Untitled. Oct 30, 2014.

I don't even know when was the last time I posted on this blog (edit note: On 6th Oct). Since the book went live on Amazon and Flipkart, I have spent all my time talking about it, to everyone that I meet. So much so that if you wake me up at the middle of the night, I would rattle that TNKS is the story of one Nidhi Kapoor who happens to be a famous actress...

Most of these people-many are meeting me for the first time-look at me with pity. They are like, "Here's another misguided soul who thinks that writing could feed his expensive lifestyle." Some obviously are kind. Take GK for example. He is the first contributor to my campaign to try and raise money for the book. Thanks GK.

To top the misery of marketing hustle (to get the book known by as many people as possible), I just started a new job. It's been a month and with the Diwali leave and other small leaves, I have spent very few days in office. And, trust me, all those days were so full with work that I did not have time to even die. Writing, reading, meeting people, traveling, thinking, poker and everything else's now been reduced to things that are meant to be done on weekends. I am now part of the rat race. I am now trapped in that inevitable month-on-month paycheck cycle. A life that I detested all my life. Irony. Guess when they said "never say never," they said it from experience. It's like someone's clipped the wings of a grasshopper. Or a bird. Take your pick. So, yesterday, the monotony of warming one chair with my fat butt got better of me and I left office before the time I was scheduled to leave. Of course I would be reprimanded by HR for it. But what the heck. I am not a slave. I love what the company does but my freedom is more important to me. I left early, came home and fell face first on my hard bed. And no, it did not hurt. It actually felt nice for a change.

It was 7 I think when I forced myself to doze off. The sleep was fitful and I woke multiple times at night. Each time I checked my phone, hoping that #sgMS would have reconciled things and would have asked me to come back. No, she did not send any message. She'd never do something like that. Her pride is far too big for it. I did dream of her though. She and I were on some train journey. Very unlike because I detest long train journeys but I am not complaining. It was a dark night and train was passing over a never-ending bridge, erected on top of some ocean somewhere in Europe. Apart from that faint sliver of moon at some distance, it was a pitch black night. I flipped out my phone to take a selfie, both of us bathed in moon light. But I am klutzy when it comes to camera. So she snatched my phone and extended her smallish arms and took a picture. While she clicked, she squeezed in close to me. I could breathe in her perfume, see that tinge of white hiding behind the thick bun that she loves to tie her hair in. She was close to me than she has been in years. And I wanted the moment to last forever. Ok enough. Just because I am reading my first Mills and Boon does not mean I start writing cheesy things on a public blog. And that too about sgMS.

To come back to the afterlife of being a published author, to be honest, it sucks. While I was writing, I had no one to answer to. No one had any expectations. I broke away from all relationships. I was a free fucking bird. I had saved some and seen the world and all I had to do was write 1000 or so word everyday. The 1000 words were a struggle but every word I wrote brought along elation and excitement and satisfaction. I was rowing my own boat in the vast ocean and it did not matter if the boat stayed afloat or drowned. No one would've noticed to be honest. I was truly by myself. I was the master of my time. I could choose what I did.

Now, now that the book is done, I am back to being the chief bread-earner for my family. A side-note on my parents. If not for them, I wouldn't have been able to lead such a nomadic life. Not nomadic but hippy. Thanks Ma and Pa.

But now that I am back, the grind sucks. The ones I listen to, I goto advice for, my mentors, they tell me that that's how life is meant to be lived. I refuse to accept. When God, or whoever else made us, he had to have a plan. And that plan definitely could not be as wasteful as spending hours in a room with other people, trying to give wings to other people's dreams. Damn life. It's so frivolous and wasteful. Something needs to be done. I don't know what.

At times I think the ones who are called mad, they probably weren't mad at all. They were merely taking the world for a ride. That dude Nietzsche said something interesting about such people. He said, "And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music." I want to believe that he was right. I want to believe that a lot of people around me are dancing to their tunes and I have no clue as to what they are listening to. Wish I had a tune playing in my head. I could've danced to my tune and I could've ignored the world around me. But then, the eternal question. Is it what the life is meant for? To take other for a ride?

There has to a way out. Someone has to have answers. Someone must know the meaning of it all. Someone has to solve the conundrum. There are so so many things that are wrong about the world around us. The unfairness of the world, the hazaar khawahishs, the bonds that prevent us from taking wings, the expectations, sgMS, money. There are so many things that I dont have a clue to. Time to seek help? I don't know. Who'd have answers? Are they easy?

Guess this is what Midlife Crisis is all about?

P.S.: Loved writing this little rant. Oh, the pleasures of venting out. And the pleasures of writing. And the pleasures of a coffee shops. Thanks Starbucks!

P.P.S.: Just updated my bucket list.

#tnks on Catapooolt


I just signed up for a crowdfunding campaign on catapooolt.com to help me raise money to market #tnks. The campaign is live on the catapooolt website. Please go see it. Here is a small intro I made for it.

So why I am doing this? What do I hope to get out of it? What is the exact status of the book? You must have like a million questions. Hopefully this post will answer all those. I like the QnA format the best. Here it is.

U: What is the status of the book?
SG: As we speak, the book is with the printers. Should be available in first half of November. The publisher (Grapevine) has sent requests to Flipkart and Amazon India to list the book but I don't know the status as yet. I need to check with the publisher for it.

U: What do you hope to get out of the campaign?
SG: Two things actually. A, Reach out to more people. And B, raise some money (Rs. 5 lakhs to be precise) that I plan to use to market my book.

U: Thats a lot of money. How do you plan to use it? 
SG: To be honest, Rs. 5 lakh would not translate into a lot of actual cash. A large chunk of it would go towards the cost of running the campaign (cant get into specifics buts it's in low double digit percentage points). Then, each contributor will get atleast one copy of the book. Another large chunk will go towards its cost. Finally, I would be left with about a couple of lakhs for marketing. I hope to spend it on conducting a book tour, physical meetups, placing sample copies at libraries across the country and online marketing (SEM, FB and other online platforms). No, I will not take home any money that I raise from the platform. Please do ask me in case you have questions around this.

U: Do you have marketing plan in place? 
SG: Yes I do. Available on request. Please ask me and I would share.

U: Why crowdfunding?
Few reasons. Here is a list.
  • I am poor. No shame or guilt in admitting it. Heard of poverty porn?
  • I need money to market. Like any product, the audience (people who read books) needs to be told that a product that they may like (my book) exists and they ought to try it. This telling the audience bit requires money. And hence crowdfunding. Simple.
  • Access to "crowd." As much I hate calling people "crowd," it's an accepted term. So, crowd is a set of people spread all over the Intenret - who I may or may not know - that often help others realize their goals dreams. Most crowdfunding websites have a long list of patrons and a ready community of such people.
  • No other alternative. I have to spend money to get attention. Everyone may hate the book. That's a different matter. But they need to read it first. So, I don't have a rich father or long-lost uncles. Not dating a rich heiress. Worked for peanuts all my life and hence no savings. Don't like the concept of loans. And hence no other source of money.
  • Marketing. Every person who sees the crowdfunding campaign gets to know about my book. That's a motivation in itself. The entire idea of getting as many people possible to read the book is driving this bit. Higher the number of people who read the book, more feedback I get and better I get. I am in this (writing) for the long haul and I better get better with time.
  • Finally, why not! 

U: What would you give in return if someone supports the campaign?
SG: Boat load of thanks. That translates into good karma. In terms of tangibles, you ofcourse get a copy of the book.I volunteer to sign and write a personal message in each copy that I ship to people who support me. I know I am no big deal and my message is not important to anyone. But your support is important to me. And writing a message is the least I can do for you. A few goodies that the Catapooolt guys have thrown in (more details on the campaign page). I also plan to work alongside other first-time authors come up with their books. I am definitly not the best writer out there. But I am sure that I know how to finish a book and get it in a shape that a publisher may want to see. To me, that was the biggest challenge while I was working on the book. And I want to work with other first-timers on it. And, an opportunity to pitch your book to my publisher, Grapevine India. Trust me, its a tough ask to get a face-to-face meeting with a publisher.

U: What if the campaign is a flop and you can't raise the money you seek?
SG: Big deal. Things often don't go as planned. That does not mean we stop living. I would atleast learn a few things about this thing called crowdfunding. No? That's it. I've run out of questions. You have more questions? Yes? Please ask me. No? Please support me.

Thank You! Oh, one more thing, Catapooolt guys are really really cool. If you are looking to raise funds for a project or something, please do consider them. I would be happy to connect. It's been an absolute pleasure to work with them.

Originally published on #tnks blog.

Hello, Mr. First Timer!

I subscribe to a few blogs and newsletters. One of them is by this guy called Jack Cheng. His last newsletter talked about things he did for the first-time in the last week.

Taking inspiration from him, here is a list of things I did for the first-time in my life, in the last week till the time of writing this. In no particular order.
  1. Slept for over 18 hours on Sunday. The time when I was awake, I took a flight, ate, showered and walked. No phone calls, no conversations, no interruptions. It was just me, with myself. Wish life had more days like that. 
  2. Asked the 50 dates girl out. She runs this blog, 50 dates in Delhi. Love the project. Love the way she writes. I had to make friends with her. Wrote in and asked her out. And no, she hasn't responded so far. Knowing of her popularity, I dont expect an answer. But, like Geeta says, karm karo, fal ki chinta nahi. [Update. Before I could publish, I did get a reply!]
  3. Pushed, shoved, tugged, dragged a shopping cart full of things that I bought for someone else's house. Hoping to make the place better. And despite the fact that I hate going to these grocery, home product places on the weekend but that's all I had. I had to do. Why? I dont know. The person better keeps the house clean.
  4. Decided to run a Marathon. By June of next year. Gives me 8 odd months to prepare. More on this later in the day / week. I am using this book as my guide. Prof. Bakshi had recommended this book some time back in one of his posts. 
  5. Cancelled a reminder that I had put to alert #sgMS on a med that she ought to take every monday at 8. She is no longer with me and I ought to move on. Tough but I would. Inshallah. I would.
  6. Missed deadlines. On two things that could impact how my book does. One was to one of the best social media marketing brains in the country. And other to a platform that could have helped me market my books to people I don't know. Knowing both of them, I dont think I am getting another shot. Damn! 
  7. Got an author page on Goodreads. Its at goodreads.com/saurabhgarg. Takes me a step closer to having a wikipedia page some day :). Why do I want it? I dont know. What would I do with it? I dont know. After all it would be one of 5 million (and counting) pages on the wikipedia! 
Thats it. I am sure there is more. But cant recall. These 7 were the definite highlights. And I loved writing this one. Thanks Jack! Lets see if I remember to do write one, the next week. 

And what did you do for the first-time in the last week? 

P.S.: Mandatory plug for my book. The Nidhi Kapoor Story. Website: www.tnks.in. Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheNidhiKapoorStory

The Nidhi Kapoor Story

Did you like this post? May be you want to read my first book - The Nidhi Kapoor Story.

Check it out on Amazon or Flipkart?