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 ๐Ÿ™

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 โ€“ 109
  • #aPicADay โ€“ 89
  • 10K steps a day โ€“ 0
  • OMAD โ€“ 0
  • #noCoffee โ€“ 20
  • #noCoke โ€“ 20
  • 10 mins of meditation โ€“ 0
  • #book2 โ€“ 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 ๐Ÿ™
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 โ€“ 102. Now its a game on when I drop this ๐Ÿ˜€
  • #aPicADay โ€“ 82. Aim to do about 100. And then 365. Even on 9/22. Let’s see.
  • 10K steps a day โ€“ 1.
  • OMAD โ€“ 1
  • #noCoffee โ€“ 13
  • #noCoke โ€“ 13
  • 10 mins of meditation โ€“ 0
  • #book2 โ€“ 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 ๐Ÿ˜€

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!

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!

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 ๐Ÿ˜€

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.

221220 – Morning Pages

Morning Pages for 22nd Dec. I talk about the people I’ve met here and how I seek my characters in them.

Hello World! 7:44 AM types.

The eyes are yet to open but the head is already full of a million things swirling around. Mostly to do with what I could do from here on (in life etc). And a little about how I’ve lived the life so far. Plus it’s less than 10 days to go for the end of the year and I am in that zone about maxxing how I will live the next year. Yeah, I am big on these yearly planning things.

The zone is not the best place to be in. I get reflective, sad, melodramatic, and all that. I also get excited beyond measure. A new year is a new opportunity to do things that you haven’t done ever. While I will do a longish post on what I want to do in 2021 and beyond, there is one thing for sure. The book has to be out. Come what may.

In fact, I met this 27-year old yesterday that just moved to Goa a couple of months ago and is hustling hard to make ends meet. Of course, she is yet to get there but I loved her story. I think I’ve found my Udita, one of the characters in #book2. On the last trip to Goa, I found a character in Mrinal. On Sunday, Nicky helped me meet another person that’s been sailing for more than 28 years and can give me inputs on pirates and ports and all that. In the hindsight, the decision to be in Goa for a bit seems to be making sense.

Thing is, I am on the lookout for people and stories proactively and I am catching quite a few. It’s not being easy. I made some very open-ended posts on FB and even though a lot of people wrote, very few seem to be genuinely interested in talking. I am unable to crack the code required to do so. But whatever I have encountered have been really cool and fascinating beyond measure. For example, at the place where I am staying at, the caretaker is trying to sell a disputed property at rock-bottom prices and is at it all the time. Every time I meet him, he lowers the offer by a lakh. I think I’ll wait it out a few months and I will probably get it for free! Then Nupura told me about this place where people park their cars with a ‘For Sale’ sign and forget. For the book, imagine, I could write the actual directions and park a damn car for the rest of my life!

I must talk about her while I am at it. She is one of those rare super-connectors that actually know people. Most others merely claim. She does. I have seen it in action. I wish I could become that. She knows everyone by their first names. And if she doesn’t, she knows someone by their first name that knows everyone in Goa by their first names. She is separated by a mere one-degree. Now that’s a skill. And an opportunity. She says that Goa is like a village and everyone knows everyone else and what’s happening in their homes. Now that’s interesting as a facet. My book requires the characters and families to maintain secrecy for years. Is it even plausible that that would happen?

The other thing that makes her knowing of people special, better, etc is that she knows people from various circles. From restaurant owners to musicians to artists to filmmakers to chefs to business owners to investors and whatnot. I read a long time ago that for a person with limited talents to be successful, he/she needs to be a super-connector and with people from various disciplines. I think if I can get to a fraction of what Nupura has, I would do ok in life. Need to continue chasing her! I even thought about having her as a character in the book per se but I don’t think I can capture all that she’s made up of.

The other thing that I was dying to write today (yes, I think about things throughout the day and make a mental note to write about those when I wake up) is that the routine that I am hoping to make (and talked about it here) will probably never happen. There are way too many variables at play here and I need way too many things to go write to make for a perfect day. So that.

Unrelated. I realized I must cut my nails. Been a few weeks now. To a point that when I type, my fingers don’t even touch the keyboard! Damn, I miss my nail cutter and filer. Will probably buy one.

Oh, I have started to have regular coke (for some reason Diet Coke and Coke Zero are not available here easily) and that too in litres. It’s just fucking with my system and I dont know how to not have.

Anyhow. I can see the post nudging towards a rant. Time to thus take a break and get going with the day. Have meetings lined up from 9 AM onward and I have less than 20 minutes to get in some semblance of presentation on them video calls.

With this, over and out!

Research for #book2, meeting with artists in Goa

As I research about characters and the plot for my next book, here’s an invitation (and a request for help) to the artsy folks based in Goa.

Hello!

So I am Saurabh Garg. More about me is on this page.

For this post, the relevant introduction would be that I wrote my first book, The Nidhi Kapoor Story (#tnks) in 2014. It is contemporary crime fiction, a whodunnit where a Bollywood actress, Nidhi Kapoor, is being tormented by a mystery stalker. There’s a cop, Prakash Mohile, that’s trying to solve the case. And there is this third character, Rujuta Singh, doing a photo-essay on Mumbai police and is tailing Prakash as he tries to solve the Nidhi Kapoor case.

The book was essentially an exploration of Panch Dosha (five universal afflictions that humans suffer from). More about the book is on www.tnks.in.

The Next Book, Caravan Serai

These days, I am working on my next book, tentatively titled The Caravan Serai. This one again is a crime-fiction and again has roots in a fundamental, philosophical human truth. This time, of the Navarasas.

There are 9 characters, each inspired by one of the Rasas and there are three parallel stories. Each character has an artistic bent (between the characters, I have a painter, a sculptor, a writer, a music composer, a filmmaker, etc.).

The parallel stories happen in 1600s, 1980s, and 2010. Each of the 9 characters is interlinked, even intertwined with each other, and has seeds planted across the timelines. Think hyperlink cinema. Oh, and each character has a coming of age story.

Binding all these is a treasure hunt, a land dispute and a murderer on prowl.

I know this is a lot and I know this may never see the light of the day (I have been trying to write this since 2014) but now that I am in Goa for a few days, why not start?

So here I am!

What do I need from artists in Goa?

Truth be told, I don’t know where to start. I don’t have a questionnaire per se. I just need to talk to people that call Goa home. People that are artistically inclined. You could be a writer, a singer, a painter, heck, even an Instagram influencer!

I want to talk to you and pick your brains about what makes you who you are. Why do you do the things you do. You know, get to know you and your work. Get to understand what ticks you. Get inspired by it. Get to know about your interesting life. And then write about it in my book. Make you the muse, if you will.

So yeah, that.

I like open-ended, meandering, flowing conversations. Think of me as your alter-ego as you talk to yourself about things that you talk to anyone freely about. Think of me as the fly on the wall as you ramble. Think of me as the voice in your head that you jam with as you go on a longish walk next to a flowy river.

In case you want, I can feed you with thought-starters. I can give you prompts. Here are some questions…

  • What makes a person quit everything and move to Goa and start chasing a vocation that does not guarantee success?
  • What are the greatest fears?
  • What inspires you?
  • What are some great misconceptions that the world has about artists?
  • Are all artists promiscuous?
  • Why do people think that all inspiration comes from drugs?
  • How do other artists help you with what you working on?
  • What about money?
  • What do you struggle with as an artist?

This is of course an indicative list. And by no means exhaustive. I just want to jam and learn.

So yeah. That. I guess you’ve got the drift.

What can I offer in return?

Definitely not money.

I know how this works. I am one. If I asked you to create something for me, I would pay. Right now, I am not expecting you to. All I want is about an hour of your time. And I am, of course, happy to pay for the coffee, beer, Gin etc.

Credit, if you’d like in the book. May even call the character with your name. And yes, I can keep whatever we talk confidential.

Oh, and in case you need some inputs on marketing, content, communication, etc. I am happy to volunteer my time for that. See my Linkedin profile for more about me.


So, that’s about it, I guess. Do let me know if you have any questions. Please do share this with others that you think could help me.

Thank You!

PS: I know you would wonder why would you talk to a stranger. I don’t have an answer. May be I can don the hat of the marketing consultant that I am by the day and help you with what you are working on? You know, ideation, jamming, marketing, community, etc?

PPS: Here is a list of key characters in the next book, in case. These are the ones that I want to write about. And I am researching about. These are not in any order.

  • A guru. A preacher who’s religion agnostic but draws inspiration from Hinduism, Christianity, and even Atheism. I know this is literally an impossible combo to look at. But still.
  • An out of work writer who’s researching on the history of how various religions evolved in Goa. Going way back to the time when the Portuguese first came in. And may be earlier. The writer was a news reporter at a point in time and has since quit.
  • An 80-year-old lady that runs a bar / hostel / cafe. She’s some 4th, 5th generation Goan and has been around since forever. The entire world respects her and there is not one person in her part of Goa that does not know her.
  • A taxi driver that ferries people around Goa. Been around for a while and thus knows his way. And knows all the shady things that happen around here. And knows his way around any sticky situation that you may imagine.
  • A traveling musician that has been around the world with his guitar. He’s been couch-surfing since it was still not even a phrase. He’s now been in Goa for a few years and speaks Konkani as well as he speaks English or French.
  • A management professional that’s burnt out and is now drifting through life. He never planned to be in Goa but such is life. Right? You don’t plan for things and they happen to you!

181220 – Morning Pages

Morning Page for 18th Dec 2020. I talk about a friend, book2, general humdrum in Goa and a random rant.

This will be a tough one. A, I dont have time today. I slept late and there are a few things pending that I need to get done. B, I have to rush for a meeting. Lol. Rush. Meeting. Goa. C, I had thought I would write a page for #book2 in today’s morning pages. I may not be able to. D, I do have a lot to say today but I dont have time. It’s 8:47 and I have to leave at 9:15 and I need to shower before that. And meditate.

So, let’s go.

To start with, I did not write this the first thing. I had a pressing deliverable and I had to work on that. So that. And once I was done with it, I was left with very little time to actually write this (like I said, another meeting to rush to).

Then, yesterday, I broke the meditation streak. I was on a 6-day streak and I could not continue. I did sit for it but for some reason, I just could not concentrate. Not even on my breathing. I do a 10-min session but yesterday, after the 4th minute, I was so restless that I quit. I thought this combination of morning pages and meditation was supposed to help. But it clearly hasn’t. So that.

It’s Monu’s birthday. He is probably the oldest friend I have. I literally grew up with him. I think I know him since I was in the 6th standard. That makes the friendship go back 25 years at least. No time for exact calculation ๐Ÿ˜€. While I am at it, must mention this distinct memory that I have of him as we were growing up. One time, we were playing some game (can’t recall what it was) and I was one of the team captains or something. There was this one other person, probably the alpha of our gang, that I was up against for the team. Every kid there chose to side with that guy but Monu. So that. Of course like all such bachpan ka dosti, we’ve had our ups and downs. There was a time when we fought over something stupid and I did not speak to him for months. Our mothers had to intervene to get us to talk again. And am I glad that we talked! I know that come what may, Monu will always be on my side. So that. Happy birthday! May you live long and prosper. And if you ever read this, help me document more instances from our bachpan. But knowing his talent with reading, he may not!

Last night at a whim I went to this place called the Royal Enfield Cafe. Owned by the same guys that make the bike. The place was unnaturally quiet but it was everything that I like. A big table and a chair at a comfortable height. Just enough wind. Good music. A non-pesky staff. Super strong coffee – I could not sleep last night!. Reasonably ok Internet. The kind of place where I would sit and write. Apart from Nik’s, I can see myself going there often (maybe not on the weekends) to get some writing done. Let’s see.

I think all the things that I need to get the book2 going are falling in place. I now have the thought, the vibe, even the place where the book is based. I am reading Julia’s book :D. I am editing another book. The stars are as aligned as they could ever be! I even made a few posts on FB yesterday (logged in after ages) to try and meet people from Goa to get a perspective on some characters. So, if I cant do it now, I probably would never. Lol. I have been saying this for 6 years now. No no. I am committed this time around. Ha ha!

9:07. I think Ill pause for the day. Not really an hour. Not really three pages. I would have liked to revisit the post later in the day but that kind of defeats the purpose. No? I will come back and add links though.

So, yeah. Over and out. Tomorrow.

171220 – Morning Pages

I ramble about music, writing and how people dont seem to be enjoying what I write on these pages.

171220. 0704. Just woke up. Eyes are not even open and I am on my computer, writing. Have vague recollections of dreams of the book that I am working on. And a couple of projects that I am involved in for an agency. And Dil Haare by Ankur Tewari. And I can’t get over it. Love the rustic sounds, the beating of the acoustic guitar, and his voice. Simple lyrics, repeated over and over again. I am in love.

That’s the thing that I want to try next, apart from making films – write music. Not music. Poetry that I get people like Ankur Tewari and Lucky Ali and more to sing. And use those songs in the films I make! And while I do that, remain anonymous if I have to. Reminds me of that lifegoal of mine where I want to hear a stranger talk about one of my books when I am in the room and the person does not know that I am the author. I am not sure what perverse pleasure I’d get from this but I would love it.

More I think, the more I realize my locus of achievement is outside. I need validation and respect and inputs that what I do matters. And I need a lot of it. And constantly. I want to be known for what I do. I want what I do to open up opportunities for me. I want to be powerful and impactful and all that.

On the other side, I want to remain part of the crowd. I want to be the aam aadmi. I want to get lost in the crowd. I want to be not highlighted in any manner. Little weird but that’s that.

So the first things that I recall as I wake up are work things. And that’s probably not a good thing. Or may be it is. I don’t know yet. Arti told me yesterday even if I were in heaven, I would be busy working. She’s not wrong. I dont know what else is there to life if not work. I know work may be meaningless in large scheme of things. But I do know that this work helps me keep sane. And trust me when I say this, helps others keep sane! More on this someday, when I write my biography.

The other thing is that I am trying hard to not make this a blog. Or a journal. With the sort of public life I live (where I think in public on twitter and blogs), it’s tough to separate what I think and what I say.

Anyhow.

So, here’s a thing. I am itching to get going on book2. Probably all the Goan vibe around me is making me work harder for it?

Ok, the alarm just rang. I had put cos I needed to wake up early and get some work done. But I was up before the alarm :D.

Talking about work, here’s the thing. I think all the world that says that you need to start the day with some workout and all that? Crap. It may work for them, but for me, unless I start the day with some tiny achievement of having created something, it’s not cool. You know, make my bed, write these morning pages (been just 7 days lol), think about where to go in life (even if I am old), conjure dreams like The Brain, and so on and so forth.

So I want to be that person that is like a robot. You hit play and the dude starts dancing. You hit pause and the dude stops. No emotions. Super stable. Very very sharp and alert at all times. I don’t even know if its humanly possible. That’s the point right. Becoming non-human? Detached?

Grrr…

So much rambling. Without any context. Or flow. Or logic. Sigh. In fact one of my most regular readers told me that he’s stopped enjoying what I write. I on the other hand am enjoying these morning pages so much that I actually look up to waking each day. I don’t know if what I write has gone down in quality. Or if what I write has become too honest. Or if what I write has stopped being interesting. But the fact is, if he is not enjoying what I write, I need to fix. May be this is what Julia Cameron mentioned when she said that you must not share your morning pages with anyone? May be I need to take my pages private? Dont think so. Goes against my ethos.

Anyhow. I dont know the answer. Will think over the next few days and figure. Signing out for the day.