231021 – Morning Pages

A longish post about random things, thoughts and ideas that I had yesterday. And some plans for the day.

6:35. Just woke up. Slept really late. The last few days have been a blur. I am not sure when a day would start. And when that day would end. While I enjoy such a life, the rewards that I seek for such a life are not really there. If I could fix the reward bit, I would be a changed man. Right now I am groggy. I am literally yawning like no one’s business. And there are so many sore spots on the body. No, it was not a restful sleep.

So, the morning pages. I have some lingering thoughts about a dream. In the dream, I am on top of some hoverboard or something and that’s going so damn high that I can see the entire world. The hoverboard is tethered to an aircraft. Along with me, on his own hoverboard is VG. And while he’s there, he’s on the phone. Where else.

I think this is after a while that I have remembered a dream. Not sure if this is a good thing or a bad.

Yesterday was otherwise ok. Did some work. Avoided some work. Got some praises. Got some brickbats. Made a few tough phone calls (have even tougher calls to make today). Had decided that I would fast. Could fast till about 4. And then ate so much that an average human being would eat in like a week! Had infinite cups of coffee. That is probably acting up and making me feel so blah about myself.

But hey, here’s the thing. I’ve been at this and the email to Team SG since 6:35. It’s 7:15. The last 45 minutes have actually made me happy, cheerful, and all that. Just because I am typing and letting things that are clouding my head on a computer. And sharing with a few people that I genuinely care for. And want to be cared by.

And while I am doing that, I am sipping onto the water. I’ve had almost one liter of water. Will have another liter. Oh, lemme talk of another thing that may construe as TMI. I am done with an electric toothbrush. For the last two days, I have been using a good old hotel toothbrush. The kinds that you dispose of away after you are done. I have been giving my teeth a vigorous rub down. And while I am not sure if it cleans anything but I love the experience. Something that I did not get with an electric one. So that was the big reveal of the day 😀

In other things, I have to write about the filmy day I had yesterday. Made me realize how important films are as medium and how much I long to be a part of the business.

So three things happened.

A. I saw the second trailer of King Richard (2021). The first one is here and the new one here.

And I realized how powerful stories could be. I mean just the trailer moved me the first time I saw it. And now, with the second one, I know that I relate to that father to a T. The film, the story made the life purpose clear to me. I made me realize that I want to be King Richard! You know, the kinds that help create a Serena and a Venus! And more. I really want to be the shoulder to multiple giants. All those random acts of kindness that I engage in, all the artists that I try and support, the Team SG itself is an attempt in that direction. Let’s see if I can do it.

You may want to see this thread on Twitter.

B. While looking for a reference for work, I happened to look at the trailer of Love Actually and I realized I want to make a film like that. Where simple stories of love are brought to life. Of course, there is Modern Love and all that. But Love Actually is a brilliant example of hyperlink cinema and I think it is among the greatest films ever. I’d love to make a film like Love Actually.

Here’s a random trivia. Love Actually is by Richard Curtis. Who also wrote Notting Hill. And I quoted Richard Curtis in a line in the acknowledgments section of #tnks.

Here’s an idea. What if I make a film about love? Maybe about a person trying to find love? I remember I was at DocEdge a few months ago a lady was filming her experiences of how she’s going about finding love. It was a non-fiction documentary and I think there is merit in doing something similar. But then, do I want to copy? Nah. Let’s see what cut can I identify.

C. One of the crew members on Bil Bulaaye reminded me that around this time in 2019, my first short film was released at MAMI. It was among the highlights of 2019. It allowed me to amplify what I do with films. Of course, I have a very little hand to play in its success (or not such a large success), but it is my first. And it’s special.

And here’s a bonus 4th. I read about the story of Rockstar (2011) and I loved it. WHAT AN INTENSE STORY! Of course, the word is on the street that it’s a shitty film but I loved the story. Must must must get in the business of stories, Mr. Garg. #note2self.

So yeah!

Guess this is about it. Here’s the journal.

  1. Emoticon: :|. I woke up groggy and sad and miffed. But as I wrote the morning pages and daily mail to Team SG, I am little more cheerful.
  2. Mindful Index (on a scale of 10): 0. Super duper distracted.
  3. Things that I am grateful for
    1. I have found a set of people (Team SG) that I can rant to. While there is no commercial transaction per se for being that, I love that I have a few people that I can be myself with.
  4. Things that would make my today greatJust one thing.
    1. If I can salvage a tough client situation that I am in, it would be great. In fact that would make this entire week, entire month great.
  5. A daily affirmation.
    My happiness and sadness is controlled by no one but me. I need to become un-fuck-withable.
  6. Amazing things that happened yesterday? 
    1. I had decided that I woudl fast. I could control myself till about 4. It was amazing. Need to try and see if I can try to not eat till 4 today as well.
    2. I gave gyaan about EBC to a senior from MDI (Visham). I loved it! That was great.
    3. I loved that there was a car at my call to drop me to the hotel. I realized that I love having such conveniences.
  7. What could have made yesterday better?
    1. Work. I am missing deadlines on various projects. I need to find a way to not do that. I know I am juggling multiple things. But there has to be a way to manage things better. Maybe not sleep enough. Maybe start the day early. I dont know. I need to find a solution. The life I have chosen will make me chase every opportunty I get. Maybe there is an answer somewhere?
    2. If I could speak to AS, it would have been great. She and I have been trying to talk for almost a week now.
  8. Quote for the day
    You are what you do. Not what you say you’ll do. This is very very important to me. I am often on the side of merely saying. I need to tick over to the do part.

This is about it for the day. And here’s the streaks…

  • OMAD – 0
  • #book2 – 0
  • NOFAP – 0
  • #noCoke – 0. Had one. Regular. Not Diet. Killing myself softly 😀
  • #noCoffee – 0
  • #aPicADay – 15. Yesterday’s here.
  • Daily Journal – 16
  • Money spent – 2512. Thankfully I am spending less!
  • Killer Boogie – 0
  • 10K steps a day – 0
  • Surya Namaskar – 0
  • Daily Mail to #teamSG – 16
  • 10 mins of meditation – 0
  • Minimaslism Counter – -3 +1.
  • Morning Pages / Meditations – 16

An Ode to She – Elvis Costello

An ode to one of the best pieces of music ever created and ever featured in a film! From the lens of a hopeless romantic that refuses to lose hope!

So in the morning yesterday a few days ago, a friend sent me this Instagram reel. I saw it, with audio. And my jaw dropped to the floor.

Someone has taken the track that I love like mad and put it on a happy scene of a woman running in a tight alley. The camera is close on her tail, she’s consumed by her happiness and everyone in the scene is sort of coming together to make her experience even more beautiful! You know, the shared celebrations that the primal us want?

This has to be one of the most beautiful portraits of a woman I’ve ever seen.
Ever.
In my life.

Please please please please see it.
It’s at instagram.com/p/CQJzn9nn_rI.
It’s a pity I can’t seem to embed it.

Ok. Deep breath.

So, She.
Here.
Listen to it, if you want to.

She, from Notting Hill

Lemme talk about it.

My memory fails me but I think I first saw heard experienced this track when I saw Notting Hill all those years ago. I dont recall when was this, to be honest, but I must’ve been very very young. However, I remember that I definitely lived in a lower-middle-class part of Delhi. English was a language of the elites and thus aspirational. English was still making inroads into daily parlance. It was considered cool to listen to English music. The only music to trickle to my remote corner of Delhi was the pop chartbusters like Backstreet Boys, Bryan Adams, and others. No, the rock music scene around me was limited to one or two sightings of a Bon Jovi fan. And in rarest of the rare cases, Sweet Child O Mine by Guns N’ Roses.

So, back then, being able to namedrop an English track immediately elevated your status. It was a sure-shot way to become an anomaly in the group of kids that were otherwise stuck on Super Commando Dhruv and Lucky Ali and all that. You were perceived as cool. You’d get more “followers” to flock at you. You’d become that alpha that every kid at that age aspires to be. All this, without trying if you could blabber names of some English songs.

This is when I probably first heard music from Notting Hill. It would have been a pirated version of the film (with subtitles downloaded separately), this was well before the unlimited Jio’d Internet days.

Oh, those days. I remember I got my first computer in 1999 something and we would have dial-up connections and floppy disks and pen-drives with less than 1 MB of capacity. So watching films meant firing up Windows Media Player. Even Winamp! Films were still in CDs that you could rent from various holes in the walls. Often the print was grainy and often the film would get stuck, you know, scratches on the disks. Damn, those days. Of anticipation. Of hope. Of pain. Of wait.

Ok. I digressed. Coming back.

So I would have seen this film on a computer screen. Sometime around 2003 when I was finishing college and preparing for CAT (and thus trying to deck up on English). It’s been almost 2 decades since I’ve remained hooked to the film!

I would’ve seen this film at least a hundred times, if not more. I have literally rattofied the film. I remember the dialogues and scenes and expressions and costumes and the props that you place next to the actors in those complicated set scenes and everything else about the film.

Thing is, back then, when I first saw this film (and heard music from this film), I would have ignored “She” for sure. For it competed with the more famous “When you say nothing at all” by Ronan Keating / Boyzone. It was the track that each “just a girl” that stood in front of a boy asking him to love her would have heard on loop. And imagined a love as warm, as goofy, and as (im)perfect as that of Anna and Will.

Heck, I have pictured myself in that garden, on the June and Joseph bench, under the trees, on a clear, moonless, starry night. I continue to do so to date. Before I die I want to be in that setting. With the love of my life.

Ok. Digressed again.

So coming back. Fast forward a few years.

To this day and age.

With time, I have traveled a bit, seen a bit of life, and probably evolved a bit. I’ve seen Notting Hill again. With fresher eyes and a deeper understanding of the idea of love, friendship, and relationships. And it is one of these recent viewings that I started to appreciate “She” a lot more.

I now understand the contrasts that Costello talks about. I can now decipher the abstraction of shades from the extremes. You know, pleasure or regret, heaven or hell, famine or feast, and many more.

I now know that “She” is about her. The woman that’s rarer than you. The one that makes you feel alive. The one that makes you want to survive. The one you can stay #foreverAlone for, for decades. The one that’s probably the love that you cannot hope to last! And among other things, the one that you will kill (or die) to see the smile on the face of.

In case you missed, I lifted parts of the lyrics to write the parts above.

The thing is, while the track by itself is brilliant, the way it’s been used in Notting Hill makes it 100x better. The song appears right at the end of the film.

This is when Anna and Will have had their ups and downs and right before the all is lost moment.

In there, Will asks Anna a fairly complex, funny, and irreverant question. It is loaded with their inside joke. No one but the two of them can make sense of it.

Will has used way too many words, in a room full of people that use words to make their living. While the meaning was seemingly lost on most of those there, Will’s lavish use of words did exactly what he wanted to! Communicate love.

Anna has a measured response to Will’s question. She is guarded. Probably hoping against hope that things will turn in their favour.

This is when another journalist asks a simple, innocuous, harmless question – “Anna, How long do you plan to stay back in England?”

She replies with one word. “Indefinitely.”

If she had use even one more word at that time, it would have killed the entire film. To a point that you’d not want to even see the fim.

This is the instant when they play “She”.

And it starts the recap of the Will and Anna story. And probably the best 3-minutes of cinema ever shot!

In the entire scene, none of the actors speak a single line. Anna is merely smiling, with a twinkle in her eyes and that unmistakable mole on her lips. Will is merely gawking at her beauty. In a room full of strangers, and the ones that have a keen eye, the two lovers speak to each other and pass on more words than the longest of love letters have ever done!

This is when I start pining for love like that.
A “She” like that.
And wants me to be worthy of “She” like that.

Here it is. All over again. Do see it.

She, Elvis Costello. From Notting Hill.

Oh, and if you are curious, I’ve been with some really remarkable women over the years. It has to be me that was unable to keep their attention and interest. Of course, I remain hopeful. For a “She”.

Thanks for reading and indulging!