I was out for a day. Out of the city, sans my mobile phone and deliberately unwired – no laptop, no tablet, no android, no blackberry – absolutely unarmed, unprotected, a sitting bird (as opposed to birds of a feather tweeting together). It was like going to a detox center. Socialaholics Anonymous.
Naturally the moment I stepped back, breathless from the “real world” I logged in. I just had to catch up with what was happening. The suspense of being left out almost choking me to a myocardial infarction. Darn it! I had actually switched off the laptop instead of putting it in the customary “sleep mode” and it took ages to reboot, reload the firewalls and upgrade the latest anti-virus software adding to the anxiety with my facebook page finally loading after what seemed like a million years.
And look what I missed. While I was away:
- My friend Hargobind Bajoria, MD of a limited, listed company had sent me 16 requests to play Farmville, 10 requests to play Bubble Safari and 4 requests to play Mafia Wars with him. Obviously as the games in facebook became more complex, the brain dead moron became less adept, his company paid 3-G connection and shareholder paid gadgets and time notwithstanding.
- Mampa Sadat, my socialite friend from Bangladesh had keyed in (with her own) manicured fingers the fact that one of her maids had gone to her native place and had brought back sweets from her impoverished village. “How touching” Mampa had written, “my eyes swelled up right in the morning, even though no mega star had passed away the day before in Mumbai”! How socially touching.
- Satragit Ghosh and 27 others had posted in Mohun Bagan Garbo ranting about how the National Club has been transformed into a “poitrik shompotti” (fathers property) by some self seeking “officials” and how only “Babluda” can save the day.
- Sonjoy da’s 13 year old son Sutirth, while I was away, became friends with the 41 year old “platinum blonde Soccer Mom” from Manchester. “I do everything that ends with a “K”, read her baseline. Best of luck Sonjoy da! Just imagine, a Cougar with a son as old as the groom for Bou Bhaat. Hope you invite us to the gala Indian wedding.
- That whoever did whatever was, “awesome”. Prasun Manna’s Darshan of Rani ma’s murti was awesome. Pinki Chawla’s Nicco Park ride was awesome. Payal Mehta (Kamdar’s) kurtis were awesome. Prodip Santra’s trip to Mondarmoni was awesome. Sujoy Sen’s Sunday afternoon teen patti session with unlimited beer too was – you guessed it right – awesome.
- And Chill. From gawky teenagers to overweight, pot bellied corporate captains, all were “chilling”. 47 of them “chill” posts. Some in the local dhaba, some in Tolly, some in the Taj – the common factor being the stubbles, the Bermudas, the vests and the 50 shades of underarm growth.
- My friend Ronjon Sen Gupta had posted 27 pictures, via Instagram of the same burger he had in “Deem-Pauruti” – Kolkata’s hottest and most happening bread joint. Going through the 247 comments that his post got, all lamenting the inability of digging into those sinfully desirable pauruti’s I really got to understand what pangs of hunger are really about.
- OMG Look at the pics that Roma has posted. Look at Montu da’s wife warming up to Bijoyda? Is that just drunken stupor or a love unrequited, now that the children are tucked away to Bangalore?
- Ahh. Look at Sheena Mondol Saha. More flesh and skin than clothes, doing chin chin’s with equally undressed models / friends with pot bellied beer guzzling spouses looking on with detached disdain. Their v signs are so damn weather-beaten and fake. garishly over painted faces resembling those of the geishas. Gal, you sure was made in China.
- Sudipta Gupta posted 96 comments in the South Point community – mostly lame jokes that even she didn’t laugh at.
- Kaushik Saha posted 32 pictures of his tired, forty something frame in the same community page, hoping that some director will stumble upon and make him the next Amitabh Bachchan. Being an old friend, I just could not muster enough courage to say that “you look terribly unpalatable in that sando ganjee boss”. Let salmaan do his dinka chika you were better off selling newspaper space.
- 16 posts urging all true, patriotic, xenophobic Indians to become followers of Narendra Modi and support his cause of an ethnically cleansed, prosperous Bharat. Which was countered by an equal number extolling the vision of Rahul Gandhi. While the tirade between supporters of TMC and CPM continued, often degenerating to abuses with feeble interjections from the Pradesh Congress Committee. There were also 12 posts on corruption and “be a fan of the Indian Army”. So much for the political scene.
- I came to understand that when Rajni farts its called Rajni-gandha. And that Rajni alone knows Victoria’s Secret.
- Sreejoyee Sarkar has changed her profile picture 17th time in the last 6 days! She also posted a total of 22 gory pictures of bleeding Rhinoceroses with their horns copped off – urging all to join her cause to save the one horned rhino from poachers. Thumbs up to that gal.
- 37 of my friends were subscribed as followers to a lady whose name was written in Arabic and her page consisted of nothing but her burka clad pictures with scribbles in some alien tongue.
- Manoj Jain had updated his status to “At the Taj” and had also geo tagged the location (to prove that he was indeed in Alipore and not in the Taj Barber Shop in Ekbalpore). Vainglorious be thy name.
- Rajesh Sharma between posting about Jesuit Alumni events around the world had also posted 257 pictures from his latest trip to Ladakh – mostly his mute face accompanied by crazy wife – a barfi of a love story.
It was so cathartic. The voyeuristic pleasure, of peeping into the lives and times of friends, their friends and sundry – from the close confines of your room. Reading comments made – some hilarious, some snide and some downright silly. As if eavesdropping into conversations, like that we used to have in the pre mobile era when land phones got cross-connected.
It is a living, thriving, vibrant space out there. More than anything else – a running commentary on the life and the times. Each post telling a tale about the one making it, opening up their lives and idiosyncrasies for the world to note. Little pointers of the changing value systems, of evolving social norms.
Mind it, Raskalas!
– Chawm Ganguly