Sometime last year, I was telling my wife that I seem to spend so much time commuting from home to office in a city like Mumbai, and that my physical presence in the office adds absolutely no value to the work that is getting done. So we should do a two-month experiment by shifting to Goa, take a nice sea-facing apartment and run my business from there. Wake up at 7 am, go for a walk along the beach, go swimming, do some meditation, have breakfast, and then at 10 am, start the laptop and ‘office’ comes to life. At lunch time, I could take a break and have some hot lunch with my wife, and then get back to work after lunch. Then in the evening, shutters down at 7 pm! I could spend the evening reading books, listening to music, going out to a restaurant or to a theatre. The vision was that the time saved in commuting could be put back into family time. And all my work can actually happen over email, video calls and phone calls.
So the lockdown this year in a way has answered my prayers. I seem to be doing all of the above except that I am not in Goa at a sea-side apartment, but in my very home. And of course, we cannot go out to a restaurant or theatre on account of the Lakshman Rekha. But besides that, work is getting managed quite well…and I am getting ample time to pursue non-work passions.
I am investing a lot of time in reading books. I just finished reading Carlisle’s ‘The Acquirer’s Multiple’, a book on stock market investing philosophies and frameworks, and another by Hector Garcie on ‘Ikigai’, a book about having purpose to life, and healthy living. Right now I am reading ‘1% Windfall’ by Rafi Mohammed. I am also enrolling at the Buffet Online School to understand investing in more detail. Besides reading, I am spending about half hour every day listening to a spiritual discourse on ‘Srimad Bhagavatam’. Once that gets over, next on my list is ‘The Bhagavat Gita’. While I have read both these books earlier, each time someone narrates it to you, it seems to give you a new perspective.
Yoga and my regular walks continue, and at least one of these two, happen every day. I have also been playing chess with my son. The last time I played chess must have been with my Dad, some 30 years ago. Every now and then, my son manages to drag me into a game of chess. While I like to watch movies, I prefer to watch them in a theatre. I find myself very impatient watching a movie or a TV series on the small screen. I also like poetry and have read ‘Rashmirathi’ by Ramdhari Singh Dinkar and have heard the poem on YouTube (the entire poem runs into about 3 hours of listening time). I have heard it a few times in the past one month. The poem glorifies the character of Karna from the Mahabharat. Very inspiring and a very powerful recital.
And of course, the icing on the cake has been music. I have been listening to music, and I am also working on my bathroom singing skills. Nothing brings more joy to the heart or makes one feel relaxed as a nice soothing song…..”Sangeet man ko pankh lagaye, Geeton se rimzhim ras barsaye”. I have been listening to different varieties of music, and have even tried my hand at karaoke singing. I have regular karaoke singing sessions with friends (over Zoom) and with the family at home. And of course, I have also recorded a few songs! If only I could continue with the delusion that I can sing well…
(The author is Joint CEO, Mirum)