221021 – Morning Pages

I talk about how my dreams of a nation are getting shattered! And more.

8:54. Some hotel in Gurgoan. Before you ask, no I am not sick or tired of sleeping on a different bed each night. I actually like it. Let’s see how many days this continues.

Ok morning pages. I have to start by “declaring” that today I am fasting. Come what may. And I will not even have coffee. Or Coke. Only water. And chewing gum. I dont feel good. There’s way too much kachra that I have been feeding myself. I mean there’s nothing that comes close to eating the perfect Chole Bhature in Delhi and the after-taste is great and you feel good. But after a while, all the maida sort of blows up my belly. So, I am done. At least today. Not sure about tomorrow. But today, I am on a fast. If I eat something today, I will donate 5000 to a charity of Krishna’s choice.

With that out of the way, let’s talk the real morning pages.

So, unless you live under the cave, you would know that SRK’s son is in jail. And there was this Fab India ad that created a storm. And yesterday I discovered there was another ad by Ceat that made people mad. And I think I mentioned on morning pages that an email exchange on my alumni group sort of showcased the rift in the society and the angst that is simmering just below the surface.

And, it SUCKS. To a point that I have decided (and it’s a #lifeEvent for me) that I will move on. And I regret that I did not move on earlier. I don’t know what I would do (the skills I have are not really transferable) but I will move on. Even if I have to become a cabbie. I know it’s one life and time doesn’t turn back and I am closer to my death than how many years I have been around. I know my biggest “career” bet (with films with TRS, in terms of efforts, money, emotions) is right here. I know that I wouldn’t be able to start from scratch. But I know that I am out. I will probably plan the move. I mean it may take a few months. Or a few years. Or whatever. But I will move on. Here’s a promise to self. #sgLifeGoal. I will not die in India. Unless I can “affect” how India is.

So that.

Here’s the journal.

  1. Emoticon: :|. It’s tough being who I am. Conflicted. All over the place. Spread out. Etc etc.
  2. Mindful Index (on a scale of 10): 1.
  3. Things that I am grateful for
    1. The fact that I can decide on how to spend my time.
    2. The fact that I can use the gift of the gab decent enough to get things done and create opportunities.
  4. Things that would make my today great. Just one thing.
    1. If I can fast, it would be great. I’ve been up for 40 odd minutes and I’ve just had water. Need to sustain this for another 14 or so hours 😀
  5. A daily affirmation. I can control my urges and wishes. I am the master of my sense. If I decide to stay hungry, I can go for hours. And even days.
  6. Amazing things that happened yesterday? 
    1. I ate Chole Bhature yesterday. Loved the taste. I realised that I am not as taste-dead as I thought I was.
    2. It was amazing to sit by myself in an empty office of a friend and get a few things done.
  7. What could have made yesterday better?
    1. Work. Funnily, there is nothing on the top of my mind but work. I would have loved to get more things done than what I got done yesterday.
    2. Food. If I could control the food that I ate, it would be better.
  8. Quote for the day
    Dar ke aage jeet hai! Lol!

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

  • OMAD – 0
  • #book2 – 0
  • NOFAP – 0
  • #noCoke – 3
  • #noCoffee – 0
  • #aPicADay – 14. Yesterday’s here.
  • Daily Journal – 15
  • Money spent – 11268
  • Killer Boogie – 0
  • 10K steps a day – 0
  • Surya Namaskar – 0
  • Daily Mail to #teamSG – 15
  • 10 mins of meditation – 0
  • Minimaslism Counter – -3 +1.
  • Morning Pages / Meditations – 15

270821 – Morning Pages

I longish post on how work, social constructs, luck, self-flagellation, travel and more. Kind of depressing. Read with caution.

7:05. Lokhandwala. Even though I am mere 7 days away from quitting this place (and I’ve had this for almost a year now), I still can’t seem to call this place home. There’s nothing home-like here. Too many old things from the landlord. Too few people that I would’ve liked to invite to make this into a home. No memories, no routines, no customizations were created. And it’s ok. I dont think I will miss this place at all. This one remains the second most worse house I’ve ever lived in, in Mumbai. The one in Peter Apartments takes the cake. The common thing between the two is that both are old houses with older furniture piled by the landlord to expect more rent. The lesson is that the next house that I move in, has to be empty, barring the ACs. And I refuse to own things till I know I will not have to move. Shifting a house is probably more stressful than managing an event.

Anyhow. It’s gonna be gone in less than a week. I will move most of my things out tomorrow. Leaving behind a change of clothes, a couple of bedsheets, and some toiletries. Will move everything (writing table, books, etc etc) tomorrow. So, the dream of living in a bare house shall come true. I actually did it with the last house as well. I slept in the empty house after I had moved all my things. And it was discomforting and weird and interesting af. Let’s see how is the experience in this house.

So, yesterday was a good day. From 8 till about 3 I was at a Starbucks (not my regular one though) and had some 242 green teas. Then I met a friend for another tea. The highlight of that meeting is that the friend told me that he’s for a membership to the MCA. Wow! So so cool! Also reminded me of the challenge thrown by Rana Sir. #lifeGoal! Among other things, I gave a lot of gyaan to this friend about life and all. And I realized that I enjoy doing that. Who doesn’t 😀

Then I had a work meeting where I had to present something. Oh, and I enjoyed it! It went ok, to be honest, we could’ve done more. But I loved that I was in a conference room, talking about things. I must do it more often. I mean, while I hate this concept of inter-city travel, I love the idea of being able to jam intelligently on things. I wish I could do it more often. I am ok even life makes me a traveling salesman that is on the road all the time talking. I am ok with having no home to come back to. There’s actually nothing I can call home. Probably apart from my parent’s house in Delhi. That too is fading away soon – you know, I’ve been away for too long, I am used to this weird lifestyle where I dont want anything or I want it as plush as an Ambani would have. So yeah.

Post the meeting, went out with colleagues for dinner. Till that time I had refrained from eating. Even though I was on the road. And then I gave in. The time when I had to show my biggest restraint, I gave in. But then, I only ate in that one window. So OMAD nonetheless. Will try yet again today for a 48-hour fast. Lol!

The other thing I realized is that I am unable to hold conversations that are about worldly matters. I did not know the cricket score. I had no clue what is the ideological difference between Taliban and ISIS. And how are they different from others. I had no inkling of the films and Netflix series that they were talking about. But when the topics swung to work, I could talk and I was unstoppable. This uni-dimensionality to my life needs to either become more pronounced. Or needs to go. I don’t know which. But one of these has to happen. #note2self

So that was yesterday.

Today looks a little ok. I mean I dont have any rushed meetings anywhere. I do have a few presentations to make. I do have some slides to write. But that’s that. A lot of time will be spent packing whatever little needs to be packed. So far my life is contained in 3 Ikea bags full of books, a carton full of paper, a big suitcase full of clothes and that’s all. I will probably have one more carton and one more suitcase. Of course the writing-table and all that.

Oh, almost forgot. In the big news, the road trip that I was super excited about for the last month or two? It got canceled. Technical reasons. I will no longer be able to meet all those people that I had promised to meet en-route Delhi. I will no longer be able to do the long-planned atma-manthan. Maybe it wasn’t supposed to happen in the first place? Maybe it will happen while I am walking towards EBC? But then, who knows if that gets canceled as well? You know how life could be. Despite me being a destiny’s child, life does hand me lemons when I least expect it to. I think I should get this “Expect the best. Prepare for the worst.” tattooed on me. Apart from “this too shall pass”. Good that I sat with SJ2 and got my will actioned. In case he forgets, in the worst-case scenario, if I am gone, I want my digital footprint wiped. I’d have no way of knowing if that happens but I trust custodians of my will to manage that.

Oh, btw, I decided to make a vlog of the trip to EBC. I am going to buy a few gadgets – a camera, gimbal, battery packs, etc. I am not sure if I want to go all-in and think about the vlog (rather than being in the moment and walking and thinking). But the idea has taken seed. I need to think over the next 5-6 days if I want to do it. Let’s see.

So, I am taking a train to Ahmedabad to meet Krishna. And then from there on, I’ll take a flight to Delhi (will or shall?). This means that all the things that I wanted to dump in Delhi, I can no longer carry. I will have to trust SJ2 or Paras with those things. They are reliable people but then those things are not mine and I am a mere custodian and I want to thus be super careful. Also, I had thought I would take a few things that my parents could use in Delhi (read TV) but then that may not happen. These are the times when I sort of crave for a lot of money. You know, I would’ve bought a car and then dumped it in Delhi. The experience of being on the road for 5 days is what I was looking forward to. Wish I was resourceful enough to do this.

Wait. Fuck my misery.

The talk of resourceful reminds me of the Jeff Bezos quip. He says that the single largest quality he seeks in his partners / teams is resourcefulness. I think he said something like, “if I get trapped in a third-world country prison, I want my partner to be able to rescue me from there.” This is EXACTLY what is happening in Afghanistan. I am thinking if this were to happen in India tomorrow, do I have resourceful people to get out of India? Or if my favorite person was trapped in Af right now, could I’ve got her out? No. And No. So that means, I need to put in more work. And I need to inculcate this in every young person I meet.

To the thing above, if I need a balancing thought, I can say that I did get some help from a couple of loose connections (Jash and another writer) on a new project that I am pitching for. And both of them are willing to work on it without seeking any upfront compensation. So, in a way, I do have access to people that can help me if needed. Even last year when I needed help, I was surprised that loose connections were more approachable and helpful than the ones I share a strong bond with. Life’s funny like that. Actually, not life. Us humans are funny. We look at patterns and try and seek evidence in support of the ones we believe to be true. And I somehow manifest them to repeat. I can put forth a lot of examples. My romantic partners lose interest in me after a bit and consider hanging out with me an “embarrassment” in the worlds they live in. My “boy gang” continues to march forward on frivolous conversations and is hardly around to help with fuckeries of life. I seem to quit work right when I was just supposed to reap the benefits. I’ve lived almost 40 years with this pattern. This cycle. Dunno when and how I would break out of it.

Ok enough. Rant. Damn this promise to live in public.

Guess this is about it.

Felt amaze to write 1000+ words after a while.

Thing is, when I have things to write about, I can write fast and I can make sense. I just need to be able to do this even when I have nothing in my head. That’s when magic would happen!

Chalo with that, it’s over and out. In less than 35 minutes, I have 1500+ words. Well done, Mr. G!

Here’s the streaks.

  • OMAD – 0
  • #book2 – 0
  • #noCoke – 169
  • #noCoffee – 12
  • #aPicADay – 0
  • Money spent – 6770
  • Killer Boogie – 0
  • 10K steps a day – 0
  • Surya Namaskar – 0
  • 10 mins of meditation – 0
  • Minimaslism Counter – -2
  • Morning Pages / Meditations – 259

080821 – Morning Pages

I talk about being Indian, Neeraj Chopra’s Gold Medal, Speaking Well, Dr. Peterson and more. And some shower-thoughts and wants!

6:34. Long day ahead. Lots of work. That’s what happens when I take a break for a day or so. But then I cant complain about how I spent yesterday. It was a good day, to be honest. I met M and it is fascinating to see her grow and discover and fight for and find her place in the world. I wish I had more understanding when it comes to kids and all that. And I wish I would assert more on how kids that matter to me are brought up. Wishful thinking.

Anyhow. I just wish I had the money and time and lack of ambition to live a day yesterday often. I mean a day spent with leisure and all that. More on #echochamber.

Moving on.

I woke up a few minutes ago. Two things that I am thinking about are, 1, Neeraj Chopra’s Gold medal at Olympics 2020. And 2, this video by Dr. Peterson as soon as I woke up. In this, he talks about how misery could be a source of your inspiration. Lemme talk about these two.

I saw the Tiranga getting raised to the top and then the national anthem being played at Tokyo. It was a heartening sight. Made me think about how things and time change. And how I have changed with time. There was a time when I was as staunch and as hardened Indian as they come. I believed in our supremacy. I was blinded to the mistakes we made as a country and as a society. I would dismiss the apparent flaws in our culture. I would love the “chalta hai” way to respond to things. I would take wows to make us proud and reclaim the lost glory we’d grown up reading about. You know, before the time invaders starting plundering our “great” nation.

But then, over the last few years, something changed me. May be I became more aware. May be I got more “educated”. Maybe society became more extremist, more hardened. May be, I saw how other cultures and societies are “better”.

Somewhere, I lost the fanaticism I had for India. Of course, I remain proud and grateful that I am an Indian. I know I can’t change that about myself. But I do now think and wish and hope and pray that I could live in a different country and a different place. There are multiple reasons for this. For starters, the very meaning of freedom / independence and being an Indian is lost. We are now a country of people blinded by religious dogma and blind extremism around religion. We are now a country where we celebrate the failure of others rather than the success of self. We want to become Atam Nirbhar in conduct and yet turn a blind eye to this conduct when faced with adversity. The right to speech is being taken away. The ability to do things is being made more and more difficult by the day. We are now deeply engaged in plastering everything we have with a photo of a man in a white beard and not concerned that the history books are re-written and laws of the land are being crafted that would put even the cavemen to recede deeper into the folds of the mountains. Even the athletes that are winning the medals are being ignored and the entire nation is captivated by the one phone call congratulating these athletes and their coaches.

Anyhow. I can rant for hours if I have to but I am not as well educated or informed. I am sure there are people that will justify the actions of people. After all, we know how to defend ourselves.

Lemme move on. Saw this video.

In this one, he says, resentment could be a great teacher. I think everything I feel that life’s being unfair and I am getting a raw hand in relationships or work and things, I would do 10 push-ups. Simple. I would make my resentment a road to fitness if nothing else. And then from there on, I will do whatever it takes to sort things.

So that.

I want to talk more about this resentment as fuel for life but not today. Need to start work. I do have to talk about something worth noting though. The ability to speak well. Dr. Peterson speaks so so well. It’s not funny how many times I let my rational / thinking mind ignore what he’s saying just because he speaks so well!

Staying this ability to speak well, yesterday I got talking about some of the best orators of Hindi as a language. Ashutosh Rana (this and this) comes to mind. Then VG told me about Kumar Vishwas (this). Rahat Indori Saab (I dont even know how many to link here) has been among the best orators ever. Even this from one of those nationalistic films is a great case of someone inducing goosebumps only via the power of words.

I really wish I could speak as well as these people.

I think I can decode these. There are two things at play here.

A, the content. I mean, these are great words, great poetry that is being narrated. The words themselves are goosebumps-inducing. The stories are inspirations.

And B, as important, the way they’ve been narrated. The passion, the pauses, the clarity of tone, the breathing, the speed, and all that. Ufff!

I need to get better at it. Point me to some source. PLEASE!

So yeah. That.

Lemme end today’s post with something that I have been thinking about, over the last few days. I even wrote about it on the 4th. The book I have been editing is done. And the time slot from 8 AM to 9:30 AM is now available. Should I just assume that it’s a sign (great proses, Dr. Peterson, my misery, my want for validation, my poverty et al) and create something for myself? I mean I am definitely not a one-hit-wonder and it’s high time I get going and work on something for myself. A book, a film, a large-ish project (like a Jigsaw Puzzle, a magnum opus or something). #note2self. Lemme try and start from tomorrow, even if I am supposed to take a break for a few days in Sep.

Let’s see. What. When. If.

That’s it for the day. Here’s the streaks.

  • OMAD – 0
  • #book2 – 0
  • #noCoke – 150
  • #noCoffee – 0. Had two. Tall. Americanos.
  • #aPicADay – 0
  • Money spent – 250 + 250 + 1500 + 257 (2257)
  • Killer Boogie – 0
  • 10K steps a day – 0
  • Surya Namaskar – 0
  • 10 mins of meditation – 0
  • Minimaslism Counter – -2
  • Morning Pages / Meditations – 240

PS: I speculated that yesterday that ink in my system has run dry. But then I got back to writing these today, I realized I can rant a lot. Yay!

PPS: #showerThoughts. Had this really cool thought while showering today. Lemme give context. While brushing my teeth, I realized that I have these huge bags underneath my eyes. And this is probably because of the last two-three days of lack of sleep. Which is probably induced by too much coffee. So, what if I go to my local Starbucks and talk to the store manager and ask him that I am gonna sit there for 4 hours each day and NOT buy a coffee. Of course, I dont want to be a freeloader and thus I am happy to buy their merch / food. Or even donate. But I dont want to consume. Would they then allow me to sit at Starbucks and work? Let’s see. Will try on Monday.

080521 – Morning Pages

A longish update on nothing in specific. Just made a list of things that are clouding my head.

7:38.
Woke up about 10 minutes ago. I had literally passed out. I was tired. The day was exhausting af but I did everything that I want on a perfect day. So that’s cool. I ate things I love (a lot of carbs and ice cream to end the day). Spoke to AD, SJ, and even mailed PM. Attended the inaugural session and the first session at docedge – learned so much. If I manage to attend all sessions (which I am hoping to), I can see my life change! Did some work. Got some others to do some work. Walked some (almost 9K). Was tiring. By the time I went to sleep, I was exhausted. I probably slept well. I woke up at around 3, I had some water and then I slept again. So that.

Ok. Strangely I dont know what to write!

Lemme list of things that i am thinking on.

A. It’s VK’s birthday. Wished her. Been one of the closest confidantes. Unassuming, non-judging, stable in the head. Grateful to have her in my life. Got access to her because way back in 2009, took a shot out of my league. Here is the email that I sent her (that probably started our relationship)!

Screenshot of my first email to VK.

As I re-read this email, I realised that I dont recall half the things we talked about but I must have been damn impressed with her to have sent her that email.

Oh, the coffee shop thingy that I mentioned in the end, in 2009 when I quit CLA, one of the ideas was to start a chain of coffee shops. Like every other (pseudo)creative person. 12 years on, I am not any wiser. The coffee shop is a dream. Lol!

B. I’ve got a new person on board at C4E to help me with a project. She must be 30 and while it’s early days, she is a million times better than I. In terms of being responsible, orientation towards work, always-on thinking, and more. I would love to have more people like her on my team.

But then, early days. Let’s see how things pan out with her. If it works well, I will change my hiring thesis to getting people that are in late 20s, early 30s (rather than early 20s). Oh, btw, this reminds me, there are some incredible 16-year olds (16!) on Twitter that are doing some amazeballs work. I need to invest in them and get them to work with me! #note2self

C. While writing this, I realized I do not have boundaries between work and personal life. Which is ok, for the time being. The realization dawned on me when I was trying to figure what to write. While I was thinking, I kept reading about things that needed my attention. I kept checking the Cowin app / website for vaccination. I continued to think about all the work that I can do. Etc etc.

D. Last night evening, I was so exhausted from a computer screen that I decided to not look at it only! That’s new, if you ask me. I ended up seeing shit on my phone. Am I burning out?

E. I’ve found a new thing to trip on and kill time with. Infomercial videos. Ordinary people watch shit on Netflix. Extraordinary people read. Legends watch Taarak Mehta. People like me watch infomercials. I am a big fan of Vince Offer. He’s up there for me, along with people like Shekhar Sumar!

I mean see this Slap Chop video and tell me that you don’t like him!

Even though I don’t have a kitchen, I want to stop having a boring life and I want to order all the Slap Chops that I can imagine! I want the nuts. I want the linguini and the bikini! See it to believe it!

Wait. Here’s a #parkedIdea. Can I make a documentary on the lives of these infomercial stars? Should be interesting. No?

So yeah.

Ok, need to get on with the day. See you guys on the other side. Over and out.

Oh, here’s streaks…

  • Morning Pages / Meditations – 146
  • #aPicADay – 0
  • 10K steps a day – 0
  • OMAD – 0
  • #noCoffee – 0
  • #noCoke – 59
  • 10 mins of meditation – 0
  • #book2 – 0
  • Killer Boogie – 0
  • Original Work (limited time only) – 0
  • Surya Namaskar – 0

050521 – Meditations

Update on things clouding my head. There’s nothing new but usual suspects – life, house, money!

7:04. I’ve been up for a bit now. Actually, I didn’t sleep very well. Why? Well, among other things, I had a coffee yesterday. Iced Americano. After some 55 days. Can’t say I missed the taste but I did like the idea that it could be helpful when I have a lot of work.

No, I don’t plan to get addicted to it again.

It shall only be had on days like yesterday when things on my plate overwhelm me and I need additional help to come up with superhuman effort and knock things off my todo list.

And I will try to have it later than 6 PM. Yesterday I had it at around 8 I think and I was as wide awake as an owl till about 2. And then I had to force myself to sleep.

In other news, in another action item yesterday, I got back on Twitter and Instagram. And I plan to stay active. I may not post too much but I will offer and extend some morsels of help as and when I can. If nothing else, I will support others that are. It somehow dawned onto me that while I am unable to help, and I suck at offering a shoulder, I need to do whatever little l can. Even an iota of help could be useful at this time. Individuals across the world have shown what compassion and willingness to help can do when regulators and policymakers and governments fail. I have now seen the power and impact of an individual’s action. It reminds me of that aasman me soorakh line…

“कैसे आकाश में सूराख़ नहीं हो सकता, एक पत्थर तो तबीयत से उछालो यारों” – Dushyant Kumar

If I could get something tattooed on me, it would be these two likes from Dushyant Kumar. Apart from “this too shall pass.”

#note2self – I must make it a point to read some of the Hindi poets that are no longer around. They’ve some incredible work. I mean I am a fan of late Rahat Indori’s work, especially the way he would narrate his work. Must spend time on listening to some old ones.

Ok. Moving on.

I also saw this post by Rana Ayyub where she talked about how life is sudden and you may not get time to say goodbye etc. I am inspired and I have decided to write an email to every person that I have hurt wanted to apologize but did not have the courage to. I know some of those chapters were closed long ago and my apology will probably bring back bad memories for those people. I will thus be careful and ensure that I am mindful before I send. I will write those nonetheless, even if I don’t send them. I mean, I am sure I will remain safe in this pandemic but you never know what happens next. So I do not want to leave this world without closing some of these conversations. No, I am not premonitioning my demise but I want to not leave without saying a bye to people that have shaped me – in a good way or a bad way. So that.

Oh, how can I even forget talking about this? In fact, I had to start with this. Yesterday Bill and Melinda Gates announced that they are ending their marriage of 27 years.

27. Years.

This is the second person that I look up to that has done this (first is Jeff Bezos. He and Scott were married for 25 years). Both Bill and Jeff have been idols for long. Their marriages were #lifeGoals for long. The wives played such an important role while these guys were on the road, building their businesses and all that. I’ve in fact wanted a partner like that. That supports my maddening ambition. Or vice versa (become second fiddle to someone as ambitious). But this announcement just broke my heart. The last time I was this sad for one of my idols, it was probably when Steve Jobs passed away. For some reason, I was not that affected by the cheating and divorce scandal of Bezos.

Anyhow, if I had any faith left in the institution of marriage, this was probably the last nail in its coffin. I mean Bill and Melinda were married for 27 freaking years. They were my ideal couple – make a lot of money and then use the rigor of business in doling out that money to make the world a better place. Plus they are old. I mean Bill Gates is 65. Melinda is 55 something. After 27 years, you probably know so much about each other that even if some doubts creep in about the impending cracks in the marriage, you probably fix it beforehand. You know, it’s messier to separate at that age, especially if you are a public figure. It just reduces the impact that you can have.

Damn you never know what happens behind closed doors!

Someone actually put a tweet out yesterday that said that out of the top 10 richest people in the world, only 2 have not been divorced (Mark Zuckerberg and one of the Google Founders!). Is there a correlation? If there is, I am glad that my plans of not marrying in the first place will not tip the numbers in the list. Unless more people enter the list when I am there. Lol! King of wishful thinking, Mr. Garg.

Also, today is the 5th. When I had to give my landlord notice if I did not want a messy exit from this house. I had wanted to do it for two reasons – a, get to a cheaper place and b, try and move to Goa. Even though I know it’s tough to live and work in Goa, I wanted to have a base there. I know that I will not have the network that I have here. I know that things are moving online and people are ok to meet on Zoom but I am super ineffective on Zoom as it’s been proven a million times already. So that. In one line, I am in that limbo that I’ve been forever.

One option is to move to Thane or something and then use hostels or friend’s couches when I need to be in Mumbai. I will save on the rent, live at a distance that allows for chance meetings and such connections. I don’t know. This inability to decide obviously stems from the inability to spend money and that’s something that I need to work on anyway.

I think this is about it. Have a long day ahead that starts early. Time to move on with things. More tomorrow. Here’s streaks.

  • Morning Pages / Meditations – 143
  • #aPicADay – 0
  • 10K steps a day – 0
  • OMAD – 0
  • #noCoffee – 0. Had one yesterday after 55 days!
  • #noCoke – 56
  • 10 mins of meditation – 2
  • #book2 – 0
  • Killer Boogie – 0
  • Original Work (limited time only) – 0
  • Surya Namaskar – 0