170621 – Morning Pages

Quick note on things that are on the top of my head.

8:25. While I’ve been up since 7, I’ve been a zombie. I’ve now shat-showered-powdered and waiting for my breakfast to arrive. And while the plan was to write this from the Starbucks, I thought, lemme grab a bite before I am stuck in a Starbucks for next few hours.

So, I did not sleep well last night. Guess too much coffee. Too much food. Too many distractions. Too much on my mind. And too much Fauda. And that too at 1.25X speed. I mean I am not enjoying the show or seeing it from the critical eye that I typically see things from. I am merely seeing the rushes. The joy of watching a story unfold in front of my eyes has been sucked away. I am merely going thru the motions.

Lemme try and clear things that are sort of clouding my mind. Including work and non-work. And in no order.

  • Today marks the end of my one-month Keto subscription. I dont think I’ve lost weight. No, I don’t feel energetic. In fact, I am the same as I was a month ago. I probably chose the wrong supplier to save on money. Need to think of what to do with my meals from Monday onward. Weekend any way I am out.
  • The side effect of this vegetarian keto attempt is that I have started to hate paneer from the bottom of my heart. I’ve had enough paneer for the rest of my life. I have to either turn into a non-vegetarian or find a way to lose weight. I can’t work out, can’t lift weights πŸ™
  • On the other hand, I can’t stop having the Egg Soup. I ordered it twice yesterday!
  • Need to stop with the coffee. No, I don’t enjoy coffee as much I love other beverages (like Coke). But the thing is, I dont like the idea of being a freeloader at a Starbucks. While I can shift to Green Tea or even Water to pay for the time I spend there, I feel criminal about paying so much for water. So I dont know the way out.
  • So yesterday, a friend sent me this video of a woman with She (by Elvis Costello) playing in the background. That video took my heart away! She took my heart away. I instantly knew I had to write about it. And, I am struggling to write my ode to it. I mean I started writing it yesterday and I am yet to find the right words. Breakthrough isn’t in sight. It was triggered by an Instagram post that a friend sent me.
  • Went for a walk. Met Ken. Talked about films and all. Spotted the sea.
  • Workwise, this week has been easy. One of the clients is literally silent. The other is chugging along. So more or less, things are ok there.
  • I got a new intern on board. Not sure if she will stay for long. But she’s on. It’s amazing how one client that pays you fairly allows you to expand where you are and what you do. I just need to be more prudent with my money and start saving more so that I can
  • On Friday, I am conducting the first paid session for NFG on Notetaking 101. I am not getting paid a lot but I am getting paid to speak and share what I know. Yay!
  • Life has come to a point where I have some money coming in. Enough for me to not think about where the next meal will come from. Enough to even pay back all the debt that I had loaded myself with. No, it’s still not smooth. It is at the tenterhooks. I lose one client and I am back to square one. But after at least 18 months or so, I am at that point where I am now thinking a lot more about the things I can do that take me closer to my goal of inspiring a billion people! I had thought Long Haul will be that. But it’s been really hard on that front. No one wants to trust me with their money. I a
  • Oh, while typing this, I decided that I will not buy a new iPhone. I will get this one fixed. I will spend another 8K but I will get this fixed. I want to save and get over the debt. The only money I will spend is on people and projects.
  • The most important. I had thought I will start with this. Lemme get this out of the bullets.

I have started to give away things that I’ve owned. Yesterday, I gave away the TV. I have also parted with the guitar that VG gifted me I don’t know how many years ago.

Now, I am left with a writing table, a bookshelf that has I don’t know how many books (and paper and notes and all that), a yoga mat, knick-knacks that I have gathered over the years, and some clothes. No, I don’t have a functioning kitchen. And computers (laptop – this and old, hard disk drives, pen drives, etc).

The idea is to dispose of everything and have just enough that can be carried in a laptop bag and a big hard-top lug. I don’t like duffels. I am ok to live with very few things and in this post-pandemic world, that should be the norm. I am just worried about all the notes that I’ve taken. I will probably digitize those? I don’t know yet. After I lost my phone data, I have stopped worrying about losing important things. The ephemerality of life is a lot more apparent and visible. Thank you, COVID-19 for that.

So yeah, the idea is that by end of this month (or may be the next), I would have disposed of all the things that I hate. The ones that I need to store (I’ll try that these are as few as possible), I will send those to Delhi, to my parent’s place. The rest, I will carry on me. Let’s see how it goes.

So yeah. All this.

Here’s streaks…

  • Morning Pages / Meditations – 186
  • #aPicADay – 0
  • 10K steps a day – 0
  • OMAD – 0
  • #noCoffee – 0
  • #noCoke – 98
  • 10 mins of meditation – 0
  • #book2 – 0
  • Killer Boogie – 0
  • Surya Namaskar – 0. I did not do it yesterday. Neither I did it today πŸ™

070621 – Morning Pages

A rant on how I am unable to make decisions about life and things and work and all that.

7:28. Woke up a few minutes ago. I literally sleepwalked through the weekend. I remain groggy enough though enough water has been splashed in the eyes. Guess it was the side effect of the vaccine that I took on Saturday. I mean I don’t have any fever or anything but there’s sluggishness for sure. Maybe it’s because I am trying to stay away from coffee. Or maybe because I haven’t stepped out of the house in a few days. And no Surya Namaskar. I dont know the cause but I know that I am not feeling great as I wake up.

Anyhow, as the lights turn on in my head and the body starts to function, here are the things that are at the top of my head today.


A. Mare’s review. Yesterday, I finished watching Mare’s story and tried to write a review and I am struggling with it. It’s way too tough than how I imagined it would be. This is one of those series that I want the review well. May be a pitch to some international publications. But I can’t seem to get the words. I know what I want to say but when I put it on the paper, I cant seem to find the right flow or the words. Damn!

B. The mile-long to-do list from work. Even though I tried to close the last week with nothing on my plate per se, I do realize that I have quite a few things that I need to work on. And that means today’s gonna be a busy busy day. Which is ok. I am just hoping and trying that I dont get myself a coffee.

Ok, wait. Apparently, Starbucks is open for dine-in from today. Till I think 4 or 5 PM. And that means that I can sit from there and work. If that is the case, I will probably end up having a coffee (or two), you know the tax for sitting out of an outlet and working! But if it’s open, I will be really really glad. At least I will have a place to go. And I will have probably get more work done. Plus, I for one can’t wait to be outdoors, to meet people, to bump into strangers into a crowd and observe them and silently judge them and all that.

In fact I feed off the energy of other people and this is the opportunity to get the mojo back (you know, its been missing for a while). So that.

C. The live in Mumbai or Goa or elsewhere decision is not coming in easy. I dont think I have ever thought this much about things before making the move. I remember every time I have moved, I just took a decision in the snap of a finger and moved. I even lost what was probably the love of my life when I moved first from Mumbai to Delhi. After that, the moving decisions have been easy. Each triggered by opportunities or the lack thereof. But each has been easy. This time I am not sure. On one side I want to move – get away from the humdrum and disappointments of my life. On the other, I want to stay to create more opportunities. I am not sure. This one decision occupies my head a lot these days.

I read somewhere that I need to take decisions that make me choose the tougher alternative. Here are some bullet points that I am thinking about…

  1. I know that in the long run I dont want to be in India. I know that I like meeting interesting people. So I have to be at a place where I can meet interesting people. I don’t want to be at a village or a small town for sure.
  2. I know that I want to at some point make films. As a writer and a producer. Maybe as a director. I dont know that. I like the idea of telling stories. So I have to be in Mumbai. Or LA ;P
  3. I need to deliver on work on my plate. If I live in Goa, I may not be able to. At least I don’t find the internet or the phone working well. Everyone else seems to be ok but for some reason, I am jinxed.
  4. I know that I can create opportunities but I take a long long time to do that. You know, like a slow burn. Most of my work comes from relationships that I take almost forever to develop. If I move to a new place, I am not sure if I’d be able to create work fast enough to justify the move.

So that. You see my quandary.

D. A trip to Delhi. Now that I am vaccinated with both doses and my parents have been vaccinated, I need to make a trip back to Delhi. Been a while since I’ve met them. I think as I am aging, I am getting more and more emotional about people, life, things, and all that.

In fact, as I look back at life, I realise that I was always this rock on the outside but mushy squishy thing on the inside. So while I refuse to admit that I dont care for emotional constructs in life, at a deeper level, I think, I do.

Nah, I dont admit this ever but now that I have decided to live in public, what the heck.

E. The Food Dreams. So I am on this fancy Keto meal plan till about the 15th of this month. That means I am bored of eating variations of Paneer. And I have these fancy dreams of eating carbs – you know Pizza, Dal, Breads, Chips. Mmm!

I’ve never been a foodie per se to be honest. I mean I like the idea of eating good food and I enjoy when I eat something well made but I am not the one to seek culinary pleasures. With these recurring dreams of carbs-laden food, I am not sure what my body is telling me!

Anyhow, I am abstaining from eating other things than the dabba I get. Till at least I have subscribed to this plan. No, I am not losing weight if you are curious about that. Maybe these guys that I have subscribed to don’t make Keto compliant meals? No, I don’t plan to renew the meals. Way too expensive. and not working for me at least. The only good thing that has happened is that I don’t have to think and order every time. Plus I am not eating any kachra. So that in itself is a good thing!

So yeah. Guess that’s about it for the day. Here’s what Hemingway thinks of this piece…

And, here’s streaks.

  • Morning Pages / Meditations – 176
  • #aPicADay – 0
  • 10K steps a day – 0
  • OMAD – 0
  • #noCoffee – 1
  • #noCoke – 88
  • 10 mins of meditation – 0
  • #book2 – 0
  • Killer Boogie – 0
  • Surya Namaskar – 0

020621 – Morning Pages

Random updates from a busy day. More or less, I talk about my struggle with losing weight and food.

6:18. Woke up a bit ago with a clogged respiratory tract. Must be the combo of the rain and the fan. Oh, did I tell you guys that I hate the fan? To a point that I catch a cold if I spend too much time under a fan? Put me in an air-conditioned room for 2000 hours in Alaska, I will be ok. I will come out human. But put a fan on 5 (the max reading on a fan in India) and I will die in less than 5 seconds.

Yesterday was one of those days where I admitted to a colleague that I either need a drink or a date. Drink – I don’t. Date – lol. The point is, the day was long, busy, and demanding. And that’s more often than not a good thing. I wish I have more days like that when I am so busy that I don’t have the time to even think. I mean before I knew it, it was 7. And then I had to wait to upload some footage and then it was raining and then I just came back and slept. Oh, and I saw the second episode of Mare of Easttown. And because am taking it is as a challenge, I am taking notes!

Anyhow. Today should be yet another busy day if my calendar is to be believed. I start as early as 8:15 AM and the last meeting planned is at 6. A work email reminded me that we are at mid-year. That means I need to do my half-yearly review. Adding to Asana.

Ok. I don’t know what else to write. May be I can write the temptation to order in every time I see someone else eat or talk about food. Lemme do that. So, last few days (almost 15 days now), I have been on this so-called Keto Diet that I subscribed to at Baesicfit.com. While the guys that run this are excellent in terms of service and all that, I don’t think the diet is working. I am not eating anything but the food they send me and have some black coffee but I don’t think I am in Ketosis. I am not losing weight. I did not catch the Keto flu since I started this. I am even eating in a 6-hour window (thus trying to take advantage of time-restricted eating) and yet not losing weight. I am doing yoga 2-3 times a week. Most days I walk 10k steps. And yet I am not losing weight. Apparently, they serve me only 2100 calories. Again, I must lose weight purely by this calorie deficit. Worse, the stomach continues to remain bloated. Maybe it’s all the paneer they are feeding me? I mean I am sick of eating so much paneer. It literally sucks. I am so so so so tempted to eat my comfort food – Rajma Chawal, Dal Makhani, Paranthas, Dosas, Chips, Chole Bhatures and all that. Damn am so much Delhi with my food! The mouth is watering as I type this and my fingers are crawling towards Swiggy as I want to order and let the chase of fitness and Everest go to waste.

But no. I shall persist. However, it is getting increasingly hard to do so. I find myself thinking about it a lot. And I find myself trying to rationalize by ordering cheat meals. But then, Keto doesn’t have the concept of cheat meals! I remember, last night I was thinking about ordering in, just to celebrate 15 days of Keto journey and I wanted to order a Biryani. Lol.

Thing is, if I am busy, I don’t miss food. Or if I am engaged, I am ok with merely sipping onto coffee and all that. Like yesterday, I did not even care about what I ate. But the moment I came back to the house I sleep at, remember I told you I needed a date or a drink? I was so fried that I wanted to order in. Sigh!

In fact, I have been thinking that I need to get back to Diet Coke. Purely because I miss the taste and the feeling of holding onto a can. I know that the chase of these hedonistic feelings does nothing to help you reach your lifegoals but then I am human πŸ˜€

Ok. Rant. Moving on.

I havent done yoga in a while now. At least three days. I was supposed to do yesterday but I had so much work that I skipped it. Today, come hell or high water, I will. Right after I publish this.

Ok, so I have 6 more minutes to write before I need to go. Thinking what to write. 4 now. Lol. Fucking countdown. Let’s just publish and save time.

More tomorrow.

Here’s streaks…

  • Morning Pages / Meditations – 171
  • #aPicADay – 0
  • 10K steps a day – 0
  • OMAD – 0
  • #noCoffee – 0
  • #noCoke – 83
  • 10 mins of meditation – 0
  • #book2 – 0
  • Killer Boogie – 0
  • Surya Namaskar – 0

280521. Quick Update

Quick and dirty post since I did not have a lot of time to write today. May revisit this during the day.

5:08 AM
This is the exact time when I would want to be up and write every day. In fact, I would want to wake up at 4 and then get in the groove by 4:30 and write from then on. And no, not write this morning pages per se but write to push my book.

But I haven’t been able to.
Neither will I be able to today!

Cos I am up early to work on a presentation that I should have worked on over the week but I slacked and slacked and slacked. I had the opportunity and time to work on it the last evening as well. But then I decided to go for a walk to complete my 10K steps. Which I did. Yay! But I couldn’t do the presentation. Damn!

But it’s cool. I have time before the presentation is due and I typically can wake easily with alarms. So I will manage it.

But, assuming I was up at 5, or 4:30, or something, and I was working on my morning pages (if not the book), today, I would have talked about the following…

1. My disappointment in me. At my age, I have little to show for. At every month end, I feel like a failure. You know, when I need to pay salaries and I find myself awfully short on cash! And often when I read about ordinary businesses doing extremely well.

2. The fact that I did Chandra Namaskar yesterday and I found it incredibly difficult to manage. I thought since I can pull 12 rounds of Surya Namaskar, Chandra Namaskar would be easy. Nah.

Yoga is tough, bro!

3. The promise to self that I will fast today. The last thing I had was around 8 PM yesterday. I plan to eat the next meal at 9 AM or later tomorrow. So, 36 odd hours. Trying to build the ability to do a 7-day fast in July and then 21-day sometime around December.

4. Or the fact that I am sick of Paneer. I’ve been on a vegetarian Keto meal and that means all I can eat is Paneer in various forms and shapes. And it’s been more than 10 days. I am definitely not losing weight. Definitely not losing inches. Definitely getting over whatever tiny liking I had for Paneer. Surprisingly, I have taken a fancy for Olives. Something that I hated all my life. To a point that I did not even eat that with a Pizza, while, I did like Pineapple on it πŸ˜€

5. Or I could talk about my laziness. You know, I am so lazy that I order water bottles rather than filing them up from a dispenser.
Ok.
Wait.
I am not lazy.
I seek convenience. It takes me on average a minute to fill in a one-liter water bottle. I drink about 8 of those in the day (and still not losing weight :() and that means I am looking at spending 8 minutes a day on filling of these bottles. Plus the 5 odd minutes I need every 3 days to replace the 20-liter jug on the dispense. Compare this to moving thumbs and magically seeing someone appear on your door with water.

6. I can also talk about how the syndicate I am doing is helping me talk to some really interesting people. To a point that I am enjoying chatting with them and picking up nuggets. I love this chase of new experiences. I really do. I wish I had a shakal that was a little better and I was a little less particular about edits and all. I would have pivoted my work towards becoming a talk-show host! May be, someday.

7. I can also talk about my newfound love for lemon and all things citrusy. I was the kinds to hate hate hate hate the tangy taste of a neembu. It was weird cos I grew up in Delhi where you had to have lemonade and other things if you had to survive the summers there. And then I’ve lived in Mumbai for at least 8 years on the trot now (wow, its 10 years in Mumbai over two stints), I did not start with the lemony things to get over the humidity.

But lately, I did. To be able to replace bland water with some taste that is not cola or sugary syrups. Damn this discipline for losing weight.

Plus, since I want to stay consistent with the thread of seeking convenience, I don’t really buy lemons and squeeze them or pulp them. I buy Dabur’s Lemoneez and just pour. And since I refuse to buy measures, I go by judgment – which in itself is poor af. So some days am sipping onto a concoction that’s sour af and other days, so mild that I crave for a Coke Diet Coke.

Diet Coke, ladies and gents is that love that I will probably never get to be with.

Sigh!

Guess this is about it. The presentation is calling.
Let’s see if I can revisit this during the day to work on #book2. Have made a promise to a Twitter friend that I will try and get a 7-day streak in.

Wish me luck!

And here’s streaks…

  • Morning Pages / Meditations – 166
  • #aPicADay – 0
  • 10K steps a day – 1
  • OMAD – 0
  • #noCoffee – 0
  • #noCoke – 78
  • 10 mins of meditation – 0
  • #book2 – 1. I am hoping to write today during the day.
  • Killer Boogie – 0
  • Surya Namaskar – 0

170521 – Meditations

A quick post as I start what looks like a long week ahead!

8:46. I woke up 10 minutes ago. It’s probably after a while that I’ve slept in this late. Must stop all the coffee and midnight snacking adventures.

Mumbai is reporting fantastic weather right now. It’s raining and it’s windy. From the vantage point of my window, while for the most part I can just stare at other buildings and look into the bedrooms of my neighbors, I can see a bit of sky, and it’s everything I love – deep blue, dark, cloudy, and more. These are the times I wish I was back at Wadhwa – I once lived on the 24th floor of a high-rise and I think it was one of the best decisions of my life. Must make an attempt to get back to that!

Anyhow. So track of the day, that I am listening to loop on is this rendition of Afreen Afreen by this singer, Soumyadeep Sikdar of the Murshidabadi Project. I just can’t get over this person’s voice. And the emotion with which he sings. Love it! Once you’ve heard that, hop over to Chaap Tilak.

So on Sunday, I bumped into someone senior (HT) that I immensely respect. I know him since 2015, I think. And since then I have been mighty impressed by his clarity, direction, and knack for getting things done. I also realized his talent with effortless charm. For one, he remembered each tiny insignificant thing about me. He asked me about book2. Wow. And slap on the face ;p! Plus, He was all praises about how I do multiple things and so on and so forth. And then he had the same feedback for me like a lot of others – find one thing and get so good at it that you are the best at it across saat samandar. And I think it made sense. And I will work on it over the next few months. So that.

I mean if I was not straddling so many boats, I would probably be unable to survive the lockdown (events – my primary occupation took a beating and I could quickly shift to marketing consulting) and that’s the validation for my chasing multiple dreams. That worked well in crisis and would probably fail when things were ok. Let’s see if I actually move the needle towards getting good at brand strategy on digital mediums.

I also used Sunday to write my review of Nomadland. Here. Wrote a thing for public consumption after a long-time. Lemme know what you think.

In other news, I start Keto today. I plan to do a 30-day cycle. Since there is no travel planned (except the day when I need the next dose of my vaccine), I should be ok. Let’s see. About 10-12 days in, depending on how my system reacts to it, I will try to reduce calorific intake. And then eventually move towards OMAD. Let’s see how this one goes.

More than just Keto, this is my larger attempt at remaining fit. This lockdown has been detrimental to my health. I am eating way too many carbs at all hours and I am fucking my health like I’ve never done. Even in the last lockdown, I managed to eat better. At least I was walking more. I may not be able to control the world outside, the one that resides in me, I can control that for sure. I can control what goes in – food, air, thoughts. I can for sure nudge my thoughts in a better direction. The last few days have been extremely taxing. There’s just way too many people out there that are suffering and then there’s way too much noise that is literally deafening. But then, I should be able to control.

I dont have anything else to talk about. I mean I do. But not for the time being.

So yeah. That. Here’s streaks…

  • Morning Pages / Meditations – 155
  • #aPicADay – 0
  • 10K steps a day – 0
  • OMAD – 0
  • #noCoffee – 0
  • #noCoke – 67
  • 10 mins of meditation – 3
  • #book2 – 0
  • Killer Boogie – 0
  • Surya Namaskar – 0

PS: Removed a few things from the streak-tracker.

PPS: I realised that I am in a far better mood, even though there’s nothing to be happy about. Just because its not hot and its raining and there’s clouds outside! Yay!