PDA – Personal Digital Affliction…

Friday October 21, 2016

Looks like the world skipped a beat last Friday… I did not publish ‘Fursat Friday’ last weekend… 3 people and a half (the half is my 10 year old nephew), WhatsApped me and wanted to know the reason…

Individual WhatsApping was fine… but putting it up in a WhatsApp Group that they missed me… was taking their PDA to an NLE (Next Level Evolution)…

I, for one, after many long years, realised how much I miss Meena…

“Sabko Gher Lo Bhai… Thane le chalo sabko… Inke Maa Baap ko bulate hain… sabki khatir karenge”… (Take everybody into Custody… take them to the Police Station… we will call their parents)…

Hawaldar Joginder Meena of Dilli Puls (Delhi Police) thundered with a squint eye… as he entered the small little enclosure in an under-refined and neglected park at Suraj Kund… the park had thick, non-descript, overgrown foliage… and to the naked eye, gave all signs of an uncared for, abandoned zone… in an otherwise well manicured huge open garden at the edge of the main Suraj Kund picnic zone…

And there lied the key to why Meena and his gang of 3 policemen were policing the ‘uncared for’ zone where my Girlfriend and I – along with a few others of my ilk were… well… huddled up… before we got hauled up…

circa… Feb 1992…

Having never been to a police station in all of my childhood… the prospect of visiting one along with Meena and his gang of 3… and with the 3 other clueless couples… my parents getting called into the police station along with my Girlfriend’s parents… did not seem to be a great proposition…

We split after that… my Girlfriend and I… 100 rupees each for Meena and his gang…

And we did eventually split after a few months after that… we went our own ways…

So much for PDA – Public Display of Affection…

——————–

25 years on… a more benign shape of Meena emerges… in a new avatar…

Mark Zuckerberg would never have imagined when he launched Facebook and then acquired WhatsApp… that one day… one fine day… his creation would find the most ultimate and an intimate platform for many to display their affection… in public… for the most personal relationships that people love and cherish…

Sample this…

At the life stage that I am, most friends of mine celebrate 3 things…

One – their partner relationships in life… and since most of my friends are Gen X, I do see that they are stuck with the same spouse or partner for eternity… so they celebrate their 20th or 25th year of togetherness and once-hoped bliss…

Two – accomplishments and achievements of their offspring… every Facebook friend’s child seems to be scoring no less than 98.93% in their 10th and 99.24% in their 12th grades… and then they go on to do their HIGHER studies in UNDER-graduation in a scenic foreign locale…

Three – passing away of parents… I know this could be a celebration particularly if it was a self-fulfilling life that this person lived and a life equally cherished by others around the person passing away… but going by the number of likes people hit on messages that my friends post when somebody in their lives dies… it does sure look celebratory…

Now… as a self-styled Soc Med (Social Media) analyst… I observe a trend here… it’s not about the post itself… but WHAT they typically post…

I don’t know if they ever use such flowery language otherwise, but on Facebook, everybody is a poet, an author, a writer, a Ghalib or a Shakespeare, a Meer or a Milton… everybody is a thinker, a philosopher or a photographer…

Borrowed verses are posted – some acknowledged and credited to the right source… but many touted as self-done concoctions of love, affection and admiration of the achievements in relationships… some of which are endurance, some survival and many, mere existential… I know of at least a dozen friends of mine who have gone through a few shitty extra-marital flings and who do not fail to come back to Facebook on their anniversaries and confess – everything is fine, this anniversary… Wow…!

What take the cake though, are the photographs… my friends post photographs of 20 years ago… when both of them partners looked young, fresh and chic… and claim they still have the same love for each other on their anniversary… come on… let’s tell the truth… what you are actually wishing for is your spouse looked the same and has the same zeal and zest for you… still… hopefully…

And mothers posting photographs along with their daughters… on their daughters’ birthdays… with a caption – hey – I looked exactly like you when I was 18… how self-gratifying can that get, eh…

Trust me, some mothers do have ‘em… old wine, if you will… they look as delectable as they used to, when we were dating…

And if you got a little vengeful into Vernacular India… you would be better off with Ghalib… I mean you are my “Phool” and “Chand” (flowers and moon) is still acceptable… but for many of my Bong (Bengali) friends… their partners and offspring are always Mishti, Chomchom, Shondesh… man – give me a break… how diabetic can these relationships get, with so much of confectioned sugar in them…

Or in my own Telugu land, everybody is a “Pundu” (like Puh-un-doo – a fruit)… how luscious can that get now… imagine somebody calling you “Yapplis Pandu (Apple) of my eye”… so much of personalisation of love… barring those seed that you find in the middle of the Apple…

——————–

Meanwhile… I hope Hawaldar Joginder Meena is watching all this with his squint eye… and wondering at such an amazing evolution of PDA – Public Display of Affection to PDA – Personal Digital Affliction…

Are you wondering too if you are a part of it…

And more hopelessly, if I am…

Hmmm…

Happy Weekend…

Ravi Kodukula

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