240521 – Pause. Move.

I talk about how I finally managed to not feel sleepy during the day yesterday! And a few other things.

6:20 AM
Woke around 6. Scrolled the feeds of Instagram, Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, and Whatsapp. In that order. While still in bed. Yeah, installed all these apps yesterday. After a hiatus of a few days. Realized that I need constant engagement and action and interruptions. I need to be moving all the time. No, not cool. Will come back to this later. Time to make a log of things on top of my head.

So yesterday was the second day on the trot when I worked from a friend’s place. And it was the second day when I was not sleepy during the day. I think it’s the unavailability of the bed. Or may be it’s the fact that I am away from home. However, his place has two issues that I need to solve. A, there’s no desk that I can sit and work on. There’s a table but it’s cramped. Plus, it’s his. I need mine. Second, there’s no AC and in Mumbai, life without AC sucks. Nah, the unavailability of good chairs don’t affect me. I anyway move around a lot.

A solution is to order a desk on Ikea or something. I like Lagkapten. I know he will find space to put it. I think I will. If I go to his place one more day and spend more than 7 hours working, I will order. Let’s see.

The other thing yesterday was that I attended the second day of the Docedge pitching session. I have to say and I don’t say this loosely or frivolously, it was a transformative experience. I will write a longer post on it soon. But thanks to Docedge, I know the kind of stories I want to tell. Non-fiction (or at least inspired by non-fiction), human-first stories that shift the way we think, the way we approach life, and the way we operate. While masala, mass-market Bollywood films are great and help us escape, it is these human stories that move me as a person. I think this is what filmmaking ought to be – real, alive, human-first.

In fact, if you look at the kind of films I like (Sarkar, Swades, Chak De come to mind), while these may sound like Bollywoody, star-studded fictional narratives, at a deeper level, each has a thread of humans and their struggle for finding meaning. There’s a definitive human purpose that the protagonist in each is trying to seek. I am at a loss for words right now but at some point, I will write this at length.

The third thing I have on my head is this entire debate on having your work out there. Or continuing to remain anonymous and chip away till you have chiseled an entire David and then talk about things. I have remained an anonymous antelope all my life and I like that. But I now realize I need to be out there. I need to get shameless about projecting myself and cultivating an image that allows me to get access to more opportunities. It will be a big big move. I have already started to be honest. This podcast is out with me being me, in full glory on video. But then, I am yet to “market” it! I can no longer claim that my picture is not on the internet. I routinely put it on dating websites now. I just need to make the shift in my head and start putting myself out there. I don’t know if it’s the shame at how uncouth I am. Or if it’s the deeper guilt at my underachievement. There’s some deeper emotion at play and I need to tilt that out of my system.

Oh, yesterday, a couple of friends from Goa send a few messages. Even though I may not subscribe to the susegad lifestyle and choices, I for some reason craved to be out there with them. Maybe it’s their eccentricity. Maybe because these were the only people I’ve hung out with lately. Maybe the conversations with them were deeper and richer and beyond the rigmarole that we have in a large city. Maybe because we were closer to nature. I am not sure but I wished I had easier access to them.

In fact, each passing day I am thinking of moving on from Mumbai to Goa. And then keep shuttling as and when required. I know it’s not advisable that you straddle two boats at the same time but then I am one of those that believe that Ajay Devgan could have continued on with his life like that.

Not just bikes, our man has been on cars and even trucks!

I know Goa doesn’t offer me reliable, stable Internet. I know Goa doesn’t have the ecosystem and amenities that I need (Starbucks, AC, people around me who want to work, public transportation et al) but I know that there’s something about the place that attracts me. Or may be, I just was to escape from where I am.

Damn I love the idea of being on the move all the time.

I know I had given myself till the end of May to figure out my next destination. I am yet to take that decision. Let’s see what happens.

Anyhow. So as I end this, here’s a gift for you. A playlist of music I listen to as I drift to sleep. Here.

Guess this is about it for the day. Here’s streaks.

  • Morning Pages / Meditations – 162
  • #aPicADay – 0
  • 10K steps a day – 0
  • OMAD – 0
  • #noCoffee – 0, I will probably remove this. I am making coffee a constant companion.
  • #noCoke – 74
  • 10 mins of meditation – 0
  • #book2 – 0
  • Killer Boogie – 0
  • Surya Namaskar – 0

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 🙁
  • 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.

260221 – Morning Pages

I talk about two interesting things. 1, Goa and home. 2, optionality. Read on.

8:22. The balcony at Rajesh Sir’s house, Goa. Back here after 15 odd days.

A funny thing happened yesterday. When I came here after a month, for some reason, it felt like homecoming. I am not kidding. I am not the one to get attached to places etc but this time, the house felt like home. Maybe because I was here at a time when a lot was happening in my life and I did not know what to do. A lot is still happening but this place was my solace in the toughest time. I am so grateful that I have him in my life.

Moving on.

I need to take a big decision about what I want to do in life. I have a couple of options where I can exchange my time for money, make ends meet and get back to some sort of stability. While all these things sound great on paper, I know that in the long-run for a 38-year old like me, these things don’t add up. Plus, salary is addictive.

One of the things I am thinking about while making this decision is Naval’s riff on optionality. He operates in a way that allows him to maximize optionality. As a salaried person, the odds of you increasing optionality go down. Unless you are like Rajan Anandam where you, by design, need to interact with people from diverse backgrounds and those backgrounds help you do more.

When choosing things for myself, I need to work towards creating optionality. Now, what creates optionality? Well, things that allow you to do more than what your job entails. If you are a doctor, there are fairly limited things that you can do. I mean you can treat people and heal them and all that but that’s that. Unless you are an exception that can, may be, write. Of course, as a doctor, you’d have a good life but that’s that. If you are a coder, on the other hand, you can create a thing like Bitcoin that allows you to live a life independent of your practice. Similarly, if you are a senior executive with some pharma company, you are limited to doing what your JD entails. If the company were to shut down, where would you go? Of course, if you are paid a bomb, you can invest tiny parts into businesses that have the potential of growing into larger ones. That creates optionality. In fact, subconsciously, I have lived all my life in a way that I have an option open in terms of what I want to do.

So that.

What else. Yeah. Fitness. Last few days I have been feeling unwell. I don’t know whats causing this but I need to fix it. Maybe its the food. I think I need to get either a balanced meal from someplace. Or get a kitchen. Either way, I need to fix it. Want to add workouts but I dont think I will ever be able to. I know Everest will require me to be fit and all. But I think till I figure out other things, fitness will probably take a backseat.

Guess this is it for the day. This context switching is not for me. I don’t know how other digital nomads do this. Need to learn.

With this, over and out. See you guys on the other side. Now that I am back in Goa, hope things will move better. And no, no #book2. Will start that once I settle in.

PS: Funny how narratives on these morning posts have changed from meaning of life to survival. Guess that’s life!

Ultimate Guide to Living in and Remote Working from Goa

Your ultimate guide to remote working from Goa or even work-from-home while in Goa. Insider’s dope, tips, and opinions. Do not miss if you are considering WFH / Remote Work from Goa.

Version control: V0.1, last updated on 20 April 2021

So, if you are my generation and have seen your share of Bollywood, you would know of Dil Chahta Hai. Or if you are from the one after mine, you would know Dear Zindagi. Both these are probably at the top of the pile of those films that have drilled the romanticized idea of the small coastline of Goa in our heads. Mention Goa and you start thinking to dream of a better life.

The images that come to your head could carry from the Vegas of India cliche (complete with its “what happens in Goa stays in Goa”) to that of a sleepy town littered with parties (and the characters and shenanigans of these characters at the parties) to lip-smacking seafood (Recheado anyone?) to dilapidated castles on top of hillocks (some of these are now hotels) to tourists teeming with frenzy as if they’re gonna die after this trip (not just from India but from places as far as Israel, Russia, and the UK) to, of course, beer cheaper than water!

At least these were the ones that came to my head. Blame it on a million trips that I have made to Goa over the years. My trips primarily were to give all my money to those poker players and rake to casinos floating in the Mandovi.

So anyhow, thanks to the lockdown and WFH getting acceptable, moved to Goa in early Dec 2020, to live and work from here, and see what else the state has to offer. I had a million doubts and a thousand questions and a hundred apprehensions before I moved to Goa. But I took the plunge. Literally.

What I saw was predictable, interesting, surprising, refreshing and more. And thus the prompt to write this guide.

So, here we are. In this Ultimate Guide to Remote Working from Goa, I will talk about what it takes to move to goa and work from here. Plus with the aftermath of COVID-19, remote jobs are increasingly becoming acceptable and people wanting to live and work out of Goa will need reliable, honest, first-hand information. This is that nifty handbook for those people. And for digital nomads and road-warriors and others that may want to work out of Goa.

Oh, standard disclaimers apply. See a list toward the bottom of the post.

Here’s what I will talk about…

  1. First Things First
  2. Why work from Goa?
  3. Pros and Cons of working from Goa
  4. The moving to Goa decision matrix
  5. Living in Goa for work
  6. Comparison of co-working spaces in Goa
  7. Making the move
  8. Misc information
  9. In the end…

1. First things first about working from Goa…

There’s a lot to talk about Goa if I want to do an honest and comprehensive job of helping you decide. Lemme start with these three. In each, I will try to ask a question and the answer to that question will probably help you decide where you want to be once you decide that you want to work in Goa.

1A. The North vs South Divide

Simply speaking, think of Goa as a straight line (it is NOT but just think of it like that for the time being). See this image.

Screenshot from Maps Of India

Assume that Panaji (aka Panjim) is the midpoint. Panjim is the capital city and like every other state capital, it is like any other – traffic, highrises (not really as high as the ones we have in Delhi, Bangalore, Mumbai), fast internet (really!), ample public transport, etc. But if you choose to live in / around Panjim, you might as well live in Mumbai. Or Bangalore for that matter.

💡 Hat-tip – Read the section on Internet below.

North Goa (Candolim, Calangute, Anjuna, Morjim, Mandrem, and beyond) is where most tourists (Indian, foreign, etc) hang out. With-in the North, I’d advise you to stay away from Candolim, Calangute, or Baga.

But places like Anjuna and Vagator are very very livable. In fact, if you want to meet and network with interesting people, you have to check these two out. You’d also get access to the sea.

🌟 To me, one of these two is the perfect place to live if you are in Goa to work. But this could be my bias as well.

Oh, most Indian tourists do not venture beyond Anjuna. If you go further north, you’d only find foreigners (and Indians that are more foreigners in their heads than the actual foreigners are). So that could be a good place to be if you want to be in the North and yet stay at a secluded place.

If you are ok living in the interiors with a limited sea view, you will like it at Porvorim, Saligao, Parra, Assagao, Siolim, etc. These are not north per se but for our simplistic map, these could be. And within these, I love Porvorim (a city and yet not a city) and Assagao (essentially a forest on a hill).

South Goa is where we have all the secluded, spaced out, sparse and clean beaches in Goa. This is also where the peace of mind is. Food also, in general, is better in the South, if you ask me. And because these are secluded and spaced out, you typically have holidaymakers here (and not the tourists that seek action of water-sports, dance clubs, etc). If I were to choose a place to be on a holiday, I’d pick South Goa. If you want to work in Goa, I would NOT recommend South Goa. But if you have to live and work in the South, I’d recommend looking at places like Palolem, Utorda, and Majorda. There’s some semblance of life there.

Oh, there’s also what I call the North-East Goa (though locals don’t call it that). Which is essentially Mapusa, Moira, Aldona, and thereabouts. This part is fast emerging as the hub of creative kinds. More on this later.

❓ So, the first decision you need to make is, what part of Goa do you want to live in. Panjim? North? South? North-East? I would recommend North.

1B. Natives, Locals and Migrants

If you are going to spend some time in Goa, you need to be able to understand people here. No, a section of a blogpost can never ever do justice but here’s an attempt.

Natives of Goa are people that were born in Goa, grew up in Goa, live in Goa, have ancestral roots in Goa, have houses in Goa, and plan to be here. Most of these would be in professions from fishing to politics to even heavy industries. These are the ones that of course have the claim over Goa as a place. Everyone else is a guest. And thus needs to conduct themselves as guests. You are a guest as well even if you are moving here lock, stock, and barrel.

Locals of Goa are the ones that have some Goan connection (parents from Goa, close relatives in Goa, married to Goans, etc) and are now living in Goa. In my limited experience, these are the people that have created flourishing businesses here and thus give employment to natives, locals and migrants.

Migrants in Goa are people like me. No connection to Goa. Hail from other places. Now living in Goa. Most work in businesses ran by natives or locals. Some are entrepreneurs that have set up businesses. Some are freelancers. Most are creative, freelancing, solopreneurs – musicians, dancers, yoga teachers, chefs, writers, photographers, etc.

As you start living here, you need to understand who’s who and then conduct accordingly. The natives typically do not like migrants coming in. They blame the outsiders for spoiling nature and the culture. They blame the outsiders for leaving too much mess on the beaches and causing other such nuisance. To be honest, they are probably right. But then, free market. They can’t stop the influx. The migrants (like us need) to understand that as mere “outsiders” we can’t really do much without support from natives / locals. And sooner we start respecting the locals and natives, the better it is. For everyone.

1C. The Good and The Bad

While the entire guide is about good and bad, I want to save time for you by making this nifty list. Each of these would be expanded eventually.

The Good part of working from Goa…

  • Goa is home to so much creative talent and prowess that it boggles my mind that we are not the world-leader in creativity! Plus this creative crowd is always in flux and is moving around (within and out of Goa). This means that there is no dearth of interesting people that you can jam and network with. This to me in itself is a big big draw to Goa.
  • Goa is probably as cosmopolitan as it gets. Really. Just that it’s a tad different than the cosmopolitan-ness that people from big cities are used to. You may not see a lot of fancy clothes but you would definitely see some really eclectic opinion that would make you take note.
  • Goa offers some of the best food that you’d have anywhere in the country. No, I am not a foodie at all. So, can’t comment on that.

The Bad part of working from Goa…

Just two.

  • Nothing is reliable here. Internet, people, electricity, roads, weather, stray dogs. Even people who write long posts on coworking in Goa 😉
  • If you are hoping to create a business here, unless you have a few crores, you would find it tough. If you have ready work from elsewhere that you want to deliver while you live in Goa, you can consider moving. But if you are hoping to setup something from scratch, it would be tough.

More details as we go along!

1D. What I will NOT talk about in this guide…

I will NOT talk about anything that tourists may want from Goa.

Things like best places to party, best venues to do sundowners, cheap shopping locations, tips on watersports, touristy places, Instagrammable locations, etc. I will NOT talk about the history of Goa, the weather of Goa, the culture of Goa, and so on and so forth. There’s enough and more on it.

2. So, why work from Goa?

This is the smallest part of the write-up and in this tiny, biased part, I will try and convince you to come work from here 😀

If my experience of the last 2 months is anything to go by, if your work allows you to work from remote locations, you MUST not miss the opportunity of working out of Goa! Heck, if I were the activist kinds, I would have met the government here in Goa and try to create a program inspired by the mayor of Miami!

I mean, imagine waking up a few miles away from the Arabian Sea and the winds from the sea and squeaks from the seabirds as your alarm clocks. Imagine the quaint vibe, apparently delicious seafood (which I have no clue about – I am a vegetarian eggetarian), and very very affordable options to wine and dine. Now, top it up with scenic exuberance and rich culture that Goa anyway has. And if you need the final push, imagine an opportunity to jam and network with all the eclectic, creative, free souls that call Goa home! 

Why would you not work from here? Life is anyway short and if your work allows you to live and work out of Goa, please do make the move. Even if it’s for a bit. Here are more details for you…

3. The Pros and Cons of working from Goa

Of course, every place has its share of good and bad. While I can fill in reams of pages on the good parts, there are numerous downsides as well. The decision is a personal one but if for you the advantages of working out of goa outweigh the negatives, come join me 🙂

Here we go on the good and the bad, in detail.

3A. Some good things about working out of Goa!

Personally, I have found that living in Goa allows me to be more creative and free. You know how Hemingway said, write drunk and edit sober? Goa is allowing me to do that! I am drunk on the talent of others. And I am sobered by my limitations as an individual. Wow! Poetic! Here’s a “rational” and sober list.

⏩ Goa is probably one of the most vibrant places in the country with a lovely confluence of cultures. There is a diverse community of creative people from almost any discipline that you may imagine. You can whip up the frenzy and some crazy ideas with them. And yet Goa offers you endless opportunities for a slow, lackadaisical, laidback, and serene life. In one line, I’d say Goa exudes a heightened sense of quietude, even with all its cultural exuberance. There’s something for almost everyone.

⏩ If you are a music aficionado, apart from a thriving live-gig scene from across the genres (I can’t even count how many restaurants and bars offer Hindi and English covers), Goa probably has the best EDM and Hip Hop scene in India. Lately even Folk is taking the small state by storm. Plus there are so many traveling artists. If music is your thing, do check out Gypsy Gigs by a friend and mentor, Nupura.

⏩ If you consider yourself a connoisseur of architecture and history, after your work, you may go visit all the grand cathedrals, worn-out churches, and crumbling forts that Goa is adorned with. The architecture here is a melange of rich Indian tradition and strong European cultural influences. I’d say history is every day, a living, breathing part of Goa. Even a regular Goan house has so much to offer that you’d be left amazed. Do share some pics 🙂

⏩ If you love to eat, you’d have a ball. Think of a kind of cuisine and you’d find it here. You have a plethora of options that throw all the right jargon. Organic, vegan, paleo, keto, hand-pulled, machine-made, free-range, cruelty-free, not tested on animals, safe for babies, fished with love and I don’t know what else.

If you like to cook, local markets offer a wide assortment of fresh catch and some of the most stunning fruits and veggies. There are farmer’s markets where home chefs, locals, and small business owners sell their produce. These can give any such market anywhere in the world a run for their money. Goa is anyway known for its chilies (Aldona), Bananas (Moira), Watermelons, of course, Cashews. Plus coconut is as “local” to Goa as it is to anywhere else. You would find a wide range of coconut curries, hand-pressed oil, and even sweets here. I am told fish pickles are really to die for. Then there are numerous bakeries, each proud of their Pois and Puis. The local staple of Ras-omelet-poi (chicken gravy without pieces, omelet, and local bread) is as flavourful as it sounds. The samosas and the egg-puffs I have had here have been the best ever. I just had two samosas from this kiosk outside Las Viegas at Saligao. You have to try him out.

No, do not even hang out around the tourist traps that claim to offer culinary delights to the celebrities and rich kids that come to Goa on vacation. Ok, maybe once or twice for those Instagram pictures to make your colleagues jealous. But not more than that, please. No Thalassa. No Antares. No Sinq. No Cabana. No Martin’s Corner. Please. PLEASE. P L E A S E!!

⏩ Of course, if you are the touristy kind and like to do the things that tourists do, there are flea markets (I could not spot those this year though) at Anjuna and Arpora. There is the Dudhsagar waterfall. There are spice farms. There are river cruises on Madovi and even on the Sal. There are sanctuaries and wild-life reserves and water-sports (Scuba, Snorkelling, Surfing, and more) and paragliding and surfing and whatnot. No, I am not the right person to talk about these as I stay away from them as much as I can. 

⏩ As I end this part, here’s a thing that I love about Goa. People. They are the friendliest that I have ever seen anywhere in the world. If you stay for a while, you can make friends with local establishments and claim a few spots that comfort you enough that you start calling them home. I found mine at NickyM’s and they make the best burgers ever. Do try them out.

Wow! That’s a lot of good! The point remains, Goa is amazing if you want to work from here.

3B. What makes working out of Goa a terrible idea?

While most of what you experience here will keep you hooked, a few things might become an issue…

⏩ To begin with, something as basic as uninterrupted electricity is a challenge here. Power cuts are quite commonplace in and around Goa. While for the most parts (at least in the Northern, touristy parts of Goa), they last a mere few minutes, power cuts could take up hours to recover. I am told the situation goes grimmer during the monsoons. As if irony gods were listening to me, while writing this, the power went and came back a few times.

💡 Hat-tip – Wherever you decide to live, do ensure that they have a power generator or an inverter for backup.

Internet is a pain in the ass. Mobile Internet is a bigger pain. I have a Vodafone and a Jio connection and yet I couldn’t get see that magical word that starts with 4[1]4G for the uninitiated. It goes down the drain when on the weekends tourists throng into Goa. Even the broadband at various co-working places tends to be tardy. More on co-working places in Goa in a bit.

I am told that you need to have two connections if your work requires heavy use of the Internet.

Since I published this, a few people have reached out to me with their experiences. Here are some…

From a reader on Facebook…

asdad Ok..so i am a software engineer and need fast internet 24×7. So, i selected panjim. Internet speed is 250mbps, which is more than what i used to get in bangalore. Also, panjim have miramar beach and dona paula. You are not away from beach. You should add this point…if internet is must, then panjim n dona paula are safest option.

Even bsnl broadband is very reliable here

Via a comment on Facebook.

From another reader on Facebook…

you wrote that the internet is not reliable for video calls. i’ve been on different forums on reddit, facebook where some people say they get good internet and do webinars, and others say it is very unreliable, as you said. for example, an acquaintance living in socorro said he does webinars and has no problem. he has an ethernet express connection. some people on the reddit group for goa have good experience with G Wave in south goa. so going by all these reports, my impression was that internet should be ok, particularly with ethernet express in north goa, hinterland villages like socorro or aldona or such places, which is where i thought i will shift to. do you think one should count your experience as one among the others, or is what you write based on a wider survey of different connections and different people’s experiences, etcetera?

Via a comment on Facebook.

Lemme respond to this one.

For this piece, I spoke to more than 20 people before writing this. I have got mixed feedback on the Internet. While it may work once you get it installed at your place (I would still not count on it), but when you are out on the road it will be a problem for sure! So that.

Update. 20 April 2021. I am told by people that have moved to Goa in recent times that the Internet troubles for them seem to be waning off. Higher demand from about 50-thousand odd “migrants” has made the Internet companies up their game. Phone connectivity remains a challenge though.

I haven’t been able to talk to any of those film companies that are in Goa to understand how they operate. Once I do, will update. Also, this sounds like such a simple problem to solve, and yet no one’s been able to figure this out!

One time I had to send an email and despite all my efforts, I could not find the Internet. Had to fire up a scooty and park on the roadside to get it done!

💡 Hat-tip – Do NOT move to Goa unless you know where you are going to get your internet from.

⏩ Then, commonplace, mundane things such as getting your computer (or even your ceiling) fan fixed are a hassle in Goa. Goa simply does not have enough handymen that do such specialized work. And the ones that are here, you need to court those like you court a romantic partner. No, you can’t bribe them with extra money. Easier is to become a handyman by yourself with such things.

Maybe a business opportunity? And lemme give you an example. I had to get a new charger for my laptop (a MacBook Air) and I just couldn’t find a shop around me that would have one. I had to order it on Amazon and wait for like 5 days before it came in.

⏩ I am told monsoons are bad for people who are not from here. The sea goes berserk, almost all the shacks (and restaurants) close down till around the end-August, the rains do not stop for days and wild-life (insects, bugs, frogs, crickets, enthu tourists et al) becomes a regular fixture. Most things that keep you engaged after work tend to shut down and the place leaves you with very little to do. No, I have NOT experienced these first hand – I have only come to Goa as a tourist during monsoons and have not lived here. 

Oh, power becomes even more erratic. Plus, apparently, there’s a big snake menace in Goa in the monsoons.

💡 Hat-tip – If you plan to be here around monsoons, get a raincoat. And a snake stick. Please. 

⏩ I must mention that Goa has a big mosquito menace and stray dog problem. There are way too many of these all across the state. The strays are not neutered and thus the population. I hate this the most about living in Goa. Of course, most people like to pet dogs and feed them and take care of them and all that. But not my scene. It sucks.

Here’s a “collection” of dogs in Goa.

Dogs of Goa (maybe, will start a page :D)

💡 Hat-tip – Invest in mosquito repellant sprays, incense sticks. And if not that, get ready to burn coconut shells or lemongrass sticks. And please carry a stick or something to shoo the stray dogs away.

⏩ As I end this, I have to say that unless you are a regular in the party circuit or you enjoy loud, upbeat music at all times, Goa might come off as intrusive after a while. Especially if you are in North Goa – it’s perpetually teeming with high-spirited tourists and party-goers at all hours. You’d find it hard to find a spot that you can take some quiet time off at. Even without the tourist season, every café and beach shack blare loud music tirelessly on their speakers all the time. At 7 AM, at the afternoon when the sun makes it unbearable to be in Goa, at 9 PM and even at 2 AM as the last of the tourists stumble back to their homes.

Ok that was a long list. Phew!

4. What all do you need to think about before you move here?

I call this The Move To Goa Decision Matrix. Lol!

There are quite a few important decisions you have to make if you are planning to work out of Goa for the long term. Here are some questions that you need to find answers to…

4A. North Goa v/s South Goa 

I touched upon this briefly in the introduction but one of the first things to decide is the part of Goa you want to live and work from. North. South. North East. Panjim. To be honest, the choice is yours and a lot of it depends on the kind of person you are.

If you are into a high-spirited life and you like other people around you, you ought to be in North Goa. I recommend North Goa. Really.

Within the North, you need to decide if you want to be around the water or away from it. Plus you would need to identify the part within North that has other people of your ilk. It is imperative. So much so that I will say it again. And make this bold.

In the South, while the beaches are nice and clean and secluded and all that, for someone that wants to work and chill after work, south is NOT the place. I know I will get hate emails on this.

Panjim is a lot cause. It’s a city. Rather live in Bangalore. Mumbai. Why would anyone live in Panjim? Really?

4B. Work from Home or Co-working Spaces?

I am the kinds that needs to step out of the house to work. Even when I am in Mumbai, I need to go to a Starbucks to work, if not a co-working space.

So in Goa, even though I have access to a fairly comfortable house (thanks to Rajesh Sir), I had to have a co-working space to work out of in Goa. And that’s the first thing I did once I moved here.

Similarly, you need to ask yourself if you are the kind to get work done from home. Or you need the ambiance and vibrance of a public place like a co-working space. Or even a cafe for that matter.

In fact, the cafe guys in Goa, in general, are very very kind and nice. They don’t bother you much, but the chairs are not comfortable. My back’s already arched like a bow!

More on co-working later in the piece.

4C. Does your work require video calls?

If your work requires a lot of video calls, PLEASE do know that the Internet is NOT reliable here. You WILL find yourself in a precarious position quite often. It gets embarrassing after a while. My team now knows that if they have planned for a video call, in all probability, I would be behind a grainy connection.

No, not even the co-working spaces I’ve been to offer a reliable connection (except the Design Centre at Porvorim and Clay on most days). Plus, at the co-working spaces, there are hardly any “telephone booths” where I could lock myself in a quiet chamber to take these video calls. I found the Delhi / Mumbai co-working etiquette missing here in Goa.

Update. 20 April 2021. Repeat. Internet seems to be getting better.

4D. What kind of work do you do?

I am a freelance writer (and editor), a marketing consultant, a podcast producer (and host), and an events producer. Most of my work is management, coordination, and working in isolation. Most of my data is on the cloud (and data gets synced when I get internet).

So, if you are like me, you’d probably get by. So, if you are a coder, designer, writer, photographer, etc. you would largely be ok. However, if you need constant, uninterrupted connection, you will be stuck. So if you are in support, extensive team management, or more, you’d find it tough.

So yes, in one line, remote work is possible in Goa but only for a select set of professions. I mean if Lucky Ali can live in Goa and release a damn new video on the Internet, who else would face the challenge?

Oh, and if you need gyaan on getting things done, Notes For Growth may be your answer.

4E. Some approximate numbers about expenses in Goa (aka Money)

In my limited experience, living in Goa is cheaper compared to living in Mumbai and Delhi. From what I know of friends and their expenses in Bangalore, Chennai, and Pune, Goa is comparable. I don’t know about Kolkatta and other metros.

In Goa, the best part is that you could be price or a pauper, you can find something that would suit your budget. You can get accommodation at Rs. 400 per night (at hostels) to Rs. 4 lakhs per night (at presidential suites) and everything in between. Of course, these two numbers don’t add any value.

So for comparison and context, you can rent a “good” 2 BHK house in Goa for about 20K a month in most of the areas where you’d want to live. I know people that pay 30K for a villa with a yard and three floors. And I know someone that pays 18K for a villa bang in the middle of the forest. And someone that pays 21K for a fully-furnished swanky 1BHK. And someone that pays 1.5 lakhs a month for a 3-bedroom. So that.

In terms of food, you can eat well for about 80 bucks per meal (at those Udipi joints), and then if you want to pay more, you are free to go to those fancy places, that are aplenty in Goa. My meals are at NickyM‘s and each meal is about 200. In case you go there, say that you are Saurabh’s friend and they would extend a 10% discount. Promise.

I did not pay an electricity bill. But I am told it’s about 500 bucks. I did not have an internet line at home but if you were to get it installed, you’d pay a one-time installation fee (most times this can be waived if you are taking a long-term connection) and your monthly bill would be in the 1500 ballpark. This would be enough to do video calls and stream Netflix. But reliability would remain a question.

Here’s a quick table.

GoaMumbaiDelhi
Rent for a “decent” 2BHK HouseRs. 25000*Rs. 55000Rs. 35000
InternetRs. 1500Rs. 1200Rs. 1000
A “regular” meal Rs. 80Rs. 100Rs. 80
Petrol per liter (as on 5 Feb 2021)Rs. 83.4Rs. 93.49Rs. 86.95
Utilities (electricity, help, water etc)Rs. 4000Rs. 6000Rs. 3000
A quick comparison on cost of living

*Update. 20 April 2021. This seems to have jumped all the way to 50K in the recent months even though we are staring at the fag-end of the “season”

So that.

If I’ve missed something, do ask me your questions and I’d try to respond to the best of my knowledge.

5. A guide to ‘living in Goa’ as you work from here

So in case you do decide to work from here, you need to start thinking about living here. And life here is kind of different from any other place I have lived at (Delhi, Gurgaon, Chennai, Bangalore, Mumbai). Here are some thoughts. Divided into sections.

5A. Accommodation

You have tons of options. So many that it’s impossible to capture those all. Here’s my attempt.

Hostels. Goa is probably the place in India that started the hostel experience revolution. From dorms to private rooms to entire apartments to gigantic villas to even forts. You can have your pick.

BnB. There are tons of people that have spare bedrooms and they let these out for long-term (and short-term) rentals. I am planning to do this myself! You can get to live with some interesting people here. How to find them? Well that’s a question even I don’t have an answer to. May be create a matchmaking service for people like that?

Co-Living. A better hostel, a lesser hotel. A communal living experience. You know, how you have in hostels in colleges? That. You create a community of doers and tinkerers and all that. Entry is via some gatekeeper (CAT score!) and each person has to behave and each person is responsible. I am thinking about this. Like a residency for creative people. Admission via gatekeeping. For people who are serious and not just flirting with the idea of moving to Goa. That. Let’s see.

PS: I am told Nomad Gao (not a typo) is a good option for people that like co-living. Though I haven’t been there.

Rental Houses. Simple. You know, like you’d rent out at other cities in India.

5B. Getting Around

No. You do NOT want to get a car here. You need a two-wheeler. A scooty. You can rent for a month-long lease at 4K kinds (negotiate hard). I pay 6K a month because I got it at a time when there were a lot of tourists.

💡 Hat-tip – PLEASE keep a litre of petrol in the boot of your scooty. Petrol Pumps are kinda sparse. And no, don’t buy from those road-side kiosks that sell petrol in upcycled bottles. They sell a mix of piss and water and turpentine oil that couldn’t keep a fire going for its life.

Some people prefer small cars (Tata Nano or Maruti Alto) but I still recommend a Scooty.

There are bike taxis (called pilots) that you can use. You can identify these with their yellow mudguards. But they have designated spots as pitstops and you can only hail them from there. Unless you are lucky and you can flag someone. Plus there is no rate card per se. so, it comes down to what you can negotiate with them.

If you do need a car, you can rent via GoaMiles (though local taxi operators hate this. They say it dents their earning. I say it makes them more accountable. One of those never easy to settle debates).

Or you could use local taxi guys. They are all over the place. Especially around popular tourist areas, famous restaurants, and other hotspots. You would spend a little more but you would be far more peaceful.

5C. Spending money

You need to use GPay a lot. Even though you may try to explain that Paytm, BHIM, and other apps also use UPI, people will insist on GPay. To a point that they would tether you to their wi-fi networks.

No, the credit cards don’t work. The ones that accept will do so reluctantly. And will charge you a 2% markup. Unless you are at a 5-star (in that case, you don’t need to read this guide!) or an establishment ran by someone who thinks longer than making money from tourists in just one season.

5D. After Work

After you are done with work, you have like a million things to do here. You can explore the wilderness, meet other creative kinds, other folks that are trying to find themselves hers. You can connect and network with the ones from your ilk. There are classes on everything from scuba to yoga to dance to cooking to marital arts to even brewing wine!

My favorite thing to do is go stare at the sea. Like this one.

From one of my walks after work.

🌟 The best thing you can do? Find a co-living, co-working commune. I really want to create one. Does anyone want to partner up?

6. The ultimate comparison and guide of co-working spaces in Goa

This is something that most people seem to ask for. Lemme make a list of a few places and how I look at those. Some disclaimers…

  1. This will only include the places that I have personally been to.
  2. There are a few that I have heard a lot about but I haven’t been to. I have included them but have refrained from giving a comment.
  3. Plus there are some places that are not really co-working spaces but offer what you need for work. Including those here as well.

Before I dig in, the good part of almost all co-working spaces here is that there is good power backup. The bad part is that the Internet is not the best. Even with their leased lines. Oh, most of these offer a great vibe, have a brilliant community, and create so many opportunities to meet new people! So, when I look at a place to work from, I look at the following…

  • Facilities
    • Ambiance (Have they put any love in putting the co-working space together?)
    • Internet (How fast, reliable is the internet connection?)
    • AC (I need AC if I have to even breathe. Even if I were in Antarctica, I’d ask for one!)
    • Seating (I need a comfortable chair and a table at the right height).
  • Community
    • What kind of people does the place attract? Hippies? Creative kinds? People whiling time and merely wanting to hang out? Etc.
  • Price
    • Money is money.
  • Services
    • FnB (Can I order food? Coffee? How good it?)
    • Restrooms (Clean?)
  • Misc
    • Access and accessibility (How far are they from civilization?)

So, here is a list with the pros and cons of various coworking spaces in Goa. I tried to embed the table here but I could not. 🙁

But if you are lazy, easy reference is…

  1. Design Centre (Porvorim – map) for undoubtedly the Best Internet in Goa. They charge 400 bucks for a day pass and 6000 for a month-long plan.
  2. Clay (Anjuna – maps) for the best community and the vibe. They charge 500 bucks for a day pass and 10000 for a month-long plan.
  3. NickyM’s (Baga-Calangute – maps) for the best hospitality. This is more of a cafe. So there’s no commitment per se. But you’d want to keep the tab going. No?
  4. Royal Enfield Garage Cafe (Baga – maps) for the best view. However, this is also more of a cafe than a co-working place.

There are more that I have tried and worked out of. Here’s a long list. I’d leave you with a few shots from Clay (which is gorgeous, if you ask me).

And one from Royal Enfield Garage Cafe.

This is from Royal Enfield Garage Cafe in Baga. One of my favorite places to work out from.

Do let me know what coworking do you go to. And what you find interesting there. I will add to the list.

7. Making the move…

So, now you know the goods and the bads of Goa. You know your work can happen from here. You know of the co-working spaces. What next?

Move here!

Let’s say you are ready to make the move. Now, how do you do it?

So, in easy steps…

  1. Come here for a month. To start with. It would help if you have a local contact. I am happy to be the contact, in case.
  2. Carry two different mobile phone connections. It’s a pain to get a Jio mobile phone connection here. The others (Vodafone, Airtel, etc) work when they feel like.
  3. Live at a touristy hot-spot so that everything that you may need is easily available. You may not like it. People may smirk at you. But please do this.
  4. Inform your work colleagues that your access and availability would be limited.
  5. Take a month-long acco (insist that it has a ready Internet connection – it would be tough to get it installed for just a month), preferably close to a co-working space (in case you need better connection, ambiance, etc)
  6. Talk to others that do your kind of work (code, films, writing, etc) and identify a location that offers you access to others of your ilk. This will be important to get you to start feeling at home.
  7. Get a house for yourself. Insist on basic furnishing (unless you are rich) and get paperwork FOR sure. You would need it for things like mobile phone connections, Internet, etc.
  8. Get immersed with the locals and natives where you take your house. Even if you are an introvert. This will help you become a local and not just remain a tourist. This is the most common mistake migrants make when they move to Goa. They don’t mingle with the local community. You HAVE to. Especially in Goa.

That’s it I guess.

8. Miscellaneous info about working from Goa

This part has things that I could not fit in other places. While these may be minor, some people may want to know more about these before they make the move to Goa.

8A. Staying fit while in Goa

A lot of people I know are as anal about their health as they are about work or money or other things. In Goa, there are plenty of options for that. From long walks to running on the beach to yoga classes to even fancy gyms (aka fitness studios) to massage parlors to swimming to dance, you have it all here.

The best bet would be walk / jog on the beach. But do keep a stick handy for them strays.

8B. Safety in Goa

Beaches are more or less safe at almost all hours. Actually, Goa in general is safe when it comes to petty crime. I have been routinely leaving my helmet perched on the scooty and it is yet to go missing!

No that does not mean you let your guard down. Just keep your eyes and ears open and you’d be ok.

The cops are friendly, the locals keep to themselves, the shack owners may want to fleece you with overpriced food but they want the beaches to be safe. They’ve understood that it’s in their long-term interest to offer safety.

Of course there would be a few unscrupulous elements but that’s everywhere in the world. My rule of thumb is, give respect and you shall get it!

8C. Finding work in Goa

Let’s say you move here. And for some unfortunate reason, you cant continue with your work. What do you do? If you are like me that don’t have any sellable skills (writing, designing, singing, photography-ing, hustling et al), how do you find meaningful work?

Well, they say that Goa is like a village. Everyone knows everything about everyone else. And I have seen that in action! Numerous times. So much so that I am cursing myself for not knowing how to make connections at these villages. I suck at networking 🙁 You will need to find your place in this village to get work!

The best way to get work in Goa is through closed networks.

Some Facebook groups are very active and people from the community share all sorts of opportunities. I recommend Offbeat Goa. Do check it out. I know someone that knows the lady that started it. I have met her just once, that too for like 0.2 seconds and thus I don’t have a personal opinion per se. But If gossip is to be believed, she’s an incredible woman. #note2self: need to make friends with her.

In terms of the kind of businesses, there are film companies (famously, Anand Gandhi’s Memesys Lab), event agencies (C4E Goa :D), design companies, social media agencies, production labels, alco-bev companies, and more. And of course, there are traditional businesses like mining, shipping, trading, etc. And FMCG, auto, finance, etc. Of course restaurants, bars, shacks, etc. So, there are jobs for sure! Quite a few.

But then there are more takers than that. You’d have to work hard to land one. Really.

Plus salaries are a fraction of what you’d expect in places like Mumbai. So that.

Oh, a word of caution. If you have decided to move here for good and you can’t find the kind of work that you really want, please be a tad flexible. I’ve met writers that have become bartenders, guitarists that have become travel bloggers, event managers that are now chefs, and so on and so forth. You get the drift.

PS: I am considering if things don’t work out, I will probably run a cafe here. I hope I get enough to support all the bachchas that I have 🙂

8D. Medical Care

This is something that I found lacking here. Even though Goa has a few medical institutions like GMC and Manipal, I found even the first-aid kinda lagging. But again, luckily I haven’t had the need to go visit a doctor.

But if you have any medical conditions or young children or old parents, I will not recommend the move.

8E. Going back from Goa

In case things don’t work out and you have to move out from Goa, I am sorry that it did not work out. Here’s what you must do. In bullet points…

  • Take back cheap alcohol. Of course, there is a limit to a number of bottles you can carry back 😀
  • PLEASE do tell me why you’re going back. It will help me update this page.

So this it is. For the Ultimate Guide to Living in and Remote Working from Goa. Hope this was helpful and told you things that you already did not know.

9. In the end…

Some disclaimers

  • This comprehensive guide is from my experience of working remote from Goa for 2 months. I work as a brand planner and marketer and gross generalizations are my bread and butter and I could be biased. So, read with a pinch of salt.
  • Plus, the way I look at things could be different from the way you look at em. So that!
  • For context, I am 38, M. Single, and no kids. So please be advised.

Credits

  • I am lucky that I know a few people that know Goa really well. Special mention to Nupura and Rajesh Sir. Both these are super-connectors and have helped me meet more people. These connections helped me get around fast and understand nuances better. Further, Rajesh Sir and VISCOMM allowed me to live at their home while I looked for more permanent accommodation. And Nupura chaperoned me around in the first few days and showing me around the “village”
  • NickyM‘s for the free Internet and the warmest hospitality I have experienced in all my travels across the world.
  • Riyanka for helping me with a draft of this one. She is among the best writers I know of. Do reach out to her if you need someone.
  • And everyone else that made me feel at home in Goa. And every one that did otherwise.

Oh, if you come to Goa, say hi! If you need something fixed for you while you are here, lemme know. I know someone that probably knows someone 😉

And if this guide helps you make a decision, do let me know. I am very active on Twitter. And do tell me how to make this better!

Over and out.

P.S.: One more thing. Do point out any mistakes – factual or otherwise in the piece so that I can make this better.

030221 – Morning Pages

Radical idea today. What if I sold a financial stake in my future? To manage my today. Would you buy? Would you “invest”?

0711. Woke up about 3 minutes ago. Eyes can’t even focus as I type this! Was up till 2:30. Had some work and thanks to McD, I had a place to sit and work out of. Of course, there was no Internet but that’s ok. I managed. So when I was coming back from McD (and a subsequent meeting with a friend) at 2 something, I realized I love roads at night. I have said this multiple times in the past but yesterday it was like written on a well-lit hoarding in big bold fonts. Must do something about that! Thing is, when in Mumbai, while I often thought about it, I couldn’t think too much about it. Life was always rushing around me. Or if it wasn’t, I was rushing around. There was no opportunity to take a pause, take a break and soak the scenery in. Here, the entire scenery is a break. And why would it not be? There is hardly any phone connections. Or internet availability ;P No no, digs apart, there is some charm in living in a small city.

Oh, Goa is reporting fantastic weather and thinning crowds. In case you want to make a trip, this is the time.

Moving on. Yesterday was a big day for the world we live in. Jeff Bezos decided to step down from running Amazon on a day to day basis. Wow! End of an era. I can’t wait for people to write (and me to read) as those pieces will start to trickle in. After Steve Jobs, Jeff has been a constant source of content, inspiration, awe, fear, respect, etc. Let’s see what reports come in.

The other big thing that happened yesterday was Rihanna (the American pop-star who I just know for this track with Eminem) spoke about the ongoing Farmer’s protest. It sucks and it’s our collective shame that the world is seeing what has become of India. Hopefully, that’d put some pressure on the government here. Maybe some sense would prevail and actions would be unturned. I hope our Indian “stars” grow some balls as well and do more than just welcoming the next Kapoor on insta.

So, I was to decide by EOD yesterday about where I wanted to live. And no, I haven’t been able to decide. I even ran a blind poll to see what “destiny” told me. Option 1 was Mumbai and 2 was Goa. Lol. The thing is, I’d love to be in Goa long-term but I can’t seem to figure out my work situation. It just sucks that life is dictated by what you’d work on. Whereas it should be the other way around.

I will give myself another day today to figure out things. I know I know, I have been delaying for no reason. But I can’t help it. I just can’t seem to think on this. Do I just toss a coin and figure what destiny has in store for me? Do I continue to drift and let life dictate terms? Arrrghh… such helplessness 🙁

Oh, I do have a radical idea that I have been thinking for a while. And yesterday on one of our calls Akshay pointed out as well. How about I sell shares in myself? You know, I am the “company” that people put money in (like they invest in stocks) and I promise a certain dividend each year (depending on my income of that year) and like other stocks, they can sell these shares.

While this sounds like an interesting idea, I am not sure if it’s workable. There are some inherent issues with this. To start with, this would be a super risky asset class (may be more volatile than BTC) but could also deliver better ROI than anything else. There is a big big risk of investment going to zero (what if I die?). Then there is performance risk (what’s the guarantee that I would make enough to fund all my side projects and yet return this money?). Plus the biggest of them all. If someone gave me a crore today, I wouldn’t know what to do with it! I mean there’s no singular idea that I have that can take all my energy and that allows me to scale things! I know that I’d never run away with anyone’s money. Or trust. I know that I’d be honest. But I don’t know when would I start to give out dividends. So that. I remember, in one of SoG’s I asked my readers if they’d support me by paying just 100 bucks, and not one person (except some comment from JKB) replied. And here I am, hoping to sell shares. Lol. Wishful thinking!

Anyhow, on with the day. I’ve been eating crap last few days. I’d try to gun for a 48-hour fast, starting now. So, the next meal is Friday morning. Let’s see how it goes. Maybe i’ll not eat till the time I know where I want to be. Wait. What about I spend a few days in Mumbai (I need to be there anyway on the 14th to meet Shravan, and on the 16th to attend Rajesh’s wedding) and see if I can create more work opportunities for myself! May be. Let’s see.

Oh, I have to note that I got rejected from a place that I had applied to. Which is ok. Not that I expected to get thru, it was out of my league. Probably need to start documenting all these rejections!

That’ about it I guess. Oh, I have a large project to work on today. I have decided that I need to be out there. I will start putting my face, at least on video (if not on photos). And to help me get going, AA has asked me to make 5 videos of 10 mins each by EoD today. Each video has to be of specific interest to people. So let’s see what I cook up. I will share links, if I get around to do it.

Apart from this have a few other things lined up. One of them is to activate this WA group (broadcast only) where I plan to share tips on better writing. Let’s see how that goes. In case you wish to join it, here.

Guess this is it. Time for #freewriting on #book2.

“We did not have these computers and phones and other fancy devices back then. We had to rely on our instincts. If we had to find information, we had to manipulate a gullible farmer and ask him about the temple. Then we’d stake it out for days. Unlike now, we did not have hotels per se. We had dharamshalas, serais and even them temples themselves. It was very normal to use these temples as resting places while you were on a journey. There was always a roof on your head and there was always food. There’s nothing else a traveler needed. And oh boy, did we use those temples.” Raunak let out a hearty laugh.

Chintan was more than intrigued. He was hooked. He thought he was the storyteller. Here was Raunak, who had better and grander stories than Chintan could ever imagine. He had to get more from him. Maybe Raunak did hold the key to Chintan’s magnum opus. He egged on, “Incredible! For someone like you who doesn’t speak at all, how did you manage all these conversations…”

Raunak broke him mid-sentence and said, “How do you think I am managing mine with you?”

Chintan could only nod and smile at himself. He knew he had found the guru, the moral compass that he was seeking all this while. He knew Raunak was going to be an important character in his story. The story of his life. And the story that he’s been chasing from all the way to Goa from his home in Uttarakhand!

***

That’s about it.

Few words.

But this is all I have time for today. A lot to be done.

See you guys on the other side.