200121 – Morning Pages

One of those days when I have nothing special to report. Read. Or skip.

6:36 AM

A funny thing happened. I woke up without an alarm, even though I slept late and I think I slept well, even though I have a lot on my mind. Don’t know if this is a good thing or a bad thing. May be I am getting used to the idea of waking up around 6? After all, I have been consistent with it last two days. Lol. Consistent. 2 days.

Anyhow, so yesterday I got myself a new laptop (I had ordered it last week and took some 10 days to get delivered). It’s the new Apple M1 Air, which, if experts are to be believed, is the best damn laptop that Apple has made in years.

Got something this expensive after I think 4 or 5 years or so (and this too from the points that I have accumulated. I am in no place to make capital expenses). However, surprisingly, I am not excited about it at all. The older me loved gadgets like I love life. I’d fiddle with gadgets for hours, read up, do some geeky things. I would configure things, try to optimize things and I don’t know what all but no, not with this one. After I logged into the Apple account, I haven’t even touched it. I am still on the old Air and typing away to glory.

I think I am getting close to being a robot.

A good thing and a bad thing. I am so detached from it that I did not even carry the box along with me (if you know Apple fans, they like to retain boxes, covers, stickers, packaging material and don’t know what all).

So yeah.

The other interesting thing that happened yesterday was that I worked out of this new place called The Design Centre at Porvorim (they don’t have a website – this page is closest that it comes to seeing information about them). I think byfar they have the best Internet connection among all the places I have been to. Maybe because they run an architectural firm from there? I should totally go there more often. Just that they do not have an AC.

In fact, it’s lovely in terms of where it is. In the middle of nowhere, surrounded by trees and vegetation and nature. I am not sure if I will be inspired more to work but the location is definitely inspiring. That’s the thing. Every place I goto in Goa, because it is Goa, it is done really nicely. Here are a couple of photos (very badly composed / shot etc)…

Of course, Indian Cricket Tam won at the Gabba after some 30 years. No, I don’t follow cricket anymore and I am not qualified to talk about. But I will talk about two things here.

A, I love the idea of brilliance that professional sports bring out. In fact I’ve always wanted to use a competitive game, a sport as a hiring tool. It shows character like nothing else. You get to know who’s a sore winner, a graceful loser, a person that tries hard, a player that plays for the team (and not for self), the one that doesn’t give up.

B, I am waiting for all the brilliant stories, op-eds, write-ups, and other such things that will come out in the next few days about the grit and the determination and teams. It is inspiring to read about people that work hard and do great things. And even more inspiring to read from writers that can capture the stories so well! Each piece makes me aware of my limitations – as a person and as a writer. And each time I reminded, I am inspired! To do more. To become better. To write better. To leave everyone around me better. If you are reading this, do point me to some interesting pieces I can read about. Here’s one such piece from the IPL that I LOVED about Rahul Tewatia.

Ok. So other things that I am thinking about?

Yeah. Societal appreciation of what you’ve done!

People don’t care what you’ve done (most people don’t go deep into what you’ve done, or how you’ve done). The only thing they care about is if you’ve done something. Certificates, tags, recommendations work. No one cares about the process. Remember the difference between a writer and a blogger? That! It is getting reinforced.

I’ve never craved for it to be honest but I do like the idea of getting doors to open for me when I am trying things. I have figured a way to do it. And I have done that for a lot of people now. But when it comes to myself, I haven’t been able to. I now

I also realized my limitation with making new friends / connections. I realized that I need a few conversations to get started with people. And once that happens I am ok. People generally like me. I generally like people. That works out well. But the trouble is, I am super awkward when it comes to social constructs – you know, at parties, at events, at public gatherings. I am so old that I am literally dead but I am unable to find a way to break through it! And unless I find a way out of this, I will probably remain a blogger and will never be a writer!

Guess that’s it. Nothing else to report. Ennui has set in. I am still not using Roam, Asana, and other such tools. Been away from them since I came to Goa – I think not having reliable internet is to blame. I’ve been talking to people and the only solution is to get two leased lines at the place you live. The one I am at right now is temporary. Come February, I will decide. Another 10 or so days to go. Let’s see. I am leaning towards a permanent move to Goa. Let’s see how it goes.

That’s it.

On to #freewriting for #book2. It’s 7:39. Will write till 8. Or so.

“When is enough enough?” Siddh Paul flung a question.

In attendance were the current group of 8 pupils. Each year, Siddh would identify 8 men to add to the ever-expanding family. Always family. Always 8. Always men. No backup. No exceptions. He couldn’t make exceptions even if he wanted to. It was coded in their book. The book was the last word on everything you ever did. The book said each year 8 new members had to be identified and then trained and then made to take the oath of allegiance to the family. No, the family did not believe in the bonds of the blood.

Ok, not happening. 7:57. Lemme change track and give another 15 mins. Till 8:15. Leaving the para above to demonstrate the struggle 😉

Attempt 2 at #freewriting.

The father-son duo were a force to reckon with. The two of them commanded respect and reverence. From all corners of the tiny state they called home.

Siddh for his discourses about religion, his openness to embrace and understand both Hinduism and Christianity. For his acceptance of others that did not see the world from his lens. For his neverending well of compassion and kindness that he continued to pour out from. For his indifference towards the ones that touted him as a farce, a fraud. For the righteousness that was unexpected from someone like him. Someone that comes from the lineage, affluence, and old money. And for his detachment to the very things that make humans, human. Including his family and his only son, Ankit.

Ankit, for his ruthlessness with business, the stronghold he had with the politicians and local panchayat members across the state. For all the Goans he had given employment to in his various businesses, many that no one but Ankit only knew about. Some journalists estimated that he had more than 2000 people working for him. Most of these were insignificant. Mere hands that Ankit used to get things done. Easily replaceable, dispensable, and made redundant. What these journalists couldn’t see was that he also had scores of people of power that ran the complex web that Ankit ran.

***

Ok, I like this one! Yay!

With this, over and out. See you guys later.

190121 – Morning Pages

The day when I actually had work, the Internet decides to act up, even at the most expensive co-working space in Goa. Here’s my cry for help!

5:42

I’ve been up for a while. I didn’t sleep ok, to be honest. That’s why I am up and about. For a change, I am stressed. And no, it’s not induced by anything that gives stress to people (money, relationships, etc). I am stressed cos I don’t have internet and for a change, I have a lot to do. I mean this is regular work (promise I have not started anything new or picked up any new projects; if only I have reduced the number of things I am doing). The fucking Internet is being a bitch. I can change my life and stay up all night and work (when thankfully the net works a tad better) but most of my works is coordinating with other people and I am at the mercy of others. I’ve tried most things I can. Sit on the balcony of the house, perch from the rooftop, sit at cafes all day long (and sip onto expensive bad coffee), given a kidney to fancy co-working spaces that are as expensive as WeWork in Andheri is. And yet I can’t seem to get reliable Internet.

So that.

In fact, last night, around 9, I felt exhausted after a while. I realized why people in consulting kind of gigs become alcoholic. It’s impossible to talk to so many people and make them understand such trivial things that you’d assume as commonsense.

Ok, this sounds like a rant.

Lemme change tone.

So, I worked so hard yesterday that I was exhausted. Most of the work I did was thinking and moving around objects on a PowerPoint and on Excel sheets. But it was tiring. It’s all the thinking that tired me out. For a change, I felt as if I have earned my bread. Lol. Earned my bread.

I have to be honest that yesterday I was so frustrated that I couldn’t even log in to a website. I had to download a 30 MB file and it took me an hour. No kidding. And all this when I was at an expensive co-working space. I was so mindfucked that I thought I would go back to Mumbai. Last night itself. But the Internet continued to give me trouble, I couldn’t even log in to a website. Even though I was a pricey co-working space. So much so that I thought I will go back to Mumbai. Anyhow, sense prevailed. But the decision is clear. If you have to live in Goa, you need to get used to the bad internet. There is no way around that. Unless you live in “cities” like Mapusa, Margaon, Porvorim, Panjim etc. But that’s not Goa. No?

Wonder how do all the other film companies, tech companies, SM companies operate? They need Internet like we need air!

No, the phone does not work either. Power cuts are frequent but that you can manage. For someone that wants to be so hyper-connected, I need to find a solution if I have to live here long-term. So that.

Ok. Enough. Moving on. I think the exhaustion was not from work but from the non-availability of the Internet!

The good part about yesterday is that I could manage OMAD. I actually did almost 28 hours. I could’ve one a couple more for sure. Rege would be proud of me. Of course, I ate fried rice and roti and aaloo and Kurkure and Lays and Diet Coke and all that but that’s ok. I deserved it. No, I did not walk as much yesterday. I told ya, bad day with work. I’ll see if I can do another 24 hours today. That means I will eat at around 10. As I write this, it’s 5:30 and I am already hungry 😀

In other news, the ankles still hurt from all the walking that happened the day before. I think I need to wear shoes when I go on these long walks. I guess the flip-flops from Decathlon are not meant for long-term use. Let’s see when I walk next. I am thinking, tomorrow evening from 5 to 8 or something.

I think this is all I have for the day. I do have a long one today with back to back calls (again) and then a site recee at a forest-resort. So no time to complain.

Oh yes. I know what to talk about. When I was moving here, I had a list of people that I wanted to meet. Funnily off that list, I have yet to meet anyone, save Rajat Sir. And no, I have not been tardy with follow-ups or something but just that everyone is so busy and no one wants to travel around Goa much. Or may be it’s me? If I were SRK and I asked people to meet me, would they not take out time? Would they not travel? Hmmm…

PS: No, I am not sore about it. I understand that people have priorities. In fact, I expect nothing from others. Just that I get fuel for my fire when I get to talk to inspiring people. And I need that constantly 🙂

Ok, enough. Over and out.

Time for #freewriting on #book2

“I wonder why would they make them forts in the first place? And that too on the top of a cliff. Who’s climbing up a rock to come attack you? And if it’s a mere watch-point to see if someone’s paying you a visit or planning an attack, all you need is a light-house or something. Why a damn fort that goes around ‘1988 meters’ around the hill as the board claims”, she spoke while reading the tourist information board outside Fort Aguada.

“I am not the Prince of Portugal or whoever made this fort. How would I know?”, he was both irked and amused. It was her idea to do the touristy thing and he did not want to say no to any opportunity to hang out with her. Was it her perfume? Or the easy going manner in which she went around? He couldn’t pin point.

“Chintan! Come on! It was a genuine question”, Rujuta looked at him.

“I know, I know. I also do not know genuinely who or why”, Chintan looked into Rujuta’s eyes.

This was the first time since Prakash died over 5 years ago that Rujuta had let her guard down to spend time with another man. If Tarana heard about Rujuta finding comfort in the company of Chintan, she would probably run to the printing press to get the Shaadi cards printed! Unlike other 70-something-year olds, Tarana was the one egging Rujuta to go sleep with whoever. She couldn’t see her daughter go from a happy-go-lucky, living-in-the-moment, hedonist young girl into a middle-aged woman that found no joy in nothing she ever did. They often argued about it and both of them were head-strong enough to not let the other dominate. But with Chintan, it may change.

Rujuta looked back at him with the swag of the Rujuta when she first met Prakash. The stare lingered on for a moment tad more than what’s between two good friends. She knew she was inviting trouble. Chintan was still a married man, even if he was separated and he carried way too much baggage about proving to his wife that he amounted to something. Things that Rujuta could fix easily. She knew what men were made of.

Chintan was not sure where this was headed. He was used to getting easy attention from the fairer gender and he knew that he knew the art of charm. People like that are dangerous. The ones that are good and they know that they are good. To Chintan, Rujuta felt special. She was unlike other women and definitely unlike his wife, “that bitch”, he muttered. Even the fleeting thought about the wife made him sore.

Their who-blinks-first bout was broken by a photographer who had walked up to them and said, “Sir, how about a picture of madam holding onto the sun in her hands.” He pushed an instant photo into Chintan’s face.

Rujuta played along and feigned excitement, “Wow, that would be so nice. Can I hold it over my head also?” She cupped her hands and held them over her head.

The photographer knew he has made a killing and he can sell them at-least 5 prints in 5 poses. Little did he know who Rujuta was and what her body of work with photography stood for. Especially since Prakash died, Rujuta had taken her work up by several notches and now was one of the most sought-after photojournalists in the world!

***

Fuck an idea. How about teach all these photographers the wonders of Instagram and get them more work? Worth thinking about. #parkedIdea. Will revisist someday.

For the time being, over and out.