280121 – Morning Pages

Inane update. You may want to skip this one.

7:12.

Been up for a while. The fuckery of yesterday about the inability to comprehend the Farmer’s Protest is sort of fading. Most sane people I know are asking me to stay away as each side has vested interests and are working on the narratives. But then I am not sure if that’s the right way to go about it. I need to know what’s happening around me, in my country. I may be insignificant but I do have opinions and I like the idea of knowing. Vegetating is not for me.

So, the internet worked well yesterday! For a change. Thank you Design Centre. If you need a great place to work from, do check them out. I think I will go there again. Even though they are at Provorim and it takes some time to reach there but I am ok with it. At least the Internet is reliable and since they don’t have any kitchen, I am away from crap. Oh, that’s what I’ve realized. If I have no options to eat, I tend to stay away.

Goa is now reporting lovely weather. The kinds that I’d love to live in year-round. There’s a nip in the air in the morning. The afternoons are bearable and the evenings get pleasant all over again. I think if someone wants to come to Goa, this is the best time to do so! In fact, I am thinking, I should have come here at this time – all year-end tourists would have been back, all locals would have started to spring out. But then, I am here now. So that’s cool. I am also close to my self-imposed deadline of Jan 31 of making a decision about living in Goa.

I am still on the fence, to be honest. A lot depends on work. A lot depends on money. I think the Internet and mobile connection is a challenge if you want to live in Goa. But if I do decide to live here, I think I can throw money at the problem and solve it. Mobile phones, not so much. But the internet is solvable for sure. It’s only about getting 2-3 connections that are fast enough. Hope something works out that allows me to live from here. Oh, I am in Mumbai for a few days I think in the next week. I have some errands to run. Let’s see.

Oh, I am also gonna pick Shumbur.com back. I haven’t had the time to act on it at all. Among other things, the hunt for a stable internet connection has kept me busy. I don’t know more people but the ones I do, I need to engage with them, get into a conversation with them. Write on those experiences. Showcase them, get feedback and then scale efforts.

So that’s that. I don’t have more things to write in today’s morning pages. Except that I am grateful to be alive, grateful to have access to a roof, grateful to have some people that I can call friends. Damn lucky I am! Talking of luck, the Spotlight is just 2 days away and I am in jitters. I have been to so many other events in the past, have managed, arranged, and produced so many of these smallish events that this should be like the back of my hand. But no, I am in jitters. Guess cos this one is super close to my heart? See this thread.

So, I think this is about for the day. I feel as if I should write more. But I dont know what. Guess will pour some thought on #book2. But before that, today’s track is this.


And here’s #freewriting for #book2. Missed it yesterday but I am back.

Rujuta was curious. “ABC, what are those red bottles doing all over your house?”

“Oh those? They are to keep the monkeys away.” ABC sipped onto the coffee that she had just brewed.

“What do you mean?”

“This place has a lot of Monkeys. We are a jungle remember? And it’s their jungle. We are mere visitors”

“Yeah. So?”

“These red bottles keep them away.”

“How so?”

“I don’t know. But you start picking these tricks when you start living in the jungles. Not that we’ve left a lot of it. Look at all those towers coming up. I know that people want homes but at what cost? Us humans fuck everything up. But listen. Don’t let my ideas spoil what you are here for. Shumbur.com you said? Tell me more?”

“Well, Shumbur is my attempt to talk to 100 people from Goa and chronicle their journeys, lives, and all that. Plus I needed a new project and this looks and sounds like a good idea.” Rujuta said.

“So who all have you talked to?”

Rujuta couldn’t understand why this was almost the next question that everyone asked them!

“Wait. I am intrigued by these red bottles and monkeys. Do they really work? Tell me what other tricks did you pick up?”

Just then a branch snapped and some leaves rustled in the trees that Rujuta was facing. ABC had her back to those trees and she motioned her head and said, “there they are. Ask them what keeps them away.” She laughed and took a sip onto her coffee.

Rujuta noticed that even though ABC came across as a happy cheerful person, there was a tinge of sadness somewhere. She couldn’t put a finger on it but she knew. Her years and years of experience with seeing people from behind the lens had trained her to spot these patterns. She considered herself a fairly good people-watcher, but not as good as Tarana. And that was ok. Tarana had many more decades over Rujuta!

“And Nah, no more tricks. You just need to get used to the dogs and mosquitos and snakes. Oh, and those insecure vultures and sharks that want to take you for a ride.” The comment from ABC was uncalled for. But Rujuta sniffed an opportunity of a story there. These instincts are what makes a good journalist stand out from a great and she was no doubt among the greatest ones!

She knew she had to get to the bottom of it and fish out a story. If not for Shumbur, then for her curiosity. But she knew she had to be patient. So, she made a mental note of it and continued to smile at ABC.

***

Ok, that’s it. Couldnt find the right words 🙁

Maybe tomorrow I will. Maybe tomorrow is better! Over and out.

190121 – Morning Pages

The day when I actually had work, the Internet decides to act up, even at the most expensive co-working space in Goa. Here’s my cry for help!

5:42

I’ve been up for a while. I didn’t sleep ok, to be honest. That’s why I am up and about. For a change, I am stressed. And no, it’s not induced by anything that gives stress to people (money, relationships, etc). I am stressed cos I don’t have internet and for a change, I have a lot to do. I mean this is regular work (promise I have not started anything new or picked up any new projects; if only I have reduced the number of things I am doing). The fucking Internet is being a bitch. I can change my life and stay up all night and work (when thankfully the net works a tad better) but most of my works is coordinating with other people and I am at the mercy of others. I’ve tried most things I can. Sit on the balcony of the house, perch from the rooftop, sit at cafes all day long (and sip onto expensive bad coffee), given a kidney to fancy co-working spaces that are as expensive as WeWork in Andheri is. And yet I can’t seem to get reliable Internet.

So that.

In fact, last night, around 9, I felt exhausted after a while. I realized why people in consulting kind of gigs become alcoholic. It’s impossible to talk to so many people and make them understand such trivial things that you’d assume as commonsense.

Ok, this sounds like a rant.

Lemme change tone.

So, I worked so hard yesterday that I was exhausted. Most of the work I did was thinking and moving around objects on a PowerPoint and on Excel sheets. But it was tiring. It’s all the thinking that tired me out. For a change, I felt as if I have earned my bread. Lol. Earned my bread.

I have to be honest that yesterday I was so frustrated that I couldn’t even log in to a website. I had to download a 30 MB file and it took me an hour. No kidding. And all this when I was at an expensive co-working space. I was so mindfucked that I thought I would go back to Mumbai. Last night itself. But the Internet continued to give me trouble, I couldn’t even log in to a website. Even though I was a pricey co-working space. So much so that I thought I will go back to Mumbai. Anyhow, sense prevailed. But the decision is clear. If you have to live in Goa, you need to get used to the bad internet. There is no way around that. Unless you live in “cities” like Mapusa, Margaon, Porvorim, Panjim etc. But that’s not Goa. No?

Wonder how do all the other film companies, tech companies, SM companies operate? They need Internet like we need air!

No, the phone does not work either. Power cuts are frequent but that you can manage. For someone that wants to be so hyper-connected, I need to find a solution if I have to live here long-term. So that.

Ok. Enough. Moving on. I think the exhaustion was not from work but from the non-availability of the Internet!

The good part about yesterday is that I could manage OMAD. I actually did almost 28 hours. I could’ve one a couple more for sure. Rege would be proud of me. Of course, I ate fried rice and roti and aaloo and Kurkure and Lays and Diet Coke and all that but that’s ok. I deserved it. No, I did not walk as much yesterday. I told ya, bad day with work. I’ll see if I can do another 24 hours today. That means I will eat at around 10. As I write this, it’s 5:30 and I am already hungry 😀

In other news, the ankles still hurt from all the walking that happened the day before. I think I need to wear shoes when I go on these long walks. I guess the flip-flops from Decathlon are not meant for long-term use. Let’s see when I walk next. I am thinking, tomorrow evening from 5 to 8 or something.

I think this is all I have for the day. I do have a long one today with back to back calls (again) and then a site recee at a forest-resort. So no time to complain.

Oh yes. I know what to talk about. When I was moving here, I had a list of people that I wanted to meet. Funnily off that list, I have yet to meet anyone, save Rajat Sir. And no, I have not been tardy with follow-ups or something but just that everyone is so busy and no one wants to travel around Goa much. Or may be it’s me? If I were SRK and I asked people to meet me, would they not take out time? Would they not travel? Hmmm…

PS: No, I am not sore about it. I understand that people have priorities. In fact, I expect nothing from others. Just that I get fuel for my fire when I get to talk to inspiring people. And I need that constantly 🙂

Ok, enough. Over and out.

Time for #freewriting on #book2

“I wonder why would they make them forts in the first place? And that too on the top of a cliff. Who’s climbing up a rock to come attack you? And if it’s a mere watch-point to see if someone’s paying you a visit or planning an attack, all you need is a light-house or something. Why a damn fort that goes around ‘1988 meters’ around the hill as the board claims”, she spoke while reading the tourist information board outside Fort Aguada.

“I am not the Prince of Portugal or whoever made this fort. How would I know?”, he was both irked and amused. It was her idea to do the touristy thing and he did not want to say no to any opportunity to hang out with her. Was it her perfume? Or the easy going manner in which she went around? He couldn’t pin point.

“Chintan! Come on! It was a genuine question”, Rujuta looked at him.

“I know, I know. I also do not know genuinely who or why”, Chintan looked into Rujuta’s eyes.

This was the first time since Prakash died over 5 years ago that Rujuta had let her guard down to spend time with another man. If Tarana heard about Rujuta finding comfort in the company of Chintan, she would probably run to the printing press to get the Shaadi cards printed! Unlike other 70-something-year olds, Tarana was the one egging Rujuta to go sleep with whoever. She couldn’t see her daughter go from a happy-go-lucky, living-in-the-moment, hedonist young girl into a middle-aged woman that found no joy in nothing she ever did. They often argued about it and both of them were head-strong enough to not let the other dominate. But with Chintan, it may change.

Rujuta looked back at him with the swag of the Rujuta when she first met Prakash. The stare lingered on for a moment tad more than what’s between two good friends. She knew she was inviting trouble. Chintan was still a married man, even if he was separated and he carried way too much baggage about proving to his wife that he amounted to something. Things that Rujuta could fix easily. She knew what men were made of.

Chintan was not sure where this was headed. He was used to getting easy attention from the fairer gender and he knew that he knew the art of charm. People like that are dangerous. The ones that are good and they know that they are good. To Chintan, Rujuta felt special. She was unlike other women and definitely unlike his wife, “that bitch”, he muttered. Even the fleeting thought about the wife made him sore.

Their who-blinks-first bout was broken by a photographer who had walked up to them and said, “Sir, how about a picture of madam holding onto the sun in her hands.” He pushed an instant photo into Chintan’s face.

Rujuta played along and feigned excitement, “Wow, that would be so nice. Can I hold it over my head also?” She cupped her hands and held them over her head.

The photographer knew he has made a killing and he can sell them at-least 5 prints in 5 poses. Little did he know who Rujuta was and what her body of work with photography stood for. Especially since Prakash died, Rujuta had taken her work up by several notches and now was one of the most sought-after photojournalists in the world!

***

Fuck an idea. How about teach all these photographers the wonders of Instagram and get them more work? Worth thinking about. #parkedIdea. Will revisist someday.

For the time being, over and out.

030121 – Morning Pages

I talk to myself about how I spent yesterday, about life in Goa, about the idea of home. Nothing special but an inane update.

Its 8 AM and this is not the first thing I am doing. First thing was to post a picture on Instagram. This one. I did it from the bed. I broke all rules today if you want to know. I checked Instagram, Twitter, and WhatsApp while my eyes were still groggy.

So clearly, I am not having a good second third day of the year! The second day actually went in a blur. Started with calls, emails and by the time I saw the clock, it was 4. And then went for a walk, where I was literally attacked by a pack of dogs for no rhyme or reason. If not for other people around that helped me fend off the strays, I probably would be getting some rabies shots or something. Not to mention all the disruption it would have caused in my plans for the year! In fact, yesterday only AG told me to get a pet – he said when you have nothing going for yourself, you can lean on one. He gave examples of many lonely people who have no object of affection to look after and have cats and dogs that sort of meaning to their lives. I did not know that I give off vibes that I need someone to take care of like that. May be it’s the age? And even if it is, I would rather adopt a child than care for a pet. Fucking strays.

Anyhow moving on. So I did go for a longish walk yesterday. About 10K steps. Earlier, I would listen to podcasts while I was walking. Yesterday, I tried to listen in and for some reason, I could not concentrate even for a bit, even though I had put up a JRE episode. Wonder what’s wrong. Oh, I have to mention that I wore a Decathlon phone pouch while walking and it worked wonders. The phone did not flop around the pocket while I was bouncing around. I love such companies that make thoughtful products that are both functional and are appealing. I mean look at Apple. Nike. Decathlon. Of course, Decathlon is different from the other two – affordable, mass-market, etc. But I love em. In fact, the first thing I did when I came to Goa was to buy chappals and a tiny backpack that could carry the phone, a notepad, and the credit cards. I really really recommend em! Go check em out. Lol, now we are giving recommendations on morning pages!

The good part yesterday however was that I did not eat crap, even though I was tempted to. I had eggs, panner, and some soup. All thanks to Nicky M’s. And some peanuts. Avoided carbs to a large extend. Yay. Now to continue this for another 6 months and continue to walk and may be do some pushups. Lol!

Apart from these two things, I am fairly blank in how to write or what to write. I miss the fact that I do not have a place to go sit and work out of at this hour. In Mumbai, the earliest Starbucks would be open at 7 and I could actually get a lot of work done. Yes, it was expensive but atleast I was getting things done. Here, it’s a struggle to find a business that opens early enough to allow for some meaningful work to happen early in the morning. Even co-working spaces here operate on restaurant hours. No, I can’t complain – that’s how people are. Am a weirdo. I am thus forced to start my day at 1030 and by the time I get in the grind, the whole world is up and is screaming for attention. The other option is to go the night-owl route. Wake up late, start late, end late, sleep late. But then, most people like to enjoy their evenings and that means all the places that I could potentially use to sit out of and work would be packed with people partying? May be I just need to learn how to work from home? Something that I have been trying to learn for some 20 years and yet failing at. I can manage to work from home but I don’t get into the flow easily. At a public place, am like a ninja and I put my keyboard on fire! I mean I wrote most of #tnks from a Starbucks (Powai). Whatever blogging I’ve managed, all of it has happened on the run or from some coworking space. The best decks that I have churned have happened at offices. In fact, I can blame the lockdown for a hit in my productivity – simply because I did not have a place to go to!

Oh, it’s almost been a month now (I came here on the 6th. Or was it the 7th?) and I need to now decide if I want to be here. Or if I want to go back to Mumbai. Right now, I am on the fence. I like the newness of the place. I am enjoying meeting all the new people and experiencing all the new things. I like that most people are easy going. I like that there is a thriving social scene here (which I don’t enjoy, to be honest, and which is probably better and more vibrant in Mumbai, but I have stayed away from). I like love that I have no pressure of dressing up here and a pair of tattered shorts is as accepted as an Armani suit is (unlike in Mumbai where you are continuously judged). I love love that no one here judged for who you are or what you’ve done. I like how people accept you in their lives, their homes, and their hearts.

Of course, I sometimes do crave for the comfort of familiarity and availability of things to do back in Mumbai, but I think things that really make a place feel like home (people, warmth et al), I no longer have those in Mumbai. I never had those in Delhi (well, parents live there but that’s that and I got over my affinity for the place too early on in life). I miss the hustlers of Aram Nagar and aspiring actors of Lokhandwala and the never-stop, never-say-die attitude of almost everyone around me. I miss meeting friends of friends that are doing great things and getting inspired by them.

Could I be at both places at the same time? Do I even want to be thinking of doing this and keeping my two feet in different boats? Did I not want to be a nomad? Just a few days ago I was talking about living out of a suitcase, giving up all my possessions and thus, a home altogether.

Wait. What the fuck is home?

There are no easy answers. Especially for someone who’s at my place in life – no clear vocation (I do multiple things but it’s impossible for me to explain to others in an elevator pitch), no financial stability (in debt, no predictable cash flow), lofty ambitions (and yet little to show for and un), arrogance (for what joy I don’t know), large lifegoals (Everest, Billion lives, Billion dollars) and other such quirks that make me who I am. Let’s see when I find an answer.

Or when I decide.

For the time being, let’s settle at this – I like it here in Goa. And I miss being in Mumbai.

Until next time, over and out!


PS: If you want to receive these on WA every day, lemme know. I’ll add you to the broadcast list.

010121 – Morning Pages

The first post of 2021. I marvel at all the partygoers and I realise my own limitation as a human being. Plus random tidbits.

010121 – Happy new year!

A new post. I have been big on these new beginnings since I can remember. This one, #in2021, is no different. While I get depressed on my birthdays, I am excited like a child for the new year. I see an opportunity for a fresh start. I make elaborate lists of things that I’d do in the new year. For #in2021, I am yet to publish the list but I have been on it for a few days now. Let’s see when I get to publish it.

So, last night I was walking down probably the busiest street in Goa and I was surprised, shocked, and appalled at what I saw. The road was choc-a-block with cars, two-wheelers, pedestrians, and other revelers and merrymakers. There were hardly any masks and there was definitely no social distancing. No one was worried about COVID-19. As if it did not exist. There were parents with young kids that were ok to move around in the crowded markets. Heck, they seemed to be enjoying. I spotted a couple asking for recommendations where they could party with their 3-year old. Groups of friends were willing to hug strangers and share drinks. Businesses were trying to get people to stuff in like this was the last time they’d ever make money.

It was sad and pathetic.

It’s like people want to die! They do not care about their lives, or of others. I saw so many people so drunk out of their wits that they could not stand straight. This one girl literally tipped over the fence, onto the sidewalk. I am not sure what’s this excitement about getting drunk just because the calendar is advancing by one. I have someone close that is big on these parties. When I asked her, she said, “just”. I don’t know what this just means. Maybe I will learn in a few years?

I mean, you may argue that my excitement over these new-year resolutions and checklists is as irrational as what I am claiming the new-year celebration to be. May be. To each their own!

So, may be it’s wrong of me to judge em. It’s their life and they can do whatever they think is right for them. That’s the thing. I think I know all the answers and I am this gift to mankind that has the responsibility of fixing everyone and everything broken. I often get into trouble for offering unsolicited advice. And I have always been ok with the trouble. I feel as if I am making a difference, even if they are not ready. After all, the truth is bitter and a tough pill to swallow.

May be I need to swallow the pill that people are different and could have different motivations and preferences and lives than you.

So that.

Anyhow.

What I know for sure is that the madness in Goa will get over by the 4th and the world will be back to places they belong. And then it would take another 15 days to figure the aftereffects (COVID primarily) of all these people that descended on Goa from all parts of the country. And by then we would be back to regular programming. And that means life would start looking normal again. Normal = new normal.

So, as I write this, I am at the Royal Enfield Garage Cafe at Baga. I love the location and the ambience. If I ever make an office, it would be on these lines. And since its the pandemic year, there are hardly any people here, except when people are partying. I am sipping on to a lemonade (I hate the citrus-y taste but am trying to get healthy, like each year. lol!) and after I’ve had half a glass of it, I spotted this dead body of the tiny bug in the glass. And I have continued to sip onto it. That’s the thing. Since I’ve come to Goa, I have become indifferent to this dance of life. Earlier, I was super finicky about these insects and all. Oh, I have also started to get comfortable with dogs all over again. I think when in Goa, you can’t avoid running into them and most of them are far friendlier than the ones I have encountered elsewhere. So that’s a big change for me!

Oh, the other thing that I need to write is that this one took as much effort as the one I wrote yesterday. The one yesterday was for the want of will, this one was made tough as there was no electric current.

But then, somehow, made it happen. I feel like god 😉

With that, over and out!

221220 – Morning Pages

Morning Pages for 22nd Dec. I talk about the people I’ve met here and how I seek my characters in them.

Hello World! 7:44 AM types.

The eyes are yet to open but the head is already full of a million things swirling around. Mostly to do with what I could do from here on (in life etc). And a little about how I’ve lived the life so far. Plus it’s less than 10 days to go for the end of the year and I am in that zone about maxxing how I will live the next year. Yeah, I am big on these yearly planning things.

The zone is not the best place to be in. I get reflective, sad, melodramatic, and all that. I also get excited beyond measure. A new year is a new opportunity to do things that you haven’t done ever. While I will do a longish post on what I want to do in 2021 and beyond, there is one thing for sure. The book has to be out. Come what may.

In fact, I met this 27-year old yesterday that just moved to Goa a couple of months ago and is hustling hard to make ends meet. Of course, she is yet to get there but I loved her story. I think I’ve found my Udita, one of the characters in #book2. On the last trip to Goa, I found a character in Mrinal. On Sunday, Nicky helped me meet another person that’s been sailing for more than 28 years and can give me inputs on pirates and ports and all that. In the hindsight, the decision to be in Goa for a bit seems to be making sense.

Thing is, I am on the lookout for people and stories proactively and I am catching quite a few. It’s not being easy. I made some very open-ended posts on FB and even though a lot of people wrote, very few seem to be genuinely interested in talking. I am unable to crack the code required to do so. But whatever I have encountered have been really cool and fascinating beyond measure. For example, at the place where I am staying at, the caretaker is trying to sell a disputed property at rock-bottom prices and is at it all the time. Every time I meet him, he lowers the offer by a lakh. I think I’ll wait it out a few months and I will probably get it for free! Then Nupura told me about this place where people park their cars with a ‘For Sale’ sign and forget. For the book, imagine, I could write the actual directions and park a damn car for the rest of my life!

I must talk about her while I am at it. She is one of those rare super-connectors that actually know people. Most others merely claim. She does. I have seen it in action. I wish I could become that. She knows everyone by their first names. And if she doesn’t, she knows someone by their first name that knows everyone in Goa by their first names. She is separated by a mere one-degree. Now that’s a skill. And an opportunity. She says that Goa is like a village and everyone knows everyone else and what’s happening in their homes. Now that’s interesting as a facet. My book requires the characters and families to maintain secrecy for years. Is it even plausible that that would happen?

The other thing that makes her knowing of people special, better, etc is that she knows people from various circles. From restaurant owners to musicians to artists to filmmakers to chefs to business owners to investors and whatnot. I read a long time ago that for a person with limited talents to be successful, he/she needs to be a super-connector and with people from various disciplines. I think if I can get to a fraction of what Nupura has, I would do ok in life. Need to continue chasing her! I even thought about having her as a character in the book per se but I don’t think I can capture all that she’s made up of.

The other thing that I was dying to write today (yes, I think about things throughout the day and make a mental note to write about those when I wake up) is that the routine that I am hoping to make (and talked about it here) will probably never happen. There are way too many variables at play here and I need way too many things to go write to make for a perfect day. So that.

Unrelated. I realized I must cut my nails. Been a few weeks now. To a point that when I type, my fingers don’t even touch the keyboard! Damn, I miss my nail cutter and filer. Will probably buy one.

Oh, I have started to have regular coke (for some reason Diet Coke and Coke Zero are not available here easily) and that too in litres. It’s just fucking with my system and I dont know how to not have.

Anyhow. I can see the post nudging towards a rant. Time to thus take a break and get going with the day. Have meetings lined up from 9 AM onward and I have less than 20 minutes to get in some semblance of presentation on them video calls.

With this, over and out!