Speaking of Orkut, one of the largest social networking site in the world, with peers and acquaintances literally going gaga over it, there has been little perpetration to stem its ever expanding network. It seems diabolically taboo to not find a new member of one’s kinship listed in its database. Indeed, just after the 9th grade had started, a girl had come over to my bench while I had been busy wiping my nose after an attack of common cold had gone awry and had left me feeling teary eyed and sensitive. She had said, almost nonchalantly, “Hey Sourabh, I want to add you as a friend in Orkut. What’s your Gmail ID?”
“Sorry, you would have to repeat it in Hindi, I ain’t Gujarati.”
“Ha Ha. Very funny. You have an Orkut ID don’t you?” said she, a smirk coming over her face.
“What’s that?” said I, feeling insecure about my quizzing prowess. A guy of my stature (I was a pretty decent quizzer in my school) not being aware of a phenomenon gripping the entire world deserved to drown himself in a kettle full of simmering, boiling water.
She proceeded to explain everything to me, including the info that I had to be 18 before I could get an ID, and that could be handled by a simple act of forgery of the date of birth. The elaboration was punctured only by the sneezes that rocked my entire anatomy and the boys in the class who would smirk at me whenever my eyes chanced to catch theirs. A simple town like Nagpur still had boys who smirked at a fellow mate who talked to a girl before marriage or an official acknowledgement of a relationship. Unbelievable though as it may sound, I would be quite perturbed by these acts.
She had finished the lecture. She stood to go, casting a final dash of chilly to the wound, “Fancy you not knowing that, Mr. Quizmaster! (Well yeah, they coined such nonsensical nicknames too)”
The acquisition of an ID was over in a matter of hours, done in the Computer Lab of the school under the pretence of making a Science project. Being a nerd had its advantages. You could bunk the class to go to the library, telling the teacher that you had an upcoming quiz, and instead peruse the MAD magazine. You could say you had prefect duties and lounge about in the lawns near the swimming pool. Everything was legitimate.
Some of the first things that I noticed after joining Orkut were the mad dash to acquire friends and scraps. The more you had, the more respect you earned. Needless to say, I fell into the stream to be swept by its waters.
Another requirement was a really good profile, befitting of an 18 year old teen. It had to be quirky, funny, ahead of its times, and adult. The word ‘fuck’ made its presence felt in every nook and cranny of an individual’s profile. Phrases like, ” I am a fucking good singer.” or ” I have a fucking good memory.” Or” I fucking hate to fuck.” (Believe me I have read it somewhere, and am pretty sure he confused the meaning of the word big time) were either indigenously made or plagiarized from another guy’s profile.
Let us shift the scenario to Delhi where I prepared for IIT amidst friends from UP and Bihar. We had some really good writers and poets from these areas (I can just imagine Shubham giving me that look when I say this) but the majority were well, just wannabes. Moreover the new trend of writing the name in fancy hieroglyphic script also caught up with friends here, so much so that I could now only recognize them by their profile photographs. There was another annoying habit of writing ‘my’ as ‘ma’ or ‘mah’, so that people now wrote ‘kiss ma ass’. I really couldn’t fathom why anyone would dream of substituting a ‘y’ for an ‘a’ even though it didn’t shorten the word, until I focused on the intonation, which really incensed me.
I had this senior in my hostel who thought that a mixture of despair and stoicism would be the ultimate magnet to draw girls towards towards his profile (the boys in the Khidki hostel were a frustrated lot, with the boy to girl ratio in FIITJEE hovering around 110:11 on an average every year, the ratio of hot girls to not so hot girls ranging from 0: 10 or 11, the number changed every year. All you attention starved ladies, hear, FIITJEE is the place for you!!).Though it is devilishly sadistic of me to do this, below you will find a transcript of his’ about me’.
“My Heart Iz COMMITTED,But Still There Is Fear.I Dont Know how she’ll respond,but still.i want to believe that i hav3e finally found my luv the wait was long and sometimes painful but still again,i m happy about it To wait 4 her,to look forward to her.To see her smile,To see her stare.Itz something that matters a lot,maybe it matters a lot,maybe it matters the most.I dnt know why Bt i cant stop LOVING HER…………………………At last she is everything i ever wanted…..my love my dreams,all d things that evr mattered 2 me.These r nt just thoughts,these r my urgs,these were d words straight frm my heart.
I dnt know if u can bt,I ur lover cant think of lyf without u
U might nt know,bt everything u do,everything abt u,gives me happiness
Smtimes,I get scared thinking that u will go away;Bt with it comes my belief that my luv is strong,&it will succeed in holding u close, close 2 my heart,my soul.
Please never ask me 2 stop loving u because because I CANT.”
A few other friends thought a sexy profile name would do it, such as ‘R@##$::::the sexxx is here!!!’. You will notice it wasn’t even sex, it was sexxx.
Though to not admit that I too, at some point in my, sorry, ‘ma’ life, had been a fultoo wannabe, would be a grave transgression. At one time my ‘the idea of a perfect date column’ had contained some serious trash about how I would take my girl out to a dinner, then take her to a secluded hill side or a cliff, and then we would sing songs because my girl would be a singer herself. Hell, I had even mentioned the songs.
Right now my Orkut profile remains unchanged, a relic of what it was in the 9th grade, except the name, about me, and the idea of a perfect date, the last of which has been left blank.