010921 – Morning Pages

Today’s post talks about the sadness that September brings, the unpreparedness for the walk to EBC and a few others things.

8:27. Starbucks.

September. The month has continued to send me into inexplicable sadness. All my underachievements and failures come back to haunt me. And since I am in this zone where I am sad about things, I often make errors in judgment and that makes me more prone to mistakes. And that means things that can go wrong, start going wrong. And that means the spiral of sadness starts moving faster. And I dont know what to do about it.

So that. Lemme digress and talk about other things.

Yesterday, I was at the shoot of my next short film. While I was there, I got yelled at, despite me being the one who’s enabling all that to happen. I often dont take credit for things I do. I mean the world doesn’t stop if you stop existing. It finds its way. Always has. I just happen to be at a place at a time where I played a role that moved the ball further. Now when I do that, and I say this with all humility, I want to be anything but the person that gets yelled at.

Plus it’s getting reinforced that a producer really has no role in anything that happens. Apart from being the one that’s bankrolling the whole jingbang. I knew it to be honest but now I know it as well. So that’s that.

The action point is to stop this free flow of money to fuel other people’s dreams, unless I am the one whose work is getting created. Or I am the one that will get credit beyond a producer. And thus, I need to move onto the other side. My writing doesn’t seem to work with people. I have no clue what directing is. I am anything but acting material. Plus I dont watch a lot of films anyway. So need to think hard about this love of making films. Lemme add this to the list of things I want to think about in the break in the second half of September. Let’s see what I come up with. #toThinkOn.

Oh, the internet at the house I live at, aka, the shelter has stopped working. And funnily, I am ok to face the inconvenience of not having the Internet, when compared to the effort required to make calls to the ISP and getting it fixed. Plus, I am around for today and tomorrow. Day after I am gone.

In the happy, hopeful things to talk about, I have just about 15 days left to go for the break (and the walk to the EBC – I refuse to call it a trek. It’s a walk). I am looking forward to the experiment of not having the phone and being cut off from the world. I do plan to use a phone to make a vlog about the journey and take notes about things that I am thinking about. But that’s about it. I want to be with myself for a large part of this journey. Reduce contact to minimal. Talk when spoken to. Not distract myself with news, entertainment, or any modern, pop-culture-y thing. I’ll try to not even be that problem solver that I have this compelling obsession to be when I am in taxing situations. Let’s see how it goes.

For some reason, while I wrote the para above, I was reminded of the time I spent when I went for Vipassana. I think I must go again. I may not be able to do so in 2021 but I will try and do it sometime in 2022 for sure. #in2022.

The thing though is that Vipassana requires little in terms of physical preparedness. The walk to EBC is more taxing. And I am not ready. I have not worked out. I am not doing any breathing exercises. I refuse to wear shoes. I am eating crap all the time. I am making the walk all the more difficult. I think I need to live the next 17 days the best I can. This means, eat less and do some breathing exercises. I can’t work out, I can’t walk – not time to do this. Lots of work on my hands.

Oh, lemme get this load off my head by writing this. On the work front, I am suffering. To a point that I am back to a point where I no longer have enough coming in to keep my team together and will have to sort of seek out a loan each month to feed my team. I think things are different from the last time around (in the sense that the world has finally adopted this work-from-home thingy and people are now investing in marketing, communications, events, etc). I need to make myself different now to be able to leverage these new opportunities and create work for myself. And my team. And my Kutumb.

I also need to find an office space for myself. I can’t focus when I am at home / house / shelter. I can’t be at Starbucks all the time. Way too expensive and inefficient for the kind of work I do (meetings, selling, etc). So, once I am back, even if I choose to live in Delhi with my parents (to save on rent), I will need to find an office of sorts. Let’s see.

Been writing for about an hour now. Guess will take a break and get on with the day. Here’s the streaks…

  • OMAD – 0
  • #book2 – 0
  • #noCoke – 174
  • #noCoffee – 17
  • #aPicADay – 0
  • Money spent – 1900
  • Killer Boogie – 0
  • 10K steps a day – 0
  • Surya Namaskar – 0
  • 10 mins of meditation – 0
  • Minimaslism Counter – -2
  • Morning Pages / Meditations – 264. I think I will reach 280 or so days before I go for the trek. Let’s see. Maybe the vlog I make will be the morning pages and I will publish those on the blog?

Untitled – 290821

A dump of things that I am thinking about. Nothing specific. Just a random walk on keyboard in an attempt to feel good.

About 7 PM. Sunday.

Have nothing to do and nowhere to go. There’s a lot of openwork that I can do but I dont feel like. This is the time when I want to be lounging at a comfortable place – you know, like a hotel or something. Instead, I am trying to find solace at a Starbucks with a cup of green tea. And no, that does not offer any solace. It merely allows you to distract yourself from the fuckeries in your head.

What fuckeries, you may ask. Well, the ones that keep your head churning. The ones that make you question the choices you’ve made. The ones that make you think that the damn grass is green on the other side while yours is withering and shrinking and shriveling like it’s the perpetual winters. I mean I love the winters. But you get the drift.

What sucks is that you think you’ve done so much for others all your life and you’ve hoped all your life that at moments like these when you want comfort, you want company, you would have those people around. But when you look around, you see standing alone. And everyone else that you hoped would be around standing atop mighty towers in various stages of their respective bliss. Which is not wrong, to be honest. It’s an issue with your expectation. How about doing things without hoping that you’d get something back? The act of asking for things, expecting from others needs to be contained. It’s a pandemic in itself.

The thing is, most times I am so hyper-active on social media channels that I dont get time to think and wonder where things are. But then since Jul, I’ve been away from Twitter and Instagram – two channels that I hang out the most at. Over at these two places, I have enough and more fodder to kill time with. In the sense that I am busy with general chit-chat and aimless wandering. Not that I made any deep connections there but I was busy. At least in my head. Of course, if I were dying, none of those would people would come to help. Lol. For that matter, the ones that I believe are my true friends, wouldn’t come in handy either. But then the point is that there is enough to kill time and keep busy. And leave me with little time to think about things like the meaning of life and all that. So, in a way that distraction is not bad. You know, filling it with fluff.

Ok, I dont know what else to write. I think I need to distract myself. I think I will go find something to waste time on. Over and out.

270821 – Morning Pages

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

So that was yesterday.

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

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

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

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

Wait. Fuck my misery.

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

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

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

Guess this is about it.

Felt amaze to write 1000+ words after a while.

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

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

Here’s the streaks.

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

260821 – Morning Pages

A shortpost lamenting about lack of money, fancy things, audience and more. Damn these ranty and negative posts!

8:30. Starbucks. Somewhere in Lower Parel. I am here yet again. Second time in less than a week or so. Work. Sigh. I am now realising how incredible a waste of time this face to face meetings are, especially when it’s mere transactional work. TBH, today is not transactional per se. This one is an important meeting. But this could very well have been a Zoom call. But theek hai. Kaam hai. Karo.

So, yesterday I was supposed to start a 48-hour fast. But I ended up eating like a pig. That was coming out of famine. I ate whatever I saw. Even if the taste was BS and all I ate was fried in oil that was already heated and re-heated a million times. As a result, my stomach has revolted. I have this funny feeling in my gut. I dont know what to do to solve it. I remember Vijesh telling me that each time you are unwell, just fast for 3 days and have just coconut water. So lemme try that today. I mean today I will have to have a lot of green tea (aka ghaas ka paani) as I am on the road but I can have coconut water from tomorrow on. Let’s see.

Also, yesterday, a funny thing happened. I have to log it in here. I am part of the team that is making a short film. For that, since it’s an indie film, we need to save as much money as we can. The team decided that they would pick things from our respective homes and houses and decorate the set. They thus decided to come over to my place. And when they were decided that, I realized that I hate to let strangers come over to my space for inspection. I dont have anything to hide. I have just a handful of things. Even those, most are packed already. I keep my place mostly tidy. But when the decision was made to come over to my place, I was fucked in my head. And these were people that I trust and love and care for and all that. And for a project that would help me go beyond in life. And yet I heard my pit growl. I dont know what it is about getting people in places where I live.

I remember last year when I lived at a fancier place, during the lockdown, VG and AS came over on some frivolous pretext. I was mindfucked for a week after that. The same thing happened when I lived in a fancy locality but a fuckall house. I think it’s my insecurity at the inability to make enough to stand shoulder to shoulder with my peers. I need to think more about this at some point in time in life. Let’s see when. #toThink

Oh, I got paid for a project that I had done in June. This means I can now fund the film that I spoke about earlier. And more importantly, I can pay my people. Yay!

Ok. Moving on. Next thing. Today.

For starters, I am gonna try and fast today.

Today looks like a bad day. In the sense that I am already in unchartered waters (wearing pants, formal shirt, carrying shoes, at a place that is known for poshness). Plus way too many things open with way too many projects for one of my clients. Plus the growling stomach and the parched heart. Wah. Parched heart. I wish I was more famous and my words found more homes.

I just hope that I can avoid the temptation to eat while I am zipping thru the town. Of course, I have discovered that as long as I am busy in my head, I can. So maybe I need to do that. Keep myself occupied. With what? I dont know yet. Let’s see.

Guess this is it for the day.
I shall report back how it is tomorrow.

Here’s streaks.

  • OMAD – 0
  • #book2 – 0
  • #noCoke – 168
  • #noCoffee – 11
  • #aPicADay – 0
  • Money spent – 1886
  • Killer Boogie – 0
  • 10K steps a day – 0
  • Surya Namaskar – 0
  • 10 mins of meditation – 0
  • Minimaslism Counter – -2
  • Morning Pages / Meditations – 258

240821 – Morning Pages

A weird post where I touch upon a million things under the sun. Clothes, Mumbai, Fitness, EBC and more.

8:23. Woke up a few minutes ago. Groggy. I actually slept at 3 or something. I was in bed at around 10:30 but I couldn’t just sleep. I even ordered a parantha at 1ish and ate. Thereby fucking up OMAD. I have just about 2 weeks to get to EBC and I am running way behind on my attempts at getting ready for it. I may be in for a surprise when I am there. I just hope that in the worst case, they airlift me back to humanity! And just to be prepared, I sat with SJ2 and gave him access to all my passwords. And the will. In case.

So, in the news yesterday, I did a lot of work. It was one of my most productive days, to be honest. Even though I did not move the needle on a lot of things but I did have control over my time and delivered on most things that were expected from me. So that was cool.

Oh, I was dressed in an office shirt (and shorts :D), and no I did not see the advantages of dressing up well. I did not make any heads turn. I did not feel more confident. I did not have strangers walking up to me and telling me that they feel I could be a fit in their next film. Rather I was sweating (it was hot yesterday) and that meant that I am not sure if I would take the adventure of dressing up to help me get ahead in the world.

What else? The thing is when you are so groggy, there is this lingering, mild headache, you dont know what to do. You can’t think straight. The best way to get out of this is to go take a walk. Or maybe eat something. If not even that, have some coffee or something. Lol.

Ok, lemme write bullet points about what’s on my head. This often works for me.

  1. M is moving away from Mumbai in the next 6 months. She’s probably the closest thing I have that I am attached to at an emotional level. Everything else is expendable. Thing is, I am randomly getting emo about it. I mean it is good for her in the long run if she’s out of here. There are better oppourtunities. She gets to spread her wings and get away from the cocoon that she’s living here in.
  2. I feel guilty at some level for not being able to work out and all that. Thing is, I just can’t use my mornings for anything but work. And by evening, things from the day are piled and there is no time. Plus I am unable to start by myself. I mean I can work all that I want to. But I can’t work out. It’s way too boring! The only sustainable way for me to make it work would be to start engaging in some sport in the after-work hours.
  3. I’ve been reading about some criticism of Dr. Peterson. No, I havent found anything alarming. I mean people dont like the fact that he’s a “conservative” but there’s no logical argument against what he preachers. Guess that’s true with every polarising figure. Anyhow. This is still WIP.
  4. I have this opportunity where I could with with BA on his idea as a co-founder. I am at a place where I have enough and more work on my shoulders. I am almost getting comfortable in terms of money I make. I do want to make more. I am not sure if I have the bandwidth to work on it at a deeper level. So I am at this crossroads. Need to take a call. Will probably do so while I am walking up the EBC.
  5. There’s so much flux in life right now! There are so many open things on my head right now that I am not sure where to find peace. I mean I am distracted a lot. I am thinking a lot about random things. There seems to be this hulchul just below the surface. I dont know what’s causing it. I dont know what’s the antidote. I dont know what’s the solution. But I know something is wrong for sure and it needs fixing.

So this. I know a lot to dump. Should I get back to meditation or something? I dont know. Let me try today.

I am hoping to not go to a Starbucks today. Let’s see if I can manage that. I know I won’t be able to. I mean it’s like a habit, a routine. And anyway I dont have a lot of time left here in Mumbai. I would be gone in less than 10 days. But what goes in trying to write and seeing if I can manage to stay “in shelter”.

So that’s about it. Ok, need to move on with the day. Here’s streaks…

  • OMAD – 0
  • #book2 – 0
  • #noCoke – 166
  • #noCoffee – 9
  • #aPicADay – 0
  • Money spent – 4098
  • Killer Boogie – 0
  • 10K steps a day – 0
  • Surya Namaskar – 0
  • 10 mins of meditation – 0
  • Minimaslism Counter – -2
  • Morning Pages / Meditations – 256