060721 – Morning Pages

Personal note about someone that passed away yesterday.

8:15. Starbucks.

Yesterday I lost someone who I considered a mentor, friend, bouncing board, and a father figure.

No, I was not related to him by blood. In fact, for most of my life, I did not know him. I started knowing him only around 2007 (or thereabouts – not sure of the timelines) when I started getting active on Twitter. He was one of the first people that I met IRL and from the first interaction itself, I knew I was going to cling to him for life. And I did. In the sense that every time I needed help, every time I needed inputs, every time I hit the wall, he would be one of those people that I would reach out to. And he would be around. To give counsel. To give consolation. And to most importantly, push me.

He is one of those rare people that believed in my potential. Each time I met him, he would tell me to try and do more in life than what I am. He was the never settle kind. And he knew that I could do more. He was very honest, upfront, and candid with his inputs to me. It was often harsh. I would complain but I would always walk out of the room inspired. Most times I’ve wanted to slack, I would try and imagine how would he react to my underachievements. And that would make me push myself harder. And to do more.

My first book wouldn’t have happened without my interactions with him! Here’s a page from the book.

Acknowledgments page from my first and only book, tnks

Now that I think about it, I think I put his name there to get his validation.

That’s the thing about the relationship between him and me. He was that strict father that would not say a good thing if you do average shit. But he would blast you if you slacked. He wanted you to only do the best. He wanted you to succeed. Be that massive success. I have to confess that since I’ve known him, I have wanted his validation. All the time. Off-topic, the two other people that I seek validation from are SC and sgMS (even though both these are now part of my past). More about these two in another post.

And I failed. All the time. Failed him. Failed myself.

No, we did not talk often.
No, we did not work together.
No, we did not share personal, deeper things.
I know he did not consider me a part of his close circle.

And yet somehow when I heard about him, I felt this massive, inexplicable loss.

Thing is, even though we’ve had the worst two years and have lost countless loved ones, I still don’t know how to process when someone passes away. I don’t know how to explain how I feel in such situations. If I can choose frivolous words, I’d say, it plain sucks.

Of course, I want to believe that I am an HFS and I can move on fast. I now know, I may not be. I am probably pretending. And fooling myself.

Yesterday, right after I heard the news, the first thing I did was to check with his partner. And once I realized it was not a rumor per se, I was dumbfounded. At loss. Of thoughts, words, actions.

No, I did not stop living. After I confirmed, I attended two meetings where I cracked those polite jokes and made small talk that you expect on such calls. I then went for a longish meeting for a film where I thought deeply about things, made jokes, got into an argument, and all that.

Once I was back, once the busyness of the day was over, it hit harder. I tossed and turned in the bed. Sleep was far. Even though no coffee during the day. I wanted to distract myself. I craved for that close someone that I could talk to. But then, what do you talk to them about? Maybe it’s not the conversation but the feeling of togetherness that matters? I don’t know. But I did something stupid. I randomly messaged some women on Instagram. Fucking conduct unbecoming. Need to be stronger than that.

I know he was not family or anything. For a bystander, he and I were just two guys that knew about each other via Twitter. But the bystander doesn’t know that he rooted for me and invested his time and connections in me and my life. He put his reputation at stake for me. He chose me at times when I did not choose myself. He inspired me. He was there for me.

And he’s gone. Poof!

I know this too shall pass.
I know time would heal.
I will be ok soon.

Heart goes out to his family and all the thousands of others who’s lived he had touched. The best thing I can do, in his memory, is to live to the values that he lived by.

The values of hard work, of honesty, of friendship, of being enterprising. Most importantly, of being that kind and selfless person that gives, gives, and gives without expecting anything in return.

I must do more, push harder, realize my potential and make him proud. From wherever he’s seeing me, if he sees me (I am one among thousands of beneficiaries of his kindness), he has to be fucking proud of me. And as Fobu told me a few minutes ago, be that nice stranger that roots for others.

That’s it for the day.

There’s no other reminder of the shortness of life than such moments.
Memento Mori.
Time is short.
Must do things. Now.
Must be nicer to others.
And push myself harder.
And, this too shall pass.

Regular rants tomorrow. Here’s streaks…

  • OMAD – 1
  • #book2 – 0
  • #noCoke – 117
  • #noCoffee – 6
  • #aPicADay – 0
  • Killer Boogie – 0
  • 10K steps a day – 0
  • Surya Namaskar – 0
  • 10 mins of meditation – 0
  • Morning Pages / Meditations – 207

230621 – Morning Pages

A ranty post before I start the day. From outside a Starbucks that shut for the day.

7:38. Outside my regular Starbucks.

I came in early. Thinking, it’s a long day and I will get a head start on what I do. I was thinking of crafty ways to allow the Starbucks baristas to let me in early. After all, I am a regular patron. And I can talk my way through most situations.

But no. It’s been booked by a bank for one of its promotions. The entire place. For the entire day. Damn!

What this means is that acche din are back (in the sense banks are spending on BTL promotions). This also means that I need to do more to get things done on this long day. Sigh! 

Now that I have started the day on the wrong foot, lemme talk of all the negatives that have been happening with me lately.

A. I spotted a cockroach at my house. The sole reason for not having a kitchen at my place is to avoid these pests. I hate them. I loathe them. I abhor them. I know I know that these pests are needed for evolutionary change and all that. But not in my house!

Must make a rule to only move into newly constructed houses. Irrespective of the place I go to – Goa, Dubai, Mumbai, etc.

B. Since Friday, I’ve been eating like a man just out of famine. In yesterday alone, I had four full meals – each with a pot of rice. I had 2 Venti Americanos. I even had a Red Bull. And then I whiled the time away on Instagram! Binging on Fauda at 1.5x speed! I mean WTF! Need to get my act together!!

C. I am hating the way I am right now. In the sense, eating like a mad man. Not getting enough sleep. So many incomplete tasks. So many todos! So listless. So lacking in direction.

I don’t know a way out.

One of the friends I spoke to (rr) told me that I need to see a doctor or something. At 38, this is not cool. I am strongly thinking I will go see one. Let’s see when. Will keep everyone posted.

Ok, enough.
Lemme talk of positives.

A. In the morning, I saw this tweet and it made me think. Since I was half-asleep, I sent out the first thing that came to my head.

His question was, “What’s your personal elevator pitch?”

My responses were…

When working for others – “Whatever you hire me to work on, I am resourceful enough to get it done. Come hell or high water.”

When working for self – “Aim for the moon and throw million darts. Few of those will hit the stars.”

Must spend more time thinking about these kinds of things!

To be honest, I think what I wrote is exactly how I feel and think and behave and do. So that.

B. I also got the iPhone fixed. For 5K. In case any of you wants to get broken iPhones (broken screens, software crashes, memory glitches, etc), please do let me know. Can connect to the guy who does it for me. He sends his technician to wherever you are and ensures that it works before he asks for money. Love his service!

I have to say, LOVE the damn phone. I felt so much better, so much at peace as I got back on the iPhone. I felt as if someone has given me my powers back. I could type fast. I could switch apps fast. There was no lag. Things just, well, worked!

C. Attended a session where one of the A-list celebs gave some founders from the Founder Thesis podcast gyaan about how to manage celebrity endorsements. Must create more such opportunities and get people to talk to each other.

And then be bang in the middle of it!

This is exactly what am hoping to achieve with each piece of work I do – from writing to creating networks to enabling people to speaking and even with Long Haul!

Let’s see if I can scale this as I go along. This, to be honest, sounds like a good way to live life!

D. Took a stranger through my notes. Actual notes. Screenshare of my Roam graphs. I realized that I don’t really care much what people think of me or my private thoughts. I guess I am at a point where I am truly living in public.

I think this is about it for the time being. Let’s see how the day goes.

And as I end this, here’s the streaks…

  • Morning Pages / Meditations – 192
  • #aPicADay – 1. I posted one yesterday. Now that the iPhone is back, let’s see if I can post one today as well.
  • 10K steps a day – 0
  • OMAD – 0
  • #noCoffee – 0
  • #noCoke – 104
  • 10 mins of meditation – 0
  • #book2 – 0
  • Killer Boogie – 0
  • Surya Namaskar – 0

030621 – The Thug Life

A quick short post on a day when I woke up late and did not have time to write for the stipulated 45 mins.

9:59 AM! I woke up 10 mins ago. This has to the late-est I’ve woke up in a long long time. And work starts at 10:30. So I don’t have a lot of time to write per se. But I do need to get some load off my head. You know, morning pages. So here we go. For 30 mins.

Let’s dive right in.

I finished the third episode of Mare of Easttown. I had planned to see 20 mins a day but I am clearly spending an hour on it. The third episode was a bit of a drag, to be honest. The first two, far better. But since I am seeing this from the perspective of learning about writing, I have a deeper appreciation of things they are doing in the show. So that’s cool.

Staying on writing, these days am trying to write #book2 with the help of this course on Coursera. I am still in the first week and that means there isn’t much that I’ve written apart from the logline and the story structure. In fact, I wrote about those publically here on the blog a few days ago.

Why I mention this today is because over the last two or three days I have been getting feedback from others enrolled in the course. Most of the feedback is from first-time writers (I think) and most of it has been very encouraging. To a point that I am enthused to write more! This simple input from strangers is making me go back and write more!

I think that’s the point of peer feedback. You feed off the energy of others. You get validation and you are pushed to do more. I am encouraged and it clearly works for me. And if it works for me, I am sure it works for others as well! Why dint I think of this earlier to get more things done?

Anyhow. Der aaye, durust aaye. Aa to gaye!

Also, must think of exploring more of this cohort-based training. Something that companies like On Deck are leveraging on and monetizing and delivering impact. This is EXACTLY what I want to do in life!

Lol. Kya kya karega, Garg Kumar!

Lemme pick the validation bit from the text above. This validation thing has been an important thread in my life. Especially in the romantic one. Ya ya. Too personal shite on a public blog. But that’s the point of living in public.

So, almost everyone I have been romantically involved with has had issues with my talent, achievement, and all that. No, not in the negative sense – they have been some amazing women. But in the fact that *each* of them believed that I was / am so talented and I can do so much more, and yet I am doing nothing. To a point that they start ridiculing me – without knowing that they ridicule me.

This has become such a recurring pattern that I dont know how to get out of it.

So that. More on it someday later. Time to get going and start the day. Miles to go and all that. Glad that I could get these 500 words in. Probably my shortest post ever. I can really get used to this thug life where you wake up aaram se, order your 300-bucks coffee and laze around!

Here’s streaks…

  • Morning Pages / Meditations – 172
  • #aPicADay – 0
  • 10K steps a day – 0
  • OMAD – 0
  • #noCoffee – 0
  • #noCoke – 84
  • 10 mins of meditation – 0
  • #book2 – 0
  • Killer Boogie – 0
  • Surya Namaskar – 1 (Managed 12 rounds yesterday)

010621 – So that!

In three “so-thats” I talk about what’s on my head and what I am gonna do about those.

6:56. Hello June! The 6th month of the year that’s flying past like time has never flown is here!

Let’s see how it goes. The rant yesterday was sobering. In the sense that I could dump whatever was on my head and I was at peace. Let’s see how the next few days go. I think that these morning pages is a good good idea. In absence of any specific person to talk about how I am feeling deep down, these pages help me get the load off my head. This is as good as therapy. Plus I can send the link to whoever cares. Or even to a professional counselor if need be.

Thank you, Steve, for teaching me that we are already naked. There is thus no reason to hide anything that I am thinking about, working on, etc. This living in public is proving to be a good idea.

So yesterday, as soon I had crapped and showered, I left the house. Went to a friend’s place. Picked a coffee on the way. Was somehow reminded of those times when I would wake up, take a shower, and would be out of the house in the next 10 minutes. I have actually lived all my life like that. I really think it’s getting stuck at one place that fucks my head. Now that I’ve realized and I have an option (a friend has kindly agreed to allow me to use his house and I will of course share the rent), I will use it. At least till the time Starbucks opens. Or a co-working place.

I would ideally want this to be within walking distance but that’s ok. One thing at a time.

So that.

In other news, I haven’t done Surya Namaskars in more than 3 days. Will do it today, after I am done publishing this. I am walking almost 10K steps every day. I mean there’s no way for me to see how many steps am doing (remember am back on an Android?) but I am walking for sure. To a point that the chappal I wear is so worn out that it’s smooth as silk!

Oh, I have to thank the Android phones. I am using the phone less and less. Most calls are on desktop WhatsApp (thank you, Vodafone) and that means I don’t even need to hold the phone! Plus, I am off Twitter and Instagram again. So that’s helping reduce the usage as well.

So that.

What else?

Oh yeah!!!

So yesterday, I took up a challenge. I must say it’s stupid and vain and all that. Lemme talk about it. There is this new crime show on HBO / Hotstar, Mare of Easttown featuring Kate Winslet. While talking to some friends, I was challenged to write about the show in such an eloquent manner told that I am not good enough a writer that can write about it so well that it exhibits how good the show it is. I simple words, my writing cant move the mountains.

So, clearly, my ego was hurt. Of course! Such a kid, Mr. Garg.

So, I plan to invest some 7 hours watching the show (I watched 22 minutes yesterday) and then another 2-3 hours in writing about it. And then will publish it here. And maybe at some other publications that have a wider reach.

For context, I haven’t seen a piece of fictional content in ages (the last thing I saw was Nomadland, on the insistence of Vivek) and I don’t have it in me to watch 7 hours of content and remember the storylines, leave alone writing. So it would be a big one if I can actually pull it off. Plus, I do hope that it does justice to how I write. If not that, at least I would improve. I am actually looking forward to the challenge! Bring it on!

The thing is, I love it when I face these challenges. And I love taking these challenges head-on. Most times I fail. Not most. Almost every time I fail. To a point that I am dumped in misery and I question why I even took that challenge up. And yet I seek more. You know, like a junkie. If not for these external, public challenges, like seems drab and boring to me. So that. Maybe am stuck with the feeling of ennui because I am not left with a big challenge? I mean I can take up book2 as a challenge and start thinking about how I have failed at producing it. And I have been failing since 2015. 7 years. Kab khoon khaulega re tera, Faizal

And damn this need for external validation with things!

So that.

The other change I am doing today on is to live my life strictly by a calendar. A large part of how I live is anyway dictated by a calendar. I am going to take it up by a notch. I am going to get more anal about it. To a point that I will not do anything that is not on my calendar. Even these morning pages go in my calendar. I have earmarked 6:3o to 7:15 for these morning pages. The days I wake up late, I will miss writing. And that means I will break the 170+ day streak. And that would be a sad thing.

Of course, I can shuffle things – I am still not the Prime Minister of a country that my calendar is what the world follows. But more or less, I need to account for every minute that I am awake. Time is short. Lots of things need done. Let’s see how it goes. I’ve already plotted Morning Pages, Book2, and Mare of Easttown on it. Will add more during the day and I shall pack it to a point that I can’t afford to die.

So that.

This brings me to the end of the post. I mean I have more that I can write. But for the time being, this is it. The next task on the calendar is calling 😀

Streaks…

  • Morning Pages / Meditations – 170
  • #aPicADay – 0
  • 10K steps a day – 0
  • OMAD – 0
  • #noCoffee – 0
  • #noCoke – 82
  • 10 mins of meditation – 0
  • #book2 – 0
  • Killer Boogie – 0
  • Surya Namaskar – 0

250521. Meditations.

An inconsequential update on the music I am listening to and some pop-psycholgy pieces that make me feel good.

8:06
Been up since 7 I think. Slept around 11. So about 8 hours of sleep. I think I slept well apart from the AC making those chuckling noises all night long. So yesterday was a long long day. To a point that I had so much work that I literally slept on top of my laptop! And I will have to keep today’s piece short to be able to deliver a presentation by 10. So that means I have less than 30 minutes to do this.

Let’s go!

The music am tripping on these days is by Indian Ocean. I picked them up after I heard Rahul Ram belt out an ode to Modiji. While that itself is a fabulous piece of music, I am more enamored by Bandeh. Here.

Lemme start with this image that I got on WA yesterday. Lemme spill some ink bits and bytes on this.

This 2×2 is brilliant if you ask me.

It encapsulates everything that I was internally judging people on. And I want to be judged. It’s the intersection of ability and intent (if I try and loosely translate those words). And depending on how you fare, you could be, from bottom left to top right, waste, fuck all, dreamer that doesn’t deliver or cool.

While I know deep inside where I am and who I am (ask me if you are curious), I wanted to know what the world thinks of me. I even made a Twitter poll to see whats the world thinks of me.

Here…

I don’t have any comments on what they are telling me but I will keep this framework handy to evaluate life on. In fact, you can actually track your progress and movements between the quadrants over time.

That reminds me, I often evaluate myself on a spider chart about how I am doing in life. While writing this post, I took a 2-minute detour from the post to see where I was and did a self-evaluation.

Here…

May 2021

I dont know when or how I got introduced to this chart but I thought it was a great dashboard to have. Especially if you want a single view of where your life is and how you are faring in areas that you often dont even know or track.

In fact, I have been maintaining this spider since Nov 2018. I go back to it every quarter / six months and fill it in. For context, this is how I was when I started.

Nov 2018

I have to admit that the Nov 2018 chart has been the best so far in life. But if I could compare where I was in Jan of this year and where I am in May, there’s a marked improvement.

And the biggest factor, the biggest cause of the change is that I have some work that gives me some money. And that money has allowed me to do a lot more in life in other spheres as well.

So that.

Money, kids. Money.

Ok. In other news, a few days ago, I started volunteering with a friend’s charity. The first few days I could manage the time and energy and effort. But for the last few days, I haven’t been able to contribute at all. To a point that I am feeling guilty for other people’s loss that my inability has been causing. So that. I know I need to fix it. I know I need to start delivering. I plan to. From sometime later in this week. Let’s see when.

So yeah that.

Guess this is about it for the day. Here’s the streaks…

  • Morning Pages / Meditations – 163
  • #aPicADay – 0
  • 10K steps a day – 1. Plus I walked up 8 floors.
  • OMAD – 0
  • #noCoffee – 0. Had an Americano Venti with 1 tablespoonful of butter.
  • #noCoke – 75
  • 10 mins of meditation – 1
  • #book2 – 0
  • Killer Boogie – 0
  • Surya Namaskar – 1. 12 rounds. Followed this lady.

So all in all, for the streaks, it was a good day. I dont have time for the Surya Namaskar right now but I will try to get in the meditation bit in for sure. And then maybe towards the evening, I will try to gun for 10K.

Over and out.