200621 – Morning Pages

Short post on the second day at Panchgani. Nothing of interest for people that don’t know me. Like most other posts 🙂

7:26. Woke a few minutes ago. Still at Panchgani. Will be back today.

So, Panchgani is the ideal small town. A very very small center of the town that has grocery stores, bakeries, chemists, and all that. I don’t know how many tiny streets and alleys spider out from there. Each with its own characteristic and quirk. No, there’s no way to explore them all. If I had all the money in the world, I would spend a large part of my thinking time at such a place. Just that, I’d like to know people as well. Right now, I don’t. This is the same feeling I got when I lived in Goa for a bit. I ended up knowing almost everyone in the tiny part of Baga where I lived. I like the idea of familiarity. I like the idea of small talk that is more than just formality.

Anyhow, a few interesting things that are worth cataloging…

For starters, I am eating like a man that has come out of famine. I am eating so many full meals in one single day that my friends are literally gaping at me. I think I would have eaten more in the last two days than I ate in the last month. But then I must say, the food here tastes better and feels more nourishing. Guess there’s better produce. Guess they don’t cook as they cook in the commercial kitchens back in Mumbai. Guess the weather makes it better?

Even a simple Brun-Maska is to die for. The Brun is how it should be. Crispy crush. Soft inside. Not flaky. Not hard. The butter was probably the Amul one. Oh, I got this from Meher Cafe. Got talking to the owner. A Parsi man of indeterminate age – that’s the thing with Parsis. You can never figure out how old they are. So, the owner told me that his wife is a believer in Meher Baba – someone that a couple of other friends are also believers of.

The other thing that’s worth mentioning is that the month of Keto and whatever Yoga I did over the last month was useless. I found it hard to walk down a damn mountain (Harrison’s Folly) to the town situated in the valley just before Panchgani. And here I want to, climb Mt. Everest. Sigh!

I am writing this morning after the walk and every joint in the body is hurting. The back is so stiff that you could break rocks on the top of it. The legs are so sore that I need a masseuse to work overtime to get the knots out. Oh, that’s the one thing that I want to get access to. A masseuse. Let’s see when.

Third. This trip is one of those rare ones that I did not work at all at. Except for these morning pages. I am not sure if this is recharging my batteries in any way but it was good to not do anything. And not think about anything. Must take more of these breaks. But next time I go somewhere, I want to go without an agenda. I want to be able to live slow, take it easy and not run around from one thing to another. I want to think more, churn more, and make some decisions. And then maybe come back and act on the things that I decided on!

So yeah. That.

What else?
I dont know. Apart from the fact that I am still tripping onto this track.

With that, end of the post. Back to regular programming from tomorrow onward. Here’s streaks…

  • Morning Pages / Meditations – 189
  • #aPicADay – 0
  • 10K steps a day – 0
  • OMAD – 0
  • #noCoffee – 0
  • #noCoke – 101
  • 10 mins of meditation – 0
  • #book2 – 0
  • Killer Boogie – 0
  • Surya Namaskar – 0

190621 – Morning Pages

Quick short note on what’s at the top of my mind while I am trying to stay away from work.

7:26. So, I woke up 5 minutes ago. Off a new bed. In a new place (Panchgani).

I am on a break of sorts for the next two days. The idea is to not use the computer or the phone as much as I would typically do on a regular day. I had thought I will think about things that are important to me and I can’t think of thinking while I am busy with regular humdrum.

But then I dont think that will happen here. For a simple reason that I am not prepared. I was to, yesterday. But work. So, these two days are “wasted” from that perspective. But then a break is gonna happen nonetheless. So that’s a great outcome.

Anyhow, yesterday, I did an NFG session for an audience that had paid to listen to me talk. For me, this was my first such session. Where I was paid to be a speaker on a specific subject.

However, thing is, all my life I have stayed away from charging for sharing my knowledge. I’ve never written about it. But let me try and talk about it today.

A. I have had this fear that if I charge people money and they dont enjoy what I had to say, would they not feel cheated? I mean I feel cheated when I pay for something and then I dont derive desired value from it. I dont want people that pay on the other side like that.

This is the same reason why I wrote this page on tnks. I did not want people to feel sad about buying my book and then not enjoying it.

B. I am very wary of coming across as one of those slick salesmen that are merely interested in selling things. The genuineness is fake. The conversations are to drive you toward a purchase. The agenda is to sell something. There is so much manipulation in each conversation that you know that your best interest is far away from their heads.

And I am by design not a person that wants to manipulate others. I like the idea of free will. I love the idea of people taking rational decisions (and not merely rationalising the ones they’ve taken). While I love brands and business and money, I am also an anti-consumerism-ist. I like the idea of less being more. I know that most selling is probably not needed. This is also a reason why I probably suck at sales as a discipline.

I know, I know. I need to believe that what I am selling is of value. And the decision getting taken on the other side (by the one you’re selling to) is being made without any coercion per se. I know that if I don’t sell, I will die hungry. It’s the same story as an antelope trying to outrun the slowest of the pack to survive that day.

So that.

Oh, this also reminds me of what one of my ex-bosses once told me. That I dont like the idea of having money. Every time I get some money, I start wailing in the misery of having money. I start pining for the days when I did not have the money. I get restless with the idea of money in my bank and I start spending it like a mad man. While I want to be rich and all that, this is probably the reason that I am still not wealthy. You know, the handicap with the art of selling and the discomfort with money in the bank.

Ok, now that I know what’s wrong, maybe I’ll work on it over?
Let’s see when. Adding to #sgToDo.

Chalo, enough.
Time to pack the laptop back in the bag. Will get back to it tomorrow morning. Meanwhile, I am back to Ankur Tewari’s Dil Haare.

And here’s the streaks.

  • Morning Pages / Meditations – 188
  • #aPicADay – 0
  • 10K steps a day – 0
  • OMAD – 0
  • #noCoffee – 0
  • #noCoke – 100. Yay!
  • 10 mins of meditation – 0
  • #book2 – 0
  • Killer Boogie – 0
  • Surya Namaskar – 0

140621 – Morning Pages

I talk about how the weekend was. And about Panchgani, Starbucks and Fitness in a disjointed rant.

7:03. Woke up a bit ago. Feel ok. Not great. But not bad either. I guess the magic is in staying away from the phone at night. Chalo, let’s get on with the day and the post.

Monday’s are typically busy where I take stock of things that I am working on and all that. While I do that offline (on Asana and Roam and other places), lemme start with a short review of things that I had thought I would do on the weekend.

So the weekend came and went and I did far far less than what I had imagined I would do. Quick report card…

  1. Write content to help Sonali and her Art in Action project – ❌
  2. Submit the Airbnb Live Anywhere application – ✔️
  3. SoG Book. It’s the cornerstone project for Jun 2021. – ⁉️
  4. Shortlist and finalize writers for The Podium‘s foray into content – ❌
  5. Make progress on Write Your First Novel course. Worth two weeks. – ❌
  6. Approach more people for Long Haul Ventures. This includes all the bade log I know that I send quarterly updates to. – ⁉️
  7. Get back on Twitter – ❌

Very dismal performance. At this rate, the greatness I chase will remain a distant dream 🙁

With that tight slap, let’s talk about things that I am otherwise thinking about.

➡️A. Overdependence on Starbucks
The poor performance over the weekend? I want to blame it on my dependence on Starbucks. I mean I had planned to park myself there and work till I was tired and all that. And I know I would’ve done that. I don’t have a bed there. The AC works. The internet works. There are people around that I can feed on the energy of.

Now, if suddenly the place is no longer available and I am forced to contain myself in a shitty house overcrowded with old furniture and lousy vibes, it should not mean that I can’t function.

How can my work, my output, my life be at the mercy of a Starbucks outlet?

Plus, during the lockdown, I did work. I did deliver things. I did ensure that I do my job. All without a Starbucks. Now that I have an option, how is it that I am losing track of things? Just because I have an option, I am in that shitty space!

Optionality is a bitch!

➡️B. Panchgani
This weekend, if all goes well, I will be in Panchgani. I plan to not take my laptop. I want to also not take my phone to be honest but I dont think that would be possible. Let’s see.

Panchgani is one of those places that I have come to love over the years. When I first went there (don’t remember when – must be in 2007 or 2008 or something), it was a tiny town that I don’t think anyone went to. I mean all the rich people from Mumbai and Pune and Nashik had the twin towns of Panchgani and Mahabaleshwar as their holiday and retirement homes. But that was that. It was limited to the rich ones. And the ones that were natively from there.

To me, when I went there, it meant little more than an escape from the boring routines at Mumbai. It was the same to me what Fiji was for Truman. A place so distant, so impossible that it was a mere speck on the map. It represented the ultimate freedom, the ultimate escape. Not that life in Mumbai was that bad. I was still young, still hopeful about life, still enjoyed the grind. And yet Panchgani was that break that I would take from the rigmarole of life.

I would’ve made countless trips to Panchgani and on each trip, I’d get enamored by the small-town life of simplicity, community, and nature. I’d want to start living there. But then at the end of each trip, when I’d come back, I’d forget the simplicity in like 10 seconds. That fickle I have been.

From the first trip on, the relationship evolved. It became a Fiji. A place that I would pine to be at. A place where I’d want to get teleported each time I had a bad day.

And now, as I write this, I realise it’s no longer that. It’s yet another tourist destination that I goto, to take breaks. Like this one on the coming weekend.

So that.

➡️C. Fitness
My keto subscription is coming to an end this weekend. No. I did not lose any weight. No, I do not feel energized. And I have not stopped craving for Maggi, Dosa, Fried Rice, and all that.

I dont think I will continue. I do have the money to get it but I think I will skip. I will get someone to make food and deliver. And I will try to get back to OMAD. That’s the only thing that I think works in my case.

I’ve also stayed off Yoga since the second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. I think I will get back today. It’s 7:55 and I need to meet Prak at 9ish at Starbucks. So, I do have the time. It’s the inclination and intent that is often missing.


Guess this is about it for the day. Need to get going. Here’s streaks…

  • Morning Pages / Meditations – 183
  • #aPicADay – 0
  • 10K steps a day – 0
  • OMAD – 0
  • #noCoffee – 0
  • #noCoke – 95. I am gonna have some coke on this weekend’s trip to Panchgani. Yeah, this weekend I am traveling!
  • 10 mins of meditation – 0
  • #book2 – 0
  • Killer Boogie – 0
  • Surya Namaskar – 0