Day 6. 161220

On day 6 of my daily morning pages, I write about how poker could be a career for me. And how it may not be! And ofcourse I rant a bit!

16th December. More than half of December is gone. Also, 10 days since I’ve moved to Goa. Probably the longest I have been away from Delhi or Mumbai without any work / agenda. I do have a sense of how this is going (not good, to save you suspense) and I do know how to fix this (get a better Internet connection, fix a schedule, a public space that has 24×7 access, etc) and I will if I know that this is where my base is going to be. PS: I miss this 24X7 bit more than I miss anything else in the world, btw.

But as I write this, at 6:23 AM in the morning and funnily, work and base are not the first things on my mind. I am increasingly thinking about ideas and I am itching to start executing one. I wish I was paid to think of ideas.

I think it’s an outcome of people finding out that am in Goa and then assuming that I am working on my next book (which is based in Goa) and asking me the same question. In fact, at least three people asked me about the book just yesterday (Daku, Kamat, and Aka). High time I get going. If only I can find the time. I think I will have to make time (and not find the time), if I need to get the book out.

Like I said, I don’t have thoughts about any one particular project but about something. Something that I can do and kickstart. It’s been a few months since I did something new. I guess this is what happens when you get bored and the ennui induced by the day to day living makes you restless.

So yeah. That. Apart from this, I don’t know what to write. The heads got a million thoughts but I don’t know what to write. I want to quit this post here but JC says you need to write three pages (or 30 minutes in my world), I will write till it’s 7 AM.

Let’s see what’s been clouding my head. I have to deliver a few presentations today. Each will take me 2-3 hours to deliver. So that. I need to finish editing a book. That will take a few more hours. I may get to play poker in the evening. Not sure though. Poker needs at least 5 players and it’s often tough to find people that like that game like I do, even though I am lousy at it.

In fact, poker could be a thing that I can talk about. Poker is probably as perfect a game as they have invented. There is luck, there is skill. Even with lousy cards, with some skill (bluffing, reading people et al), you can do well. I think Poker could be my sustainable vocation. Just that the learning curve is steep and I need to put in some 10000 hours (or play a million hands) to build a mental repository. It is much like chess. You build a repository and you can play from experience. The difference is that chess is more or less a finite game where each move can eventually lead to a certain conclusion (and thus computers have beaten humans), poker is not.

Poker requires patience. It requires a bankroll (that you can build up with time. Random trivia – I have a record of more or less every poker game I have played since 2012 and numbers tell me that I not a good player).

Poker is excitement. The adrenaline that you get after you win a tough hand? Wow. The validation of getting out of a tough spot? That. The feeling of achievement after you have won? Yes! Tangible results? Of course!

It has everything that I want.

Sense of achievement. After all the results are tangible. With books, films, they are not. You are left guessing about what you’ve written.

Ability to travel the world (COVID-19 withstanding). There are probably as many casinos as there are rich, touristy destinations.

Opportunity to meet interesting people (most poker players have interesting lives, the kinds that make interesting stories).

Better with age. Rather than sports like Tennis and Chess, you get better with time (till a point, of course).

There are a few things missing as well. Here’s a list.

No impact. Even if I become a Kid Poker, I wouldn’t be able to make an impact. May be I will if I go the Chamath or Jason way.

No scale. It’s a solitary game. How do I create a community? How do I do things at scale?

No physical effort. Apart from being able to sit at the chair for long.

I am sure there are more things that I can write on both how poker has everything I want and what is missing. But the point is, it sounds like a thing that I could easily do for a living! Just that I need to make a commitment and then not move from it for 3 years.

Wish I had the means to do so! Damn them means. Have chased means all my life and I am losing the race and I can see that. And I can’t find a way out. If not for friends and family, I wouldn’t know what to do. This Goa trip has been made possible only because Rajesh was kind to give me his house. Nupura was kind to chaperone me. My parents were kind to not frown on my decision to stay away. My sis was kind to fund the last few months (and probably a few more). If not for all this kindness, I wouldn’t know where I’d be.

So yeah. That.

Oh, the thing for the day? Rather than lamenting about lack of means, I am grateful for the abundance of this kindness. Lol, I sound like a Buddhist monk but heck yeah! That’s how it is! That’s that! I am grateful that I can make my fingers dance on this keyboard and express myself. To the void. Or to the world at large. Or may be, to myself!

With this, over and out!

Day 2 of Morning Pages.

Day 2 of unfiltered stream of thoughts on how I spent yesterday. And whatever is cluttering my head as I plan for the day ahead.

Hello, I have this slight headache. I think it is because I did not get good sleep. I think it’s a result of the heady cocktail of too much coffee, too much coke (not Diet but regular), too many thoughts, and too little rest. But I think I will be ok. I always get ok. I just need to get going and the humdrum of the day gets me going and I tend to get back to action.

Since this is day2 of the morning pages bit, I am not sure what to write about, lemme talk about how day 1 was, things I did, things I thought about and what did I learn from it.

Board Games. I played this game called Risk yesterday with some people. While the game is fun and I am not sure I would play it again, the lesson was that you can observe a lot about people while they are playing these games.

I knew that how you conduct yourself on a Poker table tells you about how you are as a human being. You may or may not get to play Poker with everyone but you can invite even strangers for board games. And the way they play these games, you could look at serious, long-term decisions like hiring or partnering with them!

While playing the game, you realize who’s gonna cheat, who hates to lose to a point of being unethical, who all are trustworthy, who behaves when they’re being their primal self, and so on and so forth.

COVID. A very good friend got COVID. One of those people that I actually care about. I hope he recovers. He doesn’t know how he got it. And he is one of the cautious ones. I read someplace that at some point in time all of us would get it. We just need to ensure our immunity is good. So that!

Hand of God. For no reason, someone sent me some money that I could use to do something that I have been putting off for a while. Also this some money from someone to do things that I have been putting for a while vicious circle needs to stop! I don’t know the way out but it has to. More on this on EchoChamber.

Chota Hustler. This coworking space in Goa that I work from, they have this guy that’s like a car-salesman kinda hustler. You know, the ones that would goad you into taking a decision that you did not know even know you had to take. The guy’s on the phone all the time and is selling I don’t know what to I don’t know who all. I’d probably know is a few days. Also, I think I need to up the ante on people watching thingy that I so enjoy.

Workout. One of the agendas that I had for this Goa trip was to get fit. I have been here for almost a week now and all I have done is eat crap, sleep in bad posture, work (a lot – really!), and no workout. Even though on the second day here I promptly went to a Decathlon and bought a running tee, a phone holder, and whatnot. Oh, and I have been to the beach a total of 2 times even though I live a 3-minute walk from it.

The thing is, when you think that you’d live and work in Goa, life does slow down (you are not traveling for any meetings – this intra-city travel is what speeds up time I think) but that thought that you have in your head about the charming sunsets and beaches and runs and food and parties and people? Well, at least I did not see it.

I know I know, the Instagram stories narrate a different tale. A close friend and wife are in Goa as we speak and if you see his Insta stories, I kid you not, you would question your existence. Another friend is here and all her stories are all full of poets and muses and people playing guitar, dancing, bonfires, and whatnot. Then a work colleague is also here and his Instagram is full of food that’s been plate like it was a jewel. May be it was. May be people love food so much?

The other thing that is not been happening for me since I have come to Goa is that I have stopped being social on Twitter and Linkedin and all that. These have been a large part of my life and I need to figure out how to get back. I think once I solve the internet issue, I will be ok (I am staying at a mentor’s house and there’s no Internet. And the mobile phone connection that I tether to is slow af).

Oh, I have to talk about dogs. Goa has more strays than it has people. And it’s scary. And it’s unsettling. And it is not fun. I have been barked at, growled at, chased down, stared down at in anger, and whatnot. Since these are strays, I am sure these are not neutralized or something. I think I need to get a proactive Rabbies injection or something. May be I will. Assuming there is someone that actually does some work here, apart from the ones that do not belong here.

That’s the second ‘other thing’ for the post. Most small businesses here complain that the locals do not work. They can but they don’t want to. And the ones that are not from here slog their ass off! And as a result, they are in demand, and locals are left in the lurch. And why would they not be? Free markets reward efficiency! Similar to what I hear about in Mumbai. I don’t know the solution but I would like to fix this if I can. It’s a tough problem to bang your heads on. You need to know psychology, vested interests, education, behavior change, long-term thinking, identity, money, and what not.

I also narrated a character of #book2 to a few friends yesterday. They seemed to like it. This probably is the cue that I need to get started with it? May be. You know, the invisible hand!

The last thing am thinking about before I move on to the next thing for the day is, personal brand for Saurabh Garg. I have been thinking a lot about it and I need to figure it out and move on it. Do I get authentic (these posts are a step in the direction)? Do I get all serious and post only long-form articles that has helped establish people as experts in their fields. Wait, what field do I even belong to? I met another friend-mentor day before yesterday (wow, time flies!) and he asked me to define myself and I had no clue what I stood for! I could talk about all that I’ve done and all I want to but it did not make for a convincing story. Need to work on that. May be will add to the agenda of this Goa trip, for whenever it ends!

With that, its over and out.

Like I said yesterday, please ignore the typos.

And in case you are reading this and you have any thoughts / ideas about any of these things that I spoke about, please do let me know.

Over an out!

PS: Can I add some photos to these pieces? May be. May be not. Let’s see what I decide.