Hello Grapevine India!

First posted at tnks blog.


I am so so happy and so so proud to announce that The Nidhi Kapoor Story (web, facebook) has been accepted by Grapevine India. If all goes well from here on, we are looking at releasing the book by August of this year.

Its a big big moment. And I am totally excited about it.

Publishing a book has been on my bucket list for longest time ever. Took me some time but its here. Of course a lot of people have helped me do this. I am grateful for having access to such great people.

I may argue that its the end of a long-cherished and a long-held dream. But honestly, I think its just the beginning. Now that I have gone through the grind of writing a full-length story, there is no way I am going to stop now.

#tnks would be the first in a long line of books that I would eventually write and publish. To be honest, I already have a list of ideas and plots that I want to extend into books. Of course a travel book (another thing from my bucket list) is up on the cards. I intend to start with the next one in September (when I take my week off). But, for the time being, I want to focus on #tnks and creating a kickass book that people enjoy reading.

I sincerely hope that you'd like it and #tnks would be worth your time and money. This is what you can expect from #tnks.

Oh, I need all the help that I can get. It could come in shape of pre-orders, marketing ideas, distribution ideas, contacts of other people who may help. If you think you can help me, please add your name to the form below and I would be in touch.

You may alternatively click on this link to fill details later.


Soul searching 101

Since I quit last year, I have been on soul-searching ride. I am trying to understand where I come from and what is my purpose. Why did Mother Nature create me and why did She make me the way I am.

Of course the answers are not easy and I am definitely not the working hard kinds. I want to enjoy life as it comes and I dont like to plan ahead.

But then, Mother Nature and Providence has their funny ways. Since its been almost a year now, the money that I had saved is running out fast. And once I realized that I was running out of money, I thought I needed to find meaningful employment.

And this is when the real stirring of mind happened. This is when soul-searching happened. Of course I am no where close to finding the meaning of life but stirring and soul-searching is a painful process. I now know the agony and despair of a man with limited means. I now understand where why they do things they do. I know what it is like when dreams get shattered. I appreciate the lyrics of Bawra Man and genius of Swanand Kirkire. The poets and writers and speakers and thinkers and other such people, respect!

Thing with searching for a naukri is that you need to shed all your clothes and stand naked. Naked to the mercy of things and people and situations that are beyond your control. You need to pimp yourself. You need to ask for favours. You need to glorify your microscopic achievements. You need to think of things that would make your noticeable, even when you dont want to be noticed. And you need to do it  all the time. Say after day. Application after application. Recruiter after recruiter. Till you are either tired of it. Or someone takes mercy on you!

You have to bare your soul and lay it on a platter to the person on the other side. You then hope like hell that they like what you have offered. After the interaction, if that happens, there is this agonizing period where you wait for the other party to come back with their decision.

If the decision is not in your favor, more often than not, the other party does not bother to inform you. You are left to fend for yourself. The wait that was supposed to end in a few days extends into weeks and then eventually months. You, as an applicant, go through various emotions. From hope and expectation (of getting a naukri) to reason (they may be late because they may be stuck) to denial (how can they reject me or I didnt want to join anyway) to anger (I hate the company) to despair (damn, money is running out). Each of these emotions peel yet another layer from your onion-like soul.

However, the good part is that this experience of knocking on doors, both open and close, both known and unknown, both friendly and hostile, is priming me for the next big task ahead of me. I guess it would require even more stirring, more anxious nights, more heartburn. The one where I am supposed to talk about my upcoming book to everyone in the world. Did you like it on Facebook yet?

Of course all these are applicable to someone like me. Mediocre, average, nothing great to boast of, no awards, no concrete output, lack of social skills, stubborn and all that! The ones on the other end, the ones who are in demand, must have a different experience altogether. That of ecstasy, elation, happiness and pride. I dont know how that works. I may, sometime in future. But not right now.

Lean Mean Fighting Machine

27 May 2014
When I am old and I look back on 2014, I want to see two things. And two things only.

A. The Nidhi Kapoor Story (website, 200+ likes on fb)
B. 30"

That's all. Nothing else is important. I dont want anything else from 2014.

Money, fame, love, #sgMS, cars, travel, comfort, chase of the new new thing, plans to take over the world, bucket list, ride to Leh, long-distance cross-country rides, serial murders, financial wizardry, Priyanka Chopra, awards, conversations, coffee with Karan, 100 likes on a FB post, 10,000 twitter followers, houses, writing for magazines etc could wait. The two things, A and B, cant.

So, A, the book, is done. The goal was to get a book published this year. And I think I am comfortable on that front right now. Its now on a publisher's desk. The ball is not in my court. I am waiting for the publisher to look at it and tell me if its good enough to be out in the market. Lets see how that goes. There's this calm on that front. There's nothing that I can do about it. I mean I can send it to more publishers but someone has shown faith in me and I need to stick with them. Its all about faith and its about people. Right?

On the other, B, 30", I am actually worse off than I was when I started. The goal for the year was to reduce my girth to 30" (from the current 36"). I even waged an iPhone with a friend. So thanks to this bet, I did make a good start. I joined yoga classes and actually enjoyed the time I spent there. I was even regular with it. As side-effect, I started to notice what I ate and I lost more inches. I walked 10 000 steps most days and it showed. I almost became a lean mean fighting machine. No no, kidding. Not the machine but I did lose weight and I did enjoy while it lasted.

But in last month or so, I have lost all the progress I made over the last few months. I am as fat as I was at the end of the last year. I am as lethargic. I am as lazy. I am unhealthy and I know it. And worse, I dont know how to fix it. I mean I can. All it needs is 10 000 steps everyday. No? I plan to start all of it again soon. May be once I get a naukri. Wait a minute. What soon? Why not today? And now?

So right after I hit the publish button, I'd go for my 10 000 steps. And once I am back, I will update this post with the screenshot of my 10 000 steps for the day. And I'd do it tomorrow. And day after. And the day after that. Till I am back to being the lean mean fighting machine!

P.S.: I just hope that the battery in the phone lasts that long!

Update. I did about 4.5K steps. I just couldnt go any more. A start none the less.

How to? For the lazy ones.

No, you're not the only lazy person that you know of. There are more. So many that there is this entire corner of the world wide web reserved for them. Trust me. Ok dont. But just search for procrastination, getting things done, to-do lists, productivity, life hacking and more. Each sounds like an interesting buzzword with a million interpretations. But all of these are essentially talk to the same set of people. Lazy ones. Like me. Like you.

I have always had a million ideas that could possibly put a ding in the universe. But since I have always been lazy, I never pursued any idea. But with Nidhi Kapoor, somehow I got lucky. Despite my legendary laziness, I could work on it for more than 9 months and actually finish it.

Someone asked me how did I do. And since I am all for sharing, here is a list of things that I did to make it happen.

1. Create a large measurable output.
A novella of 30 posts, each post with 1000 words.
Lose 2 inches in a month. Takes 10000 steps every day.
Money? 10 lakhs a month. Health? 6 packs. Travel? 100 counties. So on and so forth. 
I try to create a large audacious goal that I want to achieve. And then I try to make it measurable. A goal that is not measurable is not a goal at all. Its just wishful thinking.

2. Divide things into tiny, measurable and tangible goals. 
20 minutes of yoga. 1000 words a day. 10000 steps a day. 1 country per month.
Key words are tiny, measurable and tangible. Without these three, all goals are meaningless. There is nothing like "few" or "some". Moment you make a tiny task that has "few" in it, please know that its doomed. It wont happen. I can bet my ass on it.

There's a simple test to know if the goals you set are correct. If you can see, notice and talk about the progress you're making against the goal, you are on track.

For example, over a period of time, 1000 word everyday get compiled into a nice thick book. Use some app on your phone and you would have a nice chart with all the steps you've walked over the days. So on and so forth.

3. Share the large goal and tiny tasks with the world. 
Subject yourself to public ridicule.

If possible, get a couple of likeminded people and do it with them. You can write from the comfort of your home. They could walk on a track close to their place. But report to each other. Be each other's boss and subordinate at the same time. Help each other. Remember that standing on the shoulders of giants?

Public ridicule is probably the most powerful motivational force that is ignored. Make a commitment on Facebook and then ask your closest friend to take your happiness on FB if you don't do things. I promise you would do things just to stop your friends from posting things on FB.

If your friends refuse to help you by ridiculing you, I volunteer to do so. What say?

4. Celebrate. Every day and when you achieve the large ultimate goals.
The way daily tiny goals are important, you ought to celebrate the achievement of those goals. For example, everytime I write those 1000 words, I go and buy myself a Diet Coke. You may buy yourself an icecream. Or one hour of Internet. Etc.

Get addicted to these rewards. The goal thus become like a precursor to these rewards. More you crave for the awards, more passionately you'd chase your goals.

Same for that large goal. Make the award so big that you want it at any cost. When I finished my book, I told myself that I would go travel at a firang destination. And I am going in June. Fingers crossed.

Thats it! When you do achieve your goal, do share with me. Would love to see what you cook up!

All the best! And do "like" the FB page for my book ;P Its at facebook.com/TheNidhiKapoorStory.

P.S.: Please note that this is not scientific at all. This is something that has worked for me and may or may not work for you. But do try.

Thanks to SG26Jul for the idea.

Z. Zone.

This is a part of the April A to Z Challenge. My theme is my Bucket List. Read about it hereOther posts in the A to Z ChallengeAncient RuinsBookCoffee ShopDate a SupermodelEntrepreneurship(Be a) FinisherGive Away my WealthHandle a BabyInspireJack of all tradesKeep my shirt onMake a lot of moneyNoOff the GridPokerQuestion EverythingRun a MarathonSettle in the mountainsTeachUp in the Air(Master the) VedasWar of WordsX-men and Yell out loud. This is the last post in the series. 

Z. Z for Zone. In the zone. Perpetually. Zone means flow. Flow means being at the top of the game. Its the mental state where things happen automatically and you dont need to put in effort. Its where you are so immersed in the activity that you lose track of time, effort, energy, money, other considerations.

Imagine a singer practicing for herself. Imagine a gambler winning hand after hand after hand after hand. Imagine a lover trying to woo his love. Or a child trying to erect sand castles on a beach. Think of the arched brows of a sniper trying to take a headshot. Imagine a writer typing away to glory with the din of a coffee shop as the background. A biker on a long unwinding road with the constant hum of the motorcycle underneath him.

That! That is being in the zone. And I want to be in that zone perpetually. If not that, than all the time. And I want to a
From the game flOw. If you haven't played this game, you've missed something.
There was a time when I could spend hours playing Counter-Strike. I wasnt really good at it but everytime I played, every fucking time I played, I got in the zone. Easy. It was a given that if I fire up a session of CS, Id be in zone. Same when I was a pseudo-coder years back. And when I played Q3A.

After that things changed and I got a college degree. Since then most things I do require me to juggle multiple things at a time. As a result I havent experienced the zone much. Except when I am writing at a Starbucks. Or some other coffee shop. Or a comfortable chair and a table. I am that kind of person. External things are important to me. If they are in place, I can get in zone easy. If they are not, I may try hard but I wont ever go there.

So, since college, its been getting tough and tough to get in the zone. I dont know what to blame it on. One of the things that I want from like is that whatever I do, what I put my hand in, it has to be that immersive that I get in the zone instantly. There were times when I got there while I was working on #tnks. I just need to get more such things going for me. Sad bit is that #tnks would not give me financial independence but if it did, I would it would be a perfect way to live life. Because, thats all there is to life. Zone. And the chase of these zones.

With this, ladies and gentlemen, my stack of posts for a2z2014 is done. Hope you enjoyed reading the posts as much as I enjoyed writing. Took me 5 extra days but it was worth the wait. 

Onto the next project. And onto regular blogging with inane updates about tiny things that I like doing. 

Y. Yell out loud.

This is a part of the April A to Z Challenge. My theme is my Bucket List. Read about it hereOther posts in the A to Z ChallengeAncient RuinsBookCoffee ShopDate a SupermodelEntrepreneurship(Be a) FinisherGive Away my WealthHandle a BabyInspireJack of all tradesKeep my shirt onMake a lot of moneyNoOff the GridPokerQuestion EverythingRun a MarathonSettle in the mountainsTeachUp in the Air(Master the) VedasWar of Words and X-men.

Next is Y. Y for Yell out loud. So loud that I lose my voice. So loud that my throat hurts. So loud that its louder than anything around me. Louder than the noise that people make at events like Woodstocks. Louder than your heart-thump when you're in trouble.

Can you guess the building?

I want to stand on the top of a really high building and stare at the world go by underneath. I want to stare in the void and see my voice reach to the very bottom. I want to see myself getting spent at the effort. I want to see myself inside out and I want the wind to go in and clean me up from inside. I want to take a rebirth. I want to break some shackles. I want to cry with the effort that it takes to yell like that.

Its like getting a high. The kinds that you get when you drop acid. Or when you do drugs. Or when you win a lottery. Its something that probably cleanses you from inside. It probably makes you feel renewed.

I would have done it long back if it didn't stigmatize people around. Yelling, in my culture, is connected to extreme pain or happiness or shock or something. There's no one that yells without reason. And definitely not for the frivolous reason of getting a high. Or renewing themselves. Or yelling just for the sake of trying! Damn these boundaries! It has to be one of the most liberating feelings ever. Probably more liberating than the bungee. Or the skydive.

I have to do it. At least once before I hang my boots!

Monthly Report - Apr 2014

The fourth month of the year is gone. Here is the update.

Here are the thing that I did in this month
  1. Finished the second draft of The Nidhi Kapoor Story. Met with a publisher friend. Spoke to a few designers. With each passing day, #tnks now looks like a reality. Aiming to bring it to life by Jul or Aug of this year.  
  2. Had a net negative month with poker. Need to get back to black in May. 
  3. Still jobless. But I know a vague direction that I need to take. The naukri should give me some money and some time because I want to try and write another book in this year. Please let me know if you know of places that want to hire someone with 8 years of work-ex, post MBA. I have a fairly decent linkedin profile. 
So moving on, Report on things I had planned for Apr.
  1. I had quite a few things. Did none of those. Last four months, month after month I have failed to do most things that I had planned. Why? Because I am lazy? Or because I am trying to eat more than I can chew? Will think about it over the next month and plan accordingly. 

In May of 2014, these are the things that are on the cards
  1. Things for Feb, Mar, Apr (sell sgElectra, work on Cpt ObvISIN and next plot)
  2. Clear Evernote.
  3. #poker. Get yet another good month with poker. Like I mentioned, a good month is when I do not lose. This is probably going to be an ongoing goal. 
  4. #poker. See all of grisped on youtube. 
  5. #36to30. Take yoga as a challenge. Try and do asanas with more poise and tougher intensity. I would take it up as a challenge. I wrote about it here. Remember the tread mill that Will Smith talks about?
Thats about it from the month of Apr. Over to you May.

Previous updates: JanFeb, Mar

X. X men.

This is a part of the April A to Z Challenge. My theme is my Bucket List. Read about it hereOther posts in the A to Z ChallengeAncient RuinsBookCoffee ShopDate a SupermodelEntrepreneurship(Be a) FinisherGive Away my WealthHandle a BabyInspireJack of all tradesKeep my shirt onMake a lot of moneyNoOff the GridPokerQuestion EverythingRun a MarathonSettle in the mountainsTeachUp in the Air(Master the) Vedas and War of Words.

X. The tough one. I cant think of anything but X-Men. X-Men is a team of superheroes that have some genetic mutation that gives them some sort of superpower. Like all people with superpowers there are good ones and there are bad ones. And like all places where you have good people and bad people, there is an inevitable clash. And then like most myths, stories, the good wins over the bad. 

So X for me is X as in X-Men

X-Men Poster

The thing is, I really want to have some sort of superpower. I know its too late to get mutated by I think I can develop some superpower. It doesnt have to be a physical thing. I dont want to be a magnetic field or have an icy cold stare or something. I am ok with the superpower of words that allows me to move mountains with things that I write. Or I am ok with the superpower of observation that lets me decode people the moment I set my eyes on them. Like Sherlock had. Or like Reacher had. Or even a superpower with numbers that allows me to make money. Or may be I could grow bigger when I eat mushrooms, like Super Mario. Or may be the power of invisibility that Arun had. Agreed that a gadget gave him his superpower, it was a power nonetheless. 

The superpower would elevate me from boring bald man in India to someone who would see the wonders that the world has to offer. It could come as a result of dedication, from a gadget, or from borrowed tools. But I really want one. I want to be an X-man. Somehow. For once. Before I die. 

To be honest, I dont want to retain this power forever. I just want to get the power once and live a life full of excitement. A life that is beyond the rigmarole of money, society, relationships, emotions and other such things. At least for once. Somehow. 

What is your superpower? What makes you a X-Man? 

W. War of Words.

This is a part of the April A to Z Challenge. My theme is my Bucket List. Read about it hereOther posts in the A to Z ChallengeAncient RuinsBookCoffee ShopDate a SupermodelEntrepreneurship(Be a) FinisherGive Away my WealthHandle a BabyInspireJack of all tradesKeep my shirt onMake a lot of moneyNoOff the GridPokerQuestion EverythingRun a MarathonSettle in the mountainsTeachUp in the Air and (Master the) Vedas.

Next is W. W as in War of Words. As in this blog!

I have been writing this blog since Jan of 2004. And I want to continue to write here till I die. I don't know what purpose it would serve but I want to. Writing this blog is the longest I have done something, apart from living. And I dont want to stop.

Can I say that I cant imagine a life without this blog where I send inane updates and thought blurbs? That important is this blog!

Screenshot of my blog...

The very act of writing on a public forum and letting strangers peep into your life sounds stupid but thats how things were back in 2004. It sounded like a great idea that someone could be interested in your life. The fact that a stranger could read what I wrote gave me kicks. Ofcourse the blog helped me make new friends, helped me learn more things and definitely made me a better writer.

The blog is also good way to go down the memory lane. I can go to a month and a year and I can see things that were occupying my head those days. For example browse to a random month, say Mar 2009, and a glance at posts would tell what all I was thinking / planning / cooking then!

In fact the blog is responsible for a lot of things that I started and eventually did not finish. I am the kinds who wants to talk first and then attempt those things. I know its not really the best way to go about things but it has worked for me in the past. There is no reason why it wouldn't in the future. Even #tnks started on this this blog with this post in May of last year. If you're on FB, please see this page and do recommend changes that I may make on this page.

Thats about blogging. And about War of Words. I want to continue to write it till I can.

Onward to X!

P.S.: Again, this is not really a thing for the bucket list but for the wish list. Either ways, I am not complaining.

P.P.S: Not happy with post. Note to my future self. Take lesson from these posts that you dont like. Tagged with #reWrite.

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?