07:19. I am really struggling to keep my head sane with this lockdown. I have become unproductive, I don’t have the inspiration to push myself. I do start the day with a lot of enthusiasm but within minutes, I am left dead with literally no energy to even start the process of starting. While the lockdown is not affecting me directly (I can move around in my tiny house whenever I want to), it is devoiding me of human connection. You know those thought experiments when they ask you if you would be trapped on an island, who would you want alongside? That. I think I will never want to be trapped like that. I would rather live near the busiest street. Here’s the thing. Even when I am with people, I don’t talk a lot. Most of my conversations are superficial. I am fast with my judgments, faster with my approval or dismissals. I don’t do parties. I often avoid traveling even if that means I get to meet the people that I want to be with. But all those things are optional. If I wanted to, I could. It was my choice to not go to Ghatkopar each time people met. It was my decision to not attend a wedding at Kolkatta. I was in control. Here I am. I can’t even step out of my house. I cant see others. What I miss the most is the energy I would get from others around me at a Starbucks where they would be hard at work to make their dreams come true. I am inspired by the ambition of others and the relentless pursuit that they are engaged in. Trapped on my writing table with a 13″ screen, diagonally, of a laptop, I am stuck. I have at least 13 more days to go before the lockdown is lifted. Each of these days is going to get tougher than the previous. You know, misery will compound. But may be with time, I will learn to live in a cocoon? May be I will accept fate and kill that ambitious kid in me? May be I will start faking emotions and actions and other things to get approval from others on Instagram? Let’s see what becomes of me in the next few days. Here’s a tiny chart that probably does not showcase my misery but if there was a horrific chart, it would be this…
Anyhow. Here’s streaks…
- Morning Pages / Meditations – 126
- #aPicADay – 107
- 10K steps a day –0
- OMAD – 0
- #noCoffee – 39
- #noCoke – 39
- 10 mins of meditation – 4
- #book2 – 0
- Killer Boogie – 0
- Original Work (limited time only) – 3
Coming to the script am hoping to write.
While I am struggling to even find the next word, I will try and persist. Like always, I will try to write for an hour. It’s 7:38. Yet again, I don’t have a story per I do have an idea that struck me while I was writing the rant above. What if there a 38-year old underachiever was told that all he had was 13 days to live? How would he react? How would he live the rest of his days? What would he do? Lemme pound the keyboard and see what comes out.
“Roshan, I have a bad news”, declared Dr. Khambata sombrely as he stepped into the examination room where Roshan was lying buck naked.
“What can be worse than totting around my nakedness in front of middle-aged men for I don’t know how many days now! Bring it on.” Roshan knew that something was terribly wrong with him. The local doctors at the tiny government hospital at the hamlet of Indapur were inadequate to figure out why would he get shooting pains up his spine that would end up in a headache so bad that he would pass out.
As a local jester, comedian, master of ceremonies, gym owner, trainer, and more rolled into one, he was quite popular in his town. He had to be. His family was the descendent of the munims of Maloje Bhosle, the grandfather of Shivaji. Between the cousins, literally half the town was related to him.
After a few weeks of inconclusive examination, he was asked to go see someone senior at Pune. Or if he really wanted a solution, to Mumbai. He settled on Pune’s KEM Hospital purely for the ease of logistics.
“I am serious Roshan. You have a rare disease that we havent the medical expertise to give you a solution to.”
“What do you mean?” He still did not understand that his life, or whatever was left of it was about to change.
There’s some fibrous growth in your brain. It’s some form of a cancer but we dont know what it is. And it is increasing everyday. To a point, we suspect, you have… less than 2 weeks.”
You’d imagine that such death sentences would be delivered with little more gravitas, a little more drama, a little more empathy. But when you’ve worked all your life with patients that are terminally ill and the families that are eternally hopeful, you learn how to abstract emotions and facts.
Additional text that I will probably use somewhere…
- Roshan’s father died when Roshan was all of 5 and he was raised by his mother.
- A middle-aged Parsi doctor, Dr. Peston Khambata was attending to Roshan. That was any way the thing with Parsis. You could never guess their ages.
1/ I think I have stumbled onto an interesting plot. I feel I have heard / seen it elsewhere. Some names that come to mind are Anand and Sweet November. In both, the protagonists are sitting on a ticking bomb and they attempt to use the time they have to bring happiness to others. There’s another that I think I saw where a guy decides to rob a bank and leave all the money to his family so that they don’t feel the pinch after he was gone. Then there’s Lootera, an adaptation of The Last Leaf where leaves on a tree become the harbinger of death. I am sure there are more. Need to research.
My concept is similar in the sense that my character has a clock ticking, just that there would be a crime / psychology angle to it, rather than a relationship piece. I don’t understand relationships.
2/ I need to find a disease that gives you 13 days to live.
3/ I still write like I write a book. Need to change tracks and start writing like a script.
So, that’s it for the day. Over and out. See you guys tomorrow. Or maybe not. Let’s see.