130421 – Meditations

What started as a recap of the day got converted into a rant. Lol. Read at peril.

6:56. Andheri.

Slept for some 7 hours. And I feel I have overslept. Even though I had a looooong day with a million phone calls and a billion things to remember, I feel overslept. You know how you feel you should’ve woke up earlier? I don’t think I can do 8 hours of sleep. But 7 I think is doable. Must aim for that.

So, I did a 10K yesterday. Walked on Versova Beach. Among other things, a lot of people play cricket there. While I was passing by some of those, I tried to catch a ball or two. I tried to stop one from my feet. I even threw a ball towards someone.

I remember as a child, I was pretty nifty with all these. I may not have been a Jhonty Rhodes but I definitely was among the better ones with my reflexes and hands and feel. I could stretch myself like a rubber band and dive further than a swimmer to take impossible catches. I could outrun the balls racing towards long boundaries. I could then throw right on top of the wickets, if not hit the wickets. I rarely missed.

However, yesterday, I felt I was reduced to a pale memory of my former self. And it hurt, it pained to observe that something that I was good at, I am not longer even considered eligible for. Guess this is how oldies feel when they sort of retire. It’s the worst feeling in the world!

Picture a young man of 22 who’s take a bus to reach the large departmental store where he was a security guard for years. Just that after 40 years in the service, he no longer looks strong. His actions are slower. His reactions are labored. And he knows that there are murmurs of them trying to find a replacement. Replacement of a person that has literally given his entire life to an establishment! Old age. Sigh. I hate this.

Anyhow. The good part is that I did 15K steps. I was tired but I continued to talk. One of the main issues why I can’t do some sort of a work out (apart from my Hernia that is troubling me all over again – need to get operated finally) is the boredom that sets in after a while. I think the secret is that I need to schedule the calls that don’t need me on video or a computer for the time I walk. For example, yesterday, I had calls from 6 till 830 that did not require me to be on a video and I walked for the most part of it!

Earlier I would listen to podcasts but I think I need something more engaging. More involving. More proactive. You know, like a conversation. Agreed that there’s background noise but I think most people are ok to make that concession. The world is kind like that.

In other news, there are rumors of a lockdown from tomorrow in Mumbai at least. If that happens, I will probably not survive. I mean humans are like cockroaches. They’d find their way through even the nuclear war (remember Wall-E?). But I can not be closeted in a house. A small one at that. I need space. I need to move around. I need people. Even if I don’t talk to them. I am ok to not talk to them. But I need to observe. Make secret jokes to myself about how they are dressed, how they behave et al. But I need them. I need the fresh air that the “modern homes” in Mumbai are not capable of providing. I need to, need to have access to literally an open sky. Of course with an AC in that room. Lol.

Ok. I am digressing. The point is, I can’t survive a lockdown. I have to escape it somehow. Even if I get fined by the cops or get a whack on my butt, I need to be out and about! Fuck this pandemic. Fuck the stupidity of people. Fuck the majboori of the world that they are forced to risk their lives to make ends meet. Fuck our incompetent policymakers and politicians and others that could’ve done better. Fuck Saurabh Garg. For always being on the sidelines when the crisis hits and not taking any action. I had more than one year to get active, learn more, foresee the crisis, and plan for the contingency.

Deep breath, Mr. Garg. You are ranting. The point is not to get angry. The point is to find an alternative to what is coming my way. May be I will borrow VG’s car and hit the road without a destination in mind. I will probably end up driving to Goa but still. If the North East was not that far, I would probably drive all the way there. Let’s see what the government declares tomorrow. Once that happens, I will decide.

So, It’s 8:14 and I have a call at 9 AM. So I have about 45 mins to write for #book2. Let’s see what I create. I am going to write about something that I have not written so far. I mean I may have written on one of the previous passes over the years but I will stay away from usual suspects (Rujuta, Raunak, Mrs. Gomes, Udita, Chintan, etc). Here we go.

[START]

“How much is enough?”

“More than what the world has to offer.” Despite what he did or what he was infamous for, he was a very well-read person at the end of the day. His repertoire included texts not just from Hinduism and Christianity but also from western philosophers, obscure thinkers, scientists, and statesmen. And he knew he was intelligent and knew all of that. And that coupled with his false sense of insecurity is what made him a highly functional sociopathic. And he knew this as well. And he used it to his advantage. Every time he had to do something that even he would not agree with, he would use the excuse of his sociopathic traits to get justify his actions. Like this time.

“How can one man have all of it already? And still want more?” His father asked.

“That’s the point. I know I am here for a limited time. Maybe another 30 years if I don’t get killed by all the vodka that I love. And I need to be sure that when I die, the world stops moving. If I cant enjoy all that the world has to offer, why should anyone else get an opportunity?” He was bereft of any emotion when he spoke that. As if it’s a universal truth that most pundits would agree upon.

His father was exasperated. There was no point in breaking his head over the stubbornness of his son. “This is not how it works. You are far intelligent than that…”

He cut his father midway and retorted, “That’s your problem, father. You never thought I was good enough to carry the fabled heritage of the Pauls. There was always someone else that had your affection.”

He took a pause. Poured himself some vodka and gulped it at once.

Even though his father was strict about not getting any alcohol in their house, the younger Paul was insolent.

“You think so?”

Ankit smacked his lips and said, “I don’t think so. I know. I am not dumb. You know it. I know it. There was always someone else that you held in higher regard. Ever since I was a child, you have ruled with an iron fist. I was punished for no reason. I was pushed against the wall all time. Why did you not just kill me right away when I was born? Why put me through all this suffering?”

He put his mouth to the bottle of Belvedere that he was carrying and took a big drag. This was not his choice of vodka, he had finer taste but this is what was available at the shop en route his ancestral home.

The father could respond to each accusation that was being hurled at him but he knew better. “Son…”

“I don’t want your fake sympathy. Give that to all of your proteges that you thought were better than me. I’ve come here to ask for the Green Book.” He dropped the bomb.

The Green Book was more treasured, holy, and inaccessible than the innermost Sanctorum of the most revered shrine in the world. It has been passed down their family for countless generations. Apart from the father and son, no one even knew that the book of life existed.

The father was not surprised at the demand. He knew that this day would come. Just that he did not expect it to come this soon, on the 30th birthday of the son. But then, the book did have hints of a big upheaval around the same time.

“What would you do with it? You know far more than what one book can teach you. And you have seen it. There’s nothing in there that you do not know about.”

“Again! I am not dumb, father. I know that that book is as worthless as toilet paper. But that book father is also when a Paul boy becomes a man. That book father is when a Paul passes on his reins to his son. That book father is what a Paul is born to inherit. It belongs to me and I am here to lay a claim to it before you betray the family and give it to someone outside. I will not let the Paul’s name go to ruin.”

It was ironic that the two of them were talking about the legacy of their family and both seemed to on the opposite ends of a river. Neither realized that they were at the opposite ends of a candle that’s burning from both sides. A far urgent, far ferocious inevitability. While the son could not see this, the father could see the writing on the wall. He had tried to delay this as much as he could. But the time seemed to have come. The book is never wrong.

He submitted.

“What you are doing right now is taking us closer to ruin than anything else has ever. The family has survived fires, floods, famines, false promises, and far more. You have read about it. I taught you myself.” He lowered his voice. “You were my brightest student, Son, but the book, the Pauls, you and me, this is where our story comes to an end.”

With a quick motion that surprised even himself, he flung the book into the fireplace.

[END] 8:57! Yay!

Anyhow. So, here’s the streaks.

  • Morning Pages / Meditations – 121
  • #aPicADay – 102
  • 10K steps a day –1
  • OMAD – 1
  • #noCoffee – 34
  • #noCoke – 34
  • 10 mins of meditation – 0
  • #book2 – 0
  • Killer Boogie – 0

040321 – Morning Pages

A note on trains, a third-party realization about how I work and a rant.

7:56 AM. Mumbai.

Yeah, I came here last night. On a train. I have now taken more trains this year than I have taken in the last 10 years. Except for the locals. And the metro. I hate train travel that much. But then thanks to COVID and the ridiculous inconvenience imposed on air travel, I had to do this.

But then, despite my hatred, I have to say, trains are awesome. Each person in the train is a story. Each person is there for a reason. And is going to someone. Or away from someone. Like last night, there was this old man (who the Ticket Checker told me was 75) who was drunk out of his wits and was picking a random bone with a co-passenger. To a point that he called cops!

I also have to say that the quality of train travel has grown leaps and bounds. I could order from a menu of a million dishes from Chinese, Indian, Fast Food cuisines and there were fresh fruits and snacks from all parts of the country. It was amazing. The compartments were clean. The toilets remained filthy but I think that’s more to do with travelers than the railways. Good job, Indian Railways.
So, am in Mumbai. Had to come here for a meeting that could not be pushed. I still want to be back in Goa. Or at least have a foot there. But then, I have to chase money before other things.

Anyhow. So, yesterday, I was talking to Akshay (my partner at Podium). He said a couple of very interesting things (which I knew intuitively but was amazing to hear from someone else). He said one, I perform the best when I am juggling multiple things. And two, when I sniff that money is around the corner.

Of course I kind of knew both these things but I never thought AD would be so good to be able to figure it from a distance. Or may be he’s not good, I am merely so visible with these actions that any intelligent person would be able to spot those. Lol.

The point is, he’s right. And I need to play to the “strength”. If I can call this strength. And how do I play? Well, simple. Find so many opportunities that I am unable to handle, as long as each of those has the potential to throw money at me. So going forward, that would be the mantra. Do you know any such opportunities?

What else?

Oh yeah. That old person from the train. I have to have to have to do whatever it takes to not go senile when I am old. It just sucks that people want to respect you because you are old and because you are senile, you lose the respect, and to make matters worse, they pity you. The worst thing that can happen is people pitying you. I will rather walk into the jungle. I hope some of my younger friends would help me retain the sanity. And if not that, push me in a jungle. I may not have been able to do a lot in life but I will not become someone that people pity!

Guess this is it. I have a fairly long day. Need to move the butt.

No, nothing on book2 :(. Dunno when I will be back.

Let’s see.

010221 – Morning Pages

Woke up tired as if I was a 90-year old. Couldn’t think of what to write. So, this one is more rant than anything nice or deep.

8:05

I woke up at 7:55 and I feel like I’ve been hit by a train. There is no energy in the body and the eyes are groggy and I don’t know what all. The good part is that I remember a couple of dreams from last night. So that means I slept ok. But I feel tired. I don’t know what to do about it. I did stay up a couple of days ago for a project. But I was ok after that. Maybe it’s all the crap that I am eating? May be it’s the weather? May be it’s something in the head? If nothing else, I probably need to start working out? I don’t know 🙁

I am so groggy that I cant even think straight, leave alone getting work done. Or putting my thoughts on paper.

Wait, Mr. Garg. This is a game. And your power is down. You need to get a power-up. What could that be? Music? Food? Sleep? Sunshine? Workout? Hugs? May be I am groggy cos I didn’t brush my teeth yesterday? Is that a punishment that my body is giving me?

Lemme think.

Ok, a few things are clear. I need to fix the food thingy for sure. Matlab, I need to not eat. Eat less, if nothing else. And if I eat, OMAD. And fewer carbs. This should be standard.

I then need to fix the office situation. Half my ideas and thoughts and work suffer because I don’t have a “desk” per se to work on. This is contingent on the place I will live at. I still need to close on Mumbai vs Goa and then an office desk. I had decided that I would have a decision by end of January. And no, I don’t have it. There is hardly any work that you can create from Goa. You need to rely on work that can be done remote. The Internet situation can be fixed. Getting work however is a pain. I’ve struggled with that in the past. And that I think is literally impossible remotely.

I need to get into some sort of a workout routine. Lol. I remember I have been hoping to have one since I was 22. I probably need to admit that I can’t do this! No, I can’t do an online session. I have to have a physical, in-person thingy. Remember what I wrote yesterday? Reminds me. Years back, I would go all the way from Powai to Bandra to attend a 45-minute Yoga glass with Shameem Maam. I think those were the fittest days of life. May be, get back to Yoga? If I do decide to live for long in Goa, I will probably move to some secluded part and start a cafe there 😀

Lol. Dreams.

So yeah. These three.

Funny how when you have a stable life, with money coming in, you think of grandiose plans of changing the world. And when the going gets tough, all you think of is the basics – roti, kapda, makaan.

Anyhow. So need to fix those three.

Moving on. The other day Vivek shared this Twitter thread about some athlete that just went missing and ended up at a beach. I think I should do the same. Delete all my social media profiles, websites, accounts, etc. And go poof in thin air. And do what? I don’t know. Yet.

I’ve often thought if there was a reset button in life, that if pressed sort of took you back in time and undo all the things you have done. You can then live your life again, but since you’ve retained lessons from the life that you’ve already lived, you can avoid mistakes.

That’s about it I guess. Need to get going. Have a few things to work on today.

But before that, here’s a thing that I’ve been tripping on. A guy called Punit Pania. He doesn’t make me laugh per se but his insights are spot on. Look at this one for example. Such insight into being Indians! I think that’s a great place to be in life. The ability to see through stupidity, idiosyncrasies, opinions, and actions of people and then comment on those and then present those in a way that people can relate to and laugh at is a great great skill to have. I wish I had that. I have a few friends that are that and I can see the amount of effort you need to do even a fraction of that is tough af! Lol, yet another skill that I wish I had!

And before I go, the track of the day is this one from a film called Saathiya…

O Humdum Suniyo Re – Saathiya

Oh, and, Day 3 on the trot when I am not writing about book2. I’ve not lost the motivation per se, I do have the ideas as well. I am just being lazy. Let’s see if I can fix this tomorrow. Or during the day.

With that, over and out.