9:33. Still in Gurgaon. Was up late. Not for work this time. So a tad delayed with morning pages. But as long as I write, it’s cool.
Yesterday was a whirlwind. I met a few friends that I have literally grown up with (from MDI), a client, and a newish friend. It was amazing – talked of old things, plans for life, new ideas, impacting the world, making this a better place, achieving things that have remained under the radar and yet are lurking around the surface. Met curator, founder, and owner of this fascinating place called Fig / Museo. Was so inspired to meet more people like that and create spaces like that. The thought of creating C4E Base became all the more firm.
So that. Today is a longish day. Let’s see how I manage the juggle between work that needs to be done, calls to be made, people to be met, things to be thought, dreams to be conjured. Lol. Random poetic shit.
The highlight of the day has to be the fact that I was told that what I write resonates with people. Of course, this resonation happens with very few people but it does. And that makes the effort and time worth it. If I can leave even one person inspired, I would die a happy man.
In other news, I read this long-read yesterday about a person trying to cope up with this loss after 9/11. This was one of those rare pieces that moved me almost to tears. For multiple reasons. To start with the guy is trying to find his raison d’etre. Then he feels this terrible terrible sense of loss that nothing in the world seems to compensate for. The loss is more profound because the guy thought he was responsible for those people. And at many levels, I can relate to this. I mean I am responsible for all the people that work with me. In whatever capacity, in whatever way. While I may not run a fancy organization, I do have this sense of ownership over their lives and careers. And that to me is an overwhelming responsibility. To a point that I am willing to harm myself to ensure that the people that are around me are happy, healthy, engaged, and compensated to the best of my abilities.
Sigh! So much to do, so few opportunities. Come on, universe!
That’s about it for the day. More later. If I get time. Meanwhile, here’s streaks…
OMAD – 0
#book2 – 0
#noCoke – 187
#noCoffee – 31
#aPicADay – 0
Money spent – 6566
Killer Boogie – 0
10K steps a day – 0
Surya Namaskar – 0
10 mins of meditation – 0
Minimaslism Counter – -3 +1 (buying things for once in a life adventures)
A short note on mortality and how I would want to leave this world. When I do.
9:38. Home. The only home I’ve ever known. Except in the embrace of the ones I that I’ve loved. And the ones that have loved me. So this home, the one I have grown in, am here after a while. Almost a year! The last time I came here, it was Diwali of 2020 and then I went to Goa. And then I was in Mumbai and then the pandemic hit us again and all that. So that.
Ok. Time to get into some somber mood. This is probably one of the most important posts I’d ever write. I hope words can do justice.
So yesterday, I went to a hospital to meet a relative who’s just had heart surgery.
Lemme give some context. I’ve known him since I was a child and I have spent enough and more time in his backyard. Even in his lap. And he’s given me no less love than he would give to his children. And in life, he’s been a pillar to the entire family. And beyond. He has been an icon of righteousness, selfless service, and everything that you want in a man. No, he’s not really one of those people who’d inspire you with his tales of courage or exploits in business. He is as simple as they come and yet as special as they could be.
Yesterday, he was bedridden. Which is ok. I have seen him when he’s asleep.
But then he had a million wires and hoses and pipes running through his body to the machines that sort of keep the vital functions alive. He looked frail. Fragile. He still had his confidence and his neck held high, the one that I remember him for. But he was clearly putting in a lot of effort to do that. And oh man, did he put the effort!
Of course, he would recover and would be back to action before we know it. Of course, this is part and parcel of life. Of course, I need to be strong and get used to seeing my loved ones in that state – after all, age is catching up.
But that’s not what this post is about. It is about how I do NOT want to be like that. Articulation happened when I was talking to Krishna yesterday. So, the thing is, most people that know me, know me as someone hyper. Someone that can’t sit idle for a minute. Someone that is so fidgety that he’s moving all the time. Someone so full of energy that it’s literally impossible to control. Or contain. Someone who’s so infectious, so disturbing, so all over the place that you can’t ignore him. I dont know if this is good or bad. But this is how I am. If you have any other impressions of me, please do let me know.
So, if I were to fall sick and I am forced onto a bed, bondage-d by pipes and cables and all that, I do NOT want anyone I know to see me decapitated like that. Before any of those people that I love (there are just a handful of those) were to see me like that, I would want the plug to be pulled. Really. I have thought hard about this. For all the zest I have for life, for all the things I want to do with our limited time here, if I am ever in a position like that, I really want my dreams, my hopes, my existence to be wiped out. I am ok to go without saying my goodbyes. The good part is that hardly anyone cares for me outside my parents and probably my sis. So there is no question of giving closure to people. They would find it. Time anyway heals.
Coming back. So, I dont want the ones I love to have the last memory of me to not be of a person that couldn’t sit still and not have child-like enthusiasm or energy. Come what may.
A recap of how I spent yesterday in Ahmedabad. I met people, thought a lot and then learnt a few lessons. It was awesome!
9:19. Starbucks. Ahemdabad.
I had an eventful day yesterday. No, not in the sense of things happening to me but meeting new and interesting people, face to face. I’ve done this after a while. You know, meeting loose connections, talking to them about everything under the sun, and dreaming about possibilities. I’ve missed this meeting with new people and jamming with them. Damn, COVID! Of the people I met, there were a couple of fund managers, an entrepreneur, another aspiring entrepreneur, and another person that runs his family’s business.
While talking to people I realized my limitations. I learned where I am often wrong. I even saw places where I was more right. I missed the fact that I was not carrying a notepad and thus couldn’t take notes. There were some really interesting conversations. I must do this often!
So, for posterity and note-taking, lemme make a list of things that I learned yesterday. About myself and others.
I know the names of a lot of people. And a lot of people know my name. This is a good thing. I just to find a way to convert this knowledge into transactions and work and business.
Most people that are loose connections dont know what I do. I need to fix this. #sgP1. Simply because opportunities do not come to me if people dont know what I do. I need to have a singular definition. I know I want to do a million things but the world works in a manner where they want a singular answer to problems. So, that.
I am a bit wierd. I want to operate in greys. And I want to operate in black and white. These are two different things and there is no way both can go hand in hand and yet I want to have these work in sync. I need to think more on this.
A third-party person seeing my twitter feed recalls the negatives that I have posted about. Even though I have stayed away from rants for a long long time, people still tend to remember that. So, need to be careful about rants. On twitter. On FB. On every possible social outpost. Except here. And on echochamber. This is where I post things to sort of get my head clear. I can bury this link deep. I mean if I were someone with huge successes, people would probably celebrate my outbursts. But then, I am not. And thus.
One of the people I met mentioned about Max Gunther’s work on luck. I am going to spend time on it today. Here’s the book, in case. This link summarises the book well, in case. Even this is not bad.
Another person said out loud that you need to have the balls to call a spade a spade. I dont have this at all. I am the kinds that makes people into soy. Even though I believe in “good job”, I still spoil my people rotten. To a point that they become, well, soy. I need to get better at this for sure. #sgP1
Guess this is all I recall from my meetings. If I remember something else, I would make changes in my Roam graph (and not here :D)
Oh, I have this fuckall cold for the last three days. Running nose, heavy head, and sore throat. Today’s the third day so I should be hopefully better by tomorrow. No, I did not take medicines. And yes, I have been feeding the cold. I hate being unwell. I hate being sick. I hate when I dont have the energy to perform. I mean the very act of living is an ongoing performance that I am on. I just hope I can regain some strength and still have some leftover as I go for the walk up the EBC. I would’ve liked to be a far stronger shape but I will have to do with whatever I have.
Guess this is about it. I am glad that I could find the time and energy to write this. More later. If I can.
Today I talk about producing short films, being a shoulder and one of the greatest fears I have in life – the one of being treated unfairly!
7:53. Starbucks Powai.
Here for a day-long meeting. Have another meeting here tomorrow. Thankfully that’s not all day. I can be in and out. Just that travel to Ghatkopar is a pain with traffic and Metro construction and all that. It’s a sin. It’s a mortal waste of time. Anyhow. So, morning pages. A dump of what’s on my head.
So, I am constantly thinking of how I should be doing more. Wow! I have been able to capture this so well! Do more in terms of fitness, office work, relationships, and all that. This thing about wanting to do more is literally guiding my thoughts, emotions, and actions. To a point that I am living in this La La land. You know, in the sandcastles in the head. Guess I need to jolt out of it. Let’s see how and when I do that. Maybe the upcoming break from work and a computer would help. Of course, the sad part would be that I would have to break this morning pages streak that I have been on since December of last year!
Ok, enough of sadness. Let’s move on.
So, tomorrow is the first day of the next short that I am involved with. This would be the 4th film that I am part of. I have primarily been a co-producer on all these 4. For the uninitiated, a producer is primarily a financier. And then s/he does other things like getting the project together and ensuring that it works out well.
And no, most short films dont really make money. Actually, wait. I must say, a short-film that makes money is a rarity.
The deal with shorts is that the writer and / or the director gets to show their work. The crew gets one more credit on IMDB. The producer / financier is the fool that does not gain anything. Except opportunities to share stories and reels about it on Instagram. And for someone like me who doesn’t care about these bragging rights, there is no ROI. I mean I can get happy with the validation that I lent a shoulder to some people but that’s that. I can sleep a tad better with the knowledge that I acted like the giant that others could stand on the shoulder of. I can be happy that people want to play games with me (ref: yesterday’s post). But that’s that, to be honest.
I just hope at some point in time in life these things make sense. And the ones that I am lending a shoulder to remember to lend their shoulders to others.
I often think about why I support these endeavors when I dont have the money in the first place. And especially when I believe that I am wise and all that. Lol. I think I suffer from the Dunning-Kruger thingy. I mean I think I am wise but maybe I am not that wise. If it’s pinching me, why am I even trying to do things? Why can’t I just sit idle and let a corpus get built? Even if it takes years for that to happen?
I guess these are those questions that we’d never find answers to. Not that I need the answers. I mean I dont want to find out, to be honest. If I realize that I was wrong, it would break my heart. This risk of being treated unfairly by people that I support is more than the misery of taking on debt and funding my dreams. In fact, this probably is my biggest fear. I hope I dont have to face that day when I see my people being unfair. I mean I know life is unfair. Things are unpredictable. People change. Pandemics happen. But the implicit contract with my people needs to be sacrosanct. Cast in stone. Un-fuckable-with.
Ok, enough. Time to get on with work. Here’s the streaks.
A dump of things that I spent a lot of time mulling over yesterday. I think this is what Living in Public really is!
8:28. Starbucks. Friday the 13th. I just hope this day goes ok! You know, superstition and all that.
So here are the things at the top of my head. In no order…
A. Walked 10K after ages. Even ran a bit. Not ran. Hobbled. For about 300 meters. And then panted like a cow in Delhi’s garmi. Did half-pushups. Just need to get consistent with it. Lol. This consistency is my Achilles Heel. I am great at doing great things in spurts. But I suck when it comes to doing things for long, I suck. #sgQuirks. So, need to fix this.
After the walk, I was missing Diet Coke so much that I decided that I will break the 150-day streak and have one. And I even made my mind to get a frozen one, pour in a glass and savor the taste.
And then I did not. Yay! #win
Here’s a promise. If I reach the Base Camp in one piece, I would get a Diet Coke for myself. So let’s see.
B. Away from Bom. It is starting to hit home that I will be away from Mumbai for some 2-3 months. I was away last year as well when I lived in Goa but I still had a house and my things were here. This time, I am moving lock, stock, and barrel. In the sense, I am putting my things in a godown and letting go of the house I have here. So, come to think of it, it’s like letting go of the city that I have come to love. For the freedom, access, opportunities, friends, love-interests, hopes, miracles, tears, sea, misal-pao, and more that Mumbai gave me.
No, I am not going away for good. I have to make it in the films business. And startups. And teaching. Lol. A million things yet again. Mumbai is where I would be.
Or maybe not. I mean if I get away from Mumbai, I would either be in Goa. Or out of India. Goa is more of a state of mind where things are slow and all that. But come to think of it, the only one thing that is keeping me back here is M. She may move on as well in the next few months. Post that, who cares where I am.
Wait. Isn’t life like that? You plan plan plan plan and more plan. For the future. And then it creeps up on you so slow that one fine day, you realize you are 38 and you are still planning for the future. What future? At 38, people retire!
C. Applied to a few jobs (I dont know why) last night on Linkedin. In exactly the same heart-less, mind-less manner that I approach my attempts to find a relationship on dating apps.
I mean I like the idea of a gig that gives me a lot of money. I like the idea of being in a relationship that gives me joy. Not that I am dying hungry. Not that I am joyless.
Thing is, I know I want to do better than where I am. I know I need to get more stable. I know I need a companion. I know I need more than what I have. And yet, all I do is heartless, half-baked attempts at fixing things.
I dont know a way out. But that.
D. Writing. I did not write on book2. Neither on SoG Book. Damn.
If I have decided that writing is going to be my thing, I must push myself. I must wake up each day with the intent of pushing my craft! For without that, I dont know why I exist.
E. Self-respect. Yesterday, I got into this weird conversation with someone I care for. Even though I know that my attempts at patching things will not lead to fruition, I still tried. And as a result, I was left with heartburn.
Not cool at all. I must work to get my self-respect quotient high. I shouldn’t do these stupid things. And these have been happening with increasing frequency. Need to fix it.
Will work on this over the next few days. Need to become more stoic.
So that. Living in Public! A list of things on the top of my head. A lot to fix. May be over the next few days.
Here’s streaks as I start the day.
OMAD – 0
#book2 – 0. Did not write yesterday as well. Missed for 2 days in a row.
#noCoke – 155
#noCoffee – 0. Had two. Venti. Tall. Americano.
#aPicADay – 0
Money spent – 30 + 30 + 130 = 190
Killer Boogie – 0
10K steps a day – 1. Finally got 10K steps in. After 2 weeks.
In three “so-thats” I talk about what’s on my head and what I am gonna do about those.
6:56. Hello June! The 6th month of the year that’s flying past like time has never flown is here!
Let’s see how it goes. The rant yesterday was sobering. In the sense that I could dump whatever was on my head and I was at peace. Let’s see how the next few days go. I think that these morning pages is a good good idea. In absence of any specific person to talk about how I am feeling deep down, these pages help me get the load off my head. This is as good as therapy. Plus I can send the link to whoever cares. Or even to a professional counselor if need be.
Thank you, Steve, for teaching me that we are already naked. There is thus no reason to hide anything that I am thinking about, working on, etc. This living in public is proving to be a good idea.
So yesterday, as soon I had crapped and showered, I left the house. Went to a friend’s place. Picked a coffee on the way. Was somehow reminded of those times when I would wake up, take a shower, and would be out of the house in the next 10 minutes. I have actually lived all my life like that. I really think it’s getting stuck at one place that fucks my head. Now that I’ve realized and I have an option (a friend has kindly agreed to allow me to use his house and I will of course share the rent), I will use it. At least till the time Starbucks opens. Or a co-working place.
I would ideally want this to be within walking distance but that’s ok. One thing at a time.
In other news, I haven’t done Surya Namaskars in more than 3 days. Will do it today, after I am done publishing this. I am walking almost 10K steps every day. I mean there’s no way for me to see how many steps am doing (remember am back on an Android?) but I am walking for sure. To a point that the chappal I wear is so worn out that it’s smooth as silk!
Oh, I have to thank the Android phones. I am using the phone less and less. Most calls are on desktop WhatsApp (thank you, Vodafone) and that means I don’t even need to hold the phone! Plus, I am off Twitter and Instagram again. So that’s helping reduce the usage as well.
So yesterday, I took up a challenge. I must say it’s stupid and vain and all that. Lemme talk about it. There is this new crime show on HBO / Hotstar, Mare of Easttown featuring Kate Winslet. While talking to some friends, I was challenged to write about the show in such an eloquent manner told that I am not good enough a writer that can write about it so well that it exhibits how good the show it is. I simple words, my writing cant move the mountains.
So, clearly, my ego was hurt. Of course! Such a kid, Mr. Garg.
So, I plan to invest some 7 hours watching the show (I watched 22 minutes yesterday) and then another 2-3 hours in writing about it. And then will publish it here. And maybe at some other publications that have a wider reach.
For context, I haven’t seen a piece of fictional content in ages (the last thing I saw was Nomadland, on the insistence of Vivek) and I don’t have it in me to watch 7 hours of content and remember the storylines, leave alone writing. So it would be a big one if I can actually pull it off. Plus, I do hope that it does justice to how I write. If not that, at least I would improve. I am actually looking forward to the challenge! Bring it on!
The thing is, I love it when I face these challenges. And I love taking these challenges head-on. Most times I fail. Not most. Almost every time I fail. To a point that I am dumped in misery and I question why I even took that challenge up. And yet I seek more. You know, like a junkie. If not for these external, public challenges, like seems drab and boring to me. So that. Maybe am stuck with the feeling of ennui because I am not left with a big challenge? I mean I can take up book2 as a challenge and start thinking about how I have failed at producing it. And I have been failing since 2015. 7 years. Kab khoon khaulega re tera, Faizal
And damn this need for external validation with things!
The other change I am doing today on is to live my life strictly by a calendar. A large part of how I live is anyway dictated by a calendar. I am going to take it up by a notch. I am going to get more anal about it. To a point that I will not do anything that is not on my calendar. Even these morning pages go in my calendar. I have earmarked 6:3o to 7:15 for these morning pages. The days I wake up late, I will miss writing. And that means I will break the 170+ day streak. And that would be a sad thing.
Of course, I can shuffle things – I am still not the Prime Minister of a country that my calendar is what the world follows. But more or less, I need to account for every minute that I am awake. Time is short. Lots of things need done. Let’s see how it goes. I’ve already plotted Morning Pages, Book2, and Mare of Easttown on it. Will add more during the day and I shall pack it to a point that I can’t afford to die.
This brings me to the end of the post. I mean I have more that I can write. But for the time being, this is it. The next task on the calendar is calling 😀
In this one, I have a heart-to-heart chat with myself. About things that I’ve been thinking about subconsciously. Do read and lemme know what you think.
Not in the best shape rn. I slept at around 2. Had some coke (real, not Diet) and a bucket full of McD fries at around midnight. Two large Americanos just before that. And don’t know what else crap during the day. In fact, I felt so unwell, so full yesterday since the morning that I had to sleep it off. And all this, when I have sort of, managed OMAD for three-four days. In fact, as I type this, I am hungry and I just want to eat all there is in the world.
Damn damn. Need to figure out this soon.
Ok. On to morning pages. Today’s a tad different. Most things I am writing today are from notes that I made last night when I was trying to sleep. I did not plan to make notes per see but them thoughts when I was fucked in the head had to be captured. They couldn’t remain fleeting. I know this is like cheating. The idea of morning pages is to write about what am thinking once I wake up. And use notes from the previous night. But these had to be captured. I think I will make an exception this one time.
Oh, before we do that, here’s the track am tripping on since last night…
In bullet points, I want to talk of following. While elaborate on each as I go along.
Love public places
Rethinking the idea of a home.
Love for the sky
Here we go…
a. Love for nights.
Last night, I was working from an McD. While coming back, I was on a scooty and the roads were empty, except for the ones looking for parties. And escape. And I realized that I love the idea of nights. The world has sort of retired to their bedrooms and you are out there. Out and about. Doing your thing. Could be ground-breaking work. Could be something inane. The roads are empty. The weather’s better. The only others to keep you company are young lovers, paddlers of “sin”, others of your ilk that want to do more with their lives. That’s all. All three are the ones that need to be celebrated more than anyone else. The ones that burn the midnight oil are the ones that do crazy things.
And yeah, the world needs more crazy. I need more crazy.
Sadly, because I chase longevity, I try to follow the sun with my routine. I wish I could do otherwise. I wish I could stay up till late (like I have always done since I was a child) and yet remain alert, healthy, active, and all that.
b. Love for public places.
I love public places. Like Mcd. Starbucks. NickyM’s. Co-working spaces. Lounges. Hotels. And more. Especially if they are comfortable. I just can’t do home. I will talk more about the home in a bit. I have to be out and about. With others around me. Others could be my people. Or strangers. But others. The lockdown made me realize that I could stay alone in a house if I had to, as long as I have the Internet :D. I can even live on a secluded island.
But given an option, I would like to be in a public place. Literally live in a public place. Even if I am an introvert. I thus need to ensure that whatever I do, I have access to some interesting public places that are welcoming. And are comfortable. #note2self
The third L in the row. So yesterday was crazy. I had a bad day. I was sort of unwell. I was on the roads late at night by myself. And I felt lonely. I think I felt like this after quite a few days. Most times I can keep myself a great company. I am ok to be alone. I never understood the idea of solo travel but I have been able to live by myself.
When I talk of loneliness, I don’t mean friends or relatives or spouse or even this blog. I mean someone that I could be with that did not need explanations, someone that’s easy going. You know, someone that is non-judgemental. Someone that fans my fire. Yes yes, all these are typically rolled into one in your friends or spouse. I am super lucky to have great friends all my life. My romantic relationships have been rocky but I can not complain – it was me more often than not. The loneliness that I felt yesterday was of a different kind. You know, I wish I had another set of people (apart from friends, family, romantic partners, business partners etc). Not forever. But temporarily. You know, like you goto a staycation even when you have a home right next to you. How you goto a bar and get drunk. Bars are non-judgemental af. Must write more about them. How you goto those temporary relationships where you see physical comfort.
Fuck! Epiphany. This is EXACTLY(!) what my characters have been seeking at Caravan Serai!
FUCK FUCK FUCK! What a discovery! Caravan Serai (my next book) is about people that are seeking a temporary escape from their existing lives! And want a life that is different from the ones they’ve lived so far! The damn Caravan Serai is exactly that. A temporary resting place as you make your way from point a to point b. I need my own Caravan Serai. Most people find it in alcohol, casinos, drugs extra-marital affairs, and more. Need to find what is my poison. And then convince me that I ought to take it! This was nice! I have this mile-wide smile on my face. The first real one in more than a few days.
d. Rethinking the idea of a ‘home’.
I’ve been in Goa for a few days now. I am living out of a suitcase. The good part is that since I am not meeting any work-related people, I can wear whatever. So that helps.
What is home? A place where you can sleep naked on the floor? Where I can prop up my feet on a fancy table? A place where I can get away from societal norms? A place where you remember what button switches on what appliance? A place where you hang paintings that you like without having to seek permission? A place that you come back to after you’ve had enough at work or at a Caravan Serai? A place that allows me to get into a comfortable place in my head?
I’ve been rethinking the idea of home. Can I live out of a suitcase for good? I have not missed the things that I have in Delhi or Mumbai houses since I’ve come here. I have always attached so much emotion to the writing table, the books, the guitar, the notes that I have taken over the years. Heck, I don’t remember things that I have stored in Mumbai. When I go back, I will make so many serendipitous discoveries. That would be nice. Ok, I digressed. Back.
I know that for a lot of people these things mean a lot. These objects are very important. But for me, these don’t mean a thing. And if the last few weeks are anything to go by, like I said, I haven’t missed them a bit.
Can I thus become a minimalist nomad? Is it sustainable with my parents growing older and needing care (not to say they need it. They are very independent and I am grateful for that)? How would I fund this nomadism? What about my quirks? Whims? I don’t like to live with others (friends etc). I need my own space. Even if my best friend lived in a certain city, I like to stay in a hotel. I have to have my space. As a digital nomad, this is not possible – I will have to manage with whatever I get.
And what if, at some point in time, I do want to “settle down”? Do I then create a home?
e. Moving things.
This is important to me. I love the idea of creating movement. Since the pandemic, my ability to create this movement has stalled.
Wait. What do I mean by moving things? Creating movement?
I don’t have a definition but in a broad sense, by creating movement, I mean nudging people to take action on things that I feel are going to fulfill them. I like the idea of seeding new ideas. They may or may not fructify. I love trying new things. I love tinkering and putting new things out there in the world. I like the idea of millions of side projects, side hustles. Not to make money per see. But to see what is possible. You know, lift rocks to see what comes from underneath. Ask questions. Scratch the itch. Get curious. Ask questions. Move things. Get the drift?
Last night, it dawned onto me that since I’ve come to Goa, I’ve caused any movement anywhere. I’ve been working on all the existing things but no new movement has happened. I mean I did think about Shumbur.com but that’s not proving to be easy at all to execute.
This movement is what I need in life. I don’t know what is it about Goa that I am unable to move things. Need to investigate more.
f. The Morning Hour.
So I realized that I need a couple of hours to myself before I start the day. I often get late in waking up and then I am rushing to catch meetings. There was a time where I could dictate terms with how I would spend my time. Lately, I am unable to. And that’s causing my random anguish.
In fact, I think the inability of moving things is because I dont have this morning hour for myself anymore. I dont feel equipped to take on the world unless I have had this hour to myself. No, I dont mean that I need to meditate or write or whatever. I like the idea of control and plan and I want to just think about how I want to spend the day.
In fact, I have found that if I dont plan my time in the morning, I miss deadlines. A lot. So that has to become sacrosanct all over again.
Will action from today on. After this morning pages is done, will spend time planning things. And will not move on anything.
Oh, the other realisation, as I was editing this is that I need to find an office or something for me fast if I have to work better. I do my best work when I am following a predictable routine. And there’s no place like an office to do that.
Of course I’ve been thinking a lot about work lately. I cant seem to pin point where I want to head next. There are projects that I want to deliver (help TRS, PPP etc break even, finish book2, run a marathon etc), these dont run the economic engine that I need to sustain the life that I want to live.
I know everyone has had a terrible year but the terribility or non-terribility of their year does not pay my bills. So while it’s good to compare and seek solace in collective fuckery, I need to look out for myself. And the ones I am responsible for.
I need to get this sorted fast. Before shit hits the roof. If it hasnt already.
h. Love for the sky.
Lately, my Instagram feed has sort of got fucked. They are terrible pictures. They tell no story. They are not even ordinary. They are bad. However, I realized yesterday that I love skies. Open, wide, in all hues. In all colors. The last few posts have had the skies dotting the, well, skyline of the photos.
I never realized that I was the kind. But now I think, it’s evident. I think I even wrote in #tnks that Rujuta’s complaint with Mumbai was that she got no sky per se. I think that’s why I love high-rises – they sort of touch the sky. I love when am on a plane – public place, in the sky. What else do you want?
So that. No action point. Just wanted to report that I love the sky ;P
And yes, I will work harder to fix the insta feed!
So this is it. For today’s morning pages. I know this is different. But that’s ok. My morning pages. My blog. Ma lyf, mah rulez.
Phew. This was nice and intense. I need to move these to Roam during the day.
Onto #freewriting for #book2. It’s 8:10. I will stop at 8:30.
First time Rujuta saw a snake slither around on road, she was creeped beyond imagination. She had seen her stuff of wild, bloody, gory things but creepers were not her cup of tea. The cabbie looked at the obvious discomfort that Rujuta was in. He chuckled, “Madam, we call Goa a snake country.”
Rujuta looked at him with a questioning eye.
“Snakes are more commonplace here than what stray dogs are. In fact, during monsoons, you’d probably see more snakes on the roads than them tourists that anyway worse than the snakes”, the cabbie laughed at what he thought was a great joke.
“No way”, Rujuta muttered to herself.
“But don’t worry ma’am. They are mostly harmless. Even if they are poisonous, we don’t really get too many cases of people dying of snake bites. Dogs can be a problem though!” He clearly wanted to chat. Rujuta was his first ride of the day and he was expecting a fat tip if he went by experience. He had judged Rujuta from her clothes and could make out that she was a wife of a banker or something and is in Goa to chill with her buddies from her kitty. She was even going to the hotel that was most frequented by these fancy trophy wives, the Taj on top of the Aguada.
Rujuta had remained silent.
He pushed on but wanted to be cautious as well. The first ride of the day set the tone for how his day was going to go. “Are you here by yourself?”
Rujuta did not want to get into a conversation. She merely nodded. She was seated next to the driver. The cabbie had found this little awkward but he dismissed it as a quirk of a rich housewife. Rujuta and Prakash had many arguments over where to sit. Often she would do it only to rile up Prakash and even though he was now gone, she continued to favor the seat. She liked to see the road up ahead and getting into a reverie. This was her trance. Her meditation. her thinking tool.
She anyway had a lot on her mind. The trip to Goa was anyway an unplanned one. Tarana was insistent that she go travel. It’s been almost 5 years since Prakash was gone. Rujuta had immersed herself into the world of colors and paints and boxed herself in her 2 bedroom apartment. Thankfully she did not have any fancy expenses per se and thus she didn’t have to work.
Tarana had found some local boy and got him to book a ticket for Rujuta. The boy even got the name wrong on the ticket. Tarana did not know that it could be a problem when Rujuta would board the flight. But the ticket it was. To Goa. The place that Tarana thought everyone from Mumbai went for a holiday. The boy had told her that Lonavala and Alibaug and Matheran were too common.
Rujuta did not want to make a trip but this was a rare occasion when Tarana had actually booked a flight for her. She couldn’t say no. Rujuta booked herself in the hotel for a couple of nights. She had planned to decide on what to do next once she landed in Goa.
That’s it for the day. Hope you have a great one.
In this one, I have a heart-to-heart chat with myself about things that I’ve been thinking about at a subconscious level Do read, if you can.
PS: I’ve been writing this daily update, every morning for a few days now. I send the link to a few friends and family on Whatsapp every day. Should you want to receive the link to these updates, do let me know and I will add you to the list.
A rant on the new house that I have just moved to.
It’s no secret that I am not a big fan of confined spaces. And yet, I know that I need to embrace those. In fact, here are three situations I can think of where I actually look forward to trapping myself in these confined places!
I love airports and travel. And I thus need to be ok with confining myself in those metal tubes for hours as they hurl me through the skies. And if I am on the road, I need to of course get in them cars and navigate.
I love highrises and rooftops and the birds-eye view that these heights give you. And I thus need to use those lifts to reach the top and enjoy the view.
I love Mumbai more than I love Delhi. Actually, I am not sure of this one. But I do like to be in large port cities (at least the ones I have been to – Mumbai, Calcutta, HK, NY etc). And these cities are typically cramped. I have no clue why.
Staying with the bit about staying in Mumbai, lemme talk about this house that I just moved into.
Even though this is fairly decent for a house in Mumbai, this one is probably the smallest I have lived in (except the 1 tiny room where I was a paying guest for the first two years of my life in Mumbai between 2007 and 2009 – it had just half a bed, a tiny cupboard sized “thing” to be used as a washroom, one-half cupboard, and just enough space to stretch my arms). At first, I was kind of disheartened to move into this one, constantly complaining about the lack of space to carry out my daily activities peacefully. For instance, I wanted a personalised workstation. Initially, I thought I would create a workspace wherever I moved. I had already considered looking for office furniture pieces in the hopes of buying them pretty soon. Also, I wanted a tiny balcony garden. Alas! neither of the two could be created.
But funnily, the day before yesterday (my second night at the new place), I realized that the new house gives me the same vibes as an airplane! The same that I get when I am in a lift. Or a car for that matter.
What vibes? Stay with me. Lemme talk about the house for a bit.
To be honest, it’s not bad. Just that it’s in an old building and it’s small and has all the paraphernalia that comes with a house that’s, well, well-lived in. You know, a bed that’s too high and big for the room that it’s been plonked in, those wall-to-wall wardrobes that are deeper than what they needed to be, fake ceilings that bring the roof lower, the weird color of paint that makes space feel even smaller. You get the drift?
Coming to vibes, so, when I was drifting to sleep, even though I was on a bed, it felt as if I was sleeping on a flight. And when I woke up, I realized I had curled into a foetal ball – I can’t recall when was the last time this happened to me (I typically sleep on my back). I felt as if those walls are closing in on me. Reminded me of that scene from some horror movie where the protagonist is trapped in a room, and the walls and roofs of the room are closing in on the protagonist, purportedly to crush him! That!
For some reason, I also was reminded of this quip by a friend about highrises in Mumbai. She says that these towers are merely urban chawls without any respect for humanity. These are made to stuff as many people in as less an area possible as if we were mere cargo and they had to optimize the storage. All this while, I did not agree – I’ve always had some space to move around in the places I lived at. Not in this one.
I was also reminded of my abhorrence for things like aquariums, birdcages, muzzles, leashes et al. And the hatred for clothes in general (and the ones that fit way too well). I’ve always wondered how do people operate in such cramped quarters. The experience at this house will probably teach me that.
As someone who’s been a sponge when it comes to learning, I think this house will teach me a lot over the next few months that I will live here. Like I said a few days ago, these are interesting times, indeed!
With this, it’s over and out. See you guys tomorrow.
PS: Though I have not been able to cover this per se in the post, I will miss inviting friends and family over. To be honest, I don’t really extend the invitation to a lot of people over but the ones that I do invite, they OWN my house (and my life) as much as I do. And the one that I have moved into, I am not sure I can invite any 🙁
What if I told you that a money plant mimics the way my life moves? Would would believe it? Wait. Why should you even? Read on to find out.
Again, a day where I don’t have anything specific to write about. Well, except, this! And since there is nothing else to write about, I am going to talk about it. After all, I have committed to writing for 30 minutes every day for 30 days.
Like I said yesterday, I want to be attached to as few things as possible. And I want to own as limited things as possible. And as a result, over the next few days, I will throw / discard most of the things I own.
Of the things that I will retain is this money plant.
Lemme tell you the backstory.
To be honest, I don’t know when I got this plant. Or how I got this plant. Maybe someone gifted this to me? Or may be my sis left this behind when she moved back to Delhi 3 years ago. But I do know that I have retained this plant for at least 4 years now and I have moved this particular plant every time I have moved houses. And over these four years, I have seen the plant flourish and I have seen it withered down to just 2 leaves. And each time, the state of the plant has sort of mirrored the state of my life!
In fact, I think, like in the Last Leaf (a masterpiece by O Henry) the way protagonist attaches her life to the leaf on a tree, I believe my fortune is attached to the leaves on this money plant.
I am serious. I have data to prove it. Since I have started tracking, the plant has hardly had any leaves and my life has been topsy-turvy. In fact, I don’t recall when was the last when the plant really flourish. And honestly, I don’t remember when was the last time I flourished. I mean I have had a fairly decent life, but I haven’t really flourished per se.
For a large part of the past 2 months, the plant had just 2 leaves.
But as I was prepping to move on to a new one, I spotted another leaf. The third one. So, there is an improvement. And thus, I am hopeful that the new house will be luckier than the previous one. I hope the plant goes back to having many more leaves. May be this year on, it will flourish again? May be I will flourish again?
Or, may be I am merely being a fool and I am confusing causation to correlation What do you think?
A tiny home-improvement decision that I think I will take as I move to a new house in the next week. Part of my 30 days of writing every day for 30 minutes project.
This is the second day of this new project where I try and write every day for 30 minutes. As I start writing this, it is 9:09 PM (ended at 9:56 PM) and I do have this one thing that I want to talk about. Let’s see how long I take to write it.
So, in less than a week, I move to a new house. Like all the other houses that I have lived at, this one is also not mine and that means I am reluctant to acquire things that make the house a home. I mean I don’t put no pictures, no photos, no posters, nothing that resembles a place that is lived well. Even the furniture, I don’t acquire it. I don’t like the idea of material possessions (while I do have a bagful of memories – photos, postcards, tickets, hand-written trinkets and all that), I try and not attach myself to things.
There are multiple reasons for that. Lemme make a list.
A. In the past, when I did have things that I could attach myself to, every time I’d move the house, those would break and I’d get sad about em. So, to avoid disappointment, I decided against acquiring things.
B. Thing is, I like finer things (you know, expensive, made with love, limited edition, by artisans) and I have this big child ego (I either want the whole world, or nothing) and I have never had a lot of disposable money to be able to buy all the nice things. So, I trained myself to overlook these material things and not pine for those. I would of course continue to spend money to get some of these for friends. These gifts are voluntary – I can choose to get those or I could not get any at all. However, if I get addicted to better things, I would start pining for those and I know I can’t afford em. So, detach.
C. Continuing with the thread of detachment, I am trying to have minimal attachments to material things. This means I am embracing minimalism, Buddhism, Stoicism, Mary-Knodoism, Hagge-ism, and every other such -ism that tells us to be simple with our lives.
Of course, do get emotional when I have to change the house. I do not like to be around when I move. I rely on my friends and handymen to do so. Like they say, truth, is weirder than fiction 🙂
D. I saved the best for the last. I love space. And the kind of houses that we have in Mumbai, we have anything but space. Even with minimal furniture and furnishing, you sort of keep bumping into the walls all the time. So, I try and avoid stuffing the house with things!
So yeah, I have lived my life in a certain manner (like a robot) and I think it serves me well.
So, why this post?
Well, as I said, I am going to move to a new house in the next week. And as I get ready to make the move, I am thinking that I will change it! Thinking. Not doing it. And I will list those reasons as well here.
1. I want to look at life on the other side. The side where you get emotional about things. I am after all an experience junky. To a point that I want to pack a thousand lives into this tiny one that we have. And I’d love to see things from. the perspective of the vain ones.
2. I want to assert my personality. When I had a business that was well and alive (prior to the COVID shock), I could project myself via my work. Now, I cant. So, I need to find something that allows me to. Even if it’s a simple wall in one of the rooms where I post things that are important to me.
3. I have always been a public-place person. I cant spend time at home. I feed off the energy of others and that means I love places like cafes and offices and worksites where I can see others working. Thanks to this WFH thingy, I know that I may not be able to get back to an office anytime soon (even though I have been going to a Starbucks every day for a week now). So, I need to convert the new place to resemble a bright, cheery place. That means I will have to get home those yellow lights, ambient speakers, the aroma of the coffee, and more! music systems and all that. And that means I will have to set up a few things that make my house, well, home, and start living like a human!
Robot. Human. Get the drift?
That’s it for the day.
With this, its over and out. See you guys tomorrow!
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