070521 – Meditations

A deeply introspective post on life, the aspirations and the meaning. Just because I lost all the data on a phone! Lol!

6:33.
Yet another one of those nights where I did not sleep well because of the AC snafu. Too hot without an AC. Too noisy with the broken one. Will try and get it fixed over the weekend. Must get tattooed all over my body to not move into an old apartment.

Anyhow. So, yesterday was an extraordinary day. For a few reasons. Lemme talk about three two of those. By the time I wrote the first two, I forgot what the third was ;P

Here we go.

1. Lost data on my phone

So I broke the screen of my iPhone a couple of days ago. When I got the guy to fix it, he somehow wiped the iPhone clean. You know, factory reset. And that means that all data on the phone went up in the air. Poof. Gone. And for some reason, went with it all the backups on iCloud, gDrive, and all other cloud services.

And I lost data from over the 10 years!

This included (and not limited to, I will get to know of the exact extent in a few days once I start missing things)

  • Photos, that I would be stubborn and foolish to not back up
  • SMS history. This is not so important if you ask. I mean who uses SMS anyway?
  • WhatsApp chats, with some 3000 contacts over the last 10 years. In some of these chats, I had “starred” things like addresses, important dates, conversation points, proofs of financial transactions, embarrassing pictures (no, not nudes), jokes, plans for the future, ideas to work on and I don’t even know what all. I hate that I’ve lost my conversation history. I no longer remember who I was angry with and who I needed to take revenge from 🙁
  • Content on various WA groups. I had made a lot of groups with various people where I would share things that needed easy access. There was this group called ‘SG Self’ where I would send myself reminders and important links, files, conversations that I needed to archive. That’s gone. This is the one that I regret the most! To a point that I could’ve cried for this.
  • Notes. While I seem to have some on iCloud but there are some that clearly weren’t. Like there is this note that I had that had all addresses – Mumbai house, Delhi home, office address, Bank address, friend’s addresses, etc (for easy reference), and this note seems to have vanished. There was another one where I had listed all the domain names I own. That is gone as well. But some are there. So not sure.
  • Tags. I used WA as a full-fledged personal knowledge system! Every message worth saving, archiving, reflecting, to be worked on, and all that, I would tag them in a private chat. You know, #parkedIdeas, #toDo, #toThink etc etc. All those are now gone!
  • Apps. I had some 400 Apps on my iPhone and all of those are gone. I probably did not use 90% of those. But there are some that I needed for work – authenticators, calendar, Teams, Zoom, etc. Had to get those. The bigger challenge was to log in to all those accounts with a hundred OTPs (you know, 2FA).
  • In-App data. There were apps like Nomie, MoveX, and more that had data that was not backed up ever. That’s gone. Damn. Not that I needed it but I had plans that at some point in time in life, I would use the data from over the years and analyze. May be this is the sobering I need and a reminder that I need to act on things now, rather than procrastination.

Other things like emails, contacts and documents that resided on the cloud within applications and services is safe.

The greatest relief is that all the contacts are safe. I mean, you are as good as your phone book. No, emails dont cut. I still believe in the power of handshake. The friendly nod on a Zoom call can never replace a firm handshake.

So that.

Lemme reflect on this a bit. Let’s see where I reach.

So, this is the first time when something like this has happened to me. Otherwise, most times when I have stared at a potential loss of data, I am really meticulous. I’ve mostly been able to retrieve things. I mean I have lost tabs often (I have thousands of tabs open all the time on my browser and it invariably crashes) but a full-scale phone wipeout has never happened. This was definitely a new experience.

When I realized I’ve lost the data, to be honest, I went through the stages of grief – I was angry > I went into denial > I was sad > I accepted > I started the recourse. I was even anxious.

But surprisingly, all this happened in like 15 minutes!

It then became more of an irritant than painful. I did not know I could be this indifferent with the loss of my digital assets. Guess it’s a good thing that I get over things fast. I think I am super inhuman about things. May be I’ve become emotionally detached from outcomes?

And if I am bereft of any emotions, why am I even alive?

I mean, in my life, it’s these digital things that are important to me. I’ve never had any tangible assets that I cared for. I am not much of a hoarder. I plan to move to a minimal lifestyle. Convenience (and not attachment) guides my actions and decisions. Comfort often trumps emotions. Social constructs sound like unnecessary obstacles. The digital world and online strangers have been my solace in absence of any deep friendships that for some reason I just didnt develop couldn’t create. I would probably die an anonymous and a lonely death. I better be rich when I die or the story of my life would read pathetic, if it’s even worth telling. Lol. And when I am gone, will someone write such a long blog post (if blogs exist at that time and Tik Tok has not taken over the world) lamenting about things related to me? It may not be a bad idea to fake my death to see how people react. #parkedIdea 😀

Anyhow. I am nudging towards a rant. The point being, I lost a lot of important data yesterday. I don’t even know the extent of damage – I will probably discover it over the next few days. This short post is my attempt at reconciling with the loss and moving on. This is my mourning ritual after an irreversible loss (thanks, Anjum Sir for opening my eyes towards it).

2. Chose myself over work.

I got selected for a month-long, immersive workshop on Documentary Filmmaking. This means that I have to attend almost three hours of sessions almost every day over the next 15 odd days. And these sessions are planned bang in the middle of the day. And these would conflict with my work.

Normally, I put work over everything else. Even my family.

But this is one of those rare occasions when I decided to my colleagues that I need to attend the workshop and I would unavailable.

From what I expect of them, they would understand and things should be ok. But in case they don’t, I will choose the workshop over them, if I have to. So let’s see how it goes.

I start today. I can’t wait to take this (yet another) baby step towards becoming a filmmaker. I don’t really have any other ambitions apart from (in order) seeing my writing come to life, entertaining people, and making money while I do the first two. I mean I don’t want to be an actor or something. I definitely don’t want to be famous for the sake of being famous. I just want to have an audience for my thoughts, ideas, rants et al. And this audience has to nudge towards action after they listen to me. And this audience has to give me feedback and help me learn more and become better. And this virtuous cycle has to repeat till we reach a point where things like organized religion are scoffed at, where science takes precedence over blind faith and chasing individual success is celebrated.

That’s all I ask for, from this life. For whatever it is worth. I mean the true meaning of life is to create meaning for others. No?

Oh, I have to put this on paper.
I got selected for this just because I took a shot that I knew was out of my league. I know that of such 100 shots that I take, less than 1 would work out. But when they do work out, they return handsomely!

The lesson for the day is?
Take more shots that are out of your comfort zone. And out of your reach. And even the ones that you are DAMN SURE you wouldn’t get. After all, you will miss each shot that you don’t take!

May be the answer to the frivolity of life is to keep taking shots? And then go through the emotions on the basis of outcomes.
You are preparing to take the shot? Get excited and lose sleep over it.
You get it? Rejoice.
You don’t? Console yourself.

Get the drift? Do tell me the next out-of-league shot you’re taking.

And to end this, here’s streaks.

  • Morning Pages / Meditations – 145
  • #aPicADay – 0
  • 10K steps a day – 0
  • OMAD – 0
  • #noCoffee – 0
  • #noCoke – 58
  • 10 mins of meditation – 0
  • #book2 – 0
  • Killer Boogie – 0
  • Original Work (limited time only) – 0
  • Surya Namaskar – 0

I am being damn inconsistent with things.
Need to pull socks!

That’s it for the day.
Over and out.

400102 to 400053

So, the annual ritual of changing homes just happened all over again.

This time, I moved from 400102 to 400053. The last time, I moved from there to here.

The drop happened not in just the Pincode but also in the lifestyle. From a 2 bedroom house to a 1 bedroom. From “lavish” (by Mumbai standards) to a cramped space that people in Mumbai are used to. From a newly constructed building to a tower that is probably older than me!

Like all moves in life, this one is also full of excitement, anxiousness, sadness, happiness, and most importantly, hope! And even though I have downgraded things, I remain hopeful that the tide shall turn and I will see that hockey-stick chart again. Let’s see when.

Meanwhile, since this is a post in the 30 minutes of writing every day for 30 days thing that I am doing, lemme try to write more. The announcement of the move took me less than three minutes! And lemme try to write more about the move.

So as I was getting my things moved, I realized, that each time I move, I am surprised by the number of things I own.

Why?

Well for starters, I have always believed in minimalism, and yet I have a billion things. I mean look at the pictures below! The house is anyway tiny with all these things, I hardly have any space to walk around. It’s like living in a walk-in closet! #note2self – throw things so that I can move in just a car. I dont know how I’d discard them books though 🙁

Plus, I anyway don’t buy too many things. I have one pair of denim pants. I have two pairs of shoes. No fancy accessories. And yet I have some million boxes of things.

The other thing that I am surprised at is that while I was packing, I was bereft of any emotion about the place where I lived for a year. I am, after all, quitting it for good. After things were moved out, it felt that the soul of the house was sort of stripped away. It looked like a naked body, sans any character. And yet, I felt no emotions at all. I should’ve ideally welled up. I even tried. I imagined all the good things and the bad that came along with the house. But I could not bring myself to tears.

Which is, good! The idea is to not get attached to things!

Ok, lemme pick the thread on the bit about quitting the house for good. And while I do that, how about I replace the house with a person and my occupation of the house as companionship with that person? Now, I would’ve ideally liked to stay in the house for longer (probably, till eternity) but because I could no longer afford the rent, I had to move out. Similarly, I could have people that I want to stay together with forever (say, a girlfriend) but due to some circumstances (say, differences), she and I have to move away. The million-dollar question is, when that happens, would I continue to be bereft of emotions?

Wait. Is this comparison even valid? Is this some coherence in my personality where I am afraid of attaching myself to people and things? What am I afraid of? What stops me from developing an attachment to people and / or things?

And, if not attached, am really detached? There are people I refuse to give up on, despite the unrequited connections I have with them. There are things that I refuse to throw away even though I have not touched them in ages. Is this how detachment supposed to work? Can I ever be that nomad that I have always craved to become? And if that’s what I crave for, where would I land up when I want to be home? What is that identity that I must attach myself to?

No, I don’t have answers.

And no, I don’t think of these things on a regular, typical day. And it’s funny that shifting houses is bringing these questions to the top of the head that’s got no hair and all meddled ideas!

Of course, the answers remain elusive. May be they’d come in one such shift? Till then, over and out.

This post is a part of 30 minutes everyday for 30 days project. This was Day 7. Other posts are at 30103110011102110311, 0411.