I wish...

Here's a list of thing that I wish I could have / own / do / work on / etc.

I wish I could be a stand-up comic comedian
I wish I could sing well
I wish I could play the guitar
I wish I went to a college like Harvard
I wish my book sold as much as Chetan's sell
I wish I did not have to work for money
I wish my money worked for me instead
I wish I could work out from the road
I wish I had a fast Internet connection
I wish I had a faster computer
I wish I could help my ex-boss, ex-employer buy his dream car - Audi Q5
I wish I could buy myself a car. Any car
I wish I had more time
I wish I could choose how I spent my time
I wish I had more talent
I wish I had more brains
I wish I was creative
I wish I could earn respect
I wish I had more friends
I wish I had less people to answer to
I wish I did not have to marry
I wish I did not have responsibilities
I wish I could make shit happen
I wish I could meet Steve Jobs. Any Jonny Ive. And Warren Buffet. And Bill Gates. And so many more people.


I wish I could be with #sgMS

The three books for 2015

Its the 11th day of 2015 and this is my 5th post. If I continue to go at this rate, I think my goal of 250K words will happen. Of course I know that all the words need to take me close to a destination. Destination being - #trss and two more full-length books. By the end of 2015.

Let me talk about them here.

1. #trss
This will be similar to #tnks. I dont know the shape it will take. But this will be published by Grapevine, assuming the team at Grapevine likes what I write.

2. 12x12
I am attempting to write 12 love stories in 12 months. Short stories. Each a fan-fiction to the greatest love stories I've read. It's an initiative by Radhika, who I met on Wrimo India FB group. I dont know if you can still participate in 12 x 12 but may be check this page for more details. I even know what I am going to call it. Dear #sgMS. What else :)

P.S.: Last I heard, sgMS is getting married. That means whatever little hopes I had of reconciliation, they're all gone. Unless I turn into a murderer and kill the lucky man. But then why plunge her into sadness. More on this at some point in time in future. May be when I am ready to kill myself? 

3. Third
This is slightly tricky. I want to write on travel. And on stories that people encounter when they travel. Like 12x12, this will be a collection of sorts. But of essays rather than stories. Observations rather than lesson in history. Again, I dont have a structure in my mind right now. But once I am free from the rigmarole of a clock that I need to punch in at 10, I shall work on this.

In the meanwhile, please do read #tnks and do let me know how can I improve what I write. I am very happy with the response that I've got. I know, I know. It's far from making me rich. But it does make me happy every time I spot my book amongst a pile of books, at my home. The book is still not available at bookstores. I dont know why. The publisher is assuring me that it's doing everything that he can to make it available. But it's not.

Any answers anyone?

It costs nothing to encourage an artist...

From Zen Pencils - http://zenpencils.com/comic/kevinsmith/
Kevin Smith says, "it costs nothing to encourage an artist..."

Dear 500+ friends, family, readers, strangers and others, thank you so so so so so much for encouraging me. I dont claim to be an artist. But I want to be one some day. And you guys are helping me become one.

It's been almost two months since the book came out. And...
I have had people telling me that they love it.
I have had people telling me they hate it.
I have had people telling me to try harder.
Some say, may be, I ought to retire after my first.

There are some who say they don't want to read because they know that I am no good. I persisted and sent them copies. I don't know if they read. I hope they do.

Then there are some who read, re-read and sent copies to their friends and family. I asked them not to do so. But they insisted and sent.

Some said I ought to stick to writing my blogs and gave me tips to improve the blog. And on the other hand, some asked me the question that I loved the most - when is my next coming out?

And the answer is, by the end of 2015. It's WIP. I'd talk about it when I am ready to.

Coming back, to be honest, I couldn't claim to be a writer without inputs, support and encouragement from all of you. I know I have made mistakes and I know most of you have been tolerant. Thank you all of you.

#tnks is my first book. And like any other first, it means the world to me. All good bits have happened because I had so many giants to stand on the shoulders of. All the bad things happened because I could not push myself to do better. I promise that I'd leave no stone unturned when my next comes out.

As the cliche goes, the entire journey of #tnks has been nothing less than a roller-coaster ride. And I've enjoyed every bit of it.

Thank you so so much for sending me on the journey.

Oh, I am not done yet. In fact, I have just started. More books, more mistakes, more pushy marketing, more requests and a lot more is on the way. Till then, thank you once again for everything.


Thanks to Zen Pencils, Grapevine India, Wrimo India, Kevin Smith.

P.S.: Wrote this on the FB page and tnks blog after the FB reached 500 "likes."

Reclaiming life (search for meaning)

Wrote this towards the end of last year. Couldn't post it back then because the post got extremely person it. But now that I know that I am back to being good, here it is!

This is an edited version.

As the new year dawns closer, I am in my thinking mode that I get in towards the end of every year. I think about what went right, what went wrong and how to change things. And I realize that one thing that I am very sure is that I want to be the master of my time and there is no way I'd let someone else control my time.

This day on, I promise that no one else will control my time.

Why this time-bound thing all of a sudden?

Because when your nose starts bleeding all of a sudden and a trickle of blood starts dripping from somewhere inside your nose and makes a puddle on the white-tiled floor below, you know that your time is limited. It's like that wake up call that shakes and wakes you up.

If it were a one-time occurrence, you may dismiss it. But when the bleeding happens again and this time soils the bed-sheet you are on, you realize that life is fragile and you dont have control over it. You realize that life is indeed limited and precious and you ought to row your boat, however small it may be; Rather than being a captain of the largest ship they ever made.

The deep red liquid that supports life, when you see it flowing like that, it makes you question the meaning of life. The more evolved ones may have questioned before me. But then I am one of those "if it doesn't affect me, I am not affected by it" kinds. It sucks to have such a philosophy but that's how I am made. I want to change but I haven't been able to. May be someday I would. For the time being, I know that my time is limited and I ought to control it. I can no longer be at the mercy of others. I need to address that meaning of life question now!

I dont know how many more days I have left but I better make the most of em. And unlike a lot of other people who have real talent, the closest thing I have, that I can call talent, is the ability to write. I may not be a good writer but I know that writing gives me pleasure. I know that I love to see words appear magically on the screen in front of me. I know that it's a vocation that I can better at, if I keep at it, if I keep showing up.

So, while I continue to question the meaning of life, I am going to continue to write. Till I find answers, if there are any.

In terms of meaning of life, is life about making a difference? Is it about immortality? I have no clue.

But whatever it is about, I know that I ought to be healthy and happy. And I ought to master my time.

Next question is, how!

Jan 01. Much ado about nothing?

Stack of post-it notes on a wall in my room.
If you know me, you'd know that I am big on new year resolutions and I make an elaborate list every year. This year is no different. I have made a long list.

And as a result of the list, at the stroke of the midnight hour when the clock ticks in to the new year, I am supposed to be infused with some energy, some superpower that would make me an invincible superhuman and I'd rush through the list as if it was a walk in the park.

But Dec 31 came and went. The clocked crept into Jan 01 and continued ticking. But I could not see any apparent change in me. I don't feel any special. Neither do I have extra spark running in my veins. I am still the same. Cranky, old as always.

I understand that change is often a slow process and the rate of change is so slow that you can hardly notice it. And thus I am willing to be patient about it. Some day, may be something ticks in me that makes me better.

The change was supposed to start on the 1st of Jan. It did not happen. I am not disappointed. Because, I did DO a few interesting things and a handful of good things happened to me. I also took first baby steps towards some of my goals for 2015 - 250K words, 30", marathon etc…

So here is a non-exhaustive list of good things from day 01, 2015.

- As a regular at Starbucks, I love their Java Chip Frappuccino. Apparently its the most loaded beverage that they have. I replaced it with a variant of Green Tea. Oh by the way, I HATE green tea. But apparently the green tea makes you healthier and thus the change.
- Stopped eating Rice, Sugar, Potato and replaced it with pulses, roti and cabbage. More on this in subsequent posts.
- Got calls from a college where I taught event management. This I think is good news. Because this translates into money. And more opportunities of interaction with young students. And opening up of avenues. I just need to be able to negotiate the money better.
- Got a tax refund that was stuck with the Govt. of India. At the risk of jinxing the inflow of money, I hope that more money comes my way in 2015. And the kind of work that I want to do; rather than work that I am forced to do.
- Started a tumblr blog where I would eventually dump whatever thoughts swirl in my head the entire day. I should ideally use Evernote but I think I have worked out a system for sorting things in my entire life. Twitter for marketing and networking. Facebook as a content hub. LinkedIn as my CV. Evernote is my extended brain where I capture things and context. Tumblr blog would be where I vomit ideas and thoughts without any inhibitions. You are welcome to follow the blog, if you find it useful. I will add more tools in a post about productivity. Or tools that I use to manage my life. Again in a subsequent post.

However the day did not go as planned. These were quite a few misses. Actually more misses than hits. Here is a list.

- Wasted time helping someone else. I was supposed to say no. I would've loved to help if it paid. Or taught me something that I did not know. Or if it were a way to pay if forward. What I did for close to three hours today was none of the above. Need to stop such things. My time is precious.
- Played poker and lost. I have to complete a few assignments that are due tomorrow today and I haven't even started on those. So, I should've worked instead. I played poker instead.
- Had to have a Red Bull to stay up. Deadlines like I said. I don't like using things to keep me up. I will try to reduce the consumption. It's already been close to three weeks since I had a coke. That itself is an achievement. Over time I want to reduce my reliance on Red Bull as well.
- Had to start on a few projects - Guitar, Capt Obv, OnWriting. I did nothing about the projects. I did not start. I did not plan. I did not think of those. I was too bored, too blind, too busy with helping other people that I ended up doing nothing. Something that I need to stop doing, if I am to be rich or successful in the year.

Am sure there are more things that I ought to have done but did not do. Like the next book, I should have written 1000 words by end the day. I did not write a single word. On 2nd, I will have to write 2000. The backlog just keeps piling up! I need to get away from the backlog clearing weekend habit!

So may be, just may be, Jan 02 is better. I'd make it better. Who am I kidding? It's 4 AM already and I have a long long day at work. Only thing I'd probably be able to do once I am back from work after 7 PM would be to crash on the bed. Damn! Jan 01 was I had to reset and undo life. I had to eliminate clutter. I had to start saying no. And I failed royally at all those.

May be Jan 02 is better? Wish me luck!

It better be better!

P.S.: Apart from setting the goals, I haven't had time to split the goals into tasks and short-term actionable items. I will do so on the coming weekend. It means that I would have fewer days to reach my goal. Am I ok with it? Yes I am! As long as I am moving towards something!

P.P.S.: From Jan 02 onwards, I will post these updates on the tumblr blog. This blog shall remain for the consumption of the world at large. Tumblr will be open as well but I will not talk about it much. If it's of some value to someone, they would flock it!

Hello 2015.

2015. Via
Every year, around this time, I get into this self-evaluation mode. I think about what went right and what went wrong during the year. I think about the year ahead and things I would do in the coming year. I am after all, big on new year resolutions!

So, #in2015, I would do the following.
  • #writing. Write 250K words. Yeah. 250,000. Translates into about 4 full-length books. Looks tough to do but if I manage to write a 1000 words everyday, for say 5 days a week, for 50 weeks, I'd do it.
  • #writing. Publish book 2. I don't know what to call it though. I am thinking of calling is #trss. But let's see what it ends up being. I have a vague idea of the storyline. I was supposed to get the first draft ready by the year end. But havent been able to even start. So, I am looking at a 2015 release, I will have to get the draft out to Sachin and Parul by end of March 15. 
  • #fitness. Will be 30". This's been like a perpetual goal. It's been three years that I've been trying but nothing has happened. I did lose some inches but I am back to my former glory, thanks to long work hours and a sedentary lifestyle. 
  • #running. Will run a FULL marathon in the year. Despite my hernia. I am targeting a marathon in August / September. I am following this book (after I saw it on Prof. Bakshi's blog). Will start training in January. Have started the prelim training already. I am using the C25K app to get me to start running for 30 minutes before I begin the book. 
  • #money. Will have saved 10 lakhs. Right now, my savings account stands at Rs. 5005 700. Also, I will have created an alternate source of income. And I will not have to work for money. This is the number 1 goal on my list. For this, I am willing to be taken for a ride, willing to follow those babas, talk to those self-help gurus, walk the tight rope between ethics and legality. 
  • #music. Learn to play guitar. It's going to be an expensive hobby. But I will learn it. Not because I want to perform on the stage but I want to challenge myself to learn a new skill. Why guitar? Because I like it's sound. I love music. I can give an arm and a leg to be good at it. I just need to give it some time! 
  • #poker. Restart poker. I am an average player and have had some limited success with it. As per my poker stats, I have actually lost a total of 30K (not including travel, hotel and other incidentals) on poker. So, yeah I have lost money. I will focus on it and see if I can get any good at it. I will give it a year and see where it goes. If I dont become any good, I will revert to being a recreational player. The dreams of WSOP can take a back seat then.
  • #social. Identify a cause and work with that. Human conditions, diseases, nature, culture, conflict etc do not move me. Rather, education does. Development does. Sustainability (not in terms of nature but in terms of perpetual existence) does. Or may be something else. I will pick something up and work on it. 
  • #sgMS. I will try to get over her. No promises though. Thanks to rr for pointing out that it's sucking the soul of me and I need to move on from her. 
  • #read. Read more. Learn more. Write more. Talk less ;P
  • #travel. As much as I can. Irrespective of money. Travel. 
So, in terms of a calendar, the milestones look like...

Mar: 5K race with a friend (Akshay)
May: Stop working for money
Sep: Marathon (full, in about 5 hours)
Dec: Book 2 out in market
Dec: 30"
Dec: Money in the bank
Sometime: Poker Tourney

That's it. Wish me luck! And may be, help me crack these goals may be?

Oh, to get me to actually achieve these, I will have to resort to a few ideas. These sound like deviation from what I have been like. But like most other learning systems, I remain an evolving specimen of the tribe called the homosapiens. So I am learning. And evolving. Here are the ethos for 2015.
  • Do. 
  • Ship. Steve Jobs way.
  • My time is limited. Money is not. I can earn money. I can make money. Not time.
  • No regret principle. Something that Jeff Bezos says
  • Idea to project in 90 days. Read on Anaggh's twitter stream. 
  • Get aggressive about marketing (without being obnoxious about it)
For the context, here are the links to previous posts. 

What about you? What are your goals #in2015? And, most importantly, can I do something to help you reach your goal #in2015?

What made 2014 special for me?

Devika prompted me to write about what made 2014 special for me. Here is the post that I wrote for her blog. This piece originally appeared on Devika's blog

2014 is a very special year for me. I'd always remember it. For the rest of my life. After all, my first book, The Nidhi Kapoor Story (#tnks), published and released in 2014!

Writing a book has been a dream that I've had for I don't know how many years. And now that #tnks is out, I don't want to stop. It's a high like no other. To see your name in print. To have strangers send emails to you and tell you that they enjoyed the book. To have your long lost friends call in and congratulate you. It's a feeling that is unparalleled.

When I look back in time, I wonder why didn't I write a book sooner. I always thought that writing would be tough and getting a book out will be next to impossible. But when I got around to doing it, I realized that starting was the toughest bit. After that, everything just, sort of, falls in place. Trust me it does! Start writing yours and you'd know what I am saying.

Apart from the dream-come-true bit, even though #tnks doesn’t sell a lot, the book has opened a lot of doors for me. I made tons of new friends and each friend taught me a thing or two. The ever-elusive doors to the Bollywood opened up (as I write this, I am talking to a few people to sell the movie rights of #tnks; fingers crossed). Friends and strangers read, appreciated and said kind things about #tnks (most people who've read the book have liked it and of course there are few who do not). And all these things have encouraged me to go forth and write my next.

Also, may be, just may be, writing is my calling! I don't know yet. I will figure out in the next few years.

Most importantly, writing and publishing a book has given me confidence like nothing else. Now that I have done the seemingly insurmountable task of getting a book out, I believe that I can do anything. Throw a challenge my way and I will accomplish it. Well, any challenge except beating Mr. Bhagat on the sales or popularity charts. If all goes well, I may actually do it someday!

While I was working on the book, there were so many moments of self-doubt. I remember I had considered leaving it midway at least thrice. After all my grammar sucked, my vocabulary was limited and the story was full of clich├ęs. And which interesting writer has a name as boring as "Saurabh Garg?" I mean if I were called Chandraprakash Paul Chatterjee or Basant Singh Chatwal or something, I would've become famous by the virtue of my name. But Saurabh Garg? No way!

But everytime I felt like quitting, I was reminded of this famous quote by my self-appointed guru, Steve Jobs. He often said, "real artists ship." I shipped. I did not allow my limitations to deter me and I continued to write. Once I was done with the manuscript, my publisher fixed a large part of my book. And helped me ship. If I didn't ship I wouldn’t have got so many people to give me feedback on how I write. Each piece of feedback has helped me improve. This post and the new readers I'd reach to, hopefully will help me as an author. In fact, if you are reading this, I urge you to please point out mistakes. I urge you to please write in. I shall be grateful.

Apart from the book, another highlight of 2014 would be my decision help other first-time writers. I realize that I've been lucky with the entire publishing process and there must be a lot of first-timers who may not be as lucky. So, I try and work with them on their manuscripts. So far, have worked with three authors already. I don't claim to be an expert, but I do have some experience and insights. I have given them inputs basis my limited understanding of the publishing process. If you think you need someone to go through your manuscript, please do let me know. I would be happy to help.

Why am I doing this? Call it a way to give back or call it paying it forward. It just feels natural. So I am doing it!

To end this, 2014 has been great to me. And I am very excited about 2015. I plan to write 250K words #in2015. That's like three full-length books. I also plan to publish my second book in 2015. And I plan to work with more first-time authors. And I plan to continue to push myself. From where I am, the journey will only take me higher. I know it will be one hell of a ride.

Join me, if you will.

All the best to you too for 2015.

@Devika, thanks a ton for making me review the year gone by. Like last year 2014, I hope that in 2015, you continue to allow me to pick your brains.

@Other readers, may 2015 be the greatest year of your lives. Like I said, please do tell me if you think I could improve somehow. And if theres something I could do to help you, please do let me know.

Saurabh Garg
30 Dec 2014

Why Starbucks?

As I write this, its 5.25 PM on a Tuesday. I have left office early. Not because I did not have a lot of work. But because I had a lot to do and I did not know where to start from. I just needed a break from all the things I was working on, all the people I was surrounded by and all the things open on my plate. So I took one.

And I am at Starbucks. And for some reason, everything that was bothering me for last few days, all of it is gone! I am in my zone. Where thoughts come to my head and those thoughts become words. And the words appear on the laptop screen. And I feel that I am moving in some direction.

I dont know what is it. May be I have trained my mind to work best when I am sitting on a wooden chair on a wobbly table under the yellow light with all the din of a coffee shop listening to my music on headphones tapping onto the amazing keypad of a MacBook pro.

And while I wrote this, I asked a few questions about a website to a friend, replied to a few work emails, bought the secret santa gift for a colleague and sipped onto an ice cold Javachip Frappuccino. And it's 5:36 PM. About 10 minutes to come up with these 200 odd words.

#ftw. Or as they would have said, "all your base are belong to us"!

Dear Chetan Bhagat

Dear Chetan,

First things first. Let me get a few confessions out of the way.

A, I have not read any of your books and yet I have seen your popularity and sales figure soar with every title you come up with.

B, the only rendezvous I’ve had with you was when I was working as an event manager. I came within breathing distance of you when I was trying to put a mic on your jacket, moments before you were to go up on a stage and address a gathering for the a motivational lecture. Oh, you seem to have done a brilliant job of delivering the lecture. Because after you were done, I heard enthusiastic and loud applause from the audience. Alas, I could not hear you deliver your lecture because I was running around to get the next act ready.

C, I am yet to meet anyone who has shown fondness for what you write or how your write. But for some reason, everyone I know has an opinion or two about you. And that sir, is no mean feat.

Chetan, I write to you to thank you for giving me the courage to quit my day job and wade in uncertain waters while I chased my dreams of being a published author. If not for your success, I couldn’t have done it.

Please indulge me as I go back in time. I first heard of you sometime in the later half of 2004. I was a first-year MBA student at a leading business school - MDI Gurgaon. Since it is a college of repute, students were expected to be good with academics and be well rounded. Those days, reading was regarded as a great way to “build CV value” when the placements happened. So I picked up reading.

I tried different genres. And by trial and error I settled on and fell in love with winding and layered tales of injustice, crimes, murders and the common-man-doing-uncommon-dares-in-face-of-adversity spun by the likes Jeffery Archer, John Grisham, Sue Grafton and others. What more, I often found myself lost into day dreams of creating such plots and stories myself.

Even though I had faith in my abilities and a fire in my belly, I was not sure if I could actually become an author. How could I? After all, I came from a humble background and English to me was, what can I say, intimidating! To me, English was something that only the elite could indulge in, in their fancy, lavish dinner parties. Lingua Britannica was something as exclusive as an admission to your alma matter – the IITs and the IIMs.

The writers and the readers of content created in English had to be special. I mean look at the bestseller list in India from Oct of 2004. Giving you company on those charts are greats like Dan Brown, Amitav Ghosh, Paulo Coelho, Robin Sharma, Mitch Albom, Khushwant Singh, Pawan Verma and others. All these authors have a pedigree that I could give an arm and a leg for. Each of them is read by and discussed by those socialites in their fancy Page 3 parties. And like most things they mulled over in their parties, I could hardly comprehend the language, the depth, the richness, the detail, the pain, the suffering, the longing and other such things that their books talked about.

You, Chetan, were like a whiff of fresh air in an old room full of yellowing books that hadn’t seen sunlight in years. You presence on the list dispelled the famous notion that writing was a serious business; and the notion that you had to be, if not a doctorate in literature, a post-graduate at least to even think about writing.

In fact more I read about the publishing business in those days, more I realize that if I had approached a publisher back then with my manuscript, they would’ve laughed on me. I probably would not even get to enter their grand, opulent offices. On top of it, back then, there were hardly any publishers. And most of them probably believed that they were the custodians of English language. In today’s parlance, we call them the Grammar Nazis.

Fast forward to the Oct of 2014. The tribe of these Grammar Nazis is fast headed towards extinction. The remaining, handful Grammar aficionados are hardly given any importance by anyone. There are more publishers than there are authors. Even foreign publishers have set up shops in India and they regularly publish books by authors like you. And I. Literary agents, and good ones at that, are now dime a dozen. Experienced editors are willing to work with newer authors without expecting a fortune for their editing talent. Great designers are willing to work for next to nothing. Modern trends like self-publishing and social media have unleashed a new crop of writers and given them cheap innovative ways to reaching their audience.

The publishing industry as we knew it traditionally had changed. And Chetan, you ushered this change. Your success made this change possible.

Unchanged however remains your presence on the bestsellers lists. Or may I you’re your dominance? On the latest list of bestsellers in India, you are accompanied by the likes of Paulo Coelho, Sachin Tendulkar and Boria Majumdar. And then there are authors like Preeti Shenoy, Ravinder Singh and Durjoy Dutta.

Sachin is an exception here because it’s his autobiography and it would probably be his only book in life. Apart from Boria (who co-authored Sachin’s book), I am not sure if any one else on the list has a background in literature or journalism.

The Ravinders, The Durjoys and others like them are not yet in their thirties and they command a fan following as large as established Bollywood or Cricket celebrities. Each book they come up with, is much-anticipated and celebrated by their fans. Without your influence I bet they wouldn’t have even considered writing as a career.

You know Chetan, you not only gave the Ravinders and Durjoys the confidence to go forth and write, you gave me a precedent that I could share with my family when I decided to quit. I could tell my friends that I was going to be an author like you and no one raised even an eyebrow. I could talk my employer into granting me a leave without pay for a period of one year. Your success gave me a plausible justification for switching careers after almost 10 years of work. The world around me questioned my sanity but because I had your success as an example, they eventually acquiesced. 

There is more Chetan. You also helped create an entire ecosystem. Because of phenomenal success of your books and non-stop inflow of money pouring into your coffers, new publishers, distributors, designers, editors, reviewers sprang up. All of them attempting to ride the wave, the avalanche of new authors pounding on the doors of impending boom in the publishing industry.

As one such writer, an author, I shall remain indebted to you forever for your seminal work, 5 Point Someone. It started the avalanche that we all are hoping to be a part of. You have proved beyond doubt that English language and literature is no longer a slave to the modern and the rich and the famous. Isn’t that what you are reinforcing in your latest book, Half Girlfriend?

Chetan, Thank you so much! For giving wings to a common man like me to chase my ten-year old dream. And for helping create an ecosystem where the dream could actually see light of the day! You are the knight in the shining armor for dreamers like me. If not for you, my dream would’ve remained a mere thought bubble. I would’ve gone through life without realizing my true passion, my potential.

Thank you once again!

Saurabh Garg
Author, The Nidhi Kapoor Story

Oh, would you have time to read my first book? I would love to send a copy. Please do let me know.

Note: An edited version of this letter appeared on qz.com at http://qz.com/315668/dear-chetan-bhagat-i-quit-my-job-and-became-a-writer-because-of-you/

Untitled. 12.12.14 / 18.12.14.

It's one of those days... Just too much has happened in last 24 hours. Let me try and chronicle those things here.

(a). A friend's dad was unwell. I spent an entire day in hospital. The hatred and aversion that I have for hospitals came rushing back at me. While I was there, I could totally see lives of my loved ones flash past by me. I took a vow to get healthy and never ever see inside of a hospital (for myself). So unless it's REALLY REALLY important, I will not step inside an hospital. More on hospitals on some other post.

(b). One of those important women that I talk about in (a), I called her. I told her that I loved her more than anyone else, anything else. And she hung up on me. She had to. I had no right calling her after all these years and do that. I am sorry for doing so. But I was way too full after the incident at the hospital.

(c). I made a new friend over the last few days, thanks to the book. She is THE 3 AM friend that I've always wanted in life. Not that I dont have other such people. But she is in a different continent and is as broken as I and can totally understand where I come from. But then these are early days. So let's see how it goes.

(d). I am ready to move on yet again. Its not been three months and I've had enough. Let's see what is next. More on this in some other post in some time. I DEFINITELY know what I dont want. And I still dont know what I want. May be I need to see a shrink or something. If only I had the money.

(e). I was messed up in my head and I was killing time on YouTube. Stumbled on this video. And while I enjoyed the performance, I had this shade of guilt and pity. My heart goes out to artiste like Lucky Ali. I have some vague idea of the show business and the kind of tantrums people artists throw. Here he is, performing at a stage that looks small by all standards, on a sound that is fucked up and with a band that looks like an ensemble at best. And he's Lucky fucking Ali. The God reincarnated. Yet getting old by the day. Lucky Ali is / was my first tryst with romance. With O Sanam. How can he perform at such a small stage? May be he likes to do so. May be he does not feel the need to be on a stage that is worthy of his stature. So yeah, pity, guilt and confusion.

(f). I have almost closed on my goals for 2015. Top on that list is my health. Second is guitar. Third is running a marathon/ The others are same as that of 2014. Financial freedom, travel, writing etc. Again, more on this eventually as we draw close to the year-end.

That's it.

Wrote this on 12.12.14. Published on 18.12.12. Why? I did not get time to work on this. Wonder how would the next book happen. #fml