270521. Hello, Book 2

An attempt to get started with writing the next book.

7:34.
Woke up a few minutes. The first thing I did was check my phone. I’ve got into this stupid habit of looking at Instagram and Twitter and Whatsapp as soon as I am up. Need to break out of this. Thing is, I primarily look at my phone to check the time (I don’t use an alarm anymore) and as soon as I have access to a phone, I start fiddling with other apps. And then like Alice, I go down the rabbit hole of other people and their fabulous lives! I’ll try to limit that over the next few days.

So, agenda for the day.
Try and write on book2 for an hour or so. Till about 8:30 or 8:45.
No, nothing from the heart or whatever.
Book 2 takes priority.

Here we go…

So on book2, while I know more of my protagonists and I have a vague idea of the antagonist as well, I dont know how the battle of wits would look like. There is this ultimate treasure that both these parties are chasing. I am struggling to write the parts where I would hide these. And while these two parties slug it out, I need to make this about a larger philosophy and the ideology. Let’s see what comes out…

“How are we to decode what people wrote back then? So much has changed since they must have hidden the treasure.” The rational Rujuta asked Chintan.

“Rujuta, it’s similar to any other investigation you run. You have morsels for clues. You chase the trail and it eventually leads you to the place of leak. And then you dig further and you would eventually find the answer. You need to not give up.” Chintan was more articulate than that but guess it was the lack of sleep. Or he was overwhelmed with emotion. After all they had just put one of their closest confidantes to rest.

“I know. But who am I to chase? Where do I go? Which thread do I pick? Who do I ask? Apart from what you have and what we stole from Paul’s office, we don’t have a thing. We don’t know where to go. To be honest, I don’t give a fuck about it. Just that I want to save Caravan Serai. It means so much to Mrs. Gomes. There’s no woman like here.

“I know. I know. You are right. But answers wont come to us if we just sit around here and twiddle. What if we find places and things that have been around since back then? I mean a lot of modern construction has happened around here. There are some places that have stayed around since then. No? I mean look at the churches and temples and buildings and all that. These places have been around since forever. We know that we need to probably start from Dona Paula work the way towards Panjim and then beyond. I know its hard work and we will probably come back empty handed. But in the worst case, we’d discover more of Goa!”

“Arey, I don’t care about discovering Goa. I want to ensure that when that bastard Ankit comes back, I can throw whatever he wants on his face so that he can leave us alone and…”

Chintan interrupted. “Do you think he will leave us alone if we gave him the money or the treasure?”

“No ya! I am not that naive. Men like that are never satisfied. He would keep coming back with more requests. All the time. But at this time, this is what we need to solve for.” While Chintan’s scatterbrain was evident, Rujuta’s pragmatism was on display.

Chintan couldnt do anything but agree.

“You do have a point. We can start with Old Goa. There are families and people there that are as old as Goa itself. It could be worth checking out. Plus Ankit’s office is close by at Panjim. We can stop by and say hi to him.” Rujuta chuckled. This is one of those things that Chintan liked about Rujuta. He couldn’t pin what it was but she had this distinct way of looking at things that made him crave for her company.

“Let’s do. When do you want to start?”

“Maybe from tomorrow. We have to talk to others as well and find a way to do this fast. We don’t have all day…”


This is it for the time being. Not too much but I made a start. Good good.

Also, at this point, I am thinking, do I even want to make it about a treasure hunt? While it’s an intriguing piece, if I am getting stuck, should I change the plot to make it a regular maar-dhaad wali film? Where they fight over a piece of land and kill each other and there’s salvation? Like you know, Godfather had no large treasure but respect, family, and survival. May be that will make sense? The treasure could be a red herring that I would remove. It could be the B story. It could be something that someone else was engaged in while my key characters are busy saving Caravan Serai. Makes sense. Let’s see what I decide over the next few days.

That’s it! And, here’s streaks.

  • Morning Pages / Meditations – 165
  • #aPicADay – 0. Will start this soon, now that I have started to walk around.
  • 10K steps a day – 0. Did 9980 steps!
  • OMAD – 0
  • #noCoffee – 0
  • #noCoke – 77
  • 10 mins of meditation – 0
  • #book2 – 1. Today was day 1!
  • Killer Boogie – 0
  • Surya Namaskar – 0. Missed this two days in a row.

So that’s it for the day. Let’s see if I can write more about book2 over the next few days.

300321 – Meditations

Took me forever to write this one. I just didnt get the words. But thankfully, I managed some. I talk about things clouding my head.

8:00. Just woke up. I am groggy and all. The mind’s blank. I dont know what to write. Of course, a lot is happening and a lot is on my mind and a lot needs to be written and a lot needs to be published. But the mind is blank 🙁

Lemme try #freewriting.

A. Despite all my public outcry against the increasing number of cases in India and my concern that we are being stupid, I still went to Starbucks. And I will go again today. In a bit. Before 9ish. Multiple reasons – lack of space at home, non-functional AC, the need to have ambient noise while working (I need to come back home for calls that start at 1:30), etc. I just wish Starbucks offered closed rooms. I am getting a shared office in a few days. I have paid for it (and a lot of money, to be honest), in hopes that I will be able to use that place instead of a Starbucks. Let’s see how that goes.

B. I met a friend last evening, and I talked about my inability to work on #book2. I told her that I want this one to be an ode to Mahabharata and I cannot wrap my head around all the characters and their interplay. I have used tools like sticky notes, whiteboards, Roam, and whatnot, and yet I am can’t seem to write it.

She had a great suggestion – get someone to help write. I have tried with multiple “assistants” in the past. PM literally sent in prompts everyday. But I couldn’t make progress with it. So that’s not a solution. Guess the answer is to just pound on the keyboard till I make progress.

Wait, do I even want to write the book? The answer is, hell yes! The reason is that whatever validation I get from the world comes from the fact that I can attach the word author in front of my name. The world rewards output and action and finished things. WIPs don’t have any value. They are left to rot on the sidelines. Really.

I think I will get going with writing about book2 each day, even if it’s one word. I must start from today. Let’s see if I get inspired!

C. It’s 9:20 and I am at Starbucks as we write. It’s perfect! Almost any Starbucks outlet is. I just wish it was a tad cheaper. I mean they are free to price their products at whatever price point they deem appropriate and may be this just-out-of-reach premium-ness is what makes Starbucks a place that’s just perfect and you can sit for long at and get into the zone and work!

Plus, I like the idea of waking up early and getting a headstart when the world is sleeping. This time (when the world is asleep) is the time when I get the best work done. The entire A large part of #tnks was written in the 7 AM to 10 AM window. May be once I settle into a routine of sorts, I will earmark this time for work on #book2. Funny how so many thoughts are centered around book2 and yet I do nothing about it.

So that.

Before I go, here’s streaks….

  • Morning Pages / Meditations – 109
  • #aPicADay – 89
  • 10K steps a day – 0
  • OMAD – 0
  • #noCoffee – 20
  • #noCoke – 20
  • 10 mins of meditation – 0
  • #book2 – 0

Wait. Here’s attempt at writing #book2. Let’s see how many words do I get in. I honestly don’t recall where I left the story. Let’s see what comes out. It’s 9:40. I will write till 10. Even if I have to type book2 multiple times.

“Its funny, Rujuta. At the core of it all, every argument – legit or illegit, fair or unfair, long or short, called for or uncalled for – is about two people taking two different sides of an idea. The idea could be ownership of a a property. The idea could be a political ideology. The idea could be as simple as the clothes you’d wear”, Ronak continued to stare into the sea and continued to deliver his monologue to Rujuta.

Rujuta could only nod at whatever Ronak had to say. Ronak reminded her of Tarana. She thought, it was about time the two of them met.

That’s it.
Like 2 paras 🙁
But theek hai. It’s a start.
See you tomorrow.

230321 – Morning Pages

How these morning pages have sort of become a blog of sorts. And no, I am not complaining. Rather, grateful.

Read on.

7:04. Andheri. 8:39. Starbucks.

Even though I decide each day that I will work from home and not go to Starbucks, like an addict, I automatically move towards it. And this move is not a simple jab in the arm that gives me the hit. But requires me to wake up early, shit, shower, wear socially acceptable clothes, take a rick and then walk into one! I don’t think I’ve made this much effort for a date in a while. I don’t think I will make it either. Unless it’s Priyanka Chopra. Oh, forbidden fruit! Oh, things out of reach!

So, last night, I slept at 10ish (I think so), to be able to wake up at 5. And I did wake up at 5:15 types, only to go back to sleep. Lol. I will try again today. Let’s see. The intent is to wake up at 5, work on #book2 (lol) for a couple of hours and then get on with the day. Lol, wishful thinking. I am in that mood today, you know, where I want to, well, mock everyone. Starting with me. I wish I could be like this every day. Must investigate what has happened that I am becoming this!

Lemme list things that I did yesterday and see if I can see any patterns.

  • Ate one meal. I mean, I ate twice but in the 4-hour window. So that’s technically OMAD. Ordered from Bikaji and had chana masala. I love Indian, spicy food.
  • Had a few meetings and I was questioned in some. And in others, I questioned others. In toto, I would have spent about 6 hours in meetings (and thus, no productive work happened).
  • Made some progress with the Aram Nagar documentary with Mudit. Spent time walking around Aram Nagar. Connected with some people that can connect us with some people that may know more about Aram Nagar.
  • Played a LOT of chess. And lost a LOT of games. Lol. I need to quit it.
  • Did NOT spend as much time on Instagram. And did NOT stalk those #instacrushes.
  • Wrote an investment thesis (in the morning) for the Angelist Syndicate that I want to create with a few friends. Very early days right now. Let’s see how it goes.
  • Stayed away from the negativity imposed by constant comparisons with people that are more fortunate. Reminded myself what Dr. Peterson says – you don’t need to compare yourself to others but to what you were a year ago. I really think I have stagnated in the past year but my personal trajectory would be more or less upward.
  • Slept for 7 hours. Like a log. Did see some dreams but I can’t recall those.
  • Made some headway with SoG Grant.

I cant spot any. Can you? Let’s see how I am doing tomorrow.

Also, I realize that these morning pages are becoming more of a personal blog. Which is ok. The idea is to get in some words out every day. For a couple of reasons.

A, Keeps the writing muscle going.

B, Allows me to pour my heart out to someone, something (in absence of that significant other). I think if there’s one thing I can recommend to people, it would be that they need to write. In public.

Bonus C. It allows me to be more accountable to myself. As I know that what I write is on public platforms and anyone can look at what I am thinking and saying and call bullshit.

So that.

Ok, I don’t know what else to write. The track of the day is this. Saw this for the first time on the Instagram feed of an #instaCrush and while I’ve moved on from her, the track has been added to the list of my favorite ones. There’s another track am thinking of right now is Bocelli crooning Can’t Help Falling In Love.

I think that’s about it. Time to get on with the day and seize the fucking day. Oh, here’s the streaks

  • Morning Pages – 102. Now its a game on when I drop this 😀
  • #aPicADay – 82. Aim to do about 100. And then 365. Even on 9/22. Let’s see.
  • 10K steps a day – 1.
  • OMAD – 1
  • #noCoffee – 13
  • #noCoke – 13
  • 10 mins of meditation – 0
  • #book2 – 0

050321 – Morning Pages

A quick rant on how I was made to feel at a meeting yesterday.

5:30. AM.
I am up! And on it. Listening to Khawabon Key Parinde. I’ve always been a king of wishful thinking. I’ve even written about it on my blog once. Here.

So, today I get to meet one of my newer clients. I have been working for him since Oct last year and everytime I have spoken to him, I have left the (zoom) room inspired. This is my first IRL meeting with him. Lets see how it goes.

Yesterday was a mixed bag. Largely, took it easy. I had a few calls and I was a silent observer at most of those places. I don’t like to play a passive role but I think it’s ok to not want to run the show all the time. I think my fly as high as the Icarus needs taming and these meetings are sobering me up. Just that I don’t like when I am interrupted and cut in the middle by people. Or when I am taken for granted. Or when I am shrugged like a flunky in the white shirt. I remember I wrote about this 10 years ago and I am yet to get over it. This is not my ego per se. This is more about being treated as an equal human. That sucks. Someone told me a few days back that you rather work with someone that respects you than someone who pays you a lot. But then that’s naukri. If you want to win the world and become like Elon, Jeff, and others, you need to do what Guru Bhai tells us!

Anyhow. Moving on.

I was with someone else yesterday when they reminded me that I am a published author. Lol. Must move my ass and write more. The battle between making ends meet and chasing the dreams is a neverending one. Days like this I wish I had picked a comfortable job that would have given me the weekends to do whatever I wanted to. Or I had a rich father. Or a rich wife. Anyone wants to adopt? Or marry me? You need to have 10 odd crores to giveaway to me. Or maybe I can put my head down and write. Lol!

So that.

I guess that’s about it. Short post but at least poured out what gave me a sleepless night. Over and out.

PS: Funny that I am 38, I am triggered and affected by these trangressions of people that I work with. And this is when I want to change the world and impact a billion lives and make a billion dollars and all that. Sigh. At my age, people are making the world go around and I am cribbing about such tiny things. Damn, Mr. Garg!

070121 – Morning Pages

I talk about life at a hotel, things I want to do in life and living in Goa.

Hello hello!

Quite a few things on my mind. I will talk about each of those and this post would thus become a list of haphazard thoughts without a connecting theme or idea per se. So, will divide into sections.

Wait. Is this what Morning Pages supposed to be? This is becoming a journal and a very public one at that (which is ok, I am not worried about having my thoughts out there in the open – I like the idea of Living in Public). I need to nudge towards deep reflections, ideas, lessons et al. Not rants. Maybe in a few days I would reach there.

Anyhow. Post for the day.

So yesterday was probably the worst day of 2021 – physically, mentally, emotionally, and in every other lly that you may imagine. I had way too many carbs (I had Biryani, Rissotto, Pizza, Cookies and I don’t know what else). I had like 5 cans of Diet Coke. So much so that the gums are swollen. I spent more money yesterday than I have spent in a day in months. On a hunch, I stood on a weighing machine in a hotel room. I am disappointed that I am still 85+ KGs despite eating clean(er) for more than a month and hoping in my head that I am eating clean. Someone I trust more than my life fucked me over. For a simple thing. And they were unapologetic about it. I am running behind schedule on each project that I have undertaken. I know I lag at times, the curse of doing so many things but this time I am really behind projects. To a point that I need a month to cover the backlog! Of course, I have a lot to blame. Starting with myself. Internet second. I mean I did not even write yesterday’s morning pages as the first thing. I wrote it around 11. Then throughout the day, I had this headache that literally killed me. I wanted to kill myself. I know why patients that have terminal pain want to move on. I had to alternate between catnaps, food, and coffee to even breathe. I am ok right now. I don’t know what caused it to be honest. Plus I had a million calls on top of that that I could not avoid. And I dont really crib about health when am on work calls – so I had to fake and I tried hard. I am sure they would have seen that I was slacking. Arrrghh.

Ok. Enough.

Let’s talk of good things now. So Nikhil is here for a recce. And he invited me to stay with him and talk shop. As I write this, I am sitting at a comfortable cafe on the beachside to the following view…

So this bit is nice. I like the idea of comfortable seating while I work. And with some sort of open expanse around me. Like this one.

No, I am not helping him with his work even though I am itching to. The event is his baby and my unsolicited opinions may not be welcome. I miss the time when I would do such large events and talk to multiple people and control the show. I miss Dipanker by my side in the hotel room and on the console. I miss yelling at Paras to get his ass moving. Sigh. Kya din they. I think I may become whatever – marketer, podcaster, writer, investor, publisher – my heart would always be in an event. Or as Shikha as increasingly made me realize, on a film set. I like the organized chaos, the uncertainty, the rush. May be I need to deliver my dent in the world via other people while I am shouting orders around an event? Fuck! Writing this is making me happy and nice in the head. How would it be to actually do something like that again!

Lets see when that happens.

Come on, Universe!

In fact, I think I miss the feeling of being in hotels. Even though hotels are the most impersonal, fake, and obnoxious places in the world, I like the idea of hotels. To a point that I want to live in forever. I anyway have sort of made my mind about letting go of everything I own (including the guitar and the books – two of the most prized possessions that I have. I am still undecided about all the notes that I have made. May be I can digitize those?). I can totally live out of a suitcase for the rest of my life.

So yeah, hotels.

As I type this, the screen of my MacBook Air literally fell off on me. The machine is now almost 5 years now and I need to get a new one. The thing with Goa is that the one I want to buy (M1 Air) is not available here. Plus even if it were to buy, I want to buy it only from a Croma (I have some points that I want to use, you see). I have to get a new one. Before this one conks off on me and I am left without an option! Maybe I’ll make a trip to Mumbai? Spend 10-12K on travel to save 50K odd that I would if I bought from Croma? It’s funny the kind of decisions I am left to make 😀

Talking of decisions, I have now been in Goa for more than a month now. I need to start thinking about work and come to a decision. I have two thought starters. Here are they…

A. I need to have the capital to survive (and invest in all the ideas that I am putting money behind) till this patch is around. Can I make that from Goa? As of today, looks tough. Can I make it from Goa in the long run? Definitely yes. How do I navigate this short-term to long-term? I don’t know yet.

B. I need to make an impact at a large scale. Wherever I am in life, I don’t see that happening. I don’t know what to do about it. I know I can say that I am taking a break (induced by COVID) but then age does not take a break.

So yeah. This is more of a dialogue with self as of now. At some point, it will crystalize into something concrete. Let’s see when.

The last thing for the day.

The day before I decided that on each morning page, I would write a para from #book2. These paras may or may not make it to the final edit but I would write. But I would at least get in the habit of writing (and thus thinking – I think by writing). I haven’t been able to do so. Maybe will start from today (not right now, later in the day, can edit the post or make another one once I have delivered things that I need to work on). There’s just too much hangover of shit that happened yesterday. Hope today is better. For me. For you. For the rest of the world.

See you guys tom!