240421 – Meditations

Dump of things clouding my head. I talk about shopping, my inability to be of help during the pandemic and some work shite.

8:00 AM.
I woke up 10 minutes ago. Blame it on the fact that I was up till about 3 last night. Working. What else will be I doing at that hour on a Friday? To be honest, this week was bad. I slacked badly. I did not walk as much. I ate so much crap that it’s not funny. I spent way too much time watching restoration videos on Youtube. That’s the new thing that I am hooked onto. Imagine people breaking things apart and then cleaning, fixing those, and making a video about that experience. Wow. Apparently, there are millions of people who like seeing such things. I am not alone!

Anyhow.

Today is an important day. We have the third edition of Spotlight, a meetup between young founders and experienced ones. The idea is to create a 1-v-1 forum where answers are sought and given. This is one of the largest impact pillars of my work at Podium. I want to scale it to a point that anyone wanting answers to their start-up or funding questions, we should be their first port of call.

We are yet to reach any sort of scale with it but let’s see when we do. Right now, each edition is a stepping stone. Each edition is a learning opportunity.

I hope I can scale it well to a point that it becomes an impactful forum.

No, this is not different from millions of such forums out there and is a me-too idea. But then each me-too idea has the potential to reach people that others have not. The intent is any way to not make money with this, it will happen if I continue to work on the right thing in the right manner.

In the routine boring things of the day section, today is grocery shopping day. This means a visit to the local Star Bazar. Thing is, I am trying to eat clean (not that it has shown any impact on my belly so far). This further means that I need to stock up on supplies. Plus, I secretly enjoy supermarkets. I like to see what is available. I like to see what people like to buy. I like to think of all the fancy things that sort of tempt people with packaging and communication. I think if you want to feed your curiosity, a large set of inputs will come from these places!

I just hope its not crowded. You know, Saturday and all.

In the baring the soul and admitting defeat section, I must report that I have successfully shut out all conversations about the pandemic and the suffering it is bringing about. I know I am being insensitive about it. But at this time, I really want to maintain my sanity and ensure that I don’t go down a spiral. I can’t afford to lose whatever little I have.

I know I could help by augmenting requests for help. I know I can volunteer my time. I know I can donate some money. I can divert all the money from SoG Grant for fighting the pandemic. But the challenge remains, I don’t know who to give this money to. May be to Daku and his team. I know that he will do a good job with it.

Let’s see. If I do use the grant for this, while the purpose of Grant would not be met (help creative people seek an outlet), it would probably serve as a tiny drop in the ocean in the fight against the pandemic.

I am unable to decide what to support. While I know the pandemic needs the money, I also know that artists need it more than anything else – they are the ones that are most affected by it. They are the ones that are most sensitive and thus lose their direction. Lemme think over the weekend.

Coming back to admitting defeat. I think I am running away from responsibility as a human. I ought to help but I am done with seeing all the suffering. I can no longer prevent it from affecting me. There are so many close people that are affected. I am unable to even give them a shoulder. I think I am a great peace-time friend. When it’s war, I think I suck.

Really.

Ok. Deep breath.

In the sleepwalking through life section, I don’t have much to report apart from the fact that my to-do list seems to be growing faster than my belly, which in turn is growing faster than you can spell FAST. I think I am involved in way too many calls and that leaves me with very little time to actually do things. I need to find a way to reduce these calls and block more time for actual work. I will try to implement this from the coming week. Let’s see how it goes.

I think this is about it for the day. In the streaks section, here’s how I am doing.

  • Morning Pages / Meditations – 132
  • #aPicADay – 113
  • 10K steps a day – 0
  • OMAD – 0
  • #noCoffee – 45
  • #noCoke – 45
  • 10 mins of meditation – 10
  • #book2 – 0
  • Killer Boogie – 0
  • Original Work (limited time only) – 1
  • Surya Namaskar – 1

No, not working on Roshan’s story today. Have other things to work on.

Hope you have a good day.

210321 – Morning Pages

A longish rant on things that are fucking with my head. You may want to skip. You’ve been warned.

8:21. Starbucks, Versova.

This will be a rant. I guess a long one at that. Let’s see when I get around to writing it. The next engagement is at 1030 so I have plenty of time. Please bear. Skip if you have to. Shit’s happening around me and I need to talk to someone and there’s no one but this blog. Of course no specifics here. Will talk in as broad strokes as I can. I am listening to this on loop as I write this.

Lemme start with a simple metaphor that someone once told me (I think it was Hemant). He said think of a giant, spacious room bang in the middle of the city, next to a busy road. The room has floor-to-ceiling windows that give you an expansive view of the world outside. You can open those windows in the mornings to let the sunlight and the fresh morning air come in and make the place a pleasant one. But, if you forget to close those windows during the day, the freshness and the morning cheer will get replaced by the incessant honking of the traffic, dust, and grime from the world out there and may be some stench, some stink from the world beyond your house. Would you as a logical person, not close these windows when it starts getting noisy?

That!

I need to start closing the windows to my life and brain. Lemme elaborate. Thing is, I think of so many ideas, things, businesses, impact areas, and whatnot that are so forward-looking that it takes forever for those to reach a conclusion. Like it would happen with almost anything, with time, some most of those fall along the way (plenty of reasons – I am unable to keep up, the people I work with realizing that I am not the best partner, the timing is not right, I lose steam, I find a shinier object, shit happens, etc etc.). As a result, I often fail to close those loops. And thus, the metaphorical windows to my brain are left often. And instead of helping my brain get fresh air, I am left with the noise and dust. The windows need closing!

You know, I have often thought about myself being that person that had immense potential to do things that could change the world but I feel that I am not living upto that with what I do. I merely hop from one thing to another and along the way I leave behind unfinished projects, half-baked ideas and unfulfilled promises to the world, friends, connections and myself. When I die (which I hope is not before I am 120), I would probably look like that sculptor that has a million unfinished pieces in his repertoire, each with a potential of becoming a David. It would be such a crime that I would waste all the potential. Assuming I have the potential.

I mean I can focus on one thing, one statue that goes onto outshine David and others of the ilk but my magic, my method, the madness comes from trying new things, new experiences, talking to new people, seeding new ideas, seeing new possibilities, and well, chasing the new shiny toy. Lol, the number of times I used “new” in that sentence has to be a world record of sorts.

So, I dont want to stop creating new things, opening new doors. After all, each thing I have in life is a result of all the million shots that I take without any purpose or anything. So that’s not stopping.

What I will do is try and close each loop window that I open in a predictable amount of time. Or once I reach some sort of conclusion. Or when I know the time has come to move on (which is tough to know to be honest). But I will close for sure. I think I have written about this earlier as well on one of the SoGs (I think). Let’s see if I find a link when I come around to editing this. Can’t find.

Also, while I will close all the new loops, new projects, new ideas and all that going forward, I know I cant roll back time to undo all that I should’ve done. I’ll see which ones I can. Even if they aren’t that many.

This is also a good time to tell myself to revisit Dr. Peterson’s 12 Rules for Life, a book that has been like a ‘bible of life’ of sorts for me. The funny thing is that a lot of intelligent, aware, educated people don’t agree with him. But to me, he makes immense sense and everytime I read it, I take away a life lesson from it.

The antidote to the shit in head, I think the rule that is most pertinent is about setting my own house in order before I try and change the world.

I mean I do want to change the world and each thing I do is from that lens but since I am unable to close the ideas, the loops and other things, I am unable to make even an iota of dent.

I think this is about it. No, I am not any lighter since I started writing this. But I do know that I have vented out and I can move onto the next things. Like Dr. Peterson says in Rule 6, I need to take responsibility for the misery that has been inflicted upon me by my actions / inactions. Here on, I shall take responsibility and put the house in order. I have to play a role in helping the world become better.

Ok enough. Time to get on with the day. Here’s streaks.

  • Morning Pages – 99
  • #aPicADay – 80
  • 10K steps a day – 1. The monthly average is 9K steps. I’ll see if I can take this up to 10K by the time month ends.
  • OMAD – 0 (stress ate ice-cream late night). Trying to fast today. Though I am tempted to stuff myself with food.
  • #noCoffee – 11
  • #noCoke – 11
  • 10 mins of meditation – 0
  • #book2 – 0

Over and out.

180321 – Morning Pages

The morning pages has evolved into a friend of sorts where I go and rant and cry and wail about things that I cant talk to anyone else about. Here’s one such post.

6:38 AM

For all the ‘living in public’ that I want to do, there’s something that I want to talk to someone about and I don’t know who to. And it involves someone else and without putting names or context, it would be of no use. So, at some point of time in life, I want to be able to write about it in public. But as of today, it will go on my echoChamber. It is big enough that it’s making me rethink my entire way of working / living / thinking / doing. Anyhow. Later.

Before I go ahead, the track of the day is this.

Next. The folks at Producerland announced their lineup of people that they have selected. I saw their profiles and I am slightly disappointed with it. Of course, one large reason is that I did not get through, but the other big one is that a lot of those people are from established production companies in India. I don’t think those people need networking. They are anyway in the market with access to capital, ideas, and talent. It is people like me that need it. Oh, Debasmita, the writer and producer at Bin Bulaaye made it. So that is nice. I don’t work with her anymore but she is exactly the kind that will benefit from this. Super ideas, talented at multiple things, great human being, interested in telling stories that have legs beyond song and dance.

Oh, while writing this, an epiphany happened. I use this blog as a friend. In the sense, I talk about things that I don’t know who else to talk about. Most of my friends do not understand the world I operate in. My family has no clue what I do. My Board of Directors often does not get context. The significant other is almost non-existent. And in absence of all these, I think it is this blog that gives me some sort of grounding. I can blurt out what’s on my head. I get the load out of the way and I can do more things. In fact, each morning, I look up to waking up and writing on morning pages. I often make notes while I sleep, about things that I would write the next day. And then I write! And then I feel so light that I could fly away ;P Ok. Enough.

So, food. Remember how I spoke about my izzat being at stake yesterday? I said…

I have to have to HAVE TO avoid hospitals at all costs. I need to get going. So, here’s the thing. I will gun for a 2-days fast. And then I will go on for as long as I can. Really. This time I will do it. Izzat ki baat hai. I will eventually add some sort of workout to my regimen. But I need to get the hernia operated on before that. Maybe I will start with dance or yoga?

From Morning Pages on 17th Mar.

I ate breakfast, a lunch, an evening snack, an ice-cream around dinner, and then a dinner! There is no way I am going to lose weight :(. The saving grace is that I did walk some 14K steps. And that too purposefully. Phew!

The excuse I gave myself is that I had a COVID scare and I need to eat and get nutrition but now the test has come out and it tells me that I am negative. So that’s ok. And yeah, the test is as uncomfortable as you imagine it to be. I hate hospitals!

Wait. I will try again today. I will try and not eat. Let’s see how it goes. I just need to get started.

I think this is about it. No. Wait. Another thing. Yesterday I learned the importance of money. Or the lack of it.

While I was fuming and I did not have anyone to talk about it, I took to Twitter and posted a rant about how I am gareeb and all that. The trigger was that that there are way too many things I want to do and none of them will probably make money and thus I will have to keep pouring money into those things and that means I will need to have infinite money. Right now, I am very far from it. And there’s no way I can seem to find a solution to my money woes. I mean I have some work on my plate these days and if this continues, I will be ok. But the large, infinite source of capital that I may need is still missing 🙁

While I was wailing in misery, Ajeet Sir had an interesting perspective on my quandary. Here…

From AK’s tweet here.

Now, this is super duper interesting. Multiple reasons. A, he validated that I have the ability! Yay! External validation #ftw! B, he slapped me on the face that I dont put in the effort. I dont know how to put efforts. I need to get out of the current financial mess that I have got myself into and along the way find an answer to this. I think I need to relook at how I operate in life. I think I am ok with taking risks. The thing that I suck at is ability to convert those risks into actionable, tangible steps that take me closer to where I want to be. I need some sort of a coach or something. Damn…

Anyhow, I am done with the pages. Feel a little relieved that what I was earlier. Let’s see how today is. So that. And to end the post, here’s the streaks…

  • Morning Pages – 96
  • #aPicADay – 77
  • 10K steps a day – 1
  • OMAD – 0
  • #noCoffee – 8
  • #noCoke – 8
  • 10 mins of meditation – 0
  • #book2 – 0

170321 – Morning Pages

A report on how I spent yesterday. No forward-looking statements in this one, except my attempt at fasting for at least 48 hours.

7:16

I just woke up. Still tired. Groggy. Listening to Jagjit Singh talking about Teri Khushboo wale khat.

I got my COVID test yesterday. It was painful, at least for me. I am told that it’s not really bad and I can see why it’s not bad. But to be honest but then my pain tolerance is pathetic. More than physical pain, my tolerance for any other kind of pain is even lesser. Like I was at the emergency ward at Kokilaben when I took the test (yeah, the swabs for COVID tests are collected at the emergency ward) and I saw various emergency cases being rolled into the hospital. There was an elderly woman who wasn’t breathing. A young girl had fractured her legs. A patient was being moved from emergency to general ward.

And since the test is done by the doctors in the emergency, I had to wait for about an hour. Which is understandable. And then the test was done. And it was painful af, like I told you guys already. And no, this test was not required. I am not at risk but I still wanted to rule out any possibility. So that.

But when I was filling the form at the hospital, they asked me to fill in the names of two people that they could inform in case of emergency. This is when you realize who really matters for you. You know, who you want around you when you are probably facing a life and death situation. And truth be told, I could think of just one name and I put that one name. I mean I wanted to put my sister’s name but she’s like a million miles away and there’s no way she can be bothered in case of emergency.

So that. The other highlight of the day has to be all the food that I ate. You know, like a regular human being, I had breakfast, lunch, evening snack, dinner, and few in-betweens. I think the reason I feel groggy this morning is probably because I ate all those carbs and processed things shit. I have to have to HAVE TO avoid hospitals at all costs. I need to get going. So, here’s the thing. I will gun for a 2-days fast. And then I will go on for as long as I can. Really. This time I will do it. Izzat ki baat hai. I will eventually add some sort of workout to my regimen. But I need to get the hernia operated on before that. Maybe I will start with dance or yoga?

The other thing I want to talk about is my inability to afford a better house. I’ve been meaning to shift from the current house and get to one that is a little more spacious. And I want to live in a newish building. But then aukaat tells me that I cant. I also have to get it off my head that I actually saw some houses with a broker. I almost finalized a house that was as plush as houses get in Mumbai and at least as spacious as I wanted. I made an offer that the landlord accepted. I had almost given the token to block it. But at the last minute, I pulled back. I had to apologize to the broker and the new landlord and the universe. I felt really bad and it was one of those tough decisions that I’ve had to make.

If I zoom back and look at it from up top, I think my decision-making muscle was fucked. I should have considered the costs upfront. And then never got into a hunt. Then, while I looked for a place, I should’ve done the maths and not went to houses that I couldn’t afford. Then, even when I looked at places, I shouldn’t have made an offer. I should’ve thought about it. And once I made the offer, I shouldn’t have cancelled. Zubaan ki damn keemat, bro! Anyhow. So that.

Work seems to be picking up on all the projects that I am on. This means I will have some more money to play with. And cause movements with. Yay! I just need to figure out how these continue to grow and accrue.

So that. And to end the post, here’s the streaks…

  • Morning Pages – 95
  • #aPicADay – 76
  • 10K steps a day – 0 (couldn’t manage 10K)
  • OMAD – 0 (ate a million meals)
  • #noCoffee – 7
  • #noCoke – 7
  • 10 mins of meditation – 0
  • #book2 – 0

With this, its over and out. See you guys tomorrow.

190221 – Morning Pages

Quick post today. Did not have time to write, format, edit, spell-check etc.

Read at peril.

4:59 AM

I slept at 2ish. I was up at 4ish. I have way too much work on my plate and thus this thievery of sleep. I know this is not good but I have to juggle this. On top of this, people I care for are being dicks and that’s affecting my output. But I shall remain calm and carry on.

I will write this alongside work. I will steal moments and every time I take a break I will write this. I have a question to start things with. What to do about morning pages on days like today? I mean I don’t have a minute to die and yet I want the non-stop streak? Do I just log in and post a para and get over with it? Or do I actually prioritize this over others? Do I not count the days I don’t write 1000 500 words?

5:43. Met ASTwitter yesterday. He gave me a reality check. I am lucky to have him around in my life. He asked me tough questions about what I am doing in life (when I told him am thinking to shuttle between Mumbai and Goa). He made me realize that I am being an irrational fool. Something RGMDI has told me often! Thing is, if I cant convince him, I don’t think I can convince anyone else. He makes me see the mirror and unlike all the other people I know, he’s super blunt!

6:37. I like this. Work deeply without interruptions. Break. Write something random. Probably forget what was clouding your head at 4:59. Think of things to write. Recommend music. Like, right now, am listening to this one

7:44. Took a break. Showered. Waiting for clock to hit 7:54 so that I can leave for Starbucks. I am so fucked with work. I am going to get so many stinkers that it’s not funny. Anyhow.

While I was showering, an epiphany happened. Probably cos of this stranger I met yesterday at Starbucks. So this girl walked up to the community table that I generally sit on. She goes, can I sit here. I was like, sure. And then she said, without me asking, I went to give up and I just could not. Took me a while to understand what she was talking about. Once it dawned on me, of course, I had to intervene. We got talking and she was there for an hour or so. We talked and I hope she went home fine and she’s ok now. The point is while talking to her, I revealed all the darkest secrets about me – you know, problems with work, money, relationships, Mumbai, Goa, life, et al. And I realized that it is super duper easy to talk to a stranger. I’ve never felt this comfortable talking to anyone about my issues. Not even to SG2, VG, VK, or AG (le seale, tera naam aa gaya). May be that’s why I depend on a blog? Maybe that is what inspires me to live in public?

Another thing I realized is that when going gets tough, pushy-ness often tilts you over the edge. Like right now, I am being pulled in like 5 directions by 5 people. And I am this close to giving up. But of course, I cant. Again, that’s not the point. The point is that I just need to become less pushy with people around me. I’ve seen how toxic things and work and cultures can get. I need to become nicer.

The last thing I am realising now is that I am getting old. You know, how it creeps up on you? I was very sure of pulling an all-nighter today. But guess what? I fell asleep and couldn’t finish my things. Growing old is no fun 🙁

So that.

I think that’s about it. Need to move my butt. Need to decide what to do of the morning pages on the day when I don’t have Internet. Or when I have so much work that I cant write. Like today.

It’s 7:54. Gotta go.

291220 – Morning Pages

604 AM

I have had a sleepless night. After quite a while.

Why?

Well, multiple factors. Missed deadlines at work. Passion projects seemed to be going sideways. Personal life seems to be going off track. People clearly don’t like and I’ve built my life being a likable person and in general, being helpful and all. A friend turned client called me at 11 to complain about a colleague turned parter. A friend working on a startup seems to be struggling and I cant seem to help him at all. And there is a lot more!

I guess life happened!

And so much more.

Like I tweeted yesterday, what a day!

It was so bad that I ended up loading on carbs like a mad man. All the lo-carb thingy that I was on since the last few days have gone for a toss. I would love to talk about what happened and why it happened and how it happened and if I was at fault. But writing about it and ranting about it would not help. I actually don’t know what would help. I guess this too shall pass. #note2self – write about these on #sgEchoChamber.

So, anyhow.

There were some silver linings as well. I have a few interns from SP Jain working with me to market the Marketing Connect Podcast and I had a session with them where I gave them gyaan. I realized yet again that I love talking to young people. Need to scale it somehow.

Plus, I was working out from Clay and towards the evening, I took time to see the sun go down at the Anjuna beach. It was mesmerizing. Doing nothing and watching the sun hide behind the waves. And since it was less crowded than the Baga where I normally hang out at, it was lovely. I must make it a practice to see it go down every day. There was this colleague at a point in time – Guru. He worked out of Goa and he would insist that we need to go watch it. Yesterday I saw that he meant. It was his birthday a few days ago and I must drop him a line, wishing him and thanking him for the tip. But then, he thought I was a nutcase and he may or may not read my email. Heck, his email address that I have may no longer be valid.

Anyhow, here are some pics for you to enjoy. I am proud of how these have come out. One of these has been edited.

I think I have the talent for photography and I must pursue it. What do you think?

Damn I wish I had more lives!

Apart from this, I am not sure I can write a lot, to be honest. The head is still reeling from all the fuckery that happened yesterday. Of course, I am to blame for all of it. I need to mend my ways. If nothing else, I need to become so unbreakable that even though things so sideways, I need to not get riled up and eat like a man coming out of famine. I have to be stronger. Lol, self-talk!

It’s still 630. And less than the requisite 30 minutes of writing. Lemme carry on.

Oh yeah. One of my old employers and the man who taught me most of what I know called me after ages. He wanted some tiny help. Did that for him. I realised that I would do whatever it takes for his approval. In fact I am realising that if you dont take people from your past into your future, it is not the greatest feeling. While the novelty of a new relationship is exciting, the ease of doing things with the old is something that makes work happen faster!

Talking of fast, life in Goa is making me realize the importance of fast, high-speed internet. There are a million things that you take for granted when you are in the commercial capital of the world. Fast internet is one of those. The entire last night when I was rolling around in the bed, I realized that I couldn’t even distract myself by watching a mindless film because I did not have internet. I couldn’t work because a simple Keyword Planner tool on Google would not open up. This piece is being typed on my blog that is using an internet connection of my mobile phone that is hanging at the edge of the building I live at and I am perched up so that I could be in the range.

I can talk about slowness if I have to but I think I am not the one designed for it. I understand the concept philosophically but I don’t believe in it. Yes, there are things that need slowness to happen. But then that’s that. We can NOT extrapolate those things to everything else, like a lot of people do. Life has to be in the fast lane. I mean it is very very unpredictable. And is random at best. You are like a blip on the radar and you may just go poof randomly. I’ve lost someone important this year. And I know at least two friends that have lost a parent. I lost a classmate from MDI. She was my age. No, I did not know her at all. Even at MDI, I would have spoken to her probably once in all of two times and never ever since. But when I heard about her, I was zapped.

To be honest, I have nothing against the concept of death. I even believe in it. The problem is in the suddenness, the unpredictability, the waste of an opportunity that people and talent have when they die. I mean we lost Rahat Saab this year. Imagine the words he would write, the fires he would ignite in our minds, the impact he would have had if he were around!

I mean we could have an earthquake and all this planning of the future that never seems to be arriving could be rendered meaningless! If there is one thing that I am learning from the day yesterday, it is that life is fucking short. And slowness has no place in it.

You ought to act.

Now.

There’s no time like now. No place like here.

Err on the side of action.

Ready. Fire. Aim.

Steve Jobs has famously said, “your time is limited”. It is my screensaver.

The wallpaper on my phone is Memento Mori. It is the memento that I carry along. Must get one real-life, physical one.

Do not wait for perfection. This is a lesson that a 73-year old man once gave me. And trust me, this man HAS seen the world!

Do so much, so often that the trail you blaze leaves others in awe and makes them inspired to do more in life!

With that motivational pep-talk to self, I hope I would get over the fuck-all-ness of the day yesterday. Time to get going and act.

Over and out!