Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Making Friendships

Around 17 years from now, if my daughter or adopted daughter were to ask me to tell her a bedtime story, assuming it would have to be technology related(because they were probably programmed into believing so-- am I getting too Aldous Huxley?) it would go something like this...

Around 17 years ago when the world was still a place you could breathe in without asking for permission and I was just getting over the depression of turning 17, strange things started happening. Firstly, I became a girl, then Priyanka( please refer to as "the hand") got drunk and told everyone around her how even though most people presumed otherwise, people around her were "good people", Sonali became visible and Shweta baked chocolate bread. It was around this time that the world woke up to something even more terrifying.. something that would change the very basis of our daily existence...No it wasn't Himesh Reshammiya's nose or Liz Hurley's hideous pink saris... it had a new fancy Turkish name. People began calling it ORKUT.

One fine morning, some computer developer's girlfriend( his first one in the 35 years of his existence) decided he was boring( snigger) and left him. He was Turkish and very sex deprived and wanted to find himself a friend. So he went online, and instead of going on a "find a friend" site suddenly, had a brainwave and decided to create a webpage so that he could find himself a girl. We all know how innovative computer programmers are, so he happily called it by his first name and thus was born Orkut.

Orkut, although not successful at first, soon found himself a girl. Realising that fellow computer developers would probably go through the same agony and pain he decided to open it to a public forum.

Then Bangalore entered the Oxford Dictionary and software developers in India( the most frustrated kind) discovered it. And they told their friends and they told theirs and soon Sector V got to it. Then one day, innocent and uninformed about the ways of the world, I opened my inbox to find an invitation from a cousin of mine. Intrigued, I joined. I told my friends and invited them too, not realising what I had got myself into. For the first two months, I interacted with few friends, scrapped myself on my own scrapbook four times before being told it wasn't the way to go, and generally kept myself happy. I discovered my school community and although anything but patriotic about it, I joined it for the simple reason of being connected in someway to the world around me. My South Korean cousin told me to put up a photgraph of mine and update my profile and seeing Priyanka around me doing so every couple of weeks I went along and did it .

Then one night, it happened. Somebody scrapped me with words that have since scarred me for life "Hi wanna "make friendship" with me?". Beside this,a tiny profile picture with a guy with a pair of sunglasses. Creeped out and convinced that I must have done something terribly wrong I closed the website with the hope that this post would have magically been erased. Instead, the next day I found the man again staring at me through the creepy "Raye band' sunglasses. Remember that Japanese horror film "The Ring" where you watch some video and as soon as you finish it, someone calls you saying "You'll die in seven days" and the way your throat just chokes up and you realise your vocal chords have just disappeared, yup, the same happened to me except I felt I didn't even have that much time left. But after seven days of living in mortal fear and watching every footstep of mine I chanced upon a friend's profile to find the same identical message on four people's scrapbook. It was then that I realised that this phrase had pervaded so far into the average Indian conscience that it had become deadly and incurable. So much so that the people afflicted with this disease aren't even aware that they have it.

"Make friendship" is a serious disease. It makes especially Indian males to assume that " make friendship" constitutes a comprehensible English phrase and means " be friends". But the question for most people who aren't afflicted by it is how is it possible to make friendship: it most certainly isn't play dough.

But Mr Buyokutten had more surprises in store for me. He informed me that not only do creepy guy with violently Red shirts and pants(and not all of them are called Nishil Gorsia), scrap you, they actually ask you to be their friends and when they you generally reject them, "make friendship" compels them to somehow assume that you are playing hard to get and they keep asking you to be their bestest friends. "Make friendship", due to evolution of the male species, also changes its manifestations. When you don't respond directly to "make friendship" requests, innovative scraps are also sent. In the form of "although i am a stranger to you, if you add me and get to know me we won't be strangers any more." A few other variations to detect Make Friendship viruses....

a)" Nobody knows each other when they see each other for the first time. Yet, if you don't make the effort you wont know what you might have missed."

b) " I know you are not eighteen.. tell me the truth"

c) " If you were a Butterfly you would be the Empress butterfly, if you were a flower you would be a Rose..."( Barf)

d) Friendship messages expanding each letter of friendship say F for faithful R for Responsible blah blah.

e) Your profile is very interesting and we have the same tastes( I can almost see the creepy wide toothed 35 year old paedophile grin)

Then of course there are people, like me, who have not been afflicted by this disease but have been afflicted by another one...obsessive compulsive disorder to reply to scraps from people I know and inspite of the number of Make Friendships increasing by the hour I have been compelled to reply to these scraps. I know there is an invisible force tugging at me everywhich way and all though my fingers tire of typing H and I's on the keyboard, quite magically I do.

I profess my love for Johnny Depp and Ralph Fiennes publicly and laugh my arse off at Anish Agarwals (with About Mes as diverse as I am a smart boy..). I dont get asked out publicly on my scrapbook and although each Make Friendship is creepy as the next and my throat still dries up at the sight of people who think display pics with a middle finger sign or Salman Khan makes them cool, sorry "kewl'( another watch out for Make Friendships), I may surprise myself and have some fun.

I hope for my sake, my daughter has a chance for all that. Come on, where's the fun if you dont get afflicted once in a while.

P.S. this does not give creepy Make Friendships the right to contact me.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

The Importance of Being Idle

Now cows have it easy. All they have to do is show up at an appointed time... which in case they forget everyone around them knows about. There are no hassles, no retakes and definitely no dissatisfaction report filed so as to speak of. A few may insist on dressing up----getting an Elvis Hairdo or even using Orbit White but that is as far as a cow will go to impressive its prospective partner. And within a matter of months you have a healthy calf right under ur nose. Quite a convenient arrangement, right?

But human beings as a race love and thrive on complications. A simple "hi" gets get convoluted to Hello, nice to see you, asphyxiating hugs, we haven't met in such a long time blah blah blah. So mating, rather in human-like sophisticated terminology, "courtship" is a long winded, intensely complicating, morally wronged, vague and arduous process. They say technology has made the world a smaller place. They obviously haven't come across a huge section of the human population, especially in this little hamlet called Calcutta.
It all starts on a bright sunny morning when most of the adolescent population is asleep( owing to night long conferences with people they don't know yet happily engage in nonsensical conversation with), when suddenly someone's phone rings.
Hesitantly and quite reluctantly and after 15 minutes of other worldly bantering the caller says something that will alter the lives of an odd 128 people forever( more if you are Shweta Sengupta Sharma): "Listen I like someone"
Steps to be followed after this are of the following kinds:--
a) If the person in the conversation is closely or directly connected with the object of affection then the caller must leave the sentence hanging in mid air amidst a shroud of suspense which will, no doubt infuriate the other person and is typically designed to arouse his/her curiousity for a heightened period of time.
b) if the person in conversation is not directly involved, then the caller will confide in him/her and ask for the caller to somehow through a very complicated network arrange for some sort of clandestine meeting(which in all eventuality more than 20 people will know about)
c) if the caller is really desperate or an old style romantic(rarity) he/she will post a love letter on a public forum( case in point Priyanka Kumar, who recently had to experience the embarrassment of being asked out on Orkut)
lets deal with person A first
After 7 days of futile code breaking, the person will finally reveal the crush in concern(which in many cases may have moved from the original interest to someone totally new). This can incite these kinds of behaviour.
1) Most often blatant and unabashed ridiculing-unending laughter sessions and calling up to inform a few hundred other people who will react in the same way until finally it will reach the person in concern by which time the originally afflicted by love may have lost concern in the girl/guy. But the ridiculing will not stop here--will continue months on end resulting in even years of oppression.
2) the person will be actually concerned and will help the guy get the girl or vice versa.
3) if the person you are confiding in, secretly is in love with you and if he/she at heart is not a bad person(well what are the chances of that) then he or she will do all in their power to secure the love interest.
4) if you belong to LMG you will open a fan club(something on the likes of Pink Bunny) where all the women will be given training by senior sluts on hiking the skirt up, laughing at the right moment, cheering on your man if he is a stud.
From now on, if your friend is genuinely interested in your welfare(expecting compensation in the form of a few Marlboros for every successful more- than- five -minute- private conversation you engage in) you will be forced to accompany unknown people to either CCD or some coffee joint where you will be left alone to talk to each other( Still a concept not fully understood by me). in most cases the guy will organise the date and therefore after it, or during it, the girl will receive a few hundred calls from people she didnt know existed to confirm how evrything is going.
To that if she goes by the name of Sonali Gangal will pretend that it was a torture machine(which even eating to her is) or reply "whatever", yet when asked out for a second date will not decline. Then again if your date is an ATM machine you wouldn't either.
again if your love life is on a separate course as in the person you have fallen for is an out and out jerk, you will seek solace in the arms of someone else(I cant believe i am making this sound remotely poetic) who you will say yes, to to whet your massive ego first but a few months down the line you wont hesitate in baking chocolate fudge(which turns out more like chocolate covered bread, but dont be deterred) for this person and especially when you do not want to miss out on Tommy Hilfiger shopping sprees.
In effect when you start going out with a person you become his or her property. therefore when someone so much as even steal a glance at your boyfriend or girlfriend( and especially when happens to be a former flame) it can result in very public Bridget Jones style catfights, which may be flattering to say the least but forever be imprinted in their memories.
this may often elicit responses such as " He is your weekend bungalow that you need to visit sometimes for recreation, I am your fifth floor apartment". Talk about dialogues. And K serial writers thought they had it all.
For me, although its far too much trouble. Firstly, I will never end up with a person quite as perfect as George and its too much of an interference trying to remember anniversaries, buy pricey gifts or even remember appointed dates especially when you aren't all that interested in the first place. Secondly, no one in their right frame of mind would be interested. Thirdly, I get only 60 bucks per month to refill my balance on my mobile( and my driver gets more). Fourthly, if this is the process I have to go through everytime, then I think I prefer being a cow.

Monday, June 11, 2007

this is what they meant by

Maybe you are right and I am far too lazy to write and since this post has to include the tag so instead of continuing with my earlier post i choose to forward this article by a very favourite journo of mine... chandrima bhattacharya and her adorable column...sex & the city

Sex & The City
What are men scared of?