160821 – Morning Pages

A shortPost on what I am changing in my life from today on!

8:09. Starbucks.
I changed something today. I dint write as soon as I woke up. Rather, I puttered around. Played some chess (lost both the games). Did 12 Surya Namaskaras (yay!). And then reached Starbucks.

And here I am. On my morning pages. And I will write till 8:30. Sharp. And then 5 minutes to tag things in my notes. And then work. I think I can do with this routine.

So the highlight of yesterday has to be that I walked for a bit and went and sat at the seaside at Versova. This is what I will miss once I am not in Mumbai. To be honest, it was tough to be with myself. But I managed for a few minutes and it was indeed a good thing.

I also had a Frooti (or was it a Slice?) yesterday once I came back from the walk. I was dying to have a Diet Coke. I dont know what it is about staring at the sea and Diet Coke. I had to have one. But then, streaks. So I replaced it with whatever non-fizzy, non-sugary thing the store had. And somehow I settled on a mango-drink.

And yeah, it was tasty. I had had one after I dont know how long.

In other news, I did a session with a few young people I work with. The youngest was 19. Oldest, 25. There were 6 of them and I talked to them about SoG Book. This was my attempt at researching for the book. The kind of things they want to read and understand. It was fascinating to talk to them. I realized that what I have on SoG is not something that these kids would want to read. They of course have questions and doubts and all in their heads. But what I have is entirely different from what they want. So, back to the drawing board.

Starting Keto from today. And I started SNs as well. Enough. I think the darkness of the last few days is being caused by the kachra I am eating. So I am going to fix it. It is tough with all the ease and accessibility and all that. I will fall back to the age-old tested methods of chewing onto chewing gum all the time, drinking water all the time, and eating OMAD. I somehow need to stop with the stress eating. I can’t really control stress – there are things in my life that I am missing. There are things in life that could be better. But I know that I can’t control those. So, why bother.

Rather, fix the reaction to the stress. You know, not succumb to stress!

So that.

Ok. 8:32. Time to get on with the day. Here’s streaks…

  • OMAD – 0
  • #book2 – 1. Did some work on SoG Book.
  • #noCoke – 158
  • #noCoffee – 1. Had none. Had chai rather.
  • #aPicADay – 0
  • Money spent – 4540
  • Killer Boogie – 0
  • 10K steps a day – 0
  • Surya Namaskar – 0. Did 12 rounds today. If I manage tomorrow, I will add to the streaks.
  • 10 mins of meditation – 0
  • Minimaslism Counter – -2
  • Morning Pages / Meditations – 248

150821 – Morning Pages

A shortnote on how yesterday was. And the good and bad and the ugly of being me.

8:44. Starbucks.

Yesterday was a bad bad day. Kept faking that things are ok. They weren’t. Couldn’t focus on work. Couldn’t center my mind. Couldn’t get attention on one thing. Couldn’t sleep. Couldn’t function. Was to meet someone. I chose to not do it. Thankfully it was a Saturday and no one needed my attention. So I could get by without talking to anymore. I can’t afford to have these dark days on a workday. I would get rogered.

Come to think of it, there’s nothing wrong with me per se. Life seems to be going ok. People I care for are healthy and happy. I have some money in the bank (even though it’s still debt) and I know more is on the way. There is some work that keeps me engaged. There are challenges with it but none that I would lose my sleep over. Or get spaced out the way I am right now was yesterday. Today I am far better.

I dont even know what triggered it. I was awesome in the morning. Spoke to a friend that I would shack up with in Japan if I go there. Made myself Maggi for brunch. Ate some more kachra. Caught an afternoon nap. And then was back to work. Somewhere between making myself Maggi and getting to work, the switch just flipped. The equanimity in my head turned into darkness. And it kept me engulfed. Till I woke up today.

I was fucked to a point that I couldn’t breathe. Not exaggerating. I had to step out in the afternoon. I went to the Starbucks at the airport. I had to be outside. Could it be the lockdown that’s taking a toll on me? Now? After when everything is open? Lol, Mr. Garg.

Anyhow. It’s a thing of the past now. I am ok now. As I write this.

Lemme talk about some good things that happened yesterday.

A. I worked on SoG book.
I am still not clear about how the output would look like but I did make a tough structure. This is how it looks like…

If you have any thoughts on this, please do feed me. I am still not sure of how the book will take shape. But I really want it to be a life manual for kids in their late teens, early 20s.

Any thoughts?

B. Saw this video about Miyamoto Musashi and his life and his teachings.
Super super inspired. I think these Japanese were ahead of their times and the lessons are still relevant. Of course, how they lived is literally impossible for someone like me to ape but I can pull some lessons from there and implement them in my life.

Among other things, I am amazed at the similarities between his life and that of stoics and non-religious ascetics. In the absence of any attachments, you probably get to a higher plane and do more with your life!

C. Saw some documentaries before I slept.
And I think it worked well. In the sense that from despair and cluelessness, I was immediately transposed into a zone where I was left amazed and inspired. I mean there’s so much about the world that I dont know about. And like a child in the candy bar I was left wanting more.

D. I wandered on my Roam.
Most of my life is now cataloged on Roam. Even if there are things that are out of Roam, they are all linked in there. Yesterday when I was spaced out, I whipped out my Roam and spent an hour or so flipping from one page to another and fixing things, tinkering things, and thinking about those things.

It was fascinating to see my brain in action. Lol. It’s not a comment on the greatness of my brain. But the way interconnected thoughts pop-up. In a loose manner, it was great to see how one thought could trigger another. And then another. Without any apparent effort. The human brain is a kickass thing. I wish I had in me to go beyond the basic curiosity!

Guess this is it for the day. Like I said, I am ok now. Time to get on with the day and get some work done.

Oh, today is India’s independence day. From being that jingoist nationalistic patriot to almost forgetting the importance of 15th August, I have come far! Yeah, judge me. But I think I am done with showing off these affiliations. More on this #someday.

Guess this is about it. Over and out.

Here’s streaks.

  • OMAD – 0. Ate like a pig yesterday.
  • #book2 – 0. Worked on SoG Book.
  • #noCoke – 157
  • #noCoffee – 0. Had three. 2X Venti. Tall. All three Americano.
  • #aPicADay – 0
  • Money spent – 4703
  • Killer Boogie – 0
  • 10K steps a day – 0
  • Surya Namaskar – 0
  • 10 mins of meditation – 0
  • Minimaslism Counter – -2
  • Morning Pages / Meditations – 247

120821 – Morning Pages

If you read this beyond the evident layer, you would see that I am literally screaming for help. Or am I?

6:20. Woke a few minutes ago.

Little mindfucked about how things are at my end. Both at work front. And on the personal front. Sadly I can’t talk about either on this post. I know I want to live in public and be open and honest about things but most of my misery and mind-fuckery has been caused by others. Or, should I say, my expectations from others?


That’s something I can fix. What I expect from others. And how I react to things when what I expect does not come my way. A large part of what Aurelius taught was this. You know, you suffer more in imagination than in reality. I am otherwise amazing. I am a man of free will (well, almost). I have enough food on my plate. I can afford expensive coffee on a daily basis. And yet I am miserable. So, I think I need to work on making my inner game strong.

I know. Easier said than done. I dont even know what to do to get stronger. Any clues anyone? Wait. No one’s reading these. I am by myself. So what clues. Sigh.

Ok. Changing tracks.

I used to write these letters to people where I would share things I’ve learned from others. You know, SoG Letters. Here’s a complete list. Yesterday someone replied to one of the letters from two years ago. In that email, she packed in so much advice and inputs in that email that I ended up doing 10 half-pushups (with my knees on the floor). If I can do 40 more during the day, I would’ve probably ganga-nahaoed. Ok. Wait. Lemme do 10 more. Done. I am a bit woozy. But done! Yay! 20 half-pushups! I just need to do this every day. Maybe I will stack it as a habit. Every time I publish this post, I will do 10. Lol! Who’d say I am 38! Anyhow. So, thanks to this email, I have decided that I will compile some of those letters in the book. I have tried multiple times in the past and have failed. I must compile these letters into SoG Book. Come what may! #toDo

Maybe instead of working on book2, I could work on SoG book every day in the morning for the next 30 odd days? At least I can make it publishing-ready? Hmmm. Interesting thought. Lemme think about this while in the shower. Sounds like a good idea. At least I would ship something. Book2 is anyway delayed by like 7 years. I dont think anyone is missing it. #toThink

So that.

Ok. I am back after a break. Showered and all that. At a Starbucks. Still on the fence about what I want to do (Book2 or SoG Book) till I go away from the grid. I mean I will be with a few other people but I would not be reachable apart from those people. I will work on SoG Book from 8:30 on. Let’s see if I am fully engaged with it.

That’s about it. See you guys on the other side.

  • OMAD – 0
  • #book2 – 0. Did not write yesterday.
  • #noCoke – 154
  • #noCoffee – 0. Had two. Venti. Tall. Americano.
  • #aPicADay – 0
  • Money spent – 30 + 30 + 130 = 190
  • Killer Boogie – 0
  • 10K steps a day – 0
  • Surya Namaskar – 0
  • 10 mins of meditation – 0
  • Minimaslism Counter – -2
  • Morning Pages / Meditations – 244

110521 – Meditations

A quick post about things that are on the top of my head. Nothing special here. Read if you want to.

6:07. Been up for a bit. I woke up with the phone. I slept with it. I need to change this habit. There was a time when I would sleep away from the phone. Not anymore. The phone has become a constant companion. One reason is that there is so much to catch up on – not in terms of work but in terms of people – you know if everyone is ok. Does anyone need any help? Even things like if vaccination centers are open so that I could book slots. It’s a painful time to be around. And I live alone. No, I don’t feel the need to have someone around me. So the phone becomes the constant companion. The virtual world becomes the real place where I live and learn and thrive and all that. People I know from Twitter are now closer confidantes compared to the ones I know IRL. The phone, ladies, and gents have had a role to play in that. And thus, I wake up and sleep with it.

Anyhow. Today’s post will be a tiny one. I have a lot to finish before I start with Docedge sessions for the day. And today’s sessions are a lot about how to construct a scene visually. I thus need to get going. Lemme quickly dump what all is on my head.

So I took the COVID vaccine on Saturday. All of Sunday I was ok and I was laughing at it. I was actually admiring my immunity that I was the only one to not have any side effects of the vaccine. Till it all came crashing down on me yesterday. I just couldn’t function. I literally passed out while typing a message. By evening I was ok but it was a scary scary thing. I anyway hate medical shite!

Saw a tweet where a stranger was talking about 5-day water fast. I want to be able to do the same. In fact, once every 2 months. I have managed 50 odd hours a few times but I never touched 4 days, leave alone 5. Apparently, the 3rd day is the toughest. I think I will do this next week. Making a note. Let’s see if I manage. Also, such long fasts apparently put your body in Ketosis and the brain starts to work on overdrive. The things you do to stimulate the brain by coffee and psychotropics and alcohol and other such things can happen merely by staying hungry? In fact, KG told me that apparently, Michelangelo would stay hungry for weeks and then start painting! Well, too many apparentlys there. But the point is, I need some additional help, some unfair advantage to be able to fulfill my potential! If fasting can give me that and it’s only about controlling what you eat, why not?

I started the house hunt. Since I am just starting, I am hoping to get one without brokerage. I looked at some places on the western line. And then some in Thane. So far, I don’t like any. Most of the places listed on these real-estate websites are probably the ones that no one takes! This broker mafia needs to be broken and for some reason, no startup has been able to do that! Wonder why. I mean I know why but as a consumer, it sucks that the apparently simple problem hasn’t been solved. I hate this inconvenience that gets thrown at me each year. Whoever said that its a better financial decision to not buy a house probably did not have to hunt for a rental property.

Guess this is it. I mean there is more on my head.


  1. I need to apply to NFDC’s Scriptlab and I am very very far from that. The deadline is next Monday. I have like 6 days to get that done. Let’s see if I manage. Taking more shots, outside of my league. You know.
  2. I need to figure out the future of Podium. I feel there’s a lot of potential in what I could do with it. We have some superlative content there.
  3. I need to ship that SoG book. The thing that I am yet to touch! It was supposed to ship in Jan. I think I need someone to help me ship things! Grrr…

Anyhow, over and out. Let me get onto work before I start wailing in self-pity.

Here’s the streaks…

  • Morning Pages / Meditations – 149
  • #aPicADay – 0
  • 10K steps a day – 0
  • OMAD – 0
  • #noCoffee – 0
  • #noCoke – 62
  • 10 mins of meditation – 0
  • #book2 – 0
  • Killer Boogie – 0
  • Original Work (limited time only) – 0
  • Surya Namaskar – 0

150421 – Meditations

Yet again, a rant about how things are and how I am coping (not too good, if you want hints).

7:12. Andheri.
Woke a few minutes ago. The minds blank. I don’t know what to write. Even though I have a lot on my head.
Lemme try bullets.

So, we have a lockdown from today in MH. That means I wouldn’t be able to go for my walk.


The only thing that was keeping me sane. But that’s ok. I will prevail. I am stronger than that. I hope so.

This entire COVID situation is getting out of hand and the government seems to be failing at controlling it. From stupidity around election rallies to gatherings like the Kumbh, to allow the country to remain permeable, to even fudging the data, there have been numerous slips.

Also, honestly, I can’t blame just the government. You and I and People are to blame as well. For example, I can’t sit at home (if I call where I live home). While I may claim to take precautions, how do you enforce everyone to be sensible? How do you ensure that there are no slip-ups? We are human after all!

Plus people will die hungry if they do not step out! I mean, they can’t be at home. I don’t even know how to fix that. Damn, it sucks to be a mere armchair activist.

On my way back from the walk last night, I took a rick. Got talking to the driver. I quipped that now that traffic is less, he must be having it easy while driving.

No, he was not amused.

He said he liked it where there was traffic. The meter doesn’t stop. The passengers don’t stop coming. The wheel of life continues to move. He said that if there’s a lockdown, he would be forced to go back to his hometown, somewhere in Bihar. And this is when he had just come back in December after an 8-month-long hiatus.

Funnily, minutes before this conversation, I had a friend tell me that the pollution levels in Mumbai would fall and it will get green and nice and gorgeous. Can’t say no to that. Mumbai is beautiful if you remove the filth that we spew on it.

In my head, what was contrasting was that these two worlds — one of the people that are perched atop their high-rises and the other of those that are literally crawling on the street — will never see the world from a similar lens.

The worst are people like me that are stuck in the middle. We don’t belong at either end. We are not privy to how either lives. We shuttle between resignation, acceptance, denial, and hope. We merely chase vanity and comfort. The high-rises inspire us. The streets are the epitome of negative reinforcement. We chase the comfort and go-getter-ness of the two extremes. We shun pain and try to unsee what these two worlds are going through – one behind the closed doors, the other, communal. Out in the open.

For someone like me, I dont even know how to communicate my anguish.

Someone that drives a rick, has an option to go back to his hometown. He will somehow find a train ticket and go. Someone on the 29th floor of a building that has 5 levels of parking to prop the 29th even higher, has an option to continue to live without getting affected. The only bummer for her is that her “maid” would not come to help on the next party they’ve planned at home – lockdown or no lockdown.

For someone like me, the one in the middle, I have no hometown to go to. Even if I had, I would never be able to jugaadofy a ticket. Of course, no savings per se to talk about. No backup plans in terms of where I could go or what I could do. No birthday parties to host. No domestic help to worry about.

Of course, like I said yesterday, lately I’ve been doing better and I am seeing some signs of how life is at a point where things are a little more stable. With lockdown and the random madness it has thrown on me, I don’t even know if I’d be able to deliver effectivity and continue this stability.

It’s just a weird situation. I am clueless. I have even lost the ability to think straight. My writing has become mundane. Boring. Assuming it was interesting earlier. I took pride in my strong mental framework and how I never got affected by things around me. People could come, go, die, live, win awards, lose jobs, I remained steadfast.

Not anymore. I find myself thinking a lot about people that have lost someone close, lost something important, lost hopes for the future. To a point that I am becoming less and less effective at work.

Thankfully I still sleep ok.
Thankfully I still try and cook up ideas.
Thankfully there is a continual adventure. Like yesterday I realized that all domains that I have hosted on net4 (literally all!) are at risk of obsolescence. I can’t even log in to the control panel. Trying to salvage some of those but let’s see. All the hard work of the last so many years will go for a toss. How are you to imagine that a 20+-year-old company, listed on the stock exchanges will go down? Damn!

Anyhow. Enough. Moving on.

Here’s a thing.
Starting tomorrow (today I wanted to rant), on these morning pages / meditations, I will write not more than 200 words about the day gone by or about things clouding my head. I would rather gun for writing something original. I have a few options.

I want to write a script and enter the NFDC Scriptwriter’s Lab. While it is not impossible to write a script in 15 days, I will try. I could do that. Would make for an interesting challenge.

Or I could write towards book2. Lol!

Or I could work on SoG Book.

I dont know. I want to write something original. Let’s see what I choose to do.

Even though I knew of Coconut Milk all this while, yesterday, I bought a pack on a whim yesterday and it was delicious. The pack says that they don’t put any additional sugar and I want to believe it. I will see if I can sustain my taste for it for the long term.

sgM1 is giving me trouble. Heats up randomly. It may be because of the stand that I have put underneath to prop it up? I tried to search online if this is a common occurrence and I couldn’t find others that have the same issue. So, mine is a unique case.

If the laptop conks off (in less than 3 months of buying it), it would be unfortunate. Thankfully, I still have sgAir. Even though it doesn’t work as well as it’s supposed to, I at least would have access to a computer that works. Without a computer, my ability to make money would get dented.

I can only hope that the computer continues to work as expected. At least till this lockdown is over.

My back has been troubling me lately. I think it’s all the hours of sitting in front of the computer. To fix it, I decided to try and sleep on a yoga mat.

I must report that the experiment failed miserably. I had to get back to a mattress. Old age. Lol! Plus, classic example of shit people do when they are clueless about what to do and are bored!

Finally, even though I touched it briefly in point “a” above, I am surprised that I am this affected, triggered, anxious. I am clueless and I have like zero energy / focus / attention during the day. I always considered myself far more stable, far more sorted than this. I am clearly not. Must work on this!

Let’s see what the future has in store for me.

As I end this, reminding myself that starting tomorrow, 80% of what I publish here would be original work and not just thoughts. Wish me luck!

Before I end, here’s streaks

  • Morning Pages / Meditations – 123
  • #aPicADay – 104
  • 10K steps a day –3
  • OMAD – 0
  • #noCoffee – 36
  • #noCoke – 36
  • 10 mins of meditation – 1
  • #book2 – 0
  • Killer Boogie – 0
  • Original Work (limited time only) – -1 (starting tomorrow).

140121 – Morning Pages

I talk about an important lesson I learnt – the difference between being a blogger and a writer. And the changes I’ll make in how I operate.

7 AM


So, Rajesh Sir’s house is bang on Baga beach. And that’s a good great thing. And a bad. And that means that there is more hustle-bustle here than what an average road in Goa has. This means that I am not bored and there’s something to look at all the time.

And this also means that there are people at all times in all states of mind – sober, inebriated, happy-high, free, and so on and so forth. And that doesn’t auger well for someone that seeks peace of mind. No, I don’t. But others may. No, I am not complaining at all. Merely stating a truth. The fact that I can live here without worrying about basics is a blessing in itself!

So, yesterday was a mixed bag. Got some work done, got some mind-fuckery happening (even in Goa), spoke to some friends, met new people, passed on an opportunity to meet more people. But I think I am getting to understand how to go about it if I want to be known in multiple circles. A large part of it involves putting yourself out there and pimping yourself subtly. Truth be told, I don’t understand either – pimping self or subtlety. My life has been about muted peacocking. Lol, muted and peacocking in one sentence 😀 Lemme explain.

Muted. I don’t like the limelight. I don’t want to be seen. I don’t want to be known by the aam aadmi per se.

Peacocking. Without trying to be a PUA, the kind of clothes I wear and the way I talk and the way I behave, and the energy I have, all these make me stand out. Often as a misfit. Often as someone that people balk at. You don’t want to talk to someone that doesn’t care about how he looks. Someone that you don’t think of much of when you first lay your eyes on them.

That. Needs to change.

Talking of change there’s another thing I need to change in my personality.

This is something I intuitively knew and got reinforced in Goa. It is…

People want tangible things. Finished things. Finite things. They don’t respect a WIP.

For example, if you say you are a blogger, you get respect at, say, 6 on 10. On the other hand, if you say you are a writer and working on a book, the respect goes up to 9. Both are essentially the same but the subtle difference is in being a blogger and a writer. Just that the Blogger is a WIP. Ongoing. A writer is finite. Something that has been shipped.

People respect finished ones more than they respect WIP. We want to see output more than we want a process. The journey may be the reward for a few but most want a destination. The best part? They don’t care about the quality of what you’ve shipped. They just want to flip the pages of the book, see the URL of the film that is on Hotstar (not Youtube – youtube is WIP, an OTT platform is a finite destination). They don’t want to even do the work required to read or see. Just the signal that it’s out there is enough!

I have seen this in action in Goa like no other place. Probably because there are far less ‘finite’ ones than the ones that are ‘WIP’? In fact, this tweet that Krishna shared made this point beautifully well. And gives me further reinforcement.

I think that’s about it.

The lesson for the day is that being a finite is large in itself and will require me to make substantial changes in how I think and operate.

Here are two that I am making immediately.

A, rather than using all those adjectives that I think do an honest job of describing me (Jack of all trades, curious, marketer, podcaster, etc), I will introduce myself as a writer / storyteller. To hell with what people think about this. I am a writer first and then everything else. And that’s that. This is a sg5stars thing for sure.

Since this is new to me and not really my core personality, it will take time to implement. Do course-correct me if you see me doing otherwise.

B, the SoG series I’ve been writing for a few months? I will restart it at some point in time but I will also release the same as an e-book. And I have already initiated work on that. In case you want a copy, drop your email address on this form.

So that.

I also caught up with friends from the Long-Form-Writing Fans (LFW) Group. With the sketchy internet and a million mosquitos trying to sweep me away, the call was short and there was hardly any rasa but it was phenomenal to speak with them after this long. All of us shared our writing goals, issues that we’re facing (with writing and otherwise) and even spoke about our goals for this year. I wish we could meet more often. I wish we had more things to talk about. I think apart from Prak this set of people is going to be super-helpful as I go about book2.

Oh, I also met someone really interesting after ages on Lunchclub. Not to say other people that I meet are not worthy of a mention. This person was all of 27 and had so much clarity about life that I am left in awe. Apart from Shikha, I don’t think I’ve met someone with so much clarity ever. So that.

I think this is about for the day. The morning pages are now like a public journal but that’s ok. I think I like the idea of writing something to start the day. After all, remember what I said? I am a writer 🙂

Oh, here’s the #freewriting piece for #book2 for today. A writer has to write. Right?

Here we go…

Fire is probably the most misunderstood among all the things that nature made for us. Most people revere it. They don’t revere it really, they are merely scared of it. It is impossible to stop, is all-engulfing and all-consuming. It’s hungry. And it does not relent. The older Paul once told Mrs. Gomes that each fire is as distinct as people are. Each fire has a character. Each fire has a voice. The fires speak. Fire growls. And whispers. Fire can creep up on you silently. And fire can leap on you when you’re least expecting it. Like a person, a fire has its own life. From a spark to a tinder to a flare to a blaze to an inferno and to the biggest of them all, Sun. Sun is probably the only share that the fire takes that we truly respect.

Ok, that’s about it. Love this short para that I’ve written. Among the best, I’ve ever written. Don’t want to spoil it by adding more 😀 What do you think?