Reflections

When the clock strikes 12!

Usually an early sleeper, I used to setup a alarm for 11.30 PM in anticipation of the calls. And, invariably, there were many of them. There were some who would call much earlier than others. They would say, “I hope I am the first!” Those first calls were the ones that I most looked forward to. There were some unexpected calls (much to my delight). “Not bad, he/she remembers me!” .

But this year, it was different. Having come home very late, at around 11, I was watching television and eating dinner simultaneously, when my parents walked into the hall. In their hands were dried raisins. It was then the clock struck 12. A short rendition of ‘Happy Birthday’ soon followed. They blessed and wished me a great year. They then went off to sleep.

I received no calls, until 12.08 AM when Neha, a good friend from IIMC, called up. It was the first call alright but it was different. The tone of the conversation was little mature, if I could say so. Neha didn’t ask, “What special plans for the day? Where are you partying?” Instead, we spoke about jobs, career and life in general.

Yes, phone calls from friends wishing you a very happy birthday won’t change. But, I daresay the content does change. You can call it whatever you like; be it coming of age or simple maturity. Even the call timings from your friends will change. To substantiate my latter claim, I shall recall a personal experience. In fact, during this occasion, I was the one who made the call. I still remember it was Ketan’s, another friend from IIMC. Conveniently busy during the day, I forgot to make the call. So, it was around 11.50 in the night when I finally picked up the phone. It was ages since we spoke and hence for the first few minutes we conversed generally. You wouldn’t believe, but I think I actually conveyed my birthday wishes to him after the clock struck 12, on the next day!

So, this year, when Jacob, a good friend and former colleague at DC, wished me at 11.40 PM, I told him, “There is no need to feel guilty. I am much worse.” We laughed about it.

I believe birthday calls are fast evolving. Like I have already told, its content and tenor does change. Of course, with friends being friends and machans always remaining machans, some phone calls won’t change. But that’s okay!

PS: For dinner today, I asked Amma to prepare Pongal. She did. I returned home and had it. At midnight, with a cup of Kesari- my birthday sweet.

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personal diary

499 tales to tell…

You meet her at a social gathering. You randomly chat with her for exactly 4 and half minutes and then off she goes. But before she pops off you do manage to get her name and note it down. (Though not literally!) She disappears into the crowd and so do you. You head back home and switch on your PC the first thing. You are already logged in on Facebook. Remembering the girl who you met only a few hours before, you type in her name expectantly. Numerous search results appear on the screen. Damn, I should have got her name spelled out! You scroll down the list to find Aishwarya Rais, Angelina Jolies all gleaming at you. Ah, if only people could put their own photos as profile pictures things would have been lot easier. Just as you curse, you remember keeping Johnny Depp as your profile pic only few days back and retract your earlier stand. Numerous thoughts fly in your mind. Did she trick me? Did I type in the correct name? Did I hear her properly? For god’s sake get it right, won’t you!

Making friends in real world is easy. Making friends in virtual world is even easier! A very close friend of mine had god knows how many friends. I couldn’t help but to ask him, eppadi da? How come? Do you know each and every one of them personally? He gave an explanation which confounds me till date. I make friends based on my compatible academic interests. Intellectual stuff! I back out. After some time, I again get curious and ask him what his count is now. He candidly says, “Facebook has banned me temporarily from adding new friends and this is the third time they have done so.” I look at my count and resign myself to a corner.

Now with 499 friends connected to me, I look at those imFacebookpressive figures with an urge to write about it.

Points to be taken care of…

I don’t know all of them. I sent friend request to majority of them. I rejected few which came rather anonymously and few which I felt didn’t warrant being my friend. But if I need to apply that formula every time, my friends count would have stagnated at 250. There were some to whom I religiously sent requests. On occasions I was left disappointed to find the person not on Facebook. I mean who wouldn’t want to be on the most popular social networking site of all! There were people who would reject my request or make me wait which I didn’t mind either. There was one moment which had me saying, “Hey will you accept my request if I send you one?” and of course she accepted it.

I started facebooking pretty late. Looking back I surely have come a long way since then. Some time ago, I posted a status which read “Looking at all your profile pictures here in FB in a way gives a slice of your transformation.” Transformation and how! A recent picture of mine got 100 likes. The first time I crossed a century in likes. I immediately saw my friend count. It read 499. Hey! Even if half of them I can claim to be real friends with liked my statuses or photos, I would have been more popular. But then you later realize you can’t judge your popularity just on likes and comments that seldom tells the truth. You can’t gamble on something as precious as that with other person’s opinion.

Guys I am struck at 499! Help me reach that special milestone for I am not sending the wretched request.

This has been my most honest post till now which I especially cherished writing!

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