030421 – Meditations

A short note about my love for hotels and how I thinking way too much about the space that I live in!

6:12. Surat.

On a work call yesterday, when I told the client that I am in Surat, she asked me if I have decided to travel through the length and the breadth of the country while we are in the lockdown. Funny but that’s how it is. Even though I don’t want to be traveling, things happen. Plus the lust to be on the road is never-ending! So ya! That!

I am in a hotel as I write this. Not a fancy resort kinds but more of a comfortable business hotel. I have stayed in one after almost a year (I think the last I stayed in a hotel was when I did that event in Lucknow in Mar 2020). I sort of missed it! The thing is, I love hotels as much as I love to travel! There’s something about white bedsheets as taut as the skin of the drum, staff as impersonal as doctors, the furnishings in the room like a page from a luxury magazine, the characteristic smell of the bathroom towels, the hazaar pillows strewn around the room, the laundry bags, the water bottles aligned liked the ships in a battle formation! Uff, I can continue to write about hotels. I miss those days when I was with Gravity and I literally lived in hotels (or transits) for a large part of a month. Damn, I miss those days. In fact, if I had the means, I would literally live in a hotel, you know, in a serviced apartment! I can totally live in a hotel even if they are impersonal af. Well, maybe someday. Someday karte karte half the life is over!

So the other decision that I took over the last two days is that I am moving out of the current house I am in. Have had enough of it. Too small. Too cramped. Too old. I keep bumping into walls or furniture. I keep spotting a lizard or a cockroach in the house. I can’t move around when I take phone calls. The entitlement from other residents is mind-boggling. You know how the human mind works. You can find mistakes in everything if you want to. You know, the rationalizing animals that we are.

I think that decision to get unfurnished, empty houses in new buildings is the best one. I can then plonk a mattress, fit my writing table and the bookshelf in it and get almirahs on rent to store a handful of clothes I own. And I am set! I can literally workout in all the empty space that I would get. Of course, all this makes the house an impersonal and functional space. I wouldn’t be able to host anyone there. I wouldn’t be able to invite friends etc. But that’s ok. I anyway don’t like the idea of people in my personal space. The 6-month lock-in gets over at the end of May and I will start a hunt for a place. Unless I get the Goa project off the ground by then. No, I have not given up on Goa. Lol!

If you realize, for some reason, I have decided that I want to move on from the current place and I am now seeking excuses and “rational” reasons for moving on. I should actually talk about this in more detail on this blog. Or even on SoG.

I have more to write but I guess that’s about it for today. I am running on a clock. Need to get out and about in less than 30 minutes and have a workpiece to write by that time. More later.

Here’s the streaks.

  • Morning Pages / Meditations – 113. I am glad I could pull this off even when I was on the road.
  • #aPicADay – 93
  • 10K steps a day – 0
  • OMAD – 0
  • #noCoffee – 24
  • #noCoke – 24
  • 10 mins of meditation – 0
  • #book2 – 0

040321 – Morning Pages

A note on trains, a third-party realization about how I work and a rant.

7:56 AM. Mumbai.

Yeah, I came here last night. On a train. I have now taken more trains this year than I have taken in the last 10 years. Except for the locals. And the metro. I hate train travel that much. But then thanks to COVID and the ridiculous inconvenience imposed on air travel, I had to do this.

But then, despite my hatred, I have to say, trains are awesome. Each person in the train is a story. Each person is there for a reason. And is going to someone. Or away from someone. Like last night, there was this old man (who the Ticket Checker told me was 75) who was drunk out of his wits and was picking a random bone with a co-passenger. To a point that he called cops!

I also have to say that the quality of train travel has grown leaps and bounds. I could order from a menu of a million dishes from Chinese, Indian, Fast Food cuisines and there were fresh fruits and snacks from all parts of the country. It was amazing. The compartments were clean. The toilets remained filthy but I think that’s more to do with travelers than the railways. Good job, Indian Railways.
So, am in Mumbai. Had to come here for a meeting that could not be pushed. I still want to be back in Goa. Or at least have a foot there. But then, I have to chase money before other things.

Anyhow. So, yesterday, I was talking to Akshay (my partner at Podium). He said a couple of very interesting things (which I knew intuitively but was amazing to hear from someone else). He said one, I perform the best when I am juggling multiple things. And two, when I sniff that money is around the corner.

Of course I kind of knew both these things but I never thought AD would be so good to be able to figure it from a distance. Or may be he’s not good, I am merely so visible with these actions that any intelligent person would be able to spot those. Lol.

The point is, he’s right. And I need to play to the “strength”. If I can call this strength. And how do I play? Well, simple. Find so many opportunities that I am unable to handle, as long as each of those has the potential to throw money at me. So going forward, that would be the mantra. Do you know any such opportunities?

What else?

Oh yeah. That old person from the train. I have to have to have to do whatever it takes to not go senile when I am old. It just sucks that people want to respect you because you are old and because you are senile, you lose the respect, and to make matters worse, they pity you. The worst thing that can happen is people pitying you. I will rather walk into the jungle. I hope some of my younger friends would help me retain the sanity. And if not that, push me in a jungle. I may not have been able to do a lot in life but I will not become someone that people pity!

Guess this is it. I have a fairly long day. Need to move the butt.

No, nothing on book2 :(. Dunno when I will be back.

Let’s see.

The Missing Magic of Metal Tubes

A satarical piece about the missing magic of flying. From the lens of a former event manager.

Its no secret that I love to travel. And the two modes that I love, apart from walking, are cars and planes. Both are essentially metal tubes that take you from one place to another.

When you are in the car, you are, sort of, in control. You are navigating, you are changing gears (automatic cars – go eat shit!), you are seeing the rear-view mirror and the road up ahead and you are zooming around.

In a plane, however, you are merely tied to a seat and are hurled thru the thinnest air we can imagine, to your destination. Even though a large part of flying is getting tossed around in a pressure-controlled metal tube, there is some charm, some magic to the entire experience of air travel. You know, fussing over the airline, the seat, the plush interiors of an airport, the comfort of a lounge, the pseudo sophistication of people that are regulars and the inside tricks of people that are more regular than regulars?

I’d say I am more regular than most regulars. Even though I may not have the suaveness of thick sunglasses or the Tumi bags with my initials monogrammed but I have been in my share of planes. Of course, since the COVID crisis hit us, I haven’t really been near a rick, let alone a plane. Ok, that was an exaggeration. I’ve been working out of a Starbucks as I type this, I am in a lounge at the Mumbai airport, waiting to catch a flight to Delhi, Y class. The lounge was made accessible by a credit card that I paid a fortune to acquire.

While the entire ordeal of check-in, seat selection, security et al was better than the regular days, I miss the fun of traveling by air. I miss the fuss that I would create over people not behaving when in queues. I can no longer spot kids running amok while their parents take selfies. I am no longer inconvenienced by pushy salesmen trying to sell their overpriced wares (including the ones at Tumi), while secretly hoping I had the money to buy all the crap they were selling. There is no stores selling raste ka maal un-saste me. Btw, these sasta maals have actually saved quite a few days for me when I would take em as gifts for people I was gonna meet.

Like I said, there’s no magic left in travelling by air.

It’s now akin to traveling in a local train where you are merely using the tube as a mode of transport and you can no longer be a humblebrag about the flight you just took and the extra things (baggage, upgrades, etc) you got the airline guys to dole out to you.

It’s now akin to flagging a rick and posting about it on insta cos the cars get stuck in traffic and ricks are “oh so convenient”. It’s like still going to a CCD when you have a Soho House membership, cos, “why would I go to Juhu for a coffee?” It’s like buying a Samsung or a One Plus, cos, “what new feature does an Apple have?”

Get the drift?

I hope so. It’s time to board the flight. While boarding may or may not happen, the seat next to mine may or may not be empty, the flight may or may not be bumpy but I have to mock people on how they want to jump over each other to open the overhead bins before the plane has even landed! Assuming that’s still happening. You never know. Like I said, there’s no magic left!

Part of 30 days, 30 minutes, 30 posts project. Others in the series are at 3010, 3110, 0111, 0211, 0311041105110611, 0911.