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.