130121 – Morning Pages

Conversations with friends and strangers. About Ikigai, writing, life purpose, success, failure, and more. Oh, and scarcity of time!

7:22. This one should be ok (unlike the last one). I have no pressing agendas today. Just the way I like it!

I think these morning pages have found a rhythm. I talk about what I did the previous day. Pick on a thing from what I spoke about. And then try to think more about it, while I write. And then I write a para for book2. The entire thing takes me about an hour and it is enough to put me in a good mood, to be honest, even if I wake up with a shitty one. In fact, as I type this, I have a smile on my face.

So, lately, I have found comfort in music from Suits. People have made a playlist of tracks from Suits and even though I don’t understand half of those, I love em. In fact, I have been discovering new music here in Goa. Like the other day at a hotel, I heard this track called Jerusalema. Since it was playing on a shitty speaker, I thought it was in Hindi (really) and even when I put my head to it, I could not make it out. And when I Shazam-ed, I realized that it’s in one of African languages!

The other thing was that I got to meet Karl yesterday. He’s been one of those that I look up to in life. He had a couple of interesting things to say about things that I thought i had a deep understanding of.

A, Ikigai. You know, the Japanese concept that helps you find purpose? I thought I knew where I want to (which is to enable and inspire others with what I do and create opportunities for them) but when I was talking to him, I realized that I need to sharpen this. My notions are idealistic (something Rashi also tells me all the time) and are not practical at all. He said (and I agree) that no one would pay me to inspire them unless I become a motivational speaker or something. My personality is anything but that! So, need to think more about that.

B, On account planning and strategy. He said that as a planner you have to get into execution as often you get sucked into Blue Ocean thinking and you don’t know shit about how your strategy is translating into actual work. This is very similar to being a management consultant where you don’t have any skin in the game. Now, I want to be anything but that. So, next time I get a gig, I will try and be a part of actual execution and implementation as well. This is a very very important lesson for me. #sgP1.

The other unintended consequence of my chat with him was that I read that Gaurav Jani passed away last year. I did not know him at all and to be honest, his passing was more news to me than a personal setback. But he has been one of those people that I have been incredibly inspired by since I can remember. When I was young, he did something that I would have, well, killed for. He rode to Ladakh on a bike and made a film about that. All solo. I mean imagine taking shots of your bike, all by yourself. How’d you even do it? And he did all this way back in 2006 when all this was not even known, let alone be cool. Plus there was no ubiquitous Internet, phones, mounts, cameras. I cant even imagine how’d he charge batteries and all that. The dude must have been another level shit.

Lesson? Time is a bitch. You gotta do things now. Err on the side of action. #lifeTheme!

Moving on. On another work call, where I was giving my opinion on how things ought to happen, I was asked to shut cos what I said was in direct contrast to what apparently Kunal Shah, the grand-daddy of all start-ups folks in India, had said. A, if he has said what he apparently said, he needs to be taught. B, even if he said what he said, it may have worked for him but in the specific case, it would never work. You can’t use one-size-fits-all with startups. Of course, this is not about him. This is about me. The conversation hit me like a tight slap on my face that you could be the most educated, well-read, opinionated, caring person in the room but unless you have tangible success to show for, no one gives a fuck about what you have to say. Your opinions are not important. They are invalid. You are asked questions that, well, question your credibility.

No this is not the first time something like this has happened to me. But thank God it happened. I am inspired. Need these bouts often. In fact, I am so so so much inspired to create a fucking massive success that when someone asks me such questions, I can tell them that I’ve built massive shit and they are fuck off.

I know revenge and being sore is not a good emotion (#note2self – Pale Blue Dot, This Too Shall Pass, Seneca’s lessons) but I am human. And I hate when people I care for do this to me.

Anyhow. I think I am ok now. Last evening I was seething in anger. To a point that I could not operate. The world thinks that I am a loser and that’s ok. I have no complaints. But when the ones that I am close to think like that and operate from that place, I hate it. Really.

Lemme talk of something good. Spotlight is finally taking shape. We are gunning for the first edition of the event on the 30th. More here. In case you want to pitch your startup to Dr. Malpani, here.

So, today on, thanks to the kick in the butt by Karl and this nameless-faceless person that told me that am useless, I will try to be a lesser loser. I’ll try harder.

The other thing that I want to talk about this party with some strangers that I was in. The host introduced me to some people as a famous author. For some reason, I felt like an imposter. I mean, all I have is one book. That too has failed to make any dent in anyone’s life. The kinder reviews say that it’s average at best. I don’t even want to read honest or negative ones. The second book is nowhere. Been on it for like 10 years and have nothing to show for that. I hated it when I was introduced like that. Yes, please do introduce me as a creative consultant, creative producer, writer (not just of books), marketer, podcaster et al. I am ok with that. But I don’t want to be just a “famous writer”. I want to be the person that tried. Not the person that rests on laurels. That too, not well-defined.

So that’s that for the morning pages.

As I edit, I realise this has become dark and harsh and ranty. But that’s that. The smile on the face of having typed all this is still around. So that’s some comfort.

So, on to #freewriting for book2. So, for this one, I have talked Prak into giving me a prompt every day to get me started with my thinking.

Today’s prompt is…

Red. The color of love and hate. Of life and death. Blood and rivers, hellfire, and heaven song.

– Prakruti Maniar, Jan 2021

Here we go…

Red was a funny choice for the color of the gown that she wore. Even though the host had clearly mentioned that the theme for the evening is white and blue, she wore red. Red stood out. What was supposed to be a party where dreams were to be talked about, futures were to be looked at, she chose Red. The color of love and hate. Of life and death. Blood and rivers, hellfire, and heaven song. She did not choose red on purpose. She did not have a choice. This was the only gown she had that could pass off as a decent dress into the party where the invite cost her a night with that old bastard, Paul. The party has been the talk of the town for a while now and who’s who was expected to be there. Together they were going to plan the future of the sleepy state of Goa. There were talks of taking the casinos on land, thereby greatly reducing the costs for the owners. One of the proposals was to allow for new high-rise construction near the beaches. They wanted to make coal mining a priority for the state. The coast was going to get opened for large scale music festivals that would get the who’s who of the world down to Goa.

The gates were being opened for the world to make its home in Goa. And at the same time, those very gates were being shut on the faces to keep out the ones that rightfully could call Goa home. The promoters blamed the locals for their lackadaisicalness. The locals wanted to be left alone. The two sides were never going to find a common ground. And this party was an attempt in the direction. In attendance were going to be socialites

Ankit Paul had put all he had and pulled all the strings he could to make this happen. His entire fortune and the reputation that his family had earned since forever was at stake. More so, after his father passed away, his personal credibility and integrity was being questioned. No, he did care for what people thought of him. He had more skeletons in his closet than the ruler of African countries had. But he did care about his bank balance. The power he wielded. The political ambitions that he couldn’t seem to find a route to.

This party was going to change all of that. Hopefully for good. And give Paul the respect that he’s craved for since he was a child. Respect that his father never accorded him. Respect that he had to fight hard to get. Respect that made him do all the things he did. Respect that mattered to him more than life or death.

***

Damn tough! But I like how it has come out!

What do you think?

And over and out. Hope it’s a great day!

070121 – Morning Pages

I talk about life at a hotel, things I want to do in life and living in Goa.

Hello hello!

Quite a few things on my mind. I will talk about each of those and this post would thus become a list of haphazard thoughts without a connecting theme or idea per se. So, will divide into sections.

Wait. Is this what Morning Pages supposed to be? This is becoming a journal and a very public one at that (which is ok, I am not worried about having my thoughts out there in the open – I like the idea of Living in Public). I need to nudge towards deep reflections, ideas, lessons et al. Not rants. Maybe in a few days I would reach there.

Anyhow. Post for the day.

So yesterday was probably the worst day of 2021 – physically, mentally, emotionally, and in every other lly that you may imagine. I had way too many carbs (I had Biryani, Rissotto, Pizza, Cookies and I don’t know what else). I had like 5 cans of Diet Coke. So much so that the gums are swollen. I spent more money yesterday than I have spent in a day in months. On a hunch, I stood on a weighing machine in a hotel room. I am disappointed that I am still 85+ KGs despite eating clean(er) for more than a month and hoping in my head that I am eating clean. Someone I trust more than my life fucked me over. For a simple thing. And they were unapologetic about it. I am running behind schedule on each project that I have undertaken. I know I lag at times, the curse of doing so many things but this time I am really behind projects. To a point that I need a month to cover the backlog! Of course, I have a lot to blame. Starting with myself. Internet second. I mean I did not even write yesterday’s morning pages as the first thing. I wrote it around 11. Then throughout the day, I had this headache that literally killed me. I wanted to kill myself. I know why patients that have terminal pain want to move on. I had to alternate between catnaps, food, and coffee to even breathe. I am ok right now. I don’t know what caused it to be honest. Plus I had a million calls on top of that that I could not avoid. And I dont really crib about health when am on work calls – so I had to fake and I tried hard. I am sure they would have seen that I was slacking. Arrrghh.

Ok. Enough.

Let’s talk of good things now. So Nikhil is here for a recce. And he invited me to stay with him and talk shop. As I write this, I am sitting at a comfortable cafe on the beachside to the following view…

So this bit is nice. I like the idea of comfortable seating while I work. And with some sort of open expanse around me. Like this one.

No, I am not helping him with his work even though I am itching to. The event is his baby and my unsolicited opinions may not be welcome. I miss the time when I would do such large events and talk to multiple people and control the show. I miss Dipanker by my side in the hotel room and on the console. I miss yelling at Paras to get his ass moving. Sigh. Kya din they. I think I may become whatever – marketer, podcaster, writer, investor, publisher – my heart would always be in an event. Or as Shikha as increasingly made me realize, on a film set. I like the organized chaos, the uncertainty, the rush. May be I need to deliver my dent in the world via other people while I am shouting orders around an event? Fuck! Writing this is making me happy and nice in the head. How would it be to actually do something like that again!

Lets see when that happens.

Come on, Universe!

In fact, I think I miss the feeling of being in hotels. Even though hotels are the most impersonal, fake, and obnoxious places in the world, I like the idea of hotels. To a point that I want to live in forever. I anyway have sort of made my mind about letting go of everything I own (including the guitar and the books – two of the most prized possessions that I have. I am still undecided about all the notes that I have made. May be I can digitize those?). I can totally live out of a suitcase for the rest of my life.

So yeah, hotels.

As I type this, the screen of my MacBook Air literally fell off on me. The machine is now almost 5 years now and I need to get a new one. The thing with Goa is that the one I want to buy (M1 Air) is not available here. Plus even if it were to buy, I want to buy it only from a Croma (I have some points that I want to use, you see). I have to get a new one. Before this one conks off on me and I am left without an option! Maybe I’ll make a trip to Mumbai? Spend 10-12K on travel to save 50K odd that I would if I bought from Croma? It’s funny the kind of decisions I am left to make 😀

Talking of decisions, I have now been in Goa for more than a month now. I need to start thinking about work and come to a decision. I have two thought starters. Here are they…

A. I need to have the capital to survive (and invest in all the ideas that I am putting money behind) till this patch is around. Can I make that from Goa? As of today, looks tough. Can I make it from Goa in the long run? Definitely yes. How do I navigate this short-term to long-term? I don’t know yet.

B. I need to make an impact at a large scale. Wherever I am in life, I don’t see that happening. I don’t know what to do about it. I know I can say that I am taking a break (induced by COVID) but then age does not take a break.

So yeah. This is more of a dialogue with self as of now. At some point, it will crystalize into something concrete. Let’s see when.

The last thing for the day.

The day before I decided that on each morning page, I would write a para from #book2. These paras may or may not make it to the final edit but I would write. But I would at least get in the habit of writing (and thus thinking – I think by writing). I haven’t been able to do so. Maybe will start from today (not right now, later in the day, can edit the post or make another one once I have delivered things that I need to work on). There’s just too much hangover of shit that happened yesterday. Hope today is better. For me. For you. For the rest of the world.

See you guys tom!

040121 – Morning Pages

A quick, dirty post for today’s morning pages. Nothing significant to offer to be honest.

6:54.

Today’s edition would be small. Probably the smallest that I have ever written. Have a few deadlines at work and I need to allocate some time to it. I am gonna end this by 715. That means just about 15 mins. And I will thus not spend the extra time in fixing the tags, meta data etc. That I can do during the day.

So while I have a lot of talk about (a lot’s on my head), with the limited time I have, lets see how much I get on paper.

If I had to use one phrase to describe how I spent yesterday, I would say, I broke all the rules that I have set for myself for 21.

For starters, on morning pages, I am not to talk about the past per se. Neither are these pages supposed to be part of a journal per se.

Then, I am late with my 2021 plans. It was supposed to happen yesterday but I could not. I was NickyM‘s maître d’hôtel for the day. Nick had some errands to run and needed someone to take the post. I did. And it was fun. It helps that his food is so good that the job is merely getting chatty with people – which I did with ease. I have learned this art of faking conversations with strangers and coming across as a “nice guy” – I mean I think they think of me as the nice guy when I speak with them. I am digressing. So I was to work on the plan for 21 but I could not. I had even decided that I will make myself the priority but I did not. I am actually glad that I did break the rule – I learned that I may like running a restaurant (to add to a million things that I already want to do in life).

Good news is that I am still eating far less than last few days. And I am eating less carbs. Except all the peanuts. I must be eating so many peanuts that the entire country would be left without any chakna with their drinks.

The last thing that I have to talk about is the house situation in Goa. I like it here so far and I can see myself living here for another couple of months, if not more. So that means I need to do two things. A, figure out the house. I can’t continue to live on Rajesh Sir’s largesse. I’d start looking out and will take a 2-month lease from maybe the 15th onwards, once the tourists are gone. May be. And B, need to figure out the Mumbai house. Do I need to stay there. Or do I need to give it up altogether. Thing is, all of it is so dependent on work, on the money. I need to probably fix that first! So that.

Ok, I have 4 more minutes to go.

Oh yeah. So I am in Mumbai in mid of Feb. When I need to attend a wedding of the other Rajesh. Fuck, I have too many similar-sounding people around me. As of today there are three Nikhil’s at the top of my head. There are two Rajeshs. No Saurabhs, which I thought was the most common name in the world. Lol.

So I think that’s that for the day.

There are more that I want to write and talk about but I will leave it for tomorrow when I am not this rushed.

Over and out.

311220 – Morning Pages

A rant to end the year. Read at peril.

9:21.

I woke up late.

I slept late.

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).

Over and out.

See you guys in 2021.

251220 – Morning Pages

There’s nothing specific that I talk about in this one. Except for ranting about a few inane things. You may skip reading this one.

7:41 AM

The promise I made yesterday? About eating better and all that? Well, here’s a report on what all I had yesterday.
A sandwich
A green salad (yay!)
4 black coffees
2 Diet Cokes
2 large servings of Hummus, one with some veggies and some roti
1 medium pizza

I guess I did ok.

BULL SHIT!

Plus, as I write this, I have this lingering headache and my body does not seem to be moving. I guess this is what a hangover feels like. No no, I haven’t had alcohol in a while, except rubbing it on my hands. But everything is sore. Am I catching colf?

So anyhow.

Continuing for the day. I want to spend today planning and plotting for 2021. I am big on these yearly plans and I spend a lot of time doing these yearly planning exercises. Here is the plan I made for 2020 (and for 2019, 2018 and 2017).

Most years I tend to make decisions on the basis of these plans. And every year since I started doing these, I have sort of failed to achieveve things that I have listed in these plans. I aim so high so high that even if I get to a fraction of a percentage of these, I am happy. This time around it would be the same. I would So that’s on agenda for the day.

Ok. What else to talk about?

I got myself a hair cut yesterday. I mean the amount of hair I have, it was more of a shave than a cut. I entered a salon after I think 10 months and I quite enjoyed the experience. Each thing reinforces that I am not meant for a life where I do things by myself. I am more of asking others to do things. Even if they are personal ones.

I can see Goa getting crowded. There was a traffic jam on the road yesterday. The kinds that you normally associate with Goa’s most populous street (Tito’s Lane). While I enjoyed the melee, I was also worried about COVID. I now have had way too many close ones that have suffered and recovered. And some haven’t. And it doesn’t seem to be going away. And it’s impacting the work I do and the money I make and how I live. I was talking to a senior from MDI yesterday and I realized that I miss all the travel that I was forced to when I ran those events. I like being in new places, seeing new things, experiencing new things. One way to think about it is that I chase the new. The other way to talk about the same thing is that I don’t want to think about things deeply and thus I continue to chase newer experiences and get buried in novelty.

Oh, the food bit I talked about? I will try to get into OMAD today. I do have a Christmas dinner that I have been invited to by Nupura and friends. I am half tempted to not go there – for some reason, not in the mood to socialize. I tried a bit of it last night and I failed miserably at it. I am inept at holding conversations with or the attention of strangers. The other half is imploring me to go meet new people. I am on the fence about it. Let’s see. I shall come back tomorrow and report.

With that, over and out.


PS: This one was a struggle to write.

PPS: While editing this, I realized that this post is so inane, so useless, so mundane, so meaningless that no one would probably want to read this. Not even the ones that I send these updates to on a daily basis.

The idea of writing this was to get into the habit of writing three pages of text first thing in the morning. This was supposed to help creativity. I am not sure if this has been of any help so far. But I do know that I am writing regularly. At least for 10-12 days now. That in itself is a big win!

What was supposed to be an unfiltered stream of thoughts has sort of become a journal where I write what comes to my head. Of course, even though this is in the public domain, I redact personally identifiable information wherever I think I need to. Apart from that, I have started to sort of “live in public”. Similar to the building in public movement, I think living in public is a good thing. It will keep me accountable and grounded.

So, I may have digressed from what JC wanted me to do. But I am not complaining. The idea is to find my own rhythm, my own style, my own way of working.

So, while I am at it, there are a few ways to go from here on.

A, I can stop sending this to people. And send only the ones where I have something significant to say.

B, Continue sending these. And expand the set of people that I send these to. People that I think care about me but I don’t get to talk on a daily basis, you know, say Vanita. I can ask those people if they would want to read a daily update from me even if they are as inane as this one. This way, I can stay in touch with people?

In fact, since I have been working on that autobiography, I am learning that what probably matters at the end of life is the relationships that you create. Everything else is a byproduct. This is a far cry from what I would think in terms of spreading impact and cheer at scale. I must say, I am not sure yet. The thesis is still nascent.

C, Or may be a weekly round-up of what I’ve done in the week? That could go to these people that care?

Also, I could make this an opt-in thing, like a newsletter. But with my experience of newsletters that get delivered on emails, hardly anyone reads those. Even if they are from Bill Gates. So, it has to be delivered over WA and that too to people that really want to read.

D, Any other ideas?

So that.

What do you think? Should I send these mundane updates to people that I think love me? Help me decide? I am a message away.

241220 – Morning Pages

Today I rant about how I am eating like a pig. I beat myself about things. And I talk about the mountains and the sea.

6:48.

Woke up after a topsy-turvy night.

Not been sleeping well cos been loading up on carbs like a bodybuilder and Coke (not even Diet anymore) like a man that’s gonna get trapped in the Sahara. And since I am mostly sitting at one place (or riding a scooty to reach these places where I camp at), I am living probably the most sedentary life that I have ever lived. And funnily, it’s in Goa, a place where I was supposed to get active. Run, jog, practise Yoga, see the sunsets, walk for hours. I am doing anything but these.

While it’s easy to pin blame on things like no access to a kitchen, no routine, lot of work, I think the real culprit is me. I am choosing spending time on a screen over spending time on my feet. I am not prioritizing myself. Need to change.

Each day when I wake up I decide that today on I will go lo-carb, if not Keto (which is impossible if you are in Goa). And then I start my day with Kurkure or any of those million snacks available so easy around me. I am a sucker for crisps. And the moment I see something that I know will let me crunch it in my mouth, I want to eat it. And then like going down a spiral, one thing leads to another, and by the time I realize what’s happening, I’ve had butter, oil, bread, potatoes, and whatnot. Oh, and coke. Not just Diet. But coke. And I get bloated.

The other thing I have taken note of is that I get bloated easily. I call it bloating. It may actually be the beer belly or a man who’s too old and eating too much. Whatever it is, it is making me fat. And sad. And slow. And tired all the time.

Need to snap out of it.

It’s clouding my head so much that all I am thinking is food and all that.

The other thing that I am thinking about a lot lately is how would life shape up going forward. Especially with work. I have thought multiple times about quitting everything I am on and taking up a naukri. Even tried hard to get one during the lockdown but could not. I took it up as a sign from the Universe and stopped pursuing it. Now, I am getting itchy all over again about it. Few triggers. The lust for an easy life to start with. Second, the ability to support my people with the money I would make (we are hoping to do PPP awards, there is another short-film opportunity that would help cement Shikha‘s place in the industry, we could do with a larger team at Podium).

Fuck just realized. Even with work, I am more inspired by what I can do for things that I work on. None of those is a chase for things that come back to me? I mean all the people do come back to me. But they can choose to not come back. I may have that voice in my head that tells me that I played a teeny weeny role in their success but that’s just me. The same voice tells me that am the coolest dude around. Am I? Of course not. Similarly, am I responsible for the success of others? No! I am merely a meel ka paththar in their journeys.

So yeah. I think I am not making myself a priority and I need to do that pronto.

Starting with food. And then with work. And then with life. And here’s a postcard to end this post. A view from where I wrote this!

The photo does not do justice to what I am seeing. And how I am feeling as I sit here. The days here are so hot and humid that I am sweating all the time when I am out. Towards the evening, the temperature falls to a point where it becomes bearable. The mornings though are crisp. Fresh. The kinds that I love. There’s a nip in the air, the kinds that would make most people crawl under their rajais. Thanks to my upbringing in Delhi, I am ok with it and don’t need anything of that sort. In fact, I enjoy colder places more.

Brings me to another point. Mountains. Sea.

I always thought I was a mountain person for a large part of my life. But lately, I am realizing that I like these beach towns more. More than nature, I think what is important to me is signs of life. Vibrance. Human ingenuity. The life in mountains is probably tougher than at anyplace else and I have immense respect for the ones that live there. But the thing is, the tough life forces the life in the mountains to be, well, uncomfortable. I mean I can’t just go sit at the edge of a cliff and kill time. On a beach, I can spread a sheet and lie down all day long. At a mountain, I need to literally hunt for places that offer food. Here on a beach, those are aplenty (in fact, way too many for my comfort). In the hills, the roads are literally non-existent and you need to find your way around. You take one wrong turn and you would not know where you ended up. At a beach, you can either go towards the water. Or away from it. There is no third direction!

Of course, at some point in time I want to climb the Mt. Everest. And I enjoy the grind and grit and perseverance and effort and mental strength that it takes to climb a hill. Last time I did it, it was with Shravan (in Feb of last year) and if not for him, I wouldn’t know how much I loved the effort. The effort to reach to the top of the hill. Stay there for like 5 mins. Soak in the view. And then climb down. And once you are safe at the bottom, celebrate that you made it without any incident.

No, that was not the first time I did it. I have done a few. But I think the thoughts from that one are so vivid because I had climbed one after ages. And I probably did not have the words earlier. I did not have the ability to spot the emotions that I was feeling. I did not know that the reward is not the summit. I did not know that it does not stop once you are up there.

Anyhow.

Enough of rants.

Time to get going and get some work done.

Over and out.

7:43 AM

211220 – Morning Pages

Morning Pages for the day. Random ramblings, to be honest. In case you want to skip!

Hello World! It took some effort to wake up today. Had to put a hundred alarms and keep hitting on snooze. Need to stop having all the coffee. To be honest, I can. Just that I don’t know what to sip onto when I am whiling away time at cafes to work. Like I said yesterday, I cant work from home and thus I need this feeling of downing something all the time. So, if not coffee, what? Green Tea makes me pukish! Diet Coke? This is becoming an existential question now.

Anyhow, so the brain has started to get back on track. In the sense that wherever I go, I try and sniff some opportunity. Not that I have been able to capitalize on those in the last so many years but I liked the idea of being able to think in terms of numbers, action points, and all that.

The other thing that I must say is that this is after ages where I am putting myself in uncomfortable situations. I am walking up to strangers and chatting them up. I can see from their faces that they think I am a fool. I can hear the subtext in the conversation that they want me to get out of their face asap. I know from their body language that they want to escape. And most times, they do. This is the first time probably where I am trying to sell something that people don’t want. Wait, I am not selling anything per se. I am merely talking to them about their lives. And that itself is deeply unsettling for them. And more so to me as someone that’s instigating them! Oh, damn, the that and the who.

I don’t enjoy these conversations myself but this is probably the only thing I’d get to learn while I am here. Each conversation makes me aware of the limitations that I have when I speak with people (you know, fidget, speak fast, interrupt often, jump from topic to topic, merely scratch the surface, etc). And with each conversation, I try to be mindful and improve how I am doing. So far I haven’t had great success. But I am hoping that there would be some impact somewhere howsoever little it is. If you read this and you and I talk, lemme know if you think am getting any better.

So that.

What next?

Thinking…

Damn this is hard.

Is this what Julia meant when she said morning pages are hard?

Grrr…

So, I tried to digress by checking on some messages, tweets, and all that. Lately, I have started to use FB a bit (to try and connect with people in Goa). I find it far better than Twitter on Insta. In fact, I need to rethink how I live on social media. For all the fuckeries that it piles on you (with all the random ads, FOMO inducing pictures from friends, triggering your insecurities when you see others doing well etc etc), it works for sure. I was able to connect with 3-4 people, thanks to just one post. Maybe I need to get active on FB again?

I do have a philosophical issue here with the concerns around privacy and how FB as a Big Brother bullies smaller businesses into spending more. But then, free market. No?

Also, while writing this bit about FB, I realised how little I know about these concerns. I dont even know what’s wrong with FB. I know that they suck at preventing spread of misinformation or hatred and all that. They are said to side with bullies (Redhat Jr, Kisan Ekta Morcha etc). They are now a giant corporation that kills other businesses with monopolistic behaviour. But do I know the details? No. Do I really know what is the real issue? What is at the core of this? No.

I conveniently trust and follow the opinions of a handful of people (I shall not name those here on the public post) that I *know* for a fact know more about these issues. These people are passionate about causes and things. And they spend all their time chasing things that they are passionate about. And they are not “selling” what they know. There is no vested interest. Say films. I know Shikha will die but not stop reading, talking, researching about films. So I trust her opinion.

Books? Prak would not stop.

Business? Ajeet Sir will have the most informed view.

Loyalty points? Sujoy.

Growth? Annkur.

Tech in general? Kunal.

Career? Anubhab.

Digital Media? Mihir.

Goa? Nupura.

Life advise? Vanita.

Commonsense? AD.

Scrimping money? Vivek.

Showing reality when I am flying high? Sonali.

The list can go on. I am lucky to have so many people give me so much attention and mindspace. And thus, I have people for each thing that I may want to know about. And they are honest and upfront. The value they give me is the reward they expect when they talk to me. I am lucky to have people like that around me!

So, when I am stuck, I just ask these people about the issue and they come back to me with actionable and decision-makable inputs. So I have sort of outsourced my research and thinking.

To me, that works. At least, so far, it has. I am not sure if I want to change it as I go along.

Or may be this is what is stopping me from getting to greatness? May be.

Something to think on. No?

191220 – Morning Pages

Morning Pages for 191220. I talk about, well, Morning Pages. And how life is shaping up in Goa.

Hello, Morning Pages! Ssup!

I woke up with my head full of vague dreams about the person whose book am editing. I am that obsessed about it! Which is a good thing and a bad thing.

Staying with things, the thing with these morning pages is that this is becoming a journal, a blog of sorts. And if this is to become a blog, I already have one that I have been writing for so many years. Why would I want to have a blog at two places? And the echochamber that I have on Roam? And those notes I make

Anyhow. So morning pages. Today is the 9th day. And so far so good. In fact, I look forward to writing these. So much so that I am ok to not shower, not meditate, not work to make time for these. Yesterday I was really crunched for time and yet I ensured that I write something. I did not call Monu but I took the time to write about him. I am missing work deadlines because I want to write these. I am missing appointments cos I want to write this. HH is waiting for me and I am yet to even move my butt as I write these!

I think this is a good habit. It cleans the muck in your head. And for someone like who’s get a sewer line running, I need this!

So life in Goa seems to be finding normalcy. I have stopped being a tourist. I must write an ultimate guide for remote working in Goa. I have this co-working space that I go to around 930. Stay there till 6ish. And then come back. I will implement maker / manager as soon as I can.

There are some gaps that I need to find though. Here is a list.

A. Clay does not get a signal on the phone and I don’t know what to do about it. I can’t take calls and even if I have to take internet calls, I need to step out.

B. I like to work late in the night. And I need to thus find a place that I can sit at and work after I am back from coworking.

C. I also need to find time to adjust some sort of fitness regimen in somewhere. I had hoped and planned to run around but I think that’s not going to happen. I cant do it in the morning for sure. Evenings are unpredictable. During the day, with all the heat and humidity, its impossible.

D. I don’t know what to do about food. I am getting unhealthier and fatter by eating all the temporary shite.

E. I am spending a lot of money, to be honest on the co-working spaces and food and coffee and whatnot. Even though a lot of its being offset, thanks to Rajesh Sir’s house, it’s still a lot. I need to find a revenue source. Or maybe find a house that I design like an office and that allows me to work! May be in the new year. Let’s see.

F. I am not waking up early. In Mumbai, I was up by 6 AM and by 7 I was itching to go to a Starbucks! Here, I am in the bed till late. I need to change that. Lemme get some alarms ;P

So yeah, that’s about it for the time being. I know its not much. But that’s cool.

See you guys tomorrow.

Day 5. 151220

Day 5 of Morning Pages. In this one I talk about it’s started to become a habit and how I was looking forward to write when I woke up.

I did something different today. When I woke up, I did not directly start thinking about the morning pages. But got to work and finished some tasks that have been pending since yesterday. I normally do not leave tasks open but since I do not have internet here, it becomes tough to get things done. And no, things I do can not be done without the internet. The only way I have is to use a connection tethered to the phone. And that too is a pain!

As a result, I am missing out on deadlines, productivity is getting hit like mad and I am in general listless. Yeah yeah. I am that attached to the Internet.

Plus since I don’t have the phone in general either (again, the signals are shit), I cant do a lot of other work that can be done on just the phone

So that.

Sounds like a rant but more of a frustrated comment than anything else.

Coming to the morning pages. Today is day 5 and a funny thing happened. While I was on the bed, drifting towards sleep, I realized that I was thinking about what would I write in the pages when I wake up. I was actually excited about this! Wow! Maybe it’s the excitement of a new project, may be its my way of getting to talk about personal things to someone (something), or may be it’s just that love of seeing my fingers dance on the keyboard! Whatever it is, as a writer, it is good for me! Yay!

The thing that I am worried about though is that these morning pages do not become a blog. In fact, as I write this, I no longer know what is my blog (that I have been religiously writing since 2004) or what is a journal (that I have written intermittently over the years), what is my website (again that has more text than anything else) or what is my public portfolio. Lately, as I have started to interact with more people that are not from a similar background as me, I have come to realize that it’s super tough for me to describe who I am and what I do. Harshit does it really well when he says he’s the happiest man ever. His thoughts have become his identity. Shikha does it well when she says that she’s a filmmaker and runs a film community. Her ambition and her work has become her identity. Sonali may say that she’s an aspiring artist. Her aspiration is her identity. Nupura says she’s an ex-event manager hoping to get active in the cultural space. Her work is her identity. Rajat says he’s a storyteller and wants to be happy. His thoughts are his identity. Heck, Jason Statham says that he’s a transporter. Wow to that!

Coming to self, in my case, I don’t know what is my identity.

Thing is, I don’t have a singular thing that I do. I don’t have a singular ambition. I am motivated to make the world a better place. And make an impact. And live in abundance. I don’t know if any of these could be my identity. Or a conversation starter. Or something that allows others to place me. Slot me.

I am unable to find one thread that binds them all.

Am I a storyteller? Isn’t storytelling an oft-abused word now? They say there are as many stories as there are people. Am I a people-connector? Do I represent an opportunity? Am I someone that gets things done? Do I inspire? Do I make others entrepreneurs? Some people have called me a life coach (I know life coaching works and I’ve friends that are life coaches but I hate this term). Do I teach others how to live better? Wait. Do I live well myself? Lol!

Funny that this note has become a dialogue with self. Funnier that am ok to put these rants on paper and share with the world. Well, not share per se. But talk about these on the public domain.

Coming back. Morning pages. I like them so far. My identity. I don’t have an answer but I would love to find it. My writing. I know I need to get more active with the output. Book 2 is stuck for I don’t know why or how. I can’t write short stories for life. I have been thinking about writing stories of interesting people that are settled in Goa. Thanks to Nupura and Nikhil, have bumped into numerous interesting people already/. Maybe need to act on it.

Let’s see when. Right now, there’s a lot that needs to be done on the book am editing and the consulting gig that I am on. If I only had a stable internet connection, I would have pulled off things easy. Ok, back to ranting. I promised Vivek and Vanita that I would not. I think I am not. I am merely expressing shit in my head ;P

Ya right!

So yeah that’s that.

Over and out for the day. See you guys tomorrow.

Day 3. 13 Dec 2020.

Third day of writing Morning Pages. Not happy with the output and thus not sure if I want anyone to read this.

The third day of doing morning pages. The third day of not knowing what to write but dumping my thoughts. Lemme try and write about yesterday. So it was going to be a day of break where I do not work and just meet others. I had lined up a few meetings with some new people. It started fine with me reading Julia’s book a bit. A friend was to come pick me up but she got stuck and I was left without a ride. Or a plan. Then she arranged for someone else to pick me. But that car broke as well! Beat it!

Had to help fix these two cars. Which is ok.
Had to cancel the meetings. Which is not ok.

Was so fried with the day that I just went back and slept and canceled on dinner plans with some people.

What I did do, while I was helping to fix these cars, is to realize that life in Goa is not the kind that you imagine from books and films and all. You expect an idyllic house with lakes and trees and a gentle breeze and all that. But the actual houses are literally teeming with wildlife and in per square inch of space, there are more insects and crawlers than you have hair in the densest part of your brain. Another friend had told me about this but I had discarded that when I first heard. I thought he was exaggerating. But when I saw it in real life, I knew he wasn’t. May be I am not made for retiring in such semi-commercial places?

Anyhow retirement is like 100 years away. Let’s see where I end up when that happens.

In terms of work, of course, I did not do anything because I was not supposed to work. And that is the second thing that is clouding my head. I need to see action. I need to things moving. I need to see progress. And since I did not work, I do not have that.

The other thing that I realized is that I am dependant on my laptop to get things done. Or even to give myself even a notion that I have worked. The day I don’t spend time on my laptop, I feel I have wasted that day. Of course, I may not have. But the notion needs to change! I need to break from that habit and get more involved with mobile devices.


So this is what Julia means when she says that your morning pages would resemble shit! I mean I was glancing through this and I realized that most things I’ve written here are useless and I can not see how these would aid my creativity. However, like all new endeavors, I am willing to carry on and let’s see where it goes.

Today was day 3. Will do 30 at least and see where I end up. Just that this is becoming a journal and while journals help people get back their sanity, not sure if this is for me.