210421 – Meditations

A confession that I am experiencing what Adam Grant calls “dulling of delight or the dwindling of drive”

6:30 AM.
Been up for quite some time. Was pottering around.

I now wake up at 6 without an alarm. Even if I sleep at 1ish like the case was yesterday. Of all the days recently that I have felt listless, lonely, confused, scared, yesterday was probably the toughest. I just couldn’t find the peace to sleep. I am not the kind to get fazed by things happening around me but yesterday was bad. I don’t know what triggered me. And yes, I walked 10K steps. I climbed 8 flights. I did 10 Surya Namaskars in the morning. On each leg. I ate clean. No snacks. No Diet Coke. I don’t consume drugs, alcohol, or tobacco. Oh, I did eat a lo-carb chocolate mousse that I am sure uses some alternative to Sugar. And yet I was in this weird zone where nothing seemed to make sense. For a change, I was left questioning the meaning of life. No, I did not find the meaning. Or the answer to the misery shrouding us right now.

I don’t recall a lot of things that I thought about. I think it’s like a bad dream that I want to forget. What I do remember is that I couldn’t sleep. In fact, sleep has been my superpower. Even when I’ve faced my biggest challenges, I’ve slept peacefully. I mean, I am a light sleeper and I sleep fitfully but I am rested more or less. Yesterday I couldn’t get sleep. No, the phone was away. It was not even charged. It was a dark room. Reasonably cold (as much as a tired AC can make the room cold). And yet I could not sleep.

But then I did drift at some point. It was past 1 for sure cos I remember a friend wanted help and it was some 12:30 or something. It was 12:50. I had called her before battery died. I just checked.

So yeah. That.

Apart from that, it was a regular day with a million calls and a billion emails and all that. But the night, last night was tough. I need to find a way out. I don’t know what could help. I read this recent piece by Adam Grant. He puts a word to my (and other’s) misery. Languishing.

I am experiencing, what he says, “dulling of delight or the dwindling of drive” and a possible antidote could be a project that stretches my boundaries and gets me in the flow frequently, and gives me a sense of progress.

Now, the job at hand is to identify that! Let’s see. Will report in the next few days. Some options could be…

  • Killer Boogie ;P
  • Code – build an app from scratch? I used to be good at code and I would often get in the flow when I did that.
  • Write (I consider writing regular work and thus I don’t want to put a separate tag to it).
  • Fitness. It’s been my anathema. I have had some start at it with a two-day streak of Surya Namaskars. Today would be third.

If you know me, do tell me what you think I could pick

Before I end this piece, I am thinking if I am finding it tough to continue, what about other people that are not as indifferent as I am about life and misery and fuckeries? Must help them in some way. #note2self

So that. Here’s the streaks.

  • Morning Pages / Meditations – 129
  • #aPicADay – 110
  • 10K steps a day – 1!
  • OMAD – 0
  • #noCoffee – 42
  • #noCoke – 42
  • 10 mins of meditation – 7
  • #book2 – 0
  • Killer Boogie – 0
  • Original Work (limited time only) – 6
  • Surya Namaskar – 2 (added today. Will track from now on)

This tracker now has 11 things on it. At this rate, I would track more than I would do! Lol!

Fuck, getting the mojo back.
Is it writing?
Is it the hope of a better life?
Or is it this video from the film Dangal that I saw to start the day?
See here…

Chalo, onto original work.

Day 7.

Yesterday, I added a few characters. I tried to find the conflict in Roshan’s life. I added a reluctafcnt love internest. Outside of this page, while walking, I saw a refresher on Hero’s Journey. I felt that my story has nothing so far. Which is true.

So, to push things forward, I think I will think/write about the plot in general. You know, freewriting. It’s 7:32. I will write till 8:15 or so. Need to be working from 9 onward and need 45 mins for yoga, potty, shower, etc.

Here we go.


So Roshan’s normal world is that of a happy-go-lucky, cheerful guy. The film could open on his hosting an event – he’s after all an MC and stand-up as well. I am thinking of Parijat as I create Roshan (the only stand-up I know). The opening scene must make Roshan likable. Right from the start. So when he gets to know that he has 14 days to live, the audience must gasp as well. Need to establish his charm, his mastery over this world. And then showcase the normal life.

The call to adventure could the death sentence. No, wait. That is not the adventure. That’s a crisis that he’s going to face while he works on the adventure. So, I need a part that’s his adventure. Could be a property dispute with his cousins. Could be COVID. Could be Cholera. Could be someone wanting to attack his family’s name. I need to work on this for sure. I don’t have this!

His moral dilemma about his limited time and all that he could do (ensure that his mother is safe and happy after he is gone, put his affairs in order etc) has to take the back seat. This would provide the conflict and will make his choose one over other eventually. This is what would probably divide the audience.

Refusal and the mentor could be the doctor. In fact the adventure could be something that relies on the expertise of a doctor. The mentor could be the mother as well.

The threshold is crossed when he embraces that he is at the point of no return. He is anyway going to die in 14 days. But while he is alive (and fading in faculty – he can’t just pop-off), he has to accept his mortality and jump onto the other side and become the savior. Of course, he has to fail to a point that he realizes that he needs the help of a mentor or something to battle it out.

Team, tests, etc. are simple. Need to develop sidekicks that assist him on the task. And things that stop him from reaching the place with the magic potion.

Innermost cave / apotheosis. This is where he seems to have lost everything in the battle. As a result of his own actions. This is when he would accept that he may die before he resolves the issue at hand. He should almost die. His medical condition must make it impossible for him to continue. But he will prevail.

Wait. I am only listing the steps of the Hero’s Journey. I am not adding anything to the story or pushing it.

Boon. This is where he would get the weapon needed to slay his monsters and

Not sure if I am well-read enough about the refusal to return but once he has mastered t his world, his “refusal” could be the want to live in the new world that he has created. The refusal to die. The grief that he had overcome when he set on this mission. Because he knew he was going to die. Now, he may want to live. Which is literally impossible. By this time, we should be on the 12th day or something.

Master of two worlds. This is when he eventually dies. People celebrate his death. Stories are written about the sacrifice he’s had to make along the way. Becomes a role model. This could be the thing that he wanted to become when he was alive but he gets his after his life. In the beginning, I can add a part where he declares to his mother that one day the entire world would thank him for what he’s done. His entire world is all of Indapur. Like Mohan’s world was limited to Charanpur. Roshan’s actions have to impact Indapur irreversibly. That is what he would be remembered for. In the story. And outside.

So that.

Ok, now I know the gaps (the central conflict, the personal conflict and more).

  1. I am thinking, if the mother accepts Roshan’s terminal state, it would be too easy for Roshan. I must make it difficult for Roshan to communicate this to his mother. He will prepare her for his death but it has to be gradual. This is where he would need allies. May be Diksha gets to know by accident and Roshan leans on her to get the message across to the mother.
  2. The death sentence is the ticking timebomb.
  3. Can he become a killer or something of the characters in the village that are a pain in the ass? You know, imagine Sholay but only with Jai and Veeru about to die. They know they are gonna be dead. They are fearless. This taking of law in the hand could split the audience.
  4. There could be a mystery that all these problematic people in the village are dying. And they pin the blame on Roshan. And they can’t find evidence. And Roshan is not the one who’s doing it! He in fact is told that if he doesn’t find who’s the one murdering, his mother would get killed. Sounds interesting.
  5. I still need a backdrop. Draught? Drugs? Crime? Dispute? Religion? What else could he want to fix? What else may need fixing?


#notetoself – Continuing point 3 from above, if I know that I would die in 14 days, I get fearless and do things that I thought were impossible. I know that I would be dead in about 40 years (I hope I have longer!) and yet I am scared of a lot of things! Need to change this. This is exactly what Steve Jobs said!

So yeah.
That’s it for the day.
Need to find the flow thing.
Over and out.

271220 – Morning Pages

I talk about, well, morning pages. And I talk about music, films, people, ideas and more. In a nutshell, just another day 🙂

8:51 AM

Another day when I woke up late.

That’s cool. I am finally in the Goa state of mind, you know, not worried about work or money. For a change. Guess the hippi-isation of me is complete.

So morning pages for the day. Since I started asking people about this, am getting great feedback. Note2Self. Stop using “great” a lot. The word has been sort of patented by someone greater that is hoping to make his country great again. I love how you create such slogans. I wish I could!

On the morning pages, BG told me that these are not meant to rant and then seek feedback. I agree with her and while I may rant, the intention is not at all to seek feedback. Ranting and being critical is my nature. I like being ultra harsh on myself and others around me. I have had people drift away from me cos of this. And you know what, it has worked well for me so far. So I am ok. Maybe once I stop being harsh, I will know if the harshness was actually working!

So despite BG’s input, I will continue with the morning pages in the same manner that I have been going in. Though I would take Krishna’s input on making these more about ideas and less about reflection and future-gazing.

Lemme start with a few ideas.

Remember that caretaker-hustler that I talked about a few day ago that is trying to sell me a disputed property? He’s back. This time he has a 4 bedroom place that he wants to sell for a crore and a half. I am not sure how he’s getting these fancy notions about me. Poor thing doesn’t know that am not known to have a penchant for real-estate deals.

Yesterday was a particularly useful day for ideas. Spoke to two Nikhils and talked about two different ideas. One related to events. Other related to content. The two things that I think I know well. Not sure which one of these would work but I realized that I need to be able to sit across the table to crack such conversations. I am not being able to do these virtual meetings and conversations well. Guess I am too old. Wait. Why do I want to abuse the older generation? Most seem to have taken it well. It’s me who’s an anomaly.

The thinking that I did on book2 in the first few days of moving here? That seems to have taken a back seat. That’s the thing about creative projects. If you stop working on those, work stops! So need to get going on that.

Oh, while I am writing, I am tripping on music from Dangal. Here.

Back to morning pages.

So ideas.

While talking to NA yesterday, I realized that I am more of an idea man than anything else. The trouble is that there are way too many idea-men around me. And everyone has learned that adage that ideas are a dime-a-dozen and execution is what matters. So, my value is diminished per se. That probably needs changing. Either, the ideas get so superlative that you can’t ignore. Or you find a partner that is as cool with execution. Like a Shikha. Or Prakruti. Or Akshay.

Wait. Rather than talking about ideas, lemme talk of an idea.

So, today I am supposed to go watch a filmscreening at the Museum of Goa. It is followed by a talk with the writer and the actors. There are some big names here. What if I put the film festival in motion at this venue? The guy clearly has a screening space for films. I have had this idea to do a screening festival for at least 2 years, if not forever. So, why not?

Here’s another idea

Get a house in Goa and convert that into a BnB. That challenges obviously is to manage guests in the times of COVID. But from what I am seeing, there are people that have moved here lock, stock and barrel. And there are people that are moving in for a few weeks, few months to work from here. If nothing else, it is solid passive income. Need someone to throw in the money though.

That’s the thing. Money gets money. Even WEB had access to money when he started his partnerships.

In absence of that, like Naval says, you need a network to create opportunities. And that will probably be the trip for me in 2021. I have stayed away from creating networks and time and again I have seen people reach places they don’t deserve just because they can network their way in. No, I am not sore at those people. I am surprised that I missed this simple fact. If there is one lesson that I can pass on to the next generation, I would say they ought to go to the fanciest schools, colleges, live in places that are above their means, get memberships at clubs, play golf and so on and so forth. These are the places where you get to meet interesting people. If there was a social network to get all these people online, I’d love to join that. ASmallWorld did that well in early 2000s. I don’t know where they are. Maybe create a platform for such people in Goa to interact with each other? What could this platform be built on top of? A Who’s Who guide in Goa? A magazine? Do people still read magazines? A physical club? Like Soho House? Again, do people frequent clubs anymore? And will people travel in Goa? Will have to think more. What do you think?

Ok, the last bit for the day.

Living in Public.

Everyone knows about building in public. A movement where start-up founders are creating businesses in public. They share what they are upto. They share the lessons. They talk about failures. They do small experiments to see what sticks. They pivot fast. Each pivot is public (far cry from the secrecy that typical startups are known for)

I think this living in public is going to be the future of life. It would make you more accountable, more accessible, more human, more authentic, more connected, more consistent. It would reveal your true nature. You know, like you are naked. If everything you did, even in the privacy of your bedroom were to be published on the front page of a newspaper, how would you change?

In one of the unpublished pieces I wrote for one of my books, I talk of a guy that dies in his bathtub. The guy outwardly is an Alpha, a macho. But he has these ducks floating in his bathtub. Imagine when the world finds that, how would it change your reputaiton? That!

So yeah. I want to talk more and more about this living in public. May be write a manifesto or something that encourages others to do so.

It beings immense peace when you know that you dont have to keep pretences!

With this, its over and out for the day.

See you guys on the other side.

953 AM

PS: Every time I publish these morning pages, I send these to a few friends on WhatsApp. In case you want to be added to the broadcast list, lemme know.