A rambling post talking about things I am thinking about this Saturday morning. A lot of it is work. Need to get it out of the way.
The screen time across devices has reached a pandemic level. I am spending more than 18 hours on the phone and the laptop. I need to control it. I am literally addicted to social networking websites and I am scrolling those feeds without thinking. I am not even registering what I am seeing. I am merely moving. I am constantly checking even when I am engaged in other things. Need to get away from that.
Yesterday was good. I met one of the people I care for. I spoke to two more that I care for. And I met the friend that I literally grew up with. Drove around the town (realized how much I love driving) with him and talked about what he could do (realized how much I love thinking about work). Or what we could do together. We went to Theo’s and ate. Realised how much I love good cafes and getting out of the house even though I dont like the food. The concept of someone serving you and you being able to sit and all that is nice. I love them. If you are in Noida and want to eat good continental food or baked things, you have to go eat at Theo’s. At Theo’s I even had Diet Coke but that’s ok. It’s from the next week that I plan to get into action. So that’s cool.
#epiphany just happened. Maybe I dont like spending time at home because I dont have things that bind me at home. You know, relationships. People. Etc. Or may be I dont have the kind of space that I want – physical or personal. Maybe this is why I love the idea of moving from one place to another. Maybe this is why I hate indoors? Need to think.
In other things, saw this tweet where Visa (love this guy’s work and thoughts) says that Morgan wrote 3000+ articles before he became the phenomenal writer of Psychology of Money. This has reaffirmed my view on quantity vs quality debate. I need to double down on the output and continue writing. I mean I want to make a life as a content creator. I have merely written like 3 pieces and I am hoping to be famous. How dare I? Need to write a 100 pieces to start with. And then a 1000. And then ask the question to God, the Universe or whatever about success and failure.
I guess this is it. Oh, must log that I couldn’t get sleep last night for some reason. I was up till 3ish. Need to fix this.
Here’s the journal.
Emoticon: 🙂 Right now I am ok. I have just woken up and I am little tired and groggy (was up till 3 AM). Need to get back to better sleep and a better state of mind. I think if I stop being on so many devices all the time, it would be better.
Mindful Index (on a scale of 10): 0. Literally 0. Distracted all the time. Need to find a solution.
Things that I am grateful for
So many people put their faith in me. I am grateful that I have them around. It gives meaning to my life.
Things that would make my today great
Work. I have been stalling it this entire week. And this is the week after the trek. I should’ve done a lot to be honest. But I did not. I need to ship a lot of things. Must work hard today.
Better food. I need to be mindful of what I eat. Today on, I will get onto OMAD. Haven’t done it in a while. Will be tough. Let’s see if I can manage.
A daily affirmation I am a super hero and I can get things done at a snap of my fingers. I will show how cool I am and will get things done.
Amazing things that happened yesterday?
Met Monu. Spoke to people from #teamSG.
I drove a car after a while. I realised that I love it so so much that it’s not funny.
What could have made yesterday better?
If I could’ve avoided Diet Coke, I wouldn’t have broken the streak.
I wish I found the time to get some work done. It’s just playing too much on my mind. And if it’s wrecking such havoc on how I think and I am living, I need to find a way out. It is not worth taking all this stress. #note2self.
If I could have slept on time, it would have been nice.
Quote for the day “In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice, there is.” – Yogi Berra
PS: I could only write one thing that I am grateful for. I need to ensure that each day I force myself to think of three things.
PPS: I also need to avoid repetition. I wrote about a thing and then I am repeating it in the journal. I need to find a way to not waste words.
And here’s the streaks…
OMAD – 0
#book2 – 0
NOFAP – 0
#noCoke – 0. Had one Diet Coke yesterday.
#noCoffee – 2
#aPicADay – 8. I am yet to post today’s. I plan to take a new one. So if I post today, I will make the streak 9. If I dont, I am back to 0.
Daily Journal – 9
Money spent – 6361. I am back to tracking it rigourously. Ergo.
I longish post on how work, social constructs, luck, self-flagellation, travel and more. Kind of depressing. Read with caution.
7:05. Lokhandwala. Even though I am mere 7 days away from quitting this place (and I’ve had this for almost a year now), I still can’t seem to call this place home. There’s nothing home-like here. Too many old things from the landlord. Too few people that I would’ve liked to invite to make this into a home. No memories, no routines, no customizations were created. And it’s ok. I dont think I will miss this place at all. This one remains the second most worse house I’ve ever lived in, in Mumbai. The one in Peter Apartments takes the cake. The common thing between the two is that both are old houses with older furniture piled by the landlord to expect more rent. The lesson is that the next house that I move in, has to be empty, barring the ACs. And I refuse to own things till I know I will not have to move. Shifting a house is probably more stressful than managing an event.
Anyhow. It’s gonna be gone in less than a week. I will move most of my things out tomorrow. Leaving behind a change of clothes, a couple of bedsheets, and some toiletries. Will move everything (writing table, books, etc etc) tomorrow. So, the dream of living in a bare house shall come true. I actually did it with the last house as well. I slept in the empty house after I had moved all my things. And it was discomforting and weird and interesting af. Let’s see how is the experience in this house.
So, yesterday was a good day. From 8 till about 3 I was at a Starbucks (not my regular one though) and had some 242 green teas. Then I met a friend for another tea. The highlight of that meeting is that the friend told me that he’s for a membership to the MCA. Wow! So so cool! Also reminded me of the challenge thrown by Rana Sir. #lifeGoal! Among other things, I gave a lot of gyaan to this friend about life and all. And I realized that I enjoy doing that. Who doesn’t 😀
Then I had a work meeting where I had to present something. Oh, and I enjoyed it! It went ok, to be honest, we could’ve done more. But I loved that I was in a conference room, talking about things. I must do it more often. I mean, while I hate this concept of inter-city travel, I love the idea of being able to jam intelligently on things. I wish I could do it more often. I am ok even life makes me a traveling salesman that is on the road all the time talking. I am ok with having no home to come back to. There’s actually nothing I can call home. Probably apart from my parent’s house in Delhi. That too is fading away soon – you know, I’ve been away for too long, I am used to this weird lifestyle where I dont want anything or I want it as plush as an Ambani would have. So yeah.
Post the meeting, went out with colleagues for dinner. Till that time I had refrained from eating. Even though I was on the road. And then I gave in. The time when I had to show my biggest restraint, I gave in. But then, I only ate in that one window. So OMAD nonetheless. Will try yet again today for a 48-hour fast. Lol!
The other thing I realized is that I am unable to hold conversations that are about worldly matters. I did not know the cricket score. I had no clue what is the ideological difference between Taliban and ISIS. And how are they different from others. I had no inkling of the films and Netflix series that they were talking about. But when the topics swung to work, I could talk and I was unstoppable. This uni-dimensionality to my life needs to either become more pronounced. Or needs to go. I don’t know which. But one of these has to happen. #note2self
So that was yesterday.
Today looks a little ok. I mean I dont have any rushed meetings anywhere. I do have a few presentations to make. I do have some slides to write. But that’s that. A lot of time will be spent packing whatever little needs to be packed. So far my life is contained in 3 Ikea bags full of books, a carton full of paper, a big suitcase full of clothes and that’s all. I will probably have one more carton and one more suitcase. Of course the writing-table and all that.
Oh, almost forgot. In the big news, the road trip that I was super excited about for the last month or two? It got canceled. Technical reasons. I will no longer be able to meet all those people that I had promised to meet en-route Delhi. I will no longer be able to do the long-planned atma-manthan. Maybe it wasn’t supposed to happen in the first place? Maybe it will happen while I am walking towards EBC? But then, who knows if that gets canceled as well? You know how life could be. Despite me being a destiny’s child, life does hand me lemons when I least expect it to. I think I should get this “Expect the best. Prepare for the worst.” tattooed on me. Apart from “this too shall pass”. Good that I sat with SJ2 and got my will actioned. In case he forgets, in the worst-case scenario, if I am gone, I want my digital footprint wiped. I’d have no way of knowing if that happens but I trust custodians of my will to manage that.
Oh, btw, I decided to make a vlog of the trip to EBC. I am going to buy a few gadgets – a camera, gimbal, battery packs, etc. I am not sure if I want to go all-in and think about the vlog (rather than being in the moment and walking and thinking). But the idea has taken seed. I need to think over the next 5-6 days if I want to do it. Let’s see.
So, I am taking a train to Ahmedabad to meet Krishna. And then from there on, I’ll take a flight to Delhi (will or shall?). This means that all the things that I wanted to dump in Delhi, I can no longer carry. I will have to trust SJ2 or Paras with those things. They are reliable people but then those things are not mine and I am a mere custodian and I want to thus be super careful. Also, I had thought I would take a few things that my parents could use in Delhi (read TV) but then that may not happen. These are the times when I sort of crave for a lot of money. You know, I would’ve bought a car and then dumped it in Delhi. The experience of being on the road for 5 days is what I was looking forward to. Wish I was resourceful enough to do this.
Wait. Fuck my misery.
The talk of resourceful reminds me of the Jeff Bezos quip. He says that the single largest quality he seeks in his partners / teams is resourcefulness. I think he said something like, “if I get trapped in a third-world country prison, I want my partner to be able to rescue me from there.” This is EXACTLY what is happening in Afghanistan. I am thinking if this were to happen in India tomorrow, do I have resourceful people to get out of India? Or if my favorite person was trapped in Af right now, could I’ve got her out? No. And No. So that means, I need to put in more work. And I need to inculcate this in every young person I meet.
To the thing above, if I need a balancing thought, I can say that I did get some help from a couple of loose connections (Jash and another writer) on a new project that I am pitching for. And both of them are willing to work on it without seeking any upfront compensation. So, in a way, I do have access to people that can help me if needed. Even last year when I needed help, I was surprised that loose connections were more approachable and helpful than the ones I share a strong bond with. Life’s funny like that. Actually, not life. Us humans are funny. We look at patterns and try and seek evidence in support of the ones we believe to be true. And I somehow manifest them to repeat. I can put forth a lot of examples. My romantic partners lose interest in me after a bit and consider hanging out with me an “embarrassment” in the worlds they live in. My “boy gang” continues to march forward on frivolous conversations and is hardly around to help with fuckeries of life. I seem to quit work right when I was just supposed to reap the benefits. I’ve lived almost 40 years with this pattern. This cycle. Dunno when and how I would break out of it.
Ok enough. Rant. Damn this promise to live in public.
Guess this is about it.
Felt amaze to write 1000+ words after a while.
Thing is, when I have things to write about, I can write fast and I can make sense. I just need to be able to do this even when I have nothing in my head. That’s when magic would happen!
Chalo with that, it’s over and out. In less than 35 minutes, I have 1500+ words. Well done, Mr. G!
A shortpost lamenting about lack of money, fancy things, audience and more. Damn these ranty and negative posts!
8:30. Starbucks. Somewhere in Lower Parel. I am here yet again. Second time in less than a week or so. Work. Sigh. I am now realising how incredible a waste of time this face to face meetings are, especially when it’s mere transactional work. TBH, today is not transactional per se. This one is an important meeting. But this could very well have been a Zoom call. But theek hai. Kaam hai. Karo.
So, yesterday I was supposed to start a 48-hour fast. But I ended up eating like a pig. That was coming out of famine. I ate whatever I saw. Even if the taste was BS and all I ate was fried in oil that was already heated and re-heated a million times. As a result, my stomach has revolted. I have this funny feeling in my gut. I dont know what to do to solve it. I remember Vijesh telling me that each time you are unwell, just fast for 3 days and have just coconut water. So lemme try that today. I mean today I will have to have a lot of green tea (aka ghaas ka paani) as I am on the road but I can have coconut water from tomorrow on. Let’s see.
Also, yesterday, a funny thing happened. I have to log it in here. I am part of the team that is making a short film. For that, since it’s an indie film, we need to save as much money as we can. The team decided that they would pick things from our respective homes and houses and decorate the set. They thus decided to come over to my place. And when they were decided that, I realized that I hate to let strangers come over to my space for inspection. I dont have anything to hide. I have just a handful of things. Even those, most are packed already. I keep my place mostly tidy. But when the decision was made to come over to my place, I was fucked in my head. And these were people that I trust and love and care for and all that. And for a project that would help me go beyond in life. And yet I heard my pit growl. I dont know what it is about getting people in places where I live.
I remember last year when I lived at a fancier place, during the lockdown, VG and AS came over on some frivolous pretext. I was mindfucked for a week after that. The same thing happened when I lived in a fancy locality but a fuckall house. I think it’s my insecurity at the inability to make enough to stand shoulder to shoulder with my peers. I need to think more about this at some point in time in life. Let’s see when. #toThink
Oh, I got paid for a project that I had done in June. This means I can now fund the film that I spoke about earlier. And more importantly, I can pay my people. Yay!
Ok. Moving on. Next thing. Today.
For starters, I am gonna try and fast today.
Today looks like a bad day. In the sense that I am already in unchartered waters (wearing pants, formal shirt, carrying shoes, at a place that is known for poshness). Plus way too many things open with way too many projects for one of my clients. Plus the growling stomach and the parched heart. Wah. Parched heart. I wish I was more famous and my words found more homes.
I just hope that I can avoid the temptation to eat while I am zipping thru the town. Of course, I have discovered that as long as I am busy in my head, I can. So maybe I need to do that. Keep myself occupied. With what? I dont know yet. Let’s see.
Guess this is it for the day. I shall report back how it is tomorrow.
A short rant on house I want to have, minimalism and more.
8:36. Woke up a few minutes ago. Still hungover from all the work I did yesterday. I would’ve spent 23 hours on calls yesterday. I started work at 830/845 types. I ended at 10. With no breaks except the ones to pee. I ate while the calls were on. I sleepwalked through the day. To a point that I was finally sick of a computer and I threw the laptop aside and went to sleep.
Of course, I did not sleep and whiled time on the Internet till 2. And as a result, I am groggy and tired. Both in the head and in the body. I think I’ll go for a short walk to get my body to move. Maybe that will give me the feeling of an escape. I have been trapped in this house for 3 days now and I need a way out. Or I can alternatively do them Surya Namaskars. I havent done for 2 days now. Let’s see what I end up doing.
I am listening to this track after a while and I must say, it gets my brain moving! I mean it makes me think and groove and wonder at amazement and does all sorts of interesting things. I love this idea of music playing out loud in the morning. To a point that I am enticed to buy a big-ass speaker that plays good music. But then, the minimalist in me would hate seeing it around every day.
Lemme talk about that.
I think I know what I need. I need one space where I have all these fancy things that make life comfortable – you know, a large screen TV, fancy speakers, deep rugs, writing chairs, coffee makers, fancy bookshelf with all my books on it, lamps, walls full of paintings, art, and some shelves with all the other things that I want to have. May be I will use this place as a storehouse where I will dump all those things that I have gathered over the years (to be honest a lot of those are no longer with me – every time I move house, I discard some of those, including the ones that I have the largest affinity to).
And then I need a space that’s barren like a desert. Much like one of my earlier houses. Where all I have in a large bedroom is one thick mattress, some pillows, dark curtains, the silentest AC, and some water bottles. And that’s about it. Outside that bedroom, I want another large room with literally nothing. I need space to walk around. I need to be able to walk to a large balcony and stare at the world outside. I can’t do with these closet houses where they make large windows and yet you look over at a dump. This place has to be on one of the higher floors, if not the highest floor ever.
I miss the time when I could simply go to a broker and ask him/her to get me the house on the topmost floor. I can no longer do that. May be in a few months acche din will be back. May be I will get this cluttered workspace and sparse living and thinking space.
Sigh. Wishful thinking. Anyhow. Need to start the day and get going with work. Not too many things around writing etc. Here’s streaks.
Morning Pages / Meditations – 136
#aPicADay – 0
10K steps a day – 0
OMAD – 0
#noCoffee – 49
#noCoke – 49
10 mins of meditation – 2
#book2 – 0
Killer Boogie – 0
Original Work (limited time only) – 0
Surya Namaskar – 2 today’s the second day on the trot when I am not doing this.
In this one, I have a heart-to-heart chat with myself. About things that I’ve been thinking about subconsciously. Do read and lemme know what you think.
Not in the best shape rn. I slept at around 2. Had some coke (real, not Diet) and a bucket full of McD fries at around midnight. Two large Americanos just before that. And don’t know what else crap during the day. In fact, I felt so unwell, so full yesterday since the morning that I had to sleep it off. And all this, when I have sort of, managed OMAD for three-four days. In fact, as I type this, I am hungry and I just want to eat all there is in the world.
Damn damn. Need to figure out this soon.
Ok. On to morning pages. Today’s a tad different. Most things I am writing today are from notes that I made last night when I was trying to sleep. I did not plan to make notes per see but them thoughts when I was fucked in the head had to be captured. They couldn’t remain fleeting. I know this is like cheating. The idea of morning pages is to write about what am thinking once I wake up. And use notes from the previous night. But these had to be captured. I think I will make an exception this one time.
Oh, before we do that, here’s the track am tripping on since last night…
In bullet points, I want to talk of following. While elaborate on each as I go along.
Love public places
Rethinking the idea of a home.
Love for the sky
Here we go…
a. Love for nights.
Last night, I was working from an McD. While coming back, I was on a scooty and the roads were empty, except for the ones looking for parties. And escape. And I realized that I love the idea of nights. The world has sort of retired to their bedrooms and you are out there. Out and about. Doing your thing. Could be ground-breaking work. Could be something inane. The roads are empty. The weather’s better. The only others to keep you company are young lovers, paddlers of “sin”, others of your ilk that want to do more with their lives. That’s all. All three are the ones that need to be celebrated more than anyone else. The ones that burn the midnight oil are the ones that do crazy things.
And yeah, the world needs more crazy. I need more crazy.
Sadly, because I chase longevity, I try to follow the sun with my routine. I wish I could do otherwise. I wish I could stay up till late (like I have always done since I was a child) and yet remain alert, healthy, active, and all that.
b. Love for public places.
I love public places. Like Mcd. Starbucks. NickyM’s. Co-working spaces. Lounges. Hotels. And more. Especially if they are comfortable. I just can’t do home. I will talk more about the home in a bit. I have to be out and about. With others around me. Others could be my people. Or strangers. But others. The lockdown made me realize that I could stay alone in a house if I had to, as long as I have the Internet :D. I can even live on a secluded island.
But given an option, I would like to be in a public place. Literally live in a public place. Even if I am an introvert. I thus need to ensure that whatever I do, I have access to some interesting public places that are welcoming. And are comfortable. #note2self
The third L in the row. So yesterday was crazy. I had a bad day. I was sort of unwell. I was on the roads late at night by myself. And I felt lonely. I think I felt like this after quite a few days. Most times I can keep myself a great company. I am ok to be alone. I never understood the idea of solo travel but I have been able to live by myself.
When I talk of loneliness, I don’t mean friends or relatives or spouse or even this blog. I mean someone that I could be with that did not need explanations, someone that’s easy going. You know, someone that is non-judgemental. Someone that fans my fire. Yes yes, all these are typically rolled into one in your friends or spouse. I am super lucky to have great friends all my life. My romantic relationships have been rocky but I can not complain – it was me more often than not. The loneliness that I felt yesterday was of a different kind. You know, I wish I had another set of people (apart from friends, family, romantic partners, business partners etc). Not forever. But temporarily. You know, like you goto a staycation even when you have a home right next to you. How you goto a bar and get drunk. Bars are non-judgemental af. Must write more about them. How you goto those temporary relationships where you see physical comfort.
Fuck! Epiphany. This is EXACTLY(!) what my characters have been seeking at Caravan Serai!
FUCK FUCK FUCK! What a discovery! Caravan Serai (my next book) is about people that are seeking a temporary escape from their existing lives! And want a life that is different from the ones they’ve lived so far! The damn Caravan Serai is exactly that. A temporary resting place as you make your way from point a to point b. I need my own Caravan Serai. Most people find it in alcohol, casinos, drugs extra-marital affairs, and more. Need to find what is my poison. And then convince me that I ought to take it! This was nice! I have this mile-wide smile on my face. The first real one in more than a few days.
d. Rethinking the idea of a ‘home’.
I’ve been in Goa for a few days now. I am living out of a suitcase. The good part is that since I am not meeting any work-related people, I can wear whatever. So that helps.
What is home? A place where you can sleep naked on the floor? Where I can prop up my feet on a fancy table? A place where I can get away from societal norms? A place where you remember what button switches on what appliance? A place where you hang paintings that you like without having to seek permission? A place that you come back to after you’ve had enough at work or at a Caravan Serai? A place that allows me to get into a comfortable place in my head?
I’ve been rethinking the idea of home. Can I live out of a suitcase for good? I have not missed the things that I have in Delhi or Mumbai houses since I’ve come here. I have always attached so much emotion to the writing table, the books, the guitar, the notes that I have taken over the years. Heck, I don’t remember things that I have stored in Mumbai. When I go back, I will make so many serendipitous discoveries. That would be nice. Ok, I digressed. Back.
I know that for a lot of people these things mean a lot. These objects are very important. But for me, these don’t mean a thing. And if the last few weeks are anything to go by, like I said, I haven’t missed them a bit.
Can I thus become a minimalist nomad? Is it sustainable with my parents growing older and needing care (not to say they need it. They are very independent and I am grateful for that)? How would I fund this nomadism? What about my quirks? Whims? I don’t like to live with others (friends etc). I need my own space. Even if my best friend lived in a certain city, I like to stay in a hotel. I have to have my space. As a digital nomad, this is not possible – I will have to manage with whatever I get.
And what if, at some point in time, I do want to “settle down”? Do I then create a home?
e. Moving things.
This is important to me. I love the idea of creating movement. Since the pandemic, my ability to create this movement has stalled.
Wait. What do I mean by moving things? Creating movement?
I don’t have a definition but in a broad sense, by creating movement, I mean nudging people to take action on things that I feel are going to fulfill them. I like the idea of seeding new ideas. They may or may not fructify. I love trying new things. I love tinkering and putting new things out there in the world. I like the idea of millions of side projects, side hustles. Not to make money per see. But to see what is possible. You know, lift rocks to see what comes from underneath. Ask questions. Scratch the itch. Get curious. Ask questions. Move things. Get the drift?
Last night, it dawned onto me that since I’ve come to Goa, I’ve caused any movement anywhere. I’ve been working on all the existing things but no new movement has happened. I mean I did think about Shumbur.com but that’s not proving to be easy at all to execute.
This movement is what I need in life. I don’t know what is it about Goa that I am unable to move things. Need to investigate more.
f. The Morning Hour.
So I realized that I need a couple of hours to myself before I start the day. I often get late in waking up and then I am rushing to catch meetings. There was a time where I could dictate terms with how I would spend my time. Lately, I am unable to. And that’s causing my random anguish.
In fact, I think the inability of moving things is because I dont have this morning hour for myself anymore. I dont feel equipped to take on the world unless I have had this hour to myself. No, I dont mean that I need to meditate or write or whatever. I like the idea of control and plan and I want to just think about how I want to spend the day.
In fact, I have found that if I dont plan my time in the morning, I miss deadlines. A lot. So that has to become sacrosanct all over again.
Will action from today on. After this morning pages is done, will spend time planning things. And will not move on anything.
Oh, the other realisation, as I was editing this is that I need to find an office or something for me fast if I have to work better. I do my best work when I am following a predictable routine. And there’s no place like an office to do that.
Of course I’ve been thinking a lot about work lately. I cant seem to pin point where I want to head next. There are projects that I want to deliver (help TRS, PPP etc break even, finish book2, run a marathon etc), these dont run the economic engine that I need to sustain the life that I want to live.
I know everyone has had a terrible year but the terribility or non-terribility of their year does not pay my bills. So while it’s good to compare and seek solace in collective fuckery, I need to look out for myself. And the ones I am responsible for.
I need to get this sorted fast. Before shit hits the roof. If it hasnt already.
h. Love for the sky.
Lately, my Instagram feed has sort of got fucked. They are terrible pictures. They tell no story. They are not even ordinary. They are bad. However, I realized yesterday that I love skies. Open, wide, in all hues. In all colors. The last few posts have had the skies dotting the, well, skyline of the photos.
I never realized that I was the kind. But now I think, it’s evident. I think I even wrote in #tnks that Rujuta’s complaint with Mumbai was that she got no sky per se. I think that’s why I love high-rises – they sort of touch the sky. I love when am on a plane – public place, in the sky. What else do you want?
So that. No action point. Just wanted to report that I love the sky ;P
And yes, I will work harder to fix the insta feed!
So this is it. For today’s morning pages. I know this is different. But that’s ok. My morning pages. My blog. Ma lyf, mah rulez.
Phew. This was nice and intense. I need to move these to Roam during the day.
Onto #freewriting for #book2. It’s 8:10. I will stop at 8:30.
First time Rujuta saw a snake slither around on road, she was creeped beyond imagination. She had seen her stuff of wild, bloody, gory things but creepers were not her cup of tea. The cabbie looked at the obvious discomfort that Rujuta was in. He chuckled, “Madam, we call Goa a snake country.”
Rujuta looked at him with a questioning eye.
“Snakes are more commonplace here than what stray dogs are. In fact, during monsoons, you’d probably see more snakes on the roads than them tourists that anyway worse than the snakes”, the cabbie laughed at what he thought was a great joke.
“No way”, Rujuta muttered to herself.
“But don’t worry ma’am. They are mostly harmless. Even if they are poisonous, we don’t really get too many cases of people dying of snake bites. Dogs can be a problem though!” He clearly wanted to chat. Rujuta was his first ride of the day and he was expecting a fat tip if he went by experience. He had judged Rujuta from her clothes and could make out that she was a wife of a banker or something and is in Goa to chill with her buddies from her kitty. She was even going to the hotel that was most frequented by these fancy trophy wives, the Taj on top of the Aguada.
Rujuta had remained silent.
He pushed on but wanted to be cautious as well. The first ride of the day set the tone for how his day was going to go. “Are you here by yourself?”
Rujuta did not want to get into a conversation. She merely nodded. She was seated next to the driver. The cabbie had found this little awkward but he dismissed it as a quirk of a rich housewife. Rujuta and Prakash had many arguments over where to sit. Often she would do it only to rile up Prakash and even though he was now gone, she continued to favor the seat. She liked to see the road up ahead and getting into a reverie. This was her trance. Her meditation. her thinking tool.
She anyway had a lot on her mind. The trip to Goa was anyway an unplanned one. Tarana was insistent that she go travel. It’s been almost 5 years since Prakash was gone. Rujuta had immersed herself into the world of colors and paints and boxed herself in her 2 bedroom apartment. Thankfully she did not have any fancy expenses per se and thus she didn’t have to work.
Tarana had found some local boy and got him to book a ticket for Rujuta. The boy even got the name wrong on the ticket. Tarana did not know that it could be a problem when Rujuta would board the flight. But the ticket it was. To Goa. The place that Tarana thought everyone from Mumbai went for a holiday. The boy had told her that Lonavala and Alibaug and Matheran were too common.
Rujuta did not want to make a trip but this was a rare occasion when Tarana had actually booked a flight for her. She couldn’t say no. Rujuta booked herself in the hotel for a couple of nights. She had planned to decide on what to do next once she landed in Goa.
That’s it for the day. Hope you have a great one.
In this one, I have a heart-to-heart chat with myself about things that I’ve been thinking about at a subconscious level Do read, if you can.
PS: I’ve been writing this daily update, every morning for a few days now. I send the link to a few friends and family on Whatsapp every day. Should you want to receive the link to these updates, do let me know and I will add you to the list.
In this edition of morning pages, I talk to myself about how it would be to live out of a suitcase. So far, it doesn’t look doable 😀
Morning. When I decided to write these, these were supposed to be the very first thing I’d do in the morning.
Mornings have been precious to me. I like the idea of getting things done first thing in the morning. In fact, my best work (ideas, thoughts, writing, etc) happens in the morning. That is why I have not been able to work out in the morning. cc Harshit. I want to have that feeling of having done something productive in the morning. Even if it’s writing all my ideas, thoughts, rants on a piece of paper. Or on these morning pages. Writing, rather, pounding on the keyboard has been my thing. I feel as if I have done something. I know these are not really productive things. I am probably being busy for sake of being busy, rather than doing any actual work!
Today however I broke the rule.
The first thing I did today was to clip my nails.
And I can tell you that I miss my nail cutter and filer more than I miss a hug from the people that I love the most. Really. The idea that I’ve been toying with about giving up my house and everything that I own? If I do implement it #in2021, I would not leave my nail cutter and the filer behind. Filer I can manage without but nail cutter I cant. It is as personal and close an object as your toothbrush is. Or that old chappal that has now taken the shape of your feet! Or you know, how you know where the switch to turn on the light in your bedroom is? You can reach out to it blindly!
Nail cutter is that personal, intimate, close, required.
Coming back to the idea of packing my life in two bags, I am seriously considering it. Just that the travel bag may be too small for all the myriad things that I want to save – you know, the postcard that M & m made on my birthday, the photos of sgMS as a child, the post-it that Spa left behind on the green-board, the guitar that Vivek gave me, the Uke that Krishna made me buy, the paintings that Sonali has asked me to keep safe, the postcards that I have collected from all the travels that I have been lucky to have been on, the numerous books that are close to my heart. Fuck the list is long. For someone that wants to be a minimalist, I have a lot of things that I want to keep safe.
I need to reduce these so that I can fit them in a travel bag.
Wait. That may be too small. Maybe save all things that I can move in the boot of a car. And then take it around everywhere and live in hostels etc.
This actually sounds doable (getting a car). I can park it in long-term parking when I am on the road. I can dump the stuff at a hostel or something when the car needs repair.
Or I can rent one room somewhere and dump all my belongings there? I can totally see why storage units in the US are such lucrative businesses!
But the thing is, I need my space and I need my comfort and I need places to go during the day (I get bored with being at one place). With cheap co-working spaces offering me shelter and cheaper hostels offering me a bed, I think it is doable. May be this trip is an experiment in the direction? Right now, I spend my day in parts at a co-working space and in parts at a couple of restaurants where I have become friendly with the staff. Since there are not too many patrons anyway, they don’t care how long I spend there. I suspect once they get busy, they would not be as kind. Plus I have a fairly lavish space to myself, thanks to Rajesh Sir. If I did not have this and had to go back to a bunk bed at the end of the night, I may not be as happy in the head.
Plus when I spend time at restaurants, I need to spend money, which is ok. The sad bit is that most of these do not offer healthy eating options.
So, it has to be co-working spaces, hostels and a car. If at all. I don’t think I have what it takes to do this. I love people and ecosystems and comfort way too much to take this step.
Plus the pandemic has taught us that it hits the homeless the hardest. I would be an affluent homeless, if I choose to let go of my home.
Another option could be to create a hostel, a hotel, or something where I have a room that is mine and the other part is a commercial establishment. You know, how those moguls lived on top-floors of their hotels? But then, that’s like owning a home and not really living like a nomad with minimal possessions!
The final option from where I see things is that make so much money, so much wealth that you create a lavish space that is so well-appointed that you don’t really care about what it has and what it doesn’t. This allows you freedom from the mental burden of carrying things.
Wah, what a rant.
Actually, not a rant. Serious thought. This is how I talk to myself before I take large decisions. Self-talk. Structured mindmaps. And then letting things simmer in my head as I go about my day. And with this idea of being on the road all the time, I think it is doable. Of course, need to think of the money. I am getting by, well, almost. But what I am doing on a day to day basis is not moving me towards financial independence. And that is a rant for another day.
But I am seriously considering becoming that urban nomad. Let’s see if I can. Oh, and if I do that, I would carry my nail cutter for sure. Really.
Over and out!
PS: If you want to receive these on WA every day, lemme know. I’ll add you to the broadcast list.
I was talking to my sis yesterday about something and an epiphany happened. I realized that the reason I don’t like to be in Delhi is, because I don’t have enough space here.
In terms of actual physical space, the house (the only home I’ve ever known) is spacious by all means, even lavish if I were to compare it to the Mumbai houses I’ve lived in. Plus since this home was built by my parents one thing at a time (they are from a time where you waited years before you could add another thing to your home; unlike our and the next generation where you just flash your plastic and you get free shipping), the house is full of utilitarian things that you would find in any house that’s been, well, well-lived (compared to the almost spartan houses that I am used to living in when I am in Mumbai). You name a thing and we have it at home. And it’s all hidden from plain sight. You ask your parents for the most obscure of things and it magically appears from one of the drawers or cabinets or shelves! I am sure they’ve hidden some airplane somewhere in one of those spaces that are inside those double-beds. Ah, the beds here are at least 6′ x 6′, unlike the beds in Mumbai that are smaller than the suitcase I carry when I travel abroad.
The thing that is lacking here is personal space. We live in a decent-sized house and there’s just my parents and I and while they are very very supportive and understanding and caring, they are like me.
Wait! They are not like me. I am like them! Sorry, ma, pa.
So, I am like them and just like them, I need a lot of personal space to even breathe. And since there are three of us that need large personal space, we often find ourselves jostling for it!
However, when I am in Mumbai, I am by myself and even though the houses are like cubbyholes, there’s nothing alive that can potentially encroach upon my personal space. I can play whatever music I want to at whatever volume I fancy. I can keep it as dirty as my laziness permits. Or as spic and span as my old age wants. I could have the walls bare. Or I could paint it with sticky notes where I scribble about my dreams and ideas and aspirations and thoughts and inspirations and so on and so forth.
Plus, when am in Delhi, there is a limit to what I can do (things like going out and coming back at a whim). My parents don’t really mind me doing anything, to be honest, but for some reason, I don’t want to do things that I feel will even remotely bring them inconvenience. And thus, I put shackles on how I live when I am here. And I reduce my space even more. In Mumbai, well, the only person that I have to look after, think about, is me! And that means I do things that minimize the grief that I need to go through. And since I am thinking about just myself, it’s simpler, easier, and faster.
So yeah. That. Personal Space. Or the lack thereof.
Make enough money to be able to create an Antilla. Or maybe get an entire Island. And if not even that, live alone!
A tiny home-improvement decision that I think I will take as I move to a new house in the next week. Part of my 30 days of writing every day for 30 minutes project.
This is the second day of this new project where I try and write every day for 30 minutes. As I start writing this, it is 9:09 PM (ended at 9:56 PM) and I do have this one thing that I want to talk about. Let’s see how long I take to write it.
So, in less than a week, I move to a new house. Like all the other houses that I have lived at, this one is also not mine and that means I am reluctant to acquire things that make the house a home. I mean I don’t put no pictures, no photos, no posters, nothing that resembles a place that is lived well. Even the furniture, I don’t acquire it. I don’t like the idea of material possessions (while I do have a bagful of memories – photos, postcards, tickets, hand-written trinkets and all that), I try and not attach myself to things.
There are multiple reasons for that. Lemme make a list.
A. In the past, when I did have things that I could attach myself to, every time I’d move the house, those would break and I’d get sad about em. So, to avoid disappointment, I decided against acquiring things.
B. Thing is, I like finer things (you know, expensive, made with love, limited edition, by artisans) and I have this big child ego (I either want the whole world, or nothing) and I have never had a lot of disposable money to be able to buy all the nice things. So, I trained myself to overlook these material things and not pine for those. I would of course continue to spend money to get some of these for friends. These gifts are voluntary – I can choose to get those or I could not get any at all. However, if I get addicted to better things, I would start pining for those and I know I can’t afford em. So, detach.
C. Continuing with the thread of detachment, I am trying to have minimal attachments to material things. This means I am embracing minimalism, Buddhism, Stoicism, Mary-Knodoism, Hagge-ism, and every other such -ism that tells us to be simple with our lives.
Of course, do get emotional when I have to change the house. I do not like to be around when I move. I rely on my friends and handymen to do so. Like they say, truth, is weirder than fiction 🙂
D. I saved the best for the last. I love space. And the kind of houses that we have in Mumbai, we have anything but space. Even with minimal furniture and furnishing, you sort of keep bumping into the walls all the time. So, I try and avoid stuffing the house with things!
So yeah, I have lived my life in a certain manner (like a robot) and I think it serves me well.
So, why this post?
Well, as I said, I am going to move to a new house in the next week. And as I get ready to make the move, I am thinking that I will change it! Thinking. Not doing it. And I will list those reasons as well here.
1. I want to look at life on the other side. The side where you get emotional about things. I am after all an experience junky. To a point that I want to pack a thousand lives into this tiny one that we have. And I’d love to see things from. the perspective of the vain ones.
2. I want to assert my personality. When I had a business that was well and alive (prior to the COVID shock), I could project myself via my work. Now, I cant. So, I need to find something that allows me to. Even if it’s a simple wall in one of the rooms where I post things that are important to me.
3. I have always been a public-place person. I cant spend time at home. I feed off the energy of others and that means I love places like cafes and offices and worksites where I can see others working. Thanks to this WFH thingy, I know that I may not be able to get back to an office anytime soon (even though I have been going to a Starbucks every day for a week now). So, I need to convert the new place to resemble a bright, cheery place. That means I will have to get home those yellow lights, ambient speakers, the aroma of the coffee, and more! music systems and all that. And that means I will have to set up a few things that make my house, well, home, and start living like a human!
Robot. Human. Get the drift?
That’s it for the day.
With this, its over and out. See you guys tomorrow!
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