140321 – Morning Pages

Quick and dirty update from how I spent Saturday. Wish I the time to write more. The day was among the best.

6:24 AM, Mumbai.
Completed this somewhere on the Nashik highway at 10ish.

This is going to be one of those pages where I want to write a lot (I think I have a lot to write) but since I am short of time, I will not be able to get a lot of words in. I have to be at someplace real early. I had to be out and about by 6 AM, to be honest, but thanks to some snafu, I am still at home and that means I can get some words in. If not a lot, I can at least get a ToC of sorts in. Yeah, I have a table of contents of things that I want to talk about.

Here it is.

A. SG’s interview. There’s apparently some interview that I gave when #tnks came out where I have bared my soul. A stranger can read that and get to know who I am and what I think about. In that, I have even talked about my hatred for pets! To make matters worse, it has my photo on it. I need to do something about it. I can’t have my opinions floating around on the Internet like that. Lol. The entire life has been lived in making my life an open and public affair with this blog 😀

Need to find that interview and “fix” it.

B. Poker. A few days ago I was in this weird mood where I did not know what to do. None of my friends was around. Taarak Mehta felt like a drag. Brooklyn Nine-Nine was not funny no more. I couldn’t sleep. I had had enough of everything. I somehow remembered my love for Poker and after I don’t know how many months, I put money on a poker game. It was on Pokerstars and I sucked as bad I did when I played regularly.

Poker is one of those things that I think I can be really good at. There is an element of luck but you can control it to a large part. It just needs two things – knack for the game and the time required to build that knack. I suspect poker is like chess. You need to have some sort of inclination and “gift” for it and then you need to back it with consistent and focussed effort. You know, more you play, better you get.

Wait. Isnt this true with everything and anything? I guess!

C. SoG Grant. I saw a post on my Instagram last night and I reached this page on Thejesh GN’s blog. He’s started a grant in his mother’s name where he’s supporting independent creators on anything that they want to work on. I love the idea. I am so inspired that I decided on the spot that I want to start something. When I was growing up, I did not have the patron or the resources to chase what I wanted to. Now that I have some resources, I want to support others. An annual grant could be a great thing. Need to put things in motion. #note2self

D. Swiggy. Last night I was hungry and I decided to order something to eat. Good thing is that I ordered on Swiggy and that means the order was never delivered. Which is ok. I understand the business is run by people and they can often fuck up. But the way they handle these things is what needs fixing. The customer service is non-existent and the way they speak with you, they lack empathy. They assume that an order is a physical thing and if you refund the money, the customer is ok. They forget that it’s food delivery and the person on the other side could be hungry. And its well known fact across the world that when you are hungry, you are not the person you are. And you need to talk to hungry, angry, irate people in a different tone / manner etc. I promise I will make it a mini-project and try and teach these people how to be customer-centric and have some empathy.

So that.

E. NA. I also want to talk about this woman, NA, that I met via Lunchclub yesterday. Out of 30 odd people that LC has matched me with, she was only the second that I had wanted to meet.

And I goaded her into meeting me.
And we met.
And it was awesome.
NA is one of the finds of this year so far for me. I hope I can become friends with her and get her to do something with me. More about her on some other day. Today am kinda short of time.

F. Misc. Things that I want to talk about but don’t have time for. 1, I pet a dog at a friend’s place. My first time ever. 2, The realization that I am #foreverAlone and unlucky in love. Every woman that I seem to get close to tends to get away from me. The pattern repeats where these women think that am a loser and move on. 3, The feeling of heaviness and general lethargy and my desperate attempts to get over those. 4, Hunt for a new house (which I am hoping is a little better than the one I am on). 5, I am not sure. I forgot 😀

G. Streaks. Here.

  • Morning Pages – 92
  • #aPicADay – XX (will count at some later date)
  • 10K steps a day – 1
  • OMAD – 3 (thanks to Swiggy, the streak remains unbroken)
  • #noCoffee – 5
  • #noCoke – 5
  • 10 mins of meditation – 0 (adding this from today on)
  • #book2 – 0 (I REALLY need to start on this!)

So yeah, thats about it. More tomorrow. On a Monday.

250121 – Morning Pages

Got late in waking up. Too blank. Too much. Did now know what to write. You may want to skip this one.

9:13. Woke up a minute ago. Super late. I had literally passed out. Damn age is catching up.

I am in that blank daze state where I don’t know what to write. I can talk about how I spent yesterday – which was nothing to write home about – too many power cuts too often for too long, too many calls that I had to attend but could not, too many things to do that I could not.

Since its 9ish and a Monday, the world has woken up and I am required to make a living, I am breaking the rule (probably for the first time since I started these morning pages). But theek hai. Exceptions are ok. I am writing this as I juggle calls, emails, dark thoughts about life, glasses of water, the househelp cleaning and making a ruckus, the alert from my mobile phone about data that is getting exhausted, and all that. Also, since it’s Monday, Nicky’s is shut and I will have to go to Felix, Clay, or Royal Enfield. Probably, Felix, it’s still free till Feb.

Fuck the minds blank and I don’t know what to write. Lemme write in staccatos.

A friend told me that her 21 resolution is to get abs. No, she doesn’t really have flab per se. But she probably wants those washboard ones. I like the idea of tangible goals. If I could get anything done with my fitness, I’d love to gun for that as well! I love when people take up these self-development projects!

The word staccato itself is interesting to think about, come to think of it. I’ve read it numerous times in the context of gun-fire. I think in Jack Reacher books, if not John Grisham ones. Oh, how I crave to create a Jack Reacher! I do have a Rujuta but I don’t have a second book to talk about it. In fact, yesterday at Nicky’s one of the patrons picked #tnks and we had a short chat about writing, books, and more. Books are those social objects that we can chat over. Just that they are disappearing fast. I think the creators are moving to create content for screens and thus readers are unable to find great things to read. And vice versa. Readers are moving to the screen and hence creators are not incentivized to write books. Wish something could break this and create more books. No, for a change, I am not excited about this problem to actually try and solve 🙂 Guess this is my coming of age!

Chalo enough.

Dont know what else to write. Time to write the piece on #book2.

The #freewriting piece for #book2 today is inspired by a real-life incident that I saw unfold yesterday. Here we go…

The thing with Goa is that apart from the ones that own parcels of land, everyone is an outsider. You could own a flat, a shop, an establishment or whatever. But you are an outsider. And like all outsiders, you either stay within your limits. Or you get bashed up. The scene’s played multiple times over at multiple places in multiple avatars. The local Goan would do what he deems fit. The temporary tourist would do what he deems fit. An argument will follow. Most times it would end in the intervening and breaking the fight up. But once in a while, it would reach a proportion where one of the two would get aggressive and things would take a turn for the worse. This is what happened at Caravan Serai that night.

Chintan was perched on his stool, lost in his pages. Udita was hovering around as she kept an eye on the staff and the patrons. Mrs. Gomes was somewhere in the kitchen. And then one loud, young man pushed Darpan, a staff member so hard that he crash landed into another table and knocked another patron off. Udita yelled at no one in particular, “what the fuck!”

They say when you are really angry, you use cuss words from your mother tongue. Udita had no mother tongue. She did not know what it was. Awadhi? Marathi? Konkani? English? Whatever it was. She still cussed in English. That felt the most natural to her.

She had rushed to the table and was trying to understand what had transpired. Other members of the staff were crowding around. Some guests were also hoping to catch a sight of the action. All they could see in the melee was Udita and another young woman talking animatedly. The other woman was clearly with the patron that had started the ruckus.

From his corner, Chintan could see that Udita was trying to reason with them and when she folded her hand to apologize to the guests, Chintan knew that she was way out of her way. Udita that he had come to known would’ve probably tackled this differently. Guess this is what coming of age is? Since Mrs. Gomes had started to rely more on Udita to manage work at Caravan Serai, she had shown surprising maturity.

The young couple continued to yell at the staff. This was not the Caravan Serai that the patrons frequented. Mrs. Gomes was at the scene now and was profusely apologising to the guests. Raunak stood right next to her and like any well-trained second-in-command knew that he lets his benefactor be the alpha. Mrs Gomes on the other hand was being anything but alpha as she tried to calm the nerves down.

And they did. From the time Mrs. Gomes came in, it took less than a minute for the situation to disperse and the cheerful calm to come back to Caravan Serai. Mrs Gomes clapped thunderously with her frail hands and spoke out loud, “ok then, ladies and gents, that was some fun! The next round of the drinks in on the house. Let’s have a great time”. And like on the queue, Josh started to belt out the Piano Man, on well, his guitar!

***

Over and out. Need to get up early from tomorrow on!

050121 – Morning Pages

You may want to skip reading this. I have nothing interesting to talk about except inane updates and monotonous daily journals. Need to rethink on how I go about these morning pages.

8:05 AM

I’ve been up for a bit. Puttering around, doing nothing significant. Thinking about things. Which I have a lot of.

Yesterday was not fun. Ate crap. Was on a low-carb diet and controlled eating for 3 days. It went for a toss for some reason. I don’t know why but I hogged onto Doritos and all that. Plus I got sucked into this new-found indulgence yet again. For the last few days, once I am back on the bed, ready to call it a night, I get busy with the vice. And I promise to myself that I would not indulge too much. But before I know it, I am full-blown into it! Nah, it’s not doing me any good.

Talking of indulgence, I need to stop with the coffee. I am having way too much. May be this is the reason I can’t seem to find sleep? Plus, lemonade has started to taste nice. So may be I will move to that?

Oh, the highlight of yesterday. With Nupura, I had to a recce for an event and it was at this property in the middle of nowhere. Called Avanilaya, it’s in the middle of nowhere (well, actually in Aldona, Goa) and it is EXACTLY the kind of property that I would like to own! It has everything that I may need.

It is middle of nowhere, on top of a hillock, overlooking mountains and rivers and vegetation, fitted with all things modern (wi-fi :D) and yet full of relics from the past.

I may or may not be part of the event when it actually happens but I will go back to Avanilaya someday and spend a few days there, doing nothing. May be i’ll just sit there and write!

Brings me to this realization.

Each place in Goa that I have been to is dotted with bookshelves and they have an eclectic mix of books – English, always Russian, some German, some French, hardly Hindi / Goan / Hindustani. I think I must get some copies of TNKS and carry them around and sprinkle those at various places. Let’s see if I can crack a deal with Sachin to buy these copies for cheap. I am sure he’s happy to liquidate his stock.

The other thing that I must do is stop imagining about book2 and actually get down to writing. Kitna faltoo self-talk!

So here’s the thing. I am really struggling without the Internet here. I now have a Jio connection as well but even that doesn’t seem to be working. I will have to either find a broadband service provider that is willing to fit in a fast connection at a temp house. Or I need to change the house. The co-working I goto here (Clay), is not designed for handling calls. Yes, I do great work when I am there, I get in the zone and I like it there. But most times I need reliable internet is when I need to be on the calls. And there are hardly any spaces that I can lock myself into when I need to be on calls.

Things that I do for myself, I can manage them with slow, unreliable, and flaky internet that the phones offer me. I mean editing a book is easy without the internet (for a large part), writing these morning pages is doable, thinking about all the projects that I run is manageable on phone / WhatsApp, etc. I can even batch those tasks and work on em when I get Internet. But I can’t do these Zoom / Teams calls without reliable, fast, uninterrupted Internet. This whole Remote Work from Goa won’t happen without it.

Plus since I am sort of rebuilding work, life, cash-flow, etc, I can no longer implement a strict maker-manager. Neither can I dole out time slots to people (and make them work at my whims). I need to be available to those at a time when they are available. And often I am not the most important person in the room anymore and that means that I need to toe the line drawn by others.

So that. Internet. And an office space that allows me to be in the flow while I can take my calls. I don’t have an answer right now and like I said, alternatives range from temp high-speed broadband to moving houses in Goa where I have a rent agreement on my name (anyway I need to find a permanent solution if I am going to be here – can’t take advantage of Rajesh Sir’s kindness for too long).

I kid you not that this is that important to me that I am willing to go back to Mumbai and Starbucks.

Really.

Am that fucked about it!

Let’s see what solution I get.

Over and out!

The 30-minutes a day writing habit

Come find out why am I picking a new hobby of writing everyday for at least 30 minutes.

So, I am part of this group of writers that meets once every week (on Zoom). All of us want to write long-form content (3000+ words in length) and in general, be better writers. Thus, a lot of our chats are around how to write better, how to get better ideas for writing, how to have an interesting perspective on things to be able to write about those, and so on and so forth.

We throw ideas at each other, we ask each other tough questions and more importantly, we try and help each other out when we are stuck.

On this week’s call, Shravya talked about Andy Matuschak and his routine of writing every day for 30 minutes. What he writes could be a thing as simple as a summary of the book that he’s read recently. Or it could be a part of an essay that he’s working on. Or something from his writing inbox. The output is not important. What is important is that he gets 30 minutes of writing done.

Think of it as your daily practice of workout, meditation, or even those 10000 steps! It’s such a simple idea and I think like all other things that you do as routine for a fairly long period, it would compound and give you fabulous returns.

I have myself engaged in a similar exercise at different times where I would ensure that I would write every day. I have done various avatars – from writing an SoG a day to writing 1000 words a day to even taking a picture each day and writing about it. Of course, I always slack after a few days.

But I have never been this serious about writing as I have been in the past few months. Not even when I was writing #tnks! Thing is, I have seen some crazy connections happen just because what I wrote resonated with so many people!

I realise that writing could actually lead me to things that I want in life – access to interesting people, money and more importantly, impact. Even if I am not the most flowery writer. Even if I am not the deepest, most insightful writer. And even if I what I write does not move a mole!

So, buoyed by that, here’s a promise to self.

To double down on effort I make with my writing. I will add 30 minutes of writing to my daily routine (other things there are 10 minutes of meditation, 16000 steps and 20 pullups). And I will publish each day’s work here, on this blog.

I will do this for at least 30 days, start today. Today is Day 1 and this post is today’s output 🙂

Do read what I write and do feed me back with how I could improve.

Over and out!