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Friday, January 20, 2012

Reliving a few moments of the past-I

The debates on the pros and cons of social networking are never going to stop. I was introduced to this concept by the mighty SDM. He won the KVPY scholarship in 2004. And as a part of the scholarship scheme went to do a project at one of the IITs. When he came back, he returned wide-eyed (being the only one in contact with real IITians) with the knowledge of Orkut, supposedly the next coolest thing. One fine evening he says, "Do you do social networking?" Me being the proud puppy then promptly say, "Nope". But I refuse to divulge anymore lest he knows that until that day I haven't even heard those words together. A few days letter I find his mail inviting me to Orkut. It didn't take much time after that to engage in the well-known battle of "who's got more scraps in their scrapbook". And orkut being the place where one could send friend request to girls and actually talk to them normally, quickly it became the favourite past time. The talking to the girl thing is important because even though we studied at a co-educational school, that talking to a girl thing never really happened. Girls weren't friends of the boys, except for the cases of a few studs who turned out to be duds later in life (but that's another issue). For us nerds however, who pretended to be brahmacharis at school, so as to avoid being ridiculed by other similar pretenders, Orkut was the cool multiplex to hang out at, meet girls and get the testosterone flowing just thinking about the fact that, "Oh yeah. I am so cool. I am talking to a girl right now". Never mind the fact that everything's in the virtual world.

Then the most uncool thing happened. We went to college. Being an IITian gave us the feeling that now that we are the best of the best, the smartest of the people, we won't have to chase THEM. They will chase us. It never happened. Though the occasional congrats and the regular praise kept coming in, it finally became too awkward to even reply because after a year or so everybody had landed rather badly on the real grounds. The hope of finding the best looking girlfriend never died though. We had resorted to sending friend requests in orkut to random girls of nearby locations, and once we had struck a conversation (read scrapping) we continued that to our newly discovered gtalk. Sometime the lucky ones found it was possible to continue the conversation on phones. The result was catastrophic in certain cases. I remember a particular case vividly. There was one girl (let her remain unnamed) who somehow got into the friendlist of everybody in our wing in first year (Mostly the guys added her and in a few cases she added the guys). All the guys were excited about her, never mind the fact that nobody knew her or seen her. (Those days indian girls from small towns never posted their photos). But everywhere ranging from the mess-table to the DC main chat was abuzz with her. Finally, I don't know exactly how it happened, but three of my friends ended up meeting her at a nearby place (a previously arranged rendezvous). One had a camera and we had our first look at the photos. Our reactions were summarized by one fellow who promptly said, "emma e to kajer mashi re!" (looks like the maid). So that put an end to things there..............except I never actually stopped replying to her scraps. But I didn't have a personal computer then. So being the addict that I was I used my neighbour's machine. And one day the inevitable happened. I forgot to logout. My neighbour julie invited a few others to defile my account and fulfill his lifelong desire of having a proper no holds barred sex-chat with the girl through my account. (Yes, to my surprise she responded. Till then I thought sex was only pleasurable for men in India. For women it was just the thing to do to reproduce and get it over with. And no amount hollywood movies would change the notion, because it was hollywood. Even now I just can't believe that is entirely false). So when I found out about all that, it put an end to my adventures in orkut temporarily. No harm in recognizing that I was immature to be embarrassed enough to remove her from my friendlist.

In the meantime the smarter guys around me had somehow already acquired girlfriends. And suddenly the rest of us were finding the old Murphy's law coming true, "All the good ones are taken". Naive that we were we decided to wait and watch, for we were sure or degrees would attract the best and the brightest of the flock. However we were wrong. Now even the bad ones were taken and none were left. Suddenly I was finding even the guy who could hardly utter one sentence in a group was chatting animatedly on his phone through the night. Even though the chats were highly audible and entertaining ("How do you find the moon tonight?" or "I forgot to wish you good night yesterday") they quickly got irritating.

Soon that chapter was ignored and life went on. Though the idea never really died. Then with a bang arrived Facebook..............Lets continue the story some other time. I am feeling way too tired to type anymore........Too many papers to write

PS: Excuse the English please
PPS: Because this post is only for me...a legible photograph of a long gone time.

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