280121 – Morning Pages

Inane update. You may want to skip this one.

7:12.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

“What do you mean?”

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

“Yeah. So?”

“These red bottles keep them away.”

“How so?”

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

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

“So who all have you talked to?”

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

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

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

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

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

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

***

Ok, that’s it. Couldnt find the right words ๐Ÿ™

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

200121 – Morning Pages

One of those days when I have nothing special to report. Read. Or skip.

6:36 AM

A funny thing happened. I woke up without an alarm, even though I slept late and I think I slept well, even though I have a lot on my mind. Don’t know if this is a good thing or a bad thing. May be I am getting used to the idea of waking up around 6? After all, I have been consistent with it last two days. Lol. Consistent. 2 days.

Anyhow, so yesterday I got myself a new laptop (I had ordered it last week and took some 10 days to get delivered). It’s the new Apple M1 Air, which, if experts are to be believed, is the best damn laptop that Apple has made in years.

Got something this expensive after I think 4 or 5 years or so (and this too from the points that I have accumulated. I am in no place to make capital expenses). However, surprisingly, I am not excited about it at all. The older me loved gadgets like I love life. I’d fiddle with gadgets for hours, read up, do some geeky things. I would configure things, try to optimize things and I don’t know what all but no, not with this one. After I logged into the Apple account, I haven’t even touched it. I am still on the old Air and typing away to glory.

I think I am getting close to being a robot.

A good thing and a bad thing. I am so detached from it that I did not even carry the box along with me (if you know Apple fans, they like to retain boxes, covers, stickers, packaging material and don’t know what all).

So yeah.

The other interesting thing that happened yesterday was that I worked out of this new place called The Design Centre at Porvorim (they don’t have a website – this page is closest that it comes to seeing information about them). I think byfar they have the best Internet connection among all the places I have been to. Maybe because they run an architectural firm from there? I should totally go there more often. Just that they do not have an AC.

In fact, it’s lovely in terms of where it is. In the middle of nowhere, surrounded by trees and vegetation and nature. I am not sure if I will be inspired more to work but the location is definitely inspiring. That’s the thing. Every place I goto in Goa, because it is Goa, it is done really nicely. Here are a couple of photos (very badly composed / shot etc)…

Of course, Indian Cricket Tam won at the Gabba after some 30 years. No, I don’t follow cricket anymore and I am not qualified to talk about. But I will talk about two things here.

A, I love the idea of brilliance that professional sports bring out. In fact I’ve always wanted to use a competitive game, a sport as a hiring tool. It shows character like nothing else. You get to know who’s a sore winner, a graceful loser, a person that tries hard, a player that plays for the team (and not for self), the one that doesn’t give up.

B, I am waiting for all the brilliant stories, op-eds, write-ups, and other such things that will come out in the next few days about the grit and the determination and teams. It is inspiring to read about people that work hard and do great things. And even more inspiring to read from writers that can capture the stories so well! Each piece makes me aware of my limitations – as a person and as a writer. And each time I reminded, I am inspired! To do more. To become better. To write better. To leave everyone around me better. If you are reading this, do point me to some interesting pieces I can read about. Here’s one such piece from the IPL that I LOVED about Rahul Tewatia.

Ok. So other things that I am thinking about?

Yeah. Societal appreciation of what you’ve done!

People don’t care what you’ve done (most people don’t go deep into what you’ve done, or how you’ve done). The only thing they care about is if you’ve done something. Certificates, tags, recommendations work. No one cares about the process. Remember the difference between a writer and a blogger? That! It is getting reinforced.

I’ve never craved for it to be honest but I do like the idea of getting doors to open for me when I am trying things. I have figured a way to do it. And I have done that for a lot of people now. But when it comes to myself, I haven’t been able to. I now

I also realized my limitation with making new friends / connections. I realized that I need a few conversations to get started with people. And once that happens I am ok. People generally like me. I generally like people. That works out well. But the trouble is, I am super awkward when it comes to social constructs – you know, at parties, at events, at public gatherings. I am so old that I am literally dead but I am unable to find a way to break through it! And unless I find a way out of this, I will probably remain a blogger and will never be a writer!

Guess that’s it. Nothing else to report. Ennui has set in. I am still not using Roam, Asana, and other such tools. Been away from them since I came to Goa – I think not having reliable internet is to blame. I’ve been talking to people and the only solution is to get two leased lines at the place you live. The one I am at right now is temporary. Come February, I will decide. Another 10 or so days to go. Let’s see. I am leaning towards a permanent move to Goa. Let’s see how it goes.

That’s it.

On to #freewriting for #book2. It’s 7:39. Will write till 8. Or so.

“When is enough enough?” Siddh Paul flung a question.

In attendance were the current group of 8 pupils. Each year, Siddh would identify 8 men to add to the ever-expanding family. Always family. Always 8. Always men. No backup. No exceptions. He couldn’t make exceptions even if he wanted to. It was coded in their book. The book was the last word on everything you ever did. The book said each year 8 new members had to be identified and then trained and then made to take the oath of allegiance to the family. No, the family did not believe in the bonds of the blood.

Ok, not happening. 7:57. Lemme change track and give another 15 mins. Till 8:15. Leaving the para above to demonstrate the struggle ๐Ÿ˜‰

Attempt 2 at #freewriting.

The father-son duo were a force to reckon with. The two of them commanded respect and reverence. From all corners of the tiny state they called home.

Siddh for his discourses about religion, his openness to embrace and understand both Hinduism and Christianity. For his acceptance of others that did not see the world from his lens. For his neverending well of compassion and kindness that he continued to pour out from. For his indifference towards the ones that touted him as a farce, a fraud. For the righteousness that was unexpected from someone like him. Someone that comes from the lineage, affluence, and old money. And for his detachment to the very things that make humans, human. Including his family and his only son, Ankit.

Ankit, for his ruthlessness with business, the stronghold he had with the politicians and local panchayat members across the state. For all the Goans he had given employment to in his various businesses, many that no one but Ankit only knew about. Some journalists estimated that he had more than 2000 people working for him. Most of these were insignificant. Mere hands that Ankit used to get things done. Easily replaceable, dispensable, and made redundant. What these journalists couldn’t see was that he also had scores of people of power that ran the complex web that Ankit ran.

***

Ok, I like this one! Yay!

With this, over and out. See you guys later.

070121 – Morning Pages

I talk about life at a hotel, things I want to do in life and living in Goa.

Hello hello!

Quite a few things on my mind. I will talk about each of those and this post would thus become a list of haphazard thoughts without a connecting theme or idea per se. So, will divide into sections.

Wait. Is this what Morning Pages supposed to be? This is becoming a journal and a very public one at that (which is ok, I am not worried about having my thoughts out there in the open – I like the idea of Living in Public). I need to nudge towards deep reflections, ideas, lessons et al. Not rants. Maybe in a few days I would reach there.

Anyhow. Post for the day.

So yesterday was probably the worst day of 2021 – physically, mentally, emotionally, and in every other lly that you may imagine. I had way too many carbs (I had Biryani, Rissotto, Pizza, Cookies and I don’t know what else). I had like 5 cans of Diet Coke. So much so that the gums are swollen. I spent more money yesterday than I have spent in a day in months. On a hunch, I stood on a weighing machine in a hotel room. I am disappointed that I am still 85+ KGs despite eating clean(er) for more than a month and hoping in my head that I am eating clean. Someone I trust more than my life fucked me over. For a simple thing. And they were unapologetic about it. I am running behind schedule on each project that I have undertaken. I know I lag at times, the curse of doing so many things but this time I am really behind projects. To a point that I need a month to cover the backlog! Of course, I have a lot to blame. Starting with myself. Internet second. I mean I did not even write yesterday’s morning pages as the first thing. I wrote it around 11. Then throughout the day, I had this headache that literally killed me. I wanted to kill myself. I know why patients that have terminal pain want to move on. I had to alternate between catnaps, food, and coffee to even breathe. I am ok right now. I don’t know what caused it to be honest. Plus I had a million calls on top of that that I could not avoid. And I dont really crib about health when am on work calls – so I had to fake and I tried hard. I am sure they would have seen that I was slacking. Arrrghh.

Ok. Enough.

Let’s talk of good things now. So Nikhil is here for a recce. And he invited me to stay with him and talk shop. As I write this, I am sitting at a comfortable cafe on the beachside to the following view…

So this bit is nice. I like the idea of comfortable seating while I work. And with some sort of open expanse around me. Like this one.

No, I am not helping him with his work even though I am itching to. The event is his baby and my unsolicited opinions may not be welcome. I miss the time when I would do such large events and talk to multiple people and control the show. I miss Dipanker by my side in the hotel room and on the console. I miss yelling at Paras to get his ass moving. Sigh. Kya din they. I think I may become whatever – marketer, podcaster, writer, investor, publisher – my heart would always be in an event. Or as Shikha as increasingly made me realize, on a film set. I like the organized chaos, the uncertainty, the rush. May be I need to deliver my dent in the world via other people while I am shouting orders around an event? Fuck! Writing this is making me happy and nice in the head. How would it be to actually do something like that again!

Lets see when that happens.

Come on, Universe!

In fact, I think I miss the feeling of being in hotels. Even though hotels are the most impersonal, fake, and obnoxious places in the world, I like the idea of hotels. To a point that I want to live in forever. I anyway have sort of made my mind about letting go of everything I own (including the guitar and the books – two of the most prized possessions that I have. I am still undecided about all the notes that I have made. May be I can digitize those?). I can totally live out of a suitcase for the rest of my life.

So yeah, hotels.

As I type this, the screen of my MacBook Air literally fell off on me. The machine is now almost 5 years now and I need to get a new one. The thing with Goa is that the one I want to buy (M1 Air) is not available here. Plus even if it were to buy, I want to buy it only from a Croma (I have some points that I want to use, you see). I have to get a new one. Before this one conks off on me and I am left without an option! Maybe I’ll make a trip to Mumbai? Spend 10-12K on travel to save 50K odd that I would if I bought from Croma? It’s funny the kind of decisions I am left to make ๐Ÿ˜€

Talking of decisions, I have now been in Goa for more than a month now. I need to start thinking about work and come to a decision. I have two thought starters. Here are they…

A. I need to have the capital to survive (and invest in all the ideas that I am putting money behind) till this patch is around. Can I make that from Goa? As of today, looks tough. Can I make it from Goa in the long run? Definitely yes. How do I navigate this short-term to long-term? I don’t know yet.

B. I need to make an impact at a large scale. Wherever I am in life, I don’t see that happening. I don’t know what to do about it. I know I can say that I am taking a break (induced by COVID) but then age does not take a break.

So yeah. This is more of a dialogue with self as of now. At some point, it will crystalize into something concrete. Let’s see when.

The last thing for the day.

The day before I decided that on each morning page, I would write a para from #book2. These paras may or may not make it to the final edit but I would write. But I would at least get in the habit of writing (and thus thinking – I think by writing). I haven’t been able to do so. Maybe will start from today (not right now, later in the day, can edit the post or make another one once I have delivered things that I need to work on). There’s just too much hangover of shit that happened yesterday. Hope today is better. For me. For you. For the rest of the world.

See you guys tom!