110421 – Meditations

A quick note before I head off for something important.

0438. Andheri.

I woke up 5 minutes ago. Eyes are still groggy. Haven’t slept properly. Could’ve slept for more. But I would have missed writing this. I need to be on the road at 6:30. So there. Plus, I want to be up at 4 every day. So this is not bad a time to wake up.

Without further ado, here we go. Here are the things that I want to talk about…

Finished my quarterly update yesterday. It’s here. I am yet to send this to people. I will send it tonight. That’s how I work on important posts. I write. Forget about it. And then after a few days, I come back to it, tweak it and then put it in action. This allows me to look at things with objectivity.

I saw Irul last night. This is the second Malayalam film in two days (the first one was Joji). Again, did a thread alongside. Irul was better than Joji for sure. While both of them are in the crime space, Irul stands out for multiple reasons – limited characters (there are just three in Irul), one location (an old bungalow), and full of suspense. Brilliant writing. It did not let out who the killer was till the very end.

The other thing that stood out for me was that in Irul, one of the protagonists is a crime writer and writes crime / psychological. Has written one book. Has a regular day job. Who does he sound like? Lol!

I kept telling myself that if this were not a sign for me to get my act together and get serious about working on my next book, nothing ever would be.

Anyhow, I should do a proper review for both these films one of these days. The trouble is, I take a lot of time to write reviews (I will read what the director had to say about it, what was the inspiration, what other films exist in similar zone etc etc). And I must see other films. SK79 recommends that I see a few more Malayalam films like Super Deluxe and Kumbalangi Nights. I think I will. I enjoy watching content not merely for the sake of watching content and killing time but trying to find connections in what the filmmaker is trying to say.

Let’s see if I can find the time.

Yesterday was the 100th day of #aPicADay. Again, I have not missed a single day so far this year. I plan to do all 365. Let’s see what destiny has in store for me. While I am not happy with probably 85 of these 100 pics (its tough to get a shot everyday that epitomises what you saw on that day), I am happier that I got the streak going. As an individual, I have always

I tried for a 48-hour fast yesterday. I did not mention it. I managed 27 and then I ate like a pig. I had three full meals in one go. To a point that I couldn’t even breathe. I need to find a solution to this. I am thinking, I will subscribe to one of those Keto dabbas. I know they are expensive. I know that every time I have tried those in the past, I have sort of been unable to continue on Keto and have reverted to eating crap. May be this time I will be little better. I dont know.

For a change, this time, I can afford. But the question remains, do I want to? Is there a better option? Will think on this today and decide and act.

On #book2, I am not writing today. I don’t have the time. I did think of a line though. It goes,

Each day when I wake up, I am full of hope about the world I will get to live in today. But by the time I sleep, the hopes have been dashed in more ways than one.

The world that was supposed to be kind, is not. The people that were not supposed to rub me the wrong way, do. The odds that were shining bright in my favor sort of fade with the rising sun. The sun is too damn powerful like that. It’s supposed to give me energy. And here it is, taking away that thread that I hang onto for my life!

Raunak Singh, Carvan Serai

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

  • Morning Pages / Meditations – 119
  • #aPicADay – 100 Yay!
  • 10K steps a day – 0
  • OMAD – 1
  • #noCoffee – 32
  • #noCoke – 32
  • 10 mins of meditation – 0
  • #book2 – 2
  • Killer Boogie – 0

100421 – Meditations

Today’s post is about this restlessness in my head and heart for no apparent reason. May sound like a rant. Read at peril.

0728. Andheri.

Woke up about 15 minutes ago. Must have slept for 8 or so hours. Yesterday I was probably at the lowest points in my life. I don’t know why. I don’t know what was causing it. I literally slept through the day. It could be the house but I think I have made it bearable now. I even went for a walk and forced myself to do 10K steps. That did not help either. Oh, by the time I ended, I was so tired and breathless that I couldn’t even walk. Had to take a rick to come back. Since I needed a distraction, I saw this Malayalam film, Joji, and live-tweeted it. Here are the tweets in case. Interesting film. Good narrative. It’s one time watch for sure. I do feel that the story could’ve been better! But then my opinions may not make a lot of sense. Who am I after all? Unless I write a few things myself that are good enough for the world to take note of!

So that. On to #book2

[START]

Ankit was the dark horse of the family. Once he wanted something he wanted. By hook or crook. Or by Saam, Daam, Dand, Bhed. He could very well be the Duryodhana from Mahabharata. Often angry for no reason, often irritable for no fault of others, often at high pedestal that was accorded to him purely by his lineage, often rude when not required. When he was a child, even though his father knew where this was going, he did not believe in interfering with fate. Things that were written in the stars had to happen. Even if you used all your might, you’d not be able to stop those from happening.

So when Siddh, the Bhishma, had the opportunity to stop the young Ankit in his tracks, he chose not to. Rather he focused his energies on preparing for the hell Ankit was going to rain down on their tiny hamlet. A large part of the plan rested in finding the Krishna that would eventually goad the Pandavas into stopping Ankit. And that was becoming a problem. Each passing day he was getting older. Ankit was getting more and more belligerent. There was nothing that the old man, the father could do. Except wait. And keep others around him placated. His only hope was that he would find the savior soon. The other saving grace was that there was no sign of Indraprastha or Drauapadi. Yet. He knew it was a matter of time before Ankit would get fixated on something, someone that he would start showing his true colors.

Of course Siddh count confide this into anyone. His only companion was long gone. All he had were his books. Even if he tried to talk to others, they would probably dismiss. Being religious is one thing but being able to see the future is another altogether. People in Goa may be simpletons but they were not fools. Siddh, thus kept to himself.

[END]

So this is probably the first time I have expressed that I want Book2 to be an ode to Mahabharata and more importantly, Anjum Rajabali Sir.

What else do I want to talk about? Lemme think and write disjointed notes…

a, The lockdown for the next two days. I don’t even know how would I survive. I will try and walk around and see how it goes. Let’s see how it goes. I am supposed to go out on Sunday morning, going by the prep the cops had made yesterday, I am not sure if I’d be able to. Let’s see.

b, The mouse I ordered yesterday is here. Wireless is magic. The computer can now be perched at a distance and I and sit back and work. Well done, Mr. Garg. Why did I not think of this earlier? 😀

c, The quarterly letter that I send to mentors (archive here) needs to go this weekend. It was supposed to go last week but I could not edit it. This weekend, the letter is my task number 1. Everything else may wait. Lemme know if you want a copy!

d, Song of the day is an old favorite – So Gaya Ye Jahan. Here.

I guess that’s about it. I feel I have a lot more to say but I am unable to find the words. May be during the day? May be these morning pages / meditations are becoming a drag, a routine, and I have stopped deriving values from these? I mean I talk about how I spent the day. I talk about what I plan to do the next day. I share some of my thoughts that I don’t talk to the world about. I dump whatever is clouding my head. I almost never go back to what I have written. Except for those few days when I want to see where I was on a certain date in the past. I am not sure why I ought to continue with this. I mean, for that matter, I can question the meaning of life and all that. After all anything and everything we do while we are here is meaningless, pointless. Most of us would be forgotten within 50 years of dying. The impact we make would not last more than 100 years. We’d be lucky if things we create (companies, books, etc) live for more than 200 years after we are gone.

Reminds me of Camus and the Sisyphus. Despite not having meaning in anything that I do (including writing this post every day), the notion in my head that it keeps me going is what keeps me going!

Oh, here’s the thing. I have not read Camus. I merely know his name and what he talked about when he walked about Sisyphus. All I did was see this video to understand what he said. And here I am. Using his name like I am a scholar, deeply interested in his life. Lol. You see the problem there?

Anyhow. Enough for the day. Loads of rocks need to be rolled up some very high mountains. Oh, streaks? Here…

  • Morning Pages / Meditations – 118 (yesterday was 119 but today I checked and I am at 118. I made a mistake somewhere!)
  • #aPicADay – 99 (again, I checked. Today’s post will be 100th.)
  • 10K steps a day – 2
  • OMAD – 0
  • #noCoffee – 31
  • #noCoke – 31
  • 10 mins of meditation – 0
  • #book2 – 1
  • Killer Boogie – 0

090421 – Meditations

Took almost an hour to write this one. Damn writing is hard! Lemme know what you think.

6:09. Andheri.

I woke after a sleep of 7 hours. No, I am still not as energized as I would want to be. But I am definitely ok. The good thing I did yesterday, amidst all the craziness around COVID is that I walked some 10K steps. Around the beach. So, small win.

I will start with #book2 before I get to the morning pages. This is the only way I will get some writing done!

[START]

“What’s the point of all this?” The loss, the grief, the pain, the suffering, all over again, for Rujuta, was way too much to bear. Why would the universe do that to her? Wasn’t she the best a human being could be? True she had done some inexplicable things in life but she was forced to do those. Knowingly she wouldn’t! Her values were better than that!

Raunak did not have any answers. The universe hadn’t been kind to him either. He never knew his family. He spent a large part of his life in jail. He’s always got close to where he wanted to and yet he never got to it!

They were still perched on top of the Betul Lighthouse. Even though it was inaccessible to the general public, Rujuta had her way with the government officials. It was like a scene out of Amir Khan’s 3 Idiots. Just that Rujuta and Raunak made for an odd pair. And instead of a water tank, they were on top of a lighthouse. While it was far from where they lived, the lighthouse had become Rujuta’s secret hiding spot. She liked to see the world from a height. That’s one thing that she missed about the highrises of the US. This was the first time she had got Raunak there.

Ranuak, of course, had no love for anything that gave him a bird’s view of things. He had had enough of that from that window in his jail. He wanted things to be a lot more real. Lot more tangible. Lot more earthy. He had to feel the texture, the place, the cracks, the smoothness with his feet, his hands, his body. He often wondered how much his life stayed still for almost 30 years and how much it changed in the last 3 months. It was straight out of the movies! He chuckled if Amir Khan would play his character if they ever made the film!

They continued to

[END]

So, on to morning pages meditations.

The thing I want to talk about right now is that humans are funny people. If not all humans, I am funny for sure. All this while I have cribbed about how this house is not the best that I have lived in and here I am, adjusting to its shenanigans, adapting myself to suit to space, cleaning the house, scrubbing it as much as I can, fight a losing battle against the birds and insects and lizards and cockroaches to keep them at bay and repeating to myself that it’s ok. If this continues, I may even begin to love this place!

If I can extrapolate this to other people, I am sure most others are rationalizing and tend to get comfortable in whatever they get. I think I have revolted against comfort but then I guess that’s how it is.

Also, the COVID situation is getting grimmer by the day. I know there’s the vaccine and all that but I am not sure it’s helping. I think I need to think about moving away from Mumbai. I don’t want to – I want to be in the middle of an ecosystem of interesting people that are hustlers and actually want to make money and there’s no way I will get that at any place other than Mumbai. Goa has loads of them but most of them are lost in their worlds.

The other thing I want to talk about is this friend. Let’s call him SK1979. So he is like me and unlike me – like me, he has a job that has nothing to do with films and like me, he wants to get into the business of films and like me, he is willing to put his money where his mouth is. Unlike me though, he gets paid a bomb, unlike me, he is focused (wants to do only films) and unlike me, he is clear about his fascination for films.

So last night for a project that we could potentially invest in, I got talking and I found that he and I were sort of completing each other’s sentences. And not in terms of specifics but in terms of values that we want to establish. I was in awe. Of course, he and I share values and that was reflected in our conversation. I am super lucky to have found him! I need to somehow find more such people and connect with such people and work with such people.

Unrelated, I got myself a Bluetooth keyboard for the computer. Oh man, this is life-changing. I need to get a Bluetooth mouse and with that, I think I can fix my back! And if I can hook the TV one of these days, I would be sorted!

I think whoever said that you need to invest in tools that make your life and work better was so right! Ok, by the time I finished this post, I placed an order. And damn, the Bluetooth mice are expensive! I got this one from Logitech! Also, if I may indulge, now that I am, may be I can get myself AirPods all over again once I have some more money to spare?

So yeah that.
This is about it for the day. Like all other days in the recent past, this is also going to be a long one. See you guys on the other side.

What else? Nothing much!

Here’s streaks.

  • Morning Pages / Meditations – 119
  • #aPicADay – 99
  • 10K steps a day – 1
  • OMAD – 0
  • #noCoffee – 30
  • #noCoke – 30
  • 10 mins of meditation – 0
  • #book2 – 0
  • Killer Boogie – 0

070421 – Meditations

A short ranty post that I converted midway into a piece of text for book2.

7:16 Andheri

Woke up ok. Better than the last few days. Guess I am getting used to the idea of sleeping in a noisy room with a lousy AC. So that’s cool.

So the highlight of yesterday has to be that I walked 10K steps yesterday. I don’t know after how many days. I mean I can find out the number of days but it’s been a while. It sucks to have been trapped in this house. I am trying to walk as much as possible (and that’s why the 10K) but I need to find another place for sure. May be some friend’s house.

OK!
I AM RANTING.
NEED TO STOP THIS. SO TODAY’S POST IS ONLY GONNA BE A PAGE FROM BOOK2.

[START]

One of Udita’a guilty pleasure is to play Jagjit Singh’s tracks early in the morning. Guilty pleasure because this was unlike the music Mrs. Gomes liked and you cant do shit at Caravan Serai that Mrs. Gomes did not approve of. But then at this ungodly hour, there were hardly any guests at Caravan Serai. All she had for company and audience was the cleaning crew that was anyway busy washing away what the revellers left behind the night, the cooing of birds that owned the beaches before the first stream of early risers started their jogs and the omnipresent sound of waves lapping up to the beach. These waves would drown out as the world started to life but at this time, there was hardly anyone that could give competition to what was probably the sweetest of sounds that nature created.

Except the rare, occasional song that the lone guard perched outside Caravan Serai would break into once in a while. These melodies were so rare that even after 5ish year at Caravan Serai, she would still get surprised when she heard him play his flute and sing. The language that he sung in had to be a dialect from Konkan but was different from what people spoke in Goa or even Maharashtra or Karnataka. Everytime she asked him about the songs he sung, he would skirt the conversation and divert her attention to something urgent happening at the other end of Caravan Serai.

Today, however she was determined to find out. The tourist season was long gone and there wasn’t a lot to be done anyway. She plugged in Jagjit’s Beyond Time and made her way to where the G001 was stationed. G001’s been around for a long time and as soon as he spotted Udita walking towards he knew what she would ask. Before she could make it, he walked off towards the beach.

Udita knew he was running away from the conversation and she had to ask him today. She was like any other young girl. Once she decided what she wanted, she would not rest till she got it.

She ran after him. “G001, wait! I need some help!” She knew he couldnt say to a call for help. Even if that would mean he’d have to put himself in harm’s way.

He slowed his unnaturally fast gait and turned around to ask her, “what happened? Is everything ok?”

She was still pacing towards him. She said, “Yes, yes. I just heard a piece of music and I need your help to place it.”

He knew where this was going. They’ve played this cat and mouse for a long time now. He sped towards the beach and said, “Not now. Mrs. Gomes has been asking me for a week now to get her a… “

Udita was literally running towards him. He was walking away effortlessly towards the sea. And yet the gap between them seemed to be increasing every second. She could hardly hear what he was saying. The gentle sounds of the waves crashing into the beach had now become loud thuds.

Udita yelled, “I can’t hear you, G001!”

G001 did not show any signs of stopping. He probably ignored what Udita said. The sea as restless today. The waves hit the land with more might than what G001 remembered. He knew that in another minute or so he will have to stop and face Udita. He did not know that he was going to be wrong about.

Udita knew this as well. She could see that he had reached to almost the end of the beach. She slowed down and said, “Where would you do now? I know you dont know how to swim! I am going to get my answers today!”

G001 turned around. Resigned to fate.

Udita came to a stop and bent over to catch breath. It was a tough hike, especially on the sandy beach.

She was about to come up with her trademark wisecrack but for a loud bang from where Caravan Serai was. She couldn’t comprehend what had transpired. All she could see was G001 running towards Caravan Serai, this time with a speed that she thought was humanly impossible.

[END]

So, to give context and add notes for myself, this is how I develop backstories of characters. This piece will probably not make it to the book whenever it comes out.

So that.
Felt good.
Maybe I will do this instead of ranting about how my house sucks and how I cant get fit and how I am growing old. May be. Let’s see how I feel when I wake up tomorrow.

Here’s streaks.

  • Morning Pages / Meditations – 117
  • #aPicADay – 97
  • 10K steps a day – 1
  • OMAD – 0
  • #noCoffee – 28
  • #noCoke – 28
  • 10 mins of meditation – 0
  • #book2 – 0
  • Killer Boogie – 0

040421 – Meditations

Morning musings. Nothing in particular.

6:27. Andheri.

So I just woke up. I think I slept at 9 or 9:30 types last night. And I slept well, I think. I mean I don’t recall any dreams per se but I think I slept ok. So a 9-hour sleep. Need to do more of these. In fact last night I was talking to someone and she said that she wakes up at 330. When I asked her when she slept, she said 10 PM. 330 is too early even by my standards. I want to wake up at 430. And that means I need to start sleeping at 10ish. Let’s see. I want to do a lot of things. If only wishes were horses.

I am gunning for a 48-hour fast today on. Lemme talk about this silly thing I do. The days I eat a lot of crap (like I did over the last two days), I get into this guilt trip that I need to live for long (at least 120) and thus I need to eat better. So I decide to take up these longish fasts. And that makes compels me to order that thing that I want to taste before I go for a fast (often, ice-creams, paranthas, Maggi et al). Think of that last thing that people want to eat before they die. And then I eat even more. And then I get bloated like a pig. And then I go on another spiral of guilt. And the loop becomes a never-ending one. Damn.

Last night as well, I had ice-cream as my last meal. And I did not want it per se. I merely wanted to “end” my unhealthy binge with something I love and yet is unhealthy. So that. Let’s see.

For a change, I plan to stay home today (and make the place a little more livable – anyone wants to come and help me?) and may be head out for a walk if at all. So fast should be easy. I may have a breakfast meeting today though. In case that happens, I will try to avoid the temptation to eat. But in case I do eat, I will start after that and will take a shot from that time on. I HAVE to get fit. In fact, the Hernia is also acting up. I need to get that fixed.

Today I am also working on my less-than-often letter to mentors and friends and others that want to see me succeed. In case you want a copy, here’s a link.

So, there’s nothing else that I want to write today (while there’s a lot on my head).

Except… something that I’ve been promising and not delivering – book2!

Like I said a few days ago, I don’t even recall where am I with book2. So, whatever I write will be disjointed. Here we go…

[START]

The clouds in the sky were low, dark, and dense. Apart from the dense shadows of these clouds, the beach underneath was otherwise secluded. For a regular at Palolem, Rujuta found it surprising to start with. But then she realized that this is what probably happened every monsoon. The tourists stay away. The migrants move back to their hometowns. The locals breathe a sigh of relief. The rains wash away the sins and stains and stink and scandals that Goa was a party to over the last year. It’s probably nature’s attempt at resetting the savageness on probably its most gorgeous creation. Rujuta made a note to ask Tarana about it. Or may be Raunak, now that he had begun talking. Even though he’s been behind the bars a long time without any access to any material from outside, Rujuta found Raunak’s understanding of people.

“What a waste that Raunak is locked up in jail. If he were out there, he’d have given those motivational babas a run for their money,” she thought to herself.

She continued to walk along the beach. She had no agenda today. Unlike her. There was a lot happening in her personal life – a new place, a new man that she finally liked, a new adventure. The place that was central to all the things happening to her had a lot happening for itself. The missing people, hints of crimes committed decades ago, transition from one generation to another. On a regular day, she would have been at it and wouldn’t have rested till she sorted these issues. Like Tarana told her, she did not like the idea of open windows.

[END]

Not too many words but a post nonetheless! And to end today’s post, here’s the streaks…

  • Morning Pages / Meditations – 114
  • #aPicADay – 94
  • 10K steps a day – 0
  • OMAD – 0
  • #noCoffee – 25
  • #noCoke – 25
  • 10 mins of meditation – 0
  • #book2 – 1