170621 – Morning Pages

Quick note on things that are on the top of my head.

8:25. While I’ve been up since 7, I’ve been a zombie. I’ve now shat-showered-powdered and waiting for my breakfast to arrive. And while the plan was to write this from the Starbucks, I thought, lemme grab a bite before I am stuck in a Starbucks for next few hours.

So, I did not sleep well last night. Guess too much coffee. Too much food. Too many distractions. Too much on my mind. And too much Fauda. And that too at 1.25X speed. I mean I am not enjoying the show or seeing it from the critical eye that I typically see things from. I am merely seeing the rushes. The joy of watching a story unfold in front of my eyes has been sucked away. I am merely going thru the motions.

Lemme try and clear things that are sort of clouding my mind. Including work and non-work. And in no order.

  • Today marks the end of my one-month Keto subscription. I dont think I’ve lost weight. No, I don’t feel energetic. In fact, I am the same as I was a month ago. I probably chose the wrong supplier to save on money. Need to think of what to do with my meals from Monday onward. Weekend any way I am out.
  • The side effect of this vegetarian keto attempt is that I have started to hate paneer from the bottom of my heart. I’ve had enough paneer for the rest of my life. I have to either turn into a non-vegetarian or find a way to lose weight. I can’t work out, can’t lift weights 🙁
  • On the other hand, I can’t stop having the Egg Soup. I ordered it twice yesterday!
  • Need to stop with the coffee. No, I don’t enjoy coffee as much I love other beverages (like Coke). But the thing is, I dont like the idea of being a freeloader at a Starbucks. While I can shift to Green Tea or even Water to pay for the time I spend there, I feel criminal about paying so much for water. So I dont know the way out.
  • So yesterday, a friend sent me this video of a woman with She (by Elvis Costello) playing in the background. That video took my heart away! She took my heart away. I instantly knew I had to write about it. And, I am struggling to write my ode to it. I mean I started writing it yesterday and I am yet to find the right words. Breakthrough isn’t in sight. It was triggered by an Instagram post that a friend sent me.
  • Went for a walk. Met Ken. Talked about films and all. Spotted the sea.
  • Workwise, this week has been easy. One of the clients is literally silent. The other is chugging along. So more or less, things are ok there.
  • I got a new intern on board. Not sure if she will stay for long. But she’s on. It’s amazing how one client that pays you fairly allows you to expand where you are and what you do. I just need to be more prudent with my money and start saving more so that I can
  • On Friday, I am conducting the first paid session for NFG on Notetaking 101. I am not getting paid a lot but I am getting paid to speak and share what I know. Yay!
  • Life has come to a point where I have some money coming in. Enough for me to not think about where the next meal will come from. Enough to even pay back all the debt that I had loaded myself with. No, it’s still not smooth. It is at the tenterhooks. I lose one client and I am back to square one. But after at least 18 months or so, I am at that point where I am now thinking a lot more about the things I can do that take me closer to my goal of inspiring a billion people! I had thought Long Haul will be that. But it’s been really hard on that front. No one wants to trust me with their money. I a
  • Oh, while typing this, I decided that I will not buy a new iPhone. I will get this one fixed. I will spend another 8K but I will get this fixed. I want to save and get over the debt. The only money I will spend is on people and projects.
  • The most important. I had thought I will start with this. Lemme get this out of the bullets.

I have started to give away things that I’ve owned. Yesterday, I gave away the TV. I have also parted with the guitar that VG gifted me I don’t know how many years ago.

Now, I am left with a writing table, a bookshelf that has I don’t know how many books (and paper and notes and all that), a yoga mat, knick-knacks that I have gathered over the years, and some clothes. No, I don’t have a functioning kitchen. And computers (laptop – this and old, hard disk drives, pen drives, etc).

The idea is to dispose of everything and have just enough that can be carried in a laptop bag and a big hard-top lug. I don’t like duffels. I am ok to live with very few things and in this post-pandemic world, that should be the norm. I am just worried about all the notes that I’ve taken. I will probably digitize those? I don’t know yet. After I lost my phone data, I have stopped worrying about losing important things. The ephemerality of life is a lot more apparent and visible. Thank you, COVID-19 for that.

So yeah, the idea is that by end of this month (or may be the next), I would have disposed of all the things that I hate. The ones that I need to store (I’ll try that these are as few as possible), I will send those to Delhi, to my parent’s place. The rest, I will carry on me. Let’s see how it goes.

So yeah. All this.

Here’s streaks…

  • Morning Pages / Meditations – 186
  • #aPicADay – 0
  • 10K steps a day – 0
  • OMAD – 0
  • #noCoffee – 0
  • #noCoke – 98
  • 10 mins of meditation – 0
  • #book2 – 0
  • Killer Boogie – 0
  • Surya Namaskar – 0. I did not do it yesterday. Neither I did it today 🙁

040621 – Night / Morning Pages

Unedited, unfiltered, unreviewed, unstructured, unabashed, undercooked, under… thoughts from a night when I ODed on Coffee.

4:37 AM. I have not slept a blink since yesterday. Blame it on work. And too much coffee. And of course, I am drowsy. You know, age and all. I am writing this in that delirious state where you are not up, you are not asleep. You are like hungover. You are probably hallucinating. Guess this is what drugs must feel like. May be I am on drugs. I mean I’ve so much coffee and faux sugar that I probably am flying high like a kite. Faux sugar is the sugar they put in Keto desserts. Even though it tastes like shit (being honest), I want to like really really really lose weight and get them six-packs. Of course, towards an end – the Everest baby!

So let’s see what all I want to probably talk about. Lemme try and sober up a bit. You know, by having some water.

Life Purpose.

LOL. The most cliched thing ever. Lemme spill some ink bits on this. So, I was talking to a friend that I am helping with some writing. While talking to her, I realized that I love it when I give feedback to people and I see a bulb light up in their head and the twinkle sort of dawns into their eyes and it eventually come to rest in that tiny quiver of their lips that is parting to either spew some work of amazement. Or yelp in surprise! That!

Ok, I digressed. The point was, I love helping other people. Specifically when they’ve written something and I give them input and that input helps them tweak what they’ve written and it becomes better and all that. Wow, that sentence was so long and so bad and so convoluted that it should be a crime to use such a sentence in a post about how I want to be a writing coach.

That. That’s what I want to be. A writing coach.

I know I dont have a great command over the language. I know I cant write flowery things. I can’t rhyme to save my life. I mean I don’t know even know the word that can sound like life. Maybe wife, strife, trife. The similes and metaphors dont come easy to me. They are as hard as the hardship faced by Arjuna when he was forced to slay his brothers and uncles and teachers and all that. What I write cant move a mole, leave alone a mountain. I still think in Hindi and then convert that to English and then I write. I still rely on Grammarly (free edition) to ensure that my emails don’t have stupid mistakes. None of my stories has sold any significant number of copies. The publisher apparently pulped copies of what I had written. I will not be in the history books. My work is not worth preserving. And yet, I dare to proclaim that I want to be a writer. I dare to say that I want to work with people that want to write and help them realize their dreams of becoming writers.

Yet another thing that I want to do in life that I don’t know has how many days left! I think whenever I die, I will die an unhappy man with more things on my #toDo list than I would actually end up doing.

Brings me to the next thing that I want to write about, as I wait for the day to break and some food to get delivered and all that. FOMO.

FOMO.

I have to admit that each passing day I get the feeling that life is passing by me and I am missing out on good things that life has to offer. Truth be told, I’ve had a very very interesting life. I have traveled the world, lived pretty much on my terms, and mostly work on things I like and run my life the way I want to. Agreed that I am mostly reacting to things – got bored of and took another one; got kicked out of a relationship, picked another one; drifted from day to day, month to month, and from year to year. But if I look back, there is no one but me who’s to either blamed or praised for how I have fared.

On one side, I can be glad that I am still surviving, even if I had to take on debt. On the other, I can kick myself in the backside that people that I started my career with have completed their Monopoly runs with what a friend (Mansi) calls the ultimate sign of having lived well – two houses, two cars, two kids, two maids and two vacations a year. The ones that dont have these twos have chosen to not get these. Unlike me. Who’s wanted to have many houses, scores of cars, no kids, an army of helps, and a life that’s more vacation than it has vocations. For the 38 years I have spent here, I have a negative balance that runs in high seven figures and some 2000 pieces of blogposts rants that I have been gathering since 2004.

I really really wish that I was a tad more lucky and I was delivering impact at scale with my work. I love scale. I just love it. I want to bring out a fucking tsunami and not just cause ripples in tiny puddles. I want to move the mountain and not just toss them pebbles around. The shrieks in my head are deafening. The silence in my voice is blinding. The ambition I have in my heart is parched.

The worse part? I dont know what to do about it. And I dont know who to go to. To cry about it and rant about it and all that. No one sees the obsidian that keeps gnawing at my heart all the time.

So yeah. That. It’s 5:47. I wish there was some 24-hour coffee shop or something that I could go and work chill out of at, at this hour. I mean right now there’s a lockdown and nothing is open. I haven’t stepped out of the house for 3 days, I think. But even when things were open, the only option was the expensive and unconducive-to-work lobbies at 5-stars. Money is ok. I am happy to spend on such things but the damn places look down on you, the moment you flip out a laptop.

Anyhow. Enough for the rant. The deliriousness that I talked about in the beginning has begun to wear off and I will try and catch some sleep before waking up to I am sure escalations and urgent matters needing my attention.

Till tomorrow, so long!

Here’s streaks.

  • Morning Pages / Meditations – 173
  • #aPicADay – 0
  • 10K steps a day – 0. Been like three days since I’ve stepped out!
  • OMAD – 0
  • #noCoffee – 0. Have been having a lot of coffee lately. Had two venti Americanos in the last 24 hours. I think I will need to order one more to survive the day. And from Saturday, I will try and quit again. Even if I am sleepy and all that after that. Let’s see if I am able to.
  • #noCoke – 85
  • 10 mins of meditation – 0
  • #book2 – 0
  • Killer Boogie – 0
  • Surya Namaskar – 0

050521 – Meditations

Update on things clouding my head. There’s nothing new but usual suspects – life, house, money!

7:04. I’ve been up for a bit now. Actually, I didn’t sleep very well. Why? Well, among other things, I had a coffee yesterday. Iced Americano. After some 55 days. Can’t say I missed the taste but I did like the idea that it could be helpful when I have a lot of work.

No, I don’t plan to get addicted to it again.

It shall only be had on days like yesterday when things on my plate overwhelm me and I need additional help to come up with superhuman effort and knock things off my todo list.

And I will try to have it later than 6 PM. Yesterday I had it at around 8 I think and I was as wide awake as an owl till about 2. And then I had to force myself to sleep.

In other news, in another action item yesterday, I got back on Twitter and Instagram. And I plan to stay active. I may not post too much but I will offer and extend some morsels of help as and when I can. If nothing else, I will support others that are. It somehow dawned onto me that while I am unable to help, and I suck at offering a shoulder, I need to do whatever little l can. Even an iota of help could be useful at this time. Individuals across the world have shown what compassion and willingness to help can do when regulators and policymakers and governments fail. I have now seen the power and impact of an individual’s action. It reminds me of that aasman me soorakh line…

“कैसे आकाश में सूराख़ नहीं हो सकता, एक पत्थर तो तबीयत से उछालो यारों” – Dushyant Kumar

If I could get something tattooed on me, it would be these two likes from Dushyant Kumar. Apart from “this too shall pass.”

#note2self – I must make it a point to read some of the Hindi poets that are no longer around. They’ve some incredible work. I mean I am a fan of late Rahat Indori’s work, especially the way he would narrate his work. Must spend time on listening to some old ones.

Ok. Moving on.

I also saw this post by Rana Ayyub where she talked about how life is sudden and you may not get time to say goodbye etc. I am inspired and I have decided to write an email to every person that I have hurt wanted to apologize but did not have the courage to. I know some of those chapters were closed long ago and my apology will probably bring back bad memories for those people. I will thus be careful and ensure that I am mindful before I send. I will write those nonetheless, even if I don’t send them. I mean, I am sure I will remain safe in this pandemic but you never know what happens next. So I do not want to leave this world without closing some of these conversations. No, I am not premonitioning my demise but I want to not leave without saying a bye to people that have shaped me – in a good way or a bad way. So that.

Oh, how can I even forget talking about this? In fact, I had to start with this. Yesterday Bill and Melinda Gates announced that they are ending their marriage of 27 years.

27. Years.

This is the second person that I look up to that has done this (first is Jeff Bezos. He and Scott were married for 25 years). Both Bill and Jeff have been idols for long. Their marriages were #lifeGoals for long. The wives played such an important role while these guys were on the road, building their businesses and all that. I’ve in fact wanted a partner like that. That supports my maddening ambition. Or vice versa (become second fiddle to someone as ambitious). But this announcement just broke my heart. The last time I was this sad for one of my idols, it was probably when Steve Jobs passed away. For some reason, I was not that affected by the cheating and divorce scandal of Bezos.

Anyhow, if I had any faith left in the institution of marriage, this was probably the last nail in its coffin. I mean Bill and Melinda were married for 27 freaking years. They were my ideal couple – make a lot of money and then use the rigor of business in doling out that money to make the world a better place. Plus they are old. I mean Bill Gates is 65. Melinda is 55 something. After 27 years, you probably know so much about each other that even if some doubts creep in about the impending cracks in the marriage, you probably fix it beforehand. You know, it’s messier to separate at that age, especially if you are a public figure. It just reduces the impact that you can have.

Damn you never know what happens behind closed doors!

Someone actually put a tweet out yesterday that said that out of the top 10 richest people in the world, only 2 have not been divorced (Mark Zuckerberg and one of the Google Founders!). Is there a correlation? If there is, I am glad that my plans of not marrying in the first place will not tip the numbers in the list. Unless more people enter the list when I am there. Lol! King of wishful thinking, Mr. Garg.

Also, today is the 5th. When I had to give my landlord notice if I did not want a messy exit from this house. I had wanted to do it for two reasons – a, get to a cheaper place and b, try and move to Goa. Even though I know it’s tough to live and work in Goa, I wanted to have a base there. I know that I will not have the network that I have here. I know that things are moving online and people are ok to meet on Zoom but I am super ineffective on Zoom as it’s been proven a million times already. So that. In one line, I am in that limbo that I’ve been forever.

One option is to move to Thane or something and then use hostels or friend’s couches when I need to be in Mumbai. I will save on the rent, live at a distance that allows for chance meetings and such connections. I don’t know. This inability to decide obviously stems from the inability to spend money and that’s something that I need to work on anyway.

I think this is about it. Have a long day ahead that starts early. Time to move on with things. More tomorrow. Here’s streaks.

  • Morning Pages / Meditations – 143
  • #aPicADay – 0
  • 10K steps a day – 0
  • OMAD – 0
  • #noCoffee – 0. Had one yesterday after 55 days!
  • #noCoke – 56
  • 10 mins of meditation – 2
  • #book2 – 0
  • Killer Boogie – 0
  • Original Work (limited time only) – 0
  • Surya Namaskar – 0

030521 – Meditations

Inane updates from an inane life of an insignificant man. Talks about films, coffee and random things.

6:16. Lemme dive right in. If you remember the post yesterday, I made a promise that I will attempt a 72-hour fast. I am proud to say that the promise lasted all of 72 seconds. As soon as I hit publish, hunger pangs started to bug me and I waited like a dying man to have the Swiggys and Zomatos of the world open up. And as soon as they did, I ordered enough to feed a baraat. Sigh. I will never have six-packs. I will never climb Mt. Everest, even if they put an escalator.

In other news, I attended a session on the life and work of Satyajit Ray yesterday, thanks to Jai Arjun Singh (do read his fabulous blog). While I did not understand half the things they talked about (apart from Felu Da, I haven’t consumed anything from Satyajit Ray), I could see that there were some 100 people in there, each smitten by Ray and his life and his work. There were people that were inspired by his work, that had gone to infinite lengths to consume things that Ray had created. The best? There were people that felt a personal loss when Ray passed away. Wow!

The other thing that I got to understand that he was like a lone genius that had a team of other geniuses working alongside him. The guy could write, direct, run a camera, sketch, design, paint, doodle, and whatnot. If he’s not a polymath, I don’t know who else is.

I am inspired. Must attend more such sessions to know more about the lives and work of more such maestros.

So that.

The other thing I need to fix is the damn lethargy that I get shrouded by all day long.
I don’t know if it’s the stale air that am breathing in this house?
Or is it the boredom set in by working from home?
Or may be it’s the age. You know, that simple!
Or is it the lack of actual, physical, 1 on 1 interactions with people?
Or may be it’s the lure of easy accessibility to a bed yoga mat.

I don’t know what it is but this has to stop.

I am thinking every time I feel lazy and feel like stretching myself, I will go walk to the nearest Starbucks (there are 4 Starbucks outlets in the 2 KM radius of where I live, so I can choose which one do I want to walk to; and I can walk to a different one every day) or a McCafe (there’s one less than a KM away) or the discovery of the last lockdown – Blue Tokai (again there are two, both about 3 KMs away!).

I know I will OD on coffee but at least I would not sleep randomly. If anything, I will probably stop sleeping all these hours.

And the deal is that I can not order in. Even if I am getting large discounts, I will place the order and collect from the cafe.

I hope that unlike the 72-hour fast thingy, I am able to do this one. This sounds more plausible. This has components of everything I like – walking (will help the 10K count thingy), coffee, taking breaks, interaction with real people. So let’s see how that goes.

Actually, must admit, I don’t like coffee as much I like coffee shops but this walking to a coffee shop and getting it home is the closest I can get. Let’s see how it goes.

Ok. Remember that NFDC competition that I wanted to send an entry to? Well, they have extended the deadline to the 17th. I have another 14 days now to submit an entry. Lol! Not that I don’t have the time – I waste way too much time with these morning pages (I don’t know what end these pages serve), sleeping, and in general moving about. May be I will push myself. Maybe it’s a sign! May be I will limit the time I spend on these morning pages to just about an hour. The thing is while I write this, I tick other tiny things off my lists – responding to important emails, planning the day (for example, on today’s list of things, one of the agendas is to write a letter to one of my earliest penpals (PD)). Plus, I sort of wake up. The engine in the head starts to crank up slowly and I get ready for the day. So I like this time. But may be I will reduce this to strictly an hour. The next hour, I could spend on thinking about the book, walking, maybe working? I don’t know. Let’s see. Let’s experiment from today itself. As soon I hit publish on this, I will get ready and get in the work mode. And start with the book. Or the script.

The final thing that I want to talk about today is a combination of a few things. I was talking to SG2 last night and she reminded me of this tee-shirt that read something like, “ek zabardat toofan aaye aur uda de chuppi ki dunia“. Couple it with what’s happening in the country (you know, people dying and lack of apathy from the government). And then on top add my inability to help – I mean I have not moved a single muscle in this crisis to help others. If anything, I have been an escapist. I have shut all conversation channels where people are sharing their pain and anguish. Not that I don’t care but I am unable to offer a shoulder or even blurt out a line of sympathy. It overwhelms me – I did not know it would. But it did. And still does. The only good thing is that I am not triggered per se. I am functional, in whatever way. I am onto things. But I did not do shit for people that are suffering. Ok, before this becomes a rant and self-flagellating piece, lemme come to the point.

I will no longer remain on the sidelines. Enough of being chupp. Enough of inaction. I may not be an effective ear or shoulder, but I am an awesome brain for sure. So that shall be used. I dont know how or why or when. I will figure out and act.

So yeah. That’s it. It’s 7:21. I’ve been up for more than two hours now (woke up at 5ish) and I have been on this page for more than an hour. Let’s get going. Lemme get ready and start acting. Till about 10, I own my time. Will probably work on the book / script. Let’s see what I start with.

Here’s the streaks for the day.

  • Morning Pages / Meditations – 141
  • #aPicADay – 0
  • 10K steps a day – 1. Did 10K yesterday.
  • OMAD – 0
  • #noCoffee – 54. I plan on ordering some today.
  • #noCoke – 54
  • 10 mins of meditation – 0
  • #book2 – 0
  • Killer Boogie – 0
  • Original Work (limited time only) – 0
  • Surya Namaskar – 0

230221 – Morning Pages

Quickie piece. Woke up late. Running behind deadlines. Hoping to catch the pending todos.

10:09 AM. Yeah 10 AM.

I dont even know if I can call this morning pages. Its like afternoon. But then I just woke up (I slept at 5). So this is technically the first thing that I am doing. So, lets give ourselves some benefit of doubt and consider this is morning pages. But because its 10, there are a million people screaming to seek my attention for things that I need to do for them. Will keep this cute and short and all that.

Yesterday was mad. MAD. The day just didnt end. There was so much on the plate and there is still so much on the plate. This busyness is a good thing. I hope there is some revenue opportunity on the other side. Because the day was so long, I had some 20 cups of coffee. Which is ok, if you ask me. Most Americans are like that. But I realize that I was putting in way too much coffee in my system and its making me lose sleep and get more jittery. I need to fix it. Its not a good thing. Wow, look at me talking like an adult!

So, I made myself a big promise. That. I will quite coffee. I will still goto Starbucks and probably have two bottle of sparkling water (which cost as much as a coffee does). So, in my head, I would have paid for using their services and yet I would have not got coffee.

That’s settled. Let’s see how many days I last. Especially with an event coming up. Oh yeah! I am finally managing an event. The last one I was part of was on the 5th of March in 2020, at Lucknow. Since then, I have done some house gigs and all but this one is a full-blown wedding. Of about 80 guests if I am not wrong. So we are still following the regulations (in Goa, you can have a gathering of 100 I think) and yet it has all the paraphernalia. Yay to that!

What else? Damn the minds so blank that I could very well be in a meditative state. Lol. Kuch bhi!

Oh yeah, I am getting to meet Roshan Abbas (virtually) this weekend. He’s the grand-dad of all event professionals. I’ve always wanted to meet him since I was with Suvi. After all these years, in a different context, it’s happening! This is via Podium’s Spotlight. In case you need more details let me know.

Still tripping on Lootera’s music. I spoke about it a few days ago. Need to get to a point where I do such things!

I think this is about I have. I need to go wash some clothes, get my head shaven (yeah!) and then get about the day. Lol, aur bano nomad 😉

And no, no #book2. Let’s see when I get to it. May be in March. Fuck, time flies!

PS: I know this is not technically morning pages. But I started the day with a piece and that’s what matters. The streak has to remain unbroken!

PS: The mood seems to be better. No? I think so! May be its the coffee and if I quit, the mood will go back to being sucky

240121 – Morning Pages

I have nothing special to report today, except how I spent yesterday. Skip if you don’t have time.

7:52 AM

I woke up some 3 minutes ago. The neck is still hurting. I think it has something to do with the pillow I use. Will see if I want to go back to not using one at all. Similarly, I need to quit coffee and Diet Coke. All over again. I am like a regular junkie. I want to stay away and the moment I see the red or brown, I start to salivate. Something starts creeping inside my skin. I have had times in the past when I have managed to stay away for even a year (I think) and at months at a stretch for sure. Need to do it again. The thing is I like the idea of being able to sit at any restaurant, office space etc, and spending hours as I work from there. Even though I am probably the most non-intrusive and non-demanding customer at such places, I need to respect that am at their business and I need to consume something. It’s not cool to not order. And I don’t know what to. And thus coffee, coke, etc. I need to find a solution. Plus, I think this is more a will power question than anything else. Any ideas?

Oh, while I am writing this, am listening to a mix by DJ NYK (here he is on YouTube). He is my nextc favorite artist. Love how he does it even though I am not a fan of electronic, high-beat, high-tempo music.

So, yesterday, a friend sent me this write-up about friends (see the image below)…

On friends and friendship

I read it and I was like O FAAAK! This is EXACTLY how I feel about friends and people in life. In fact, all my life I have various people for various occasions. I would famously not mix different groups of friends. And like this person said, I have friends that have a lot of keys to a lot of rooms but I don’t think I have any that have keys to each room. Neither do I have keys to all rooms of a friend.

This thought of mansion and rooms and keys is a very very powerful one. This is how writing should be. It should change how you look at things. It should change the way you operate in life. It has to nudge you to question your ethos and make relevant changes in your personality.

Continuing with friends, last night, RD called and spoke to me at length. About me. He said that he sees the sadness in my photos. I thought my photos are anything for that. As a person, I know that I am not really in a great space. But am I sad? Hell no! I am as content as I could be. I told him that if I have all the money in the world, this is EXACTLY what I would be doing, just that the location / scale / output would change.

But then he’s one of those people that I listen to. He thinks it’s sad. I will think more and make changes. Maybe every Sunday I post people stories? Maybe even get started with Shumbur on my Instagram? Let’s see.

So what is that I am doing that I am so incredibly happy about? That I would do even if I had all the money in the world?

Well, the ability to help others reach their lifegoals! This time I am doing it for start-up founders. All thanks to Akshay and to serendipity. I wrote a post on Linkedin talking about it. In one line, somehow we have been able to create opportunities for aspiring startups to get feedback from founders and investors. I believe each of these conversations could be life-changing. The first edition is on the 31st Jan and we have Dr. Malpani – one of those investors that I respect a lot. In case you’d like to attend, please register interest at http://podm.in/pitch.

Of course, this event is subject to I getting access to the Internet in Goa. Lol. I think I have found a pattern. It gets fucked every time there are more tourists here. Like yesterday, there was this huge traffic jam from Tito’s lane all the way to the Dolphin circle. Not kidding. I talked to people who’d reached outside NickyM’s and were sort of walking around because their vehicles were stuck in traffic. Anyhow, I was walking. So that’s cool. The internet was not working. Still not working. I am perched onto the edge of the balcony, hoping that the phone would catch some signal! I think I’ll make a trip to Mumbai or Delhi, just to experience what fast internet could be!

Anyhow. That’s that.

Onto #freewriting for #book2. I am very blank and I have no clue what I would write about.

Here we go…

If you are a traveling musician, Goa could be a tough place for you to find your footing. There are of course uncountable clubs, pubs, shacks, and more that dot the coastlines and that invite musicians to come and perform, there are more musicians here than the tourists. And that means that odds are stacked against the musicians. You can’t perform your originals. You have to tolerate request from drunken tourists that may or may not understand your music. You get paid shit money. Often it’s not even enough to get by, leave alone invest into producing your music.

Josh did not know any of this when he first moved here. He was inspired by the Instagram posts of others from his school. The choice was between India and Indonesia. The travel to Mumbai was on a direct flight and the one to Bali had to stop at two other airports en route. Josh did not like the idea of take-off and touch-down and thus he chose Mumbai. To save his gut from churning, he had thrown his life in a whirlwind.

The first few days were uneventful. He hung out at all the bars that were known to invite musicians. To his shock and dismay, the music that he performed had hardly any takers. He realized he would be lucky to land even one gig. He however had nowhere else to go. He couldn’t go back. He did not know where he was going next. He had to make the most of what Goa had to offer him. So when he spotted a board hanging outside Caravan Serai where they had advertised that it needs hands in the kitchen, he went in.

At first, Udita thought he was yet another tourist that had drifted into the joint that famously stayed a joint for the locals. But this was Goa and there’s was a business. They couldn’t say no. Plus goras were known to come in at all times. She flung the rag over her shoulder and hollered, “hey man, make yourself comfortable, the entire place is yours. I’d be with you in a minute.” She went to the bar and rinsed her hands.

Josh remained tentative. He was not really a guest. Worse he was probably going to work with this 20-something Indian that spoke in impeccable Brit accent.

“Ummm… well… I am here about that job…?”

“What job?”

“The board that’s hanging outside? It says you need help?”

“Ah that!” She measured him. “Lemme fetch Mrs. Gomes. Can I get you some water or something? Don’t worry, it’s on the house!” She knew a drifter when she saw one. After all, Caravan Serai was the home to such people. She was one of such people. Every other character was too.

“Nah, I am good. Thanks though.” Josh liked how Udita behaved. Very unlike all others that he had encountered so far.

***

Ok. enough. Can’t get them words or ideas.

Maybe tom. Chalo over and out. See you guys tom.

The Coffee Jitters

Got the shock of my life, thanks to too much black coffee at a Starbucks nearby. Read on as I describe my “battle” with it!

You know how life is funny? All’s well, you are at your favorite place (a Starbucks), in the zone (writing, working, plotting, etc). And all of a sudden, deep inside the pit of your guts and bowels, you start feeling funny. You cant pinpoint if it’s your gut that’s wrenching or if it’s your chest that’s burning. Or is it a mini-heart attack? May be you are just constipated? Or an acid-reflux?

Like any other informed individual, you quickly log in to Google and type the symptoms. The results are not encouraging. They say you could have anything ranging from cologne cancer to a case of mild acidity caused by having too much coffee and too little water and almost zero carbs for over 14 7 hours.

You continue to wince in pain. But because you are in a public place, you can’t really scream out loud. You create scenarios in your head that you are dying and you begin to message the custodian of your last will to action it. No, your life does not flash past you. That only happens in the films. But you do think of all the promises you made to yourself about life and career and family and the world at large. And you start beating yourself about wasting your life with mere faff and no action. You are reminded what your friend told you once – “you are writing cheques that your body can’t cash.”

You also start thinking that if you make through this, you would try and get healthy. You would sleep on time, eat organic, vegan whatever shite that will ensure you live till the 120 years that you’ve always wanted to. You plan the route that you would run walk on, to get back in shape. You start thinking if there’s merit in being religious – after all, nothing else is helping!

And while you are stuck in this stupor and blaming yourself for all that is wrong in the world, the truth dawns onto you. It’s the coffee jitters.

And that’s because you just had 2 Americanos, venti (for the uninitiated, that’s almost 1.5 liters) in less than two hours. After you’ve been off coffee for more than a month. All this coffee is causing your system to go into a spiral. And pushing your system into overdrive. And of course, you haven’t had any water, to dilute the coffee. You are basically killing your gut with all the acid. Easier would be to put a pipe down your throat and pour Sulphuric Acid down it. Or may be suck onto the exhaust pipe of a cab?

And what do you do next?

Somehow, sense prevails and you stutter out of the cafe. You get the first cab available (which is 12 minutes away, damn you Delhi traffic!). You implore the cabbie to drive like your life depends on it. Well, it does! You reach back home. Implore your mother to give you something to eat (one of the search results told you that you need a sugar rush and water rush to get over the coffee rush). You gobble it up as if your life is dependent on it. It does.

And then after a bit, you start feeling like a human again. And you start thinking of those things that give you instant pleasure (like more mithai, more coffee, more slouched back, etc), and you forget all those promises you made to yourself about your health less than an hour ago. Life’s back to being good. Well, mostly it is…

This is part of 30 minutes of writing everyday challenge. Others in the series are at 3010, 3110, 0111, 0211, 0311, 0411, 0511, 0611, 0911, 1011, 1211, 1311, 1411, 1511, 1611, 1711.

The Coffee Consumption Confession

I talk about what exactly I love about a Starbucks Coffee store near me. And why I had coffee today after almost a month.

For someone who’s a big Starbucks fan and spends almost 5 hours every day and 4000 bucks a week there, I have a confession to make.

I don’t really love coffee as much. To me, any roast, any bean, any method of making coffee is the same, as long as there’s no milk in it. I HATE milk!

I think marketing team at Starbucks understands people like me. At Starbucks, they keep tinkering with the fabled Starbucks menu, they can’t seem to get my attention. I always want that regular Earl Gray Tea (at least for the last few weeks). They even tried the gimmick of reducing the price of Starbucks Coffee, I remain non-committal. I simply can’t love what they brew!

What I rather love is their ambiance, the comfortable seating, the jazz (that people world over love to hate), and the general sense of ease and familiarity and niceness all around. I know a large part of it is faux but at least for the time you are there, the duration you are hanging out, it’s cool. You feel you belong to that place.

Plus, most times, the patrons hanging out at an outlet tend to be the same. You start knowing them by their faces, even if you don’t know their names. They tend to sit at the same spots. You start knowing those spots and the paraphernalia that they would use to claim the spot. Like at this Starbucks near me, this girl comes in at around 11 and she likes to first take out some 10 books, place them all over the table and then, start her work. This another girl, all she cares for is a charging point and whatever she’s lost into, in her phone. This young couple always takes that corner seat and are oblivious to the world outside. To a people-watcher like me, a Starbucks is a gold mine. At some point, I need to also get comfortable being a Sherlock and start making deductions 😀

Anyhow. The point of this post?

Well, two points.

a, I had to write for 30 minutes.

b, Today, I had coffee.

Yes I did!

After may be a month or so. And no it was not from Starbucks. But from some random place. And no, I did not have a reason per se. Just that I was meeting a friend after really long and I have this really strong association of coffee and her. And breaking the coffee consumption chain while I was with her felt like a great way to reinforce the association.

No?

Part of 30 days, 30 minutes, 30 posts project. Others in the series are at 3010, 3110, 0111, 0211031104110511061109111011, 1211.