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 🙁
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.
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 🙁
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.
What if I told you that a money plant mimics the way my life moves? Would would believe it? Wait. Why should you even? Read on to find out.
Again, a day where I don’t have anything specific to write about. Well, except, this! And since there is nothing else to write about, I am going to talk about it. After all, I have committed to writing for 30 minutes every day for 30 days.
Like I said yesterday, I want to be attached to as few things as possible. And I want to own as limited things as possible. And as a result, over the next few days, I will throw / discard most of the things I own.
Of the things that I will retain is this money plant.
Lemme tell you the backstory.
To be honest, I don’t know when I got this plant. Or how I got this plant. Maybe someone gifted this to me? Or may be my sis left this behind when she moved back to Delhi 3 years ago. But I do know that I have retained this plant for at least 4 years now and I have moved this particular plant every time I have moved houses. And over these four years, I have seen the plant flourish and I have seen it withered down to just 2 leaves. And each time, the state of the plant has sort of mirrored the state of my life!
In fact, I think, like in the Last Leaf (a masterpiece by O Henry) the way protagonist attaches her life to the leaf on a tree, I believe my fortune is attached to the leaves on this money plant.
I am serious. I have data to prove it. Since I have started tracking, the plant has hardly had any leaves and my life has been topsy-turvy. In fact, I don’t recall when was the last when the plant really flourish. And honestly, I don’t remember when was the last time I flourished. I mean I have had a fairly decent life, but I haven’t really flourished per se.
For a large part of the past 2 months, the plant had just 2 leaves.
But as I was prepping to move on to a new one, I spotted another leaf. The third one. So, there is an improvement. And thus, I am hopeful that the new house will be luckier than the previous one. I hope the plant goes back to having many more leaves. May be this year on, it will flourish again? May be I will flourish again?
Or, may be I am merely being a fool and I am confusing causation to correlation What do you think?