030921 – Morning Pages

This might very well be the last post on Morning Pages till the mid of October. And no, no grand revelations.

7:30. Shelter. Last day here. Phew.

Did not sleep a wink on my last night in Mumbai. No, I was not anxious. I think it’s all the tea I am having at Starbucks. Plus I have been thinking about life, work, success, achievement, contribution, health. And how despite all the wisdom I may have, why and how I remain a failure. And about friendship, relationships, romantic partners. And why I am unable to maintain these. And the thoughts of moving away and looking forward to the road. And how I like to drift and refuse to call one place, one person, one thing home.

So, I leave late in the night. And then I dont know when I would be back to Bom.

This is for the first time in years that I would not have an address in Mumbai. I can use VGs or SJ2s place as an address if I have to, but they are not mine really. Their homes, houses are theirs. And that means I am borrowing from them. And enough of borrowing. I am going to have to borrow to fund the short film I was recently a part of. I will have to borrow again to fund my team’s salary. No, I dont want to cut the losses. To me, people are important, even if I am unimportant to them. I’ve learned the hard way that you can’t really trust others. For all the talk that I may indulge in about being reliable and trustworthy and being there and all that, it’s impossible to have that going with others. Except maybe with your parents. Every other relationship is a transaction. #famousLastWords πŸ˜€

Ok. I am ranting. Deep breath.

Moving on and coming back to borrowing things, I think what I need to learn and internalize is that most of our lives are essentially the time that we’ve borrowed from destiny. The debt collector can come calling anytime, unannounced and you have to give in. And while we wait for the Yamdoot to come in, it’s what we do in this borrowed time that defines who we are. And no, nothing I’ve done seems to have defined me. As Naval says, once you die, you would be forgotten by the third generation. Which is a very very useful concept to internalize. I know about it subconsciously. I try to live each day with the assumption that we are all ephemeral. And I try to keep my emotions at bay. But then, I am human. I falter. And I make lapses in judgment. So that.

Oh, I have a very very sore throat. I dont know why or how. I did not really drink anything cold. I was more or less indoors. I dont know what’s caused it but I need to be careful. Just 15 days to go and I can’t afford to fall sick. I mean, for starters, I haven’t been training. Then, I dont know how to wear shoes. And then there’s a load on my shoulders as I would walk in the mountains. Not to forget my nasal polyp. And the damn hernia. And the persistent back pain. Lol. I sound like a rickety old man that does one thing and one thing only – complain about old age!

In fact, funnily last night only I sort of made a bet with AS about getting abs. She mentioned that she’s gunning for 2-3 by December. Not that she’s not fabulous already but she still wants to go beyond and aim for a better state. So, I am so inspired by her resolution that at a whim I promised her that I would also try and get them abs. At least 2. Right now, I am 38. And to be able to get to abs, I need to be 32 or something, I think. Probably as tough as climbing Everest but I will try. September has been good. While I am not walking per se, I have been able to manage OMAD for three days now. Let’s see if I can manage other things. So that.

I guess this is about it for the day. Funny how history repeats itself. The last time I left Mumbai, I was on a train. Just like this time. Though, last time, I was going away from sgMS. I dont remember if she had come to drop me but I do know, with the advantage of hindsight that I should’ve stayed back with her.

But then, this time, there’s no one to say goodbye to. Or the regret of walking away from someone. There have been relationships that I value but I think those are past their expiry date, their borrowed time. Apart from maybe, M. But then my love for her is probably as lopsided as they get. She wouldn’t even realize that I am no longer around. If the world forgets you after 3 generations, I think children forget you in 3 minutes and move on.

And as I move on from Mumbai, let’s see where I land and when I am back. If I am back. Let’s see what destiny has in store for me and where I end up. I need to sort of relook at how I’ve lived my life and the failures that I have piled up. Without learning from my mistakes. And I’ve continued to, repeat those πŸ™

Let’s see what I come back with once I am back. With this, over and out. Here’s streaks…

  • OMAD – 2
  • #book2 – 0
  • #noCoke – 176
  • #noCoffee – 20
  • #aPicADay – 0
  • Money spent – 1201
  • Killer Boogie – 0
  • 10K steps a day – 0
  • Surya Namaskar – 0
  • 10 mins of meditation – 0
  • Minimaslism Counter – -2 +1 (ease of shifting)
  • Morning Pages / Meditations – 266
  • NOFAP – 2. Starting this counter today. Let’s see how long can I go.

PS: This may very well be my last morning pages post till the mid of October. You would know if you dont see a post by 11 AM tomorrow. If this is the last post, this would be the 267th day on the trot when I wrote an average of 1000 words each day. Incredible job, Mr. Garg!

Also, streaks are an important part of my life now. I will keep em going here.

020921 – Morning Pages

A quick post about a day when I am uncharacteristically happy. About nothing in specific. Read on!

8:19. Starbucks.

Second last day in Mumbai for this stint. The move has been surprisingly smooth. I mean it had all the snafus and fubars and all that (shifting, packing, misplacing things, breaking things that I am sentimental about, etc) but more or less it was an ok experience. The advantages of not having a lot of things! Minimalism +1!

Even though I slept with a heavy heart (not sure why – may be cos I am not doing well at work, may be I am not feeling loved by the ones I want to be loved by, may be it’s just because I am moving away from Mumbai) but when I woke up, I was surprisingly in a great mood. May be because I did not eat a lot yesterday and my system is feeling clean. Lol. May be because we wrapped the shoot of the next short (but I did not play any role in it apart from funding it). May be I spoke to an artist (Manmeet Narang – see this video) that I am a big fan of and that interaction left me inspired. May be it’s the fabulous weather – some sunshine, some rains, a lot of wind – exactly the kinds I’ve experienced in my trips to colder counties.

I dont know what it is but I am in the zone. I feel relaxed, content, in the moment. A rarity for someone like me that is all over the place, all the time.

As I write this, I am perched on a high table, hunched over my laptop and I am grooving to the music on my headphones. If you are curious, I heard this, this and now I am on this. I just hope this, whatever this is, continues. I must preserve this with all I have. I must try and reach this place, this feeling as often as I can. If only I knew how to. Let’s see.

So, the best part of yesterday was that I managed OMAD. It was pretty simple actually. All I had to do was not eat till about 12 and then occupy myself with work, meetings, and all that. Reminds me of the rant from a few days ago about food – that you eat when you are stressed, you are social or you are habituated. I removed all three yesterday. And I could manage. Let’s see how it goes today. I do have a long day with a lot of work and a lot of stressful phone calls to make. But I shall prevail. In fact, someone just shared this with me…

This is such a simple statement and yet so powerful. I must make the clear decision to stay away from things that drag me down, even if it’s work. I need to become unfuckwithable. And chase this contentment and chase greatness and chase impact and all that. Of course, these are very very wide statements and at some point, I need to crystalize these, and I will. But, definitely a #note2self

Oh, today also happens to be Shubhi’s birthday. She’s one of those rare people that I can bare my soul in front of. No other thoughts to be honest. Just wanted to put this here. She is that important.

I guess this is about it for the day. Time to get started. Like I said, I have a long day ahead. Let’s see how I end the day.

Here’s the streaks.

  • OMAD – 1. Managed it yesterday. I sort of decided that I will spend the next few days trying to get in some sort of shape for EBC. Even though I am very late for it. But I will do whatever I can.
  • #book2 – 0
  • #noCoke – 175
  • #noCoffee – 19
  • #aPicADay – 0
  • Money spent – 630
  • Killer Boogie – 0
  • 10K steps a day – 0
  • Surya Namaskar – 0
  • 10 mins of meditation – 0
  • Minimaslism Counter – -2 +1 (ease of shifting)
  • Morning Pages / Meditations – 265

010921 – Morning Pages

Today’s post talks about the sadness that September brings, the unpreparedness for the walk to EBC and a few others things.

8:27. Starbucks.

September. The month has continued to send me into inexplicable sadness. All my underachievements and failures come back to haunt me. And since I am in this zone where I am sad about things, I often make errors in judgment and that makes me more prone to mistakes. And that means things that can go wrong, start going wrong. And that means the spiral of sadness starts moving faster. And I dont know what to do about it.

So that. Lemme digress and talk about other things.

Yesterday, I was at the shoot of my next short film. While I was there, I got yelled at, despite me being the one who’s enabling all that to happen. I often dont take credit for things I do. I mean the world doesn’t stop if you stop existing. It finds its way. Always has. I just happen to be at a place at a time where I played a role that moved the ball further. Now when I do that, and I say this with all humility, I want to be anything but the person that gets yelled at.

Plus it’s getting reinforced that a producer really has no role in anything that happens. Apart from being the one that’s bankrolling the whole jingbang. I knew it to be honest but now I know it as well. So that’s that.

The action point is to stop this free flow of money to fuel other people’s dreams, unless I am the one whose work is getting created. Or I am the one that will get credit beyond a producer. And thus, I need to move onto the other side. My writing doesn’t seem to work with people. I have no clue what directing is. I am anything but acting material. Plus I dont watch a lot of films anyway. So need to think hard about this love of making films. Lemme add this to the list of things I want to think about in the break in the second half of September. Let’s see what I come up with. #toThinkOn.

Oh, the internet at the house I live at, aka, the shelter has stopped working. And funnily, I am ok to face the inconvenience of not having the Internet, when compared to the effort required to make calls to the ISP and getting it fixed. Plus, I am around for today and tomorrow. Day after I am gone.

In the happy, hopeful things to talk about, I have just about 15 days left to go for the break (and the walk to the EBC – I refuse to call it a trek. It’s a walk). I am looking forward to the experiment of not having the phone and being cut off from the world. I do plan to use a phone to make a vlog about the journey and take notes about things that I am thinking about. But that’s about it. I want to be with myself for a large part of this journey. Reduce contact to minimal. Talk when spoken to. Not distract myself with news, entertainment, or any modern, pop-culture-y thing. I’ll try to not even be that problem solver that I have this compelling obsession to be when I am in taxing situations. Let’s see how it goes.

For some reason, while I wrote the para above, I was reminded of the time I spent when I went for Vipassana. I think I must go again. I may not be able to do so in 2021 but I will try and do it sometime in 2022 for sure. #in2022.

The thing though is that Vipassana requires little in terms of physical preparedness. The walk to EBC is more taxing. And I am not ready. I have not worked out. I am not doing any breathing exercises. I refuse to wear shoes. I am eating crap all the time. I am making the walk all the more difficult. I think I need to live the next 17 days the best I can. This means, eat less and do some breathing exercises. I can’t work out, I can’t walk – not time to do this. Lots of work on my hands.

Oh, lemme get this load off my head by writing this. On the work front, I am suffering. To a point that I am back to a point where I no longer have enough coming in to keep my team together and will have to sort of seek out a loan each month to feed my team. I think things are different from the last time around (in the sense that the world has finally adopted this work-from-home thingy and people are now investing in marketing, communications, events, etc). I need to make myself different now to be able to leverage these new opportunities and create work for myself. And my team. And my Kutumb.

I also need to find an office space for myself. I can’t focus when I am at home / house / shelter. I can’t be at Starbucks all the time. Way too expensive and inefficient for the kind of work I do (meetings, selling, etc). So, once I am back, even if I choose to live in Delhi with my parents (to save on rent), I will need to find an office of sorts. Let’s see.

Been writing for about an hour now. Guess will take a break and get on with the day. Here’s the streaks…

  • OMAD – 0
  • #book2 – 0
  • #noCoke – 174
  • #noCoffee – 17
  • #aPicADay – 0
  • Money spent – 1900
  • Killer Boogie – 0
  • 10K steps a day – 0
  • Surya Namaskar – 0
  • 10 mins of meditation – 0
  • Minimaslism Counter – -2
  • Morning Pages / Meditations – 264. I think I will reach 280 or so days before I go for the trek. Let’s see. Maybe the vlog I make will be the morning pages and I will publish those on the blog?

310821 – Morning Pages

I talk about events as engaging work, wanting to write for a living, minimalism and how India is where the future is and yet me wanting to move out!

7:12. Woke up a few minutes ago. I am a little groggy. Guess it’s the sleeping on the floor ka side effect. Two more nights. And then one night on a train and then a hotel bed. Damn, I miss hotels and their beds. Damn, I miss life as an event manager! I think of all the things I’ve worked on, I was the most engaged when I was doing events. And I have a feeling, if I dive head-on into films, I would be far more engaged than I am when I am on any other project. I enjoy the time I spend while I am writing but then writing doesn’t pay. Damn this world where I need to find money to engage in things I love.

Anyhow. Let’s not get into a rant.

So yesterday was ok. Did some work. Did some time pass. Met a client f2f about 4 months after we started working. It was good fun. Got rogered as well (I am failing as a marketer there). Need to pull socks. But that’s the part and parcel of life. I can’t have all things work smoothly all the time. There would be ups and downs and that’s ok.

Today is a long long day. I need to wear shoes and go to another client’s office. I dont know how that would pan out. I hope I dont get rogered there :D. Then I need to visit the set of the next short film that I am working on. Not that I add any value but it’s the closest that I can get to doing an event. Just that I am the guy who controls things at the event. And at the set, it’s the director.

So that.

Oh, I must log that this trek to EBC is not turning out into a good idea. I have bought way too many things (shoes, clothes, accessories). And while it’s money, it’s also the mental load of owning all those things. I mean I have mentally decided that I will give away the new shoes to the porter that will help me carry my things. And other accessories to travel shops in Nepal. Just that, this effort of buying expensive things and then thinking about them is not cool. I need to become stronger with this resolve of staying a minimalist. And I need to have more money to be able to not worry about spending large sums on one-time purchases and then discarding what I bought. I mean this pair of shoes is probably the most expensive I’ve ever bought (at 8K) and I will just give it away after I wear it for like 5 days! So that.

No, I can’t complain that this is a side effect of minimalism. It’s just that I find it wasteful. And no, there’s no solution.

Ok. What else?

So the other day I was talking to MK about how I want to live and work out of India. And how I am supportive of everyone moving out of here. You know, the political and economic environment. And he told me that maybe I need to rethink this. In the sense that as an entrepreneur and a capitalist, he is of the opinion that the future is in India. I can’t disagree. We are the second-largest domestic market, of people that have more and more discretionary money to spend and on top, aspirations to second to none. So there would be a few years of consumerism. And that means there would be more and more opportunities for people like us. You know, while in the gold rush, make axes? So that. No, I haven’t changed the resolve per se. But when MK talks, I listen carefully. So I need to think more about it. Maybe I would think about it over the next few days.

So I guess this is about it for the day. Short post but this is all that I am thinking about right now. Here’s streaks…

  • OMAD – 0
  • #book2 – 0
  • #noCoke – 173
  • #noCoffee – 16
  • #aPicADay – 0
  • Money spent – 5396
  • Killer Boogie – 0
  • 10K steps a day – 0
  • Surya Namaskar – 0
  • 10 mins of meditation – 0
  • Minimaslism Counter – -2
  • Morning Pages / Meditations – 263

300821 – Morning Pages

Today I talk about producing short films, being a shoulder and one of the greatest fears I have in life – the one of being treated unfairly!

7:53. Starbucks Powai.

Here for a day-long meeting. Have another meeting here tomorrow. Thankfully that’s not all day. I can be in and out. Just that travel to Ghatkopar is a pain with traffic and Metro construction and all that. It’s a sin. It’s a mortal waste of time. Anyhow. So, morning pages. A dump of what’s on my head.

So, I am constantly thinking of how I should be doing more. Wow! I have been able to capture this so well! Do more in terms of fitness, office work, relationships, and all that. This thing about wanting to do more is literally guiding my thoughts, emotions, and actions. To a point that I am living in this La La land. You know, in the sandcastles in the head. Guess I need to jolt out of it. Let’s see how and when I do that. Maybe the upcoming break from work and a computer would help. Of course, the sad part would be that I would have to break this morning pages streak that I have been on since December of last year!

Ok, enough of sadness. Let’s move on.

So, tomorrow is the first day of the next short that I am involved with. This would be the 4th film that I am part of. I have primarily been a co-producer on all these 4. For the uninitiated, a producer is primarily a financier. And then s/he does other things like getting the project together and ensuring that it works out well.

And no, most short films dont really make money. Actually, wait. I must say, a short-film that makes money is a rarity.

The deal with shorts is that the writer and / or the director gets to show their work. The crew gets one more credit on IMDB. The producer / financier is the fool that does not gain anything. Except opportunities to share stories and reels about it on Instagram. And for someone like me who doesn’t care about these bragging rights, there is no ROI. I mean I can get happy with the validation that I lent a shoulder to some people but that’s that. I can sleep a tad better with the knowledge that I acted like the giant that others could stand on the shoulder of. I can be happy that people want to play games with me (ref: yesterday’s post). But that’s that, to be honest.

I just hope at some point in time in life these things make sense. And the ones that I am lending a shoulder to remember to lend their shoulders to others.

I often think about why I support these endeavors when I dont have the money in the first place. And especially when I believe that I am wise and all that. Lol. I think I suffer from the Dunning-Kruger thingy. I mean I think I am wise but maybe I am not that wise. If it’s pinching me, why am I even trying to do things? Why can’t I just sit idle and let a corpus get built? Even if it takes years for that to happen?

I guess these are those questions that we’d never find answers to. Not that I need the answers. I mean I dont want to find out, to be honest. If I realize that I was wrong, it would break my heart. This risk of being treated unfairly by people that I support is more than the misery of taking on debt and funding my dreams. In fact, this probably is my biggest fear. I hope I dont have to face that day when I see my people being unfair. I mean I know life is unfair. Things are unpredictable. People change. Pandemics happen. But the implicit contract with my people needs to be sacrosanct. Cast in stone. Un-fuckable-with.

Ok, enough. Time to get on with work. Here’s the streaks.

  • OMAD – 0
  • #book2 – 0
  • #noCoke – 172
  • #noCoffee – 15 (wow!)
  • #aPicADay – 0
  • Money spent – 1322
  • Killer Boogie – 0
  • 10K steps a day – 0
  • Surya Namaskar – 0
  • 10 mins of meditation – 0
  • Minimaslism Counter – -2
  • Morning Pages / Meditations – 262