050121 – Morning Pages

You may want to skip reading this. I have nothing interesting to talk about except inane updates and monotonous daily journals. Need to rethink on how I go about these morning pages.

8:05 AM

I’ve been up for a bit. Puttering around, doing nothing significant. Thinking about things. Which I have a lot of.

Yesterday was not fun. Ate crap. Was on a low-carb diet and controlled eating for 3 days. It went for a toss for some reason. I don’t know why but I hogged onto Doritos and all that. Plus I got sucked into this new-found indulgence yet again. For the last few days, once I am back on the bed, ready to call it a night, I get busy with the vice. And I promise to myself that I would not indulge too much. But before I know it, I am full-blown into it! Nah, it’s not doing me any good.

Talking of indulgence, I need to stop with the coffee. I am having way too much. May be this is the reason I can’t seem to find sleep? Plus, lemonade has started to taste nice. So may be I will move to that?

Oh, the highlight of yesterday. With Nupura, I had to a recce for an event and it was at this property in the middle of nowhere. Called Avanilaya, it’s in the middle of nowhere (well, actually in Aldona, Goa) and it is EXACTLY the kind of property that I would like to own! It has everything that I may need.

It is middle of nowhere, on top of a hillock, overlooking mountains and rivers and vegetation, fitted with all things modern (wi-fi :D) and yet full of relics from the past.

I may or may not be part of the event when it actually happens but I will go back to Avanilaya someday and spend a few days there, doing nothing. May be i’ll just sit there and write!

Brings me to this realization.

Each place in Goa that I have been to is dotted with bookshelves and they have an eclectic mix of books – English, always Russian, some German, some French, hardly Hindi / Goan / Hindustani. I think I must get some copies of TNKS and carry them around and sprinkle those at various places. Let’s see if I can crack a deal with Sachin to buy these copies for cheap. I am sure he’s happy to liquidate his stock.

The other thing that I must do is stop imagining about book2 and actually get down to writing. Kitna faltoo self-talk!

So here’s the thing. I am really struggling without the Internet here. I now have a Jio connection as well but even that doesn’t seem to be working. I will have to either find a broadband service provider that is willing to fit in a fast connection at a temp house. Or I need to change the house. The co-working I goto here (Clay), is not designed for handling calls. Yes, I do great work when I am there, I get in the zone and I like it there. But most times I need reliable internet is when I need to be on the calls. And there are hardly any spaces that I can lock myself into when I need to be on calls.

Things that I do for myself, I can manage them with slow, unreliable, and flaky internet that the phones offer me. I mean editing a book is easy without the internet (for a large part), writing these morning pages is doable, thinking about all the projects that I run is manageable on phone / WhatsApp, etc. I can even batch those tasks and work on em when I get Internet. But I can’t do these Zoom / Teams calls without reliable, fast, uninterrupted Internet. This whole Remote Work from Goa won’t happen without it.

Plus since I am sort of rebuilding work, life, cash-flow, etc, I can no longer implement a strict maker-manager. Neither can I dole out time slots to people (and make them work at my whims). I need to be available to those at a time when they are available. And often I am not the most important person in the room anymore and that means that I need to toe the line drawn by others.

So that. Internet. And an office space that allows me to be in the flow while I can take my calls. I don’t have an answer right now and like I said, alternatives range from temp high-speed broadband to moving houses in Goa where I have a rent agreement on my name (anyway I need to find a permanent solution if I am going to be here – can’t take advantage of Rajesh Sir’s kindness for too long).

I kid you not that this is that important to me that I am willing to go back to Mumbai and Starbucks.

Really.

Am that fucked about it!

Let’s see what solution I get.

Over and out!

040121 – Morning Pages

A quick, dirty post for today’s morning pages. Nothing significant to offer to be honest.

6:54.

Today’s edition would be small. Probably the smallest that I have ever written. Have a few deadlines at work and I need to allocate some time to it. I am gonna end this by 715. That means just about 15 mins. And I will thus not spend the extra time in fixing the tags, meta data etc. That I can do during the day.

So while I have a lot of talk about (a lot’s on my head), with the limited time I have, lets see how much I get on paper.

If I had to use one phrase to describe how I spent yesterday, I would say, I broke all the rules that I have set for myself for 21.

For starters, on morning pages, I am not to talk about the past per se. Neither are these pages supposed to be part of a journal per se.

Then, I am late with my 2021 plans. It was supposed to happen yesterday but I could not. I was NickyM‘s maître d’hôtel for the day. Nick had some errands to run and needed someone to take the post. I did. And it was fun. It helps that his food is so good that the job is merely getting chatty with people – which I did with ease. I have learned this art of faking conversations with strangers and coming across as a “nice guy” – I mean I think they think of me as the nice guy when I speak with them. I am digressing. So I was to work on the plan for 21 but I could not. I had even decided that I will make myself the priority but I did not. I am actually glad that I did break the rule – I learned that I may like running a restaurant (to add to a million things that I already want to do in life).

Good news is that I am still eating far less than last few days. And I am eating less carbs. Except all the peanuts. I must be eating so many peanuts that the entire country would be left without any chakna with their drinks.

The last thing that I have to talk about is the house situation in Goa. I like it here so far and I can see myself living here for another couple of months, if not more. So that means I need to do two things. A, figure out the house. I can’t continue to live on Rajesh Sir’s largesse. I’d start looking out and will take a 2-month lease from maybe the 15th onwards, once the tourists are gone. May be. And B, need to figure out the Mumbai house. Do I need to stay there. Or do I need to give it up altogether. Thing is, all of it is so dependent on work, on the money. I need to probably fix that first! So that.

Ok, I have 4 more minutes to go.

Oh yeah. So I am in Mumbai in mid of Feb. When I need to attend a wedding of the other Rajesh. Fuck, I have too many similar-sounding people around me. As of today there are three Nikhil’s at the top of my head. There are two Rajeshs. No Saurabhs, which I thought was the most common name in the world. Lol.

So I think that’s that for the day.

There are more that I want to write and talk about but I will leave it for tomorrow when I am not this rushed.

Over and out.

030121 – Morning Pages

I talk to myself about how I spent yesterday, about life in Goa, about the idea of home. Nothing special but an inane update.

Its 8 AM and this is not the first thing I am doing. First thing was to post a picture on Instagram. This one. I did it from the bed. I broke all rules today if you want to know. I checked Instagram, Twitter, and WhatsApp while my eyes were still groggy.

So clearly, I am not having a good second third day of the year! The second day actually went in a blur. Started with calls, emails and by the time I saw the clock, it was 4. And then went for a walk, where I was literally attacked by a pack of dogs for no rhyme or reason. If not for other people around that helped me fend off the strays, I probably would be getting some rabies shots or something. Not to mention all the disruption it would have caused in my plans for the year! In fact, yesterday only AG told me to get a pet – he said when you have nothing going for yourself, you can lean on one. He gave examples of many lonely people who have no object of affection to look after and have cats and dogs that sort of meaning to their lives. I did not know that I give off vibes that I need someone to take care of like that. May be it’s the age? And even if it is, I would rather adopt a child than care for a pet. Fucking strays.

Anyhow moving on. So I did go for a longish walk yesterday. About 10K steps. Earlier, I would listen to podcasts while I was walking. Yesterday, I tried to listen in and for some reason, I could not concentrate even for a bit, even though I had put up a JRE episode. Wonder what’s wrong. Oh, I have to mention that I wore a Decathlon phone pouch while walking and it worked wonders. The phone did not flop around the pocket while I was bouncing around. I love such companies that make thoughtful products that are both functional and are appealing. I mean look at Apple. Nike. Decathlon. Of course, Decathlon is different from the other two – affordable, mass-market, etc. But I love em. In fact, the first thing I did when I came to Goa was to buy chappals and a tiny backpack that could carry the phone, a notepad, and the credit cards. I really really recommend em! Go check em out. Lol, now we are giving recommendations on morning pages!

The good part yesterday however was that I did not eat crap, even though I was tempted to. I had eggs, panner, and some soup. All thanks to Nicky M’s. And some peanuts. Avoided carbs to a large extend. Yay. Now to continue this for another 6 months and continue to walk and may be do some pushups. Lol!

Apart from these two things, I am fairly blank in how to write or what to write. I miss the fact that I do not have a place to go sit and work out of at this hour. In Mumbai, the earliest Starbucks would be open at 7 and I could actually get a lot of work done. Yes, it was expensive but atleast I was getting things done. Here, it’s a struggle to find a business that opens early enough to allow for some meaningful work to happen early in the morning. Even co-working spaces here operate on restaurant hours. No, I can’t complain – that’s how people are. Am a weirdo. I am thus forced to start my day at 1030 and by the time I get in the grind, the whole world is up and is screaming for attention. The other option is to go the night-owl route. Wake up late, start late, end late, sleep late. But then, most people like to enjoy their evenings and that means all the places that I could potentially use to sit out of and work would be packed with people partying? May be I just need to learn how to work from home? Something that I have been trying to learn for some 20 years and yet failing at. I can manage to work from home but I don’t get into the flow easily. At a public place, am like a ninja and I put my keyboard on fire! I mean I wrote most of #tnks from a Starbucks (Powai). Whatever blogging I’ve managed, all of it has happened on the run or from some coworking space. The best decks that I have churned have happened at offices. In fact, I can blame the lockdown for a hit in my productivity – simply because I did not have a place to go to!

Oh, it’s almost been a month now (I came here on the 6th. Or was it the 7th?) and I need to now decide if I want to be here. Or if I want to go back to Mumbai. Right now, I am on the fence. I like the newness of the place. I am enjoying meeting all the new people and experiencing all the new things. I like that most people are easy going. I like that there is a thriving social scene here (which I don’t enjoy, to be honest, and which is probably better and more vibrant in Mumbai, but I have stayed away from). I like love that I have no pressure of dressing up here and a pair of tattered shorts is as accepted as an Armani suit is (unlike in Mumbai where you are continuously judged). I love love that no one here judged for who you are or what you’ve done. I like how people accept you in their lives, their homes, and their hearts.

Of course, I sometimes do crave for the comfort of familiarity and availability of things to do back in Mumbai, but I think things that really make a place feel like home (people, warmth et al), I no longer have those in Mumbai. I never had those in Delhi (well, parents live there but that’s that and I got over my affinity for the place too early on in life). I miss the hustlers of Aram Nagar and aspiring actors of Lokhandwala and the never-stop, never-say-die attitude of almost everyone around me. I miss meeting friends of friends that are doing great things and getting inspired by them.

Could I be at both places at the same time? Do I even want to be thinking of doing this and keeping my two feet in different boats? Did I not want to be a nomad? Just a few days ago I was talking about living out of a suitcase, giving up all my possessions and thus, a home altogether.

Wait. What the fuck is home?

There are no easy answers. Especially for someone who’s at my place in life – no clear vocation (I do multiple things but it’s impossible for me to explain to others in an elevator pitch), no financial stability (in debt, no predictable cash flow), lofty ambitions (and yet little to show for and un), arrogance (for what joy I don’t know), large lifegoals (Everest, Billion lives, Billion dollars) and other such quirks that make me who I am. Let’s see when I find an answer.

Or when I decide.

For the time being, let’s settle at this – I like it here in Goa. And I miss being in Mumbai.

Until next time, over and out!


PS: If you want to receive these on WA every day, lemme know. I’ll add you to the broadcast list.

020121 – Morning Pages

On the 2nd day of 2021, I talk about how I spent the first day of 2020 and how I am guilty of enjoying a film like Coolie No. 1.

02 Jan, 0705 hrs.

I had a brilliant start to the new year. Here’s how.

  • I could say no to very tempting offers to a, munch onto crispy brown fries at a fancy restaurant. And b, at the same place, I could say no to an ice-cold Diet Coke that was sweating with dew. Mmmm. Merely talking about it is making me want to grab one. But I did not.
  • I found 60 bucks at a garage! This is after a while that I have found money lying on the road. I consider that each rupee I find like that is worth a crore at some point in time. So, I am worth 60 crores already! Yay!
  • Met a friend (remember the restaurant I talked about above? there) and talked about the Goa magazine I have been thinking about. He may come on board as a partner. So Yay!
  • Was at FabIndia and saw this amazing notepad at a compelling price at a great discount. The regular Saurabh would have bought it but I resisted the temptation and did not.
  • Worked on the #in2021 plan for a bit. Still not done with it, but happy about the progress am making with it. Will share soon.
  • Started posting #aPicADay on Insta with this shot from Anjuna. Got 35 likes. Which is about 0.5%. With 800 followers, this should be at 80-100 (~1-1.5%). May be it will increase as we go along? And in case it does not, I will merely do it for the joy of doing and not for the thrill of seeking numbers.
  • At a cafe, I saw this young boy taking some amazing shots with an iPhone. Talked to him about Dil Haare‘s video that I want to make. He sounded interested. He’s gone MIA since ;P The larger point is that there are so many talented people but there’s no way for them to collaborate with others. Is this a problem worth solving?
  • Read some. The next part of Julia Cameron’s book. Realized my limitations as an artist and an enabler. Let’s see what I do to fix it.
  • Stayed away from the phone for a large part of the day. Decided to not chase time syncs (Instagram, Twitter, etc) and only use them when I want to. Could resist those for a large part. Yay!

So yeah. There’s luck, new beginnings, restraint, and overall general hopefulness. Couldn’t have asked for a better start. What about you? How was it for you?

Today looks busy as well. With things that I want to work on. Cheers to that. I have meetings from 10:30 on. I may also get to meet an interesting artist with Nupura towards the evening if all goes well. I of course need to complete the #in2021 plan before that. Maybe squeeze in a walk, if I can. Lol, who am I kidding?

Ok, what else?

Yeah! I have to talk about this and get judged. So, I don’t watch a lot of movies, and for an aspiring filmmaker, this is of course not done. My to-watch list is a mile long and even if I take three lifetimes, I would probably still not get to finish the list. The most recent one that I have been dying to see is AK vs AK. But I haven’t had the time. Or the inclination, maybe. But, I have been seeing Coolie No. 1 (the new one with Varun Dhawan in the lead role) intermittently. I kid you not, I am enjoying it! To a point that I find myself thinking about it. I am about an hour into it and like most such films that give you the guilty-pleasure, I don’t want it to get over! I have a shitty data connection here at Goa and yet I try to stream the film!

Lol. Goa does funny things to people 😀

Oh, I will also start work on book2 today. For the umpteenth time. Let’s see how this shot at chasing immortality goes. I am often left marveling at how optimistic I could be about things and how thick-skinned I could be about my folly! I mean if I was talking to myself, I would tell myself that book2 is an elaborate facade you’ve created to tell yourself that you amount to something. There is no substance to it. And I would tell myself to stop fooling myself and move on.

But then, I want to tell stories and I like the idea of being able to talk to people and uncover what moves them and then get inspired to explore more. And nothing better than to write books! And thus!

Anyhow, this is a rant for a different time, different day. Time to get on with the day and get some work done!

Over and out.

010121 – Morning Pages

The first post of 2021. I marvel at all the partygoers and I realise my own limitation as a human being. Plus random tidbits.

010121 – Happy new year!

A new post. I have been big on these new beginnings since I can remember. This one, #in2021, is no different. While I get depressed on my birthdays, I am excited like a child for the new year. I see an opportunity for a fresh start. I make elaborate lists of things that I’d do in the new year. For #in2021, I am yet to publish the list but I have been on it for a few days now. Let’s see when I get to publish it.

So, last night I was walking down probably the busiest street in Goa and I was surprised, shocked, and appalled at what I saw. The road was choc-a-block with cars, two-wheelers, pedestrians, and other revelers and merrymakers. There were hardly any masks and there was definitely no social distancing. No one was worried about COVID-19. As if it did not exist. There were parents with young kids that were ok to move around in the crowded markets. Heck, they seemed to be enjoying. I spotted a couple asking for recommendations where they could party with their 3-year old. Groups of friends were willing to hug strangers and share drinks. Businesses were trying to get people to stuff in like this was the last time they’d ever make money.

It was sad and pathetic.

It’s like people want to die! They do not care about their lives, or of others. I saw so many people so drunk out of their wits that they could not stand straight. This one girl literally tipped over the fence, onto the sidewalk. I am not sure what’s this excitement about getting drunk just because the calendar is advancing by one. I have someone close that is big on these parties. When I asked her, she said, “just”. I don’t know what this just means. Maybe I will learn in a few years?

I mean, you may argue that my excitement over these new-year resolutions and checklists is as irrational as what I am claiming the new-year celebration to be. May be. To each their own!

So, may be it’s wrong of me to judge em. It’s their life and they can do whatever they think is right for them. That’s the thing. I think I know all the answers and I am this gift to mankind that has the responsibility of fixing everyone and everything broken. I often get into trouble for offering unsolicited advice. And I have always been ok with the trouble. I feel as if I am making a difference, even if they are not ready. After all, the truth is bitter and a tough pill to swallow.

May be I need to swallow the pill that people are different and could have different motivations and preferences and lives than you.

So that.

Anyhow.

What I know for sure is that the madness in Goa will get over by the 4th and the world will be back to places they belong. And then it would take another 15 days to figure the aftereffects (COVID primarily) of all these people that descended on Goa from all parts of the country. And by then we would be back to regular programming. And that means life would start looking normal again. Normal = new normal.

So, as I write this, I am at the Royal Enfield Garage Cafe at Baga. I love the location and the ambience. If I ever make an office, it would be on these lines. And since its the pandemic year, there are hardly any people here, except when people are partying. I am sipping on to a lemonade (I hate the citrus-y taste but am trying to get healthy, like each year. lol!) and after I’ve had half a glass of it, I spotted this dead body of the tiny bug in the glass. And I have continued to sip onto it. That’s the thing. Since I’ve come to Goa, I have become indifferent to this dance of life. Earlier, I was super finicky about these insects and all. Oh, I have also started to get comfortable with dogs all over again. I think when in Goa, you can’t avoid running into them and most of them are far friendlier than the ones I have encountered elsewhere. So that’s a big change for me!

Oh, the other thing that I need to write is that this one took as much effort as the one I wrote yesterday. The one yesterday was for the want of will, this one was made tough as there was no electric current.

But then, somehow, made it happen. I feel like god 😉

With that, over and out!