270621 – Morning Pages

After the longish post yesterday, I am sort of black. Don’t have a lot to talk about. So, a non-meaningful update.

6:15 AM. Up a while ago. Tried sleeping at 10 but by the time I finally hit the sack, it was 12. Lemme start by recapping the mile-long rant I wrote yesterday and how I am faring at various things I talked about.

  • Filled water container and bottles. To a point that I don’t think I will have to order in for the next few days. Good!
  • Since I couldn’t work from my place, went to a friend’s. Promptly fell asleep. Lol!
  • Saw no Netflix. But ended up seeing almost all the videos on this channel. You must check them out! Bad.
  • No coffee but had a RedBull. Bad.
  • Ate one meal of just Dal. But then ate chips and assorted kachra throughout the day. VERY bad.
  • I think I need to find a non-carb thing that I can munch on all the time. I use chewing gum often but it’s either too sweet or a ball of rubber in the. I prefer something savory. Or something like Diet Coke πŸ˜€
  • Did 3 minutes of meditation and 5 push-ups (in 2 reps. For someone like me, 5 is like infinity. Super stoked. I need to be able to do 500 in a day. You know, if I want to build strength in my arms! Good!
  • Walked some 3K steps. The plan is to get out more and reach some 15K a day.
  • Slacking on work yet again. I still haven’t figured this as an answer.

So, more bads than goods. But then some goods nonetheless. So that’s a good thing. Need to have more goods and less bads. And then monitor these closely so that I only have goods and no bads. Ok, enough of this good and bad wordplay. Has stopped making sense.

Lemme think what I want to talk about today.

Wait.
As I write this, I am back to listening to Singh is King title track. On loop.

In highlights, along with AD, I started with the Podium Writing Fellowship. The idea is simple. We want to add a leg at Podium by adding text content. Now, the niches we operate in (entrepreneurship, marketing and more) has enough and more competitors to even get started but we believe that the content we have is so good that we can rehash is. The first rehash we’d do is text-based content. You know, newsletters etc.

The trouble with it is to find people to write it. For starters, writers are a rare commodity. It’s tough to find great writers. Second, even if we find some great writers, the way we run The Podium, we don’t have enough cash flow to find writers sustainably.

So AD came with an idea to identify young writers and help them get better. Of course, the responsibility to do so is on my shoulders. I have never delivered a longish course to help others learn but I think I am excited. More than anything else, this would help me improve my writing! In the world where AI would eat creative work (you know, GPT-3), this is an attempt to remain sane by actually doing work that creates meaning.

Ok, I am digressing.

The point is, at The Podium, we are taking so many shots and doing so many experiments that I am hoping one of those will stick and make this struggle worth it, at some point. I just hope we can make enough money for everyone that works with us at The Podium. And of course at all other places where I put my time and energy.

So that.

I am back to listening to discourse by Dandapani. Today’s its this video.

He talks about finite among of energy and attention, life purpose, people that uplift you, importance of attention (over money), death (and the finiteness of life), energy vampires, staying affectionately detached to people (super important for me!), passing on the burden of responsibility, happiness (and pursuit of lifestyle that create happiness).

I love how he talks.
I love his content.
I think I am a fan!

Lemme try and take a stab at this. What is my life’s purpose? At a materialistic level, I still want to make a billion dollars, climb Mt. Everest and while I do both, inspire a billion people! In terms of a little more metaphorical level, I want to enable others I know to do well. Do well is an open-ended thingy. I define it by saying that whatever is your end-state that you want to achieve for yourself (make films, travel the world et al), I want you to enable you to do that!

I seek my happiness in yours. I want to see you succeed and I want to derive joy from that. I want to ensure that you live, grow, thrive on a day-to-day basis and I do whatever it takes to enable you to do that.

No, I dont have the resources to do this for a lot of people and for a living and I still need to make my ends meet. Maybe at some point, I reach that place. Whenever that is. Let’s see.

Need to think more. Need to act more.

Guess this is it for the day. Here’s streaks…

  • Morning Pages / Meditations – 196
  • #aPicADay – 0
  • 10K steps a day – 0
  • OMAD – 0
  • #noCoffee – 0
  • #noCoke – 108
  • 10 mins of meditation – 0
  • #book2 – 0
  • Killer Boogie – 0
  • Surya Namaskar – 0

220621 – Morning Pages

Quick post on how I spent yesterday and some highlights. And some lessons. And some thoughts.

6:42. I woke up a few minutes ago. I dint sleep well. I really think it’s all the coffee that I am having. I can choose not to have it. But the challenge is I can’t get things done from where I live. So that. Lol, I should, by now, either stop ranting about it or fix it. Each day I have the same old rant.

Anyhow. Good things about yesterday?

  1. I was tempted to have Diet Coke. And I did not. Thanks to Harshit and a couple of more people on Twitter.
  2. Oh, I am back on Twitter. Please do follow me on @saurabh.
  3. I found a cheaper supplier to get my iPhone’s screen fixed. All this while I was paying about 8K to get some screen. I’ve been able to negotiate it down to 5.5K. Let’s see if I can get it down a bit more. My sweet spot is 4K. I know I will get a crappy screen but the phone I use is like 3 years old and is broken and all that. I just need to get it to work for a few more months till I have saved enough to get a new one!
  4. Roam now has a desktop app for Mac! This means I will be able to take more notes! Yay!

Apart from these minor ones, here are a few things that I want to catalog for posterity.

A. I got myself an electric toothbrush yesterday. This one. I tried it and it was unlike other experiences I’ve had with brushing. It was a funny feeling to have something shaking the interiors of my mouth. It reminded me of all those dental treatments I’ve got done for myself. You know how they move that drill in your mouth? That. Let’s see how the experiment goes.

B. I was talking to someone to see if I can do some business writing for them. I sent them a link to this website where I write morning pages and all that. They looked at it and said that this is more like a personal blog and thus does not showcase my acumen as a business writer.

I agree. So, I need to work on the website to clearly highlight the kind of work I do. Make sections about my thought, about what I do (work), about projects (like SoG Book, SoG Grant, NFG), ideas, writing (for businesses, fiction, and films) and I don’t know all those things that I do.

So that’s an action item for me. #note2self

C. The next few days would be crazy mad. One of the book projects I am working on (where I have been commissioned to work on a book) has revived and there a million changes needed in it. It’s one of those projects that’s really challenging me at almost all levels – intellectual, creative, patience and more. Plus the story I am working on is very very inspiring. To a point that if I can build a life like the man I am helping write the story of, I would die a happy man.

D. Staying with writing, on a whim I decided that I want to help people write better. Actually, it was not a whim, per se. It was an outcome of the NFG session I recently took. I realized that the world would be far better if people could write better. At least in business communication. So I put this post out on Linkedin.

The thing is, all this work from home has made us Zoom monkeys and we are sending a million emails back and forth and often a lot is lost in transition. I want to offer some practical tips and inputs on what seems to work.

Of course, with things like writing, there is no universal shortcut or method. I can only help define a set of rules that could be useful. I am in the process of crafting content. Help me find out what all needs to be taught. As a business professional, what do you think you need help with when it comes to writing?

And no. Like other things, I will not charge individuals for this. I would rather have businesses run this. Let’s see where it goes.

E. I had some 2 KGs of rice yesterday. I mean I had rice for lunch. And I had rice for dinner. I love the damn grain so much that if I had my way, I would eat just that. But then, I know that it’s unhealthy as fuck and I need to stay away from it. But then dil to bachcha hai ji and all that. So I shall have more rice today. And for the next few days. Till I figure out what my next diet regimen is going to be. Or may till I decide if I want to spend the month of July in Delhi.

Let’s see.

I guess this is about it.
I know this is a short post but this is all I have on the top of my head for the time being.

Here’s the streaks…

  • Morning Pages / Meditations – 191
  • #aPicADay – 0
  • 10K steps a day – 0
  • OMAD – 0
  • #noCoffee – 0
  • #noCoke – 103
  • 10 mins of meditation – 0
  • #book2 – 0
  • Killer Boogie – 0
  • Surya Namaskar – 0

030621 – The Thug Life

A quick short post on a day when I woke up late and did not have time to write for the stipulated 45 mins.

9:59 AM! I woke up 10 mins ago. This has to the late-est I’ve woke up in a long long time. And work starts at 10:30. So I don’t have a lot of time to write per se. But I do need to get some load off my head. You know, morning pages. So here we go. For 30 mins.

Let’s dive right in.

I finished the third episode of Mare of Easttown. I had planned to see 20 mins a day but I am clearly spending an hour on it. The third episode was a bit of a drag, to be honest. The first two, far better. But since I am seeing this from the perspective of learning about writing, I have a deeper appreciation of things they are doing in the show. So that’s cool.

Staying on writing, these days am trying to write #book2 with the help of this course on Coursera. I am still in the first week and that means there isn’t much that I’ve written apart from the logline and the story structure. In fact, I wrote about those publically here on the blog a few days ago.

Why I mention this today is because over the last two or three days I have been getting feedback from others enrolled in the course. Most of the feedback is from first-time writers (I think) and most of it has been very encouraging. To a point that I am enthused to write more! This simple input from strangers is making me go back and write more!

I think that’s the point of peer feedback. You feed off the energy of others. You get validation and you are pushed to do more. I am encouraged and it clearly works for me. And if it works for me, I am sure it works for others as well! Why dint I think of this earlier to get more things done?

Anyhow. Der aaye, durust aaye. Aa to gaye!

Also, must think of exploring more of this cohort-based training. Something that companies like On Deck are leveraging on and monetizing and delivering impact. This is EXACTLY what I want to do in life!

Lol. Kya kya karega, Garg Kumar!

Lemme pick the validation bit from the text above. This validation thing has been an important thread in my life. Especially in the romantic one. Ya ya. Too personal shite on a public blog. But that’s the point of living in public.

So, almost everyone I have been romantically involved with has had issues with my talent, achievement, and all that. No, not in the negative sense – they have been some amazing women. But in the fact that *each* of them believed that I was / am so talented and I can do so much more, and yet I am doing nothing. To a point that they start ridiculing me – without knowing that they ridicule me.

This has become such a recurring pattern that I dont know how to get out of it.

So that. More on it someday later. Time to get going and start the day. Miles to go and all that. Glad that I could get these 500 words in. Probably my shortest post ever. I can really get used to this thug life where you wake up aaram se, order your 300-bucks coffee and laze around!

Here’s streaks…

  • Morning Pages / Meditations – 172
  • #aPicADay – 0
  • 10K steps a day – 0
  • OMAD – 0
  • #noCoffee – 0
  • #noCoke – 84
  • 10 mins of meditation – 0
  • #book2 – 0
  • Killer Boogie – 0
  • Surya Namaskar – 1 (Managed 12 rounds yesterday)

160421 – Meditations

Quick update on what I did yesterday. And day 1 of an attempt to write a film script in 15 days.

6:17 AM. Andheri.
Woke up at quarter to 6. Some fitful sleep. I think it’s the AC. Need to fix it.

Lets not be digressed by that. Today’s when I start writing a script or something and focus less on thoughts. Let’s see how it goes. To be honest, I dont have an idea in my head right now. Let’s see what comes out when I start typing. I will be at it for at least an hour. That’s the point of “forced creativity”.

Before that, there are some updates from the day gone by and things on my head…

  1. I went out! Yay! I walked up to the nearest Star Bazaar and brought some dry fruits. Grocery was an excuse – I just wanted to step out. On the way back I spotted more people walking than on other days on the Lokhandwala backroad. So I can walk too. I just need to find a time when it’s not as crowded. May be in the morning? Right after morning pages?
  2. Work has started to become hectic. Which is ok. Just that I need to be on the computer for like 10 hours. The only thing I am worried about is my eyes.
  3. KG told me about how Michelangelo would go hungry for up to 7 days and then pick up the chisel to work his masterpieces. Now that’s incredible. I haven’t been able to find any conclusive evidence on a cursory Google search. I am sure, I will find it if I dug deeper.
  4. Yesterday, I talked about Coconut Milk as a beverage. It’s the second day and I love it. To a point that I have stocked the refrigerator with it!

So that’s about it.

I can write more. But I am trying to shun negativity and live in denial. I am assuming that there’s no COVID out there. At least for the next 15 days. I will of course continue to write my thoughts on #sgEchoChamber. And here

Here’s streaks…

  • Morning Pages / Meditations – 124
  • #aPicADay – 105
  • 10K steps a day –0 πŸ™
  • OMAD – 0
  • #noCoffee – 37
  • #noCoke – 37
  • 10 mins of meditation – 2
  • #book2 – 0
  • Killer Boogie – 0
  • Original Work (limited time only) – 0

Now, onto the “original work” that I will write for one hour. It’s 6:43 on the clock. Here we go…

Day 1

What do I write about? Writing itself? A writer struggling to find his spot in the sun? Another trying to prove a point to the world, and to himself; that he’s worth a lot more than what the world gives him credit for?

Or I could write about someone intriguing that I read about. You know, a true story. Of someone’s heroic. Of someone’s extraordinary journey of becoming extraordinary. The world is full of such people. They do simple things in such a unique manner that you are left inspired. Just need to find someone like that and merely narrate what they were up to.

Then there is the question of my ability to look at these people with a lens that makes the story worth telling!

Or it could be about someone’s dreams, hopes, aspirations, ideas, and thoughts. Funnily most of these are so damn simple that you wonder if there’s a story in there on not. I mean at the end of it, each person seeks those basic things that our monkey mind has trained us for – safety, survival, propagation of the genes. For most, safety comes from a house (people call those homes), survival comes from a stable job that pays enough to build their house and propagation from a spouse.

Of course, this simple monkey-mindedness becomes an impossible chasm to leap over when one person’s wants start to collide with another’s. I mean you have a stable job. This stability threatens your colleagues’ survival in the same workplace. He would then try and do things that would jeopardize your stability. You on the other hand would not tolerate this game and you would first secure your place. And once that has happened, you would go back with vengeance. Even if you don’t want to. You are guided far more by your monkey mind than you can imagine.

I can also write about this image that I have held in my brain for I don’t know how long. Lemme narrate it. Let’s see what comes out of it.

So, I was at one of the busiest local train stations in Mumbai. I think it was Kurla. Or it was Dadar. The trains were jampacked. To a point that even the people that were hanging out of the doors were stacked like lego blocks. One on top of another. Interlocked so well that even the biggest canons, the wildest wrecking ball couldn’t make a dent if they tried it at the same time. Packed so tight that even air couldn’t pass through. Whatever gaps you could spot were shuttered by the sweat and in some cases, the blood. The greatest architcet in the world couldn’t build something as grand if she tried for decades. And here we are. In Mumbai. Train after train, bogie after bogie, day after day was so packed by strangers that you are left marveling at the sheer capacity to bear hardship, the sheer will to get things done despite odds, the sheer tolerance of pain, and heat and hunger!

As a newcomer to Mumbai, I would often sit at a busy station to see these men and women and the mass of humanity go through this grind every day. Twice. Every time I sat on one of those benches that were invariably donated by the kin of a rich person that is now long forgotten, I was probably the only person who was still amidst all the cacophony.

So imagine you are in the midst of this scene of life playing like a film. You are marveling at the scene unfolding in front of you. Pretty much on auto-pilot. A train stops right in front of you. Like a well-orchestrated symphony, the wall of people shifts shape. Some bricks come out. Some go in. The wall remains steadfast. The wall gets stronger than ever. People are packed tighter than ever. Anyone even thinking of breaching it would get discouraged by even looking at it.

The train starts to move, the wall starts to take it easy. And unknown to it, a young girl of not more than 14 starts walking towards it. She is unassuming. She is not rushed. She is relaxed. The train picks speed. The girl continues her easy pace towards the train that is now almost a blur.

The last of its bogie is in sight. The girl is now a few feet away from the train. From where I am, I can’t see her face. I don’t even know what she’s upto. But she’s upto something for sure.

As if on cue, she breaks into a sprint and hurls her tiny frame at the wall. And just before she’s about to collide into the sea of people hanging from the doors, she turns around. And her back thuds into a man that’s wearing a distinctly blue shirt. Out of reflex, the man grabs her. The wall comes to life. More hands appear and support the girl. Some bricks shuffle. They make the space that no one could have imagined existed.

While the reengineering was happening, while she was slowly becoming the part of the wall that was almost out of my sight, I saw her. And for a fleeting second, I saw the smile on her face. I saw the determination in her eyes. I saw her punch the air with her fists clenched tight. I saw the unbreakable, the immovable wall of humans make way, shift its shape and bow down to this young girl that I did not even know the name of.

[END]

Notes…

  1. Was tough to start. But once I started typing, it was easy. Takes me a lot of time to get to a point.
  2. There no no story right now. None seems to be emerging. Need to work on it if I am giving myself 15 days.
  3. What I write is very very descriptive. It does not move the story forward. I have only narrated one scene. Took like a million words for it. Screenplays are not that. The story has to move. I need to think differently.
  4. I, of course, need three tracks (A, B, and C). I need clear character arcs. I need conflicts. I need release and resolution. I need to follow the three-act structure. I need the inciting incidence. I need so much more!

Let’s see how it goes over the next 15 days.

050321 – Morning Pages

A quick rant on how I was made to feel at a meeting yesterday.

5:30. AM.
I am up! And on it. Listening to Khawabon Key Parinde. I’ve always been a king of wishful thinking. I’ve even written about it on my blog once. Here.

So, today I get to meet one of my newer clients. I have been working for him since Oct last year and everytime I have spoken to him, I have left the (zoom) room inspired. This is my first IRL meeting with him. Lets see how it goes.

Yesterday was a mixed bag. Largely, took it easy. I had a few calls and I was a silent observer at most of those places. I don’t like to play a passive role but I think it’s ok to not want to run the show all the time. I think my fly as high as the Icarus needs taming and these meetings are sobering me up. Just that I don’t like when I am interrupted and cut in the middle by people. Or when I am taken for granted. Or when I am shrugged like a flunky in the white shirt. I remember I wrote about this 10 years ago and I am yet to get over it. This is not my ego per se. This is more about being treated as an equal human. That sucks. Someone told me a few days back that you rather work with someone that respects you than someone who pays you a lot. But then that’s naukri. If you want to win the world and become like Elon, Jeff, and others, you need to do what Guru Bhai tells us!

Anyhow. Moving on.

I was with someone else yesterday when they reminded me that I am a published author. Lol. Must move my ass and write more. The battle between making ends meet and chasing the dreams is a neverending one. Days like this I wish I had picked a comfortable job that would have given me the weekends to do whatever I wanted to. Or I had a rich father. Or a rich wife. Anyone wants to adopt? Or marry me? You need to have 10 odd crores to giveaway to me. Or maybe I can put my head down and write. Lol!

So that.

I guess that’s about it. Short post but at least poured out what gave me a sleepless night. Over and out.

PS: Funny that I am 38, I am triggered and affected by these trangressions of people that I work with. And this is when I want to change the world and impact a billion lives and make a billion dollars and all that. Sigh. At my age, people are making the world go around and I am cribbing about such tiny things. Damn, Mr. Garg!