Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Book in your Face?

I had been hit by the writers' block recently. (the only time I can call myself a writer is when this ailment strikes..) The mundane, gut wrenchingly boring, salary-paying part of my life took possession of all my creative juices, which resulted in complete hibernation of the blog.

Till the instant that a friend of a friend commented on a comment that a friend had made about a friend of a friend....  Gosh ! now even I don't know what I wanted to say..(see what I mean about the creativity being compromised here)

It all began with a very detailed account of how people get stared at for being different; in this particular case, a Foreigner, a 'white' gentleman in the land of coconuts. And other kinds of nuts too, if you were to believe Swami Vivekanada....

Well, anyway, this article very vividly created images of dropping jaws and bulging eyes when a light skinned person walks about a city used to seeing such visions only in 'touristy' destinations. That caused a very imaginative woman (yes, you heard that right - a woman again!) to bring out the fine distinction between the forgivable, astonished, prolonged gaze called stare, and the less adulated, blatant focus on areas, that warrant a resounding impact of palm and cheek.

But that is another story. What brings me back to the keyboard from my writers block is something else - what exactly is the definition of a friend? Has the definition changed, from the hugely popular sitcom-inspired meaning of the word, to a totally different level, with the arrival of the virtual equivalent of the college cafeteria?

Isn't Facebook much like the college cafeteria? Gossip, comments and counter comments, note-passing (oh yeah! that happens too), mild-to-serious flirting, checking out the latest trends..... We did it in the cafeteria, and we have now discovered we can be seventeen-till-i-die atleast on Facebook!

Coming back to friends - a dapper young nephew (who refuses to have me as a 'friend' in FB) has over 500 friends on FB, some of whose second names he doesn't know! An animated conversation over his favourite beverage (not tea, I can assure you!!) allowed his older relations (me included) decipher how he knew so many people in this planet (now, this is where I cross my fingers and pray that FB has not extended its reach into outer space). The beverage induced courage that this bright-as-a-penny new adult exhibited gave me insights into how FB has changed the way our brain functions.

Action on FB : "You have new friend requests"
Reaction : Whoa! I must be adonis' first cousin...... (accompanied by a chest swell and irritating smirk difficult to wipe off)

Action on FB : "You have been tagged on photo"
Reaction : I am a rockstar! My photo propagated my me is ok.... but someone ELSE doin' it is AWESOME..... (accompanied by the above said chest swell, followed by accumulation of hot gas in head)

Action on FB : "No new notifications"
Reaction: OMG ! This is awful! No one seems to know I exist... I MUST write something controversial today, and make SURE people reply! Hey! or better still.... let me just change my profile pic into the one where i am in my swim suit!!! THAT will teach them to ignore me!

Action : "ABC is now friends with XYZ"
Reaction : Cute girl! ABC seems to be getting more than his share of attention. Let me just visit his page and check out if any of his 'friends' want to be my 'friends' - that way I can maintain my lead in number of friends!

Reaction of reaction (this one, I couldn't let go) : Hey! THIS guy has more girl 'friends' than me .... let me just add HIM as a friend - then i can get to see who HIS friends are - and maybe I'll get lucky!

Action : Many comments on photos / updates of other 'friends'
Reaction : How the hell do they get so many people to reply to their posts? I mean just check out how silly the posts are! Some of them don't even use cool words like OMG, LOL, ROFL, WTF (i meant 'why-the-face' what did you think it was?) ... and still they seem to get comments!! I know - let me just copy some dude's nasty one liner which sounds like a foreign language on to my update!!

Small wonder then, when we sit back the end of day, and think how many people we would like to laugh with, or more importantly, cry with........Our looooooong list dwindles down to one or two - if we are lucky, that is!! A beautiful word with so much depth in its meaning gets reduced to a mockery of one of the most profound, most logical and most comfortable of all relations! Shouldn't we continue to, as the saying goes, choose them wisely? 


  1. and this was after a BLOCK .. hmmm no wonder you write excellent ...


  2. Oh yes, FB has changed the definition of being friends and being in touch! All said and done, all of us still love it.

  3. Write's block. Haha :))) Or too much work.

    Anyway on Facebook, Facebook=Public book; Show off..I do it too :)))

    I wrote two articles on Facebook. Check them out:)))

  4. @Bikram ... you are kind... but I do hope i become a writer one day.. trying my hand at short stories first... you can find the link in this blog under the heading PUBLISHED SHORT STORIES... do let me know what you think!

  5. @Varsha...u bet!! its a kind of addiction and we all have some of the symptoms mentioned above :-).. thannx for reading!

  6. @A ...yeah! you caught me! it was work, work, and work the last few days. And i will hunt for the FB articles u've written... thanx