One of those days when even though I have slept for hours, I am unable to write :(. The post has nothing interesting. You may skip.
7:32. I woke up a minute ago. My eyes are still not open. And I slept at some 9:30 last night. I think I’ve slept for this long after ages. No, I wasn’t tired. No, I wasn’t mindfucked (I mean, I am about things but not the kinds that make me sleep for long!). No, I don’t have any recollections of any dreams per se.
It’s almost the end of Jan. I need to start thinking about moving into a permanent house in Goa. Or not. I mean if I am going to be in Goa then I need to have a more permanent house. I can’t pile on Rajesh Sir forever. The decision to move to Goa needs a couple of factors – work (how do I make my money) and people (the ones I love and want to spend a lot of time with, they are not in Goa).
Ok, the mind is so blank that I can’t think of anything to write. Tomorrow is a big day – we have that pitch event and I need to work on that during the day today. Also, I will probably manage NickyM’s today. If you are hanging around Baga / Calangute, come drop by.
I know what to talk about. Mental exhaustion. For some reason, I feel exhausted af in the head these days. Goa was supposed to do the opposite. No? Make me feel relaxed and easy in the mind and all that. But no. I am anything but that. No, I am not agitated either. I am ok in the head. I function normally. I am as kind as I could be to anyone or anything. I am better than I was at most times in my life. Just that I am tired. You know the kinds that make you want to do nothing but lie down in the bed and hope you had a personal masseuse to give you champi as you interviewed on national TV.
I think I need to add some workout routine in my life. I dont know what though. I am famously inept to do any sort of workout. I can walk at best but that’s no workout.
Nah, the words aint not flowing. Is this what writer’s block is? Dunno. I think I will take a break for the day. Lemme see how I do on #freewriting for #book2. Here we go…
It was a Wolf-moon night. And in absence of those blinding lights that humanity has installed to dispel the darkness, the sky was lit with a million stars. And of course, the moon. Raunak had seen many a nights like that in his life time. He was born in a time and place where what they called the human development had yet to touch their village. They slept under the stars most days, even if it was in a courtyard of the house, or on the roof. He remembered that as they drifted to sleep, his father would look at the sky and the moon and stars and could guess the date and time. These moons and the stars were the only clocks that people had in that era.
Raunak had to stretch his rickety limbs to reach the top of the window that allowed him a glimpse of the infinite sky and the neverending, never-resting ocean that spread out just beyond the jail. And his window. And his grasp.
He loved the moon. His father had often told him that he was like a Wolf and he got his energy from the moon. He believed it for the longest time. Till he started traveling and reading. Once he knew that the wolves did not howl at the moon, he was tempted to burst the bubble but his father was almost on the death bed. He knew that you don’t pop bubbles of people that are dying soon. Their entire lives start to seem meaningless to them when them bubbles pop. Let them remain in their cages made of biases stronger than the iron rods.
Raunak could finally spot the moon and he beamed at it. It’s the most beautiful thing that Mother Nature had made. Well, to him, at least. If others saw today’s moon, they probably would concur with Raunak. But then, what others? Raunak was in isolation for so many years that he had lost track. His conversations were limited to asking for the guards to help him run errands and those too materialized only if the guards felt like.
He continued to stare at it. Continued to think of the times that were long gone. Continued to imagine a different life if only he had decided to not leave his home all those years back. On yet another Wolf-moon night.
Phew. That was tough. But I think I like how it has come out. What do you guys think?
Been up for a while. The fuckery of yesterday about the inability to comprehend the Farmer’s Protest is sort of fading. Most sane people I know are asking me to stay away as each side has vested interests and are working on the narratives. But then I am not sure if that’s the right way to go about it. I need to know what’s happening around me, in my country. I may be insignificant but I do have opinions and I like the idea of knowing. Vegetating is not for me.
So, the internet worked well yesterday! For a change. Thank you Design Centre. If you need a great place to work from, do check them out. I think I will go there again. Even though they are at Provorim and it takes some time to reach there but I am ok with it. At least the Internet is reliable and since they don’t have any kitchen, I am away from crap. Oh, that’s what I’ve realized. If I have no options to eat, I tend to stay away.
Goa is now reporting lovely weather. The kinds that I’d love to live in year-round. There’s a nip in the air in the morning. The afternoons are bearable and the evenings get pleasant all over again. I think if someone wants to come to Goa, this is the best time to do so! In fact, I am thinking, I should have come here at this time – all year-end tourists would have been back, all locals would have started to spring out. But then, I am here now. So that’s cool. I am also close to my self-imposed deadline of Jan 31 of making a decision about living in Goa.
I am still on the fence, to be honest. A lot depends on work. A lot depends on money. I think the Internet and mobile connection is a challenge if you want to live in Goa. But if I do decide to live here, I think I can throw money at the problem and solve it. Mobile phones, not so much. But the internet is solvable for sure. It’s only about getting 2-3 connections that are fast enough. Hope something works out that allows me to live from here. Oh, I am in Mumbai for a few days I think in the next week. I have some errands to run. Let’s see.
Oh, I am also gonna pick Shumbur.com back. I haven’t had the time to act on it at all. Among other things, the hunt for a stable internet connection has kept me busy. I don’t know more people but the ones I do, I need to engage with them, get into a conversation with them. Write on those experiences. Showcase them, get feedback and then scale efforts.
So that’s that. I don’t have more things to write in today’s morning pages. Except that I am grateful to be alive, grateful to have access to a roof, grateful to have some people that I can call friends. Damn lucky I am! Talking of luck, the Spotlight is just 2 days away and I am in jitters. I have been to so many other events in the past, have managed, arranged, and produced so many of these smallish events that this should be like the back of my hand. But no, I am in jitters. Guess cos this one is super close to my heart? See this thread.
So, I think this is about for the day. I feel as if I should write more. But I dont know what. Guess will pour some thought on #book2. But before that, today’s track is this.
And here’s #freewriting for #book2. Missed it yesterday but I am back.
Rujuta was curious. “ABC, what are those red bottles doing all over your house?”
“Oh those? They are to keep the monkeys away.” ABC sipped onto the coffee that she had just brewed.
“What do you mean?”
“This place has a lot of Monkeys. We are a jungle remember? And it’s their jungle. We are mere visitors”
“These red bottles keep them away.”
“I don’t know. But you start picking these tricks when you start living in the jungles. Not that we’ve left a lot of it. Look at all those towers coming up. I know that people want homes but at what cost? Us humans fuck everything up. But listen. Don’t let my ideas spoil what you are here for. Shumbur.com you said? Tell me more?”
“Well, Shumbur is my attempt to talk to 100 people from Goa and chronicle their journeys, lives, and all that. Plus I needed a new project and this looks and sounds like a good idea.” Rujuta said.
“So who all have you talked to?”
Rujuta couldn’t understand why this was almost the next question that everyone asked them!
“Wait. I am intrigued by these red bottles and monkeys. Do they really work? Tell me what other tricks did you pick up?”
Just then a branch snapped and some leaves rustled in the trees that Rujuta was facing. ABC had her back to those trees and she motioned her head and said, “there they are. Ask them what keeps them away.” She laughed and took a sip onto her coffee.
Rujuta noticed that even though ABC came across as a happy cheerful person, there was a tinge of sadness somewhere. She couldn’t put a finger on it but she knew. Her years and years of experience with seeing people from behind the lens had trained her to spot these patterns. She considered herself a fairly good people-watcher, but not as good as Tarana. And that was ok. Tarana had many more decades over Rujuta!
“And Nah, no more tricks. You just need to get used to the dogs and mosquitos and snakes. Oh, and those insecure vultures and sharks that want to take you for a ride.” The comment from ABC was uncalled for. But Rujuta sniffed an opportunity of a story there. These instincts are what makes a good journalist stand out from a great and she was no doubt among the greatest ones!
She knew she had to get to the bottom of it and fish out a story. If not for Shumbur, then for her curiosity. But she knew she had to be patient. So, she made a mental note of it and continued to smile at ABC.
Ok, that’s it. Couldnt find the right words 🙁
Maybe tomorrow I will. Maybe tomorrow is better! Over and out.
What if you could treat life as a video game? You know, you play the game of life. And not just live or go through the motions.
7:09. Woke up about 10 mins ago. With a stomach ache. I think it’s the Maggi and Coke combination that is fucking my system Or all the coffee I had. Or the heartburn from the lack of Internet and all that. Something has to be done about the food situation.
Anyhow. So yesterday was super eventful. I had some million calls to make and in between had to sort a billion other things. And as expected the Internet decided to not work. The Vodafone signal decided to disappear. People decided to be at their worst. Sigh.
But then there was this silver lining as well. The opportunity to talk to a few entrepreneurs that are still building their business, thanks to Spotlight (an event that we at Podium have cooked to get aspiring entrepreneurs and investors together). It was so gratifying to talk to them and try and see that there’s so much that I can do. This is what I have been gunning for, all my life! I wrote this thread about it. It is here.
The larger thing here is that this looks close to what I want to be doing in life. You know, life purpose.
Which is what? Create opportunities for others! I have realized that I may not be the kind to go super deep into things but I am definitely the one that can look at the large picture and recommend simple shifts and nudges. It is amazing to see the aha moment come on their faces when I point out these simple things!
Of course, I am not the only one that is doing this. There are so many more people out there that do a better job. But then that does not diminish what I do. And I think I need to scale these things.
The other thing that happened and what I want to sort of write a #SoG on is equating life to a video game. Lemme give some backstory. As a kid, I loved those 8-bit Nintendo video game machines and game cartridges. You know, Contra, Mario and all that? But these were expensive things and you couldn’t buy either the game or the cartridges. So we’d rent them from local stores. This was probably my early exposure to timeshare, I guess. And because these were rented, we’d have limited time with those. Which meant that within a day or two I had to play out the entire game. I had to play to till my heart was full, till I had killed the boss, till I had got to the princess, till I had found all the hidden easter eggs, till I had found the bug that gave me unlimited lives in Mario, till I could boast that I have cleared all of 8 stages of Contra without losing a life. All this had to be done in a limited time. The time that I did not have – I had a school to go to, watchful parents, one family TV where I could hook the machine, the enmity on the cricket ground and I don’t know what all.
But somehow, I could manage the game.
Yesterday when I was thinking about things in life, somehow this dawned onto me – what if I treat life as a game? What if I am in the game? I need to play it out. I need to defeat the Boss. I need to get the princess. I need to find the wrap zones to help finish the game faster. I need to master the moves. I need to find the equivalent of up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, B, A, start for this game called Life.
And suddenly, all the fuckery, all the issues in life, all the things that have been affecting me started to look like problems that I could try and solve. And to the brain I’ve been given if you throw a problem at me, I will try to solve it and find an answer!
What if things that affect you, you try to look at those like a problem that needs to be solved? What if you play it like a game? You know, learn for the first few stages, level up your skills, acquire new powers, solve challenges that are increasingly tougher, get rewarded with coins that trick your brain into releasing dopamine. Listen to this clip. Do you think you feel good instantly?
Oh, man! there are so many of these people playing the Mario track. I just went down the rabbit hole. There is a guy on the guitars, another on two guitars, there an entire orchestra, there is a guy beatboxing! I can waste an entire day listening to these. And as I type this, I have this silly smirk on my face!
Wait. Coming back.
If I you treat life like a game, things probably will look better. Life’s a game and you have a limited time with it and you need to play and learn and evolve and beat the boss. As simple as that.
Guess that’s it. There is more that I wanted to talk about. Lemme try quick bullets. Dont want this to become a tome.
1. I realized that working for someone else comes with its challenges of managing other people’s egos. You don’t need to be just good at what you do, but you have to know how to navigate the corporate jungles and dirty politics that people engage in.
2. The freelance life doesn’t exactly set you free. You are still exchanging your time for money. What sets you free is a thing that makes money even when you are asleep. Like Naval says, you need leverage. Need to get to that.
3. For a change, I am not inspired by anything to do with the Republic Day. Far cry from the staunch nationalist that I was growing up. I think this is a good thing and a bad thing. Good – I am not being a jingoist. Bad – I am sort of losing my identity! I am as Indian as they come!
4. I saw that I had written in the last few days on #freewriting for #book2. I realised that most times, what I write for book2 is inspired by what’s happening in life around me. Now that’s not cool. I am not here to write a biography. The idea is to write a fictional story that entertains people!
So that. I wish I had the time to write more. Each time I write, I get some more clarity. I think I think the best when I am either writing. Or talking.
Chalo, onto #freewriting for #book2 for the day. I hope today’s post is not something that happened to me! I am at 8:45. Will write till 9:15.
Here we go…
“You know Chintan, love for me has to be that all-engulfing fire that rages on. I want to be consumed with it. I want to revel in the misery of knowing that you are around and yet you are not.” Rujuta was getting poetic.
Chintan was anything but poetic, “I get it”
“No you dont, you liar. How did you even keep that straight face on TV?”, Rujuta slapped his wrist.
“I was naive. And the cameras were of shitty quality back then!” Chintan replied plainly and ran his hand through her hair.
This was their first time they were alone after they had sort of acknowledged that they were more than just acquaintances. Both of them had scars from their previous relationships – Rujuta’s gashes were deeper than Chintan’s. Their scars had made them nomads, they were drifting through life aimlessly. But both of them were now at a point in life where they felt the need to have that comforting person to come back home to. No, they did not acknowledge this yet. Not to themselves. Not to each other. Not to the world. There’s time and place for everything.
“But you know, Rujuta, life’s not as simple as we make it to me.” Chintan egged on. He had still not told her that he was still married. Not that Rujuta would care. But it was still a big deal.
“You’re telling me?”
“I know what you’ve been through but Raju there’s a lot more about me that you need to know.” Chintan had started to call Rujuta that. In her entire life, no one had ever given that as a nickname. She wanted to hate it but she couldn’t pinpoint a rational reason to do so. There was nothing wrong with it, except it sounded like the nickname of a man. She was still not used to the name though and it still felt alien, impersonal.
“I know I need to know more of you. You need to know more about me. Isn’t that what relationships are about? Each day you discover more of your partner. You get more obsessed with each other. You cant take your mind off each other.”
“Bro, you are talking like a 16-year old romantic in conversation with her 42-year old lover.”
“You are 42. And you make me feel like a 16-year old!”
The playful banter was going exactly how they had imagined it to. If Tarana could see Rujuta reveling like that with another man, she would probably sleep better!
Ok enough. Was tough – romance is not my strong suit.
Over and out!
As always, if you want to get these updates on your WhatsApp everyday, lemme know. I will add you to the broadcast list.
I have nothing special to report today, except how I spent yesterday. Skip if you don’t have time.
I woke up some 3 minutes ago. The neck is still hurting. I think it has something to do with the pillow I use. Will see if I want to go back to not using one at all. Similarly, I need to quit coffee and Diet Coke. All over again. I am like a regular junkie. I want to stay away and the moment I see the red or brown, I start to salivate. Something starts creeping inside my skin. I have had times in the past when I have managed to stay away for even a year (I think) and at months at a stretch for sure. Need to do it again. The thing is I like the idea of being able to sit at any restaurant, office space etc, and spending hours as I work from there. Even though I am probably the most non-intrusive and non-demanding customer at such places, I need to respect that am at their business and I need to consume something. It’s not cool to not order. And I don’t know what to. And thus coffee, coke, etc. I need to find a solution. Plus, I think this is more a will power question than anything else. Any ideas?
Oh, while I am writing this, am listening to a mix by DJ NYK (here he is on YouTube). He is my nextc favorite artist. Love how he does it even though I am not a fan of electronic, high-beat, high-tempo music.
So, yesterday, a friend sent me this write-up about friends (see the image below)…
I read it and I was like O FAAAK! This is EXACTLY how I feel about friends and people in life. In fact, all my life I have various people for various occasions. I would famously not mix different groups of friends. And like this person said, I have friends that have a lot of keys to a lot of rooms but I don’t think I have any that have keys to each room. Neither do I have keys to all rooms of a friend.
This thought of mansion and rooms and keys is a very very powerful one. This is how writing should be. It should change how you look at things. It should change the way you operate in life. It has to nudge you to question your ethos and make relevant changes in your personality.
Continuing with friends, last night, RD called and spoke to me at length. About me. He said that he sees the sadness in my photos. I thought my photos are anything for that. As a person, I know that I am not really in a great space. But am I sad? Hell no! I am as content as I could be. I told him that if I have all the money in the world, this is EXACTLY what I would be doing, just that the location / scale / output would change.
But then he’s one of those people that I listen to. He thinks it’s sad. I will think more and make changes. Maybe every Sunday I post people stories? Maybe even get started with Shumbur on my Instagram? Let’s see.
So what is that I am doing that I am so incredibly happy about? That I would do even if I had all the money in the world?
Well, the ability to help others reach their lifegoals! This time I am doing it for start-up founders. All thanks to Akshay and to serendipity. I wrote a post on Linkedin talking about it. In one line, somehow we have been able to create opportunities for aspiring startups to get feedback from founders and investors. I believe each of these conversations could be life-changing. The first edition is on the 31st Jan and we have Dr. Malpani – one of those investors that I respect a lot. In case you’d like to attend, please register interest at http://podm.in/pitch.
Of course, this event is subject to I getting access to the Internet in Goa. Lol. I think I have found a pattern. It gets fucked every time there are more tourists here. Like yesterday, there was this huge traffic jam from Tito’s lane all the way to the Dolphin circle. Not kidding. I talked to people who’d reached outside NickyM’s and were sort of walking around because their vehicles were stuck in traffic. Anyhow, I was walking. So that’s cool. The internet was not working. Still not working. I am perched onto the edge of the balcony, hoping that the phone would catch some signal! I think I’ll make a trip to Mumbai or Delhi, just to experience what fast internet could be!
Anyhow. That’s that.
Onto #freewriting for #book2. I am very blank and I have no clue what I would write about.
Here we go…
If you are a traveling musician, Goa could be a tough place for you to find your footing. There are of course uncountable clubs, pubs, shacks, and more that dot the coastlines and that invite musicians to come and perform, there are more musicians here than the tourists. And that means that odds are stacked against the musicians. You can’t perform your originals. You have to tolerate request from drunken tourists that may or may not understand your music. You get paid shit money. Often it’s not even enough to get by, leave alone invest into producing your music.
Josh did not know any of this when he first moved here. He was inspired by the Instagram posts of others from his school. The choice was between India and Indonesia. The travel to Mumbai was on a direct flight and the one to Bali had to stop at two other airports en route. Josh did not like the idea of take-off and touch-down and thus he chose Mumbai. To save his gut from churning, he had thrown his life in a whirlwind.
The first few days were uneventful. He hung out at all the bars that were known to invite musicians. To his shock and dismay, the music that he performed had hardly any takers. He realized he would be lucky to land even one gig. He however had nowhere else to go. He couldn’t go back. He did not know where he was going next. He had to make the most of what Goa had to offer him. So when he spotted a board hanging outside Caravan Serai where they had advertised that it needs hands in the kitchen, he went in.
At first, Udita thought he was yet another tourist that had drifted into the joint that famously stayed a joint for the locals. But this was Goa and there’s was a business. They couldn’t say no. Plus goras were known to come in at all times. She flung the rag over her shoulder and hollered, “hey man, make yourself comfortable, the entire place is yours. I’d be with you in a minute.” She went to the bar and rinsed her hands.
Josh remained tentative. He was not really a guest. Worse he was probably going to work with this 20-something Indian that spoke in impeccable Brit accent.
“Ummm… well… I am here about that job…?”
“The board that’s hanging outside? It says you need help?”
“Ah that!” She measured him. “Lemme fetch Mrs. Gomes. Can I get you some water or something? Don’t worry, it’s on the house!” She knew a drifter when she saw one. After all, Caravan Serai was the home to such people. She was one of such people. Every other character was too.
“Nah, I am good. Thanks though.” Josh liked how Udita behaved. Very unlike all others that he had encountered so far.
Conversations with friends and strangers. About Ikigai, writing, life purpose, success, failure, and more. Oh, and scarcity of time!
7:22. This one should be ok (unlike the last one). I have no pressing agendas today. Just the way I like it!
I think these morning pages have found a rhythm. I talk about what I did the previous day. Pick on a thing from what I spoke about. And then try to think more about it, while I write. And then I write a para for book2. The entire thing takes me about an hour and it is enough to put me in a good mood, to be honest, even if I wake up with a shitty one. In fact, as I type this, I have a smile on my face.
So, lately, I have found comfort in music from Suits. People have made a playlist of tracks from Suits and even though I don’t understand half of those, I love em. In fact, I have been discovering new music here in Goa. Like the other day at a hotel, I heard this track called Jerusalema. Since it was playing on a shitty speaker, I thought it was in Hindi (really) and even when I put my head to it, I could not make it out. And when I Shazam-ed, I realized that it’s in one of African languages!
The other thing was that I got to meet Karl yesterday. He’s been one of those that I look up to in life. He had a couple of interesting things to say about things that I thought i had a deep understanding of.
A, Ikigai. You know, the Japanese concept that helps you find purpose? I thought I knew where I want to (which is to enable and inspire others with what I do and create opportunities for them) but when I was talking to him, I realized that I need to sharpen this. My notions are idealistic (something Rashi also tells me all the time) and are not practical at all. He said (and I agree) that no one would pay me to inspire them unless I become a motivational speaker or something. My personality is anything but that! So, need to think more about that.
B, On account planning and strategy. He said that as a planner you have to get into execution as often you get sucked into Blue Ocean thinking and you don’t know shit about how your strategy is translating into actual work. This is very similar to being a management consultant where you don’t have any skin in the game. Now, I want to be anything but that. So, next time I get a gig, I will try and be a part of actual execution and implementation as well. This is a very very important lesson for me. #sgP1.
The other unintended consequence of my chat with him was that I read that Gaurav Jani passed away last year. I did not know him at all and to be honest, his passing was more news to me than a personal setback. But he has been one of those people that I have been incredibly inspired by since I can remember. When I was young, he did something that I would have, well, killed for. He rode to Ladakh on a bike and made a film about that. All solo. I mean imagine taking shots of your bike, all by yourself. How’d you even do it? And he did all this way back in 2006 when all this was not even known, let alone be cool. Plus there was no ubiquitous Internet, phones, mounts, cameras. I cant even imagine how’d he charge batteries and all that. The dude must have been another level shit.
Lesson? Time is a bitch. You gotta do things now. Err on the side of action. #lifeTheme!
Moving on. On another work call, where I was giving my opinion on how things ought to happen, I was asked to shut cos what I said was in direct contrast to what apparently Kunal Shah, the grand-daddy of all start-ups folks in India, had said. A, if he has said what he apparently said, he needs to be taught. B, even if he said what he said, it may have worked for him but in the specific case, it would never work. You can’t use one-size-fits-all with startups. Of course, this is not about him. This is about me. The conversation hit me like a tight slap on my face that you could be the most educated, well-read, opinionated, caring person in the room but unless you have tangible success to show for, no one gives a fuck about what you have to say. Your opinions are not important. They are invalid. You are asked questions that, well, question your credibility.
No this is not the first time something like this has happened to me. But thank God it happened. I am inspired. Need these bouts often. In fact, I am so so so much inspired to create a fucking massive success that when someone asks me such questions, I can tell them that I’ve built massive shit and they are fuck off.
I know revenge and being sore is not a good emotion (#note2self – Pale Blue Dot, This Too Shall Pass, Seneca’s lessons) but I am human. And I hate when people I care for do this to me.
Anyhow. I think I am ok now. Last evening I was seething in anger. To a point that I could not operate. The world thinks that I am a loser and that’s ok. I have no complaints. But when the ones that I am close to think like that and operate from that place, I hate it. Really.
Lemme talk of something good. Spotlight is finally taking shape. We are gunning for the first edition of the event on the 30th. More here. In case you want to pitch your startup to Dr. Malpani, here.
So, today on, thanks to the kick in the butt by Karl and this nameless-faceless person that told me that am useless, I will try to be a lesser loser. I’ll try harder.
The other thing that I want to talk about this party with some strangers that I was in. The host introduced me to some people as a famous author. For some reason, I felt like an imposter. I mean, all I have is one book. That too has failed to make any dent in anyone’s life. The kinder reviews say that it’s average at best. I don’t even want to read honest or negative ones. The second book is nowhere. Been on it for like 10 years and have nothing to show for that. I hated it when I was introduced like that. Yes, please do introduce me as a creative consultant, creative producer, writer (not just of books), marketer, podcaster et al. I am ok with that. But I don’t want to be just a “famous writer”. I want to be the person that tried. Not the person that rests on laurels. That too, not well-defined.
So that’s that for the morning pages.
As I edit, I realise this has become dark and harsh and ranty. But that’s that. The smile on the face of having typed all this is still around. So that’s some comfort.
So, on to #freewriting for book2. So, for this one, I have talked Prak into giving me a prompt every day to get me started with my thinking.
Today’s prompt is…
Red. The color of love and hate. Of life and death. Blood and rivers, hellfire, and heaven song.
– Prakruti Maniar, Jan 2021
Here we go…
Red was a funny choice for the color of the gown that she wore. Even though the host had clearly mentioned that the theme for the evening is white and blue, she wore red. Red stood out. What was supposed to be a party where dreams were to be talked about, futures were to be looked at, she chose Red. The color of love and hate. Of life and death. Blood and rivers, hellfire, and heaven song. She did not choose red on purpose. She did not have a choice. This was the only gown she had that could pass off as a decent dress into the party where the invite cost her a night with that old bastard, Paul. The party has been the talk of the town for a while now and who’s who was expected to be there. Together they were going to plan the future of the sleepy state of Goa. There were talks of taking the casinos on land, thereby greatly reducing the costs for the owners. One of the proposals was to allow for new high-rise construction near the beaches. They wanted to make coal mining a priority for the state. The coast was going to get opened for large scale music festivals that would get the who’s who of the world down to Goa.
The gates were being opened for the world to make its home in Goa. And at the same time, those very gates were being shut on the faces to keep out the ones that rightfully could call Goa home. The promoters blamed the locals for their lackadaisicalness. The locals wanted to be left alone. The two sides were never going to find a common ground. And this party was an attempt in the direction. In attendance were going to be socialites
Ankit Paul had put all he had and pulled all the strings he could to make this happen. His entire fortune and the reputation that his family had earned since forever was at stake. More so, after his father passed away, his personal credibility and integrity was being questioned. No, he did care for what people thought of him. He had more skeletons in his closet than the ruler of African countries had. But he did care about his bank balance. The power he wielded. The political ambitions that he couldn’t seem to find a route to.
This party was going to change all of that. Hopefully for good. And give Paul the respect that he’s craved for since he was a child. Respect that his father never accorded him. Respect that he had to fight hard to get. Respect that made him do all the things he did. Respect that mattered to him more than life or death.
I write about how I spent my Sunday and all that I thought about. Mostly inane updates yet again. You may want to skip reading.
Up for about 10 mins now. The idea was to wake up at 5 today. And I had slept early last night (around 11) and I had turned off my phone while I did that. But I think I still had a fitful sleep. Jetha was right. I think I am missing sleeping next to someone. Is this what they mean when they say you’d feel the need when you are older?
So on with the morning pages. Quite a few things happened yesterday. Lemme use bullets.
A. I ordered a new laptop for myself, the MacBook Air with the M1 chip. Annkur and Shravan have been raving about it since it launched. I was anyway up for an upgrade for almost a year. So I did. I will get it towards the end of the month though – In Goa, you can’t just go and pick a thing off the shelf you know.
B. I published my 2021 goals. I am not happy with how the list has come out. But the list is here nonetheless. It is here. Lemme know what you guys think.
I do need to write a longish post on this (how and why and what etc). Lol. Meta content. Post about post.
C. Bumped into someone that I used to work with some 6 years ago. He did not know my name. I knew his. Walked up to him and chatted. This is unlike me where I would hide from people from the past. So that’s new. It took an effort to get over the awkwardness. But I did.
D. Dr. Malpani gave a go-ahead to our Spotlight Pitch event. We need to ensure that it goes well. More about it is here. Even though we won’t make money with it, the pitch event is important to me because it checks multiple boxes in terms of where I want to be – impact, helping others, venture capitalism, people connection, etc. Plus, both AD and I will try to build this property in public. This means that we would share everything on various blog posts as we build this. Keep watching this space for more.
E. I may get to meet Karl today. The bugger is here, on a bicycle. I mean WTF. People do bikes, cars. The dude is here on a bicycle. Insane. I have been inspired by him since the first day I met him. I see shades of Raj Kurup in him. Really.
F. Oh, the other thing am doing starting today, is using tags for each person that I talk about in these morning pages. This will help me catalog thoughts and ideas as we go forth.
Of course, I am aware of how privacy is important to people and I would thus not use tags for conversations that are not supposed to be in public domains. My rule of thumb is if I am unsure if they’d like their name out there in public, I will not put their name out. What do you think? Would you be ok with your name on my blog? And fuck, I have way too many names for one day!
G. I told Nicky (of the NickyM’s Kitchen) that I could host a writing workshop for him on one of his lean days (to get some traffic going). And that workshop could be the beginning of NickyM sessions where he could do multiple sessions that allow people to come together. These could be dance, wine-tasting, stand-up, etc.
The thing is, while this will help him, it was a big decision for me. Apart from NFG, I have remained at the backend. With this (and with Spotlight Pitch Event), this year I am taking baby steps of coming on camera. Let’s see how it goes.
That’s some recap.
No, this was not the idea of morning pages. But it’s ok. Oh… I forgot to mention that I finally finished watching Coolie No 1 last night. And I enjoyed it. The story, the acting, the direction, the music was nothing that you’d expect from a Bollywood film but I enjoyed it. I also realized why Rohit Shetty is the king of contemporary entertainment, the way David Dhawan would have been in the yesteryears. I remember someone once said that since Govinda was getting old, David Dhawan created another one in his son, Varun Dhawan.
Makes me realize that I HAVE to become a filmmaker. The idea’s been brewing in my head for a few weeks and I need to act on it. I just can’t seem to find an affordable DOP that I could partner with. Damn. I really want to start working on a project. It could be a music video. Or it could be a short-film. Or whatever. I don’t have the budgets to hire a fancy crew, heck no budget for even a non-fancy crew for that matter! But I want to do it. Let’s see how I go about it.
The last thing before I get to the freewriting part for book2 is the thing that since I’ve come here, I have become tardy with things that allowed me to manage the madness in life – Roam, Twitter, notes, etc. If I look at my notes from the last few weeks, they are not as comprehensive as they were before I came to Goa. My activity on Twitter has reduced considerably. I have not made a post on Linkedin in a while. Yes, I have not missed these morning pages since I started a month ago (the first was on 11th Dec 20). But overall, things that made me social have reduced considerably. I need to get back to those. Maybe carve out a specific time? Let’s see.
Chalo. On to #freewriting for Book2.
The thing with sitting on the barstool for so long is that it fucks with your back. Especially when you are 42. And you’ve merely sat on your butt all your life and have had limited movement. It’s not even a couple of weeks since he came in, but Chintan could feel the effect. Each night as he tried to sleep, the pain in his back would shoot up to his head and he would wince.
As he tried to scribble a character that he was thinking on, he made a mental note that he had to find a solution to this. He could choose to not go sit at the bar and perch up on the tiny stool to write. But he liked the ambiance there and the view from the vantage point. He had a direct line of sight to the entrance and he liked to observe people that came into the Caravan Serai. Each character to him was fodder for this book.
At the lean times, he could chat with Mrs. Gomes, the septarian owner-manager that was still lithe, sharp, and active like a 20-year old. Chintan guessed that people in Goa don’t age as bad as they do in other parts of the country. Probably it’s the clean air and better food they were eating. He had developed an easy rapport with her, Chintan had the knack for it.
He had also noticed Udita, the head-bartender giving him undue attention a lot of times. Back in Delhi, he wouldn’t have ignored her. But right now, this was the last thing he wanted. He was coming on the back of a messy divorce and while he’s always loved the attention from the fairer gender, he was not in the state for the time being. He had to get his novel out of the way in the next three months. He had a point to prove. To his wife. Now, ex-wife. Chintan had a hard time moving on. He did not know that his love for her ran so deep that even after a considerably public split, he would want to be back with her. Mrs. Gomes rightly said that the matters of the heart are the most fucked up. You think you know it all but you don’t know shit and all rationality gets tossed out in the sea with a stone chained to the feet.
Chintan couldn’t stop laughing when he first heard Mrs. Gomes lament about love. From what he had gathered, she was never married and yet she had the deepest insights and the funniest anecdotes to bring those insights out. The woman would have been something when she was younger. He had decided that instant that he would write a character inspired by her.
Of course, he was far from it. He was in love with the notion of writing a book. The book was never going to happen. He had no clue that life was going to hit him on his face with a jackhammer with-in the next hour.
Gosh, that was hard! But glad I wrote some. That’s it for the day. With that, it’s over and out! Hope you have a good one.