A talk with self on what I ought to be doing over the next few days.
6:10 I woke up with a bit of stomachache. I think it’s all the food from outside that I am eating. So here’s a pledge. I will not eat anything that’s not been cooked for me specifically. And if I am forced to eat something else, I will have fruits or raw veggies than cooked food. And today, I will attempt a 48-hour fast. The ambition is to do a 7-day fast but I know I may not be able to. So, will start with a 2-day one. I’ll also try NOBNOM from today on. I mean I anyway don’t consume a lot of alcohol. And I will refrain from coffee. I often walk to a Starbucks (or a Blue Tokai) and get myself coffee as a reward. I may still do it. Walk around. But rather than the Starbucks as a destination, I will try for a park or a beach or something. And in case I feel the need to reward myself, I will get an iced tea.
Thing is, I don’t like when I am unwell. I like the idea of being active. I like the idea of moving around physically. I remember as a kid, in school, I would run along the corridor even if I had the time to walk. I would hang around from the pillars around the school even if there was not a need. I loved the idea of chasing balls on big grounds. I think in each thing I did, the larger agenda has been a goal that I was gunning for. And that has stayed. I am such a goal, task, external validation, tick-box chasing whore that I can’t just do things that have no measurable, competitive output.
I thnk I need to use this as a thing to inspire me!
So, I removed Twitter and Instagram from the phone. I was wasting too much time on those tools. While it was good to connect with people and learn and even offer some help, I think it starting affecting how I felt about life and the world in general. So, have removed. I will still access them via a browser – these are the places that I literally connect with people. If not for these strangers luring on these social networks. I would be very very ineffective.
Not sure what else to write. Way too much in my head. So much that I dont know what to write.
So, on a day-to-day basis, I track some 11 things. For most of those, apart from this post, the number remains 0. I mean I don’t do those things. I was thinking do I remove these. I mean what’s the point of putting all these zeros when I don’t do. But then, a thought popped up in my head. Why not continue. At least I spend a tiny second on each line and that in itself is a reminder that I need to do that thing. No?
Yeah! Makes sense.
So, here’s streaks and some commentary…
Morning Pages / Meditations – 152
#aPicADay – 0. I am not sure if I want to start. While it allowed me to look at things from a different lens, since I have been holed into a tiny space, not sure what I’d do with it.
10K steps a day – 0. I have literally stopped walking around. Need to re-start. Along with fast, I think this is what could help me feel better.
OMAD – 0. Let’s see if I manage a 2-day fast. I may actually get a tick on this one.
#noCoffee – 0. Will start again from today. I mean I did not have one yesterday, come to think of it!
#noCoke – 64. Super proud. More than 2 months now!
10 mins of meditation – 0. Will start again today. My first work call is at 9. If I manage things faster, I will do this.
#book2 – 0. Lol. I don’t think I have this in me. Will probably delete.
Killer Boogie – 0. Again, don’t think I am doing this. Will probably delete.
Original Work (limited time only) – 0. The deadline for this is 17th May. So, this will be gone in a few days.
Surya Namaskar – 0. Again, need to get started. Today may not be a good day but will start soon.
So yeah that. I think I am subconsciously trying to reset life. You know, discard things, relationships, habits, and all that. Oh, that reminds me, I need to discard things that I don’t use or need. Will make an inventory and put them out for sale and donate the proceeds to some gurudwara. I anyway had little attachment to material things, when I lost data on the phone, whatever emotions I had left with digital data – notes, photos, emails, contacts, things that I had parked to be used in the future, all of it is gone!
Need to live a far lighter and simpler and minimal life. Need to step in that direction. Let’s see where I head. Will keep posting here.
9:21 AM. I woke up about 10 minutes ago. Yeah, I slept till late today. After a lot of days I slept at 2ish and like most of these days, I slept intermittently. I’ve washed my face, downed a liter of water, and sitting on my chair, and yet I am drowsy and droopy and sloppy and all that. I am making typos like I was a child still learning how to type.
So, its 10. All I’ve written is one para above with some 50 words. Lol!
I think something’s off with me. There’s no joy in life. You know, excitement. Nothing seems to affect me anymore. To a point that I am not moved by anything. I have close friends losing their parents and I am untouched by their pain. I have classmates donating a million doses of vaccine and while I marvel at their work, I am not proud that I know such people. I am working on my first angel deal (something that I’ve wanted to do all my life) and yet there’s no excitement. Guess this is what they call ennui. Or even languishing. Am oscillating between so many emotions, all over the place, all the time that this cocktail of emotions and hormones in my head is not helping. At times, I see Instagram feeds and I get inspired that I want to get fit and dream of running 10o-mile marathons. At times I see awesome work done by others and I want to do more than what I am doing right now. At times, I get sad about the meaninglessness and randomness of this entire thing called life. At times I wish I was one of those lucky ones to have won the Ovarian lottery and born as a kid with a silver spoon up my ass. At times I want to work so hard and game the systems and make money like a mad man. At times I want to give away whatever little I have and become a monk. Actually no. This is not right. I would never be a monk. I would never sell my Ferrari. I am a capitalist at heart. But may be a conscious capitalist.
I think this capitalist in me is not getting a release and that’s causing the feeling of sadness, grief, and listlessness. I don’t know how to help.
The only good thing happening these days is the docedge sessions. When I am in those sessions, I see WIP work from other participants and I get the hope that at some time in life even I can tell stories that need telling. I think when I am learning new things, I am happier. I think the lust for being a perpetual WIP is what gives me hope and gives me a reason to wake up in the morning. I think I need to find more opportunities like that. You know, meet other creative people, get inspired, and shoot for the Moon Mars.
Ok, more words are not flowing. Guess I will break. Let’s see if during the day I feel any better. Hope others are not in this zone.
Morning Pages / Meditations – 150 (this is 151st post)
#aPicADay – 0
10K steps a day – 0
OMAD – 0
#noCoffee – 0
#noCoke – 62
10 mins of meditation – 0
#book2 – 0
Killer Boogie – 0
Original Work (limited time only) – 0
Surya Namaskar – 0
P.S.: While reviewing this before I hit publish, I realise that a big cause of my grief is piled onto me by others. When I say others, I mean people I know and care for. Not strangers. You know, friends and colleagues and others. Thing is when people I care for, when they talk to me rudely or curtly, I lose it. Each time this happens, I get affected for like a week and takes me forever to recover. Need to become a lot more harsher with self and stop this loop of expectations. May be that’s a way out?
A quick post about an acquaintance that succumbed to COVID-19. May trigger you. Please be advised.
7:04 AM. I had what I will call a fitful sleep. I wont have a lot to talk about today – there’s way too much on my plate and I cant afford the indulgence of an hour that I typically take to write this. I am giving myself 30 minutes. Will hit publish at soon as it’s 7:30.
So yesterday, I was told that one of the people I used to play poker with, at my own house succumbed to COVID. The guy was all of 32. I haven’t met in some 5 years but I am still part of that tiny community of people that bonded over this game called Poker. When I think about him, I remember him as one of those always full of life people. He had a joke or two. He liked to dress up. He loved the idea of getting attention. He hated to lose but he would take it in a stride and always come back with vengeance the next time we played. I was even envious of how he lived. He’s gone. No goodbyes. No promises to meet again.
To be honest, I had forgotten him. I hadn’t thought about him in all these years. But now that he’s gone, the loss somehow feels far closer. While playing Poker, we sat around a table for many nights over a period of 2-3 years that we played. We would’ve shared quite a few meals. He would’ve bluffed me into holding rockets with his crappy hole cards. Damn, it’s not cool that he’s gone. It just sucks that us humans have such unpredictable expiry dates.
The thing is, this is probably the first person that I knew personally that has succumbed to COVID. I have heard stories from close friends, relatives, seniors from college, and more that have experienced loss from close. They’ve tried to talk to me about how it is to lose a loved one. While I could empathize with them, I was unable to comprehend.
May be this is what it feels like. I mean if it sucks so much to lose an acquaintance (I can’t call him a friend), I can’t even imagine how it must feel like to lose a loved one. So much pain, so much suffering caused by I don’t even know what. I can blame it on people’s carelessness. I can blame it on the government’s inaction. I can blame it on the damn place where the virus originated. But the damn blame will not bring back this guy. Or all the others that have passed away.
I really hope this is over soon. I hope others don’t face as much pain and everyone gets back to their homes healthy, happy, and well. As I write this, there’s just one question in my head. Kab tak sidelines pe rahoge Mr. Garg?
That’s about it. See you guys tomorrow. Hopefully.
Morning Pages / Meditations – 135
#aPicADay – 116. Stopping this project. I can no longer log in to Instagram without getting triggered about all the suffering around us. Will stop tracking from tomorrow.
10K steps a day – 0
OMAD – 0
#noCoffee – 48
#noCoke – 48
10 mins of meditation – 1
#book2 – 0
Killer Boogie – 0
Original Work (limited time only) – 0
Surya Namaskar – 1
Nothing on Roshan. Have a lot of work. See you guys tomorrow. Hopefully.
I have had a fitful sleep. And I had a really bad day yesterday. And I am mindfucked like I’ve never been before.
I had an important meeting and like all important meetings I ensured that I was on time and I was ready and all and just when I had the meeting, the Internet stopped. I mean I know that Goa doesn’t offer the most reliable internet but it sucked af that it went away a minute before the meeting was to start!
Today I have another important meeting. If there is any interruption on the internet today, I promise I will fucking go back to Mumbai. Or Delhi. I have to include this in my ultimate guide of working from Goa that if your work requires synchronous video calls, you either live in Panjim (the city) or you do not consider Goa as a place to be. I am not even sure what would happen in monsoons.
The other thing that I am thinking a lot about and I don’t know how to stop thinking about is the ongoing farmer’s protest. I thought I knew all about the issue and how the new laws will fuck the lives of farmers even more. How the laws are against the long-term interest of farmers. How large companies will dictate terms and squeeze farmers even more. But then more narratives, probably sponsored by the very large companies (that stand to benefit) started coming out. And those are compelling, paint a contrasting picture and so lucid in their arguments that I am actually thinking that the laws may actually benefit the farmers. And the nation. Fuck, now I don’t even know what to believe anymore.
Which to be honest is ok. I anyway don’t know a lot about a lot of issues that I should be knowing about. I don’t vote. I don’t know a thing about anti-muslim propaganda. I don’t know about issues of the LGBTQi community. I have been on the fence about the battle between natives and migrants in almost all states. I don’t know the reason why people are super attached to the idea of their God being better than others. Or why your community, city, state, religion, the country is better than others, and how everyone else needs to convert to your religion. I remained out of action on the CAA and NRC even though it was as archaic, unfair as anything else ever has been.
But I don’t like the idea of divide and rule. And brainwashing simple people (like me — I don’t understand complex arguments, neither am I bright to know the long-term repercussions of the new rules and laws that we are creating). The worse is the use of force. Fucking barbaric. Something that we could have done when life was all about survival in caves. The world is almost ready to establish a colony on Mars and here we are. Gloating over the victory of mandir wahin banaenge. I mean Bhagwan Shree Ram was for real, would he want to bless a temple that took years of battles and I don’t know how many dead bodies to make?
God is a mythical thing. I understand that some people may want to take solace that there’s a higher power, omnipresent that looks after you. Heck, in my weakest moments I have also thought about God. I have asked for kindness. I can remember two distinct times when I had to rely on God. Once to save a friend from a disease. Once for an event that I made a mess of. Both times things worked out. I don’t know if it was God or what. But I can totally see how people can get attached to these and start believing in God. I mean even I walked some 20 km to Siddhi Vinayak once. May be there is God after all. May be we do have meta-spiritual mystical powers that help all those tarot card readers and astrologers make a living. Good for them.
But force? Coercion? I mean, a comedian is in jail in MP for saying something derogatory against the Hindu Gods. An educated family killed their daughters over something that a priest told them. The Dalits are oppressed to date. Wait. WTF is even a Dalit? Or a Hindu? Each person is human irrespective of caste, gender, sexual preference. Arent we are freak accidents? Did we not get dealt a had that we could not choose in the ovarian lottery? Who decides that someone is a Dalit or a Suvarna or Upper Caste? That baba with a long flowing beard that plays frisbee and drives Mercs and teaches you the art of “living” is talking about how the government needs to cede control over places of worship to the devotees. Isn’t that inciting people?
Fuck I am so so ignorant. Vegetating. Happy in the bubble around me in my head that, “Wow, Mr. Garg, you are in Goa. You are the coolest. You are away from the mess. And you have all the sunshine and stray dogs and fucking unreliable Internet for company.”
Back to the incidents of yesterday.
I remember I called my parents (they live in Delhi) and I remarked in passing that there’s a rally and I hope that it’s peaceful and all. My father commented on how it would be – he grew up with farmers! And then I forgot about it (yeah, forgot about it – I am that indifferent, that casual). And then while I was in a meeting, I took a break to pee and checked Twitter. And saw images from the Red Fort. About how the protest had turned violent and people (both on the side of the farmers and cops) were hurt. Some farmers died, some cops got injured, and how the separatists have infiltrated the movement.
Since then, I have been reading non-stop. My eyes hurt. My head hurts. There’s no internet and yet I am non-stop tapping on refresh on my phone even in my sleep. About how Nishan Sahib is different from the Khalistani Flag. And how the Tiranga was disrespected. And how religious symbolism (a saffron flag atop Babri Masjid) is never good. And yet these symbols move nations.
It took my country to burn to make me take note of how ignorant I am.
The thing that makes it worse is that people I respect, the ones that I believe are progressive and think of India first and humanity first and are apparently good in their hearts and heads are making some of the most flawed arguments. No, I don’t want to name them. And yes, the arguments I think are flawed may be the most sensible ones and yet the commonsensical brain in me is unable to digest those.
Someone rightly said once. Heroes fall. I need to get over this hero-worship mode that I am perpetually in.
Oh, any in Goa, at least the places am hanging out at? They don’t even know what’s happening in Delhi. They are happier that unlike the rest of the country, there’s no dry day in Goa on Republic Day.
Fuck it’s sickening. I can totally related to Chris and other such people. There’s merit in being a hippy. And there’s merit in being a Satoshi. Or even a Che for that matter. Take shit in your hands and dictate terms on how you would live, even if the understanding is limited or flawed af.
No, I am not saying Chris, Che, Satoshi, Mohandas, or any of those legends were flawed. They could have been. But they took a call and did things that they felt or thought or considered right. Unlike me. I can’t even seem to make a living, leave alone thinking independently. I am a random fuck stuck in a rut.
The other day I was happyecstatic that I seem to have found yet another way to discharge my calling as a person. And today, I am
I am reminded of three lines as I end this. I may get the articulation wrong but they went something like…
One. “jinhe naaz hai, hind par wo kahan hai?”
Rabbi did a brilliant take on this. Here. We need more Rabbi’s. More Dylans. And not Badhshahs or Gurus. Fuck, not even Lucky Ali. I don’t believe that I am saying this. I’ve been a fan since I was a child. We don’t need stories and hymns of unrequited love no more. We rather need poets and writers and singers and other popular people to take a stand and educate the masses on these issues. Someone needs to put some sense. Atleast in me. And others. Fuck it sucks that I don’t have an iota of a clue about what’s happening around us.
Two. “Ek zabardast toofan aaye aur uda de chuppi ki duniya“
I first saw this on a tee at People Tree. I think this is by Faiz. I am unable to find a source though. But to me, it means that you need some earth-shattering thing to happen and nudge you into action. I have thought about this often. I have seen some great things, good times, bad times, even times when I thought life was meaningless. But these lines always drag me back. I am waiting for almost 40 years now. Half my life is over. And yet there’s been no toofan. And there’s been no impact, no dent, no headway that I’ve made. It sucks to be like this.
Three. Pale Blue Dot.
By Carl Sagan. The long-text is here. See the video below. The pertinent lines that I go back to often are…
The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, how frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds.
– Carl Sagan
So that’s that.
I think I am done for the day.
I am still confused, stifled, angry, sad, and all that. There’s so much happening that I don’t even know how to process. All I can do is rant and speak out loud in the wilderness of the Internet.
And no, there’s book2 today.
How can I? My country is burning and fucking am thinking about writing books. To what end? To give that escape to whoever reads what I write? Do we need the escape? Or do we need to act? And fix shit?
Well, who am I to talk about these things? I don’t know a thing about the real world or real life. I don’t even vote.
Of course, I hope tomorrow is better.
And if it’s not, I hope I can move onto the next thing that distracts me. That’s how I think life will pass by – moving from one distraction to another. Without taking a stand on one.
Yesterday, a friend told me that he suspects I grew up with some sort of trauma. Here’s what I think.
This is fairly late by my standards and even though I am typing this away to glory, I think I am still groggy. No, I am not drunk per s but I slept fairly late. I was out with some friends and while they were drinking, I was just chatting with them. And while I did that, I realized my ineptness with conversations.
The other thing I am inept is getting fit. I had decided yesterday that I would not eat for 36 hours. I could only manage 18. This is far less than my personal best of this year. And when I ate yesterday, I had samosas, chips, chocolates, burgers and what all. Oh, and Diet Coke. Kuch nahi hoga mera. I don’t know why but I was hungry. I think when I get anxious, I get hungry?
Of course, the anxiousness is probably because the Internet continues to remain out of reach. The only solution that I have found is to get a place in my name and get broadband connections. And then hope AF that it works. But then, knowing my luck, well…
Oh, the other interesting thing that happened yesterday is that while chatting with people that I spoke about above, one of them mentioned that he feels I have some sort of childhood trauma that affects the way I am. The way I am = scatterbrain, easily distracted, interested in multiple things et al.
Lemme think out loud and write. Living in public and all. I think I have been the way I am since I can remember. Even as a child I think I was like this! I may have some sort of ADD / ADHD but again, not sure.
No, there is no trauma for sure. I had a reasonably ok childhood. I can’t remember too many times when I was unhappy. As a family, we had limited money when I was growing up (may be the ambition to have Ataah Daulat stems from that?) but my parents never let my sis and I feel that we didn’t have enough. It is now that I realize that we didn’t have enough. They ensured that we got whatever we wanted. They put us in the best school they could afford. As a family we were, we are tight-knit. We talked (and continue to talk) often and conversations were (are) about most things that an average Indian family has.
In terms of negative experiences, I can recall, some would be…
One time I lost a quiz and a friend and I sat on the roof of the school and sulked about it. I would be in the 3rd or 4th standard.
One time I was to participate in an extempore competition and I had crammed my speech. And when I faced the mic, I forgot and couldn’t go beyond a line or so. I remember crying and a teacher petting me. This is probably in the 6th or 7th standard.
That’s about all the negative ones I can think of. Funny all these were in school.
I did try to think about happy moments as well and I don’t really have any that are distinctively happy. But I do have a lot of memories from my childhood where I am enjoying how I’ve spent my time. From playing cricket in the park next to my house to renting out comics during the summers to the day-to-day rigmarole of growing up in Delhi.
So trauma, not sure.
But the person that told me this can’t be wrong either. He’s seen the world more than I and definitely knows more than me. Lemme ask my folks when I speak with them today.
Oh, the other lesson that am taking away from yesterday is that if you in the hospitality business, you have better odds of knowing people. At least in the community, you are in – where you live, the kind of people you attract. I need to think about it. As I figure out work and all, I will use this as a variable. Maybe start a coffee shop, live in a house, and make it a BnB. But it has to have a component where I get to meet interesting people.
I guess that’s about it for today’s morning pages.
Oh, this one was written on the new M1. I think I am getting used to the keyboard and once I am in Mumbai for a few days (and have access to a stable, fast internet connection), I will make the shift to this one. And last two days I’ve been using Jagjit Singh concerts as background music as I work. And I am mesmerised by the talent the dude had. The world missed something when he passed away. #note2self. Must do something that makes thr world miss when you are gone!
And before I move on, here’s a billboard that I saw yesterday and this one spoke to me like nothing else has ever.
So that’s about it for the day.
Thanks to this thinking about trauma, I think on today’s #freewriting about #book2, I will write about the origin story of one of the characters. Let’s see which one. Here we go…
As a child, all Ankit wanted was his father’s validation and he had everything but that. Unlike other kids. They had their fathers take them fishing and gutting the best catch, throw em in the sea and then teach swimming, take them to the tintos and show the art of extracting the most from what they sold. Ankit was left buried in agony because Siddh was buried in his books. Ankit couldn’t understand the aloofness that his father displayed. Siddh couldn’t communicate to Ankit yet for he had to discover his nature and prove himself worthy to be a Paul and carry the lineage. Even though Siddh could see in the charts that Ankit is probably where the lineage of Pauls would end, he did not want to fix it. If it’s written in the stars, who was Siddh to try and stop it? All he hoped is that Ankit will not bring down the world with him. Siddh thus was in a tougher spot than Ankit was in. Siddh had to suffer the pain of staying away from his only son and go through the anguish of seeing him grow up into a monster that he could do nothing to stop.
Ankit would often pick on kids that he thought were the happiest. One summer when he was all of 14, he tied Joseph, the local swimming champion behind his jeep and dragged him through the beach. Joseph broke his ligaments in calves and wrists and broke his back and never set foot in the water again. No, neither Joseph nor his family complained. Ankit had promptly paid a visit to them and threatened them of worse consequences. At another time he got his flunkies to block roads to prevent Soni, the girl that was to lead their school’s contingent at the Intruz from reaching the Panchayat office where they were holding auditions. They did wait for her. But for how long?
These were not hidden from Siddh. He had his way of knowing. But he knew he could do nothing. If he reprimanded Ankit, it would make matters worse. If he ignored, at least the boy will have his way and may be, just may be, exhaust the quota of cruelty written in his books. Oh, and Siddh knew that his agony and anguish was not permanent. It was going to end soon. The books told him that. And he even knew how it would end. How Ankit would end. By running over his very own father, the family home, and the books that have never been wrong and yet controlled everything that moved in the world!
So, that’s it for the day. I quite enjoyed this one.
Have a few things lined up today. See you guys on the other side.
A rant-ful post about inane things. You may want to skip reading this one.
I’ve been up for a bit. I slept at around 10 last night. And thanks to all the movement in the house next to mine, I had a fitful sleep. Did I tell you that the walls are wafer-thin here? But I think I feel as rested as I ever could be. There is some soreness in the ankles, claves, and legs – that I think I can blame on all the walking I did yesterday. I will come to it in a bit.
So, I have to say that I’ve not been myself for the last few days. I think more than anything else, the financial insecurity is eating me alive. Lol. Hyperbole. But yes I am worried about money. I mean I know that in the long run, I will be ok (wait, when exactly is this long-run? I am almost 40 and I have been in this hand-to-mouth state since I was 25). Anyhow, I need to pay salaries in about 10 days and rent in about 15 and I am not sure where would I get that money from. I did not want to take more debt this year and I don’t seem to be finding enough work. In fact, more than just worrying, it’s also making me into a person that I am not. I am avoiding people. And the ones that I do end up talking to, I am being curt with them. I am faking my emotions a lot more (even though I want to have coherence in my thoughts and actions). I am unable to express my true emotions and I am merely going with the flow. I like being in control (even if it’s a fake sense of control) and without the confidence that money gives me, I seem to be losing this ability.
The worse part is no one around me understands what I am going thru. They don’t have to, to be honest. They have enough shit in their lives. I am not their priority. This is one of those rare times when I wish I had someone to understand me, be my side, and tell me all will be ok. Maybe that’s why this rant on the blog? Am I trying to make this inanimate object, a bunch of pixels on the internet my companion? I think times like these and situations like these make people start believing in God and other cults? Maybe this is that weak point that everyone talks about that comes often in lives?
But then, I know, this too shall pass!
Ok. Hoping it will pass. Moving on.
So yesterday was like any other day. Did some work, slacked some, and then vegetated some. Vegetated as in, merely existed and did not do anything leaves a mark. Did not even talk to the two people I call friends in Goa. I know that I just have 1810 days left before I need to show results on my lofty goals and while the impending deadline inspires me, I am also fucked in the head because of my inability to move the needle. I am not sure what is stopping me. I think I have everything needed to whoop some mad ass and make an impact and get rich in the process. I am no longer lazy (I was till maybe 2017). I work harder, longer, and smarter than most people I know. Of course, I am smart. I have no clue what is that thing missing in my life.
Wait. Could it be the focus? I mean I’ve always been that person that does multiple things. May be this meandering at multiple places has got me to a place where I have some interesting things under my belt. And maybe to scale from hereon, I need to focus on one thing?
Will think on this during the day and report.
Anyhow. The good thing that happened yesterday was that I walked 20K steps. The plan was to do that on the trot but I took two breaks. Which is ok. I at least walked. From Baga to Fort Aguada and then back. I spend some 30 minutes at the Fort seeing the sun go down and see the day merge with the night. Absolutely loved the time I spent there. Clicked some great (I hope so) pics. Realized my limitations as a photographer. Wish I could be better at it.
Here are a couple of photos for you to gawk at…
I loved the spot so much that I can see myself going there often to catch the sunset. It’s kind of far from where I live (and once I take a house, where I intend to live) I think if I were not a loner, I think this trip to Goa has made me one. Am absolutely ok in my own company now.
Oh, the other crazy thing that happened last night when I was trying to get sleep was a deeper understanding of A R Rahman’s music. Because the internet was not working, I put on ARR’s Sufi set that is saved on my phone. The set has tracks not just from ARR but others that have adopted the Sufi way of life. And for probably the first time, I could relate to their music, the higher purpose, the bhakti, the effort they put in, and the connection they must feel to that nameless faceless thing that people call God, Universe, higher power, energy, whatever. I could feel how the music for them is not about entertainment. Or about practice. Or money. Or validation. But about respect. A tool they use when they want to feel closer to their creator. The trance they get in when they are one with their creator.
No, I have never felt such a connection with anyone or anything but I could clearly picture them living a life where they are in a complete submission to the almightly. I have to know more. Maybe I will chat with Sowmya one of these days. Maybe when I go back to Mumbai to wrap things.
That’s about it I guess. I have a long day today with quite a few things to work on. And a few IRL meetings to squeeze in. I plan to work from Felix for a large part of the day. Let’s see if their Internet holds up today. I have to find a solution to this Internet thingy if I have to be in Goa. It’s been acting weird since Friday.
Chalo over and out. Hope you guys have a great day. Onto #freewriting for #book2. It’s 7:27 and the battery is 6%. Will write till the battery is 1%.
The only complaint that Mrs. Gomes had with tourists that came into Goa is that they did not respect the local traditions. Especially from North India. The ones from the South were a lot more respectful. They probably understood the way of life in smaller communities. But they were far filthier than the ones from the North. It was like choosing a lesser evil and she would take filth over disrespect. So when Chintan first walked into Caravan Serai, Mrs. Gomes looked at him with the default disdain that she had reserved with middle-aged men from north India that wore linen shirts to hide their beer bellies that were bloated all the more with all the butter chicken they had probably eaten.
Chintan looked no different. He would have been smart in his younger days. He was atleast 40 and he still had a head that was full of hair. His hair was better than what most Indian men had and he had a hairband on to pull em back. He carried a leather man-purse that he plopped loudly on the bar counter. The bar was a curious choice. The entire place was empty and most people chose bars as the last option ever. Chintan clearly was unlike most. He pulled a bar stool with his leg and while trying to settle down on it, he got busy pulling out his paraphernalia from the bag that had seen a few years. Without looking up, he continued to fiddle with his things and said to no one in particular, “Could I have a glass of water? Cold, please? And a Gin and Tonic – whatever is your choice. And an ashtray please.”
These three lines told Mrs. Gomes that he was going to be an interesting person. He did not fuss about the brand of Gin or Tonic. He wanted his water cold. And he spoke with the authority of a man that knew how to command respect.
He had pulled a stack of loose sheets and was twirling a pencil in his fingers. He looked up to the bar with a questioning gaze at Mrs. Gomes. She took her sweet time to respond to him and said, “On its way. You new here in Goa?”
Mrs. Gomes had to know every patron that walked into Caravan Serai. Even though the place was now much bigger and much in demand, she still liked to run it her way. Basant and Udita often told her often to take it easy and cede control to one of those hospitality management companies that had sprung up. Mrs. Gomes clearly did not think that the two girls made sense. Each time they had this conversation, she would respond by telling them about the promise she made to her father and the legacy of her family, and then she would pace around with an apparent worry about who’s run the place once she was gone? She knew she wasn’t going away anytime soon. Even though she was 73, she was as lucid as she was when she was 23, could out-work Udita, some 50 years her junior, and keep a sharp eye on her staff of almost 30 people and all the patrons and guests that came and went throughout the day.
In this one, I talk about the anatomy of a bad day in Goa, all probably induced by unavailability of Internet and a phone network.
7:39 AM. Yesterday was a weird day. Regular day, if you know me well.
After I don’t know how many days I was spaced out. To a point that I did not even speak with the most cheerful people I know – Noops and Nicky. The Internet won’t work at all. The regular phone and SMS won’t work. Tried to avoid crap but I could not. The hands were literally shaking before I loaded myself with carbs. Skipped two events where I could’ve been at – a poker night and a Pecha Kucha evening. Missed the launch of a friend’s music video. Thought I would start a Clubhouse but the damn connection won’t happen. Locked myself out of the house (thankfully, I could reach the key from the window).
The saving grace? I went for a walk. Did some 12K steps. In like 2 hours. The slowest ever.
My phone tells me that I am averaging 2000 steps this year. Lol. The older Saurabh that I was, even in a wheelchair, he would average more than that! Finally when I was walking about, luckily the phone worked (still no data) and I made some phone calls. Spoke to two new people on LunchClub and CoffeeMug – at both places (and all such calls), I am asked what am up to with these random networking calls if I am in Goa. Need to find a funny answer to this. Spoke to an old boss. He told me that am like shit. Sigh. No, no. It’s ok. Everyone has their opinions. I know where I stand.
Another thing happened. As if stars align or something. Or maybe one thing led to another that lad to me. Gehani and Pradeep pointed me to two interestingtweets about the media and entertainment business. Need to think hard about those. They look like things that I can put my head gainfully to. For life. Lol, yet another thing. This has to stop, Mr. Garg. Let’s see. In fact, the content in those tweets is exactly what I’ve been thinking about lately. I know that I am not singularly great at creating content. But I know I can give a launchpad and wings to others for sure. So that.
These two tweets helped reinforce two beliefs. One, you must have a network that makes a piece of news that you can’t miss reach you. That clearly happened. Two, how the fuck did I miss these two tweets? Need to get back to being active on twitter!
Oh, AD gave me the responsibility of writing the first draft of the Founder Thesis book. Yay! If this happens, it would be the second non-fiction book that I would get to publish this year (apart from SoG Book). 2021 is already looking up. Just need to see how do I make money from these ;P.
Guess that’s that for how the day was. How I felt. How I am gonna cope up today. I HAVE to find a solution to the Internet thingy. Either I move houses (no, I can’t get Internet installed here – this is a temporary house) or I need to start going to a coworking space in Goa that has good internet and mobile phone access (the phone network at Clay sucks. Maybe at Felix it works better?) I’ll try Felix today and will report back.
No, I don’t like that this is becoming an open journal of sorts. But then, I like that I have someplace to go dump my thoughts.
Oh, I also need to think about what to do with WoW. Do I move it on SaurabhGarg.com? Or do I leave it on blogger? I am very very sure that Google will either sell or shut Blogger (they have made some changes to the product but they’ve merely fucked it up. Plus they are not even in the same league at WordPress and countless others). And I don’t want to lose all that I have written over the years. Will check with Rege or Arpit.
Coming to #book2. I am in the mood for some dark shit today. Let’s see what I come up with :D. The names are fictional (I mean the entire book is fictional but I am using random names right now).
“The ropes have to be as taut as you can make them go. Here, use this hook to pull more”, Kiran handed over what looked like a well-used, aged, pirate’s hand hook to Sita.
“The fuck is this?” Sita balked. It looked as if it was ripped from a real pirate.
“I use this as a grip when I need to clasp onto something. The pirates were geniuses.” Kiran replied and continued with this work. The way he was going, Sita knew this was not the first time he was doing something like this.
Sita held gingerly at it tried to pull the rope that she was wrapping over layers of plastic, tarp and jute.
Kiran continued and spoke matter of factly, “make sure it is as tight as you can. When we tie it to the anchor, it cant come undone.”
Sita merely nodded. That’s all she could do. She was merely going through the motions. The night that started as a celebration had taken a dark turn and now, it did not seem to be ending. When she boarded the train from her village 2 weeks ago, she did not know that her life would change so drastically. From a simpleton in a secluded village deep in Maharashtra, she has had alcohol, slept with a man that was not her husband, and now, become an accessory to a murder. And she was the reason for the fight between her husband and the young man she got carried away with. Such loss for such a small incident. If only Kiran understood why she did what she did, all this could have been avoided.
Kiran beamed, breaking her reverie, “wow, that looks good. I am almost done with the head and the torso. We just need to tie a big rock to his legs and then we’d be on our way.”
The plan was to dump the dead body deep into the sea but it had to be wrapped to prevent the parts from flailing and they had to put something heavy on it to ensure that it doesn’t wash ashore. Way too many amateurs were caught by the cops when bloated dead bodies arrived at the short unannounced. Kiran and Sita were not getting caught for sure. They had packed the dead body in three layers – plastic, tarp, and jute before typing it up till it resembled a mummy. There was no way fishes were going to gnaw and dismember various parts. With the two rocks that Kiran had identified, there was no way it was going to surface. And the spot where he was going to dump it in was known to have rocky terrain underneath. Like it had done for so many others, the sea would keep their secret.
Little did they know that while the sea wouldn’t rat on them, the young man they were busy with would be missed from the house of Paul’s and the impending search would unleash an inferno ono them and everyone else at Caravan Serai that the entire Arabian Sea wouldn’t be able to douse.
Last night was bad. I was fucked in the head. Had a tiff with one of those handful people that I really really care for. I have no clue how to show and tell these people that they mean the world to me and I get fried every time they go weird on me. I was so fucked that I ended up eating chips and biscuits and Maggi and all those crappy things that I’ve been trying to avoid. It’s fucking funny that on one end I talk about changing the world and making an impact and inspiring the world to live their best lives. And on the other, I am ranting about how I get triggered and affected by the way my people talk to me.
I can handle the world going bonkers – I don’t care about em. But when the ones that I want to be with go funny on me, I don’t know what to do. Everything comes tumbling down like a house of cards and I lose my shit. I start eating crap, I stop doing things (it was an effort to write this piece today). I slack at work. I paint all the doomsday scenarios and I put myself in the biggest loser position. I start thinking of myself as a lonely person walking down a long road leading to nowhere.
You get the drift.
Ok enough ink has been spilled on this.
Its a new day. And a new beginning. Even if its the last day of the year.
So the last day of probably the wildest year of our lives. Not even the shamans expected all that that has happened today. 2020 has taught me so many things that I don’t know where to get started. It was the first time when I faced “real” adversity and I realized who’s a bystander and who’s a shoulder. I got to know of my limitations as a person, as a human being. I realized the frailty of life. I started to accept that I may not be the gift to humankind that I had thought I am. I refused to let go and thing after thing landed blows that made me duck so many times that my neck and back are perpetually hurting. Even as I type this, my back is stooped and there is this pain in my neck. Am serious. Not hypebole-ing. If that’s a word.
So today I want to spend the day with my annual review and the plan for the next year. I have been working on it on and off the last few days but it needs to come together in a coherent document that I can follow and chase for the next year. I say this at the beginning of each year, and I will say it again – the next year is going to be big for me ;P
Fuck while writing this, I realized that seeing my fingers dance on the keyboard gives me joy like nothing else. It may not matter to anyone, people may or may not read it, the piece may be a meaningless turd floating on the world wide web, I still want to write. I still want to publish. I was restless the whole of last night. I couldn’t think of how to go thru the day when I did wake up but once I started writing, I realized that the world is not a bad place. The people I care for, even though I am hurt and all, I love em. They are my people. I accepted them knowing very well that they could spring in surprises. Of course, I need to do better with the ability to evaluate people! I just need to get stronger. I need to learn to take the pain of seeing the people I love push the self-destruct button repeatedly. And when they do blow up, need to have a strong shoulder for them to rest on. And a strong head and heart to lay them to sleep, if the shoulder is not enough.
So yeah. This is it for the day.
This is probably the hardest I had to think since I started these morning pages. Oh, I will link the yearly review post here (when I get to it, which should be today, it all goes well).
Morning Page for 18th Dec 2020. I talk about a friend, book2, general humdrum in Goa and a random rant.
This will be a tough one. A, I dont have time today. I slept late and there are a few things pending that I need to get done. B, I have to rush for a meeting. Lol. Rush. Meeting. Goa. C, I had thought I would write a page for #book2 in today’s morning pages. I may not be able to. D, I do have a lot to say today but I dont have time. It’s 8:47 and I have to leave at 9:15 and I need to shower before that. And meditate.
So, let’s go.
To start with, I did not write this the first thing. I had a pressing deliverable and I had to work on that. So that. And once I was done with it, I was left with very little time to actually write this (like I said, another meeting to rush to).
Then, yesterday, I broke the meditation streak. I was on a 6-day streak and I could not continue. I did sit for it but for some reason, I just could not concentrate. Not even on my breathing. I do a 10-min session but yesterday, after the 4th minute, I was so restless that I quit. I thought this combination of morning pages and meditation was supposed to help. But it clearly hasn’t. So that.
It’s Monu’s birthday. He is probably the oldest friend I have. I literally grew up with him. I think I know him since I was in the 6th standard. That makes the friendship go back 25 years at least. No time for exact calculation 😀. While I am at it, must mention this distinct memory that I have of him as we were growing up. One time, we were playing some game (can’t recall what it was) and I was one of the team captains or something. There was this one other person, probably the alpha of our gang, that I was up against for the team. Every kid there chose to side with that guy but Monu. So that. Of course like all such bachpan ka dosti, we’ve had our ups and downs. There was a time when we fought over something stupid and I did not speak to him for months. Our mothers had to intervene to get us to talk again. And am I glad that we talked! I know that come what may, Monu will always be on my side. So that. Happy birthday! May you live long and prosper. And if you ever read this, help me document more instances from our bachpan. But knowing his talent with reading, he may not!
Last night at a whim I went to this place called the Royal Enfield Cafe. Owned by the same guys that make the bike. The place was unnaturally quiet but it was everything that I like. A big table and a chair at a comfortable height. Just enough wind. Good music. A non-pesky staff. Super strong coffee – I could not sleep last night!. Reasonably ok Internet. The kind of place where I would sit and write. Apart from Nik’s, I can see myself going there often (maybe not on the weekends) to get some writing done. Let’s see.
I think all the things that I need to get the book2 going are falling in place. I now have the thought, the vibe, even the place where the book is based. I am reading Julia’s book :D. I am editing another book. The stars are as aligned as they could ever be! I even made a few posts on FB yesterday (logged in after ages) to try and meet people from Goa to get a perspective on some characters. So, if I cant do it now, I probably would never. Lol. I have been saying this for 6 years now. No no. I am committed this time around. Ha ha!
9:07. I think Ill pause for the day. Not really an hour. Not really three pages. I would have liked to revisit the post later in the day but that kind of defeats the purpose. No? I will come back and add links though.
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?