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Tuesday, September 30, 2014

A testimonial to Orkut.

Despite having received many requests to divulge my love story, I dint oblige as I have no mushy, tear-jerking, heartwarming story that can make anyone go ‘Awww’.  It does not have any typical cliches or thrilling twists that can make it worth a read forget interesting. To top it all, our parents did not make a hue and cry when we decided to get married, and that was the last nail on the scope for telling my story. Had they rejected my wish to marry him, I could’ve portrayed them as villains and blissfully get my character some sympathy and support. Oh well, the guy turned out to have a nice sense of humor, so life with him is not as boring as our jab-we-met version would have turned out.

We knew each other since day one of joining the same organization as trainees. Orkut was the Facebook of those times. Not having an account on Orkut was totally uncool. People started going places and buying stuff just to show off on Orkut, exactly like how it is now. Phones with 2 Megapixel cameras, polyphonic ringtones…mobile companies were bombarding the market and our minds. Nokia 3310 and Sony Walkman were dying a slow death. The only thing that remained the same was our stipend. Sigh. Scraps, testimonials, profile visitors…it was a happening time of our lives.

Soon we were friends, and added each other on Orkut, which is like a conservative form of live-in of those times: D From mere friends to Orkut buddies! You know what that means? It means he can see my photos! MY PHOTOS! :D

Many friends wrote me testimonials even without me having to buy them treats. And that really meant a lot to me. So one day I asked him to write me a testimonial, which looked like this.

Orkut used to have a wider page, and it actually fit what he actually meant by that . It reads ‘Princess’. On further interrogation it was revealed that he copied it from some other profile. (I told you, he is not the sky writer or Archies greeting card types). Copied or not, I got a testimonial! Yay! Fine by me! Thus started a full-fledged exchange of scraps, sms jokes, riddles and chain mails.

Orkut continued in the background, when we got married on Facebook and brutally ditched it. We moved on, forgetting conveniently that which brought us closer. Having experienced both Orkut and Facebook, Orkut always felt like an authentic coffee place, sepia dipped in memories, nostalgic and calm with the sound of sea in the background. Facebook is noisy, high profile and the place one saves the orange lipstick for.

It is time to say Goodbye to our first (virtual) hangout, the only remembrance of the unromantic, uncreative, blatantly copied ‘Princess’ testimonial. It was my only chance of showing my Dad-worshiper son that his Dad did not write me a testimonial, and when I asked him one he copied it! Now how will I start to explain to him what ‘testimonial’ means?

Goodbye, Orkut. I can’t forget you. Or the fact that you stole my only chance of getting some brownie points from my son.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

The art of customization...(for dummies)

Like everyone else, I too spent my childhood and youth walking the corridors of school and college, racking my brains and waiting for results. I have never seen my name on top of any list (unless it was a list of latecomers or such).

I was not a topper in academics, sports, music, recitation or dance. I was not a favorite student of any teacher in all my life. I did not score well in the entrance examinations, my Kerala Engineering Entrance rank could easily be mistaken for a phone number, majority of my Engineering college batch mates don’t know me by name. I am the kind of person no one took seriously, and I have never given a reason for my parents to be immensely proud or disappointed. But here I am. For the record, I’m doing just fine.

These days, all parents think their kids are special (back in our times this was not the case). This applies to me too. But recently I came to know the weirdest things some parents do, to let others know that their kid is the unmatched champion in everything that needs skill, expertise and intellect, even the Lemon and Spoon race which they think is an item at the Olympics.

There is a monthly local magazine in my hometown; I admit it is the most boring magazine in the history of the written word. It is the size of a tinkle digest and consists of roughly 25 pages including both sides. This is one of those things that continued to reach my home, and just like phone or electricity bills, it came every month whether we liked it or not.

So subscribers thought why not spice up our magazine and make it interesting. After all roughly two thousand people read it – precisely, less than ten people read it, others use it as a fan during power cut or as a mat to place hot vessels on the table. So the breakthrough idea was to put up scan copy of their kids’ pre KG report card, 1st grade report card, certificate for group singing competition or another for excelling on sports day etc.

Image courtesy: Google images

It just leaves people like me lose the will to live.

And the best part. Below the scan copy of the report card, the names of both parents are written in bold. What goes through the minds of these parents? It could be either of these:

1.      Step one of a matrimonial profile, just insanely early.
2.      I was a loser; I want to tell everyone my kid is an Isaac Newton in the making.
3.      I intend to donate sperm, so this is proof for the rate I will charge for the same.
4.      I am encouraging him so he does well in the Entrance examination.
5.      I want to see my name in print, any publicity is good publicity.

There is no hard and fast rule to decide what to publish. The key is to know who should see it, and who will appreciate honestly your invitation to his themed fourth birthday party.  Mark Zuckerberg helps you do this by giving you an option to create a ‘Custom List’ on Facebook. Make your own custom list, Facebook or not.

Because you already know, that those odd 761 people don’t give a damn, but those who matter really do. 

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Parents are here ! *YOLO mode starts*

Even though I am away from my home country, my parents never let me feel the distance. They've visited me every single year I've been here. I don’t know many parents who do that, and therefore I am so blessed. Big bear hugs,  Mom’s cakes,  gifts,  lots of love and pampering to name a few. I cannot say this enough but I consider myself blessed only because I have the best parents ever.

Papa and Mummy came on Onam day. Papa was here till last weekend and Mummy will be here for a few weeks. I cannot begin to explain how it feels when she is here. When I come home in the evening, she opens the door with a welcoming smile, tells me to sit down and asks me what I want to eat. And this is what I call luxury. I relish it each day like there is no tomorrow. Emotional therapy , to say the least.

When they read this, they will realize that I am the worst hypocrite ever because all I do is take them for granted and sometimes even start silly arguments.

My driving lessons are going on during office lunch breaks. Yesterday I passed the signal test, which is one rung up the endless ladder of hurdles one must overcome to get a license. Well everyone passes this test so it is no big deal. After the one hour drive and repeated verbal warnings from my exasperated trainer I walked home exhausted, as if I burnt calories just by listening to him. If anything really burnt it should be my trainer’s brain. 

Meanwhile my toddler is having a whale of a time with his new defense lawyer, my mother. Any discipline that may have existed prior to her arrival, like dinner time, ipad time etc. has flown out of the window. I stopped yelling because he does not care anymore and pretends like he has Spiderman to back him. It is now his kingdom, his rules and I am treated like a tenant who does not pay rent. Well, I am in no mood for discipline either. Who needs discipline when Mom is here :D That sounds ironic, as my Mom was a chronic disciplinarian when we were younger. 
She is a whole new person after the birth of our son. She will let him punch her, or draw all over her face. She lets him hang upside down from the edge of the sofa and feed him dinner at the same time. Back in our times, we were taught to sit at the table, upright at ninety degrees, eat quietly without wasting even a morsel of food, wash our own plates and go to bed!

However I secretly love this grandma-grandson bonding. It helps me remain sane and enjoy some TV. Now tell me which mother does not want that?

So it’s a YOLO time for all of us right now. We have embraced the You-Only-Live-Once concept with all our hearts and are therefore eating cake with all our might.  We have also given discipline and social niceties a break. We don’t share Mom’s cakes or food in general. We have let our hair down badly enough to scare you. 

You don’t want to visit us for the time being, do you? :D  

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