One productivity hack I have read the most often is just to get started. Not to wait for inspiration or motivation. Not to procrastinate. Even with writing, or any art form, many often allude to the importance of blank canvas.

Stare at the page; one’s mind will soon start filling it up with colours. Or words, in my case.

It has worked for me, too, for the last few weeks. The posts eventually happen when I make myself available in front of the laptop. With me travelling and visiting my cousins for the last few days, no surprise they didn’t.

It was a welcome and much-needed break. I visited Mumbai, a place that I have a love-hate relationship with.

On the one hand, I love spending time with my cousins. The togetherness lends me a reset when I can forget all the stress and burdens of daily #life. Over the food we love and the memories that we chatter about. As time passes, the animated environment gives way to moments of real connection. As individuals find corners where they catch up on others' lives, I get surrounded by mumbles. But soon, as someone invariably gets hungry, everyone regroups, and the surroundings get filled with laughter again. This cycle continues throughout the day and late into the night.

Nothing’s more comforting than spending time with people you bond with.

But then I hate Mumbai when I need to visit the city. It’s too lively for my liking. Everyone’s moving too fast. Every place is too crowded. No one has time to pause. And if I do, I face a lot of glares from the Mumbaikars. This includes my cousins too. Why the hell will you do that - stop?

Some cities want you to pause and absorb their essence. Mumbai is not that city. It wants, needs you to match up with its speed. I struggle to do that. And I struggled this time, too. I returned home exhausted, drenched with the pressure of meeting the city’s high lifestyle standards.

As I lay tired in bed, there was a moment when I attempted to push myself to publish something. Anything. But I have already conceded that this place won’t follow a schedule. This place isn’t a journal that I need to update daily. This place isn’t a newsletter that needs to stick to a schedule. This place is my blank canvas.