Quick post on things that are at the top of my head. And what I am doing about those.
8:26 AM. Starbucks. I dont have a lot of time today to write a long-drawn post. This will be a short post.
First things first. Yesterday, I got myself a financial planner.
No, I don’t have a lot of money to invest, barely any, come to think of it. But I realized I need some discipline. And thus the planner. In all of yesterday, I opened an MF account, activated my stockbroking account, made a spreadsheet to track money, and a few more things. Took me an hour but I did it. If you are reading this and do not belong to the Ambani-Adani clan, you must do this. No, I am yet to see any benefit but I know it would be useful next time we have a COVID kind of crisis.
To augment what she tells me, I think I will read more and more about practical finance. You know, things like Rich Dad, Poor Dad et al. Like I said earlier. I am reading Psychology of Money. Lemme talk about it a bit. The funny thing is that there is NOT one thing new that this book tells me. I know most things that MH has written. Really. I don’t mean to be boastful. But I know. However, the thing is, despite knowing all that, I am poor. I am in debt. So there’s something wrong for sure. Maybe I just have the academic knowledge and I lack what it takes to translate ideas into action? May be combined with the financial advisor, I would see some change? I am hoping I will figure out soon. Maybe the importance I gave to the freedom of time needs to be coupled with knowledge and action about the importance of money? Lets see.
Talking of reading, I am also reading You Can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay. This is again a self-help book and again, as I read this, I am nodding at every line and I think I know most of what she’s talking about. Lol.
Here’s a thing. I have oscillated on the two extremes about self-help books. There are times when I love them and recommend those to people. And there are times when I abhor them to a point that I scoff at people that I spot reading these books. I know, I shouldn’t do this but then that’s how I am.
The next I want to read is 48 Laws of Power. I had read it when I was a kid and I need to re-read it. This rereading was a project that I started with Anubhab. He’s read the entire thing but I did not even start. Need to action it. Once I finish either the money book or the life book.
After this, I think I will spend all of 2021 reading as many self-help books around money as I can lay my hands on. What books would you recommend? Repeat. Selfhelp. On money. You know, books like Rich Dad, Poor Dad, etc. #help!
To be honest, the only good thing is that I am back to reading. Last few daysweeksmonths years, I hadnt read anything serious. Except long-form pieces on blogs and websites. Its so good to hold a book and carry it around. Like a companion. In fact, last evening I walked around with just a book. Just like the old times when I was far younger and far more hopeful about life and world and all that.
I think this is it. Oh, I did make some progress on various projects – Syndicate, SoG Grant, the Aram Nagar documentary. On the documentary specifically, let’s see if we can shoot some this weekend. I think it’s time to make a page about it on the website! No?
And, here’s the streaks…
Morning Pages – 103
#aPicADay – 83
10K steps a day – 0
OMAD – 0
#noCoffee – 14 . Lot of tea though, which I am assuming is better. I have to order something at Starbucks.
#noCoke – 14
10 mins of meditation – 0
#book2 – 0. I still haven’t been able to wake up at 5.
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.
A rant-ful post about inane things. You may want to skip reading this one.
I’ve been up for a bit. I slept at around 10 last night. And thanks to all the movement in the house next to mine, I had a fitful sleep. Did I tell you that the walls are wafer-thin here? But I think I feel as rested as I ever could be. There is some soreness in the ankles, claves, and legs – that I think I can blame on all the walking I did yesterday. I will come to it in a bit.
So, I have to say that I’ve not been myself for the last few days. I think more than anything else, the financial insecurity is eating me alive. Lol. Hyperbole. But yes I am worried about money. I mean I know that in the long run, I will be ok (wait, when exactly is this long-run? I am almost 40 and I have been in this hand-to-mouth state since I was 25). Anyhow, I need to pay salaries in about 10 days and rent in about 15 and I am not sure where would I get that money from. I did not want to take more debt this year and I don’t seem to be finding enough work. In fact, more than just worrying, it’s also making me into a person that I am not. I am avoiding people. And the ones that I do end up talking to, I am being curt with them. I am faking my emotions a lot more (even though I want to have coherence in my thoughts and actions). I am unable to express my true emotions and I am merely going with the flow. I like being in control (even if it’s a fake sense of control) and without the confidence that money gives me, I seem to be losing this ability.
The worse part is no one around me understands what I am going thru. They don’t have to, to be honest. They have enough shit in their lives. I am not their priority. This is one of those rare times when I wish I had someone to understand me, be my side, and tell me all will be ok. Maybe that’s why this rant on the blog? Am I trying to make this inanimate object, a bunch of pixels on the internet my companion? I think times like these and situations like these make people start believing in God and other cults? Maybe this is that weak point that everyone talks about that comes often in lives?
But then, I know, this too shall pass!
Ok. Hoping it will pass. Moving on.
So yesterday was like any other day. Did some work, slacked some, and then vegetated some. Vegetated as in, merely existed and did not do anything leaves a mark. Did not even talk to the two people I call friends in Goa. I know that I just have 1810 days left before I need to show results on my lofty goals and while the impending deadline inspires me, I am also fucked in the head because of my inability to move the needle. I am not sure what is stopping me. I think I have everything needed to whoop some mad ass and make an impact and get rich in the process. I am no longer lazy (I was till maybe 2017). I work harder, longer, and smarter than most people I know. Of course, I am smart. I have no clue what is that thing missing in my life.
Wait. Could it be the focus? I mean I’ve always been that person that does multiple things. May be this meandering at multiple places has got me to a place where I have some interesting things under my belt. And maybe to scale from hereon, I need to focus on one thing?
Will think on this during the day and report.
Anyhow. The good thing that happened yesterday was that I walked 20K steps. The plan was to do that on the trot but I took two breaks. Which is ok. I at least walked. From Baga to Fort Aguada and then back. I spend some 30 minutes at the Fort seeing the sun go down and see the day merge with the night. Absolutely loved the time I spent there. Clicked some great (I hope so) pics. Realized my limitations as a photographer. Wish I could be better at it.
Here are a couple of photos for you to gawk at…
I loved the spot so much that I can see myself going there often to catch the sunset. It’s kind of far from where I live (and once I take a house, where I intend to live) I think if I were not a loner, I think this trip to Goa has made me one. Am absolutely ok in my own company now.
Oh, the other crazy thing that happened last night when I was trying to get sleep was a deeper understanding of A R Rahman’s music. Because the internet was not working, I put on ARR’s Sufi set that is saved on my phone. The set has tracks not just from ARR but others that have adopted the Sufi way of life. And for probably the first time, I could relate to their music, the higher purpose, the bhakti, the effort they put in, and the connection they must feel to that nameless faceless thing that people call God, Universe, higher power, energy, whatever. I could feel how the music for them is not about entertainment. Or about practice. Or money. Or validation. But about respect. A tool they use when they want to feel closer to their creator. The trance they get in when they are one with their creator.
No, I have never felt such a connection with anyone or anything but I could clearly picture them living a life where they are in a complete submission to the almightly. I have to know more. Maybe I will chat with Sowmya one of these days. Maybe when I go back to Mumbai to wrap things.
That’s about it I guess. I have a long day today with quite a few things to work on. And a few IRL meetings to squeeze in. I plan to work from Felix for a large part of the day. Let’s see if their Internet holds up today. I have to find a solution to this Internet thingy if I have to be in Goa. It’s been acting weird since Friday.
Chalo over and out. Hope you guys have a great day. Onto #freewriting for #book2. It’s 7:27 and the battery is 6%. Will write till the battery is 1%.
The only complaint that Mrs. Gomes had with tourists that came into Goa is that they did not respect the local traditions. Especially from North India. The ones from the South were a lot more respectful. They probably understood the way of life in smaller communities. But they were far filthier than the ones from the North. It was like choosing a lesser evil and she would take filth over disrespect. So when Chintan first walked into Caravan Serai, Mrs. Gomes looked at him with the default disdain that she had reserved with middle-aged men from north India that wore linen shirts to hide their beer bellies that were bloated all the more with all the butter chicken they had probably eaten.
Chintan looked no different. He would have been smart in his younger days. He was atleast 40 and he still had a head that was full of hair. His hair was better than what most Indian men had and he had a hairband on to pull em back. He carried a leather man-purse that he plopped loudly on the bar counter. The bar was a curious choice. The entire place was empty and most people chose bars as the last option ever. Chintan clearly was unlike most. He pulled a bar stool with his leg and while trying to settle down on it, he got busy pulling out his paraphernalia from the bag that had seen a few years. Without looking up, he continued to fiddle with his things and said to no one in particular, “Could I have a glass of water? Cold, please? And a Gin and Tonic – whatever is your choice. And an ashtray please.”
These three lines told Mrs. Gomes that he was going to be an interesting person. He did not fuss about the brand of Gin or Tonic. He wanted his water cold. And he spoke with the authority of a man that knew how to command respect.
He had pulled a stack of loose sheets and was twirling a pencil in his fingers. He looked up to the bar with a questioning gaze at Mrs. Gomes. She took her sweet time to respond to him and said, “On its way. You new here in Goa?”
Mrs. Gomes had to know every patron that walked into Caravan Serai. Even though the place was now much bigger and much in demand, she still liked to run it her way. Basant and Udita often told her often to take it easy and cede control to one of those hospitality management companies that had sprung up. Mrs. Gomes clearly did not think that the two girls made sense. Each time they had this conversation, she would respond by telling them about the promise she made to her father and the legacy of her family, and then she would pace around with an apparent worry about who’s run the place once she was gone? She knew she wasn’t going away anytime soon. Even though she was 73, she was as lucid as she was when she was 23, could out-work Udita, some 50 years her junior, and keep a sharp eye on her staff of almost 30 people and all the patrons and guests that came and went throughout the day.
I talk about life at a hotel, things I want to do in life and living in Goa.
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.
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.
On the 2nd day of 2021, I talk about how I spent the first day of 2020 and how I am guilty of enjoying a film like Coolie No. 1.
02 Jan, 0705 hrs.
I had a brilliant start to the new year. Here’s how.
I could say no to very tempting offers to a, munch onto crispy brown fries at a fancy restaurant. And b, at the same place, I could say no to an ice-cold Diet Coke that was sweating with dew. Mmmm. Merely talking about it is making me want to grab one. But I did not.
I found 60 bucks at a garage! This is after a while that I have found money lying on the road. I consider that each rupee I find like that is worth a crore at some point in time. So, I am worth 60 crores already! Yay!
Met a friend (remember the restaurant I talked about above? there) and talked about the Goa magazine I have been thinking about. He may come on board as a partner. So Yay!
Was at FabIndia and saw this amazing notepad at a compelling price at a great discount. The regular Saurabh would have bought it but I resisted the temptation and did not.
Worked on the #in2021 plan for a bit. Still not done with it, but happy about the progress am making with it. Will share soon.
Started posting #aPicADay on Insta with this shot from Anjuna. Got 35 likes. Which is about 0.5%. With 800 followers, this should be at 80-100 (~1-1.5%). May be it will increase as we go along? And in case it does not, I will merely do it for the joy of doing and not for the thrill of seeking numbers.
At a cafe, I saw this young boy taking some amazing shots with an iPhone. Talked to him about Dil Haare‘s video that I want to make. He sounded interested. He’s gone MIA since ;P The larger point is that there are so many talented people but there’s no way for them to collaborate with others. Is this a problem worth solving?
Read some. The next part of Julia Cameron’s book. Realized my limitations as an artist and an enabler. Let’s see what I do to fix it.
Stayed away from the phone for a large part of the day. Decided to not chase time syncs (Instagram, Twitter, etc) and only use them when I want to. Could resist those for a large part. Yay!
So yeah. There’s luck, new beginnings, restraint, and overall general hopefulness. Couldn’t have asked for a better start. What about you? How was it for you?
Today looks busy as well. With things that I want to work on. Cheers to that. I have meetings from 10:30 on. I may also get to meet an interesting artist with Nupura towards the evening if all goes well. I of course need to complete the #in2021 plan before that. Maybe squeeze in a walk, if I can. Lol, who am I kidding?
Ok, what else?
Yeah! I have to talk about this and get judged. So, I don’t watch a lot of movies, and for an aspiring filmmaker, this is of course not done. My to-watch list is a mile long and even if I take three lifetimes, I would probably still not get to finish the list. The most recent one that I have been dying to see is AK vs AK. But I haven’t had the time. Or the inclination, maybe. But, I have been seeing Coolie No. 1 (the new one with Varun Dhawan in the lead role) intermittently. I kid you not, I am enjoying it! To a point that I find myself thinking about it. I am about an hour into it and like most such films that give you the guilty-pleasure, I don’t want it to get over! I have a shitty data connection here at Goa and yet I try to stream the film!
Lol. Goa does funny things to people 😀
Oh, I will also start work on book2 today. For the umpteenth time. Let’s see how this shot at chasing immortality goes. I am often left marveling at how optimistic I could be about things and how thick-skinned I could be about my folly! I mean if I was talking to myself, I would tell myself that book2 is an elaborate facade you’ve created to tell yourself that you amount to something. There is no substance to it. And I would tell myself to stop fooling myself and move on.
But then, I want to tell stories and I like the idea of being able to talk to people and uncover what moves them and then get inspired to explore more. And nothing better than to write books! And thus!
Anyhow, this is a rant for a different time, different day. Time to get on with the day and get some work done!