Friday, June 12, 2009

Lightning Strikes Everyday

For the first time since I started this blog, I thought 'why not mention this blog's birthday?'. When actress 'Jil jil rani' can celeberate the birthday of her 'naikutti' I guess this blog's birthday should be accorded some respect. Its been quite a ride - these 5 years. We've shared some laughs, some controversies, made friends, irritated quite a few people, nakkal adichified everybody you can think of and in general behaved like a 5-year-old (which is very precocious because the blog just turned 5). Looking back it all started on a Friday afternoon on June 11th. I always look back at that phase with some fondness. Things were changing rapidly then. Doing life changing stuff or going after something doesn't happen as often as we think it does. So that time was exciting. I was buried in b-school essays + IIM prep + a few other things. And was caught as a slave in a project that felt like a mental hospital at times. Then I got engaged.

So one afternoon I had a conversation with a colleague that resembled something like this.

A conversation I'd have several times with several different people. I was especially pissed off about the cruelty of the 400 word limit on Harvard essays. I was so freaking bummed with the conciseness requirement of all the b-school essays that my night's sleep was consumed by an infinite loop of dreams where I was optimizing sentences in a 'olai chuvadi'. So the conversation then led to several other opinions about my dissatisfaction with life in general and the disagreements that I had with people who inhabited it. We talked about the general distrust over people who claimed to be "experts" and kept ridiculing one particular guy who smugly kept predicting the future (of the project). "Start a blog. You are PGW fan. Cut and paste shit from his novels" said this colleague. I knew what a blog was and followed some blogs. But I left saying "no dude". My virtual world interaction ended with 'carnatic raagas in film music' or the 'ARR Vs IR' section of tfm forums.

So later that evening I thought about it and in peak 'raahugalam' started this blog. I was tired of 400 word limits, experts, and 'i will tell you how to $1Million in stocks' guides. I wanted a place where I could just run amok. Some people drank alcohol, some smoked cigarettes, some chewed bubble gums and I wrote a blog. It wasn't something I leaned on but it was an excellent distraction from the ridiculousness I had to encounter everyday. So for the first few years the blog was a hiding place where I could write about stuff that had nothing to do with the main thing going on in my life at that time. Later it became a test-bed to try out new pet opinions and theories. Sometimes it served to ventilate. But it wasn't hard to write these posts. I finished most posts in about 20 minutes. Didn't think much about it later. I guess you don't need a lot of time to state the obvious.

5 years have gone by and I still wonder about the title I chose that Friday evening. In case you forgot, I am still thinking about this (many many years before this movie got released mind you). Like when I was all set to submit my Harvard application a few hours before deadline and the internet stopped working once I hit submit - forever. Or like last week where almost a year after the previous attempt, I tried to print out some page recently. It was just two pages, I didn't need them in a hurry and they were unimportant - so I thought the gods would not strike me down for this. 2 hours later it became an ego contest and I had clicked the print out dialog box for the 1000th time. Everybody around me came to the printer, collected their papers and left. It was just disgusting.

How does an odd person communicate an oddity to the outside world - especially if it is to do with little insignificant things? The first time I mentioned all my little idiosyncrasies, fears and doubts to my roommates in TOSU (if Major Major Mohandass was still lurking around he would not find the "what if the plane fell into the ocean but you find yourself alive and unable to swim" or "who will pay for the student loan then" question funny now) they thought I should be put under observation. Maybe they are right. Maybe not. I can tell you the exact day I first began to realized this power of randomness over me. Things that I don't have control over scare me slightly but what scares me the most are (a) things that I think I control but I really don't (never did) (b) Things that are important to my life but I am not even aware it is important (I don't know what I don't know) (c) Things I should be controlling (which every body else can control easily) but I cannot. I continue to live under the fear that something completely random or unexpected would happen and screw me out of happiness.

And I tell you every time something has gone wrong it has gone wrong because of "safe bets". From job interviews, stock quotes, exams, applications, and networking events things that people (the idiots) have advised me as "good options" "high percentage play" or "safe option" have all gone wrong. I have lost trust in anybody who claims to know stuff. Any stuff. I really have lost that trust. Probably that is why I look at these Obama (or any political person) worshipping bloggers with cynicism. Because people really don't know what he (or anybody else) is even planning to do or capable of doing.

Forget bloggers - they are silly people. Take any person expressing an opinion with conviction. The conviction of his opinion is inversely proportional to the number of questions you ask that drill down to the details of that opinion. Every time someone says things like "I am real estate agent so I know current prices will increase in the future" - "I am an ICICI bank mutual fund investor I can double your money in 3 years" "i am trader so I can help you with stocks" or "I am an travel agent I can help you book tickets to India" - I think they are criminals looking to cheat me. I have stopped booking tickets to India. I normally am not present in the same room when someone is booking my ticket to India.

They say that lightning never strikes a man twice. Apparently the probability of that happening is very low. They are wrong. Did I ever tell you I get struck by lightning everyday? Which is why I wonder. About randomness and about life. And so view life from a confused perspective of an outsider. And hopefully this confusion has been clearly reflected in this blog.


R said...


rads said...

am a lil upset that am made to retype my long comment :|

Okay, here we go.
Lovely post Hawkeye. I can totally relate to the need to have one's own space to write and get away, i suppose I started it for that reason and now I am close to 4 good years and frankly, can't believe I've stuck it out this long!

continue to live under the fear that something completely random or unexpected would happen and screw me out of happiness.
That's a universal individual fear, not specially affecting you u know. No, not robbing you of your thunder (u own the lightning anyway) but that's how Plan B's came into existence. Ask any boy scout :-)

Congratulations and save this post. :)

ps: since u the carnatic music person, please could you drop by and throw some light on Yaman? Thanks! :)

vicky said...

its funny how you mention ' i got engaged'

Everytime I read your blog I had a feeling this guy is little bit older(wiser). But now I think you are probably 30ish. About being wise...lets wait and watch.

Anonymous said...

hello... hapi blogging... have a nice day! just visiting here....

Gradwolf said...

That was deep. Lol, I had to read a few lines again. The thing is, your blog IS controversial. Some of your opinions are so extreme that it pisses off ppl very very easily. But I still read this blog for the quality of writing. For your reasoning skills. And hope it continues for long!


MLC said...

iniya ayindhaavadhu pirandhanaal vaazhthukkal, hawkie!

btw, i thot mrs. hawkie was jst preg and u 'sort of'(!) cnfmd it .. aana prev post le yaaro kozhandhai porandhaachi-ngra maadhiri sonnaangaley? ivvalo seekiramaava:-0? .. thalai suththudhu:-(..

sriki123 said...

wow... 5 years... thats amazing :) i started blogging only after i saw you blogging, used my blogs for a childish purpose ( when i look back , i laugh like hell on what i wrote ) and deleted it completely after 100 posts :)

even i did not have time to blog , whichever part of the world i am in , i keep following your blog regularly and its your sense of humour and the depth of thoughts that bring me back here often.

well , as the comfort grows in proportion with technology , i have rss feeds now and whenever you write , i just probably am one of those quick visitors to your blogs.

June 13th is the day that i dont like at all... but somehow today is a different day as i keep hearing good news and keep feeling more nostalgic than ever.

wish your blog completes 100 more years.

Anonymous said...

haakhai...u the man!

vaalga baaradham. vaalga haakhai'in blaag!

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on surviving 5 Ligtning years and on writing 5 light years of lines.

Your blog proved to me that I can read long posts and be composed through a lot poking and tickling.



Hawkeye said...


i think I did an ISD call from bangalore to Dallas to talk to you when the internet stopped working on HBS due date. I ranted kept the phone down, after an hour banged the laptop on the wall and headed to work (1 hr drive) at 1 AM.

Anonymous said...

Sorry Hawkeye, you mistook me as some Ramesh you know. This is the one that occasionally leaves a comment on your blog altough reads all your posts.

Hope you do not regret about what happened that day and Ross provided you with what you need.

Ramesh said...

I should say you write funny and cool!

So you landing in Ross, is Destiny?

Barath Badri, I think I have read some of your articles in "The Hindu".

Ramesh said...

Also, gimme one thing straight, does IIM degree stand second to Harvard / Stanford / UMich / MIT / UPenn ?

Valli Doll said...

Reading your blog is a way of life! I couldnt do without you :-)

maxdavinci said...

may there be many more!

mine completed 5 yrs as well this year. It sure feels good to have come a long way.

Nice to see your earlier posts...

Ram said...

Congratulations Hawk!!!

Can't believe that it has only been 5 years since I have been tuning in every day. Many times, I'd get caught at the workplace, looking like a freak, bursting out with laughter at some posts and at other times, I'd sneak in to the laptop, in the middle of the night to get some midnight masala!

Overall, it has been an exceptional collection of great diversity, profound insight, passion and rip roaring entertainment!

Here's to several 1/2 decades more of lightnings that should strike everyday!


Hawkeye said...





my gripe was about needing to have a plan b when i had no plan of doing anything at all.

not an expert in carnatic music by any means. my participation was limited to mugging up raagas and doing pattern recognition.




thanks and that is good feedback.


the baby post is in draft stage. too lazy to put my thoughts into words on that. I do have 10 months of accumulated thoughts that are waiting to burst out. so will write about it.


thanks dude. we should catch up. Lets us email.


thanks for your comments. apologize for dialing wrong number. IIM Vs US B-schools has been handled in this blog before.


first of all WB to seattle. Thanks for the nice words.


thanks. didnt know you were around for 5 years too.


mikka nandri hai. thanks.

Suvarna said...

I have been reading this blog for the last 2 years now! Mostly for laughs,brains,insights,and, i swear,its randomness! Wish you post many many many 5 year celebration posts like this :)