200421 – Meditations

Quick post on how things are with me in probably the toughest times we’ve seen as a race. And an attempt at pushing the story forward.

6:04. I just woke up. A minute ago. Without an alarm. The room was too hot. The AC conked off. And so did the phone. Or maybe it’s the charging cable. I will get to know by the time I end this post. I am trying to charge it with another wireless charger I have. Ok, the cable is the problem.

It’s funny how mundane like is, on a day-to-day basis. You plan for grand things, the ones that can change the world and you struggle with basics like devices, tools, etc give you a hard time. Life has its ways.

It was a terribly busy day yesterday. Way too many meetings and calls. To a point that I ate while I was on a call. I had to pee and I had to put 11 people on hold to do that. Which is ok. I don’t mind this at all. I like the idea of spending my time on things other than mindless consumption of all the content floating around on the internet.

But the good part is that I managed about 9000 steps towards the end of the day. I went a million times around the cramped space around my building. Thanks to the calls that allowed me to not get bored. I think I will schedule all the calls that I can control at that time so that I can walk and not get bored.

So, what happened yesterday? And what do I want to log-in here?

  1. This
  2. More and more people are moving to Goa. This means they are finding better internet and phone connectivity. And thus the Goa post needs to be updated. Done.
  3. A very very good friend was found positive. This is one of those people I care for. Damn. Hope he recovers fast.
  4. I’ve decided to stay away from any negative news of any kind. Even if it’s supposed to be funny. Including jokes, WhatsApp, tweets, and others that have been going around. I am not even hanging out on Instagram anymore. There’s way too much negativity masked as comments and critiques. If I endorse something, they would add to your life and not take things away. I had to log in about the friend (point 3) but that’s that. I don’t plan to delve any further into it. Need to practice equanimity. You know, this too shall pass.
  5. Believe it or not. I did 8 rounds of Surya Namaskar yesterday. I followed this video. I was dead by the 4th. Wanted to quit by the 6th. But persisted. I plan to do 8 more today. At least. I will see if I can push myself to do 10. The lofty goal is to be able to do 100. I don’t know how I would get the time out but let’s see.
  6. Last two days, I’ve been using Headspace on a computer (and not on a phone). This again is better. Cos I switch off phone when I do and thus there are no distractions.

Plan for the day?
Lol. Calls. What else.

Here’s the streaks…

  • Morning Pages / Meditations – 128
  • #aPicADay – 109 the quality of photos is going down everything. There’s nothing to click in the tiny place I have access to πŸ™
  • 10K steps a day –0.
  • OMAD – 0
  • #noCoffee – 41
  • #noCoke – 41
  • 10 mins of meditation – 6
  • #book2 – 0
  • Killer Boogie – 0
  • Original Work (limited time only) – 5

On to the original work. Day 6.
Yesterday I was at a point where Roshan has been diagnosed with a terminal illness and he will be dead in 14 days. He tells his mother about it. I did not write it entirely. But I did manage a part of the conversation. I had identified a few questions and pointers. I needed to find out other characters. I need a larger battle as the backdrop. And I need to generally find out what would Roshan do once he knows that he was going to die in 14 days.

Lemme introduce Roshan’s love interest.

[START]

Diksha’s family was as old as Roshan’s was. And had the same lineage. Her’s was the lineage of teachers and had the distinction of teaching even Shivaji for a brief period. She had continued to the tradition and now ran the only private school in Indapur. Like Roshan’s, she also had numerous cousins in the town and most of them were teachers at various schools, including some at her school.

Like any two old families in a tiny town, the two families knew of each other. Many people had married within each other. The relationships were more or less cordial. However, there was no way Diksha and Roshan would cross paths. They had contrasting worlds and world views. Diksha was a lot more serious and had no serious ambitions. As long as her students were happy, she was ok. Roshan on the other hand planned to move beyond to at least Mumbai in search of his dreams. The challenge was, he did not have a dream. Yet. He remained in search of opportunities.

The only time they spot meet each other during the day would be when Roshan would walk back from the temple with his mother. It was around the same time Diksha would finish her work and on the way back stop at the temple for a bit. She did she Roshan as an obedient, respectful person that took extra care of his mother. And that was that. Beyond that, she had no interest in his physique or the flurry of jokes that he seems to have handy all the time.

Neither was Roshan interested in Diksha. She was, what they call, a simpleton. A woman next door with nothing special to write home about. Probably boring as well. Plus Roshan had seen her grow alongside. The large families would meet often on various occasions and since they were both from the only two illustrious ones, they always had special status reserved for them. Most times, these interactions would happen at their respective homes. They weren’t anything like the glorious ones of the past, with each successive generation, the patch of land that they could lay claim to would get smaller and smaller. Most times these splits would be amicable. At such places, pragmatism took over the need to argue.

Except when Roshan’s family got dealt an unfair hand. Roshan’s father was the younger son and thus when the split had to be done, he was left out with parcels of land that none of his elder brothers wanted. He was content with what he was handed over. Pritha had a large part in Kishore’s decision to take what was given to him. They were happy that they got a house to live in, a gala next to the temple where his Kishore could start a business, and a barren patch further beyond the town. This is where Roshan would go on to establish his akhada.

This was clearly unfair as this was not even 5% of the total fortune that Roshan’s family should’ve inherited. If not for Diksha’s grandfather, Kishore wouldn’t have got even this much. His elder brother, Dinesh believed that as the younger brother, Kishore had no claim over any inheritance and must live on the alms. If not for the sense pounded in to his head, he would have probably got his henchmen to do the same. In fact, even now Roshan and Darpan, the two cousins would often spar.

Now Darpan was unlike his father. He believed that whatever his father gave away to Roshan’s family, he still had the rightful claim over that. But then he was a reasonable man. To a point that when the elders started talking about getting him and Diksha married, the pragmatic Diskha had no opposition to the match.

[END]

[NOTES]

Nah. Did not flow. I couldn’t think of a lot. Need to do better. Experienced deja vu while writing this! Woah! After a long time!

Also, need to think on the following…

  1. How to make Roshan likable?
  2. Can I reveal Roshan’s actions at the very end of the film? You know, he did all these because he was terminal? Similar to Sweet November.
  3. This Diksha – Roshan escapade is not happening. Seems forced. May be it’s Diksha’s pain that Roshan is trying to solve? May be Diksha knows that Roshan is terminal and is empathetic? May be she’s a doctor herself? May be she doesn’t know that he was going to die?

I just realised that I think FAR better when I am writing. Or when I am talking to others. #epiphany

Over and out!
See you guys tomorrow.

280321 – Meditations

A straight from heart post about how I spent yesterday. And the epiphany about life I had after I saw a film!

7:42. Worli. I am at a friend’s place. Yesterday I thugged it out. I ate more yesterday than what I ate in the whole of the week gone by. I hardly did any work. Apart from the meditations, I did not do anything. I ate and ate and ate. Had almost a litre of ice-cream. Drove for a bit. Saw three films (in parts) yesterday – The Equalizer, The Fellowship of the Rings and Andaz Apna Apna. Lol. What choice! Met MG. Did everything I would do if I wanted to be a vegetable. And that’s not cool at all!

There’s a lot that needs to get done on the work front. There’s a lot that needs to get done on life front. There’s a lot that needs get on health front. On every front. I have some 90 tabs open at things that are mandatory reads. I have a few writing projects that need to be done. These writing projects are the ones that I need to get the izzat, money, independence and what not. And here I am thugging it. Damn, Mr. Garg! Need to course correct. This thugging will not get you close to any of your goals.

Anyhow. Enough of being harsh on self for taking it easy for a day.

So mumbai is breaking all the records that you can imagine and there are some 6000 fresh cases everyday. They are testing about 48K people everyday. So one in 8 is testing positive. And even though this is WAAAAAY off the mark, I am assuming that each day I meet 8 or more people, I am at risk. By that metric, I have been at risk for quite some time. I need to get into containment. I am not doing anyone any service by being this person that’s out and about! So, once I am back to Andheri today or tomorrow, I am locking myself into the house. Starbucks and work be damned. I need to find a way to adapt to learn in the pigeon hole of the house I have.

I don’t talk about it much I really think that one of the core things important to the sanity of people is access to personal space. In India, we don’t talk about it much – all of us grow with limited means, even more limited space and almost non-existent idea of personal space. We fill our houses with things that we need less than once a year and unknowingly become hoarders. One of my recent Instagram posts made me realise that I am an hoarder as well and that needs to change.

More about this someday.

So lemme talk about The Equalizer, the film. It stars Denzel Washington and in all its simplicity, its the story of a retired operative that is now working a menial job at a box store by the day and thanks to his insomnia, reads at a diner by the night. Something happens that brings back the killer in him and he goes on a rampage. While I can talk about the story, the acting, the plot, the arcs and I don’t know what all, I would refrain from that. I would rather talk about the impression that it left on me and what it made me pine for. After all that’s what films are supposed to do. Or all stories for that matter.

For starters, I want to have a secret superpower that allows me to bash a hundred people at the drop of the hat if they wrong me or others that I care for. Then I like the idea of me knowing a lot about a lot of things. I also thought it was a cool thing to be able to tap in to the reserves and outplay the nemesis.

The thing that I related to the most was Denzel’s role as a mentor that is always in the shadows. Each person that he interacts with in the film, he tries to get them to see a better version of themselves. The entire story is hinged on his attempts at helping people he has no emotional attachment with. The young sex worker, the middle-aged lady at the till, the aspiring security guard and his mother. Even when he is avenging the wrongs, he gives an option to the perps (did I just used the work perp? Too much Brooklyn 99) to admit the mistake, promise to not make the mistake again and walk away.

I AM EXACTLY THAT! I want to live my life like that! Help people. Make money

I want to be a mentor to a million people and let them bask in the glory. Right now, I am far from it. Right now, I am too human and I seek validation (only to get access to more opportunities). Right now, I am nowhere and leave no impression on anyone and I definitely dont have the resources to do anything specific. I need to think more about how I live my life and how I try to make that impact.

Only if I don’t thug it out πŸ˜€

Ok, on other operational things, I am told that the new theme on this website sucks. Will probably play around with it a bit over the next few days. And I will try and get some sense in my head.

Ok enough. Time to publish.

Here’s the streak.

  • Morning Pages – 107. If there was one day when I was going to miss the morning pages meditations was today. But here I am with the post. Yay!
  • #aPicADay – 87
  • 10K steps a day – 0
  • OMAD – 0
  • #noCoffee – 18
  • #noCoke – 18
  • 10 mins of meditation – 0
  • #book2 – 0

180321 – Morning Pages

The morning pages has evolved into a friend of sorts where I go and rant and cry and wail about things that I cant talk to anyone else about. Here’s one such post.

6:38 AM

For all the ‘living in public’ that I want to do, there’s something that I want to talk to someone about and I don’t know who to. And it involves someone else and without putting names or context, it would be of no use. So, at some point of time in life, I want to be able to write about it in public. But as of today, it will go on my echoChamber. It is big enough that it’s making me rethink my entire way of working / living / thinking / doing. Anyhow. Later.

Before I go ahead, the track of the day is this.

Next. The folks at Producerland announced their lineup of people that they have selected. I saw their profiles and I am slightly disappointed with it. Of course, one large reason is that I did not get through, but the other big one is that a lot of those people are from established production companies in India. I don’t think those people need networking. They are anyway in the market with access to capital, ideas, and talent. It is people like me that need it. Oh, Debasmita, the writer and producer at Bin Bulaaye made it. So that is nice. I don’t work with her anymore but she is exactly the kind that will benefit from this. Super ideas, talented at multiple things, great human being, interested in telling stories that have legs beyond song and dance.

Oh, while writing this, an epiphany happened. I use this blog as a friend. In the sense, I talk about things that I don’t know who else to talk about. Most of my friends do not understand the world I operate in. My family has no clue what I do. My Board of Directors often does not get context. The significant other is almost non-existent. And in absence of all these, I think it is this blog that gives me some sort of grounding. I can blurt out what’s on my head. I get the load out of the way and I can do more things. In fact, each morning, I look up to waking up and writing on morning pages. I often make notes while I sleep, about things that I would write the next day. And then I write! And then I feel so light that I could fly away ;P Ok. Enough.

So, food. Remember how I spoke about my izzat being at stake yesterday? I said…

I have to have to HAVE TO avoid hospitals at all costs. I need to get going. So, here’s the thing. I will gun for a 2-days fast. And then I will go on for as long as I can. Really. This time I will do it.Β Izzat ki baat hai.Β I will eventually add some sort of workout to my regimen. But I need to get the hernia operated on before that. Maybe I will start with dance or yoga?

From Morning Pages on 17th Mar.

I ate breakfast, a lunch, an evening snack, an ice-cream around dinner, and then a dinner! There is no way I am going to lose weight :(. The saving grace is that I did walk some 14K steps. And that too purposefully. Phew!

The excuse I gave myself is that I had a COVID scare and I need to eat and get nutrition but now the test has come out and it tells me that I am negative. So that’s ok. And yeah, the test is as uncomfortable as you imagine it to be. I hate hospitals!

Wait. I will try again today. I will try and not eat. Let’s see how it goes. I just need to get started.

I think this is about it. No. Wait. Another thing. Yesterday I learned the importance of money. Or the lack of it.

While I was fuming and I did not have anyone to talk about it, I took to Twitter and posted a rant about how I am gareeb and all that. The trigger was that that there are way too many things I want to do and none of them will probably make money and thus I will have to keep pouring money into those things and that means I will need to have infinite money. Right now, I am very far from it. And there’s no way I can seem to find a solution to my money woes. I mean I have some work on my plate these days and if this continues, I will be ok. But the large, infinite source of capital that I may need is still missing πŸ™

While I was wailing in misery, Ajeet Sir had an interesting perspective on my quandary. Here…

From AK’s tweet here.

Now, this is super duper interesting. Multiple reasons. A, he validated that I have the ability! Yay! External validation #ftw! B, he slapped me on the face that I dont put in the effort. I dont know how to put efforts. I need to get out of the current financial mess that I have got myself into and along the way find an answer to this. I think I need to relook at how I operate in life. I think I am ok with taking risks. The thing that I suck at is ability to convert those risks into actionable, tangible steps that take me closer to where I want to be. I need some sort of a coach or something. Damn…

Anyhow, I am done with the pages. Feel a little relieved that what I was earlier. Let’s see how today is. So that. And to end the post, here’s the streaks…

  • Morning Pages – 96
  • #aPicADay – 77
  • 10K steps a day – 1
  • OMAD – 0
  • #noCoffee – 8
  • #noCoke – 8
  • 10 mins of meditation – 0
  • #book2 – 0

160321 – Morning Pages

Quick update on the COVID scare, chasing rockstars across the world, inability to stay hungry for 48 hours. And more.

7:00. Hello hello. Morning!

So I got the COVID-19 scare yesterday.

Someone I met on Wednesday of last week got COVID. And I was in a closed room with him for about an hour. And then I sat in that room and ate. And that meant I am at high risk. Since then I’ve met quite a few people (and I have been to various Starbucks outlets). If I had to trace all the people I met and all the places I was to, the list would run into miles!

As I was making that list, thankfully I was told that they traced their source of infection and it’s from someone they met after they met me. So I am more or less safe. Phew!

Even though I don’t have any symptoms, I am more or less safe. I would still get myself tested to be sure. I owe it to all those people that I met that I am not a carrier and if I am, I need to alert those people.

Also, apart from this gentleman, there are few more people that I know that are really close that have been infected. So, the pandemic is clearly not over. Those numbers of some 1500-2000 daily cases don’t paint the real extent of the pandemic. And since everyone is almost out and about and is being careless about things, I am imposing some news rules on myself. Here they are.

  • 1/ Avoid closed, confined spaces for a few days. Goodbye, Starbucks :(.
  • 2/ Never take off the mask even if it’s a meeting that requires me to show my face.
  • 3/ Get a lot more particular about using a sanitizer.
  • 4/ Start working on my immunity (you know, Vitamin C, workout, etc). Lol. Workout.

I am also closeting myself at home for the next 2-3 days, just to be sure. That means, my productivity would take a hit. And that means I need to thank the decision to buy a writing table all those years ago (I think I bought my table in 2014 or something when I lived with Satya at Nahar). Back then I was clearly the guy who liked the idea of buying things. I don’t know when I became that pseudo-minimalist that did not want anything in the house and is ok with just a mattress plonked onto the floor and call it home.

Also, I have realized that the kind of life I live, I meet so many people all the time. If I were to ever get it, I would be at very very high risk. You know, super-spreader.

Anyhow. Moving on.

Here’s the track of the day…

Jagjit Singh was a magician!

While listening to Jagjit Singh today, I realized something. I want to be a part of the crew for a rockstar (or a religious leader, a musician, a speaker, or someone that people across the world are willing to pay money for) that travels the world. I mean, do a search on Youtube for ‘Jagjit Singh in Concert’ and you’d see that he’s been to EACH corner of the world with his crew. If you see some of the videos, you’d spot similar faces as backing musicians. I am sure even the crew would be more or less same. What if I am part of such a crew? I could actually be traveling the world and will get to entertain people and make money and all that. Everything I want in life will happen!

I remember when I did events, we used a talent management agency and people from that agency would travel along with the artists. While they added almost zero value, they did get to travel. I need to figure if I could become someone like that. #note2self.

But wait.

I don’t want a new career option per se. I need to get some sort of a war chest. Right now the coffers are empty. This is one of those rare times when I want to say no and want to be ok with where I am. Rather than chasing the rockstars, I will merely figure what I can augment that allows me to travel and meet more people with what I am doing. Let’s see. Another #note2self.

In other news, I had decided yesterday that I’d try to fast for 48 hours. I was ok till about 8 PM (about 20 hours) but then thanks to all the thoughts in my head about the COVID thingy, I got stressed enough to order food on a whim. And I ate. And then I ate some chips. And then I ate another full meal. And I ate a dessert. In all, I would’ve had some 2000 calories. Grrr. There is no way am getting fit. Any of you has any ideas?

Coming to streaks…

  • Morning Pages – 94
  • #aPicADay – 75 (at least)
  • 10K steps a day – 0 (couldn’t manage 10K)
  • OMAD – 1 (ate between the window of 8 and 10 PM)
  • #noCoffee – 6
  • #noCoke – 6
  • 10 mins of meditation – 0
  • #book2 – 0

And with that, it’s a warp for the morning pages. Time to get some work done. From home where I live. Damn!

PS: I must talk about home. And how where I live is not really home. Let’s see when I get to it.

190221 – Morning Pages

Quick post today. Did not have time to write, format, edit, spell-check etc.

Read at peril.

4:59 AM

I slept at 2ish. I was up at 4ish. I have way too much work on my plate and thus this thievery of sleep. I know this is not good but I have to juggle this. On top of this, people I care for are being dicks and that’s affecting my output. But I shall remain calm and carry on.

I will write this alongside work. I will steal moments and every time I take a break I will write this. I have a question to start things with. What to do about morning pages on days like today? I mean I don’t have a minute to die and yet I want the non-stop streak? Do I just log in and post a para and get over with it? Or do I actually prioritize this over others? Do I not count the days I don’t write 1000 500 words?

5:43. Met ASTwitter yesterday. He gave me a reality check. I am lucky to have him around in my life. He asked me tough questions about what I am doing in life (when I told him am thinking to shuttle between Mumbai and Goa). He made me realize that I am being an irrational fool. Something RGMDI has told me often! Thing is, if I cant convince him, I don’t think I can convince anyone else. He makes me see the mirror and unlike all the other people I know, he’s super blunt!

6:37. I like this. Work deeply without interruptions. Break. Write something random. Probably forget what was clouding your head at 4:59. Think of things to write. Recommend music. Like, right now, am listening to this one

7:44. Took a break. Showered. Waiting for clock to hit 7:54 so that I can leave for Starbucks. I am so fucked with work. I am going to get so many stinkers that it’s not funny. Anyhow.

While I was showering, an epiphany happened. Probably cos of this stranger I met yesterday at Starbucks. So this girl walked up to the community table that I generally sit on. She goes, can I sit here. I was like, sure. And then she said, without me asking, I went to give up and I just could not. Took me a while to understand what she was talking about. Once it dawned on me, of course, I had to intervene. We got talking and she was there for an hour or so. We talked and I hope she went home fine and she’s ok now. The point is while talking to her, I revealed all the darkest secrets about me – you know, problems with work, money, relationships, Mumbai, Goa, life, et al. And I realized that it is super duper easy to talk to a stranger. I’ve never felt this comfortable talking to anyone about my issues. Not even to SG2, VG, VK, or AG (le seale, tera naam aa gaya). May be that’s why I depend on a blog? Maybe that is what inspires me to live in public?

Another thing I realized is that when going gets tough, pushy-ness often tilts you over the edge. Like right now, I am being pulled in like 5 directions by 5 people. And I am this close to giving up. But of course, I cant. Again, that’s not the point. The point is that I just need to become less pushy with people around me. I’ve seen how toxic things and work and cultures can get. I need to become nicer.

The last thing I am realising now is that I am getting old. You know, how it creeps up on you? I was very sure of pulling an all-nighter today. But guess what? I fell asleep and couldn’t finish my things. Growing old is no fun πŸ™

So that.

I think that’s about it. Need to move my butt. Need to decide what to do of the morning pages on the day when I don’t have Internet. Or when I have so much work that I cant write. Like today.

It’s 7:54. Gotta go.

170221 – Morning Pages

A longish post where I have dumped all that is clouding my head. I talk about Mumbai, Goa, Money, Work, Shah Rukh Khan and more!

7:43 AM.

Am at a Starbucks. The Powai one. This is where I wrote most of #tnks from way back in 2013. Or was it 2014? Whatever it was. I used to love the early morning grinds (this one opens at 7 AM) and flurry of words that would come out. Truth be told, I miss it. I mean I still live a tiny hop away from Starbucks (4 of them!) but for some reason, the one at Powai feels like home. Things have changed – your know, ambiance, people, staff partners, what I do in life but for some reason, the Powai Starbucks feels like home!

So, the morning pages. I have quite a few things to dump on paper. I am not sure if I would have the time. I have a LOOOOOOOOoooot of things to work on. Actually, lemme start with that.

Work. So thanks to COVID and the general fuckery with which I live my life, I am struggling to make ends meet (no wonder! Mr. Garg, you are wasting 500 bucks on average coffee, you dumb-wit!) and as a result, I took on everything that came my way. Most of these things are where I need to create make. And that means I am left with very little time or energy to do things. And that means I am unable to make things move. Remember what I spoke about movement the other day? And what Sheba told me as well? That!

So, I need to find more work where I am paid well for being a mere manager. You know, not invest a lot of time and get paid for experience and expertise. Right now, I am slugging it out like a modern slave. I am paid for my time. I exchange money for time. I am not getting rich while I sleep. The hourly rate that I charge can continue to go up but at the end of the day, I am paid for the hours that I put in! And that has to change. Naval has talked about this so many times that it’s impossible to miss it. I just need to find a way to get to a point where I no longer need to charge for my time. So, that.

This is also related to what PG has been saying for years – Maker and Manager. PS: PG is probably the best essayist that we have on the Interner right now. Do read his stuff. Gold.

So that’s first thing I need to work on. Someone, help me please!

Moving on. So this trip to Mumbai (wow, did I say this trip to Mumbai?), I have been indulging – you know, watching TV, spending money and all that. And you know what I realized? I like love to spend money. The only pair of shorts I have, it was housing dirt and muck and I don’t know what else from at least 3 months. And since I don’t have a washing machine or help or even the time to let it dry after I wash it, I had to buy another one. I bought the exact same one and I loved the feeling of swiping my card on a machine at an almost fancy store (Marks and Spencer). And I am wearing it today. And I feel good about it. In fact, I was out with a friend last night (well, thug life) and while talking both she and I agreed on the following relationship between money and happiness. I call these ‘SG’s Rules of Scarcity or Abundance of Money‘. These are not really my original thoughts but a mere articulation of what I’ve read and what I understand about it.

Here we go…

  1. While money may not buy you happiness, it definitely makes your life comfortable. If you are indeed sad, you’re better off being sad in the comfort of your plush home (or the backseat of a Merc) than being sad at a place that doesn’t offer you any privacy. You know, in shared accommodations, large families, Internet (lol!), etc.
  2. While money may or may not make you happy, not having money will definitely make you sad. I am the biggest living, breathing, moving, thinking testimony of this. I operate at my best when I am comfortable.
  3. Money gives you the freedom to do what you want to do. And this ability (or inability) to do things that you want to is often is the root cause of happiness (or sadness).
  4. Money allows you to control your time. You become the master of your time and this mastery is what drives happiness or sadness in large parts.

Am sure, there are more. I will write them in a separate post and publish em here. But one thing’s for sure. I love money. I love earning And I love to spend. I can’t wait for the achche din to be back. Come on, Universe!

So that’s that. The next thing? Happy Accidents. At the Starbucks, I bumped into an old acquaintance. This is what I love about places like Mumbai and Starbucks. These places allow for serendipity to happen. Plus, there is something about a hug that a Zoom can never make happen. We are social animals and while we adapt fast (and we will), at least for me, the handshakes are as important as breathing. I just hope that I am not obsoleted to a minority that still wants to meet IRL. Sigh. That’d be sad.

Once I understood the power of living at hubs, I have tried hard to find those and move there. The move to Andheri helped me like mad. If only I had some passive source of income, I would have done a lot more. Wait…

Wait.

Epiphany just happened.

I just dawned onto me that I love Mumbai WAY too much to not live here (#facepalm). Even though I don’t have anyone here that I can call my own. Even though I hate the dirt and the filth and mess and all that. Even though the place is expensive af. But I love the convenience of living in a big city. I love that I can dream here. Unlike in other cities. I like the idea that people are open. For ideas, conversations, business, work, and all that.

But then I like the idea of being a rootless bird as well. I loved the time I spent in Goa (for all the fuckery around the Internet) and I am getting serious about a cafe in Goa. I’ve made a few phone calls, have connected with a few folks, have started to do the maths! Again, I am not sure about it. I will let it simmer in my head and see where it goes.

The point is, while I was in Goa, I loved it. Now that I am in Mumbai, I love this. I am easily swayed I guess! Let’s see where I go life takes me and what I choose and what’s in store for me. To be honest, I am very very ok with the ambiguity and randomness and all that. Just that I need to be comfortable πŸ˜€

There’s one thing though that I’d like to know. How would the world change with WFH and all that? I tend to believe that places and things that thrive on IRL human connection will continue to remain in vogue. You know places like Mumbai and businesses like films. And things that do not need you to be in the same room as others, may change radically. Places like Silicon Valley and things like technology and software.

So that. Any ideas?

Before I move to the next thing, am at 9:47. Been writing for two hours now! And I still have a lot to write about! Lemme use bullets to take notes and I will probably pick these up tomorrow. And in case I don’t, at least I would send these to my Roam.

  1. SRK (who else but Shah Rukh Khan). I dont know where to start talking about him. Or where to end. He is, well, one of his kind.
  2. Met Sid Saahil from TID Podcast yesterday and shared notes. Learned that despite him coming from an affluent background, he hustles 10X harder than what AD and I engage in at Podium. We have to pull our socks. Such rude shocks are required once in a while to keep us on course. Will write a Twitter thread about the lessons from the meeting.
  3. A documentary on Aram Nagar. I was at Aram Nagar yesterday. Realized that someone needs to make a documentary about it. I mean it is as iconic a place as any and the contributions of Aram Nagar to Bollywood has been immense! I wonder why it’s not been captured so far? May be it has been, just that I haven’t seen it yet.
  4. Writing Tips. A few days ago, I started a series of writing tips. Primarily to friends that are nonwriters. Here’s the first one. You can join the no-spam, admin-posts-only WA group here.
  5. Someone asked me what was I doing when I was 31. I had no answer. When I asked her to tell me the year (I was 31 in 2013), I could remember with great clarity where I was! I always thought people operated in terms of ages but I realized I operated in years. Dunno what to make of it. I just found it interesting and amusing. Here’s a question for you. What do you remember better? Age? Years? And what were you doing when you were 11? 21? 31? 41? 51? Do tell me!
  6. Another conversation yesterday made me realise that you need to find underserved markets that could be immensely boring! Cases in point? Recruitment for young startups, digital marketing for mom and pop shops, content farms etc etc. These are really boring and non-sexy businesses and yet they deliver exceptional opportunity!

So yeah. That.

I know it’s a lot for a day. Guess this was a long time coming. Am glad that I could finally pour things out. I just need to continue with the flow and get going on #book2. And no, I am clearly not working on #book2 today either πŸ™

310121 – Morning Pages

More of a journal on how I spent the day yesterday than anything else. Read if you want to. Skip if you may.

10:37. I am up since 7. I slept at 330 something. And this is not the first thing I am doing. Plus, this is not what I had planned for today (yesterday I thought that today I would write about only #book2 and nothing else, but I am not). Which is ok. Idea is to dump my thoughts in public. Plus, I wrote these notes on my phone last night and I am merely editing. Plus, I haven’t brushed my teeth. TMI? Lol!

With these few disclaimers, here we go!

So yesterday was special. And nice. I was part of the session that we at Podium did to get some startups to meet Dr. Malpani. We had a cracker of a time and I learned so so much. Here are my notes…

via @saurabh

I have to mention the great folks at Design Centre – not just they have the best Internet anywhere in Goa (the parts to where I have been), they are incredibly kind as well. They are normally shut on Saturdays but at my request, they kept space opened. I am so grateful for the kindness of strangers. Need more people like that.

Another example of kindness yesterday was when I spoke to Sheba. Sheba is a life coach, a busy one at that and yet she took out time to chat with me about things clouding my head. I can’t say I found answers but it’s uncanny that she pointed out the exact same thing that I felt stifled for. Movement. I even wrote about it a few days ago (point 5). More on it some other day (once I have processed all that Sheba and I talked about). Someone has to remind me πŸ˜€

Finally, I paid the salaries of my team. I was late by a day (I try and pay on the last working day of each month) but I did pay within the month. Had to take on another tranche of loan. But that’s ok. This is the last month I am doing so. If I dont get anything substantial, I will get a naukri. Whatever it pays me.

So that’s that.

Apart from these two few sparks, yesterday was kind of disappointing. I was supposed to fast for 48 hours. I lasted all of 25. While 25 in itself may sound like a large number, the thing is, I can do 24 easily. Without breaking a sweat. And thus, to make the task worth investing time and effort into, I had decided on a 48-hour one. But I could not.

I can blame it on all the work I needed to do and all the stress that made me break it. But come on. I am better than that. Remember Marshmallows? To make it worse, I ate at the McD. But then that was the only place where I could sit with a computer for a while and get some work done (remember I was up till 330?). Of course, I could’ve worked from Rajesh sir’s place but I need some action around me when I work. I need people, movement, activity, non-descript chatter, and all that. I need a public place. I can’t work from home. Even if I have the fanciest home in the world!

Lemme tell you another story.

When they eventually shut at 3 and I was on my way back, I passed by this road-side thela selling Maggi. On some random hunch, I took a U-turn. Asked the old man and the woman (she looked like his wife) manning the thela to make me an anda-Maggi. Nah, it was nothing to write home about, to be honest, but while I waited for them to prepare my order, a few things dawned onto me. Lemme try to articulate those.

The poverty and contentment. The anda-Maggi cost me 80 bucks. Their direct input cost is at least 30 (Maggi + Eggs), just for the raw material. Then there is consumables (salt, pepper, gas etc), regular expenses (packing material, water, electricity etc), capital investment (the thela, pans, pots, spatula, etc), and of course miscellaneous expenses (bribes, cartage, etc). I am not even talking about the money that they’d charge for their time. I am not sure if what they run is a profitable business. But the two of them looked in peace in the company of each other. They were smiling at some inside jokes, gossiping about what I am assuming are other local fixtures, and of course, trying their best at my order. They were content in their poverty (I am assuming, of course).

The company is the reward. For them, it looked like that all that mattered was the company of each other. And the order they were working on. And that’s that. They did not seem perturbed by the farmer’s protest, COVID-19 crisis, drunks falling over each other on the main road where their thela is, the latest Kapoor to have got onto Insta or ever what day it was. Compare to me. I have so much happening in my life that I don’t even know where to start the list from.

The love, camaraderie, togetherness. I loved their camraderie. Their togetherness. Their compassionable silence. I hope they stay like that forever.

Oh, they made an epiphany happen. They made me realize something about myself (something that I probably knew deep down but never admitted). That I crave for company. I may be the biggest introvert and I may be trying to live in public but I need company. And I need physical intimacy. No, I am not talking about sex per se. I want to be able to hug others. Touch them. Feel their handshakes. Smell them. See their frailty, ogle at their smiles, pull their legs. In real life. All this. And more. With my people. Not with strangers. Not with those one-night stands. Not with acquaintances. Not with all the random junta that I know. Even though I want to know everyone and their nani-nana and dadi-dada. I have to be physically around my people. And I am anything but that. My parents are in Delhi. SG2 is like saat samandar paar. We as a family are anyway not really touchy-feely. M&m are all grown up now and have started to find other people that they find cooler. The lesser I say about my love life, the better it is. Most friends that I want to hang out with seem to have become richer and cooler to continue to hang out with (no they don’t discriminate per se but their choices in life when they want to hang out? You know, places to eat at, places to travel, kind of activities they want to do? I can’t afford those. Neither do I understand them). So that. The ones that I can still access seem so ignorant to what’s happening around us (the world at large) that I cant seem to hold conversations with them.

So, I crave for company. For the reader – this is NOT a cry for help or for showering me with unwarranted attention. This is merely my thoughts. I may or may not want to act on these.

May be this is what growing old is all about? When parents told me that you’d start needing people when you are old, may be this is it? Guess so.

Also, being in Goa is not helping matters either. People are nice but they are not my people. And I take time before someone becomes my people. Plus the recent incident at the podcast has sort of shook my value system when it comes to adding people in my life.

Nah, if I were in Delhi or Mumbai, I don’t think I could help matters either. It’s a battle that I need to fight and tide over. Maybe I need to borrow Sheldon’s playbook where even the coitus with his girlfriend / wife was planned via a relationship agreement!

As I write this, I realise that most times I dont feel this need of company. There’s enough and more work that doesnt allow me to even breathe, leave alone feel lonely. Plus the never-ending search for Internet is Goa makes even work an adventure. Yesterday, if not for that old couple, I’ll try to click a picture of them, I probably wouldn’t stare at the moon and the empty road and think of all these things!

Phew! That was heavy!

So here’s something cool. My new favorite track? This.

A mashup between Shaggy and Sting. Love the groove of the track. Would love to write a track like that. Damn, there are so many things that I want to work on. To write on. On life!

So yeah.

This is it for the day.

No, no book2 today either. Too grumpy, too stuffed in the head to do anything. Guess it’s the lack of sleep and lack of movement and lack of intimacy. Lol!

The Small Space Situation

I was talking to my sis yesterday about something and an epiphany happened. I realized that the reason I don’t like to be in Delhi is, because I don’t have enough space here.

Lemme elaborate.

In terms of actual physical space, the house (the only home I’ve ever known) is spacious by all means, even lavish if I were to compare it to the Mumbai houses I’ve lived in. Plus since this home was built by my parents one thing at a time (they are from a time where you waited years before you could add another thing to your home; unlike our and the next generation where you just flash your plastic and you get free shipping), the house is full of utilitarian things that you would find in any house that’s been, well, well-lived (compared to the almost spartan houses that I am used to living in when I am in Mumbai). You name a thing and we have it at home. And it’s all hidden from plain sight. You ask your parents for the most obscure of things and it magically appears from one of the drawers or cabinets or shelves! I am sure they’ve hidden some airplane somewhere in one of those spaces that are inside those double-beds. Ah, the beds here are at least 6′ x 6′, unlike the beds in Mumbai that are smaller than the suitcase I carry when I travel abroad.

The thing that is lacking here is personal space. We live in a decent-sized house and there’s just my parents and I and while they are very very supportive and understanding and caring, they are like me.

Wait! They are not like me. I am like them! Sorry, ma, pa.

So, I am like them and just like them, I need a lot of personal space to even breathe. And since there are three of us that need large personal space, we often find ourselves jostling for it!

However, when I am in Mumbai, I am by myself and even though the houses are like cubbyholes, there’s nothing alive that can potentially encroach upon my personal space. I can play whatever music I want to at whatever volume I fancy. I can keep it as dirty as my laziness permits. Or as spic and span as my old age wants. I could have the walls bare. Or I could paint it with sticky notes where I scribble about my dreams and ideas and aspirations and thoughts and inspirations and so on and so forth.

Plus, when am in Delhi, there is a limit to what I can do (things like going out and coming back at a whim). My parents don’t really mind me doing anything, to be honest, but for some reason, I don’t want to do things that I feel will even remotely bring them inconvenience. And thus, I put shackles on how I live when I am here. And I reduce my space even more. In Mumbai, well, the only person that I have to look after, think about, is me! And that means I do things that minimize the grief that I need to go through. And since I am thinking about just myself, it’s simpler, easier, and faster.

So yeah. That. Personal Space. Or the lack thereof.

The solution?

Make enough money to be able to create an Antilla. Or maybe get an entire Island. And if not even that, live alone!

Over and out.


This is part of 30 minutes of writing everyday challenge. Missed the post yesterday. Back to writing today. Others in the series are at 3010, 3110, 0111, 0211, 0311, 0411, 0511, 0611, 0911, 1011, 1211, 1311, 1411, 1511, 1611, 1711, 1811, 1911, 2011, 2111.