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The War Of Words

Random text, gibberish and biased opinions. Trying to track culture, trends, internet, ideas and people. Trying to learn. Trying to evolve.

Last Build Date: Wed, 14 Feb 2018 23:07:14 +0000


Untitled / 11 Feb 2018

Sun, 11 Feb 2018 04:15:00 +0000

One of those posts where I ramble without an agenda. While I decided that I will do these on sgEchoChamber, I am doing this here because I want to maximise the odds of serendipity. How? Topic for a different post. This one, read at your peril. Last night two few days back, I wrote this open letter to Steve Jobs. While I havent been ridiculed by anyone for it, yet, while I was thinking about it, when I re-read it, I was like, the fuck dude. I want whatever you are tripping on! Maal must be so good. No?Thing is, I need to know that life does not work like that. You know that song? The Bittersweet Symphony? You know what it says? "You're slave to money and then you die." That. All you do is try to make ends meet. Everything else is an illusion. Sooner I get that in my head, better it is.I may want to change the world and make a dent and impact lives and inspire people and all that but fact of the matter is, at this day, I am nothing but an epitome of mediocrity. For the 35 years that I've been here, what is that one thing that I can be super-proud of? Nothing!I am not successful by any metric -- societal (dont have a family, dont own a house, dont own a car, bank balance runs in low 5-figures, both my companies are small tiny etc), personal (I am unhealthy, get frequent mood swings, have less friends than fingers on my hands etc), evolutionary (dont plan to procreate, I am short, bald etc). All I am is a middle-aged man trapped among voices in my head that bounce around and get louder by the day. The kinds that makes people delusional. Delusional. Thats the word that defines me.Wait. I may not be that either. The ones that are delusional actually have blind faith in their capabilities and they actually do great things. I dont. I am waddling in mediocrity. And the worst part is that I feel helpless about it. I want to change things but I cant. I am stuck! I think I need more resources - time, talent, people etc. How do I get those? May be if I had money to put in?Money, Mr. Garg, cant be the root! There has to be more.I mean I dont know. There are people who start from scratch and zero money and do amazing things. Most startup guys are in this category. They are driven and they keep at it till they make money. Then I know of people who are paupers and somehow get married to rich heiresses and then build their empire on top of the largess that they get from the family (of course they are good and know what to do with that money). Then there are people who get lucky (seated next to a big dude in the plane, etc). And there are people that inherit legacies and then they work hard to make em larger. And finally, there are people like Saul, who build churches atop rocks create empires on top of crimes. Well, not crime as in crime but something that the society would frown upon!Irrespective of the route they take, people do amazing things. So amazing that the world takes a note. And their work impacts people around them. And in most cases, people away from them. Here's a slide that I use when I speak to prospective hires, investors, partners and others (P.S. this is an always WIP deck and hence this is a WIP slide).EACH one has had impact on more than just their immediate circle. Hope you get the drift. Drift reminds me that am drifting.Coming back.The point is, this post is full of self-doubt and self-flagellation and all that. Which is ok I think. Once in a while I need to be grounded as well. Like someone once told me, "dar mujhe sachet rakhta hai" (fear keeps me aware). Posts like these allow me aware. And make me take a break and reflect and think.Hopefully, someday, the clouds will part and sun will shine through. And as they say, someday all this will make sense. May be it will not. May be it will remain one of those unfinished things that I will take to my grave? May be I will get to it in 2881 days? Who knows.What I know is, I ought to keep walking.[...]

Dear Steve,

Fri, 09 Feb 2018 15:55:00 +0000

A friend asked me, "if you were to write to Elon Musk about your aspirations and ambitions and what you want to do in life, how would you?"This blogpost is in response to that. But before that, few caveats.I will NOT write to Elon. Rather, I would email Steve. Thing is, the outcome and vision and purpose-driven approach of Elon is fascinating and exciting. But Steve, the legend, is what is inspiring. I love the fact that he was a hustler (compared to an Elon that is a tinkerer). I'd assume that ambition is personal, more tangible. And aspiration is little more altruist. Read more here. So, here's the letter. Dear Steve,Thank you.For being who you were are. And being an inspiration that makes me want to do more and make that dent. Or ding. Or whatever.It is you who taught me that our actions must create consequences. Consequences that are larger than self. Larger than our imagination.It's by following you (and your actions and your words) over the years that I have understood my limitations. And I have found ways and means to overcome those limitations. I still suck at getting things done but I am getting there. All thanks to you.Thanks to you, I know that the only thing that limits us, is our imagination. You taught me how to think big. You taught me to take tiny steps and keep at it till you reach there. You showed me the power of setting lofty goals and challenging what we thought was possible. Thank you, Steve.Steve, I write to you to seek a favour. Will you please indulge me? I want to talk about what my aspirations are. And I want to talk about my ambitions and what I want to do in life.Steve, when I look at the world around me, I see so much potential getting wasted in frivolous things. Things that dont add up. Things that dont add value. Things that dont create. Lemme give you an example. Today, I was coming back from work in a train and I saw a young couple arguing about a mobile game. And they were stuck on the game for the 20 minutes it took the train to reach my destination. And they werent happy. What if they could use that time to learn a new thing (by seeing a TED talk, or by reading a book or by watching a tutorial or something). Or at least debate about how they's plan their finances!The world would be such a better place if that happened.You know that's what I want to work on. Make people more aware about our limited time here. You talked about in your Stanford address. I was lucky to have seen it. Someone needs to talk to them as well. And inspire them to do more with their time. Of course someone may argue that its all pointless (we die, our kids die, our kids's kids and the world will eventually come to an end and all that we stand for, all that we create will amount to nothing) but I know that while we are alive, when people are creating, they are lost in the work. They get in the flow and the flow is the closest that it comes to Nirvana. The little things that make life miserable cease to exist when you are creating. Reminds you to Carl's Pale Blue Dot.Life suddenly starts looking so much better. No?This, Steve, is my aspiration. This is what I really want to do. Its fuzzy AF. The fuzziest thing that I've ever thought about. But I believe that there's merit. And what is my ambition?I want to push limits.Physical, mental, emotional. And at other levels that us humans can experience.I know that I am not sorted in the head. There are times when I am elated that I am jumping with joy for no reason and there are times when I so sad that I just want to sleep. But Steve, most days when I wake up, the world does look like a great, inspiring place. Life looks like a "journey" that is worth taking. There are so many people doing so many things that you thought humans were incapable of. Look at Elon. Wait. Look at Wright Brothers or whoever made the first aircraft. They allowed us to fly. Look at Elon. He will not rest till he has colonised Mars!While I want to push limits, Steve, I know that I am a drifter. I've never had the clarity in terms of where [...]

The Urban Nomads

Thu, 08 Feb 2018 15:37:00 +0000

So, yesterday day before few days ago at a cruise ship in HCMC, we were doing an event for the Indian offices for a UK based company. And one of the acts was a Filipino band that had two singers, one of them a Cuban.Picture this. Retro English pop. In Vietnam. Arranged by a French woman who works for a company owned by an American. Artists from Cuba and Philippines. For guests from India and UK.I dont even know how many countries is that. But I do know one thing. The mobility and opportunities that you have if you are an artist and are talented!Thing is, I think that talent allows you to live wherever you wish to. And that is such a fascinating life to have!!You know what am saying? You can choose a country you wish to live in. If you are talented enough, you can make enough to pay for your bills, and then some more. You can make friends that are not just accidental. You can chase your craft. You can hone it while you earn your bread by performing. You can see sex and cash in action. You know, you happen to things, rather than things happening to you!Lemme park the talent bit for a while and drift.***There is this thing called the Urban Nomad. Its essentially refers to people that live in urban locales and yet are not tethered to a particular location. These people dont own anything that ties them down to one place (immovable assets, large families, a job that requires you to goto office everyday etc etc). You are free to move across borders and all that. And these people are skilled in one particular discipline that is in demand across borders (painters, photographers etc) and thus they can fend for themselves. Oh, and modern world is introducing lot more professions that allow you to become an urban nomad. Think of those bloggers, language tutors, Yoga instructors, chefs, entertainers and more.And why am I talking about this? Because I have had this fascination with being an urban nomad and at various times in life I have thought of multiple ways in which I could become one. At different points in time, I have considered becoming a designer, a coder, a photographer, a writer, a yoga instructor, an English language teacher and / or more (assuming I can be all of these).But then I've, sort of, held back myself for three reasons.A, I know I am way too good to be cast in just one mould (and at the same time, not that good that I am in top 1%ile of any). This means that its in my karma to be never satisfied. I will run from one thing to another and my life will be defined by "chase" rather than "destination."B. I've wanted / still want a luxurious life for myself. Ok, not luxurious but abundant life. Where I dont have to think for 5 months (or wait for a stupid cashback scheme) to buy an iPhone X (PS: RG gifted me one and I couldn't say no. Thank you, sir). Where I know I can travel business class without any fear (of poverty) or guilt (of splurging when my parents dont even travel in the plane). Where I know I have provided for enough to discharge my duties as a son and a brother and a friend. Where I know that if I were to take off, people would be happy and will not miss me. There is more. But I am sure you get the drift.C. I dont want to live as someone who came, saw, enjoyed and left. My epitaph has to mean something. I want to give back. I want to pay it forward. I want to make an impact. And that can not happen if I an urban nomad, drifting from one place to another and one opportunity to another.So yeah. I have wanted to travel the world and see the sights and soak in the experiences and meet new people and taste the different flavours that the world has to offer and talk to new people and learn all I could and all that. But then I've held back.***Coming back. This That evening at the boat where I saw that Cuban lady, the painful memories of the time when I wanted to move out of the country came back rushing to me. To the extent that my heart actually started aching. And ache as in ache. Like I had to sit down and sip on a glass of water.But then,[...]

On failing. And getting back up.

Sat, 03 Feb 2018 01:20:00 +0000

As the first month of 2018 is officially over, here's a time to look back. Without trying to link back to posts and give evidence of promises, here is a list of things that I failed (and won) at, #in2018.In no order,A. I decided to take up the 2019in2018 challenge. Was on it for a few days in the beginning of the year but with time I lost the plot.I want to end the year at 30" and its going to take superhuman effort from here on. A large part of it will be diet. And a smaller part (not so small) will be working out. I had thought that I will start with daily walks, easing into jogs and then eventually a run. Ending in an attempt at HM. But January has been disappointing. Lets see whats in store for Feb.B. A few people I know IRL went and came back from JLF. And their twitter feeds tell me that as someone who's interested in the writing scene, I ought to be there. To be honest, not sure if I want to be on the stage at all the litfests around the world but would love to have an opportunity to be at a place where my books are sold.No, I dont want fame. I merely want to tell stories, create time to write and of course make money. I am ok if my books get published under a pseudonym and all I get is royalties. Actually, thats an idea there. Need to think more.Back to the point. I want to get the second book out. And I want to get #BetterYou out this year. Both are stuck. Because I dont have time to work on em. And why do I not have the time? Because I am stuck in the rut :(.Ok. Cribbing.Point is, need to get back to writing.C. I wanted to work on my waning mental faculty. For the same, I wanted to start with these app-based games that apparently train the brain. And, I've been able to more or less do this!Yay!So, a win. Phew.Been playing on Peak and havent missed too many days. And there's a marked improvement in my scores. May be I am getting used to the games that Peak makes me play. May be I am actually improving. Irrespective. A win. Something that is needed to create habits (you know, the trigger, action, reward triad?)D. I had started posting a pic a day on my instagram last year.  It went well for a few days and then I lost the plot. All those things that they say that make habits if you do something for 21 days? Yawn.I need to restart it. For two reasons. One, it allowed me to stay curious about the world around me. And, two, it made me a better photographer and a storyteller. Every pic I uploaded, I would think about what the pic meant to me and I would be forced to pen my thoughts bout em.Did you follow the thread? You want to tell me what you liked about it most?Just realised that I still have issues with means or meant. Present tense, past tense and all other tenses. Need to fix em. Where do I start? E. I dont know if I have spoken about this earlier but I've been tracking each day of my life since (well, most days) 23 May 2017. I started with a daily log of work and all and with time I have expanded it and most days I track 32 variables. Starting 26 Jan 2018, I have started tracking what I eat. And since day before I've started tracking some 20 other tiny things on Nomie (inspired by Thej). I dont know what would I do with all the data but I like the feeling that I will be able to look back at a random date and see what I was upto.For example, on 12 Aug 2017 (I promise I cooked up this date to give you a case in point), I did the following...Was in Delhi for an event at Andaz (which is an awesome hotel)Met Vanita, Kunal, Ankit Spoke to Jinal and Parry about things that they are working on You get the drift? So, net net, its a win. It keeps me grounded. Keeps me going. Gives me a semblance of stability in a world that is in perpetual chaos. F. I started maintaining a daily journal at the beginning of the year. Again, after the first week  I havent been able to do much about it. Will restart it. I think I got stuck with it because I did not know to write on it. Do you maintain one? What[...]

Hello, iPhone

Fri, 26 Jan 2018 04:19:00 +0000

I dont know if you noticed that I moved to an Android phone sometime last year. The objective was two fold. A, I wanted a phone with a longer battery life. This means that iPhone was not gonna cut it. And B, I wanted to be more efficient by not wasting time on social media (twitter, insta etc). And I dint want to just mute notifications but also remove the access to these apps that are big time-syncs.

So, been on Android past few weeks and while I am getting used to the shenanigans of an Android fast, I am going back to an iPhone. Why?

A, Aesthetics. An iPhone offers a far better experience. In terms of navigation, reading, phone features and others. Ofcourse Android allows for a deeper integration with Google Suite (I literally run my life on Google) but I am willing to give it up for usability. And there's a lesson there. Form over function. Lol. In the real life you ought to have a balance of two. More on this some other day, in some other blogpost.

B, Battery. I use a MI Phone as my Android device. When I got it, the battery would outlast the iPhone's. But now, after like 3 months of usage, the battery performance is worse than than of an iPhone. And no, I dont have the heart to invest in a better Android phone for a longer battery life.

So, back to the iPhone and back to being tethered to a battery pack!

C, Privacy. I am told that Apple offers better privacy and protection against data theft, hackers and all that. Not sure. I mean who would want to hack into my life? I gave it up when I queued up to get the Aadhar enrolment done.

P.S.: At this point, lemme take backup of my blog, lest some hacker gets offended. Done.

D, Self-moderation. I want to try self-moderation rather than enforcing abstinence from distractions. I have traditionally sucked at this. But I want to try and see how this goes.

Thats about it. Nothing more, nothing less. Guess its a thing I want to do for some reason and rather than having all the rational answers, I am merely rationalising. And thats' the thing to learn from this post - rational vs rationalising.

P.S.: My average blogpost runs into1000+ words. This one is like 500 words and something seems off. No?
P.P.S.: And no, this is not part of any of the themes that I had said I will write about. So, this goes under #miscBetter. (image)

Help me help people around me...

Wed, 24 Jan 2018 13:24:00 +0000

Among other things that I have planned to do #in2018, I am gonna work on a non-fiction. The idea is to create something that helps the world, allows me to reach more people and achieve financial independence. A win-win-win. Yes there IS a thing like that.The starting point of all the above, is a non-fiction book. And for the same, I am looking for a research and writing assistant to help me! What is the book about?Cant give too many specifics for the time being (because I dont have them to be honest; all of it is WIP). But when it does come out, it will be stocked in either the self-improvement or business & management category at bookstores across the world (not just India). In fact, the first month together will be spent on shortlisting the theme, idea etc. What I need from you? What "skills" am I looking for? Understanding of business. If you have studied marketing, journalism, business reporting, you will be an ideal person to work with.Understanding of behavioural sciences. All self-improvement books are essentially about behaviour, decision making and mental models. Ability to conduct online research, do background research on people, connect dots (like investigative journalists do) and other similar things that will help us make sense of all the data that we gather. Inquisitiveness and innate curiosity about the world around us. What makes people do things they do? Why do companies fail? What makes an underdog beat a Goliath against all odds? Handle large quantity of data. This "data" would be things like interviews (that we conduct), research (to back up these interviews), original text (that we write), media (that we will have to consume to work on the book), scratch notes, snippets, thoughts and other things. Great command over English language. This means that you are a grammar nazi, you know how to fix a badly written piece of text and you can spot a badly written piece of text from a mile. This is probably the most important bit as my command over language is questionable. Some sense of humor. Please. There's just too many serious people around and we can do with some easy going people. You would have read a few business, non-fiction and self-improvement books. This means you understand the structure of such books. You also know what is faff and what actually adds value. Most importantly, you REALLY want to work on a non-fiction in the self-improvement genre. You must... be is in your mid-twenties. I am sure of this unless you are an anomaly. be willing to work 2-3 hours EACH day. No Sundays or weekends. I dont believe in that thing called the work-life balance. My work is my life. I live to work. I work to be able to make lives of people better, if not make a dent in the universe. live in Mumbai. You will work from your home / college / office etc. And you will have to meet me once a week for 2-3 hours. have access to a computer and Internet. know Google suite really well (drive, docs, keep, calendar etc.). And the most important of them all. What's in it for you? Stipend. I can pay upto Rs. 5K per month. For the duration that we work together. I estimate this to be a 6-month long engagement. If 5k a month is too less for you, I promise that I will give you all the royalty I make for the first 5 years. No conditions. Serious about this. Credits in the book. As an assistant for sure. And in case you and I click, may be as a co-author. How cool will it be to have written and published a book in your name? Learning. The book will help people become better (yes, you are staring at a man who wants to be yet another self-improvement and personal productivity guru). And while the ambition is to write a book that helps people, the very process of writing the book will help you as well. Plus I am a great mentor. I am. Trust me! In short, I am looking at a Superman / Superwom[...]

Fork in the road

Sun, 21 Jan 2018 17:48:00 +0000

So, Yogi Berra apparently said, "when you come to a fork in the road, take it."Here's a fork.Starting today, I am moving my personal rants to a closed blog. No access to it ever. Its like an echoChamber.This makes the number of blogs I (try to) maintain upto 523321842. Of course apart from this one and the one I maintain for C4E, most remain dormant. I will work on those at some point in time.For the time being, to know more about the fork, please refer to this short QnA I did with, well, myself!So what happens to the War of Words? It stays! Stays the way it is. Except posts where I get super critical about myself. Those go on my personal blog.I will not post things related to work here. Those things go on C4E blog. Or may be on S101. Or I dont know where. But not here. This has been and shall remain a place where I park my personal thoughts (dude, all thoughts ARE personal). Fuck all the jazz about building personal brands and all that. This is me. And thats how it will be.Oh, some posts will go on multiple blogs. But this blog will become a repository of EVERY post that I write. Except the ones that I write for myself, for the echoChamber.Why this segregation?As I grow up in life (lol), I am beginning to realise my raison d'etre (though I cant pronounce the word yet, damn French or whatever language is) -- a billion lives, a billion dollars and The Everest. And to do that, I need to be able to get access to people, ideas, opportunities and other things that will enable me to fulfill the purpose.And that wont happen if I am known as someone who's super critical about things.Thing is, I think, to do large things, you need a tinge of irrationality, the blind faith in your ability and a big dollop of hope. Not a pragmatic, critical, type A personality - which I think I am. So I need to get out of the mould. And to do that I will have to do some lot of things that I havent done in the past. Such as be conscious of the signals that I send out. No, I dont mean that I will stop being who I am (last few days, have got so many lessons on authenticity that I would be a fool to get away from it). But that means that I will consciously chase things rather than letting them happen to me. And if that means changing how the blog sounds like, I will do it. This year, by hook or by crook, I have to make it big. And I am on my way.Ok I am digressing. Next question please.You must be nuts, dude.You dint know that already?Actually, more than nuts, I think I am like Louis. And this blog, is like Norma - a consistent echo-chamber that has been around since I think I have started thinking.Coming back, what about your fans? The ones who read this blog religiously? Lol! You gotta be kidding me! Fans hote hain #bhairoxx ke. Humare to readers hai. Wo bhi ek-do. And they'd understand. Any more questions?How will the shape of this blog change as we go along? I dont know that. I gave it a cursory glance and tried to read it like a stranger would. Here's what I think of WoW as a stranger.First thing is that most posts are long by the snacky-listicles standards that we are used to seeing on the Internet. Boring for most people who spend time online. Assuming that someone does stumble upon something they do want to read, to people who dont know the author, all the posts would remain meaningless. Each posts requires way too much context before someone could make sense. Even if you have "fans" from the book, dont think they'd be keen on reading what you rant about. Agreed there are posts about how you're trying to improve and all that. But then, as a stranger, am I interested? Dont know. Also, side note. Most blogs tend to have a theme - say technology, writing, design, marketing et al. This blog has no theme. Its a potpourri of things that the blogger is interested in. I will never bookmark because the interests are so varied that its tough to track. Plus none of the [...]

In 2017. I...

Wed, 03 Jan 2018 15:05:00 +0000

Inspired by Sanjukta Basu's year in review, here is mine. PS.: I don't have the balls to be as open and as strong as her. So I will talk about things that I comfortable talking about. This means that this will be a superficial post. The real SG is still behind a veil. And anyway I did not do a lot this year and there are hardly any achievements that I can think. So dunno what I'll talk about! Also, to be able to do this, I will have to review posts on this blog, go through my twitter stream, see my FB updates and refer to my emails. Yeah I am that forgetful. Jan.Started with euphoria about the new year and how I'll achieve the impossible in 2017. Of course I did nothing of sort. I merely cribbed about how miserable I was. I talked about how I was #foreverAlone and how I ought to do something about it.P.S.: Cribbing is something I need to stop this year. I think I did work on it last year. I will never know. I will have to find out from others. And I need to stop the self-deprecating humor that I enjoy so much. Like I said, I need to remove all negativity from life. Feb.I tried to start Modern Love. Failed miserably at it. Trying to start again. In case you can help me, do read this.Mar.Took at few sessions at IMS for the interview / GD training modules. Loved it! I think most of my happiness comes when I am giving gyaan. Now, I know giving gyaan will not take me places but I love it when I talk, when I know I AM making a difference. Is there a lesson there?Apr.I read this post by KK and I realised that life is short and need to jack up the efforts. Thought on things and made a life change. Read my post here. It has made me start keeping track of time and life. As of today, I have 2919 days to go. P.S.: Nothing has happened on the effort front it to be honest but I am little more organized and I am more productive for sure. Need to do more of this #in2018. Actioned xTyres. Till date its not live. Sigh.Got a new logo for I love it! You?May.Started the #100HappyDays after I got inspired by this talk by a colleague. I lasted 40 days. I will take it up soon. May be from Feb 1? Who's in?  Jun.Won our first award at C4E. Not that I care (may I do if I am talking about it here) but it does help get some mileage. Need to reach a point with work that we dont need awards to get mileage. Took a holiday to Goa. My first where I stayed at a 5-star. Went with friends that I made at MDI - people that I can die for! Jul.Started the Saturday Breakfast Thing. Again, did not take it to a point where it could matter. Did one session and no-one else wanted to be a part of it. Do I want to do this again? May be. Will think during the year. Bought myself a TV (twitter, blogpost). Next tangible thing I'd get will be a car. Or a house. Lets see. Aug.Asked a designer friend to work with me. She rejected me outright by saying that I am an average Joe and she does not work with average Joes. Took it to heart and been trying to be not an average since. And not really doing a great job. Will need to pull socks. Sep.Recorded the first ever video podcast. Was in front of the camera for the first time EVER. Got out of my comfort zone. Dint like it but it was cool. Need to do more things this year that take me out of the comfort zone. Quit Diet Coke. This time on insistence of a client. A first for me. As I write this, I havent had one since Sep. Will start this year. No that I enjoy the taste. Just that I dont like to refrain from it without a reason. I know that it fucks health and its a reason in itself but come on! Got my first ever evasive surgery done. My fears about hospitals, they came true. Hospitals ARE the worst places in the world. Especially the Indian ones. I promised myself that I will never ever see the inside of an emergency room again. Will work on health t[...]

#in2018, I will

Mon, 01 Jan 2018 05:18:00 +0000

This is my yearly post on things that I hope to achieve in the impending year. Most times I miss most goals but I still like the rigor of making lists. Plus once I have a list, it keeps me on track.Day 35. Do what matters. . Apt for the theme for #in2018. Spotted at @sandoitchi_official Powai. . #mainBhiFoodBlogger #wordOnTheStreet #do #in2018 #aPicADay #gyaan #lifePlan #powai #mumbaiA post shared by SG (@altsaurabh) on Dec 30, 2017 at 11:38pm PSTHere is the list of things that I will do #in2018.Oh when I make this list, I consider the following.Each bit on the list has to take me closer to my lifeGoals - a billion dollars (M), Mt. Everest (H), a billion lives (I). The list includes things that are tough enough that I have to work hard. And must be within reach. For example, while I may want to play cricket for India, I can not. I could on the other hand play Poker. Or Pool. Its not same as cricket but it is still a sport. Themes for the year. This year, the themes are health (stop doing anything that stops you from living to 120 - eating, travel, air, stress etc) and action (which should be a theme every year IMHO). And other smaller themes are positivity (get away from people / things / incidents etc that drag you down), challenges (need to get out of the comfort zone - need to do things that I've never done so far) and plant seeds for the long-term. So, #in2018, I will do the following. In no order,[Work / M]Make C4E amongst the best live entertainment businesses in the country. And subsequently, in the world. More about C4E is at This has been on my radar since 2017. We made a few strides #in2017 but we suck at getting new business. Thats something that I need to fix this year. And I will.Evolve AWSL into a brand consulting business. In 2017 I lost the plot with AWSL but I will get it back on track. Create a third revenue stream. When I say third, the first two are C4E and AWSL. In that order. Been trying to get a third stream for a few years now. Haven't been able to do a thing about it. This year. [Health / H]Be 30" in girth. I am 36" as we speak. #in2017 I hoped to be 32. But I am still 36ish. In fact I've been wanting to be fit for a long long time. And even though I've wanted, I am unable to do anything about it. I need to figure out how. Finish a half-marathon in 2 hours. I cant even run jog for 3 minutes on the trot as we speak. One of the things I am doing is to ensure that I intake less calories and walk for 45 minutes at least each day. One goalpost will be 5K in 30 mins.Be able to do an unaided Shirshasana for 3 minutes. This essentially means that I need to get back to doing yoga. And doing a headstand would require enough rigor and practise to ensure that I am attending classes everyday. Plus, now that my nose is fixed, I should be able to start with yoga.[Personal]Final table a poker tourney that has more than 50 entrants. Again, this is a thing that I've had since 2017. And I played very less poker in 2017. I need to work on this. In fact, between poker, pool and may be guitar, I could find all recreation I need after a long day at work. Compete in an amateur pool tournament. I know I cant hit a ball straight but I enjoy the game. I love the challenge and more often than not, you can control the element of luck. So may be its something that I can work on.Buy a car. I have to. Been wanting to buy for ever since I can remember. This year I have to. Travel to 5 new countries. I got a third passport booklet (as planned #in2017) and I now need to get 5 new stamps on it. If all goes well, I may get to travel to Cambodia this year. Need 4 more countries. May be I'll drive through Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos route? Make more friends that inspire me. Work on relationships that make me better. Thing is, most "[...]

Book 2. Zinda Hai.

Tue, 26 Dec 2017 17:48:00 +0000

For a millionth time, today I started working on #book2. Its been pending for a long time and while nothing has changed, there have been a few triggers.Here's a list.a. A friend thought that I am suicidal and sent me a copy of The Myth of Sisyphus.I am not sure if I am / was suicidal or not but after I read the first 3 pages I felt that life was absurd and I ought to end it. Also, I recently moved to an Android phone (which is a suicide in itself) and I have spent last three hours searching for the Blue Whale.But since a friend gifted the book and I had to respect the 250 bucks he spent on it, I went online and saw this video (that summarized the book in 7 minutes and took me closer to suicide). The video talked about how we must find pleasure in misery and why its absurd to even think of suicide. It did talk of more things but I am sure if I could comprehend it. So, left it at that.Here's a tip. Avoid the fucking book at all costs. And if you want to read a book that prevents from you committing suicide, do read Reasons to Stay Alive. I read it when I was not suicidal and it was one of the best reads ever.But then coming back to the context, book2, somewhere while I was either reading the book or watching the video, I felt that I ought to write. Ergo.b. I read this piece on BBC where they try and postulate who will be remembered after a 1000 years after they are gone.Thing is, I've never known if I want fame or whatever but I would love to be known 1000 years after I am gone. And the article says that either I need to become a famous villain or die a famous death. I cant control how I'd die but I can create a villain that is more villainous than anyone ever alive? Et tu, Brute?And to be able to create a Brutus, a Joker, I need to write!c. Pochu Prasad. Poch was my roommate at MDI. It was his daughter's birthday recently and when I messaged him after 3 years (thinking that its a good pretext to text long lost friends on their kids' birthdays), the first thing he asked was, "when's the next book coming out."After I abused him and all that it left me thinking. That my identity is now of someone who's written a book. And while I am not a one-hit wonder (book was NOT a hit), may be there's something there!d. Parijat sent me this.This is screenshot of Syd's book and it reminded me that writing is my personal responsibility. And its high time I worked on it. I can cry about lack of a silver spoon us my ass but I do have a tiny gift with whatever I write. I ought to use it. No?e. A discussion with a colleague reminded me that I am insignificant and for 35 years of my life, I have shit to show for. More than anything else, I am offended by it and I take it as a personal insult. And I will damn prove the dude wrong. I will achieve something large in my life. Of course I will continue to chase my ambition of climbing the Mt. Everest, impacting a billion lives and making a billion dollars in the process. But I will do well with my writing. You guys wait and watch. Ego makes you do funny things man.So yeah. That's about it. More on this later. Right now I have a book to write. And you may want to order the first one here.[...]

Post-Bangalore post-mortem post

Mon, 18 Dec 2017 04:48:00 +0000

I am just back from Bangalore. I was there for putting up a show for a client at Excon 2017 and since its a 7-day exhibition, I thought that I will do a million things while I am in Bangalore. The top few included...meeting friends and almost friendsmaking new friendsexploring the city click some picswork with a friend on a book work on my next book eat properly and get fitterAnd so on and so forth.Guess how many of these did I do? ZERO! And why did I do nothing while I was there? No, time is not the culprit. After 7:30 / 8 most days, I had the rest of the evening and night to myself. And the reporting time the next day was at 8. And since I was leading the tram, I could actually come in by 9. So I had 12 hours each day to do all the things that I've listed above. But I could not. Here's a list of reasons. 1. Bad planning. For starters, I was put up in a hotel that was in the middle of nowhere (about 20 KMs away from Bangalore). And most people I had to meet were reluctant to travel all the way. Two things from this. A, become so good, so valuable that people are willing to go through large quantums (quantum but added an s for effect) of trouble to get a sliver of time from you. B, Plan well. For example, when you know that you are in a city that you know is notorious for traffic, try to be at a place that is accessible. 2. Energy. By the time I spent 12 hours at the exhibition, I was so sapped that all I could do is sleep. And snore. And then drag yourself to work the next day. Can this be fixed? Yes. I can work on my health and ensure that if I am up, I am full of energy. Most times I am but lot of times I am not. And I need to fix it. Health HAS to be the number 1 goal #in2018.3. Team. I am in the process of creating a team, a set of people that are aligned to the purpose that we as a group are supposed to serve. And deliver. That of entertaining the world in such amazing manner that it inspires others. Now, to do so, I don't need people who work for a salary. I don't need people that stick on a list of holidays on their whiteboards. I need marshals that are aligned to the mission. And if not aligned well to the mission, then at least a part of their personal missions has to get delivered if they work with me and others.Right now I have a few people that I think are in the zone. I need more. Are you the kinds? Help me. I am on 9819981337 / My working style. I get super emotional about my work. I want everything to work with clockwork precision. I want robots that stand as long as it is required. I want machines to not overheat, to remain intact, to perform to the capacity and never burn out. While its possible most times, I know its tough to expect this all the time. After all there is a huge element of technology and people dependence. While you take every care to ensure that things don't go wrong (get the best crew, get the best material etc etc) there are times when you cant control things. And when things go out of control, I get unnecessarily harsh at people. I am rude to the point that I am amazed at myself. Reminds of that experiment where they made ordinary people cruel by giving them a role of a jailer. At this exhibition, I was the jailer and because I thought people were slacking, I fought with no less than 10 people. This included my team, my outsourced staff, other agencies that were working there and other people at random. I continue to believe that I was right in fucking their happiness but may be I was wrong. After all 10 people cant be wrong. No? Whatever it was, I know it has to change. I need to work on it or I will not reach anywhere.The event otherwise as perfect. Apart from one time when the band was to[...]

5K on 5th Dec

Thu, 07 Dec 2017 06:22:00 +0000

In the morning today I promised someone what I will write 5000 words today. Its 8:50 PM and I havent written a single word. So I have a few hours to go and 5000 words to crank out. And where else to start from but here. And what else to talk about but shit that's floating inside my head.P.S.: I started writing this on the 5th. Today it's the 6th and since I was in office, it took me multiple passes to give shape to the post. The focus is on getting as many words of inane text out as possible. Lets see how many I get in. Also, I love this idea of sprints. This allows me to not worry about quality and all I am doing is pushing words out on paper. Perfect if you ask me. Lemme dump everything that I have on my mind. May be I'll feel lighter.1. Year EndThe year is ending and I am the kinds to actually take a stock of how the year went. I love making lists and then try to achieve the tasks on those lists. While I live with the lists throughout the year, I get really active around this time. I set lofty targets for the year and then I make plans for achieving those targets. So far, in none of the years that I've made lists in, I've achieved my targets - may be I dont have what it takes to do things. Or may be I love stretch targets. Irrespective. I love this list and yearly goal setting.This year is ending soon and if luck would have it, I will get a couple of days off to plan for the life ahead. And even if I dont get time, I am happy to report that I have already started thinking about things. While I have a little clarity about things that I want to focus on, I need to figure out a lot of peripherals. I know that 2018 will be all about health. And not money for a change. I have chased money all my life and I am yet to get rich. So may be I'd focus on health and how that pans out.Apart from health, the second most important thing will be writing (why? See 5). And then I will worry about work. This will be a marked difference from how I've operated in life. Lets see how that goes. 2. The ever-expanding plateI am involved in a million projects and anyone who's like that is bound to miss deadlines. On not just yearly goals but on other short-term goals as well.For context, on last count, I am working on 48 major projects. These range from plans of taking over the world to public art to opening a college to teach events management to stationary and what not. And while I am a great beginner, I start things, I am very average finisher.Plus I am now beginning to see the sense in the maxim that you can only do so many things with your life. I need to know that I am not limitless. Which sucks but such is life!Or maybe, I need to discard this feeling of being inadequate and get back to being what gives me the most amount of happiness - day dreaming and cooking up a million things at the same time. Who says I ought to stop at 48? Why can't I have 96 projects there?You dig what am saying? 3. Fit/FatnessYesterday Day before it rained really hard in Mumbai and I got drenched. And as a result, the only pair of denims I had got wet. And I had this really important meeting today yesterday and thus I had to buy a new pair.I went to the mall and went to each shop that the mall had. And in those scores of stores and hundreds of pairs of pants, denims, nothing seemed to fit!! I am unhealthy as fuck! I have become so fat lately. What do you mean lately? I have been fat since I can remember! And then I have this goal of climbing to the very top of the Everest. Can you imagine a fat man on top of Everest? I will stick out as, what Charles said, a cockroach on a wedding cake.Apart from just being an impediment to my goals, it makes me look ugly. I mean I am not the one to have been blessed with stellar looks, the fat makes it ugli[...]

Gratitude - MDI, Gurgaon

Sun, 03 Dec 2017 15:22:00 +0000

Today A few days back I met Chirag (MDI 2009). He was in office and we got talking about life and times at MDI. And I realised that everything that I have in life, good or bad, has its roots at MDI.Wanted to make a list. Here it is.Work. I run C4E. We are a full-service, bespoke, corporate events management agency. When I was at MDI, I could have never predicted that I will run an events agency someday. I wanted to change the world but events? No.Funny thing is that my first ever tryst with events happened at MDI. Back in 2005 and 2006, I was part of Imperium - the annual cultural festival at MDI. And I arranged and organised the entire thing (along with few others).The second time I got to work on events also happened because of MDI. In 2009, after my gig with CLA and Cyntax got over, I was looking for an opportunity to do something and I wrote to the MDI alumni group. Off the people that responded, I chose to work with Suvi (at Gravity) and Suvi chose to work with me. This was a full-time job in events and I was part of the client servicing and planning teams. Since at Gravity, everyone does everything, I got immense exposure that shaped me into who I am. Plus the stint with Gravity gave me the tools to run C4E.Writing. It was at MDI that I first started taking writing seriously. I did have a blog before I went to MDI but it was at MDI that I started documenting my mundane life. And because at that age you really want to get really famous, I would share the link with friends and family. While most people ignored me, some of them did encourage me. And each piece of encouragement made me write more. And then it became a feedback loop. And it is yet to end.Oh, it was at MDI when I first thought I could write a book. While I had wanted to be an author since I can remember, it was at MDI that Sandeep and I planned to write a novel inspired by our time at MDI. I think Chetan Bhagat had just written Five Point Someone. So nothing was impossible. We were young and had a lot of time on our hands. And writing was not too tough. You know what I mean?P.S.: The inspiration and confidence to actually write the book came after Suds published his. And it was an alum from MDI that agreed to publish my first!People.Out of 5 people that matter to me (apart from my immediate family), at least 2 are from MDI - VG and VK. Both these are my closest confidantes and are key pillars in my support structure. Everytime I am down in dumps, I find solace in their company. Every key decision in life requires their approval. Conversations with them have shaped the way I think. There is no shame or guilt or any other negative emotion when I talk to them. I can bare my soul and share my deepest fears and darkest thoughts with them. And I wont be wrong in saying that I dont know what I'd do without them.Apart from these two, some of my closest friends and well-wishers are friends that I made because of MDI. The list is way too long to actually fit into a blog. If you guys are reading this, thank you. All of you. Class of 2004-2006, seniors, juniors and others.Purpose.I am still figuring out what I want to do in life and identify a purpose for myself (I do have vague ideas that I want to create and in the process inspire others) and my raison d'etre. Thing is, the closest thing to a perfect human being -- where the guys' doing a great job, making impact, making money and living a life that inspires others -- is Prof. Bakshi. And where did I meet him? At MDI!It was Prof. Bakshi that introduced me to the ideas of Warren Buffet and the advantages of multidisciplinary thinking. It was at his BFBV classes that I realised that I dont know so many things and there are so many things that I dont know that I dont know.Its a differe[...]

The #book2 Brouhaha

Tue, 28 Nov 2017 04:02:00 +0000

Book2 is now officially overdue by 3 years. Three years. In three years you can make 4 babies. In three years you complete college in India. Three years is the time a typical startup needs to break even and start throwing money back at you. Three years is more than a 1000 days. Its 5% of an average human's productive life. Three years...Wait. The point is that book2 is delayed. To an extent that no one knows that I am an author. Fuck no one, I have a hard time telling myself that I am one. Anyhow attention spans are like shorter than that of a hummingbird. Who cares if you wrote a book. And this is not the first project that I havent been able to find time for, even if this is the closet to my heart.I was thinking about it last night and I thought Ill make a list of reasons why I cant seem to get this going. Here goes.A. No timeWriting is not my first gig. Its not even my second. I mean I do write a lot everyday -- presentations, emails, short notes, scribbles and all that. But all of that is for work. There is no writing for recreation. And there is hardly any writing for the book. And the worse part? I dont miss it. I mean there was a time when I would be itchy if I dint write for an hour everyday. Those days are gone.Right now, its just a battle to rush from one thing to another. In the process, I think I have stopped enjoying little things that make up life.B. No museThey say a writer needs a muse to write. I am not sure what was the muse when I did #tnks. Ok wait. A muse is defined as "a person or personified force who is the source of inspiration for a creative artist." So last time I may have had someone. I dont remember. This time, I dont have any. I even got sgMS to agree to marrying me if I could complete the book by end of the year. And that too doesnt seem to be exciting enough.Maybe I need to talk to the lady I am interested in right now to not talk to me if I dont write a 1000 words a day. Or may be I need to go find someone who is as into writing as I want to be. I dont know what would it take. Ideas?C. Too much workTwo things here. Work required on writing a book. And effort and time spent on work that gives me the money to afford the lifestyle I lead.Writing a book may come easy to a lot of people (I know people who "win" NaNoWriMo by writing 50K words in 30 days). To me, it does. I know I can write fast but I am not sure if the kind of things I write can happen in 30 days. I want to research, think, get into conversations (with my characters), leave tons of Easter Eggs (Lol. Why would I do that when not a single reader of #tnks came back to me and told me that they loved how intelligently I buried those little gems throughout the book.). So, writing is serious work. And sustained work for long durations (on a daily basis), over a year or so. Do I want that kind of grind? Like I know I never want to be in an operation theatre again, do I want to g through the tribulations that writing a book entail?Thing is, I am not the one to shy away from hard work but I am the kinds that needs everything perfect. The temperature of the AC, the chair, the table, a working Internet connection and so on and so forth. And the kind of life I live, its often to get all variables in place. And when I do get these variables in place, there's just too much work that needs my urgent attention that I cant concentrate on moving the story ahead.That brings me to work that I am engaged in. Like I said in A above, I am at a stage in life where I dont have financial stability. I live month to month and the month I dont work hard in, I am forced to cut my expenses. So its a constant battle between daal-roti and hobbies. And while I am a big advocate of sex and cash theory, I am no[...]

Saturday breakfast / Powai, Mumbai

Thu, 27 Jul 2017 16:19:00 +0000

Sent the following email on my alumni group. Got a lot of people to write into me. And thus, pushing it here as well, hoping to get more participation.Hi Guys, I introduce myself as Saurabh Garg, PGPM class of 2006, MDI Gurgaon. In my day job, I run C4 Events - we are going to be THE finest events agency in the country in the next 5 years. And when I am not working on C4E, I try and chase "worldly wisdom" - the kinds Prof. Bakshi taught us using finance as a tool. Just that I am teaching myself (hello, Internet) and I don't really go deep - I merely scratch the surface. I mean I could go deep but I love knowing a little about a lot of things (the proverbial "Jack"). Feynman actually advised against the kind of learning that I engage in and with all respect to RF, I enjoy being an edge surfer and thus I choose to ignore him.Coming to the point, one tenet of trying to be wise is to think on a large number (both quality and quantity) of problems, especially the ones where outcome does not affect me directly. Think of a doctor. More patients that the doctor works on, better he becomes. And larger the variety of medical problems he looks at, better he gets as a GP. No, I don't want to be an expert, Like I said, I love being the Jack.So, I am / was looking for ways to get access to various problems to think on.And this is where I thought that if I create a forum where anyone could sit across the table from me and tell me what they're perplexed with. And I could jam with them to come up with actionable insights. Now, I am not an expert but I like to believe that I am good at seeing a problem from various vantage points. And the shift in vantage point is often what it takes to crack things!So, here's the offer. Lets meet on Saturday morning for coffee. Lets jam on things that you've been wanting to get an opinion on. Lets crack em! A typical set of questions could look like...Want to write a book. Dont know where to or how to start. Lemme tell you how I worked on my book.Want to expand your professional network? Well, I dont know that one but we can jam!Launch plan for your startup? Well...Want to get more done in a day?Want to chase a new hobby outside of work?Etc etc.I dont have a specific tool or a talisman. I am a mere bouncing board, a fly on the wall (while you talk to yourself about the things in your head) or even a coach for that matter! Think of me as a one-member board where you as a company goto find a solution to a business problem. I am one of the navratnas (nine wisemen) at your majesty's service. I am the Birbal, oh Akbar. I am the Krishna to the Arjuna in you. I am the Robin, the quintessential sidekick that opens the door while you go chase the Joker! Wait! did the Nolan version have Robin in it? Enough of hyperbole...I mean ask other MDI alums like REDACTED and so many others. They can vouch for advantages of brainstorming with me. Bhai log, please kuch bolo :D.In terms of output, I don't promise any tangibles but I do promise the discussion will not be a waste of your time. It WILL help you. And if you think that it was a waste and did not help you, I will buy you a book of your choice (upto Rs. 500)!So, after this long a sales pitch, I am hoping to host the first session on Saturday, July the 29th, at Starbucks, Powai. To make it useful, I will restrict the meetup to 4 people. As always, first come, first serve. Lemme know if you are in. The coffee is on me.Oh, one more thing. Each session I will try and get someone super wise to these sessions.Thanks,@saurabhP.S.: Apart from the selfish motive of trying to get smart, I have a few questions of my own that I need answers to. More on this when we meet on Saturday:)So, are you in?[...]