December 31, 2010

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The Social Network


Today is my 24th birthday, and the day is coming to an end. I do realise that it is plain sad to be blogging on one's birthday, but I just thought of something so amazing, it had to be documented somewhere. I like to call it The Social Network. This, however, is not a review of the movie or a commentary on the surprisingly popular networking site. Not to be confused with The Social Network, this is The Social Network. Notice the italics. Notice also how I have added 2 sentences without adding any value to this paragraph.

However, just like the networking site, its origins are complex and mysterious. No one knows who created it and when. But everyone knows why it was created. The options available here are quite similar to the original: Profile, Info, Notes, Friends, Events, even Status updates. It even has almost as many members as the original. Unlike the original however, this was not the work of maverick software developers or gadget-gurus. In fact, most of the members are made uncomfortable by the mere mention of words like "technology" and "gadgets". It is a brave new world based on old-school thinking. Their numbers may be limited, but their determination is unbounded. The tools of their trade are simple---no laptops, Wi-fi, Blackberrys or Android phones. Just a simple diary, BSNL landline and one Reynolds pen. Sometimes, very rarely, maybe e-mail.

Status updates are not very frequent, and are reserved for moments of extreme happiness or pride. "My son just got back from church!". "Hell yeah, my son is off to the Gulf". "Western Union Money Transfer, baby!". "I finally have my own email ID, but I can't seem to remember the password". "Chatted with my son on Skype today". Sometimes, the status update may even take the form of a question. "Can my son see me if I don't have a webcam?". "Can I call my son on Skype if he's offline?". "The DVD player has its own remote?". "Is my microwave 3G compatible?". "Does the fridge have GPS?", and so on.

However, Events are well co-ordinated and organised. "Worship Service@Church. Sunday 9am. Be there, or we'll pray for you". "Bible study, on a rotation basis at the residence of George/Mathew/Abraham/Varghese/Baby/Philip/Chacko. Sunday 5pm. In case you missed the Worship Service". "Wedding reception of my second-cousin's nephew@ Obscenely-expensive-hotel-made-affordable-by-Gulf-money. Sunday 7pm. Valet Parking available". "Family prayer at home. Sunday 9pm. Please respond". "B-grade reality shows on TV. Sunday 10pm. Don't forget to vote".

Any member of this network will also tell you that the primary reason for its establishment was the sharing of Info and Notes, and needless to say, these are taken rather seriously. "Your son studied Nursing at Florence School of Nursing, lmao". "Just saw your son up to no good in some miserable looking but strategically placed chai shop". "Your son still works in TCS, rofl". "My son is 27 years old, but single. Is your daughter still a minor?". "My son is 5'2". Your daughter is a midget, no?". And of course, no social network would be complete without a regularly updated Photos section. Photos are generally exchanged via e-mail, and always seem to have captured the subject at the prime of his/her glory. A brief description normally follows. "My son, when he had hair". "My daughter, without glasses". In the rare case that a decent looking photo of the subject is not available, no effort is wasted in taking several polaroid photos and then remastering them heavily to add hair, remove squints, remove warts and other imperfections, reduce age, and to occasionally mask stupidity. 

However, nothing works quite as well as a straightforward, unbiased, truthful Profile. "My son works for umm, how do you say it, some software company. He is an Electronics Engineer from the 5th best Engineering College in the North-East of Bangalore. He lives in Chicago, USA, but would like to find a born-again Christian wife from Thrissur, Kerala. His favourite books are the King James Bible and the Good News Bible. He is deeply religious and god-fearing, but he would like to poke your daughter." 

So you see, the members of The Social Network are quite well connected. Very little happens without their knowledge or consent. Information is exchanged in the blink of an eye. Events are as predictable and well-planned as a cricket match involving Pakistan. Match-making happens at a rate that would put Sivakasi to shame. Obviously then, as I turn 24, with no heir apparent, and no hair apparently, my deepest, darkest fear is that someday I will find myself on The Social Network, with or without my consent. Mothers, you have been warned. Daughters, you still have a chance.

5 comments:

  1. he he he he :) "My son when he had hair". LOL! :D

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  2. Lol!!!
    Match-making happens at a rate that would put Sivakasi to shame!!!! :P

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  3. Legen............................DARY :)

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  4. "with no heir apparent, and no hair apparently" I am definitely stealing that :)

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