We are the world
The Net has wired society into one big family where people are discovering long lost relatives and school buddies. But we do it the Indian ishtyle!
Networking, the new or the old-fashioned way, was surely ‘Made in India’!
There’s today’s youth, well connected to the Internet network. They “do” social networking, put up snaps, start blogs, which are today’s journals, and ‘scrap’ or message each other when free. There’s also instant messaging, voice chat and videoconferencing making life a tad easier. That’s instant karma for you!
The seniors do it differently – they frequently tap into the gigantic familial network, in their conversations, interactions - in literally everything! The vast sea brings up an embarrassing ‘prize catch’ of a proposal that makes you go, “Hurray for the family!” or run for cover. Or expect the unexpected phone call or a sudden visit from an unlikely “long-lost” relative. Be wary, you tell yourself. But as the line of communication opens up, you learn that your much-dreaded professor is also the much-doted son-in-law of so-and so’ s uncle!
Imagine that you’re in need of an official receipt...for all you know, on enquiry, that very official might well be the distant uncle or aunt of your neighbour! So, getting hold of that receipt turns out to be a breeze!
Next scenario- You switch on the television to find a musical reality show. You spot a girl singing particularly well and note her name. After a phone call, you know that she is your colleague’s sister. You join her in sending SMSes and praying that she comes up trumps!
Networking sure gets a lot of people closer and warms up familial ties. You can also catch up on old times with your friends and classmates from pre-internet days! Of course, one can mask one’s true identity online with fancy or impressive sounding usernames.
In the past, going out with your beloved on a discreet date was fraught with the danger of bumping into some well-meaning acquaintance. Bewildered looks would give way to polite pleasantries in true gentlemanly fashion and God-knows-what-next! Today, one can afford to pick and choose whom one wants to interact with, once online. The click of the mouse is also the powerful vote of choice!
Its a long, lazy, late afternoon and you are engaged in a lively chat with family members, post-lunch. Your grand aunt reels off names at the rate of a dozen names a minute! All with mind-boggling precision much like a Swiss watch! The family tree, you learn, is ever blooming! It’s part fascinating to see where all the old branches leads us to!
You become dimly aware that you are but a small fish in the mighty ocean. Big fish, small ones, its all in the family! Each time, you think, of all the permutations and combinations-befuddling, endearing and amusingly quaint at that- THIS one surely takes the cake! Grand aunt seems to say with a smile, Wait for the NEXT one!
One is led to the realization that networking, once familial, and now more often ‘social’, is integral to every true-blue Indian. It IS, after all a small world, ‘Vasudeva Kutumbakam’!!
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