lifeGoals!
Like I said, I have three decks to write today. And attend DocEdge sessions. And think of how I can make a dent in the world. I plan to go over to the friend’s place again today and see how I perform.
So yeah. That’s about it for the day. Over and out. And here’s streaks…
Morning Pages / Meditations – 161
#aPicADay – 0
10K steps a day – 0
OMAD – 0
#noCoffee – 0 (had coffee yesterday. Will have more today as well)
A short post about my understanding of life and death. No, it’s not very rosy.
7:10 AM Yesterday was weird. For some reason, I could not function. I was on the computer since the morning but I could not function at all. I was like a zombie. I was not thinking, not reacting, not doing. I was on a computer On one side, I am chilling with the two kids I adore more than anything else in life. And on another, someone close in the extended family passed away. I have known him to be a funny, respectful, and full of life person. I think I’ve even gone on holidays with him as a kid – you know when you’d pack yourself into a big car and would go in large groups to hill stations? That. While there is some sort of sadness over the passing of the said relative, I am more or less. To a point that apart from that momentary thought about him and how he looked and who all do I know from the family, I had no feeling of loss. To be honest, I’ve felt a far more personal loss at the passing of celebrities that I did not know of. Heck, I was disturbed by days when I heard about the passing of Steve Jobs. Even the scandals about Jeff and Bill. I was more fucked in the head when one of my colleagues passed away and even when one of my poker buddies passed away (even though I hadn’t heard from him in years).
I am not sure if I should be ashamed of this indifference towards someone who was close. Or I should be proud of my indifference towards someone who was close. I don’t know. I just know that death is messy and I am severely unequipped to handle the emotions that it invokes. To me, despite COVID, death has remained an academic thing. That happens to others, in books, and in popular media. This time I have lost people that are close and that I have spoken to and shared meals with and all that. And yet I remain emotionless. May be such is life. Such is the world. May be Steve was right all along. He said, “Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.”
Today’s Saturday. And that means a lot of distractions won’t be around. Plus I have been slacking for some days now. I will probably pull my socks and get more things done. I will also try and work out from a friend’s place to prevent myself from plopping myself on a bed. I am sick and tired of working from home. I need a change in scenery for sure. I miss going to an office, I miss the energy of others. I can’t wait for a Starbucks to open. I can’t wait for the lockdown to go away. The way things are stacked in Mumbai, I think we would be out of the lockdown by the first week of June. I am so so so looking forward to it.
Guess this is it. There’s more to write but I will take a pause and do some Surya Namaskars. Been a few days.
Here’s the streak…
Morning Pages / Meditations – 160
#aPicADay – 0
10K steps a day – 0
OMAD – 0
#noCoffee – 3
#noCoke – 72
10 mins of meditation – 0
#book2 – 0
Killer Boogie – 0
Surya Namaskar – 0
PS: Today on, I will try and title the post with what’s on my mind.
A quick post on a few things that are clouding my head. Hoping to get some clarity. None seems to be coming.
6:42. Woke a few minutes ago. Had slept at 10ish if I am not wrong. So 8+ hours. And I groggy. Lol!
Decided yesterday that I will go for a walk after publishing this. I did. Walked for about an hour (about 6K steps, not 10K). And saw this video. Will see something else as I walk today. By the time I was back from the walk, it was 10 and I was literally late for work and meetings. But it was good to get the walk in. I even managed 10 minutes of meditation before the calls were to start. So that’s cool.
The morning pages. Lemme use bullets. Like yesterday. Allows me greater flexibility.
A. So at work, I am struggling. I am lagging behind on things. I think a large reason is all the infinite meetings that I am supposed to be a part of. I have to find a way to reduce those. I had thought I would create a maker-manager schedule and stick to that. But as someone in the middle management, my time is required by the ones I report to, and then by the ones that work with me. There are numerous status checks and updates required and I just can not take away three days from the week for that. May be I can start with one day a week where I would not take any calls and spend that time thinking deeply? Let’s see.
B. Oh, I am still tripping onto the restoration videos on Youtube. What I love about those is that people that restore things, they are on the project for days. It’s like seeing a master-painter at work. It’s like seeing a magnum opus come to life. In front of your eyes! It is more or less one person, showcasing their prowess with disciplines like woodwork, painting, lathe machines, sandblasting, metal, electronics, and more. In fact, there is some perverse pleasure that you get in opening up screws and how things work. I remember, as a child, I loved the idea of opening up all the devices that I could – of course, not a lot of those – I did not have a big set of screwdrivers or drill machines with all those bits. I think any child growing up in safe homes has to have access to these screwdrivers and opportunities to further their curiosity. So that!
C. I have started to get active on Twitter all over again. No, I haven’t seen any uptick in my following list (actually, it’s slipping down by the day). But I am consuming more content that I prefer. Without Twitter, my primary source of information was news and that is, well, news. I wasn’t learning new things, I wasn’t satiating my curiosity, I wasn’t enjoying.
Since I’ve been back on Twitter, I am back in the zone where I look forward to tweets and interacting with people. I love how my reading inbox is full again and actually overflowing. I am back to getting inspired by random acts of strangers on the timeline. Like this tweet…
Two of the most-followed people on Twitter Internet are talking about capturing things that they learn. I am so impressed that I want to do something similar. Krishna used to run a newsletter where he would write things that he learned in the week gone by. It was such a pain it’s not funny. I used to write a letter every day where I would talk about what I learned (SoG Letters). Used to take me over an hour and despite sending those out for more than a year, I was unable to get traction. And like any such project, I stopped sending those. Thing is, I need external validation for everything I do.
Like these two people are talking, the daily lessons list probably becomes unsustainable. However, in my case, I am sure I learn more things each day than I can log. I may not be able to write a letter but I can definitely put a tweet as I end my day. I am supposed to start from today. Let’s see how it goes.
Oh, this also feeds my lust of owning an audience. You know, like a celebrity does. Now, I dont have anything that a celeb may have – looks, charm, talent etc. So, its literally impossible. But I want to try.
Why would I want an audience, you may ask. The thing is, I don’t want fame per se. I don’t want people asking for autographs. But what I do want is access to people that I would not have otherwise. I have seen, learned, observed that if you have an audience, doors open easily for you. And that’s what I am after. For people like me that don’t have some innate talents, it’s the relationships that open the doors. Doors to a better life, better opportunities, and in general, better things.
Let’s see how I chase this betterness over the next few days.
That’s about it. Over and out for the day. See you guys tomorrow. Here’s the streak.
This post was a pain to write. To a point that it took me more than 90 minutes and yet I couldn’t get anything of value in. Sigh.
7:25. Woke up a while ago. Slept for some 7 hours, if not more. No, no dreams per se that I can recall. The body is sore. Guess will walk around a bit and get some water.
7:46. Puttered around. I could see the lights in my head switching on. You know, how in a big house you sort of switch on the lights one after another and the dark places showers with bright light, one room at a time. That.
So lemme make a list of things on the top of my head.
A. BTC crash. I don’t know if I want to call it a crash. I don’t understand it as well to even qualify it as crash or buying opportunity or correction or whatever. But it’s incredible that tweets from one Elon Musk and a piece of news from China could affect the price so much. There’s something fundamental that I don’t understand that almost all the intelligent people I know seem to know! So that.
B. Yesterday, on a tweet, Paras Chopra (I don’t know him but would love to) asked “How many hours of peak productivity are you able to squeeze out on an average day?
Peak productivity = being capable of original work with fresh ideas.”
On a cursory glance, I saw that the responses there ranged from 1 hour to 4. I reckon I can put in 2-3 good hours on a good day. These good days are getting few and far between. Anyway, so there was this response from Bhavin Turakhia where he simply said “10-12”.
No wonder the dude is doing so well at such a young age!
Must try and get the focus back. #note2self
8:19. Still not feeling a 100% after more than an hour of waking up. Not sure what else to write. Maybe I will come back to the post in a bit. Lemme take a break and get on with the day.
C. A friend on Twitter pointed out at this talk on fasting by Dr. Jamnadas. I’ve been thinking a lot about food and eating and fasting and energy and more. I even got started on an expensive food service (been 2 days and I am yet to see any change in how I am).
Maybe this video comes at an opportune time. Guess I will see the video and make changes in how I eat and all that. Let’s see. In case you are lazy to click on the link, see this video for a bit.
D. The other thought that I had, while writing this piece is that maybe I am so lethargic and so sleepy and so unhinged because I am not stepping out of the house? May be because I am spending way too much time on the screens – laptop, phone, etc. Maybe I need to start walking more. During the last lockdown, I would go for long walks. This time around, I am not walking at all. Nah, I can workout. I can’t do yoga. But I love walking and there’s no reason why I can’t go out for a walk often. In fact, must go now. Work be damned. If I am not feeling ok, what’s the point of work?
Oh and today when I leave for a walk, I will wear shoes. Primarily, to make it easy when I walk. And second, to try and build a habit or something around it. And while I walk, I can see the above video. Good idea!
E. So now that it’s settled that I will go for at least an hour long walk after I publish this, I need to plan the day in a way that I get more things done. And this includes participating in all the useless meetings that are called upon for no reason. There are quite a few things open at various ends. Everytime I look at my Asana, I cringe 🙁
I am actually effective at things. To a point that I can get a lot done. There are days when I am freakishly productive and there are days when I slack so much that I dont know what hit me. I just need to identify these patterns and slot my work, my life in a way that things get done. And I get breaks as well. So that.
F. The other thing that just dawned on me while I was writing this is I want to make losing my data a regular feature. What I mean is that it’s been a few days since I lost all my data and to be honest, I don’t feel as bad or I don’t feel as lost as I was in the first 15 minutes of the loss. I’ve made peace with it, I guess. I just need to now repeat this often. You know, after every month or so, wipe the phone clean. Whatever needs to be saved can be saved on a drive but I will delete all conversations, photos, and other such ephemeral things often. Setting a remind for 1 Jun 2021. Let’s see if I actually do it!
So, guess this is about it for the day. This one was a struggle to write. Will go for a walk. Meanwhile, here’s streaks…
Morning Pages / Meditations – 158
#aPicADay – 0
10K steps a day – 0
OMAD – 0
#noCoffee – 1. Stopped coffee from yesterday on.
#noCoke – 70. I am very very tempted to have a coke. Damn. Let’s see if I can avoid it.
10 mins of meditation – 1. Did 10 minutes after few days. Was tough but I am glad I managed.
A quick post on things that are the top of my head this fine Wednesday morning.
8:29. Woke up 3 minutes ago. Had to be up at 7 to attend a docresi session. But could not 🙁 Damn damn damn. Must stop coffee. Back to the dangerous levels. Today on, it’s a strict no. Even if I need to work for long hours.
I have a long day ahead that I am already running behind 🙁
Ok. No rant. Not the first thing that I write. It’s 8:43 (took 15 minutes to wash my face, find music to play and all that). I will write till 9 and then get on with the day. Let’s see what all I get in.
In no order, things are the top of my head.
A. In the last 2 days, two different people (AAPune, HABlr) have asked me for tips and help on writing better. One of them is sort of close. Other is a mere business acquaintance. Plus a friend’s friend’s uncle wants to write his biography. I am working with him as well. So I am not just approached by friends. Yay! I am not sure what nudged them to seek help but I loved that I could recommend things to people and help them write more. I think the ability to write is a brilliant gift and if people think that I can help, why not! I think I will make a page where I would list almost all writing resources that I recommend and use! #note2self
B. I had a longish chat with AD yesterday where we spoke about things that I could do. While I want to do well with things, it somehow struck me that I want to be a deal maker. Or in ugly parlance, a power broker. I want to be someone that knows someone who can get things done for someone. I think I knew this forever and it’s just that it is not that I am being able to articulate this. I mean, I may have written this earlier, in some other post or some other place.
Thing is, I am not a doer per se. I don’t want to work on everything that I touch. I’d rather help connect dots and let the others figure the next steps. You want to buy cigarettes? I know someone. You want something exotic? I know where you could procure it. You want something done? I know just the right guy. So on and so forth.
I want to be that guy with a big Rolodex who knows which two people must talk.
Of course, there is no revenue model on this – I don’t want to charge a commission to connect things and people. I definitely don’t want to execute and then charge a fee. So I don’t know about the revenue model. At some point in time, will figure this out. Let’s see when I can do this.
C. The house hunt has come to a grinding halt over the last few days. I’ve been unable to search as I have kept busy with work and general randomness. I need to get out of this place before the end of June for sure. So need to up the effort on that.
I need to find a house that offers me space. And if possible a bird’s eye view into the distance. Right now, it has rained and I can see some green around where I live and it’s so so so soothing and pleasing to the eyes that I want to just continue to stare at it. So that.
Guess that’s about it. I mean there’s more but there are more pressing things to get to. And it’s 9:00.
Longish rant on relationships, life and Hero’s worship. Inspired by the conduct of Bill Gates and other Heroes that I look upto to.
7:40. Yet again, a night when I did not sleep till about 3. And yet again I am groggy and yet again everything hurts. I need to fix this erratic schedule. I don’t even know what’s causing it. Coffee could be one. But I think there’s something deeper at play here. I will investigate and find out this week for sure.
Anyhow. Let’s get to work. Quite a few things to be done. Before I do that, here’s the track of the day is this. Listen here…
It was incredible yesterday. The kind of weather I have never seen in Mumbai. Truth be told, I was a tad bit scared when the winds were howling and the thundering on the windows and despite myself shutting into a closed room I could see things flying around. Heart goes out of the ones that don’t have shelter. I may not tell this to anyone else but since I sort of bare myself on the blog, I have to admit that I walked some 6000 steps in the rain. It felt longer, to be honest, but it was indeed all of 6K steps. This walking in the rain is my biggest guilty pleasure. To a point that I can drop everything I am on and just walk. At those times I don’t even care about my phone getting wet or clothes getting drenched. The muck and mud and fallen leaves and other things that I typically hate, all become a part of me. The water being showered on you may keep changing its speed but when you are out walking, it pierces your skin and literally cleanses the soul. Oh, I love baarish! And walks. Sigh!
As I write this, it’s 8:20 and it’s still windy and breezy and cold and nice outside. If I can finish this post by 9ish, I will probably go for a short walk.
The other thing that’s clouding my head is the entire Bill Gates and Melinda Gates controversy. Thing is, Bill Gates has been a role model, an inspiring figure since I can remember. He was the original person I wanted to be before Steve Jobs became the thing and then Paul Graham took Steve’s place.
Bill Gates has it all, done it all. I mean he is among the richest people in the world with all the wealth that you can imagine. His best friends include people like Warren Buffett (who himself seemed to have an open marriage). His work with philanthropy is what legends are made up of. He literally gave all his wealth away to fix some of the biggest problems in the world. His thoughts, his writing, his work have been a beacon of hope in the world we live in. At the times we live in.
A few months ago, it was Jeff. This time, it’s Bill. I mean why’s it that these people can’t seem to keep their emotions at bay? With all the attention and access they have, why would they chase temporary pleasure to jeopardize all that they’ve stood for their lives? At the level you are at and the impact you are delivering, you do not have to conform to society. No one will ask you a question. Look at film stars and professional athletes and others of the ilk. They are at least open about their chase.
I am actually beginning to think if monogamy is a mere societal construct that’s been around to tame both men and women into becoming milder versions of themselves? I mean if despite all their wealth and power and position and all that the most powerful men and women can’t continue to stay with one partner, there must be some flaw. No?
Thing is, when ordinary people philander, you tend to ignore. You blame their actions on unhappy unions, alcohol, a lapse in judgment et al. But when the hero’s fall, you start questioning the very foundation of your belief system. Hero’s are supposed to know it. They have to have better control and mastery over their emotions. They are heroes for a reason! Plus, you’ve literally built your entire life chasing these heroes and hopes of walking in their shoes someday. It just sucks when they do things that are un-hero-like! Damn!
I felt like I was sucker-punched when I heard about Jeff. Of course, he managed the crisis far better than how Bill is managing. No, I am not justifying their actions. I am on the fence about the institution of marriage (leaning away from it, to be honest). I know I will probably not get married ever. Lol, never say never.
But then if it’s affecting me so much that these people were seeing others out of their marriages, may be, at the subconscious level, I like the idea of stable, 1v1, relationships? If I reflect on my life, I think the first real romantic relationship happened when I was at MDI. Since then I’ve had many more. I have been more “out” of relationships, than “in”.
What’s the point of this?
I am digressing.
The larger point is that I must stop with this all adulation about heroes. I must cease the hero worship. I need to accept that people are fallible. People change. It’s ok to cut them some slack. You were born alone, you will die alone. Even the ones closest to you can only make the suffering easy, when you suffer. Why else do you need someone around?
It’s not an easy answer.
I think a large part of why I probably can’t sleep is because I miss having that special someone around? I mean I do have a few great friends that I can confide in, even if they don’t understand me (or may be am unable to make myself understand). Maybe I crave another human’s touch. You know, like a real hug and not one of those virtual things. I have to admit that I did sleep better when I could hug someone and drift into the dreamland. Except for the sore neck the morning after.
Ok. I don’t know where I am going with this. It’s 9:17 and I need to get on with the day. More some other day.
A quick post as I start what looks like a long week ahead!
8:46. I woke up 10 minutes ago. It’s probably after a while that I’ve slept in this late. Must stop all the coffee and midnight snacking adventures.
Mumbai is reporting fantastic weather right now. It’s raining and it’s windy. From the vantage point of my window, while for the most part I can just stare at other buildings and look into the bedrooms of my neighbors, I can see a bit of sky, and it’s everything I love – deep blue, dark, cloudy, and more. These are the times I wish I was back at Wadhwa – I once lived on the 24th floor of a high-rise and I think it was one of the best decisions of my life. Must make an attempt to get back to that!
Anyhow. So track of the day, that I am listening to loop on is this rendition of Afreen Afreen by this singer, Soumyadeep Sikdar of the Murshidabadi Project. I just can’t get over this person’s voice. And the emotion with which he sings. Love it! Once you’ve heard that, hop over to Chaap Tilak.
So on Sunday, I bumped into someone senior (HT) that I immensely respect. I know him since 2015, I think. And since then I have been mighty impressed by his clarity, direction, and knack for getting things done. I also realized his talent with effortless charm. For one, he remembered each tiny insignificant thing about me. He asked me about book2. Wow. And slap on the face ;p! Plus, He was all praises about how I do multiple things and so on and so forth. And then he had the same feedback for me like a lot of others – find one thing and get so good at it that you are the best at it across saat samandar. And I think it made sense. And I will work on it over the next few months. So that.
I mean if I was not straddling so many boats, I would probably be unable to survive the lockdown (events – my primary occupation took a beating and I could quickly shift to marketing consulting) and that’s the validation for my chasing multiple dreams. That worked well in crisis and would probably fail when things were ok. Let’s see if I actually move the needle towards getting good at brand strategy on digital mediums.
I also used Sunday to write my review of Nomadland. Here. Wrote a thing for public consumption after a long-time. Lemme know what you think.
In other news, I start Keto today. I plan to do a 30-day cycle. Since there is no travel planned (except the day when I need the next dose of my vaccine), I should be ok. Let’s see. About 10-12 days in, depending on how my system reacts to it, I will try to reduce calorific intake. And then eventually move towards OMAD. Let’s see how this one goes.
More than just Keto, this is my larger attempt at remaining fit. This lockdown has been detrimental to my health. I am eating way too many carbs at all hours and I am fucking my health like I’ve never done. Even in the last lockdown, I managed to eat better. At least I was walking more. I may not be able to control the world outside, the one that resides in me, I can control that for sure. I can control what goes in – food, air, thoughts. I can for sure nudge my thoughts in a better direction. The last few days have been extremely taxing. There’s just way too many people out there that are suffering and then there’s way too much noise that is literally deafening. But then, I should be able to control.
I dont have anything else to talk about. I mean I do. But not for the time being.
So yeah. That. Here’s streaks…
Morning Pages / Meditations – 155
#aPicADay – 0
10K steps a day – 0
OMAD – 0
#noCoffee – 0
#noCoke – 67
10 mins of meditation – 3
#book2 – 0
Killer Boogie – 0
Surya Namaskar – 0
PS: Removed a few things from the streak-tracker.
PPS: I realised that I am in a far better mood, even though there’s nothing to be happy about. Just because its not hot and its raining and there’s clouds outside! Yay!
Dumped everything that was on my head here. I liked writing this one!
7:07. Woke up a few minutes ago. Super groggy. Everything hurts. I am dis-oriented. Every time I stretch, I hear so many pops that I am wondering if my skeleton I had slept at some 3 or something. And even then, I kept checking my phone. AM. Was working. And then I turned off the light. But couldn’t turn off the shit in my head. I even installed Instagram on the phone and tried to make conversations with people random strangers. But couldn’t persist.
7:37. Cleaned the desk. A thick layer of dust had deposited over things after yesterday’s winds. Heated some water for me. Hopefully it will unclog the system.
Yesterday was a day when I failed at multiple counts that I don’t even know where to begin. Lemme make a bulleted list.
Had coffee. The idea was to not have coffee unless absolutely necessary. Of course, I had it for fuck sake. Cos I was bored.
I was to attend Boman Sir’s classes after a long break to celebrate the life of a fellow student who passed away due to COVID. Despite me putting alarms, I couldn’t attend. If I can’t be around people in their times of grief, why am I even alive?
I was to fast. But I couldn’t. The day before I ate once. So that was some consolation. Yesterday I ate I don’t know how many meals and how many carbs and all that. I ate so much that I was unable to move and I literally slept through the day. Monday on I have a Keto dabba coming. Hopefully, I will not defect and eat anything apart from that dabba.
Failed at NOBNOM.
For almost a month now, I’ve wanted to send in an entry for NFDC’s Scriptlab. I even tried my hand at it for a few days. You may remember that piece I wrote in April. I couldn’t take it to a point where it would make sense to submit. This was, is, will be super important to me. Whatever I have, I have because I’ve taken shots beyond my talent or ability. If I stop taking these shots, I will die an obscure death! Damn!
While I was writing this, I got lost in those thousand tabs that are open on like 100 windows on my computer. I dont know what to do with this compulsive habit of opening so many tabs! There are way too many things that I am interested in and there’s way too much to read, to know, to think on that I am often left lamenting about shortness of life. Of course COVID has given this shortness a whole new meaning. Ok, I am digressing. The point is that I need to find a solution to these opening-million-tabs problem.
In other news, I moved my notes and personal library to Telegram. Thing is, when I lost all the data, more than the conversation history, photos, and random trivia, I was most at a loss when I lost the temp notes that I had made for myself. Along with those notes, I had saved links, addresses, screenshots, and other tidbits that I had chosen to forget and have easy access to. As a result, I don’t even know what all I lost! And it sucks to know that I don’t have access.
So, that’s why Telegram. They keep an archive of data on their server. So even if I lose my phone, as long as I can access my Telegram account, I have access to notes and all. So that.
I’ve been complaining about the lack of action and excitement in life. I think I’ve found the answer. Thing is, I need something exciting. Something that moves me. Something that shifts me and teaches me and helps me evolve. I mean, life is as good as it could be in these times. My privilege allows me to live a good life. I am typing this on a laptop that cost me more than a lakh on a stable Internet connection at 50 Mbps, perched on a Mango Wood table that I bought years ago, while sipping onto hot water that I used an electric kettle to warm. I am safe even if people around me are suffering. I could get the vaccine because I have fast internet. My parents could get it because we could pay 250 bucks for each dose. I have enough work on my plate from a few clients that I don’t need to fret about money. They pay me well and they understand if I am unable to deliver on time. I do have a loan that I need to pay back but these are from long-term friends and family and I am ok to pay them back in a staggared manner. The daily rigmarole keeps me busy and I am grateful for that.
But after working on PowerPoint and Teams for hours, when I go to sleep, I am left questioning the meaning of life. I know I moved the needle and did work that added value to the world and to others. But I also know that it’s nothing extraordinary. Anyone with even an iota of commonsense will manage that. Probably do it better. And thus, it does not give me satisfaction. I sleep an unhappy man. I sincerely feel I can do a lot more. And I don’t know how to.
Anyhow. So, I am starting a new project. Thanks to SG2 for the idea and kick on the butt.
I don’t know the name yet but I want to call it Art In Action. The idea is simple. I will invite some artists I have access to, to “donate” their art pieces. I would put these on sale on a website. All the proceeds from this sale go towards charities that work for people that are affected (migrant labor, people on the frontline, displaced communities, etc). No, not those fancy charities that exist because rich folk want to kill time. But the ones that actually work. Like Hemkunt (I have a friend that volunteers with their Mumbai chapter and can vouch for their work) or DFY (a friend runs this).
The thing with this idea is that the artists do shram daan, the ones that can afford art do the dhan daan and the beneficiaries receive the alms. That’s it. I know this is too little, too late. And most of this is meaningless. We are still twiddling thumbs and not really taking any action. But the idea is to do whatever can be done to raise money and support people that are actually making an impact.
There’s more that I need to think. Will probably do it over the next week and report back. Let’s see.
So, I think that’s for the day.
Here’s streak and some commentary on it.
Morning Pages / Meditations – 154
#aPicADay – 0
10K steps a day – 0
OMAD – 0
#noCoffee – 0
#noCoke – 66
10 mins of meditation – 2. Had a longish chat with SG2 about meditation and how the practice makes you better as you go thru the day. If my Headspace data is to be believed, I have meditated for some 2500+ minutes and I am yet to see a tangible benefit. No, I am not quitting. I like to challenge myself to not move for 15 mins when I sit for meditation.
#book2 – 0
Killer Boogie – 0
Original Work (limited time only) – Removing this from today on. I was unable to work on this. #fail
Surya Namaskar – 1. Did 12 rounds and by the time I reached the 9th, I was literally puking all over myself!
PS: From the next few days, I will experiment with this morning meditations thingy. I will rather write for #book2. They say that for a writer, the currency that makes him tick is not the ideas in this saddle but the finished work that can be shared with the world. I don’t have anything finished. Need to get some more in my kitty. So, if I miss a day (which I haven’t since I started), please excuse! Thanks!
Yet another post where words did not flow and I had to struggle to get my thoughts in order.
5:10. I woke up a few minutes ago. The eyes are still groggy. Had some water. Trying to get over with the morning pages in about an hour and then, get to some real work.
So, COVID-19 took away yet another person I knew. This one did some work for me. I spoke to her almost every month. Worked more closely with one of my partners. While I haven’t met her ever, the sense of loss was something I couldn’t fathom. I don’t know when would this carnage stop.
When I heard about it, I was ok. I was like, “oh fuck” and got onto with my life. Attended a few calls, sent some emails, did more work. Etc. Etc. But during the day once I was done with the work that consumed me, I started losing it. To a point that I literally slept through the day. And then I forced myself to step out for a walk. This was after almost a week that I went for one. I wanted to do some 20K steps but after about the 5K mark, I was so tired that I had to sit down. I had almost given up. I did give up and took a rick back from Juhu. But once I reached Lokhandwala, did another 4K types to get the 10K in.
Damn stamina. Eventually managed 10K but took some superhuman effort and a couple of 30-min odd breaks. Which is ok. 10K is what matters. Let’s see if I get to do it today.
In other news, yesterday I had decided that I would fast for 2 days. I was ok till about 6 PM but since I was tired I gave in. Ate kachra – you know, packed snacks (chips, cookies, etc) and a dosa as thin as a tissue paper with masala inside as dense as people in a tiny Mumbai house. I had this intense craving for ice cream. That I avoided. Silver lining. So fast – no. OMAD – yes. Silver lining. Kuch to sahi hua.
I ate when I saw The Saint. And then I slept. At around 9ish. And thus, I was up at 5ish. Without an alarm!
Wait. Just glanced at the time. It’s 5:30.
All my life, I’ve wanted to be up at 4. Get to work at 5. Work till 9. And then chill. Alternatively, write till 9, and then get to work around 10. Irrespective. The point is that these 3ish hours in the morning are when I think I can do my best work. I should have been able to use the lockdown as an opportunity to change my schedule to include these morning golden hours as the time when I am active. Today’s a start. Let’s see if I can do this from tomorrow on. It all depends on when I go to sleep!
So, I also started the house hunt for a cheaper house. And I was appalled to know that rentals are still sky-high. All those talks of people migrating away from Mumbai and the realty market crashing? Hogwash. For a tiny 2-bedroom apartment beyond the middle of nowhere is asking for rent that something in the heart of Gurgaon would! I think if you have to live in / around Mumbai, you need to either accept that you would live in a place where you’d have to compromise things. Or you use saam, daam, dand, bhed, or whatever else to gather around a billion dollars and buy a house. There’s no other way.
Guess this is it for the rant of the day. It’s 5:50.
Lemme get to work.
Lemme see what I can do in the next 3 or so hours, where I would try to JUST work on the NFDC Scriptlab. The deadline’s Monday and I really want to send them something, even if the odds of getting thru are negligible. You know, I want to take shots that are beyond my reach.
A talk with self on what I ought to be doing over the next few days.
6:10 I woke up with a bit of stomachache. I think it’s all the food from outside that I am eating. So here’s a pledge. I will not eat anything that’s not been cooked for me specifically. And if I am forced to eat something else, I will have fruits or raw veggies than cooked food. And today, I will attempt a 48-hour fast. The ambition is to do a 7-day fast but I know I may not be able to. So, will start with a 2-day one. I’ll also try NOBNOM from today on. I mean I anyway don’t consume a lot of alcohol. And I will refrain from coffee. I often walk to a Starbucks (or a Blue Tokai) and get myself coffee as a reward. I may still do it. Walk around. But rather than the Starbucks as a destination, I will try for a park or a beach or something. And in case I feel the need to reward myself, I will get an iced tea.
Thing is, I don’t like when I am unwell. I like the idea of being active. I like the idea of moving around physically. I remember as a kid, in school, I would run along the corridor even if I had the time to walk. I would hang around from the pillars around the school even if there was not a need. I loved the idea of chasing balls on big grounds. I think in each thing I did, the larger agenda has been a goal that I was gunning for. And that has stayed. I am such a goal, task, external validation, tick-box chasing whore that I can’t just do things that have no measurable, competitive output.
I thnk I need to use this as a thing to inspire me!
So, I removed Twitter and Instagram from the phone. I was wasting too much time on those tools. While it was good to connect with people and learn and even offer some help, I think it starting affecting how I felt about life and the world in general. So, have removed. I will still access them via a browser – these are the places that I literally connect with people. If not for these strangers luring on these social networks. I would be very very ineffective.
Not sure what else to write. Way too much in my head. So much that I dont know what to write.
So, on a day-to-day basis, I track some 11 things. For most of those, apart from this post, the number remains 0. I mean I don’t do those things. I was thinking do I remove these. I mean what’s the point of putting all these zeros when I don’t do. But then, a thought popped up in my head. Why not continue. At least I spend a tiny second on each line and that in itself is a reminder that I need to do that thing. No?
Yeah! Makes sense.
So, here’s streaks and some commentary…
Morning Pages / Meditations – 152
#aPicADay – 0. I am not sure if I want to start. While it allowed me to look at things from a different lens, since I have been holed into a tiny space, not sure what I’d do with it.
10K steps a day – 0. I have literally stopped walking around. Need to re-start. Along with fast, I think this is what could help me feel better.
OMAD – 0. Let’s see if I manage a 2-day fast. I may actually get a tick on this one.
#noCoffee – 0. Will start again from today. I mean I did not have one yesterday, come to think of it!
#noCoke – 64. Super proud. More than 2 months now!
10 mins of meditation – 0. Will start again today. My first work call is at 9. If I manage things faster, I will do this.
#book2 – 0. Lol. I don’t think I have this in me. Will probably delete.
Killer Boogie – 0. Again, don’t think I am doing this. Will probably delete.
Original Work (limited time only) – 0. The deadline for this is 17th May. So, this will be gone in a few days.
Surya Namaskar – 0. Again, need to get started. Today may not be a good day but will start soon.
So yeah that. I think I am subconsciously trying to reset life. You know, discard things, relationships, habits, and all that. Oh, that reminds me, I need to discard things that I don’t use or need. Will make an inventory and put them out for sale and donate the proceeds to some gurudwara. I anyway had little attachment to material things, when I lost data on the phone, whatever emotions I had left with digital data – notes, photos, emails, contacts, things that I had parked to be used in the future, all of it is gone!
Need to live a far lighter and simpler and minimal life. Need to step in that direction. Let’s see where I head. Will keep posting here.