Notes & Conversations

The Notebook: Issue 11

Hi there,
Welcome to the August issue of ‘The Notebook’.
This is a list of books, movies, blog posts,
interviews, video clips and other stuff
I found interesting and feel worth sharing.
I hope you’ll like some of the stuff I am sharing.
If you have any feedback, please drop me a line…
Here it goes…
A Book Worth Sharing –
I want to gift a copy of this book to all the
people I know!
If only I had enough money!
If you want to read only one book this year,
then read, “ Ego is the Enemy”.
A Movie Worth Sharing – 
Richard Linklater took more than 12 years
to make this epic ‘coming of age’ film.
“The film director sculpts in time, Tarkovsky said,
and Linklater, with no guarantee about how his
raw material would turn out, has sculpted this
monumental study of a boy.”
Read Peter Bradshaw’s complete review here
I’ll always remember the last line of dialogue…
“. . .it’s constant, the moments, it’s just — it’s like
it’s always right now, you know?
An Idea Worth Sharing –
“By and large, your success will be the sum of
the decisions you make over your career.
The problem is it’s not easy to get better at
making decisions.
A decision journal helps you collect accurate
and honest feedback on what you were thinking
at the time you made the decision.
This feedback helps you see when you were
stupid and lucky as well as when you were
smart an unlucky.
Finally, you can get the feedback you need to
make better decisions.”
Although I have not used the journal until now,
I have found this very interesting and useful concept.
Check the complete blog post here
A Quote Worth Sharing –
– Carl Jung
Random Stuff –
Japanese architect Tadao Ando has concealed
a huge stone statue of the Buddha within a hill
covered in lavender plants at the Makomanai
Takino Cemetery in Sapporo.
It is the perfect example of “seeing is believing”.
Thanks for reading.

The Notebook: Issue 10

Hi there,
Welcome to the July issue of ‘The Notebook’.
This is a list of books, movies, blog posts,
interviews, video clips and other stuff
I found interesting and feel worth sharing.
I hope you’ll like some of the stuff I am sharing.
If you have any feedback, please drop me a line…
Here it goes…
A Book Worth Sharing –
This is the best book I have read, on cinema,
I can recommend this book to anyone.
People who are not even associated
with cinema, will find it mesmerizing.
Here’s the New York Times review,
published in 1983.
If you have not read it yet, get a copy.
A Movie Worth Sharing –
This is one of my most favourite films and
one of the best lesbian romance I have ever seen.
The film won the Palme d’Or
The actresses were also given the Palme
as a special prize.
At Cannes, the film shocked some critics
with its long and graphic sex scenes.
Kechiche dedicated the award to “the youth of France”
and the Tunisian Revolution, where “they have
the aspiration to be free, to express themselves
and love in full freedom”.
The judging panel included Steven Spielberg,
An Idea Worth Sharing –
I came across this article on Farnam Street Blog.
Here’s what it is about…
“Benjamin Graham, Warren Buffett’s mentor
and teacher, gave them a quiz…
“He gave us a quiz,” Buffett said, “A true-false quiz.
And there were all these guys who were very smart.
He told us ahead of time that half were true and
half were false.
There were 20 questions.
Most of us got less than 10 right.
If we’d marked every one true or every one false,
we would have gotten 10 right.”
“It was to illustrate a point, that the smart fellow
kind of rigs the game.
The point, if I have one, is that most of us
are amateurs but we refuse to believe it.
This is a problem because we’re often
playing the game of the professionals.
What we should do in this case,
when we’re the amateur, is play not to lose.”
A Quote Worth Sharing –
“Courage doesn’t always roar.
Sometimes courage is the quiet voice
at the end of the day whispering,
‘I will try again tomorrow.’ ”
Random Stuff –
Thanks for reading.

The Notebook: Issue 09

Hi there,
Welcome to the June issue of ‘The Notebook’.
This is a list of books, movies, blog posts,
interviews, video clips and other stuff
I found interesting and feel worth sharing.
I hope you’ll like some of the stuff I am sharing.
If you have any feedback, please drop me a line…
Here it goes…
A Book Worth Sharing –
I love Haruki Murakami.
And this is one of my favourite non-fiction books.
I have read it thrice and want to read it again.
“The book is part training diary,
part reruns of escapades undertaken at the
behest of magazines and part memoir.”
Here is an excellent interview with him
on Runners’ World magazine:
Grab the book!
A Movie Worth Sharing –
This is a stunning film by South Korean
director Lee Chang-dong.
It won the best screenplay award
at 2010 Cannes Film Festival.
Film critic Peter Bradshaw said the film is
“It is a picture of something inexpressibly gentle
and sad, something heartbreaking and
absolutely normal, but something stirred
up by a violent, alien incursion.
Something lands with an almighty splash in this
calm millpond of melancholy regret.”
Read the complete review here
An Idea Worth Sharing –
“I asked 100+ people I consider mentors-
many of them modern giants in the tech space,
what their most worthwhile investment they ever
made was, either in terms of money, time or energy.
Here are few of my favourite responses…
Invest in reading.
Naval Ravikant, co-founder and CEO of AngelList:
“Every book I read that wasn’t assigned to me or that
I didn’t read with a purpose in mind. The genuine love
for reading itself, when cultivated, is a superpower.
We live in the age of Alexandria when every book and
every piece of knowledge ever written down is a
fingertip away. The means of learning are abundant
— it’s the desire to learn that’s scarce. Cultivate that
desire by reading what you want, not what you’re ‘supposed to.”
Read the complete article here
A Quote Worth Sharing –
“I always start writing with a clean piece of paper
and a dirty mind.” —Patrick Dennis
Random Stuff –
I must thank Abhijit for showing me the article.
Jim Carry’s latest film Dark Crimes is based on
this David Grann‘s article
This is a real-life mind-blowing murder mystery.
I opened the link on my mobile and devoured
the article.
I just couldn’t move without finishing it!
Trust me, it’s completely unputdownable.
Thanks for reading.

The Notebook: Issue 08

Hi there,
Welcome to the May issue of ‘The Notebook’.
This is a list of books, movies, blog posts,
interviews, video clips and other stuff
I found interesting and feel worth sharing.
I hope you’ll like some of the stuff I am sharing.
If you have any feedback, please drop me a line…
Here it goes…
A Book Worth Sharing –
I am very curious about daily routines of authors,
filmmakers, artists, and other creative people.
While researching about it a few years ago, I came
across Mason Currey’s blog.
And then I bought the book.
This is one of my most favourite books.
A Movie Worth Sharing –
A longtime fan of Hirokazu Kore-eda,
I absolutely loved this minimalist family
drama from Japan’s most iconic filmmaker.
Glenn Kenny’s review in NYTimes says it all…
Mr. Kore-eda, whose most noteworthy family dramas
(2014), works in a quiet cinematic register, and the
slightest error in tone could upend the whole enterprise.
Slow-paced, sad, rueful and sometimes warmly funny,
“After the Storm” is one of his sturdiest, and most
sensitive, constructions.
An Idea Worth Sharing – 
Here Haruki Murakami talks about the key component
of a good novel – “Magic”.
But the “Magic” can’t work if the garage is empty!
” We are─or at least I am─equipped with this expansive
mental chest of drawers. Each drawer is packed with
memories, or information. There are big drawers
and small ones.
A few have secret compartments, where information
can be hidden. When I am writing, I can open
them, extract the material I need and add it to my story.
Their numbers are countless, but when I am focused
on my writing I know without thinking exactly which drawer
holds what and can immediately put my hands on what
I am looking for.
Memories I could never recall otherwise come naturally to me.
It’s a great feeling to enter into this elastic, unrestrained state,
as if my imagination had pulled free from my thinking mind to
function as an autonomous, independent entity.
Needless to say, for a novelist like me the information
stored in my “chest” is a rich and irreplaceable resource.
…Remember that scene in Steven Spielberg’s film E.T.
where E.T. assembles a transmitting device from
the junk he pulls out of his garage?
There’s an umbrella, a floor lamp, pots and pans,
a record player─ it’s been a long time since I saw
the movie, so I can’t recall everything, but he manages
to throw all those household items together
in such a way that the contraption works well enough
to communicate with his home planet thousands of
light years away.
I got a big kick out of that scene when I saw it in
a movie theater, but it strikes me now that putting
together a good novel is much the same thing.
The key component is not the quality of the
materials─what’s needed is magic. If that magic
is present, the most basic daily matters and
the plainest language can be turned into a device
of surprising sophistication.
First and foremost, though, is what’s packed away
in your garage.
Magic can’t work if your garage is empty.
You’ve got to stash away a lot of junk to use if and
when E.T. comes calling! “
A Quote Worth Sharing –
“When I open my laptop, I’m in the present
state of writing. All the rubbish is gone. It’s all ‘now.’
There is no past and no future.” – David Mitchell
Random Stuff –
Naval Ravikant is the CEO and Founder of AngelList
and my favourite thinker, philosopher.
And finally, here is a place where you’ll find all about
Naval Ravikant.
All the interviews, podcasts and videos in a single place.
Thanks to Noah Madden.
Bookmark this page and visit it time to time.
Here, few of his gems

“Sophisticated foods are bittersweet (wine, beer
coffee, chocolate). Addictive relationships
are cooperative and competitive.
Work becomes flow at the limits of ability.
The flavor of life is on the edge.”
“Technology is not only the thing that moves the
human race forward, but it’s the only thing
that ever has. Without technology, we’re
just monkeys playing in the dirt.”
“The fundamental delusion — there is something
out there that will make me happy and
fulfilled forever.”
“Even today, what to study and how to study it are
more important than where to study it and for
how long. The best teachers are on the Internet.
The best books are on the Internet.
The best peers are on the Internet.
The tools for learning are abundant.
It’s the desire to learn that’s scarce.”
“All the benefits in life come from compound interest — money,
relationships, habits — anything of importance.”
Thanks for reading.

The Notebook: Issue 07

Hi there,
Welcome to the April issue of ‘The Notebook’.
This is a list of books, movies, blog posts, interviews,
video clips and other stuff I found interesting
and feel worth sharing.
I hope you’ll like some of the stuff I am sharing.
If you have any feedback, please drop me a line…
Here it goes…
A Book Worth Sharing –
Yuval Noah Harari’s new book is equally fascinating
and unputdownable as was his first one, “Sapiens“.
Here’s what Bill Gates wrote in ” –
I’m still thinking about those weighty questions after finishing Homo Deus,
the provocative new book by Yuval Noah Harari.”
And ‘The Guardian’ review –
“Harari’s sometimes breathless, always compulsive
inquiry leaves us with this one:
Do yourself a favour. Read these two books…
A Movie Worth Sharing –
Immerse yourself in the films of master director Tsai Ming-.
Another tour de force…
An Idea Worth Sharing – 
Bill Cunningham was a fashion photographer for The New York Times.
His personal philosophy was:
“If you don’t take the money, it can’t tell you what to do.
That’s the key to the whole thing,”
Cunningham didn’t go to the movies, he didn’t own a television.
Until 2010, he lived in a small apartment on top of Carnegie Hall,
with no kitchen, no private restroom, sleeping in between the cabinets
 “Money is the cheapest thing. Liberty and freedom are the most expensive,” he said.
Read the Vogue article ‘Remembering Bill Cunningham’ here
And from Wikipedia
Cunningham described his philosophy regarding fashion in the documentary film
Bill Cunningham New York thus:
“The wider world that perceives fashion as sometimes a frivolity that should be
done away with in the face of social upheavals and problems that are enormous —
the point is in fact that fashion, ah, you know, in point of fact it’s the armour to
survive the reality of everyday life. I don’t think you could do away with it.
It would be like doing away with civilization.”
Most of his pictures were never sold or published.
He said: “I’m really doing this for myself. I’m stealing people’s shadows,
so I don’t feel as guilty when I don’t sell them.”
A Quote Worth Sharing –
“Crackheads hustle 4 days straight to get a rock.
No sleep or food.
You ever work that hard for something?
Don’t get outworked by a crackhead” – @EdLatimore 
Random Stuff –
Ben McCarthy’s ‘Tweetstorm’ on Will Durant’s THE LESSONS OF HISTORY:
On themes and lessons observed from 5,000 years of world history.
“Creative minds can be immortal.
Homer has more readers now than in his own day and land.
The Greek poets and philosophers are in every library and college.
This selective survival of creative minds is the most real
and beneficent of immortalities.”
Thanks for reading.

The Notebook: Issue 06

Hi there,
I hope this email finds you happy and healthy in 2018.
I’ve been pretty busy these last three months and I have missed my monthly newsletter ( Few of my friends actually called me up for this! And I really didn’t expect that! ).
I am really sorry about it.
I’ll try to be consistent from now on.
Now, on to this week’s newsletter…
I am calling my newsletter: “The Notebook”.
Because, I love taking notes and this is like a personal notebook of mine where I collect books, movies, blog posts, interviews, video clips and other stuff I find interesting and feel worth sharing.
I hope you’ll like some of the ‘notes’ I am sharing.
If you have any feedback, please drop me a line…
A Book Worth Sharing –
I have recently read this wonderful novel The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet by David Mitchell, author of Cloud Atlas.
It is a historical novel set during the late 18th century Japan.
It tells the story of a Dutch clerk Jacob de Zoet’s love for a Japanese midwife Orito, who is abducted by a sinister mountain temple cult.
And it is true!
When is the last time I have read such an extraordinary novel?
A Movie Worth Sharing –
It is a coming of age story of a 15 years old British girl Mia Williams who lives with her single mother, Joanne.
It won the jury prize at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival. It also won the 2010 BAFTA for Best British Film.
One line from film critic Peter Bradshaw’s review:
“Having now watched Fish Tank a second time, I am more exhilarated than ever by Arnold’s idealism, and in a movie marketplace where so much is vapidly cynical, this is a breath of fresh air.”
An Idea Worth Sharing – 
Philosophers and mystics have long contemplated the disconcerting notion that the fixed self is an illusion.
Neuroscientists now think they can prove it or, at least, help us glimpse this truth with some help from psilocybin, the psychoactive property in magic mushrooms.
Our awareness of existence—the ability to distinguish between the self and others—is created by the brain, neuroscientist Anil Seth explains in his TED talk, “Your brain hallucinates consciousness.”
He says, “Right now, billions of neurons in your brain are working together to generate a conscious experience—and not just any conscious experience, your experience of the world around you and of yourself within it.”
Yet when you are unconscious, you continue to exist without perceiving your own presence.
You cease to participate in reality but continue to live. When roused back into consciousness, you lack a narrative to explain the time away.
The narrative of the story that seems to be your life is just a function of your brain’s mechanisms, not who you really are.
Still, the hallucination of consciousness is one we’re all having in tandem.
When we agree about our hallucinations, we call it “reality,” according to Seth.
In this agreed-upon reality, we are each separate individuals, whose stories begin with our births and end with our deaths.
But there are other ways to experience reality, which you may have already glimpsed, even if only fleetingly.
Sometimes our consciousness shifts.
The boundaries of the self, seem to become less rigid and we commune with another person or thing, as can happen during drug-induced epiphanies, sure—but can also happen when people fall in love, meditate, go out in nature, or experience a great meeting of minds.
In The Book (pdf), philosopher Alan Watts writes that we aren’t individuals existing in lonely bodies.
We’re a flowing segment in the continuous line of life.
He and others—mystics, monkspoets (pdf), and philosophers from numerous traditions—argue that people are sad and hostile because we live with a false sense of separation from one another and the rest of the world.
“This feeling of being lonely and very temporary visitors in the universe is in flat contradiction to everything known about man (and all other living organisms) in the sciences,” Watts wrote in The Book.
“We do not ‘come into’ this world; we come out of it, as leaves from a tree.”
Read this fascinating article here
A Quote Worth Sharing –
“A fit body, a calm mind, a house full of love. These things cannot be bought – they must be earned.” – @naval
Random Stuff –
In this brilliant interview, Quentin Tarantino clears all the doubts.
Quentin Tarantino talks about spitting in Uma Thurman’s face and choking her with a chain during the shooting of “Kill Bill” and Harvey Weinstein affair.
Don’t miss it…
Thanks for reading.

The Notebook: Issue 05

Hi there,
The email is a list of books, movies, blog posts, interviews, video clips and other stuff I found interesting and feel worth sharing.
I hope you’ll like some of the stuff I am sharing.
Please don’t hesitate to give me your feedback.
Here it goes…
A Book Worth Sharing –
I have recently read this crime fiction novel ” Six Four ” by Hideo Yokoyama.
The Novel is gripping and very different from normal whodunnits.
It reads more like literary fiction rather than crime fiction.
A masterpiece.
The Guardian ends the review with this sentence… ” There’s much talk these days of binge viewing; here is a binge read.”
A Movie Worth Sharing –
Hong Sang-soo is one of my most favourite film directors.
There’s one very interesting thing about his films…
His movies are, mostly on characters who are filmmakers or film professors.
I just love his films. Maybe because I can relate to his protagonists so much!
Don’t miss this one.
Here’s the trailer
An Idea Worth Sharing – 
In a shocking but beautiful article writer Ozan Varol explains why  “Facts Don’t Change People’s Minds.” and what can be done about it…
Here are some excerpts…
“The mind doesn’t follow the facts. Facts, as John Adams put it, are stubborn things, but our minds are even more stubborn.
As a result of the well-documented confirmation bias, we tend to undervalue evidence that contradicts our beliefs and overvalue evidence that confirms them.
We filter out inconvenient truths and arguments on the opposing side. As a result, our opinions solidify, and it becomes increasingly harder to disrupt established patterns of thinking.
Humans operate on different frequencies. If someone disagrees with you, it’s not because they’re wrong, and you’re right. It’s because they believe something that you don’t believe.
When your beliefs are entwined with your identity, changing your mind means changing your identity. That’s a really hard sell.
A possible solution, and one that I’ve adopted in my own  is to put a healthy separation between you and the products of you. I changed my vocabulary to reflect this mental shift. At conferences, instead of saying, “In this paper, I  .,” I began to say “This paper argues . . .”
This subtle verbal tweak tricked my mind into thinking that my arguments and me were not one and the same. Obviously, I was the one who came up with these arguments, but once they were out of my body, they took a life of their own. They became separate, abstract objects that I could view with some objectivity.
It was no longer personal. It was simply a hypothesis proven wrong.
We live in a perpetual echo chamber. We friend people like us on Facebook. We follow people like us on Twitter. We read the news outlets that are on the same political frequency as us.
This means our opinions aren’t being stress tested nearly as frequently as they should.
Make a point to befriend people who disagree with you. Expose yourself to environments where your opinions can be challenged, as uncomfortable and awkward as that might be.
Marc Andreessen has a saying that I love: “Strong beliefs, loosely held.”
Strongly believe in an idea, but be willing to change your opinion if the facts show otherwise.”
Read the complete article here
A Quote Worth Sharing –
“Money can only buy you some of your own time, but it can buy you a near limitless amount of the time of other people” – Michael
Random Stuff –
This is the most beautiful village I have seen in my life.
It’s difficult to believe that such place exists on earth!
It’s truly magical!
It’s like something out of a fairytale!
Thanks for reading.