210621 – Morning Pages

A ranty post on how it sucks to be a failure. And my inability to do anything about it.

8:23. I am at a Starbucks. After the break of almost 3 days, I wanted to get a head start. And I did not want to be locked in my house for that. So as soon as I woke up, I shat, showered, powdered, put on a nice shirt (really! ask me for pics ;P), and reached the Starbucks.

The coffee has been ordered. The large wooden table has been staked claimed for. The calendar has been fired up. The music has been put on Youtube (I need to find new music that gets me in the zone). And here we are. Typing away to glory. #note2self. Must have clipped the nails before I came here. They’re way too long to type easily.

So the break did me good. I think. I mean for a change, I don’t know remember a single thing that I am working on. I will have to check my Asana and get my colleagues to help me with this. This is a good thing and a bad thing. Good – it allows me to sort of recharge my batteries. Bad – for someone that is so famously obsessed with work all the time, how can I even forget things that I am working on?

Ok, I dont know what else to write about. There are way too many (and too few) thoughts in my head – both work and personal. I feel I am swirling around with the same things for last so many days. May be I need to start a new project? But then I have a million projects in the pipeline that need working. All of those are stuck at various stages (of un-completion — some are yet to be started, some need some action, some are in limbo).

In fact, this is something that I kept thinking about all through the trip over the weekend. Everyone agrees that I have all the raw material that you need to become a runaway success (as defined by societal, social, and economic metrics) and yet I am struggling to even make the ends meet (I do have enough and more work these days but I mean in general. Most times I am worried where would I get the next project from).

I dont know where I lack. I am mostly not lazy. I am very resourceful. I support people without expecting anything in return.

I dont know what I need to change to become better.

Funny thing is, I know EXACTLY what someone else could do to become better at their work. In the sense that I can give them gyaan and point out the flaws in their work, life, approach etc. And I know mostly the inputs I give to people tend to work. They appreciate me for that. But when it comes to helping myself, I am unable to.

I am almost 40 and I still dont know the answer. I am beyond the best years and it’s all downhill from here on. And like I said, I still dont know the answer. I was not born to, you know, do the ordinary (make ends meet, acquire assets, raise a family, etc.). Rather, do more with my time (inspire others, help others make meaning, etc.). May be, I am a mere fool, a dreamer that refuses to believe that his time is gone and all he can do is make peace with whatever shreds are left for him to work with.

Talking of dreams, I remember a real dream from yesterday. Lol, real dream!

I dont recall all the details but here it goes. I was walking around somewhere when I saw a coin on the road. I love when I find money like that. I bend down to pick it up. I see another coin. And another. I pick them up. And then I realize that there are so many coins. I of course pick all those up. I distinctly remember a couple of coins were those tiny 10p coins. See the pic below.

A 10 paisa coin

While I was picking those up, someone comes around and says that all those coins strewed around are his. I tell him that it’s a free world and its finders keepers. And then I tell him that since he claims the coins are his, I will give them back. But I want to keep one of the 10p coins for myself.

Of course other coins are of higher value and leaving a 10p coin on the table probably seems like a bargain to the other person (who I don’t know).

The guy politely allows me to keep that coin. And that’s the end of the dream that I recall.

There are two distinct things about this.

A, I remembered a dream after ages!
B, I typically do not remember these vivid details. You know, a 10 paisa coin and all that. Yesterday I did. So that.

I hope that this dream is a harbinger of greatness that I chase. And if not greatness, then of wealth!

With that, I think, its time to end the post. The day beckons. Here’s streaks…

  • Morning Pages / Meditations – 190
  • #aPicADay – 0
  • 10K steps a day – 0
  • OMAD – 0
  • #noCoffee – 0
  • #noCoke – 102
  • 10 mins of meditation – 0
  • #book2 – 0
  • Killer Boogie – 0
  • Surya Namaskar – 0

PS: One of the solutions to my failures could be to stop wasting time that does not contribute to revenue. In the sense that, I could stop with these morning pages. I could stop helping others. I could stop chasing all those dreams (and focus). But then the things I do right now (morning pages, throwing 100s of darts, etc) are the ones that keep me sane. If I did not have these morning pages, I probably would have gone insane (and I don’t say this lightly). If I did not throw all those darts and focussed on just one thing, I would have been out of work!

120621 – The Starbucks Snafu on a Saturday

I write about a snafu with a plan to work from a Starbucks on a Saturday.

8:38. Woke up at around 6 to the sounds of mad thunder. Like I’ve never experienced before. ever. Nature is furious for some reason. There must’ve been lightning as well but I can’t see that from my hall where I sleep. For the ones curious, I do have a bedroom but it has a bed and I like the idea of sleeping on the floor. So that.

Anyhow. The plan today was to camp at a Starbucks and write till they throw me out. I even prepared my bag last night. The way I would do when I used to go to school decades ago. While I was waking up, I made a mental checklist of things that I will get done. I decided that I will try and avoid coffee as it gives me jitters if I don’t eat something with it and I want to avoid Starbucks’ food. I even told myself that I will celebrate once I come back from Starbucks with some snack or something.

As I heard the thunder crashing around me, I lazed a little more than I would have. To a point that it was 7:45. However, I wanted to reach Starbucks at 8 sharp to make the most of today. Thus I decided to skip the shower. Something uncharacteristic. You know how I am. I may be dying but I need my shower. At least once. Even if water is ice-cold. Or worse, weak lukewarm. But today I skipped it. Today’s that important for me and my writing.

So I skipped the shower. Put on fresh undies. Packed an extra tee in my bag, lest I get wet in the crazy rain out there. Thing is, I refuse to buy an umbrella. In all these years I’ve been in Mumbai, I’ve owned an umbrella maybe once. Too much hassle. Am happier in the rain.

So, I step out. Can’t spot a rick. It has started to rain. I cross the road. See one coming from the opposite direction. That’s the thing with Mumbai – you can find public transport easily. I flag it. Get in it. Take a longish route to reach Starbucks I go to often. I want to be mentally ready for the long day ahead. I am thinking about the chills I would get from the AC. I decide that I have an extra tee. I may layer up if need be. I am thinking about all the regular patrons that I see at Starbucks. I make my mind that I will try to nod at people and all that.

While am lost in these thoughts, I reach Starbucks. I see from the outside that it’s empty af. Why not. It’s 8:05. People in Andheri / Versova don’t wake up that early. They are up till late – they have to be – that’s the nature of the work they do. Most times Starbucks is that empty at that hour.

And then as I enter, the guard tells me Starbucks is shut.

For a few seconds, I couldn’t comprehend what he said. I was like what do you mean shut? It’s at least 8:10. I can see the lights in full glory. There’s staff puttering in there. One of the Barista’s I know arrives at the entrance announces – it’s the weekend.

I was like, “So?”

She’s like, “Sir, weekends we can’t be open.”

WHAT.
THE.
FUCK!
WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK!

The brain had started to function by now. Of course, the advisory of the government prohibits public places to stay open on weekends. I was like, WHAT THE FUCK!

All the weekend plans went down with the baarish and the advisory.

Damn!

And here I am.
At 8:38. 8:56 now. Ranting about this snafu.

I am so so so depressed that I am dumping shit into my system (eating things that I should not – you know, stress eating) and chewing on a chewing gum like it’s an enemy that I want to maim like I’ve never wanted to harm anyone ever!

It sucks how life gives you lemons when you least expect it to. Suckerpunched.

I really want to get a lot of things done and I can’t get good work while I am stuck in the four walls of this apartment. I wish I could check into a business hotel or something. I wish I was living out of Rove in Dubai – the perfect hotel for someone like me. Fairly ok rooms. Great vibe in the common area.

Anyhow.

Now that I am stuck here, let’s see what I can achieve. I plan to work on the following today (in the order of priority)…

  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

And then if I have some time left, get some work for one or two projects that I am on.

Most of these are around writing. Which I thought would be breezy since I am at my most effective as a writer when I am at a Starbucks! Now that I am not there, let’s see how many of these do I get in. Will report during the day. Or may be tomorrow. Again, I won’t be able to go to a Starbucks and thus will have to lower my expectations. Sigh!

Oh, now that I am back, I can actually get that shower that I skipped. May be. Maybe not.

Guess this is it for the day. Here’s streaks.

  • Morning Pages / Meditations – 181
  • #aPicADay – 0
  • 10K steps a day – 0
  • OMAD – 0
  • #noCoffee – 0
  • #noCoke – 93
  • 10 mins of meditation – 0
  • #book2 – 0
  • Killer Boogie – 0
  • Surya Namaskar – 0

110621 – Deconstructing. Planning.

Lazy post on how I spent yesterday and other things at the top of my mind. Mostly rant.

8:44. Woke up a while ago. Was tossing around in the bed. I just did not want to get out of bed. Plus I know I can’t go to Starbucks today – I have a few meetings that need me to be at a quiet place. So am stuck in the four walls. So that’s dampening the spirits this Friday. Plus, I am probably oversleeping. I am definitely sleeping more than 8 hours for sure. I mean, last night, I was in the bed around 11 and today I woke up way past 8!

Anyhow. So here we are. Lemme recount the day.

-Starbucks. Black Coffee. Venti.
-Work. Various projects, including the book.
-Phone Calls.
-Back to the house.
-Ate like a hog. I had decided that I will fast but I had three full meals yesterday. After I don’t know how long. I even ate bread! I loved it! I also realised how much I love crunchy things (I had some croutons with a soup). Can’t wait for this Keto plan to get over. Can’t wait to get back to Maggi and Rice and Ice-cream and all that.
-Talked to a marketer about the marketing podcast. LOVED IT! More than anything, the guy was brilliant. More about it in a few days.
-More work.
-More work calls.
-Published a 3000-word review of Mare of Easttown.
-More work.
-Recorded a podcast with an investor for the investing podcast. LOVED it again! I think my happiness is in talking to people and living in that moment. Need to fill life with more opportunities to talk to people. Fuck, as I write this, I realize, I even felt the post-event depression that I have written about in the past! I was so fried that I needed to be with someone or maybe on the road. But no friends, no cars. So, I ate :D.
-On a whim, saw the first episode of Fauda. Was exactly the mindless action-inducing piece of cinema that I love! I may actually see more.
-And then, sleep!

Yeah, it was a long day. No, I did not so as much work. It just looks like a lot.

So that.
Ok, what else?
My mind’s so blank and bare that am having a hard time thinking about what to write :D.
Let’s see.

Ok.
Roam.
So lately, I find myself using Roam a lot more than I was previously. Roam has now become the first place where I plan things, make todos, take notes, and all that. And I see that it is really evolving into the second brain of sorts. To a point that I now run a search on Roam before I talk to people about projects and things. I think this is the longest I have stuck to a note-taking tool. Let’s see how the usage it after a few months.

Novel Writing
The MOOC am doing is lagging like crazy. I will probably use the weekend to work on it.

SoG Book
The goal for June was to ship SoG book. I haven’t done shit about it. Again, probably the weekend project.

Book2
Each day as I write this post and I look at the world, I realize that the world gives far more credence to what you’ve done and not what you say you would do. Which is of course common knowledge. And expected. I’ve been thinking about writing a film, a book, and I don’t know what all. But I never find the time. May be I am merely lying to myself? Maybe I don’t have it in me? May be am fooling myself that I can go through the grind of writing! I have to prove myself wrong and churn out the book or the script ASAP! Pronto! Damn, no amount of self-motivation is helping 🙁

May be I will earmark one day in the week, say Sunday to just writing this? I know it doesn’t work like this but I have way too much work and I need that work to pay the bills.

Damn, how to balance the call of creativity and majboori of money?

I think tomorrow I must wake up at 7 (lemme put an alarm), get ready and be at Starbucks at dot 8. Park myself there till about 4 or as long as they are open (since I dont have any calls planned and thus it’s cool with the ambient noise) and get these things out of the way. Most of the things I need done are anyway “creative” and thus I will be in the ideal zone to do so.

And while I do so, I will switch off my phone and other such distractions and just write, write and write. And of course, let the coffee run amok in my system!

Sounds like a plan. Let’s see how it goes.

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

  • Morning Pages / Meditations – 180
  • #aPicADay – 0
  • 10K steps a day – 0
  • OMAD – 0
  • #noCoffee – 0
  • #noCoke – 92
  • 10 mins of meditation – 0
  • #book2 – 0
  • Killer Boogie – 0
  • Surya Namaskar – 0

040621 – Night / Morning Pages

Unedited, unfiltered, unreviewed, unstructured, unabashed, undercooked, under… thoughts from a night when I ODed on Coffee.

4:37 AM. I have not slept a blink since yesterday. Blame it on work. And too much coffee. And of course, I am drowsy. You know, age and all. I am writing this in that delirious state where you are not up, you are not asleep. You are like hungover. You are probably hallucinating. Guess this is what drugs must feel like. May be I am on drugs. I mean I’ve so much coffee and faux sugar that I probably am flying high like a kite. Faux sugar is the sugar they put in Keto desserts. Even though it tastes like shit (being honest), I want to like really really really lose weight and get them six-packs. Of course, towards an end – the Everest baby!

So let’s see what all I want to probably talk about. Lemme try and sober up a bit. You know, by having some water.

Life Purpose.

LOL. The most cliched thing ever. Lemme spill some ink bits on this. So, I was talking to a friend that I am helping with some writing. While talking to her, I realized that I love it when I give feedback to people and I see a bulb light up in their head and the twinkle sort of dawns into their eyes and it eventually come to rest in that tiny quiver of their lips that is parting to either spew some work of amazement. Or yelp in surprise! That!

Ok, I digressed. The point was, I love helping other people. Specifically when they’ve written something and I give them input and that input helps them tweak what they’ve written and it becomes better and all that. Wow, that sentence was so long and so bad and so convoluted that it should be a crime to use such a sentence in a post about how I want to be a writing coach.

That. That’s what I want to be. A writing coach.

I know I dont have a great command over the language. I know I cant write flowery things. I can’t rhyme to save my life. I mean I don’t know even know the word that can sound like life. Maybe wife, strife, trife. The similes and metaphors dont come easy to me. They are as hard as the hardship faced by Arjuna when he was forced to slay his brothers and uncles and teachers and all that. What I write cant move a mole, leave alone a mountain. I still think in Hindi and then convert that to English and then I write. I still rely on Grammarly (free edition) to ensure that my emails don’t have stupid mistakes. None of my stories has sold any significant number of copies. The publisher apparently pulped copies of what I had written. I will not be in the history books. My work is not worth preserving. And yet, I dare to proclaim that I want to be a writer. I dare to say that I want to work with people that want to write and help them realize their dreams of becoming writers.

Yet another thing that I want to do in life that I don’t know has how many days left! I think whenever I die, I will die an unhappy man with more things on my #toDo list than I would actually end up doing.

Brings me to the next thing that I want to write about, as I wait for the day to break and some food to get delivered and all that. FOMO.

FOMO.

I have to admit that each passing day I get the feeling that life is passing by me and I am missing out on good things that life has to offer. Truth be told, I’ve had a very very interesting life. I have traveled the world, lived pretty much on my terms, and mostly work on things I like and run my life the way I want to. Agreed that I am mostly reacting to things – got bored of and took another one; got kicked out of a relationship, picked another one; drifted from day to day, month to month, and from year to year. But if I look back, there is no one but me who’s to either blamed or praised for how I have fared.

On one side, I can be glad that I am still surviving, even if I had to take on debt. On the other, I can kick myself in the backside that people that I started my career with have completed their Monopoly runs with what a friend (Mansi) calls the ultimate sign of having lived well – two houses, two cars, two kids, two maids and two vacations a year. The ones that dont have these twos have chosen to not get these. Unlike me. Who’s wanted to have many houses, scores of cars, no kids, an army of helps, and a life that’s more vacation than it has vocations. For the 38 years I have spent here, I have a negative balance that runs in high seven figures and some 2000 pieces of blogposts rants that I have been gathering since 2004.

I really really wish that I was a tad more lucky and I was delivering impact at scale with my work. I love scale. I just love it. I want to bring out a fucking tsunami and not just cause ripples in tiny puddles. I want to move the mountain and not just toss them pebbles around. The shrieks in my head are deafening. The silence in my voice is blinding. The ambition I have in my heart is parched.

The worse part? I dont know what to do about it. And I dont know who to go to. To cry about it and rant about it and all that. No one sees the obsidian that keeps gnawing at my heart all the time.

So yeah. That. It’s 5:47. I wish there was some 24-hour coffee shop or something that I could go and work chill out of at, at this hour. I mean right now there’s a lockdown and nothing is open. I haven’t stepped out of the house for 3 days, I think. But even when things were open, the only option was the expensive and unconducive-to-work lobbies at 5-stars. Money is ok. I am happy to spend on such things but the damn places look down on you, the moment you flip out a laptop.

Anyhow. Enough for the rant. The deliriousness that I talked about in the beginning has begun to wear off and I will try and catch some sleep before waking up to I am sure escalations and urgent matters needing my attention.

Till tomorrow, so long!

Here’s streaks.

  • Morning Pages / Meditations – 173
  • #aPicADay – 0
  • 10K steps a day – 0. Been like three days since I’ve stepped out!
  • OMAD – 0
  • #noCoffee – 0. Have been having a lot of coffee lately. Had two venti Americanos in the last 24 hours. I think I will need to order one more to survive the day. And from Saturday, I will try and quit again. Even if I am sleepy and all that after that. Let’s see if I am able to.
  • #noCoke – 85
  • 10 mins of meditation – 0
  • #book2 – 0
  • Killer Boogie – 0
  • Surya Namaskar – 0

030621 – The Thug Life

A quick short post on a day when I woke up late and did not have time to write for the stipulated 45 mins.

9:59 AM! I woke up 10 mins ago. This has to the late-est I’ve woke up in a long long time. And work starts at 10:30. So I don’t have a lot of time to write per se. But I do need to get some load off my head. You know, morning pages. So here we go. For 30 mins.

Let’s dive right in.

I finished the third episode of Mare of Easttown. I had planned to see 20 mins a day but I am clearly spending an hour on it. The third episode was a bit of a drag, to be honest. The first two, far better. But since I am seeing this from the perspective of learning about writing, I have a deeper appreciation of things they are doing in the show. So that’s cool.

Staying on writing, these days am trying to write #book2 with the help of this course on Coursera. I am still in the first week and that means there isn’t much that I’ve written apart from the logline and the story structure. In fact, I wrote about those publically here on the blog a few days ago.

Why I mention this today is because over the last two or three days I have been getting feedback from others enrolled in the course. Most of the feedback is from first-time writers (I think) and most of it has been very encouraging. To a point that I am enthused to write more! This simple input from strangers is making me go back and write more!

I think that’s the point of peer feedback. You feed off the energy of others. You get validation and you are pushed to do more. I am encouraged and it clearly works for me. And if it works for me, I am sure it works for others as well! Why dint I think of this earlier to get more things done?

Anyhow. Der aaye, durust aaye. Aa to gaye!

Also, must think of exploring more of this cohort-based training. Something that companies like On Deck are leveraging on and monetizing and delivering impact. This is EXACTLY what I want to do in life!

Lol. Kya kya karega, Garg Kumar!

Lemme pick the validation bit from the text above. This validation thing has been an important thread in my life. Especially in the romantic one. Ya ya. Too personal shite on a public blog. But that’s the point of living in public.

So, almost everyone I have been romantically involved with has had issues with my talent, achievement, and all that. No, not in the negative sense – they have been some amazing women. But in the fact that *each* of them believed that I was / am so talented and I can do so much more, and yet I am doing nothing. To a point that they start ridiculing me – without knowing that they ridicule me.

This has become such a recurring pattern that I dont know how to get out of it.

So that. More on it someday later. Time to get going and start the day. Miles to go and all that. Glad that I could get these 500 words in. Probably my shortest post ever. I can really get used to this thug life where you wake up aaram se, order your 300-bucks coffee and laze around!

Here’s streaks…

  • Morning Pages / Meditations – 172
  • #aPicADay – 0
  • 10K steps a day – 0
  • OMAD – 0
  • #noCoffee – 0
  • #noCoke – 84
  • 10 mins of meditation – 0
  • #book2 – 0
  • Killer Boogie – 0
  • Surya Namaskar – 1 (Managed 12 rounds yesterday)

020621 – Morning Pages

Random updates from a busy day. More or less, I talk about my struggle with losing weight and food.

6:18. Woke up a bit ago with a clogged respiratory tract. Must be the combo of the rain and the fan. Oh, did I tell you guys that I hate the fan? To a point that I catch a cold if I spend too much time under a fan? Put me in an air-conditioned room for 2000 hours in Alaska, I will be ok. I will come out human. But put a fan on 5 (the max reading on a fan in India) and I will die in less than 5 seconds.

Yesterday was one of those days where I admitted to a colleague that I either need a drink or a date. Drink – I don’t. Date – lol. The point is, the day was long, busy, and demanding. And that’s more often than not a good thing. I wish I have more days like that when I am so busy that I don’t have the time to even think. I mean before I knew it, it was 7. And then I had to wait to upload some footage and then it was raining and then I just came back and slept. Oh, and I saw the second episode of Mare of Easttown. And because am taking it is as a challenge, I am taking notes!

Anyhow. Today should be yet another busy day if my calendar is to be believed. I start as early as 8:15 AM and the last meeting planned is at 6. A work email reminded me that we are at mid-year. That means I need to do my half-yearly review. Adding to Asana.

Ok. I don’t know what else to write. May be I can write the temptation to order in every time I see someone else eat or talk about food. Lemme do that. So, last few days (almost 15 days now), I have been on this so-called Keto Diet that I subscribed to at Baesicfit.com. While the guys that run this are excellent in terms of service and all that, I don’t think the diet is working. I am not eating anything but the food they send me and have some black coffee but I don’t think I am in Ketosis. I am not losing weight. I did not catch the Keto flu since I started this. I am even eating in a 6-hour window (thus trying to take advantage of time-restricted eating) and yet not losing weight. I am doing yoga 2-3 times a week. Most days I walk 10k steps. And yet I am not losing weight. Apparently, they serve me only 2100 calories. Again, I must lose weight purely by this calorie deficit. Worse, the stomach continues to remain bloated. Maybe it’s all the paneer they are feeding me? I mean I am sick of eating so much paneer. It literally sucks. I am so so so so tempted to eat my comfort food – Rajma Chawal, Dal Makhani, Paranthas, Dosas, Chips, Chole Bhatures and all that. Damn am so much Delhi with my food! The mouth is watering as I type this and my fingers are crawling towards Swiggy as I want to order and let the chase of fitness and Everest go to waste.

But no. I shall persist. However, it is getting increasingly hard to do so. I find myself thinking about it a lot. And I find myself trying to rationalize by ordering cheat meals. But then, Keto doesn’t have the concept of cheat meals! I remember, last night I was thinking about ordering in, just to celebrate 15 days of Keto journey and I wanted to order a Biryani. Lol.

Thing is, if I am busy, I don’t miss food. Or if I am engaged, I am ok with merely sipping onto coffee and all that. Like yesterday, I did not even care about what I ate. But the moment I came back to the house I sleep at, remember I told you I needed a date or a drink? I was so fried that I wanted to order in. Sigh!

In fact, I have been thinking that I need to get back to Diet Coke. Purely because I miss the taste and the feeling of holding onto a can. I know that the chase of these hedonistic feelings does nothing to help you reach your lifegoals but then I am human 😀

Ok. Rant. Moving on.

I havent done yoga in a while now. At least three days. I was supposed to do yesterday but I had so much work that I skipped it. Today, come hell or high water, I will. Right after I publish this.

Ok, so I have 6 more minutes to write before I need to go. Thinking what to write. 4 now. Lol. Fucking countdown. Let’s just publish and save time.

More tomorrow.

Here’s streaks…

  • Morning Pages / Meditations – 171
  • #aPicADay – 0
  • 10K steps a day – 0
  • OMAD – 0
  • #noCoffee – 0
  • #noCoke – 83
  • 10 mins of meditation – 0
  • #book2 – 0
  • Killer Boogie – 0
  • Surya Namaskar – 0

310521 – Morning Pages

A sad rant on the mental state I am in for the last few days where I cant seem to function as a human being. I dont know whats the way out. I hope I figure out soon!

6:30. I woke up a few minutes ago. I was on my bed at 8 last night, to be honest, and then I tossed and turned and did everything I could, and yet I could not get sleep.

I am probably at the lowest point in my life ever. I mean I am sure this is not the lowest per se but this is as low as they come. I am in that zone where I am so uninspired to work that I don’t even open my email. I know am slacking. And I am not doing anything to help these matters. My work is the most important thing to me in life – means more to me than my own survival and yet I am not working well. And I know it. I can fake it and deliver just enough that colleagues and clients will probably not know. But even that is becoming impossible these days.

I am so affected that when I met a few friends on Saturday, I couldn’t keep up the conversations. I was so uninspired and so sad and so mindfucked that I actually did not want to meet them. But then I did nonetheless – I had traveled an hour in Mumbai traffic. I am sure they must have noticed that I was not myself. Actually don’t think they did. Not sure they are that deep. Plus, if they did they would’ve asked me. Anyhow. That’s not important.

The thing is, I don’t know what’s wrong. And for a rational-answers-chasing person I am, it’s bugging me that I can’t pinpoint the fault. And thus unable to fix it! I mean I am at a great place in life. I am doing yoga at least thrice twice a week. I am walking 10K steps often. I am even seeing the beach for the last few days. Plus, I am not eating any kachra. Apart from the low-carb meal that I get delivered, I don’t eat anything. I have coffee often. No milk, no sugar. I am even ok with lime water now – something that I’ve balked at all my life. Work is financially rewarding enough to inspire me. I am working on a documentary with a friend and that’s helping me meet new people. The 4 goals of Dharma, Artha, Kaam, and Moksha (as defined by Purushartha) are almost aligned. Wait. I think I am lagging behind on Kaam but the other three, I think I am doing ok there. I am ok healthwise in this pandemic. My parents are ok. The news of second-degree connections passing away continues to trickle in but I don’t really get affected by that. This is probably as good as life has been to me!

And yet I am deeply unhappy.
Yet the dark clouds don’t seem to dispel.
I don’t know what’s wrong with me.

May be its validation that I miss. Not from strangers but from people that I like and want to be around. Maybe it’s the feeling of helplessness at my inability to do large things at scale. Maybe it’s my inability to move things and seeing the world pass by as I sit on the sidelines and twiddle thumbs. Maybe I just need to get out of this house and find a better place to live where I would have enough space to move around and appliances and things would work as expected. Maybe I need to get out of Mumbai and go live in a different place – Goa, Pune, Panchgani, even Delhi. Maybe things will be better once this lockdown is lifted and I am able to see others around me. After all, I need to have people around me, even if they are strangers and I don’t talk to them at all. And while I was ok in the last lockdown (probably because I was in a space where I could move around and all that compared to this time when I can do nothing but sulk; or maybe because it was the first time and I played it like a game and now I know that I don’t want this game!), this time it’s hard.

Maybe it’s all the windows that I left open at work and in my personal life?

Maybe because apart from work where I am directly responsible for the output, the three babies I have – TRS, PPP, Podium – are all struggling. To a point that I want to not even put my name up there. Of course, I am to blame. The partners and teams there are doing a fantastic job! In the sense that if not for them, whatever little they have achieved, we wouldn’t have. And while I know what’s wrong with these babies, I am unable to fix things. Maybe my meaning is derived from seeing the things I create eventually reach a point where they start making a tangible difference in the world?

Maybe all this is because I am spending way too much time on my phone and chasing vanity like a 16-year-old?

I dont know the solution.

Wait. I dont even know the problem.

But if I met someone like me who had symptoms like me (general disinterest in everything, a former excellent team player slacking at work, lack of sleep, etc), I know I would have thrown a set of usual answers at them. I would tell them to work out, eat better, reflect on things, stop seeking validation, quit social media et al. I would recommend them to stop reading the news. I would ask them to quit all whatsapp group. I would ask them to seek newer experiences and chase more novelty. May be pick up a hobby or something.

I have done EACH OF THESE. And yet I am not any wiser.

Now I know how shallow, how fake, how ineffective my inputs and advice have been for people. Now I am wise enough to stop recommending things to people that confide in me. Now I know I need to find better answers to things that I seem to have ignored all my life. I did not know that the world could come crashing down like this on me when on the outside, all seems ok!

Ok. That was a long rant.

And here’s some disclaimers for whoever may read this. And if they get worried.

  1. No, I am not doing anything that I shouldn’t be doing. I am far more strong than that. Or weak. Or whatever. I have way toooooooo many miles to go.
  2. I am a problem-solver at heart. And like other problems that I try and find an answer to, I will work on this and will not rest till I find a solution. At least for myself. I know I am already on the path but I need some more interventions. That I shall work on. Shall? Will? Would? Damn my grammar!
  3. I have a deeper understanding and newfound empathy for people who are in this place. Luckily, I am privileged enough to have some money, some connections, and some friends. I think, the fact that I live in public and I am ok to share whatever I am feeling deep down inside helps.
  4. And last but not the least, this too shall pass!

Guess that’s it for the day. Here’s streaks.

  • Morning Pages / Meditations – 169
  • #aPicADay – 0
  • 10K steps a day – 0
  • OMAD – 0
  • #noCoffee – 0
  • #noCoke – 81
  • 10 mins of meditation – 0
  • #book2 – 0
  • Killer Boogie – 0
  • Surya Namaskar – 0

150521 – Morning Pages

Yet another post where words did not flow and I had to struggle to get my thoughts in order.

5:10. I woke up a few minutes ago. The eyes are still groggy. Had some water. Trying to get over with the morning pages in about an hour and then, get to some real work.

So, COVID-19 took away yet another person I knew. This one did some work for me. I spoke to her almost every month. Worked more closely with one of my partners. While I haven’t met her ever, the sense of loss was something I couldn’t fathom. I don’t know when would this carnage stop.

When I heard about it, I was ok. I was like, “oh fuck” and got onto with my life. Attended a few calls, sent some emails, did more work. Etc. Etc. But during the day once I was done with the work that consumed me, I started losing it. To a point that I literally slept through the day. And then I forced myself to step out for a walk. This was after almost a week that I went for one. I wanted to do some 20K steps but after about the 5K mark, I was so tired that I had to sit down. I had almost given up. I did give up and took a rick back from Juhu. But once I reached Lokhandwala, did another 4K types to get the 10K in.

Damn stamina. Eventually managed 10K but took some superhuman effort and a couple of 30-min odd breaks. Which is ok. 10K is what matters. Let’s see if I get to do it today.

In other news, yesterday I had decided that I would fast for 2 days. I was ok till about 6 PM but since I was tired I gave in. Ate kachra – you know, packed snacks (chips, cookies, etc) and a dosa as thin as a tissue paper with masala inside as dense as people in a tiny Mumbai house. I had this intense craving for ice cream. That I avoided. Silver lining. So fast – no. OMAD – yes. Silver lining. Kuch to sahi hua.

I ate when I saw The Saint. And then I slept. At around 9ish. And thus, I was up at 5ish. Without an alarm!

Wait. Just glanced at the time. It’s 5:30.

All my life, I’ve wanted to be up at 4. Get to work at 5. Work till 9. And then chill. Alternatively, write till 9, and then get to work around 10. Irrespective. The point is that these 3ish hours in the morning are when I think I can do my best work. I should have been able to use the lockdown as an opportunity to change my schedule to include these morning golden hours as the time when I am active. Today’s a start. Let’s see if I can do this from tomorrow on. It all depends on when I go to sleep!

So, I also started the house hunt for a cheaper house. And I was appalled to know that rentals are still sky-high. All those talks of people migrating away from Mumbai and the realty market crashing? Hogwash. For a tiny 2-bedroom apartment beyond the middle of nowhere is asking for rent that something in the heart of Gurgaon would! I think if you have to live in / around Mumbai, you need to either accept that you would live in a place where you’d have to compromise things. Or you use saam, daam, dand, bhed, or whatever else to gather around a billion dollars and buy a house. There’s no other way.

Guess this is it for the rant of the day. It’s 5:50.

Lemme get to work.

Lemme see what I can do in the next 3 or so hours, where I would try to JUST work on the NFDC Scriptlab. The deadline’s Monday and I really want to send them something, even if the odds of getting thru are negligible. You know, I want to take shots that are beyond my reach.

So with that, over and out.

Oh, here’s streaks.

  • Morning Pages / Meditations – 153
  • #aPicADay – 0
  • 10K steps a day – 1
  • OMAD – 1
  • #noCoffee – 1
  • #noCoke – 65
  • 10 mins of meditation – 1
  • #book2 – 0
  • Killer Boogie – 0
  • Original Work (limited time only) – 0
  • Surya Namaskar – 0

120521 – Morning Pages

A shortish rant that took me forever to write.

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.

Here’s streaks…

  • 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?

Not sure. Way too much on my head. Later.

290421 – Morning Meditations

A note on things that are important to me but may not matter to the world at large. Read if you want to. Ignore if you want to.

7:56. Been up for more than half an hour. Pottering about. Thinking about the dreams I had. Logged them on my Roam. The interesting thing was that dream last night was like a non-stop, ongoing film that did not seem to end. Plus it was in English. I mean at one point in the dream, I used the word anomaly to describe myself!

Last week and this entire week have been mad like hell. To a point that I was bugged and did not sleep well and all that. I think I was so exhausted yesterday that I took it easy. I did attend a few meetings and a few calls but I did not do anything creative. Plus luckily or unluckily, there were not too many meetings planned for the day. So I could rest. As I grow old, I have started to see the merit in taking breaks. But then the young-at-head me refuses to believe that I need breaks. And that means I need to do a lot more than what I have been doing on fitness.

Lemme talk about what am trying to be fit.

a, Last three days I tried a Keto meal service. It was good but at 20K a month, at this time in my life, it’s expensive. I am supposed to toss a coin on that and decide.

b, I try to walk 10K steps every day. Of course, the last few days have been busy and lockdown is not helping at all. But even then I was able to pull in some 6K on an average. Here’s a chart.

c. I started with Surya Namaskars. I follow this video. I don’t do variations. I suck with a plank (you know, Hernia). By the time I get done, I am a dead man. I have to literally lie on the floor for an hour to catch my breath.

d. I live on the 8th floor and I try to walk up the stairs once a day. Again, by the time I reach the 8th floor, I am crawling to my door. And just like walking, I must have done this 3-4 times in toto but I do it.

e. Stopped ordering out (except Keto / Lo-Carb foods). So that’s saving me big money as well. Yay!

So that. I am glad I have some action to show for!

Lemme move to other things that I have not really expressed per se. Lemme try to articulate.

I am away from Twitter and Instagram. I still lurk around on Facebook (a recent phenomenon). On Whatsapp, I have muted EVERY group that I am a part of. I only engage in selective conversations with people. Most times I don’t talk. Most times when I talk, I don’t know how to talk. How do you talk to someone who’s lost a close friend? Family member? If they’ve not lost people, they’ve lost their vocation. They’ve lost their jobs. People like me are losing sanity.

Everyone around me (on twitter, insta etc) is doing whatever they can to help. To a point that they have left whatever they had behind to contribute. And I am clearly not doing anything at all. To a point that I have become a silent spectator that only rants and does nothing else. I am even being a cynic where I try and see ulterior motives of people that are offering any sort of help. I know I have been an escapist where I run away from all troubles

The funny thing is, with my work, I am little more rational, I mean I take harsh decisions, eager to correct mistakes, action things even if they hurt me. All my work where I invest time and money is actually that – I am giving away so much value that people call me fool. They call it impractical idealism. They have stopped thinking of me as a rational personal. They dont trust me with things. In fact, they hide even common things that I could be effective with. It’s not cool at all. Wait, I am ranting. This is not the point of rant today.

The point is that at this time where everyone is doing everything they can to help the world, I am sitting on the sidelines, twaddling my thumbs and merely writing a blogpost. I am sure I can do lot more than this!

And this is one of the reasons why I don’t want to be on any social media channel. I don’t want to pile myself with more guilt (than what I have right now) and get myself stuck in more grief at all this unnecessary loss of life. Unnecessary because all this could’ve been prevented. The action could have happened from everyone – from people to the administration to the policymakers to the government. It just plain sucks.

So that’s it for the day. Time to get going. Yet again, have a lot to do. Here’s the streaks…

  • Morning Pages / Meditations – 137
  • #aPicADay – 0
  • 10K steps a day – 0
  • OMAD – 0
  • #noCoffee – 50 (wow! 50 days!)
  • #noCoke – 50 (yay)
  • 10 mins of meditation – 0. Did not do yesterday.
  • #book2 – 0
  • Killer Boogie – 0
  • Original Work (limited time only) – 0. I think I will remove this. No point fooling myself.
  • Surya Namaskar – 0. Have missed this for 3 days now. Have to do today, come what may. I will gun for 12 rounds but let’s see how many I get in.

That’s about it. Over and out.

As I was writing this, something happened. A friend called who has a friend that needs help with writing a book. If I did not write my book all those years ago, I wouldn’t have got this opportunity to speak with someone else! Two things.

a. Validation that the world respects action and wants a proof of action. Rather than merely believing in potential.

b. If there’s any sign from God (lol), than this is as clear as it gets. Work. Deliver. Publish. Ship. Release. Set it free. And it will come back to you.

Now that I am writing, the piece I wrote about living and working in Goa, even that got me connected to a few people that I would have otherwise not met! Need to thus ship more! And take all the more shots.

So yeah, that’s it. Over and out. Surya Namaskar time!