110521 – Meditations

A quick post about things that are on the top of my head. Nothing special here. Read if you want to.

6:07. Been up for a bit. I woke up with the phone. I slept with it. I need to change this habit. There was a time when I would sleep away from the phone. Not anymore. The phone has become a constant companion. One reason is that there is so much to catch up on – not in terms of work but in terms of people – you know if everyone is ok. Does anyone need any help? Even things like if vaccination centers are open so that I could book slots. It’s a painful time to be around. And I live alone. No, I don’t feel the need to have someone around me. So the phone becomes the constant companion. The virtual world becomes the real place where I live and learn and thrive and all that. People I know from Twitter are now closer confidantes compared to the ones I know IRL. The phone, ladies, and gents have had a role to play in that. And thus, I wake up and sleep with it.

Anyhow. Today’s post will be a tiny one. I have a lot to finish before I start with Docedge sessions for the day. And today’s sessions are a lot about how to construct a scene visually. I thus need to get going. Lemme quickly dump what all is on my head.

So I took the COVID vaccine on Saturday. All of Sunday I was ok and I was laughing at it. I was actually admiring my immunity that I was the only one to not have any side effects of the vaccine. Till it all came crashing down on me yesterday. I just couldn’t function. I literally passed out while typing a message. By evening I was ok but it was a scary scary thing. I anyway hate medical shite!

Saw a tweet where a stranger was talking about 5-day water fast. I want to be able to do the same. In fact, once every 2 months. I have managed 50 odd hours a few times but I never touched 4 days, leave alone 5. Apparently, the 3rd day is the toughest. I think I will do this next week. Making a note. Let’s see if I manage. Also, such long fasts apparently put your body in Ketosis and the brain starts to work on overdrive. The things you do to stimulate the brain by coffee and psychotropics and alcohol and other such things can happen merely by staying hungry? In fact, KG told me that apparently, Michelangelo would stay hungry for weeks and then start painting! Well, too many apparentlys there. But the point is, I need some additional help, some unfair advantage to be able to fulfill my potential! If fasting can give me that and it’s only about controlling what you eat, why not?

I started the house hunt. Since I am just starting, I am hoping to get one without brokerage. I looked at some places on the western line. And then some in Thane. So far, I don’t like any. Most of the places listed on these real-estate websites are probably the ones that no one takes! This broker mafia needs to be broken and for some reason, no startup has been able to do that! Wonder why. I mean I know why but as a consumer, it sucks that the apparently simple problem hasn’t been solved. I hate this inconvenience that gets thrown at me each year. Whoever said that its a better financial decision to not buy a house probably did not have to hunt for a rental property.

Guess this is it. I mean there is more on my head.

Like…

  1. I need to apply to NFDC’s Scriptlab and I am very very far from that. The deadline is next Monday. I have like 6 days to get that done. Let’s see if I manage. Taking more shots, outside of my league. You know.
  2. I need to figure out the future of Podium. I feel there’s a lot of potential in what I could do with it. We have some superlative content there.
  3. I need to ship that SoG book. The thing that I am yet to touch! It was supposed to ship in Jan. I think I need someone to help me ship things! Grrr…

Anyhow, over and out. Let me get onto work before I start wailing in self-pity.

Here’s the streaks…

  • Morning Pages / Meditations – 149
  • #aPicADay – 0
  • 10K steps a day – 0
  • OMAD – 0
  • #noCoffee – 0
  • #noCoke – 62
  • 10 mins of meditation – 0
  • #book2 – 0
  • Killer Boogie – 0
  • Original Work (limited time only) – 0
  • Surya Namaskar – 0

090521 – Meditations

An inane update from a day that went past like a breeze. In other works, I slept through the day!

8:00
Just woke up. Must have slept some 14 hours yesterday. To a point that I am having a hard time opening my eyes. I mean my eyes are anyway getting fucked, thanks to all this sitting in front of a screen all day long. The left eye is especially bad. I think I need to add a distance to the screen. Or may be the distance is adding on the strain? Will check with Kunal and figure out.

So in some good news, I got the first shot of the COVID vaccine. I got Covaxin, not that I had a choice. I took it around lunch yesterday. Here is the Twitter thread that I wrote about the process etc. I am told that I may show some symptoms of the disease but so far I feel ok, except for some soreness in the arm I got the vaccine in. Guess that would go in a few days. I am hoping the second shot (due in about a month) would be as comfortable.

The getting of the vaccination slot for this COVID vaccine has been such a harrowing experience. To a point that I had almost given up. But then like other things, it’s a matter of luck and doggedness. Of course, the celebs seem to be getting these slots east and have spotless sofas to park their asses on when they get the vaccine.

To be honest, I actually did not want to take the medicine – I mean, the vaccine is super new and no one knows of the long-term effect on the human body. One of my friends that understand medical science told me that this could be a foolish thing to do – you know, inoculate the entire world with something that we have no experience with. What if that ends the human race? But then more and more evidence starting pouring in about the benefits and advantages. Plus, to be honest, I had the FOMO about not taking it when others I know took it. Plus, if this vaccine allows me to travel around freely (if not outside, even in India), why not? I can’t be at one place, you know.

So that. Let’s see how today goes. Depends on how my body copes up with the vaccine.

Oh, I am starting with a Keto subscription from next week. Even if it’s expensive and I cant afford it. I want to give a part of the coming week to not starve my body. And I have firmed up in my head that I need to move on from this house. I will start the search. The tenets of the places I want to live at remain the same – spacious, higher-floor, newer-building, close to a Starbucks, unfurnished (apart from ACs and Wardrobes). I am ok with Thane or Borivali etc. The days I need to be in the middle of civilization, I will shack up with friends. I have a few bachelor friends that are sprinkled around Mumbai where I can go shack up on days when I need to be in a city. These are at Andheri, Ghatkopar and Worli. The Ghatkopar one lives in a chimney, so I may not live with him.

But the point is, I will lean more on friends. And if nothing else, I have a friend that runs a chain of youth hostels. I can always use that. I can request him to give the room to me for cheap.

Guess this is finally a step in the direction of becoming a nomad. If only I had the money, I would probably live in a hotel for life! Sigh!

Oh, I will take the search easy. I will not make a hasty decision.

So that’s about it for the day. For most of the day yesterday and the day before, it did not irk me that I have lost that the data that is literally my life’s work and all that. Guess what’s gone is gone and subconsciously, I have accepted it. I am hoping that in the long run, I don’t regret that I needed something and that is not longer available. Time shall tell.

With that, it’s over and out. See you guys tomorrow. Here’s streaks…

  • Morning Pages / Meditations – 147
  • #aPicADay – 0
  • 10K steps a day – 0
  • OMAD – 0
  • #noCoffee – 0
  • #noCoke – 60
  • 10 mins of meditation – 0
  • #book2 – 0
  • Killer Boogie – 0
  • Original Work (limited time only) – 0
  • Surya Namaskar – 0

060521 – Meditations

A longish post on things like COVID, house, iPhone and more. Little dark and depressing. Read at peril.

5:43. I woke up with a combination of a weird pain in my stomach (I suspect it’s the chana masala I had for dinner) and even more weird sounds that the AC made throughout the night. The AC at my place, on a normal day, sounds like Bane. It has its moods. It can be incredibly quiet. It can be incredibly loud. And it can be that tease that wants your attention all the time but would never give you the action.

And now that I am up, I better make use of the time. If nothing else, I can get done with the morning pages before I dive head-on into the day ahead. I am not sure what all do I want to write. But let’s try.

A. iPhone snafu.
So I broke the screen of the iPhone (this is a 2018 X). This is at least the second time that I have broken a screen on this one. Last time, it was last year, around this time (and during another lockdown) that I broke it. I am tempted to buy a new phone (I’ve been using this for 3 years now and it’s time for an upgrade; I want. Not need.) but I think I will get this one fixed. That’s anyway not the point. The point is that I don’t have a usable phone. And I feel helpless without one. Lemme try and think why is that and may be make a list.

For starters, all my work is dependent on the phone – coordinating, taking feedback, giving inputs, conversations, and so on and so forth. I use a variety of tools – Whatsapp, MS Teams, Phone Calls, Emails (in that order) and while I use a laptop for these, I am also dependent on a phone – you know, multitasking and all that. Without a phone, I was ok more or less for a large part. Except for Whatsapp. And I have to admit, I felt very very restless without access to Whatsapp. No, I am not missing anyone in particular. No, I don’t have any important messages coming my way. No, I am not impaired in my ability to work or get things done. Just that, something felt missing.

Then, I check the phone multiple times a day to get OTPs and other such 2FA applications (authenticator etc). Thankfully, I did not need to use a lot of those yesterday. May be today, once I am ordering my food. Or if I get logged out from any of work related things.

Finally, I think with an Internet connection on and a working laptop (about 4 months old), I was more or less ok.

But then I have to get the phone fixed. It’s the constant companion that I wake up with, that I sleep with, that goes with me to almost all the places you can imagine except the shower. It’s a thing that I carry even if I am not carrying any money on me. Or even the house keys. Now that I don’t have a phone, I realize that when I do have a working phone, I feel not just connected, but also empowered. When I hold an iPhone, I have that Thor’s Hammer, Arjuna’s Brahmastra, Iron Man’s Jarvis, and the Crypton from Waqt Humara Hai!

So that.

Oh no, I cant do an Android Phone, even if they are now far better, faster, sleeker, sexier, cheaper than the iPhone.

B. Done with Byomkesh
I’ve seen binged on all 32 episodes of Byomkesh Bakshi. These episodes were my companion over the last month or so for every time I had to eat or I had to let my mind wander.

For the uninitiated, Byomkesh is India’s answer to Sherlock. A detective that uses deductive reasoning to solve seemingly complex crimes. Each crime is seeming complex to solve, there are no clues on who’s done it or how the crime’s been done. And yet Byomkesh comes in, observes people, dips into his infinite pool of knowledge, and comes out with that thread that when pulled unravels the mystery.

Of course, the production value and direction and acting wouldn’t survive in the world we are in, the stories are so interesting that you are willing to ignore all those. Like I did.

I really wish I had the talent to write such simple and yet deep short stories. Brevity is not my scene. Must try and develop that muscle.

C. Tentatively started to look for a house at Thane and Borivali
So yesterday I started to look for a cheaper house. And since I want a lot of space, I need to move away from epicentres. So it has to be Thane or Borivali. This time when I take a house, I will make sure it is not an old building. In fact, I have to be the first or second tenant. And I dont want any old, rickety, tired white goods. And I need the place that has a Starbucks within a 2-Km radius. Rest I dont care about. Once this COVID thing is over (another 6 months I am hoping), I will move back to an epicentre. Or I would have moved to Goa by then. Or I would have left the country for good. I mean I don’t know where I would be in six months. But today, I know that I need to live with peace and I dont have that right now.

Let’s see what I actually do and if I actually make the move.

D. Scared about COVID
Some really good friends, the ones that take more than all the precautions required have got it as well. To a point where I am thinking, how is it that I am the only one left unaffected. Lemme illustrate with another example. If you opened my phone log and looked at a list of 20 people that I speak to most often, EACH of those (or their VERY close personal connections – wives, kids, parents, etc) have been affected. I feel like an anomaly to not have contracted the disease. I am wondering how. May be cos I live alone and the only person that comes into the house is my help? May be cos when I go for walks, I mask up, properly with the nose and all covered and maintain distance in case I encounter others around me. May be I’ve already had a minor strain and I have antibodies. I don’t know. But I know that it’s a matter of time before I get it. And with COVID, you don’t know what it would do to your body. Someone I used to play poker with passed away at 32. And I have heard of 90-year olds recovering. So, I don’t know. I think this is the first time I have felt fear. I don’t know why. But then, I think this too shall pass.

So that’s about today I guess.
When I was reviewing what I wrote, I realized this piece reads like a rant of a depressed and sad man. I did not intend it to be. I merely wanted to log thoughts in my head. But then, who am I to control whatever takes birth from me? May be at some point, it will tip. I will stop seeding these thoughts. Let’s see where it tips.

In the meanwhile, here’s streaks.

  • Morning Pages / Meditations – 144
  • #aPicADay – 0
  • 10K steps a day – 0
  • OMAD – 0
  • #noCoffee – 1
  • #noCoke – 57
  • 10 mins of meditation – 3
  • #book2 – 0
  • Killer Boogie – 0
  • Original Work (limited time only) – 0
  • Surya Namaskar – 1

Over and out.

050521 – Meditations

Update on things clouding my head. There’s nothing new but usual suspects – life, house, money!

7:04. I’ve been up for a bit now. Actually, I didn’t sleep very well. Why? Well, among other things, I had a coffee yesterday. Iced Americano. After some 55 days. Can’t say I missed the taste but I did like the idea that it could be helpful when I have a lot of work.

No, I don’t plan to get addicted to it again.

It shall only be had on days like yesterday when things on my plate overwhelm me and I need additional help to come up with superhuman effort and knock things off my todo list.

And I will try to have it later than 6 PM. Yesterday I had it at around 8 I think and I was as wide awake as an owl till about 2. And then I had to force myself to sleep.

In other news, in another action item yesterday, I got back on Twitter and Instagram. And I plan to stay active. I may not post too much but I will offer and extend some morsels of help as and when I can. If nothing else, I will support others that are. It somehow dawned onto me that while I am unable to help, and I suck at offering a shoulder, I need to do whatever little l can. Even an iota of help could be useful at this time. Individuals across the world have shown what compassion and willingness to help can do when regulators and policymakers and governments fail. I have now seen the power and impact of an individual’s action. It reminds me of that aasman me soorakh line…

“कैसे आकाश में सूराख़ नहीं हो सकता, एक पत्थर तो तबीयत से उछालो यारों” – Dushyant Kumar

If I could get something tattooed on me, it would be these two likes from Dushyant Kumar. Apart from “this too shall pass.”

#note2self – I must make it a point to read some of the Hindi poets that are no longer around. They’ve some incredible work. I mean I am a fan of late Rahat Indori’s work, especially the way he would narrate his work. Must spend time on listening to some old ones.

Ok. Moving on.

I also saw this post by Rana Ayyub where she talked about how life is sudden and you may not get time to say goodbye etc. I am inspired and I have decided to write an email to every person that I have hurt wanted to apologize but did not have the courage to. I know some of those chapters were closed long ago and my apology will probably bring back bad memories for those people. I will thus be careful and ensure that I am mindful before I send. I will write those nonetheless, even if I don’t send them. I mean, I am sure I will remain safe in this pandemic but you never know what happens next. So I do not want to leave this world without closing some of these conversations. No, I am not premonitioning my demise but I want to not leave without saying a bye to people that have shaped me – in a good way or a bad way. So that.

Oh, how can I even forget talking about this? In fact, I had to start with this. Yesterday Bill and Melinda Gates announced that they are ending their marriage of 27 years.

27. Years.

This is the second person that I look up to that has done this (first is Jeff Bezos. He and Scott were married for 25 years). Both Bill and Jeff have been idols for long. Their marriages were #lifeGoals for long. The wives played such an important role while these guys were on the road, building their businesses and all that. I’ve in fact wanted a partner like that. That supports my maddening ambition. Or vice versa (become second fiddle to someone as ambitious). But this announcement just broke my heart. The last time I was this sad for one of my idols, it was probably when Steve Jobs passed away. For some reason, I was not that affected by the cheating and divorce scandal of Bezos.

Anyhow, if I had any faith left in the institution of marriage, this was probably the last nail in its coffin. I mean Bill and Melinda were married for 27 freaking years. They were my ideal couple – make a lot of money and then use the rigor of business in doling out that money to make the world a better place. Plus they are old. I mean Bill Gates is 65. Melinda is 55 something. After 27 years, you probably know so much about each other that even if some doubts creep in about the impending cracks in the marriage, you probably fix it beforehand. You know, it’s messier to separate at that age, especially if you are a public figure. It just reduces the impact that you can have.

Damn you never know what happens behind closed doors!

Someone actually put a tweet out yesterday that said that out of the top 10 richest people in the world, only 2 have not been divorced (Mark Zuckerberg and one of the Google Founders!). Is there a correlation? If there is, I am glad that my plans of not marrying in the first place will not tip the numbers in the list. Unless more people enter the list when I am there. Lol! King of wishful thinking, Mr. Garg.

Also, today is the 5th. When I had to give my landlord notice if I did not want a messy exit from this house. I had wanted to do it for two reasons – a, get to a cheaper place and b, try and move to Goa. Even though I know it’s tough to live and work in Goa, I wanted to have a base there. I know that I will not have the network that I have here. I know that things are moving online and people are ok to meet on Zoom but I am super ineffective on Zoom as it’s been proven a million times already. So that. In one line, I am in that limbo that I’ve been forever.

One option is to move to Thane or something and then use hostels or friend’s couches when I need to be in Mumbai. I will save on the rent, live at a distance that allows for chance meetings and such connections. I don’t know. This inability to decide obviously stems from the inability to spend money and that’s something that I need to work on anyway.

I think this is about it. Have a long day ahead that starts early. Time to move on with things. More tomorrow. Here’s streaks.

  • Morning Pages / Meditations – 143
  • #aPicADay – 0
  • 10K steps a day – 0
  • OMAD – 0
  • #noCoffee – 0. Had one yesterday after 55 days!
  • #noCoke – 56
  • 10 mins of meditation – 2
  • #book2 – 0
  • Killer Boogie – 0
  • Original Work (limited time only) – 0
  • Surya Namaskar – 0

150321 – Morning Pages

A report on how I spent my Sunday. And a challenge to self for the next 48 hours.

7:24. Mumbai.

Just woke up. Eyes are fogged but I feel ok. So that’s cool.

Yesterday was cool. Was actually good. I thugged it out to be honest. Went for a drive. Met friends. Ate like a pig, had some hundred meals (remember OMAD?), did not walk as much as I wanted to. Slept multiple times during the day. Shopped. Met a few work colleagues (without actually doing any work). Basically, took it easy. And for some reason, I think I enjoyed that. So so unlike me!

Anyhow, here’s a pic from the drive to Bhavali Dam.

This is a raw image.

After the drive, met a couple of friends, even if it was for a bit. Went househunting. I know. Again. When I was looking for a place, I saw 4-5 options and when I was going through the alternatives, I realised that I dont like any houses that are in old buildings. I need the building to be a virgin. Lol. So, lets see when I find a new place.

I also went shopping. To my regular jaunt at Cottonworld. It is at these places that you realize that you’ve put on weight like a bloated pig. Even the person at the shop could see that I have put on weight (advantages and problems of being a regular). I anyhow had to buy clothes (I hadn’t bought in a while and the ones I had, had so many holes in em that I was getting judged by even strangers). As always, I was in and out of the place in less than 10 minutes and I bought a few shirts and a pair of shorts. I just need to buy a pair of pants that I can wear to work meetings and some tees that I can wear on a day-to-day basis. And I am set for the next 2-3 years.

COVID is making a come back in Mumbai. That means we are staring at another lockdown. In the last one, I think I was ok with how things were around. But if there’s another lockdown I don’t think I’d be able to cope up. Or may be I will. This time I actually have work that will keep me busy. So let’s see.

So what else? Not sure. Lemme reach Starbucks before I publish. May be I will write a bit for book2?

At Starbucks. Just called for a tea. I think I know what I would attempt. A 48-hour reset. Last meal was at around 1 AM last night today morning. So that means I will eat on Wednesday night or something. Let’s see if I last that long. I mean I can, if I have something happening. I tend to eat a lot when I am getting bored or when I am stressed. I need to keep myself occupied and I think I can manage without eating. Let’s see how it goes.

As I wrap this up, yesterday was a bad day for my streaks. I couldn’t do OMAD. Neither could I walk around for 10K steps. Rest I could. Here’s a report…

  • Morning Pages – 93
  • #aPicADay – XX (will count at some later date)
  • 10K steps a day – 0 (did about 7K but that was regular walking and not purposeful one)
  • OMAD – 0 (ate like a Pig)
  • #noCoffee – 5
  • #noCoke – 5
  • 10 mins of meditation – 0
  • #book2 – 0

With this, over and out.