010921 – Morning Pages

Today’s post talks about the sadness that September brings, the unpreparedness for the walk to EBC and a few others things.

8:27. Starbucks.

September. The month has continued to send me into inexplicable sadness. All my underachievements and failures come back to haunt me. And since I am in this zone where I am sad about things, I often make errors in judgment and that makes me more prone to mistakes. And that means things that can go wrong, start going wrong. And that means the spiral of sadness starts moving faster. And I dont know what to do about it.

So that. Lemme digress and talk about other things.

Yesterday, I was at the shoot of my next short film. While I was there, I got yelled at, despite me being the one who’s enabling all that to happen. I often dont take credit for things I do. I mean the world doesn’t stop if you stop existing. It finds its way. Always has. I just happen to be at a place at a time where I played a role that moved the ball further. Now when I do that, and I say this with all humility, I want to be anything but the person that gets yelled at.

Plus it’s getting reinforced that a producer really has no role in anything that happens. Apart from being the one that’s bankrolling the whole jingbang. I knew it to be honest but now I know it as well. So that’s that.

The action point is to stop this free flow of money to fuel other people’s dreams, unless I am the one whose work is getting created. Or I am the one that will get credit beyond a producer. And thus, I need to move onto the other side. My writing doesn’t seem to work with people. I have no clue what directing is. I am anything but acting material. Plus I dont watch a lot of films anyway. So need to think hard about this love of making films. Lemme add this to the list of things I want to think about in the break in the second half of September. Let’s see what I come up with. #toThinkOn.

Oh, the internet at the house I live at, aka, the shelter has stopped working. And funnily, I am ok to face the inconvenience of not having the Internet, when compared to the effort required to make calls to the ISP and getting it fixed. Plus, I am around for today and tomorrow. Day after I am gone.

In the happy, hopeful things to talk about, I have just about 15 days left to go for the break (and the walk to the EBC – I refuse to call it a trek. It’s a walk). I am looking forward to the experiment of not having the phone and being cut off from the world. I do plan to use a phone to make a vlog about the journey and take notes about things that I am thinking about. But that’s about it. I want to be with myself for a large part of this journey. Reduce contact to minimal. Talk when spoken to. Not distract myself with news, entertainment, or any modern, pop-culture-y thing. I’ll try to not even be that problem solver that I have this compelling obsession to be when I am in taxing situations. Let’s see how it goes.

For some reason, while I wrote the para above, I was reminded of the time I spent when I went for Vipassana. I think I must go again. I may not be able to do so in 2021 but I will try and do it sometime in 2022 for sure. #in2022.

The thing though is that Vipassana requires little in terms of physical preparedness. The walk to EBC is more taxing. And I am not ready. I have not worked out. I am not doing any breathing exercises. I refuse to wear shoes. I am eating crap all the time. I am making the walk all the more difficult. I think I need to live the next 17 days the best I can. This means, eat less and do some breathing exercises. I can’t work out, I can’t walk – not time to do this. Lots of work on my hands.

Oh, lemme get this load off my head by writing this. On the work front, I am suffering. To a point that I am back to a point where I no longer have enough coming in to keep my team together and will have to sort of seek out a loan each month to feed my team. I think things are different from the last time around (in the sense that the world has finally adopted this work-from-home thingy and people are now investing in marketing, communications, events, etc). I need to make myself different now to be able to leverage these new opportunities and create work for myself. And my team. And my Kutumb.

I also need to find an office space for myself. I can’t focus when I am at home / house / shelter. I can’t be at Starbucks all the time. Way too expensive and inefficient for the kind of work I do (meetings, selling, etc). So, once I am back, even if I choose to live in Delhi with my parents (to save on rent), I will need to find an office of sorts. Let’s see.

Been writing for about an hour now. Guess will take a break and get on with the day. Here’s the streaks…

  • OMAD – 0
  • #book2 – 0
  • #noCoke – 174
  • #noCoffee – 17
  • #aPicADay – 0
  • Money spent – 1900
  • Killer Boogie – 0
  • 10K steps a day – 0
  • Surya Namaskar – 0
  • 10 mins of meditation – 0
  • Minimaslism Counter – -2
  • Morning Pages / Meditations – 264. I think I will reach 280 or so days before I go for the trek. Let’s see. Maybe the vlog I make will be the morning pages and I will publish those on the blog?

300821 – Morning Pages

Today I talk about producing short films, being a shoulder and one of the greatest fears I have in life – the one of being treated unfairly!

7:53. Starbucks Powai.

Here for a day-long meeting. Have another meeting here tomorrow. Thankfully that’s not all day. I can be in and out. Just that travel to Ghatkopar is a pain with traffic and Metro construction and all that. It’s a sin. It’s a mortal waste of time. Anyhow. So, morning pages. A dump of what’s on my head.

So, I am constantly thinking of how I should be doing more. Wow! I have been able to capture this so well! Do more in terms of fitness, office work, relationships, and all that. This thing about wanting to do more is literally guiding my thoughts, emotions, and actions. To a point that I am living in this La La land. You know, in the sandcastles in the head. Guess I need to jolt out of it. Let’s see how and when I do that. Maybe the upcoming break from work and a computer would help. Of course, the sad part would be that I would have to break this morning pages streak that I have been on since December of last year!

Ok, enough of sadness. Let’s move on.

So, tomorrow is the first day of the next short that I am involved with. This would be the 4th film that I am part of. I have primarily been a co-producer on all these 4. For the uninitiated, a producer is primarily a financier. And then s/he does other things like getting the project together and ensuring that it works out well.

And no, most short films dont really make money. Actually, wait. I must say, a short-film that makes money is a rarity.

The deal with shorts is that the writer and / or the director gets to show their work. The crew gets one more credit on IMDB. The producer / financier is the fool that does not gain anything. Except opportunities to share stories and reels about it on Instagram. And for someone like me who doesn’t care about these bragging rights, there is no ROI. I mean I can get happy with the validation that I lent a shoulder to some people but that’s that. I can sleep a tad better with the knowledge that I acted like the giant that others could stand on the shoulder of. I can be happy that people want to play games with me (ref: yesterday’s post). But that’s that, to be honest.

I just hope at some point in time in life these things make sense. And the ones that I am lending a shoulder to remember to lend their shoulders to others.

I often think about why I support these endeavors when I dont have the money in the first place. And especially when I believe that I am wise and all that. Lol. I think I suffer from the Dunning-Kruger thingy. I mean I think I am wise but maybe I am not that wise. If it’s pinching me, why am I even trying to do things? Why can’t I just sit idle and let a corpus get built? Even if it takes years for that to happen?

I guess these are those questions that we’d never find answers to. Not that I need the answers. I mean I dont want to find out, to be honest. If I realize that I was wrong, it would break my heart. This risk of being treated unfairly by people that I support is more than the misery of taking on debt and funding my dreams. In fact, this probably is my biggest fear. I hope I dont have to face that day when I see my people being unfair. I mean I know life is unfair. Things are unpredictable. People change. Pandemics happen. But the implicit contract with my people needs to be sacrosanct. Cast in stone. Un-fuckable-with.

Ok, enough. Time to get on with work. Here’s the streaks.

  • OMAD – 0
  • #book2 – 0
  • #noCoke – 172
  • #noCoffee – 15 (wow!)
  • #aPicADay – 0
  • Money spent – 1322
  • Killer Boogie – 0
  • 10K steps a day – 0
  • Surya Namaskar – 0
  • 10 mins of meditation – 0
  • Minimaslism Counter – -2
  • Morning Pages / Meditations – 262

210821 – Morning Pages

A longish post on things at the top of my head. While writing this, I ended up stumbling upon an idea that could define who I am and help me leave a legacy!

6:51 AM.
Woke up with a mild headache. At the lower back of my head. Where you have the medulla oblongata. I get this one when I am either catching a cold. Or I am stressed. Let’s see which one of the two it is. Plus I am not been sleeping properly. In the sense that even though I haven’t had coffee in a few days, I am still wide-eyed till late in the night. I dont know what is causing this state. This phase of life, I really want it to pass by fast!

So in terms of yesterday, I started by thinking that I would eat once and that too food cooked for me, at a friend’s place. Went there. Ate that. And then cooked myself some Maggi. And then ordered some kachra. You know chips and all that. And ended the day with rice and roti and I dont know what all. I am literally dumping things in my stomach and I am hoping to lose weight and go walk up to EBC. The Fuck. I have just about 3 weeks before I am up there. I need to get my act together if I want to come back in one piece.

Am gonna fast today. Come what may. Let’s see what I am made up of. If required, I will spend a fortune at Starbucks and stay parked there. But I will not eat.

Been thinking that should I give it up. You know, the dreams and hopes and aspirations and all that and find some easy gig and retire. I am almost at the retirement age anyway.

Ok. Moving on. So over the last 2-3 days, I have seen two films. The Taking of Pelham 123 and Gone Baby Gone. Both are in the right zone that I like – some action, some adventure, a puzzle, a human thrown into a moral dilemma. And some slick work with the camera, music, and acting. Both have amazing performances – the kinds that move you and make you think and give you ideas and want you to stop those thoughts about quitting!

The desire to be in the middle of things for making films is getting stronger by the day. I can feel it. Sense it. You know how those killer dogs sniff their prey?

But then this is nothing new. I have sniffed multiple such things multiple times for multiple things. I remember, when I was in Goa last year, I was thinking of making a fortune in Goa. Before that, last year itself, I was trying to do a startup that would given me a billion dollars. More recently, I started with Long Haul Ventures thinking I would revolutionize how startups raise money. There are more examples. I mean the list of these opportunities that are just-around-the-corner is a mile long. I hope one of those comes true. Soon. Or else, you would see me as a teacher or something at some third-rate college that won’t even pay me enough money to make my ends meet and live the fancy lifestyle. You know, the one where I can fund people around me.

Anyhow. The larger lesson from these films happened when I read more about how those films came into being. Specifically when I was reading about Gone Baby Gone. The film stars Casey Affleck. And is directed by his brother Ben Affleck. Ben happens to be a childhood friend of Matt Damon, another accomplished actor, and more. While each of those people has gone onto do great things, it’s unreal how they help each other, support each other and ensure that they see success together. If I could leave a lesson to the young kids, I would say, they need to find collaborators, friends, and bouncing boards early in life. #teamSG

Oh, there’s a similar story about Leo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt being buddies for a long time and collaborating. Those salons in Europe when it was the intellectual and artistic capital of the world is famous for spawning friendships and collaborations and supporting each other, even if these friends were not in the same industry. I mean you could be a painter that knows a writer and in case someone asks for a writer, you would recommend the friend you know and give whatever inputs you can give.

I must re-create these salons. I must seed opportunities for young people to meet each other. You know, a curated list of young kids that I have met and I throw them in a room with other young kids that I feel has the potential. Come to think of it, this could be an idea. You know, to reinvent success. Can I do this at a commercial scale? Run a structured business where I identify talent, take that person thru the things I feel are important to become long-term thinkers and then let them “graduate” once they have a friend or two that they can work with together for a long long time to come. Fuck, interesting! #parkedideas. Must think about this on the upcoming road trip and the trek. #sgP1

Oh, btw, these friendships that I am talking about, are not like Bollywood where entire dynasties are engaged in the business of films. Where your merit may or may not count as long as you share the same last name.

So that. I am excited!

Ok, need to move on. It’s almost 7:45. Starbucks awaits. The packing and all that shall happen once I am back. Two things are the mantra for the day. Dont while time on things that dont add up. Fast.

And here’s streaks…

  • OMAD – 0. I am attempting a fast today. Let’s see.
  • #book2 – 0
  • #noCoke – 163
  • #noCoffee – 6
  • #aPicADay – 0
  • Money spent – 886
  • Killer Boogie – 0
  • 10K steps a day – 0
  • Surya Namaskar – 0
  • 10 mins of meditation – 0
  • Minimaslism Counter – -2
  • Morning Pages / Meditations – 253

140821 – Morning Pages

A shortPost to start the day. Minds blank and I dont know what to write. So, short post.

7:00. Woke up a few minutes ago. The highlight of yesterday has to be that I could manage OMAD. Even though I ate a ton of crap while I ate yesterday, but I ate it all in one go. And no ice cream. No sandwiches. No snacks before or after that. If I can do OMAD today again, I think I can start a streak. Plus, it’s a well-established fact that unless I have someone apart from me, I can’t work out. I will need a coach or something for when I start the workout. The only thing I can do for the time being is to control what I eat. So that. Need to try and eat only one time today. And maybe, whatever I decide to eat, I will try and order something “healthy”.

So that.

The highlight of yesterday was a meeting with a writer to talk about a short film that we may get to make at RCP and C4E. While I may not agree with a lot of things that people are doing with the film, I think I am one of those that let others decide and do things. You know, I dont interfere and pile on random ideas that I am brimming with all the time. I just hope that I am able to make my own film someday. The way things are going, I think it’s tough.

Brings me to another thing that is buried somewhere in my conscious. A head-on plunge into the world of films. I have thought that once I have taken care of my debt and I have enough in the bank to live without pay for 3 years, I will plunge into the world of filmmaking. Like head-on. And do things for free if I have to. But will be in the thick of things and start from the bottom up, if required. I would be 40+ in all probability unless some miracle happens. But whenever that happens, I will be there. Late bloomers you know. #lifeGoal!

And then I will give 5ish years or so to films before jumping the gun and going back to the next profession. Lol! WTF am I on? I think I remain as fickle-minded as I was since I was a kid.

Sigh. No more words.

Anyhow. Time to get going with the day. Here’s streaks

  • OMAD – 1
  • #book2 – 0. Have missed this three days in a row. Thankfully Starbucks is open today. And thus I can try and get some words on. Let’s see.
  • #noCoke – 156
  • #noCoffee – 0. Had two. Venti. Tall. Americano.
  • #aPicADay – 0
  • Money spent – 1030
  • Killer Boogie – 0
  • 10K steps a day – 2
  • Surya Namaskar – 0
  • 10 mins of meditation – 0
  • Minimaslism Counter – -2
  • Morning Pages / Meditations – 246

120721 – Morning Pages

While talking to a friend last night, epiphany happened. And here’s a record of that.

6:20. Woke up a few minutes ago. I feel ok. Not as full of energy as I would want to be. But then, not drowsy either. It’s fascinating to see bodily functions come to life. On today’s agenda, before anything else (and after these morning pages) is Surya Namaskars. And if all goes well, 10K steps, at least. And unless I am running late, I am not taking lifts for up to 10 stories.

Today’s gonna be a busy day. A lot needs to be done. And most things were to be done as of yesterday. So, a busy day indeed!

Yesterday, they released information about a film based on Navrasa. The film is an anthology of stories, being made by Maniratnam. And that means it will be a great piece of cinema to watch. And that means people would be more aware of the concept from here on. And that means that my book2 will always be considered inspired by this. While I am ok with the comparison and all that, the lesson for me is that I need to do things fast. Soon. Even if I am not prepared.

In fact, I was having another conversation with someone about something similar. I was talking about how as an artist it is important to ship your work — books, paintings, poems, etc. And to be able to ship, you MUST seek whatever help you can get access to. I mean if you write, get an editor. If you paint, you must get apprentices to help you visualize. I believe that the lone genius needs an army of believers to enable the creation to come out. I can give many anecdotal pieces of evidence to support this. The point is, I needed to get the second book out in 2015. The first half of 2021 is over and even after 6 and half years, I am far from any sort of shipping. So that.

Anyhow. Let’s see when the book happens.

So, while chatting with SNR about work and life, I said something interesting. This is the first time I’ve said that out loud. In fact, it’s the first time I even thought about it – consciously or subconsciously. I actually said two things.

A, I like the idea of project business. You know, where you have a lot of work for some time. And then you have long periods of no-work time. I then said the second and more important thing.

B, Which is that I would thus love to be in the films business. When I am working on a film, I will have nothing else to work on and will be so busy that it’s not funny. And when I am not on a film, I will have such a large amount of idle time that I can while it away by reading, learning, reflecting, and all that.

And then I said something that was even a revelation to me. I said that over the next two years, I want to make enough and save money to be able to pay off the debt. And then save some more to last me two years. And in those two years, I will jump head-first into filmmaking. I will use the savings to pick up whatever work I can get and learn like an apprentice and then see where things lead me. So that!

I did not know that I wanted to make films this bad. That I am willing to let go of all that I have to be able to be part of the films business. May be it’s not the films per se but the lust to control how I spend my time!

So that. I dont know if I’d be able to do this in the next two years. Only time will tell. Let’s see where it goes.

So yeah. That. There are more things I can write about but that was the major epiphany that happened over the weekend. Guess it could happen because I didn’t do anything important or substantial over the last two to three days.

Other insignificant things that are worth noting are…

  1. Eating like a pig. Out of famine. Not cool. Today, I will try to fast. And if not that, OMAD for sure. And even with OMAD, will pick food that has less carbs.
  2. Slacking with work. To a point that I will probably get fired. So need to change that.
  3. Not using my time better. While there is a calendar that I use per se, I need to get attached to it so much that I don’t do anything that is not on my calendar.

Guess that’s about it. Can’t think of the 4th 😀

Need to get on with the day. And some Surya Namaskars to start with the day. Let’s see if I can do 12 😀 Update. I did 12. With this as a companion video!

And, as I start my day, here’s streaks.

  • OMAD – 0
  • #book2 – 0
  • #noCoke – 123
  • #noCoffee – 12
  • #aPicADay – 0
  • Killer Boogie – 0
  • 10K steps a day – 0
  • Surya Namaskar – 0. Even though I did today, will add to streak from tomorrow.
  • 10 mins of meditation – 0
  • Morning Pages / Meditations – 213