120621 – The Starbucks Snafu on a Saturday

I write about a snafu with a plan to work from a Starbucks on a Saturday.

8:38. Woke up at around 6 to the sounds of mad thunder. Like I’ve never experienced before. ever. Nature is furious for some reason. There must’ve been lightning as well but I can’t see that from my hall where I sleep. For the ones curious, I do have a bedroom but it has a bed and I like the idea of sleeping on the floor. So that.

Anyhow. The plan today was to camp at a Starbucks and write till they throw me out. I even prepared my bag last night. The way I would do when I used to go to school decades ago. While I was waking up, I made a mental checklist of things that I will get done. I decided that I will try and avoid coffee as it gives me jitters if I don’t eat something with it and I want to avoid Starbucks’ food. I even told myself that I will celebrate once I come back from Starbucks with some snack or something.

As I heard the thunder crashing around me, I lazed a little more than I would have. To a point that it was 7:45. However, I wanted to reach Starbucks at 8 sharp to make the most of today. Thus I decided to skip the shower. Something uncharacteristic. You know how I am. I may be dying but I need my shower. At least once. Even if water is ice-cold. Or worse, weak lukewarm. But today I skipped it. Today’s that important for me and my writing.

So I skipped the shower. Put on fresh undies. Packed an extra tee in my bag, lest I get wet in the crazy rain out there. Thing is, I refuse to buy an umbrella. In all these years I’ve been in Mumbai, I’ve owned an umbrella maybe once. Too much hassle. Am happier in the rain.

So, I step out. Can’t spot a rick. It has started to rain. I cross the road. See one coming from the opposite direction. That’s the thing with Mumbai – you can find public transport easily. I flag it. Get in it. Take a longish route to reach Starbucks I go to often. I want to be mentally ready for the long day ahead. I am thinking about the chills I would get from the AC. I decide that I have an extra tee. I may layer up if need be. I am thinking about all the regular patrons that I see at Starbucks. I make my mind that I will try to nod at people and all that.

While am lost in these thoughts, I reach Starbucks. I see from the outside that it’s empty af. Why not. It’s 8:05. People in Andheri / Versova don’t wake up that early. They are up till late – they have to be – that’s the nature of the work they do. Most times Starbucks is that empty at that hour.

And then as I enter, the guard tells me Starbucks is shut.

For a few seconds, I couldn’t comprehend what he said. I was like what do you mean shut? It’s at least 8:10. I can see the lights in full glory. There’s staff puttering in there. One of the Barista’s I know arrives at the entrance announces – it’s the weekend.

I was like, “So?”

She’s like, “Sir, weekends we can’t be open.”


The brain had started to function by now. Of course, the advisory of the government prohibits public places to stay open on weekends. I was like, WHAT THE FUCK!

All the weekend plans went down with the baarish and the advisory.


And here I am.
At 8:38. 8:56 now. Ranting about this snafu.

I am so so so depressed that I am dumping shit into my system (eating things that I should not – you know, stress eating) and chewing on a chewing gum like it’s an enemy that I want to maim like I’ve never wanted to harm anyone ever!

It sucks how life gives you lemons when you least expect it to. Suckerpunched.

I really want to get a lot of things done and I can’t get good work while I am stuck in the four walls of this apartment. I wish I could check into a business hotel or something. I wish I was living out of Rove in Dubai – the perfect hotel for someone like me. Fairly ok rooms. Great vibe in the common area.


Now that I am stuck here, let’s see what I can achieve. I plan to work on the following today (in the order of priority)…

  1. Write content to help Sonali and her Art in Action project
  2. Submit the Airbnb Live Anywhere application
  3. SoG Book. It’s the cornerstone project for Jun 2021.
  4. Shortlist and finalize writers for The Podium‘s foray into content
  5. Make progress on Write Your First Novel course. Worth two weeks.
  6. Approach more people for Long Haul Ventures. This includes all the bade log I know that I send quarterly updates to.
  7. Get back on Twitter

And then if I have some time left, get some work for one or two projects that I am on.

Most of these are around writing. Which I thought would be breezy since I am at my most effective as a writer when I am at a Starbucks! Now that I am not there, let’s see how many of these do I get in. Will report during the day. Or may be tomorrow. Again, I won’t be able to go to a Starbucks and thus will have to lower my expectations. Sigh!

Oh, now that I am back, I can actually get that shower that I skipped. May be. Maybe not.

Guess this is it for the day. Here’s streaks.

  • Morning Pages / Meditations – 181
  • #aPicADay – 0
  • 10K steps a day – 0
  • OMAD – 0
  • #noCoffee – 0
  • #noCoke – 93
  • 10 mins of meditation – 0
  • #book2 – 0
  • Killer Boogie – 0
  • Surya Namaskar – 0

160521 – Meditations

Dumped everything that was on my head here. I liked writing this one!

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.

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!

So that.

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.

So that.

Rant hai.

Moving on.

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!