A lot of people ask me one question: How did you meet Alok?!
It’s a funny story; ‘coz we never met for the longest time ever – like for 14 months after becoming good friends. [For those who don’t know, I’m not based in Mumbai.] In the meanwhile, I had already become his editor and started helping him run trhs.
So finally after 4 odd years I’m sharing how I became friends with Alok. I would like to think this story is sheer Bloody #GoodLuck (and a bit of destiny 🙂 )
Flashback. Circa late November 2010.
One morning, while I was going through afaqs! – a website all advertising professionals go through every single day; I came across their blog section. This dude in a blue suit and a colourful shirt was staring at me. His name didn’t sound familiar to me (I was away from the country for 3-4 years, plus had a baby in between so wasn’t quite cued on the Indian startup scenario, even though “starting up” was the new sexy).
“The Lyrics from ‘Dreams’ by Fleetwood Mac enveloped the air:
Thunder only happens when it’s raining
Players only love you when they’re playing
Have you any dreams you’d like to sell”
Now, having grown up in a small town, not many people I had met in India had heard of Fleetwood Mac – a popular rock band of the 70’s. My elder sister (and only sibling) was a teen in the late 70’s and her music choices influenced me a great deal. Fleetwood Mac was a cassette she used to play very often.
This guy got me curious. I went to his blog rodinhood.com and started reading more.
Please tell me who I am…. (from the ‘Logical Song’)
‘The Ride’ caught my eye and sure enough, when I read it I came across these 2 paras that stunned me!
Don’t stop, thinking about tomorrow, Don’t stop, it’ll soon be here,
It’ll be, better than before,
Yesterday’s gone, yesterday’s gone.”
“There was a meditative quiet in the Cab. Supertramp’s ‘Logical Song’ was playing:
There are times when all the world’s asleep,
the questions run too deep
for such a simple man.”
I blinked a couple of times in disbelief.
‘Comfortably Numb’ happens to be my fav Pink Floyd song.
‘Don’t’ stop thinking about tomorrow’ has been played and sung in my house thousands of times.
BUT what really freaked me out, was Supertramp’s ‘Logical Song’. Their superhit album, ‘Breakfast in America’ was their ONLY album my sister had. And I knew every lyric of every song!!
How did this dude know all of my old fav songs??!!
I googled him and when I read contests2win – a bell rang immediately!! I distinctly remember telling my husband, “Hey remember that guy who started contests2win? Well he blogs on afaqs. Check him out (knowing that afaqs would be one of the windows open on his laptop too!). Cool stuff.”
I had no idea what Venture Capital was. The dude kept referring to moneybags. And I sorta just went with the flow.
I subscribed to his blogs. They started coming in my inbox and I got hooked.
Somewhere on the site I noticed “Like my Business Page to get updates via Facebook”. In those days I used FB for two main reasons: To share my toddler’s pix with my friends. And to co-ordinate my school reunion.
So I liked Alok’s Business Page (doesn’t exist anymore) on Jan 1, 2011. I remember telling myself a nice day to like someone’s page! Imagine!!
In a week or so I received a facebook friend request from Alok Rodinhood Kejriwal….!
Now, I honestly thought he had some app to do that. Till then, I had only very very close friends, school friends and family connected with me on fb. No strangers. Let alone a startup celeb!
I thought about it for a couple of days (silly me!) and then I said, what the heck?! And accepted his friend request.
People who know me, know that I still don’t add strangers on my fb :). That day, I virtually befriended my first stranger and had absolutely no idea how that would change my professional life!
The Hyderabad Connection…
For the next few months I never bothered reading Alok’s status updates. I just read his blogs. Even shared a few. Till one day there was this mention of one Vijay Marur. Surely enough I had heard of him since I had worked in Hyderabad for a year.
That was the first time I commented on one of Alok’s statuses. And that was the beginning of our friendship… !
After that we would talk about all the music we listened to while growing up – Neil Diamond, Billy Joel, Blondie, Donna Summer, Barry Manilow. [Even now, when I catch a ride with Alok in Mumbai, he plays this game in the car (while Yadav his driver is driving, of course), “Let’s see which song comes up for you on my playlist…!” or “Bet you don’t know who’s sung this song!” 🙂 ]
Over the months, we’d talk about the movies we’d like or about wines – Sauvignon Blanc in particular. He’d write and post something and I’d give him my instant candid feedback.
But never in my wildest dreams had I thought becoming fb friends with Alok would ever make me look at each tomorrow differently. I mean, since Dec 2011, the first thing I think of each morning is, what’s happening on therodinhoods….?!
How I became his editor and eventually co-founder would be another #goodluck story.
I guess I’ll save that for another day…
Would love to hear your #goodluck story too!
ps: there are a few social media lessons (and perhaps lessons for life?!) here – haven’t listed them down ‘coz i wanted this to be a simple story 🙂
Dedicated to Friendship!
by posting your #goodluck story on trhs!