120921 – Morning Pages

Short note on how I spent yesterday, the takeaways (my fading memory) and a rant on minimalism.

7:35. Home. Sunday. I have been up since 6:30 or so. But been doing things (primarily making lists) to ensure that once I am gone for 3 weeks, the world does not fall apart! Lol! Such magnanimity, Mr. Garg.

So today looks like a busy workday. I have a lot of things to work on before I start the next week. And then I am gone for 2-3 weeks. So that. The challenge would be to work from home – I don’t know how I would manage. Let’s see. I dont want to go to a Starbucks – too far from where I live. I hate wasting time in commuting within a city. More so after the lockdown taught me that most work meetings are essentially emails. The meetings with newer people, well, those are a different matter.

I met a few friends yesterday. And I bumped into a friend that I was not planning to meet. It was a very very fulfilling day. If I had my way, I would spend all my life doing exactly what I have been up to the last few days. Come on, Universe. I have made elaborate notes in my Roam.

Two things need to be cataloged however here. For the world to see. And for me to recall.

A. I have very faint recollections of places I have been to and people I have met. When I met NG, RM, and AG, I realized that they remembered incidents from almost all the travels they’ve been to. I, on the other hand, dont even remember the countries that we have visited together. They had to remind me that we were together in Sri Lanka. And they remembered that it was the year when Modi was getting elected (or re-elected or whatever).

B. I had momos at this restaurant that were absolutely mindblowing. Of course, I can’t remember the name of that restaurant. See point A above. Even though I had these not less than 24 hours ago. Sigh. I need to do something about my memory. May be stop taking notes ;P

So yeah. that was yesterday.

Oh, while typing this, I realized what Krishna told me. I used a lot of backspaces while I type. I need to fix that also. That means I am fast but I am not accurate at all.

Lemme run an experiment. The next para, I will type without using backspace. Let’s see what I get.

so I am typing this para without using backspace. And at my normal typing speed that I would use when I am typing things on messages, emails, powerpoints etc. Of course autocorrect is on and its fixing a lot of messages that I am mistales that I ma king, But more of less I thin this is ok. I can living with mistakes I am king for the sped that I can type and thing and type and then make sense with. As I tpe I use gramarly and I a,reaud see som 1000 red lines underneath things . Maybe there is indeed a mert in slowing dow?

Ok, that has a lot of mistakes!

The next para, I would type deliberately with the intent of making as few mistakes as possible. Let’s see how it goes.

This para, I am typing little slow with a lot f o deliveration, hoping to not making mistakes but typing slow and still not using backspace. So clearly I am making far less mistakes. I am not using backspace but I am still getting things autocrorected. So that’s helping. But since I am typing slow, I am making lesser mistakes. Except the mistakes in gramma etc. Not sure if I like this. This typing sllow os impedimenting (if there’s a work like that) my thinking speed. I ma a fat thinker that moves from one to tnnaother to another to another. So that.

I think I made as many mistakes. No?

The solution? Type fast and let mistakes happen. Lol!

So, less than a week to go for the trek. I have made most of the purchases that I had to make. Made a list here, in case you want to see. This trip is turning out to be the most expensive, unplanned trip of my life. I mean when I started 2021, I did not know I would go to Nepal. But it happened. But I am glad I am going. Everest has been a long-held dream. In fact, the other day KaGe mentioned that I had dreamt about Everest even when he and I worked together on Cyntax. Again, my memory clearly fails me there.

While I am ok with the money I spent, I am more effed about the number of things I’ve bought. For a minimalist in me, this is as cringe-inducing as it can get! And knowing myself, I would probably throw half of those things away when I come back. So, so much waste. For getting the validation in my head that I can do an arduous trek. Minimalism -1!

Plus, these are one-time purchases. These are once-in-a-lifetime adventures. You know, how weddings are. And yet I have to buy things so that nothing goes wrong. Wish I could reuse things that others have used before me. I wish I could simply rent things. But then, safety. Convenience. Insurance. Damn!

I am literally a bloated pig. I will probably fast today to try and get my body in control if I have to go thru the grind of walking 10 hours every day for the next 15 days. And with pants. And shoes.

Guess this is about it for the day. More later. See you around.

Here’s streaks.

  • OMAD – 0
  • #book2 – 0
  • #noCoke – 185
  • #noCoffee – 29
  • #aPicADay – 0
  • Money spent – 5998
  • Killer Boogie – 0
  • 10K steps a day – 0
  • Surya Namaskar – 0
  • 10 mins of meditation – 0
  • Minimaslism Counter – -3 +1 (buying things for once in a life adventures)
  • Morning Pages / Meditations – 275
  • NOFAP – 11

310821 – Morning Pages

I talk about events as engaging work, wanting to write for a living, minimalism and how India is where the future is and yet me wanting to move out!

7:12. Woke up a few minutes ago. I am a little groggy. Guess it’s the sleeping on the floor ka side effect. Two more nights. And then one night on a train and then a hotel bed. Damn, I miss hotels and their beds. Damn, I miss life as an event manager! I think of all the things I’ve worked on, I was the most engaged when I was doing events. And I have a feeling, if I dive head-on into films, I would be far more engaged than I am when I am on any other project. I enjoy the time I spend while I am writing but then writing doesn’t pay. Damn this world where I need to find money to engage in things I love.

Anyhow. Let’s not get into a rant.

So yesterday was ok. Did some work. Did some time pass. Met a client f2f about 4 months after we started working. It was good fun. Got rogered as well (I am failing as a marketer there). Need to pull socks. But that’s the part and parcel of life. I can’t have all things work smoothly all the time. There would be ups and downs and that’s ok.

Today is a long long day. I need to wear shoes and go to another client’s office. I dont know how that would pan out. I hope I dont get rogered there :D. Then I need to visit the set of the next short film that I am working on. Not that I add any value but it’s the closest that I can get to doing an event. Just that I am the guy who controls things at the event. And at the set, it’s the director.

So that.

Oh, I must log that this trek to EBC is not turning out into a good idea. I have bought way too many things (shoes, clothes, accessories). And while it’s money, it’s also the mental load of owning all those things. I mean I have mentally decided that I will give away the new shoes to the porter that will help me carry my things. And other accessories to travel shops in Nepal. Just that, this effort of buying expensive things and then thinking about them is not cool. I need to become stronger with this resolve of staying a minimalist. And I need to have more money to be able to not worry about spending large sums on one-time purchases and then discarding what I bought. I mean this pair of shoes is probably the most expensive I’ve ever bought (at 8K) and I will just give it away after I wear it for like 5 days! So that.

No, I can’t complain that this is a side effect of minimalism. It’s just that I find it wasteful. And no, there’s no solution.

Ok. What else?

So the other day I was talking to MK about how I want to live and work out of India. And how I am supportive of everyone moving out of here. You know, the political and economic environment. And he told me that maybe I need to rethink this. In the sense that as an entrepreneur and a capitalist, he is of the opinion that the future is in India. I can’t disagree. We are the second-largest domestic market, of people that have more and more discretionary money to spend and on top, aspirations to second to none. So there would be a few years of consumerism. And that means there would be more and more opportunities for people like us. You know, while in the gold rush, make axes? So that. No, I haven’t changed the resolve per se. But when MK talks, I listen carefully. So I need to think more about it. Maybe I would think about it over the next few days.

So I guess this is about it for the day. Short post but this is all that I am thinking about right now. Here’s streaks…

  • OMAD – 0
  • #book2 – 0
  • #noCoke – 173
  • #noCoffee – 16
  • #aPicADay – 0
  • Money spent – 5396
  • Killer Boogie – 0
  • 10K steps a day – 0
  • Surya Namaskar – 0
  • 10 mins of meditation – 0
  • Minimaslism Counter – -2
  • Morning Pages / Meditations – 263

270721 – Morning Pages

Did not have a lot to write today. Wrote a disjointed post about things on the top of my head.

6:30. Up a minute ago. I have fogged eyes, sore body. I think it’s because of all the walking I’ve been doing. No, I am not doing anything. I had plans to do push-ups, yoga, Jal Neti, stairs and I dont know what else. But for some reason, I am not doing anything except walking. There has to be a deeper thing at play here. I mean why am I willing to endure sore legs and blisters in my toes and I am shying away from other things? Maybe because walking around allows me to see the world outside? Maybe there’s a change in scenery? Maybe it’s effortless? I dont know. I will have to think deeper. Let’s see when.

So I have some disconnected thoughts from here on. Lemme use bullets.

A. Jetha (one of the coolest young people I know that is also very ambitious) decided to start a periodic letter to his connections. He says that I have inspired him. I am not sure though. Each person knows inherently what they want to do. And how they do those things. People like me only show the path. It’s the choice of the recipient if they want to walk on it.

B. While I was thinking about relationships and how to make things work, I stumbled upon an idea. If and when I get into another one, I think I will gamify it. I mean any relationship is a lot of hard work. But I am learning that someone like me needs to put in all the more hard work than others. I have very high expectations from life and thus from my partner. And of course, I am willing to do a lot – I hope I do. I mean others can only tell. Looking at things from my lens, I think I will only spot good things.

C. The initial excitement about EBC has now waned off. Now it’s the rigor needed to get there. You know, working out and all that.

Wait. I have covered this already when I lamented that I am not doing enough. Must buckle up. Because once I am up there, I will probably not have anything to fall back on.

D. I was watching something on Youtube (or was it Facebook; yes I am spending a lot of time on FB) and I saw this lady making a castle with a form board. I think it reminded me of that one large project that I want to pick where I do things by hand. You know, solve a big jigsaw, create a painting (even though I am not a painter), make a table. Something. Where I see tangible improvements on a day-to-day basis. And I use my hands (rather than just brains, like you do in a book). I really want to pick a project like that.

The thing is, however, that such a project goes against the ethos of having a house full of things. Even to make a jigsaw, I need to have some space in the house where I could lay the pieces out. If I have to make something, I need tools, paints, colors, and whatnot. So, this goes against the very ethos of what I want to stand for – you know, minimalism.

A few days ago (160721) I had decided that I will keep a running counter with arguments in favor of and against minimalism. I had said,

Wait. I have an idea. I will keep a running score of arguments in favor of and against minimalism. By the time I come back to Mumbai (after Diwali), depending on where the score is, I will move in that direction. So, the in-home chef is against minimalism. I am at -1 on that.

Wrote on 160721.

So, I add another -1 to the streaks. Let’s see where I end up once I am back.

E. Here’s a photo from yesterday. The only one I took while walking. I was out and about for more time but this is the only one I took.

An unplanned shot on the streets where I was telling friends about a sale at Ikea.

So that. I dunno what else to write. Time to get going and get started with the day. Here’s streaks…

  • OMAD – 1
  • #book2 – 0
  • #noCoke – 138 (I will start with this soon)
  • #noCoffee – 0
  • #aPicADay – 0
  • Killer Boogie – 0
  • 10K steps a day – 3
  • Surya Namaskar – 0
  • 10 mins of meditation – 0
  • Minimaslism Counter – -2
  • Morning Pages / Meditations – 228

160721 – Morning Pages

A quick post about work, food, minimalism and more. Loved writing it, even if it didnt come out too good.

6:34. Been up for about 20 minutes. Played a game of chess as I was coming back to life. So this one is going to be a short one. I have a long day at work and I don’t have even the 45 minutes that I typically take for writing these morning pages. More than the long day, I am running behind on the deliverables. Like crazy. I have calls throughout the day and I need to present on those calls and I haven’t been able to figure what to say on those. I am gonna wing it. Let’s see how I do.

The lesson that I am taking away is that I tend to overestimate what I can do in a day. I think I read this somewhere that people routinely do that. Underestimate what they can do over long periods and overestimate what they can over shorter durations. I am no different. However, in my case, I think the goals that I have for the long-term are definitely not small ones. It’s the short-term that I need to find a way to fix.

Ok, am digressing towards the rant.

So the highlight of yesterday has to be that I managed 12 rounds of Surya Namaskar. I couldn’t walk as much as I would’ve wanted to. But 12 rounds literally killed me. I decided to eat disciplined. Which I did till about 8 PM last night. But then I ordered the love of my life – rice. Sigh.

Fuck epiphany happened! I was lurking on Twitter last night when I saw Shaan Puri talk about an in-home chef. I think that is what I need. VG has had one for a while and I can see the difference that it has made to his family’s food. I think I need to think about getting one. Just that I don’t want to maintain a kitchen, you know minimalism. Maybe I need to get into an arrangement with some friend? I mean most of my friends have a cook coming over a couple of times a day and make their food. I can use that facility and get my food made? The challenge however is that in-home chef can use ingredients that you want at a time when you want.

Wait. I have an idea. I will keep a running score of arguments in favor of and against minimalism. By the time I come back to Mumbai (after Diwali), depending on where the score is, I will move in that direction. So, the in-home chef is against minimalism. I am at -1 on that.

Also, lemme define minimalism. It is not really not having a lot of things. It’s really an abstraction for having no attachment to things. You know, how people have a favorite tee-shirt, a favorite postcard that they’ve got from someplace? a favorite memory that they continue to cling on to? I don’t want to get attached to anything. I want to live in the present. I thus consciously try to forget about things that are in the past. Lol. Not consciously. I just can’t seem to remember. So, I don’t want to cling to things. I don’t want to be a hoarder. I don’t want things to become obstacles to how I live and operate. An easy way to practice it is by reducing the number of things you have, you own, you like. And thus the chase of minimalism. And the way to do so is by having as few things as possible.

So yeah. That.

Right now, Shaan’s comments and VG’s experience are making me reconsider. Let’s see what I end up doing. By Diwali. And why Diwali? Well, like I’ve been saying, I need to be in Delhi for Diwali, and once I come back, I will find a house all over again. And this time, I will get a fancy and a big one with as few things in it as possible. Wishful thinking 😀

Guess this is it for the day. Not sure what else to write. Plus, like I said in the beginning, have a lot to work on. So, with this, over and out. See you guys on the other side.

Oh, the game I played as I woke up? I lost!

And here’s streaks…

  • OMAD – 0
  • #book2 – 0
  • #noCoke – 127
  • #noCoffee – 16
  • #aPicADay – 0
  • Minimaslism – -1. Started this today.
  • Killer Boogie – 0
  • 10K steps a day – 0
  • Surya Namaskar – 1. Let’s see if I can manage today.
  • 10 mins of meditation – 0
  • Morning Pages / Meditations – 217

PS: I realize that I have been talking a lot about work the last few days. I need to get over it. Once this week is over, I will streamline it to a point that I am no longer ranting or cribbing about it.

090721 – Morning Pages

Quick, short post on my chase of minimalism.

8:32. Starbucks. Not my usual one. I am at the one in Powai. I have to go to the end o the world for a meeting and since there is no Starbucks there, I am parked here till about an hour to go for the meeting. I hope it works out well and the ordeal of these clothes etc is worth it!

So something interesting happened yesterday. Prak was over and while talking to her, the distracted one I am, I started to clean things that I have at my house. I’ve been meaning to do this for a while. You know, move to minimalism. Just that I hadn’t had the opportunity to even get started. I did make small starts by giving away a few things but it is those little trinkets that you hold close that you can’t seem to give away. So while talking to her, I sort of emptied various shelves out, took out things, thought about them, and then discarded a lot of those. It was scary for a bit but then after a while, it felt ok.

Some were tough to remove. Some were easy. Some I’ve continued to cling to. I will probably throw those away in the next pass (whenever that happens).

Thing is, my ambition is to own just 20 things. Including Passport, computers, phones, toothbrushes, first-aid, even undies, etc. It sounds impossible but let’s see if I can reach that point. If not that, then I have to be at a point when I just have enough that can fit in a carry-on bag in the most commercial of airlines in their cattle class.

More here

A couple of people asked me why am I doing this.

I think the answer is complex and there are multiple factors at play here.

For starters, I have wanted to live a simpler life where I think on a higher plane (whatever that means). Then, lately, I’ve been reading and consuming a lot of content from Dandapani. I think the final straw was when I thought deeply about life and death a few days ago. I was at a point where I realized that when I am gone, would I want to have my affairs in order? Or will I just go and leave things open.

Now, as someone who’s like the biggest loser I know and as someone that leaves so many things unfinished, when I go, I really want to have things in order. In the sense that there can’t be anything that expects someone to come back. The place has to be vacated. The lights need to be shut. All things discarded. At places where they can’t be attributed to me. In fact, in my will, one of the things I’ve mentioned is that all my digital footprint must be deleted. As much as possible, at least.

So that.

Also, I realized I think the best when I talk out loud to others. Not write, not think but when I talk out loud. But then I need people like Prak to talk to. You know the ones that would not judge and will not impose their thoughts and ideas on my situation. The trouble is, I dont know many people like her.

Anyhow. I have a very long Friday ahead. And even longer weekend. And the next week. The list of to-dos is almost reaching the moon. I need to either find a thing where I dont rent my time or I need to marry a rich heiress of an infinite fortune. Know anyone?

Here’s streaks.

  • OMAD – 4
  • #book2 – 0
  • #noCoke – 120
  • #noCoffee – 9
  • #aPicADay – 0
  • Killer Boogie – 0
  • 10K steps a day – 0
  • Surya Namaskar – 0
  • 10 mins of meditation – 0
  • Morning Pages / Meditations – 210