Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Shakal-e-kitaab...

Shakal-e-kitaab or Facebook, as it is more popularly known, is a $15 billion worth phenomena that has swept the social networking world. I think million new applications are made everyday (exaggeration…duh!!). Although these applications can be annoying but the site is still very addictive as it keep updating you about your friends. So, now I know if R is shopping for shoes (ha ha!!) or M is perked up coz the payday is coming soon (lol) or G is craving Greek food (wink) or Ri is wishing everyone a happy Halloween. Oh that reminds me Happy Halloween to everyone from my side too.


Last week Facebook showed me the real power of social networking. As many of you know that my Dad was in the Army, so I have traveled a lot and changed 11 schools till my 12th grade (blah blah blah). There are some obvious perks of an Army lifestyle, you get to travel to many exotic places that you would never visit otherwise, Army canteen has always been great for buying goods at sometimes half the price than retail, making new friends all over the country and meeting people from different backgrounds. There is one big disadvantage to this lifestyle though, forgetting friends as you move from one place to another. I have lost touch with almost all my school friends because of this wandering. I have made lots of friends over the years but there were two that stood out, Sree and Anuj.


We were living in Meerut, the city known for its Hindu-Muslim riots, and my Dad had decided to put me in Kendriya Vidhyala School from St. Mary’s Academy as the former was an Army based school and made it easier for us to move in case of sudden posting in between school years. It was my first day at school in 8th grade. I was a very shy kid in those days (still am **sharmaying**) and was eating my lunch alone in the class.

“Hi, my name is Prashant and this is Anuj. What’s your name?”

“Ricky **eating aloo ka paratha that Mom had made in morning**”

“This is your first day at school, right?”

“Yea”

“Which school did you come from?”

“St. Mary’s Academy”

“Oh!! What percentage did you passed your 7th grade with?”

“74%”

“Want to be friends?”

“Sure”

This was a start to one of the best friendships of my school life. They both were the smartest kids in class, trying to outdo each other to come first. Sree was a South Indian genius with varied interests. He would make helicopters by carving wood, knit his own sweater for winters and come to school on his grandfather’s antique bike. Anuj was a very typical UP ka ladka, very conservative but very smart. Sree used to live in Army Cantonment area, while Anuj lived in old part of the city called Begum Bridge. We would often hang out at Sree’s place as Army Cantonment areas are usually nicer than rest of the city. We would play cricket, study together and goof around, all day long. Sree’s Mom used to make some of the yummiest Rasam with rice and Idlis, that we would end up eating after a game of cricket in the nearby maidan. This was my daily routine for the next 2 years until it was time to move on.


We moved to Dehradoon, while Prashant moved to Chennai and Anuj stayed in Meerut. I kept in touch with Anuj by snail mail but over time the mails stopped coming. I made new friends, moved from one place to another, settled in Canada but could not forget our friendship. Infact, the only sole picture of us three during Prashant’s birthday is etched in my head like a Mohenjodaro carving on stone.


Few years back, I was searching for someone on yahoo and instinctively searched for Sree. I got one hit with the same name; I emailed him and got a reply after a week, saying that he was the same Sree from Meerut. I replied him again but never got the reply back, so assumed that someone was playing a prank. Last week, I decided to try my luck in Facebook and again got one person with exactly same name. I left a message and got a reply after 2 days that he was the same Sree. But this time I was sure he is the right guy because my name in Facebook is Ricky but he replied me by my non-nickname. I got another message from him today, telling me where he is, what he is been up to and remembering old times. Unfortunately, even he has lost contact with Anuj.


This may seem like a small thing for most of the people reading this mail but for me it is a big thing. All my friends on Facebook have friends from school except me and I would always wonder what Sree and Anuj would be doing at this stage of their lives. Thanks to Facebook, now I know about atleast one of them…

17 Comments:

Blogger anks said...

me gets the Au!!!

11:08 PM  
Blogger anks said...

and me leaves the first comment.... i have the same story to tell... even though i didn't spend my childhood hopping across cities, i sure hopped schools!

and then i lost touch with my friends.... have connected with a lot of them over orkut....

how is facebook different?

11:14 PM  
Blogger Reema said...

LOL @ shakal-e-kitab.. and also shoe shopping!! :D

yep, facebook's come in n become wat orkut had been trying to do for a while! another advantage of technology, find old acqainitances was practically impossible earlier..

plus, i love me facebook appilcations!! :p

5:29 AM  
Blogger The Bhandari's said...

:) me a new user, thanks to u for introducing me, hopefully I will too find my long lost friends one day
here's a hope u will find ur other frd Anuj soon :) all the best

11:12 AM  
Blogger Moonie said...

yups actually Orkut did that couple of years ago! Yes, the curiosity of knowing "where are they now" is quenched followed by an awkward silence where one doesn't know how to proceed. You would not feel the same closeness and maybe not even friendship but there exist some kind of a tie which holds you together. Ever felt that way??

PS: wonder if that Anuj is the famous TV actor and businessman of mumbai, Anuj Saxena?? ;) :D :P

8:53 PM  
Blogger hope said...

aahaa!!! achcha tareeka hai... to tempt someone to use it :P

waah waah!!

dost mila ek purana bhatka hua.. waah ji! badhai ho aapko..

ab to sochna padega.. hmmmmm

*smiles*

8:18 PM  
Blogger Kalyan said...

lovely reading your post...social networking sites has really helped us in some ways, and we have many beautiful online friends. Although I'm not regular in facebook, I like its layout...have a nice time!

4:04 AM  
Blogger Moonie said...

ek naya tamatar ho jaaye?? :) next post due!

12:05 AM  
Blogger Deepak said...

hmmm , i think this type of social networking sites r good....bcoz i also got some of my childhood frnds through orkut...:)

So, now Enjoy with ur childhood frnd..... " fir se bachche ban jaeye...purani yaadein taaja kijiye " ..:P

3:52 AM  
Blogger Fuzzylogic said...

It's always great to hear from a long lost friends. It's amazing how I have ended up running into so many of those childhood friends at these networking sites!
by the way Happy Diwali Ricky!

10:19 AM  
Blogger Marlee said...

first of all...u mentioned me in the post! eeee **all 32 teeth out smile** :-P

To me Facebook is fairly new...Orkut helped me find long lost frens after like 11 yrs!!! Despite Orkut being intrusive, I still am glad I use it to keep in touch with frens all the time, even u :-P

May the search for Anuj continue!

7:36 PM  
Blogger Ricky said...

anks - Au, Ag sabke aapke hain jee.

How did you hopped schools because usually most people in one city hardly change their school. Kitne beegdee huee thee aap :P (kidding)

Yea, orkut has the highest number of Indians among any other networking sites.

Facebook has some really cool applications and putting pictures is easier than Flickr. So, its like a Flickr in Orkut. Also, it is very private, so no one can bug you or scrap unless you accept him/her as your friend. So, you won't get "Will you be my friend?" type scraps...lol.

5:36 PM  
Blogger Ricky said...

reema - :D

Yea, I find Facebook much more user friendly than orkut but remember you came to my blog because of orkut :-)

Yea, connecting with people is a very big advantage of technology. Oh, I need to give you a superlative...lol

5:44 PM  
Blogger Ricky said...

the bhandari's - Yea, you will get used to it pretty soon. Thanks, it will be great to find Anuj now :)

moonie - Yea, Orkut was the innovator but Facebook is the leader now.

Yes, I exactly know what you mean. I think we all want to relive our past and even though our present reality maybe very different, we still would like to think that everything is still the same.

If Anuj is that Anuj Saxena then I need to meet him soon, maybe he can hire me in his company...he he

5:48 PM  
Blogger Ricky said...

hope - Aree kahan stone age main reh rahee ho aap :P Duniya kahan se kahan nikal gyaee dekho...lol. You are toh my special Orkut friend na :D

Thank You for your badhai, ab kahan main mere Diwali kee mithai...wah wah.

Aap aur sochoge?? Ghor kalyug... :P

5:50 PM  
Blogger Ricky said...

kalyan - Thanks Kalyan. Yea, nothing like meeting old friends. Yea, facebook has a very pleasing layout. You should put your pictures there, its very easy and nice way to share with your friends.

moonie - Tamatar kya, alu pyaaz bhi de deeya next post main :P

5:53 PM  
Blogger Ricky said...

deepak - Yes, I agree with you completely. We are still catching up the good 'ol days :)

fuzzylogic - Yea, its always great to connect with one's past :)

Happy Deepawali to you too :)

marlee - I can see your motiyon jaise 32 teeths :P

Yea, orkut was very special when it started and still is but facebook is more fun (sounds like gharwaali baharwali...lol)

Yes yes continue :D

5:57 PM  

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