Dear sgMS

Dear sgMS,

I dint mean to write to you this soon. I am supposed to show little restraint, little caution, little more control over what I do and how much I miss you. You know I am supposed to move on and all that. And anyway, I just wrote a letter to you last week!

The thing is, I am at a place that has something that reminds me of you. Actually not just one thing. But a lot of things. Its like the universe is conspiring against me or something. To get me close to you.  Lemme talk about those things.

Starting with the fragrance that the hotel uses. This hotel has Lotus Flower as their signature smell. Now I dont know much about fragrances and perfumes and all that but I know that the perfume is uncannily similar to the one that you use all the time. So much that everytime I use one of those free things that come in the room, I go rushing back in your arms. Living with you. Breathing in that smell off you. Holding your hand, traveling with you to a new place. Remember that ten-page long letter that I wrote you before we went on that trip?

Then there is this entire thing about me being at a very chilled out place and not having you for company. Every time I do some mischief, pull a prank on people I am with, I am left searching for you and hoping that you would be around to see me smirk like a mad man. I would crave for that dismissive nod of yours that says so much without saying anything at all. Something that only you can do. Something that I think is one of your superpowers. Something that I miss sorely. 

Then ofcourse there are millions of tiny nicknacks that I think you would've loved to buy. Of course, to this date I cant guess what your taste is like but I have a vague idea of things that would pass your scrutiny. You remember how towards the end of that trip, I actually got good at guessing the trinket that you liked? I wanted to point at things that I think you would like. But I couldnt. You werent around you know.

And last, the fact that the room has pristine clean bedding, just the kind that you prefer. It is so  perfect that you probably wouldnt have stepped out of the hotel! Neither do I want to for that matter. And when I miss you, and when I dig my face into those soft pillows, every time I curl up in the bed craving for your company, that whiff of that Lotus Flower takes me back. To you. It reminds me of you. Of your company. Of your greatness.

God, I miss you. I really do.

Please come back.

Love always,
SG

The 14-hour sleep cycle

Every often, someone something comes along that challenges the human limits. Pushes things to an extent that no one thought was possible. Sort of, opens the doors for the rest of the world to follow. Makes the world believe that something everyone believed impossible is actually possible.

Take the 4-minute mile for example. Before that person ran the mile in less than 4 minutes (I dont know his name), no one thought it was possible. And now, the 4-min miles are as routine as people running barefoot.

There are numerous such things. There is the 10-second 100 meters dash, the 10-second Rubik's, score of 200+ by a batsman and so on and so forth. I can make a long list of things like that.

The point is, someone has to prove to the world that things are possible. And then everyone else, sort of follows.

All my life, I have struggled to find that something that I could claim ownership of. Something that I could claim that I've invented. Something that I am the first to achieve. Something that I show the way with.

So with much difficultly and exploration, I think I have found it. Something that I can claim as my baby. Ladies and gents, say hello to the 14-hour sleep day. It's doable and its not too tough. I mean if I can do it in the hot and humid Mumbai weather, you can do it from other more comfortable places. For sure.

From whatever little I know, it is recommended that us humans sleep atleast 7 hours everyday. Most people are lucky if they can manage 5. The great Kumbhakarana did 6-month sessions but then he's the stuff the legends are made of. I am a mere mortal. For me, 14 hours is like an achievement!

Kumbhakarana - The original sleep athlete!
And no, its not one off, freak occurrence. I have been doing 14-hour sessions for last few days. On the trot. Without much ado.

It all started on the recent trip to Goa. There, I was in middle of so much action that I hardly got anytime to sleep. And I was totally fine by it! But when I came back, I dont know what came over me, I started doing these 14-hour sessions.

Of course sleeping is serious business and I need to burn some calories. Thus to go along with my long sleep sessions, I have been eating as if I am from a famished land and the days ahead are full of scrounging in a foreign land. And since I need to burn all the 5000+ calories that I've consuming, I ought to sleep. You know, the vicious circle?

The thing is, writing, dreaming, work and other things have taken a back seat and I am missing a few deadlines but what are these deadlines when I am on a mission to push the human limits! I am trying to make that dent. And I am sure that work can wait. No?

So ladies and gents, come be a part of the revolution that I am creating. It really is possible to sleep for 14+ hours everyday. You got to believe that you can do it. You just need a little bit of push. On the bed. And then drift away. To that world beyond your boring old life! 

I would've written more.. but sleep beckons... you know!

P.S.: The amateur scientist in me tells me hat these are early symptoms of bipolar disease (aka clinical depression in simpler terms). Or may be its the Vitamin D deficiency. Or I am missing sgMS a little too much and I am trying to not think about her by succumbing to sleep. Or maybe I am merely running away from something. Whatever is the reason, I am loving it. I know that this depressive state wont last too long, like the maniac state that I was in a few days ago. And I need to totally live it up. 

P.P.S.: In memory of @AapChutiyeHain. I did not know him but his death has affected me. And I think I know why he did what he did. I can relate to him. RIP dude. The world did not deserve you. Thank you for spreading smiles. You will be missed.

I fold.

I fold!
This is one of those big decisions for rest of 2015.

I am going to stop playing poker. Few reasons.

1. I have been on a losing spree. As per my poker stats, I have lost 9 out of 10 times I have played. Also, I have wiped all my bankroll. Since I dont have any predictable earning, I am not sure how to build the bankroll without investing anything from my savings. And that, ladies and gents, is not happening.

2. Luck doesnt seem to be favoring me. Not luck, odds. I mean what are the odds that hand after hand you would have like 30 outs and you wouldn't connect even one? Or you'd have pocket kings and every flop would have a string of aces? Or on the button you had hands so cold that you could deep freeze your coke with em. I am losing that perpetual "war with luck."

3. I dont see myself improving at it. Improving at poker, I think, is a simple function of time, practice and reading. I dont have that time. There are just too many things that I am busy with - earning my bread, writing my next book, travel, trying to get fit and so on and so forth. Take guitar for example. Neo just got me a new guitar. A F310. It's something that I've always wanted to do. May be I would focus on it for 2015.

4. There is no 4. The above three are reasons solid enough reasons to make me reconsider my poker "career."

That's it. I think I would get away from poker. Except that home game once in a while and that occasional tournament.

I know quitting sucks but you ought to know who you are and what could you do!
 Wish me lucky with the guitar :)

P.S.: I will get back to poker at some point in life. It gives me everything that I want - money, travel, decision making, access to great minds, time and all that. Just that I have other things to chase right now. May be in 2016?

Dear sgMS

From the movie Notting Hill. One of the greatest love stories ever told!
Dear sgMS,

Trust you are well.

So, I dont know where to start this rant. I have nothing new to report. Its the same old life, same old rut, same old circle or life. And the same old longing for you. It's been so long that I've spoken to you that it feels like a life time.

It is You often said that us humans are funny people and time is the greatest healer. And with time we forget, forgive everything. We move on. Time heals everything. For some funny reason, I haven't been able to. I miss you. I miss you like I could miss anything else. Damn I am short of words. I dont know what to say to make you come running in my arms. But I miss you like mad.

Second thing you said was that moment I find someone else, I will forget you. I tried to find that someone else. And I failed at it. Over the last few days, I have met few women and some of them have been absolute pleasure to hang out with. But every time I crossed that blurry line between being strangers and being acquaintances, I felt as if I were cheating on you. I couldnt carry on the conversation. I would exit. Feeling guilty about even making an attempt to meet others.

And then I would be miserable for the next few days. Till I gather myself and my thoughts and chase someone else. And after I meet someone, I would be guilty all over again. And the vicious cycle would continue. I dont see a way out. I know I cant be with you and I know I cant stay away from. I sincerely dont know what to do.

You know, I thought I'd never say this. But I need you. I am desperate for your company. I long for you. I can do anything to be around you. I dont want you to kiss me, I dont want you to hug me. I dont even want to shake hands or whatever. Just be around you. Allow me to be around. Please. I beg of you. I promise I would not make it awkward. I would not make it uncomfortable. Please...

I really need you to hold me and tell me that all will be ok. Remember how we sat next to that broken wall along a river? And then on that bench next to that other river? I miss those times. I miss sitting next to you.

I miss you.

Please come back.

Love always,
SG

Anatomy of a good day



Do you remember this ad by Cadburys? I love it. I am sure I have spoken about it. It says...
"I am happy. For no reason. I am happy, just like that."

Today was one of those days when I am happy for no reason.

Let me make a list of things that I did today. I shall try and do those things again and again so that I could be happier.
  1. Switched Off my phone when I slept the previous night. So when I woke up, at around 630ish, I did not look at any notifications (email, twitter, facebook, tinder and so on and so forth). 
  2. Went for a walk. Walked about 7 KMs in little over an hour. I hope to do this tomorrow as well.
  3. Came back, planned my day. On little post-it notes. Exhibit A.
  4. Breakfast. And read Goa Gallata by Surendra Mohan Pathak along with breakfast.
  5. Chit chatted with roomie about random things while he had his breakfast.
  6. Wrote on my other blog. Worked for a bit. On the list that I had created in the morning. While I ticked off a few things, got a call for an urgent meeting.
  7. Meeting. Went ok. Learned a few lessons, met someone who at some point in time worked with someone who I want to work with now. Sent that person (the one I want to work with) an unsolicited request on LinkedIn. Haven't heard from yet. And in the meeting, the guy I met, he told me that may be my time has come!
  8. Spoke to a new friend about a new thing that he and I are together trying. Hint: Mastermind.
  9. Got a call from a senior where he asked me to work on a project with him. He, to my mind, is amongst the sharpest people I know. And an opportunity to work for him can make or break careers. 
  10. Met a friend's friend. For the first time 1v1. Loved meeting her and spending time with her. She is amongst the coolest people I know. Too bad shes happily married. I will write about her sometime. For the time being, do read this. Gave her a few copies of #tnks. Also see Exhibit B.
  11. Got news from one of the work engagements that the client is angry and disappointed with what I have done. I should've been sad about things but I wasn't. 
  12. Bumped into a really old acquaintance. Had a good discussion with him about his start-up, which incidentally is doing really really well. So happy for him. Glad that I bumped into him!
  13. Worked for a bit. Sent a proposal out as the laptop battery was nearing 1%.  
  14. By this time, I was really really happy. Wanted to talk to someone. Ideally sgMS. But since I didnt have her, tried called Agony Aunt. She dint pick up. But its ok. Dint feel like talking to anyone else. I was so happy so content with myself.
  15. Came home, was about to have dinner when I got a surprise gift. From Neo. Love him. Exhibit C.
  16. Got calls from couple of more people who want to work with me. Ended up narrating the story of the day to one. Loved talking about the day. He gave me yet another thing to laugh about - if the trip to Goa is lucky for me at the casino, I must know that my time has come!
  17. And as I write this, I have this stupid grin on my lips and a heart full of hope and a checklist of things to do that needed to be done as on yesterday. So I am now going to work on those. 
That's it!

I guess its a combination of lucky stars, eating right and the morning walk. I shall repeat this tomorrow and see if the day goes as well. However, if I could change a few things, I'd just want to have less coffee and little more equanimity. Like GuruJi often said, "this too shall pass."

Oh, I would love to sit next to #sgMS while I recount the day that has gone by. But then I may not have her, but I do have her memories. That no one can take away from me. Can they? Anyhow, here are the exhibits!

Exhibit A: Things I had to do today. Most of which are still pending.

Exhibit B: A screenshot from a Jack Kerouac book


Exhibit C: A Yamaha F 310. Thanks to Neo. Love him!

P.S.: Last time I was this happy was when I received the first set of copies of my book in my hand. So almost 4 months.

Know Goa? Help me!

Hi,

If you are from Goa, if you've lived in Goa, know of stories of Goa, understand the quirks that moves people there, I want to talk to you.


Why do I want to talk to you? 
I am an author and I am working on my next book. My first one, The Nidhi Kapoor Story, is here.

And since I am the author, I can play God and decide how, where, when do things happen in the book. On a whim, I have decided that I want an important part of the book to happen in Goa.

And since I am an outsider at best, I want to know about the place from people who know it. The ideal way to do it would be to live in Goa for a few weeks, talk to the locals, capture their stories et al. But since I dont have the luxury of an unlimited bank balance, I can do the next best thing - talk over the phone, email, Skype, etc.


What would I want to know?
I dont know. I want a freewheeling conversation to start with. In it, you can talk about one of the following (or more, or less, or anything else altogether)...
  1. How was it to grow up in Goa? How was school? What did you do outside of it? What were you most fascinated about? What were you most scared of? What did you want to do after school hours? How did you kill time?
  2. How is it to live there? How has it changed over the years? What are your earliest memories of Goa?
  3. What are a few cliches about Goa? What do most people get wrong about Goa? What myths do you want to dispel about it?
  4. What are a few best kept secrets about Goa? And what are a few open secrets?
  5. If someone were to read a book on Goa, what must it include? What are other books, films etc that do great justice to the story of Goa?
  6. What makes Goa unique? What are a few things that are peculiar to Goa?
  7. What are the famous folklores of Goa that you've heard from your grandparents? Who are some notorious characters of Goa?
  8. What is that one story that is quintessentially Goa?
  9. What incidents have made Goa Goa? 
  10. If there's something that you could change about Goa, what would it be?
I can go on and on with this.

This is just a small list that I put together in about 5 minutes. Once I have had enough discussions with people, done enough desk research, read enough, I will followup with specific questions.


What do you get in return?
Not money for sure.

But I can offer gratitude and send some good karma your way.

Oh, I will also give you credits in the book and send a copy of the book when it comes out (it WILL come out - my first one did and there is no reason why this one will not. Hope you like reading it :)


What else?
I dont know. I am very open minded and welcome all suggestions. Please please please help me. I promise I will not waste your time.

Thanks for reading this!
SG

P.S.: The best way to reach me is on twitter (@saurabh) and the second best is to email me.

Dear sgMS

Dear sgMS,

Hope you are doing great. Wherever you are.

Hope you are happy and healthy. Hope you are in love and you're getting your fix of attention and affection. Hope you're doing great work that makes you happy and your friends proud. Hope all the emo baggage that SG piles up on you is no longer yours to carry.

You konw, to be honest, I dint mean to write in to you. I remember my promise of staying away. And I have stayed away for a large part. Even when I have needed you, even when I could do with your company, even when I knew that no one else but you can give me comfort. I've stayed away.

You know, I dont really have a reason to write to you. Just that I miss you terribly. I miss you so so much that I dont know what to do. It's stifling. It's suffocating. I can't breathe. I mean I can but it seems like a task. And there is no reason to make the effort. Who do I do all the things for? You are my reason babes. I want to make your proud. I want to make you happy. Without you, what would I do with things when I dont have you to shower those on?

I tried to not write this letter. I drugged myself and tried to sleep but I could not. I tried to drown myself in work but I could not deliver. I tried to divert attention on television, poker, readign but I just couldn't concentrate. I am human sgMS and this time it got better of me. I had to speak to you.

I sent you frantic messages, emails, calls and tried everything to reach you. And I realized that you have blocked me out. I know you dont have any hard feelings per se and you're doing this so that I drift away with time and I get used to living without you.

Of course your methods are flawed and this separation from you is making me crave for your company all the more. So much so that I am staring at the pics from good old times when we were together.

I really really want you around. I know repeating a word does not make it stronger or better. But there is no other way I know to express myself. I really want you around me. And I want to be around you. I just can't do without you. I know I am being selfish. And I know you hate selfish people. But I dont know what else to say. I dont want to lie to you. I want you and I want you bad.

Judge me if you will.

But, but... please please come back! I promise I try really hard to not disappoint you.

Please?

Love always,
SG

Jana Gana Mana

Like a lot of other odd things about Mumbai (or may be Maharashtra), if you go to a movie hall to see a movie, they play our National Anthem before a movie. Nothing wrong with it per se. Just that I don't appreciate when someone forces things on us. After all we are a free country. Wait... are we? Debate for a different time, different day I guess. 

Anyhow, so last night, I went to see a movie (don't ask me who I went with or what movie was it). When the national anthem played, I realized that in last few months, I have stopped bothering about my motherland, thanks to our great democracy, greater politicians, foolish citizens, opportunistic media and foolhardy myself.

But the song, the national anthem, the music brought back a few memories. It moved me. Moved me so much that I had goosebumps. After all, India, my country, my nation, was my first love and since I heard the anthem play after so so long, all the memories that I had of being a passionate and fanatic Indian came rushing back. I remembered that there were times when I picked fights with random strangers if they even flinched while the natinoal anthem was playing. And yesterday, this dude walked up the entire aisle of the hall while the national anthem played on. And I was ok with it.

To be honest, I don't know what has changed. And I don't know how it has changed.

And yesterday when I noticed the change, I just dint like it. I dint appreciate it. I guess it's like aging. You cant tell a moment from another and yet you are moving in some direction. Towards something. Undesirable mostly. Everything remains the same while you are breathing towards your eminent death. You are aging every second and yet you don't notice it. It's so slow, so gradual that you cant notice even if you want to. Some say that our body is made up of 100 trillion cells and in one year 95% of those cells are recycled. But when you see your photographs every year, you are are older, balder, bent and frail. And you know the worse part? You can't do shit about it!

In fact, as I write this, I can actually spot a general pattern. It's not about just India and the pride of being an Indian. Things that mattered when I was younger have ceased to matter now. I can think of a million examples. Things like money, fame, friends, dreams, aspirations, thoughts, opinions, wants et al. I dont want any of those. I dont chase any of those. I am fine if I die tomorrow and I dont have em.

I guess I have achieved whatever I could have. 32 years is a long enough time to do something worthwhile. If you havent done it in 32, what are the odds you would do them in the next 8. A huamn life is afteall good till you're 40. After that, well...

And the ones I am indifferent about, guess I cant achieve em. I have actually made peace with the fact that I can never have those things. I'd regret that I couldnt buy a car.

It's like, I have come to a point where everything is ok. I am merely drifting through life. They call it being a vegetable. I am being a fucking vegetable. I like it or not but that's how it is. A vegetative state.

I guess the only person to blame is me.

I for some reason don't have any more emotions (except for #sgMS), any more attachments (except my family) or any more affiliations (except may be MDI). India does not even feature anywhere in the entire thing. In fact if you know me IRL, you will know that I have been trying to move out of India for some time now. However things aren't working out. Some day they will. Inshallah.

It's like someone has drained all josh, all junoon from my freaking blood. It just doesn't come to a boiling point anymore. Bismil, in his wonderful Sarfaroshi Ki Tammanna once said,

जिस्म भी क्या जिस्म है जिसमें न हो ख़ून-ए-जुनून
क्या लढ़े तूफ़ान से जो कश्ती-ए-साहिल में है
सरफ़रोशी की तमन्ना अब हमारे दिल में है
देखना है ज़ोर कितना बाज़ू-ए-क़ातिल में है

I lack that junoon. I need to fucking go hang my balls. Go to Himalayas to retire. Or may be take Jal Samadhi.

P.S.: I dont know if I am seeing patterns where none exist, but today in 1931, three of the most valiant sons of the soil were killed by the British.

The impending visit to a hospital

If you've been following my twitter stream, you would know that I have this boil on my foot that has grown to a size of tennis ball. And as a result, my leg is swollen to a size that can put an Elephant to shame. I have tried all home-grown remedies on the boil but nothing seems to be working. I will have to goto an hospital to get it incision-ed. And I am shitting bricks.

Because I hate hospitals. And second I dont like others to see my tears. After all men my age dont cry when a sharp thing pricks the tender skin. Wish they could spray some local Anasthesia on it before they cut it. 

Anyhow, what needs to be done has to be done. Just that I dont have sgMS around when this has happened. If she were around, the boil would've been operated, cured when it was just a boil. And even if it were to grow this big, I would have had her hand to hold on to.

Damn!

World 1, SG 0!

8 on 10

Met VK today yesterday. She did not have a lot of time but whatever little we had, it was enough. After all no trip to Delhi is complete without meeting her. Plus, she is probably the only person who I can meet all the time and not get bored of. AND I don't get depressed or sad or anxious when she has to leave.

To be honest, yesterday, I was more than happy to see her go because she forced me to eat a Subway. Yuk! Let me put this on record. For the last time. I do NOT like Subway. I don't hate it per se. But I just don't like it. Hope you get the difference. Especially VG. Reading this? Thing is, its just too messy to eat and its exorbitantly expensive and it doesn't taste all that good either.

Anyhow, coming back. So we had very little time and after we were done with gossip, we came back to issues with her life. And issues with my life. Of course all those things are off the record. For the record however is her opinion on the colorful (or colorless, depending on how you look at it) life of sgMS and me.

So, she said something funny. She said that if there are 10 steps required to "get over it," I am on the 8th.

Even though I take her word more seriously than I take even my mom's, I don't agree to this one. How could I be on the 8th step? When sgMS is my life? Am I just 2 steps away from dying? Of course not. I have at least 49 more books to publish, a WSOP bracelet to win, 180+ countries left to travel to (nah, no space or planets or stars for me) and… and… get married and settled down with… you know who. I just cant die.

But then, VK cant be wrong. She normally isn't. And she knows the context. She knows the characters. In fact VK has actually been the only anchor, the only support throughout the relationship adventurous ride. She is probably the only person who knows it all about sgMS. I mean Neo also doesn't know as much about sgMS. VK also said something on the lines that is she's known about me and her for years now and this is the closet I am to letting her go.

So I don't know where I stand. But I do know that if she's correct and I am wrong and I am indeed on the 8th step, it would suck. Suck like crazy. So crazy that I'd rather stay stuck at step 8 if I cant retrace it to step 0. After all, she is sgMS. sg + MS. The two have to be together. They just don't sound right away from each other.

They don't. They can't.

The Nidhi Kapoor Story

Did you like this post? I have published my first book, The Nidhi Kapoor Story recently. May be take time to check it out on Amazon or Flipkart?