190421 – Meditations

Yet another rant. Damn this COVID crisis. It’s making me dystopian and think of dark things only. Read at peril.

6:19. Woke a while ago. Did not feel like sitting on the computer. This was new. Too much in my head. Decided to take matters of my health in my hand, despite the COVID scare and hernia that seems to be back in full force. I will start with OMAD today. Plan to get onto the Yoga bandwagon all over again. Let’s see if I can manage these things.

There are quite a few other things that I need to think about – more on those on the echochamber. Quick bullets…

1/ Need to find a better house pronto. My 6-month lock-in expires in May. I am less than 2 weeks away from that. I will give the notice and get going. Even if I have to be homeless and sleep on the floors of friends’ houses, I will. But then with the lockdown, homelessness may not be a good idea. Will think and decide on this. Or I will get a grand fancy house with all the bells and whistles. Lol. Wishful thinking.

2/ Need to stop trying too hard with relationships. The ones that would want to stay, will stay. The ones that will want to move on, will eventually move on, even if I tried hard. So, need to stop chasing.

3/ Need to streamline work. Way too many tiny things are taking too much time. You know, Pareto. But I must say, I am glad that I have work in this day and age.

4/ Need to stop whiling time on social media. I do want to develop a personal brand that attracts opportunities. But the unintended side-effect of that is that the perfect lives of others is leaving me with incredible FOMO. To a point that it is digressing me from my ambitions of impacting the world and inspiring others and all that.

5/ Need to get my sanity back. COVID is wreaking havoc all around me. To a point that family and close friends are suffering. These are the people that I actually care about. The ones that I want to keep close. The ones that I exist for.

Of course, my EQ and pain-avoidance behavior is making it impossible for me to handle the crisis. I am unable to carry conversations that heal them. In a first, I am unable to even be that man behind the scenes that would make things happen. It is not helping how I live.

Every time I open WhatsApp (which I have to, all day long – most of the work happens there), I am saddened. Either someone close is suffering. Or someone closer needs a shoulder that I am unable to give. I am not programmed for it. I can try and change but what if it’s at the cost of my own survival? I think more than their suffering, what saddles me is the guilt about my inability to help. I am not sure how to reconcile with it. The escapist in me wants to get away from all this. To a far away land where I don’t get to hear about any of these things. But then poor people like me can’t. Lol. Poor. This is being typed on an expensive laptop from an expensive place to live! It just plain sucks. See the conundrum that I am in?

Anyhow. Every time I open the Internet, I see the suffering of the world at large. I see the apathy of policymakers, government, politicians, and people in general. It fucks the head even more. I’ve never seen this much helplessness and this much lack of avenues to seek help.

6/ As my escape mechanism, in the past, I have had significant others to lean on. Now, I find myself alone. While I was thinking about the words to write this, a picture popped into my head. Imagine Mahabharata. The battle is raging at its most ferocity. You are one of those lucky soldiers that is yet to be injured.

You take a walk on the battlefield in the evening. You see dead bodies of people you’ve known all your life strewn around you. They had it easy. They died. Then you see others that have been decapitated and left there to die. They are no use in the battle after all. They cry to you for help. You decide to help one of those. But if you helped one person, you’d lose a portion of your blood. So, to be of help to others, you need to sort of slash yourself and bleed. At this rate, before that walk is done, you’d probably die yourself.

Which is ok. Death is an inevitability.

What is tough is for him to explain this to ones that he sees suffering on the battlefield and has decided to not extend help. The one dying on the battlefield cant comprehend this behaviour. Of course, he wont. At this time, he would see his pain more. And he cant see any apparant scars on you. He sees you as a brother, a cousin, a friend, someone that he’s spent all his life with. He thinks if you were the one on the field dying, he would have given his life to help you. And here you are. Walking over them nonchalantly.

Ok, too dark. Too much honesty. Moving on.

7/ I will reduce my screen-time drastically from today on. I will also reduce the number of phone pickups. Only when it’s required. Today, while writing this, I have been on this page for about an hour and I haven’t touched my phone. I intend that to be the case. I will ignore every notification unless it’s a phone call from someone. That too shall be answered only if I am not engaged in any other thing at the time.

So that. Wow. A lot. I am sure more. But these are the ones at the top of my head. More on these on days when I have more time to write.

Here’s streaks…

  • Morning Pages / Meditations – 127
  • #aPicADay – 108
  • 10K steps a day –0
  • OMAD – 0
  • #noCoffee – 40
  • #noCoke – 40
  • 10 mins of meditation – 5
  • #book2 – 0
  • Killer Boogie – 0
  • Original Work (limited time only) – 4

Day 5

Onto, original writing and thinking.

Here’s me trying to crack the story for NFDC’s competition. Yesterday I finally stumbled onto a plot that I seem to like. Though I am not sure if it’s compelling or unique or whatever but it is still worth exploring. Since it is getting at an interesting juncture, I have made a copy here where I will compile more notes / thoughts / structure, etc.

Here we go with today’s text.

[START]

Once Roshan knew he had 2 weeks, he went through the set of predictable emotions. From denial (The doctor is wrong. They may have made a mistake. I must take a second opinion.) to anger (How could this happen to me?) to bargaining (Damn this is happening. How do I escape? Can I goto some Pandit that may make this go away like a bad dream?) to depression (sadness about leaving this wondering life behind. Especially his mother who’d be left alone in his absence. And Chandani, the love of his life) to finally acceptance (Now that this is happening, what do I do to put my affairs in order?).

Unlike most that take months to go through these stages, Roshan was surprisingly calm. It was at the doctor’s clinic itself that he accepted and decided to take fate in his hands and fix things. Some things would be easy. Most of them would be hard. The toughest would be to talk to his mother. He was the world for her. The easiest for him was to dispose of the gym.

It had to start with his mother. Luckily, Pritha, her mother was like him. Or, he was like her mother. He remembered that when his father passed away, his mom was as calm as a secluded lake on a full-moon night. No amount of cajoling could make her shed even a single drop of tear. People around them gossiped for months about this indifference of his mother.

He just needed to find a way to tell her. In his limited world view, if he confronted the problem head on, it would probably make life simpler. Well, life.

Anyhow. He decided to bring up his father’s demise as an excuse to ease her into the state of pain.

He went to the temple where his mother volunteered and literally spent all her time. She was probably more attached to the temple than she was to anything else. People do need something to latch onto. If not a God, then an idea, a hope of something in the distant future, something grand.

Pritha was sitting cross-legged on the marble floor and rubbing cotton into wicks that they would use in the diyas.

“Maa, remember when father passed away, you did not shed a single tear. How did you do that?”

“Huh?” She responded.

“Arey, I am asking how did you come to terms with the fact that Pa was gone?”

“What’s wrong with you? What’s this?”

“I just want to know that if I die tomorrow, would you cry? That’s it”

“Mare tere dushman. You are all of 27. Dont say such things. Not in the temple. Bhagwan ne teri sun li to?”

“Maan lo sun li. If I told you I will die in 2 weeks, what would you do?”

She laughed. “I will do exactly what I am doing right now. Wake up before the world does. Come to the temple. Stay here till it’s dark. And then walk back home and sleep.”

“You wouldn’t miss me?”

“Well, I will miss walking back home with you.” The mother and the son had a routine. Each day, irrespective of where Roshan was, he would ensure that he would walk back home with his mother. It was hardly a 5-minute walk but this tradition was passed down by his father and had stayed. Earlier, the father had a tiny trading shop next to the temple. So that made logistical sense. However Roshan’s akhada was a little further away, next to the state highway 71 that connected Indapur to Pune. Even with the distance, Roshan had maintained the routine.

That’s how relationships ought to be. No grand gestures, flourishes, etc. A routine that may sound boring to the world is what you need to establish if you want your relationships to go deeper. These mundane routines are what define you and your loved ones and your relationships. These predictable patterns are remembered long after you are gone.

Roshan knew he would miss this when he was gone. But how could he miss things when he wouldn’t have any consciousness? He was not sure of Pritha. She seems to have accepted her husband’s untimely death in a jiffy. She was back to the temple the very next day. the pujari and other women opposed the decision vehemently but you could not stand up to Pritha. She spoke with reason and was respected for all she’s done for the temple over the years. She even dismantled her husband’s shop and donated the same to the temple, to be used as a godown. They did not mind. Even the Gods don’t mind hoarding onto additional assets!

[END]

[NOTES]

Here are some notes that popped up in my head, as I was thinking about it.

  1. Need a metaphor to showcase the emotions that he goes through. Its a film and I cant take more than 5 minutes to get over those.
  2. I am not sure where to take this. Here are some directions that this can go in…
    1. There is some calamity in the town and he dedicates the rest of his days fixing that. You know, Swades. There was no ticking clock there but Mohan solved something larger than himself.
    2. He commits a perfect crime and solves a large issue confounding his people. This could be killing a zamindar, solving a business deal, preventing a calamity from happening. A la Majboor.
    3. Propagate his family’s DNA by impregnating someone? Lol.
    4. Some treasure that has been left by Shivaji in their keep? But this will become way too close to #book2 and I am invested in that like nothing else. So, I may skip this.
    5. I want him to fall in love in these 2 weeks. I want to show this woman’s heartbreak. I want him to not want to die, only for this woman. I want to talk about how cruel fate could be in such cases. Sounds similar to Wo Saat Din or Sweet November?
    6. No, I don’t want a happy ending where he is miraculously saved. I want a realistic story that has a realistic end.
  3. Roshan’s arc seems to be emerging easily. From a happy-go-lucky dude to a man on a mission. Need to discover where he ends up.
  4. Need to start introducing additional characters that bring out Roshan’s character. You know, show, not tell. May be the film opens at an event that Roshan is hosting. This would establish his present world, the milieu, the conflict (someone may want to compete with Roshan). This is where I can also showcase the challenge (while performing, he could collapse). Reminds me of a scene from Majboor where Amitabh Bachchan is holding an aquarium and crossing a road. Bang in the middle, he gets a stroke, drops the aquarium, and strews all the fish on a hot tar road. Wow! What cinematography!
  5. I must add Majboor to the list of films that I am inspired by. Again, the character is on a clock and does something to deliver riches to the family.
  6. What I need is the large conflict as the backdrop that makes Roshan’s life and death trivial. Could very well be COVID. I mean what’s better than someone on the clock putting all his energy into fixing others around him? But then I’ve had enough of COVID and I want to get away from that.

So that’s it for the day.
Over and out!
7:57. Andheri. Wow, two hours! Still haven’t touched the phone. #win

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