Couch Potato

You know how Homer is happy doing nothing but drooling?
Dear Homer, Thanks!
That! That's what I am up to. That's all I do the entire day.

I dont know what's wrong with me. I dont want to write, I dont want to read, I dont want to talk to people, I dont want to step out. I am happy sleeping on the sofa, eating Indian version of Doughnuts, drooling and doing nothing.

Of course this is not a permanent state. I am sure things would change and I will be back to the doing state. Till then...

#tnks for free?

Since #tnks is amongst the biggest things that I have done in life, I often talk about it to friends and strangers. And when I do that, invariably, I am expected to cough up a free, autographed copy of the book.

And ladies and gents, to put on record, it is pissing off!

I have nothing against signing the book. Or free copies. Just that I expect friends, acquaintances, clients, and colleagues to “buy” the book and help me! Free copies are meant for those who expect a favor (exchange, barter etc). And for those who are used to getting freebies (journalists, reviewers etc). Not friends!

You know when you “buy” a book, you contribute to the sales of the book. That pushes the book a tad higher in rankings. And that in turn pushes the publisher for the next print run. Both these things give immense confidence to writers, especially the first-timers like me. More than confidence, it makes the writer grow balls to work on the next one (if he’s in it for the long run, like I am!). And may be negotiate better terms with the publisher (who often is very cocky and is used to getting his way with authors). Or get an advance (which is unheard of, for non-celebrity authors). Or may be secure a larger print run (which is like a wet-dream on starry night). And so on and so forth.

The funny thing is that the book is really cheap. At a selling price of about 100 bucks, the book is probably cheaper than a coffee at your favorite coffee shop or a meal at a mediocre restaurant or a movie at the most rundown cinema hall or a piece of garment that you wont even wear the second time around. If you’re telling me that you can’t spend 100 bucks to support a friend, who’s trying chase the most cherished goal of his life, God help you! And your friendship. And the friend.

To be honest, the ones who ask for free copies are not to be blamed. There are a few things that we just don’t “get” culturally (as Indians). Like music. It has to be downloaded for free from (or some other combination of songs and pk). Or dhaniya and pudhina that has to come for free with any subzi you may buy. Similarly we expect books to be free. Especially if they are written by friends. No?

In fact I was like you till about 2012! When Suds wrote The Lost Story, I asked him for a free copy and I refused to buy it, till Divya put some sense into me and ordered a copy on my behalf. Thanks Divya. I now know what you meant. And thanks Suds for not giving me a copy for free.

And to everyone who’s been asking for a free copy, you know, you can still buy the book. Its available on Amazon and Flipkart. And hopefully, at a bookstore near you. It’s still not on any bestseller list and every copy sold contributes to that. Which helps me as a writer.

Thank You,
Saurabh Garg
, The Nidhi Kapoor Story

P.S.: And no, not everyone asked me for a free copy. Some friends did buy it. Some actually bought multiple copies and gave extra copies away to their friends. Ankit, Gaurav and Parijat even supported my crowdsourcing campaign to raise money for a promotion tour. Thank you guys. Your support means a lot. Onwards to my next book!

Repost from #tnks blog.

Dear RedBull,

Clicked sometime in 2013. As part of #100HappyDays. More pics here.
Dear RedBull,

Thank you.

Thank you for giving me wings. I dont know what I would do without you.

You are one of those few brands (businesses) that has never ever disappointed me. I love you for your consistent performance. You live up to the promise that you make. You are someone I can bank on. With your always on delivery, you have earned my faith. So much so that if you fuck up, I am willing to excuse you. After all, none of is God and everyone makes mistakes.

In fact when I take a class in marketing and branding, I often start with you (I have one before the class and in the class I start talking with your example)
From the deck I use in my branding class.
You know, you have seen me enjoying the best of times (Imperium at MDI, road trips with friends - Neo, sgMS and others), worst of times (the depressive phase of my bipolar disorder) and everything in between. You are the rock that has always been around when I've needed some support (just like Agony Aunt - VK08May).

I have often been unwell and I've just need one swig at you to get back to my feet. Today is a case in point. I was supposed to get up early in the morning (~6) and work on my next book. I did wake up but I could not get out of my bed. And when I finally got up, it was well after 10 and that depressive streak held me hostage all over again. Until I had a Red Bull. And after that, I did my 30 minutes of guitar practice, wrote some for my book, worked on a deck that has been pending forever. And did a few things that I have been delaying for a few days, for no reason.

In fact in the past as well, you have been instrumental in helping me do my work as an event manager. So much so that I could not work without you by my side. You are one of the 7 things that us event managers cant live without. Remember all those shows where you've rested on the console while I was assisting Suvi in running the shows? Remember how I ask him to shut up at times (despite his obvious seniority and more experience) and let me make the decisions? If not for you, I wont have had the balls to ask him to trust me and let me handle the situation! Trust me! 

More than just work, you have given me the strength to stay up at night and work on my book when Sachin had put me under scary deadlines. I hate him for that. And I love you for allowing me to sail over the deadlines. Of course the book hasn't made me famous or rich. But thank you for being there. Thank you for the help. Sachin, if you're reading this, you better not push me like this for next one.

And then there have been times when my ultra conservative folks have questioned if you were an alcoholic beverage. Because you are priced at a premium. And you had me seriously addicted. I had a tough time explaining to them that you were an "energy" drink and it was safe, as long as I consumed you in "moderation". Well, moderation is a subjective word. No?

Finally, the greatest part of my fandom is because of all the awesome marketing that you guys engage in. As a marketer and someone who wants to go down in history books as David and Leo, I have super amazing respect for your marketing methods. I mean who else could have thought of sending someone up in Stratosphere to jump! Or creating a damn racing team. Or those crazy things that you often cook up! I often tell people that if you want to learn marketing, all you need to do is look at how Red Bull goes about it and decode the method behind your madness.

You know, come to think of it, I owe a lot to you. And I ought to have Red Bull more often. Just that I am trying to be healthy. May be I can cut on Coke and binge on Red Bull when I crave for a beverage. May be. Let's see. 

More later. Till then,

Saurabh "high on Red Bull" Garg

End of the starry night...

Note: I have been acting crazy over the last few days (about ten days or so). I've tried to not show the crazy bit to people around me. They may or may not have noticed. But deep down inside, I know I have been crazy. As they say, the easiest person to fool is myself and the hardest to help is also self. So instead of falling in the delusion that all is well, I shall work on and fix things. 

van Gogh's Starry Night
Since this is a very public place (and yet apart from PD no one reads this blog and I am not sure if after IM she has time to read this anymore) I will not get into a lot of details. But I know I need to fix a few things. Let me make a list of things that I would work on over the next few days.

1. Find that office (or a place where I could sit and work). Fast. Super fast. I cant work out of home. Even though I have a fancy table and an ok chair to sit on. Starbucks is fine but I no longer want to spend 200 bucks every hour. I have a couple of options. They are not ideal but I shall exercise those options and see which one can I close. 

2. Do something about my fitness. I just do not like the way I look. I need to loose (or lose?) that fat around my belly. There are so many things that could be done. I have to finish a marathon before the end of this year and apart from buying running shoes, I haven't done shit about it. It will change from today. I will go for a walk, if not a run every day from today. Irrespective of the city I am in.

3. The longing for sgMS is making me super crazy. I know I can't be with her and I know I can't live without her. Everything I do is meaningless without her. There are times when I question the very reason for doing things (writing etc). I will no longer worry about it. Let the reasons take a break. I am just going to assume that she's around and do my shit. More on it on the secret blog.

4. There are couple more things. I will not write about em here. Too personal. Too private.

Apart from these, other things that often trouble me are my attempts to improve the way I write, my quest for learning and the never-ending chase of money. I am thankfully doing pretty ok for the time being (I am learning about writing, have enough money to feed myself for the next 6 months and learning new things everyday). I am moving ahead in my own little silly ways. The only thing hampering em is the general gloom that I have subjected myself to. Like I said, I need to get out of it. And I will do it now!

Oh, I am working on a new business idea. And this time, I have a partner who's been there and done that (started and exited a successful start-up). So, things will have a higher probability of working out. Look forward to it. More in a few days when we are closer to the output.

That's it for the time being.

P.S.: The very damn act of writing this is so therapeutic. I often wonder why I write a blog when I very well know that very few people read this on regular basis. And in the process of writing, I am making my life public. More public that those cricketers or film stars. Just that they have people who care about the color of underwear they're wearing. And in my case, the person I love the most, doesnt even care if I am alive. Or dead.

Anyhow, I dont know the real reason why I write. I just think that writing helps. Like I said, its therapeutic. And if you're reading this, thanks a ton. It really is gratifying to know that people can read through long personal rants. 

More as and when I have newer updates.

P.P.S.: Why did I put van Gogh here? I dont know. It felt like the most natural thing to do.

P.P.P.S.: I have made similar list no less than a hundred times in the past (too lazy to post links) and every time I have failed to keep up to them. Let's see if this time I can.

P.P.P.P.S.: The other change that has happened to me is that I no longer care about the perception that my acquaintances have of me. The realization happened as a result of this long rant on the events industry. May be read it, if events business interests you.

Life and Death

I woke up on Monday morning to the news of demise of Parag Parikh in a car crash, in Omaha. He had gone to attend the Berkshire Hathaway shareholder's meet. 

Although I did not know Parag but I knew of him. He was part of the small close-knit value investor community in India (spearheaded by Prof. Bakshi). And since I have been wanting to be a part of this community, I knew of most people in the group (some are friends that I often exchange email with). Of course I am not good enough to be a part and thus I just knew of Parag (and others).

And even though I did not know Parag, for some reason, his demise has moved me. Probably because he is was one of those few who were working on something that they loved!

In contrast are people like me. The ones who have a million dreams and aspirations and yet we dont move a muscle to get closer to those dreams. We don't realize that the life as we know it could be over in a minute and all those dreams would be left to rot after we are gone. We continue to breathe and do non-useful things and occupy space and resources on Mother Earth and kill time. Waiting for that inevitable end.

What use is the life of mediocrity when the great ones are not allowed to live to their fullest potential? Remember Steve's words? If you don't it, now would be a good time to revisit what he said. Here is a snippet.

Via @adatar on twitter
All I can say to Parag is thank you so much. You were an inspiration. I was envious of you. Always wanted to be a friend (there were so many stories about you from people I know who worked with you). I promise I will make my life count!

Also reminded me of something that I wrote way back in 2009. And for some reason that Earthquake in Nepal that brought the country to its knees did not affect me. Neither did any other accident or something. Although Parag's accident is just a news for me, it moved me. So much that I am reevaluating a lot of things.

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?