Tuesday, March 19, 2013

The ‘Facebook-Wallas’

Okay, so after writing so many hard-hitting, engaging, analytic, sarcastic pieces I wanted to take a break. As in I wanted to try my hand at a different kind of writing. Something very light and maybe funny. I wondered on the topic to take, trying to search and look for it in things around me. Then, this Sunday I went for a movie with an old school friend of mine. While we were in the theatre waiting for the movie to start, he suddenly took out his flashy cell phone with a gleam in his eye and said, “Let me update this on my Facebook profile.”  I looked at him to gauge if he was serious; and then he started typing- “With Bhavesh Bhimani at New Empire (the name of the theater).”  He looked satisfied after doing it, “There, done.” But it left me pondering; what is this new fad all about? And from therein came the idea for this piece.

Facebook or FB as they call it, is something which makes up a significant part of our lives in today’s times; there is no denying that fact. However, what I suddenly found intriguing after that incident was to notice how different people react and behave differently on FB. Immediately in my mind’s eye I tried to classify different Facebook users according to the way they behave and the way I perceive them in general. I call them the ‘Facebook-Wallas’. Please do not take anything personally though, this is just an attempt to be humorous. Let us have a closer look:

The Lover: The most prominent and the most dominated list in my view. The world is collapsing around you, there are terrorists right outside your window, India is at war, but wait a minute; they don’t give a rat's fart about it. They want to love and spread the message of love. LOVE, LOVE LOVE and some more LOVE. They share love quotes via pics or status updates. While that is fine to digest to an extent but what makes the brains go mad is when people start sharing details of their love lives on FB. Someone is in love, someone is heartbroken, someone is feeling cheated or someone is trying to woo their love. Oh hell they just want to Love…LOVE, LOVE and some more LOVE.  “I still miss her smile”, “I wish he would understand”, “You make me feel special”, “Oh God, I have butterflies in my stomach”- are some of the samples which I have to endure daily. I just yell- “PLEASE SPARE ME.. FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, SPARE ME.” But they don’t listen to you, all they say is- LOVE, LOVE LOVE and some more LOVE.

The VVIPs: Or I can also bracket them as the self- appointed superstars. “Ramesh was with Suresh at the Dhaba”, “Sanjay was with Aman at the Airport, “Going for dinner with my friends”, “Just bought a new pair of converse shoes”, or worse still, “Watching movie with Mahesh,” while Mahesh types, “Enjoying the film with Kamlesh”, “Now eating Chole bhature,”. Okay, now really. What is happening to people? Every single, miniscule, insignificant detail of your life is being poured out through Facebook. Someone badly needs to tell them- 'We don't give a f***'. 

I guess these days some scenes at a restaurant between friends must be like this:  X- “Ahh my dinner has arrived, boy am I hungry.” Y- “Don’t touch it, let me take a pic of this. Have to post this right now.” X- “But I am hungry, please let me eat.” Y- “F*** your hunger, this has to be posted fresh, now move aside, I want a good view”.

There is a sub-division to these VVIPs as well; people who take it upon themselves to inform the world about when the sun rises and when night falls : “Good Morning friends”, “Good night buddies.” I wish Facebook would type back, “Just go to sleep asshole.”

The ‘Liker’:  Very large in numbers I tell you, but not very harmful either. They are mostly offline, and just stay around all day to snoop and lurk into people’s posts and other updates and 'like' them without even bothering to see if it is worth it. These people must be  operating somewhat like this: Open FB, scroll down the homepage, see all the statuses and then go- Like, Like,Like, Like…. , then type “Hehehe’”, “ROFL” on certain posts and say “Ahh, job done for the day.”

The Gamer: Another class which are gigantic in numbers. While I do not have any issues with people spending entire days on playing ‘Farmville’ or whatever other ‘ville’ there is; the problem arises when people become generous and start sending game requests. I have really lost count of the umpteen number of people I have blocked from sending me these preposterously idiotic game requests, but they still somehow survive and live to send another ‘request’. I wish there was a constitutional law against this; where I can file a complaint against people who send me these requests. But then again who knows, the judge might not listen to my case properly as he might be too busy sending another game request to a friend. Lord help the world.

The Promoter:  These people are what I call shameless. ‘Events’ are created and then shamelessly sent to everybody on the ‘Friends list’. And then if you unfortunately, out of courtesy, accept the event then you are done for. They will keep notifying you about the event and bombard you with its details in the hope that you are forced to attend it out of sheer frustration. Then there are others who create ‘pages’ and ask you to share and promote it. “Pls pls. Like my page”, “Pls promote my page,” and some other such comments will keep pricking you until you actually do it. It gets downright embarrassing sometimes when people keep messaging you even in your inbox: “Bro, Don’t forget to like my page”. I say to myself, “Where are the terrorists when you need them.”

The Tagger:  Ahem. This one includes myself. But then again, I always tag people with my write-ups; in the hope that it reaches them. (I also request you today through this post, that after you have read my posts kindly do ‘untag' yourselves). However, what is horribly irritating is when people keep tagging at the drop of the hat on any picture or post they feel like. I find it bizarre when people even take pictures of themselves and then tag people; and these are embarrassing I tell you. People who look almost in a drunken state go on to tag people and then ask, “Guys, how do I look?” There is a bloke in my list who keeps doing this every day and once I found him displaying a picture of his slashed wrists to everyone with pride! The levels some people stoop to nowadays to grab some eyeballs!  Sometimes I really feel I should have taken a licensed gun, if you know what I mean.

Mr. /Mrs. Emotional:  “Feeling sad,”

 “Why dear, what’s wrong?”

“Can’t tell you here”


“I am fed up of my life.”

“Kyu, kya hua dear?”

“Can’t tell you here,”

Okay, so why the f!@# did you write this in any case? Closely related to ‘The Lover', this breed is dangerously large in proportions. See the above pic for a perfect example of these psychos. They think that they are the saddest and the most aggrieved people in the world. And even if you do not care, you will have to read their drivel in front of your eyes. They even go the extent of typing sad songs on their wall or of course copy-pasting sad love quotes which are massive in number or  keep posting emotional love songs and pictures. There is just no end to these people’s barrage of emotional downpour. “Oh look I am sad, please give me some attention and pamper me,” is what they actually mean. I keep my temper in check every time I see these posts; but they still somehow get to me. As I write this I see another such post: 

“I still miss the look of your eyes,” 

I look for my gun. 

“Love is blind, love is life. I am unlucky in life.”

I load the bullets in my gun.

“I wish the pain would go away,”


The Social-activist:  This is a brand new breed and are really spreading like a virus. Apparently they think they are making the world a better place by constantly sharing some ‘thought-provoking’ pictures. A picture of a handicapped child whose face is grotesque and is hardly visible is posted and then it is written: “Please share this pic, one like might save her life”. Okay, but how? “Errr.. That is not my job to know. I just did what any good citizen would do for their society” is the prompt answer. So in today’s times if you love your mother, or sister or your army then you have got to ‘like’ these pictures you see. The above picture is an apt summary of what I feel about these impudent posts. 

And then there is a barrage of endless garble like “If you want to fight the cause against cancer, then like this pic”, “If you think that animals should not be dealt cruelly, then like this pic. One like means a thousand animals saved,”, “If you think this poor man deserves food, then click like,” Hmm.. I wonder what it must it must be like to be a real activist, like many I know who are on the ground, fighting to make our society better. They do not even have the time to open a Facebook account. Tsk. Tsk. 

However, I have a vivid imagination and thus I tried to visualize how these 'Facebook Social-activists' might actually be like, here is a sample:

“Ahh. This picture looks good. The child looks pretty malnutrition-ed and the picture of this beaten up cat is a cinch to get me a hundred likes,” he smiles to himself. As the last morsel of the potato chips drops out from his lips, he farts, then goes on to post these pictures and awaits the feedback. “5 likes and 3 comments in 10 minutes!!.. coooool”. My good deed for the day is done, he thinks to himself and farts some more in sheer pleasure of his success.  “Now where is that porn site I had bookmarked? Time for some real action.”  Ta-dah… !!


I agree I might have sounded a little too harsh or maybe even over the top, but then that is what I intended to do, for I feel we take Facebook a little too seriously at times. We let it consume our lives by making us ignore the simpler and genuine pleasures of life like actually enjoying the movie or food before trying to 'share' it with the world. Tender emotions are supposed to be felt and not talked about every time; a dear friend of mine had taught me that albeit indirectly. Enjoy your life, but not at the cost of making it a news bulletin.

Now I will take your leave and ponder over a new topic to write on. Meanwhile you may also add some more titles to the above classifications I have made. It shall be appreciated. 

And before you close this page, err.. don’t forget to ‘like’ and ‘share’ this post on your Facebook wall will you? 

Monday, March 4, 2013

In celebration of my ‘Half-century’

50, that number might have different meanings for different people from different fields. For me, it currently is evoking a feeling of pride. Why you ask? Oh well you see last week I completed 50 posts in this blog of mine. So what is the big deal then? Well not for you obviously, but it is a big deal for me. And a very massive one at that when I sit and ponder over it.

When I started this blog two and a half years ago, I had absolutely no inkling that I will even get close to reaching this number. Those days I used to pen my writings in a simple ruled copy and it was a huge deal for me to get into this MS Word mode. I wasn’t very tech-savvy then and to even start this blog was a monumental achievement for me. I was all at sea then; “What shall I write about?”, “Who will read my stuff? Why will they read it? “What if they make fun of my writings?”. These and many more such doubts used to plague my mind. But the initial response I got boosted my confidence and pumped me up to keep writing and it has remained such to date.

I wrote and wrote, sometimes I would take a self-imposed sabbatical, but would be back again sooner rather than later. In fact, the time I would not write for my blog I would feel uneasy; almost like I am cheating on my spouse. Yes, it indeed is a strange  connection I have with it. But never have I written for the sake of writing; I always wrote when I felt like it. Over these years I have written on varied topics here; cricket, human –interest, my opinions, wildlife etc. Each post, without sounding pompous, required a considerable amount of toil from my side. I cannot say that I love all of them equally, but I definitely cherish each one of them, some more than the others, for their own reasons.  

Life is all about celebrating small moments and memories. This is a small yet very significant achievement for me in many ways that I shall never be able to explain. Hence, today I go back and select the Top 5 writings, from the overall 50, of this blog. Yes it might sound excruciatingly stupid to many of you, but hell I am in a mood for self-indulgence and shall go ahead with it and do some self-celebration. So here goes:

(If you wish to read any of the below mentioned articles, just click on its title, which is a link, and it will open up the respective  post.)

While we were sleeping:   The first ‘real’ post in this blog. This one is by no means even close to my best writing but it would remain in my top spot forever purely because of the way it came about. I did not have any idea then on how to begin writing for my blog, or what to start with. I did not want it to be something ordinary. As it turned out this post was inspired by a true incident that happened to me and my friend. The incident left a strong impact on me and by a good stroke of luck I got the inspiration of penning it down. I remember thinking about it while travelling in an auto and then excitedly going back home and writing it down that very night. The response I got for it was quite overwhelming and it still remains the second most ‘liked’ post of mine. As things turned out, my friend (who was involved in the incident) loved the post and egged me on to make a docu-feature on the same subject. I did so and amazingly it went on to win the ‘Best Docu’ award at my college function. Imagine how just a small incident can inspire you to do so many things. This incident taught me that inspiration always lurks right around you; we just have to find it. If I want I can make the many changes that are required in this post; the grammatical errors, sentence framing etc. But I don’t’. I like it this way. It shows me of how much I have progressed. Like they say, ‘some good things are better left untouched’.

We the people:I consider this as one of my best writings. It was Independence Day and when I woke up in the morning I somehow had the urge to write something. More so when I opened my Facebook account and saw the usual I-Day ‘tags’ and ‘Proud to be an Indian’ posts. It irked me and I just sat down and wrote this post. I had not planned it at all; it was one of those ‘spur of the moment’ acts. After I had written it down I felt good about myself, having siphoned off a considerable amount of my uneasiness that I had felt.I wrote down almost everything that I felt is wrong with our society’s mindset. If today I sit and think of trying to better this post for another I- Day article I won’t be able to do so.  I seriously do think I shall not be able to better it.

Love thy neighbour...Only if he lets you to!! : had written many cricket related write-ups before this one on my blog but this one is my favourite primarily for the topic concerned. It came about again after getting peeved with an incident that had happened before the Indo-Pak match in the 2011 World Cup. Pakistan obviously never lets an opportunity amiss to make me hate them; there have been incidents prior and later to this one which evoked similar and more hatred in me against them. But since this one was related to cricket I decided to pen it down. After I write any of my writing, I asses it on the basis of the satisfaction it provides me. And this one scores highly in that regard. I successfully managed to vent out my bottled up rage against their scumbag cricketers and also touched upon the larger issue concerning Indo-Pak relations. Though it did not really make me happy, it definitely made me feel cooled down a bit. Like my best friend commented on this post- ‘this is one of your best articles’. I second him on that.

Those ‘really’ were the days: This one again is not one of my best writings but will remain special for different reasons. I wrote it at a time when I was going through a transitional and emotional phase in my life. It made me feel increasingly nostalgic and made me crave for my yester-years desperately. So like I do most times when I go through a varying range of emotions; I wrote. Nostalgia is a massive word and includes a wide vista of memories and emotions. It is exceedingly difficult to put all those down in a 2000 word article. But I managed it somehow, and felt good about it in the end. It made me happy and made me forget over my inner troubles for a while. I covered the most significant parts of my nostalgia quite well I believe. I liked the way I began and loved the way I ended it, especially because I had got the idea for this one while travelling (again in an auto; well I do think a lot while I travel and it has inspired me for many of my write-ups). I had initially thought that people will get bored reading it and wouldn't really relate to it. But the response I got was simply amazing. It seemed like I had made everyone go back in time and relive their nostalgia. People wanted me to write more on this and some even suggested to come out with a part-2! It pleased me immensely. I kept re-reading it many times over and still do sometimes.

Ek tha ‘so-called star’:  The most ‘liked’ of all my posts, this one is indeed a special one. I had been intending to write on this fellow for quite some time. I had had debates on this issue with many of my friends and many had urged me to write on this. It took me some time but when I finally wrote it down I found it hilarious. For once I shunned out the journalist in me and wrote down with a kind of sadistic madness. It was ‘mad’ writing but a thoroughly refreshing one. The response again was quite fantastic, leaving out the ‘Salu’ fans of course. And even when I read it now I find it quite surprising on how I managed to write like this. I had written one more ‘filmy’ post prior to this but this one wins hands down purely because of its significance and the unique satisfaction it brought about. I carried out all my years of feelings towards this imbecile and channeled it into one article, and did it quite well I might add.  After reading this I got a call from an ex-friend of mine whom I hadn't talked to in ages. He told me, “I have become your fan. What a writer you are! Simply amazing.” This was like the icing on the cake; a cake which was really sumptuous.


Without sounding arrogant I have to say it was indeed a mightily difficult task to choose these five from the overall 50. There are many which I would have liked to see here, Esther Friede’s article, an article I had written on my best friend who is a film-maker (but these two weren't exactly written for my blog so that is the reason I didn't pick them), some cricket writings, some personal opinions, and a few others; but then it is simply impossible to choose all. Hence this is it then; my selected top 5.

This blog of mine holds a pivotal place in my life. It is like that link which connects me to my readers and helps me grow in confidence as a writer. I do not know how far will I eventually reach but I will always hold this blog special for it was the first step I took to present my only skill to the real world. It has given me many good memories and emotions. After every post I would eagerly await the feedback in those initial days (I still do) and would be pleased to get good responses from my friends. Sometimes even strangers have sent me messages telling me how they appreciate my writings, and how they get inspired by it. That really is the biggest thing that keeps me motivated to write more and more; my readers and their love. And now, unbelievably, I can also see that this blog is read by people in the USA, Germany and even Russia.   (See pic)                                                          
I have crossed 50 after a lot of hard-work and patience and by God’s grace would maybe even touch a 100 someday. Eventually I want to be a good and established writer one day and this blog has helped me immensely in achieving that goal to some extent. With each writing I have grown as a writer, and this journey is obviously never-ending, and I wish to continue like this till my last breath. My cricket writings would now perhaps not be found here as I have discovered a different platform for it, but I shall always continue penning my varied thoughts here. It helps me feel normal; it helps in making me happy. I will keep writing no matter what, I will write when I am happy, when I am angry and when I am emotional. But the writing shall never stop.

Lastly, I thank each and every one of you who has read any of my posts in my blog. Many have praised me many have not, but I still thank all of you; even those whom I do not know personally and yet who have contributed in making this blog grow. A really big THANK YOU to each one of you. Without you readers I would be nothing. I would just be an insignificant blob in this world. Please do keep reading my writings the way you always have. It is the only skill I posses and with you people around I find a reason to write. I will die one day like everyone else, but my writings and my readers would hopefully be around to keep me alive forever. That is what I wish to attain in life. And this blog will hopefully be around to see me through my tough and happy times; helping me in scoring centuries and double centuries. Hopefully you will all be around to see me through that dream. This is the reason I celebrate this 'tiny' achievement with you all today; as you all too are very much a part of this feat of mine.

So see you readers; until next time. Or shall I say, until my next post. Like I said, the writing shall never stop. Adios.