Pain, Pleasure And The New Culture Of Small Bits

The year was 2004, and we used to wait for someone to write in our Orkut scrapbooks. Broadband connections were nowhere nearly as fast as it is today, but we refreshed our scrapbooks every few minutes.  The arrival of each scrapbook entry made us happy. It’s easy to call us losers, but social networking websites met a fundamental human need. There was a time when I used to wake up at 6 to log into my Yahoo mail account. My internet connection was too slow that I couldn’t read mails before 8.  But when I could, I felt happy.

I spent many hours every day in Yahoo chat rooms. The boys in my hostel found this a waste of time. But I was instantly a hit with chicks. I metamorphosed into an online Casanova. Jocks in my college were worried. They said I was cheating. The plain truth is that I wrote well. Always on the lookout for great genes, teen girls didn’t miss this. Nerd is the new man. I felt pleasure when I was flooded with offline messages when I logged into Yahoo Messenger after many days. When I did not see enough of them, I was sad. Such pleasures and disappointments are what the internet and social media are all about. It is easy to call all this trivial. But this is big deal, because social media is our culture. For a nerd, the cost of sending out an instant message isn’t much, when compared to walking up to someone. Through small chunks of text I sent out and took in, I was creating a whole world inside my mind. My understanding of human nature became deeper over a long time.  Continue reading “Pain, Pleasure And The New Culture Of Small Bits”

Kasab’s Hanging: Revenge And Closure

I feel so Awww when I see the picture of a young boy walking around with his belongings.

Revenge has always had a bad press in a world where conformists are actively scheming to make a virtue out of a vice. But, it is not hard to see that deep down, they love what they claim to despise.

Crowds throng to the theaters to watch movies in which the hero stands victorious at the end, blood and sweat running down his chest. When S.P.S. Rathore got away with a measly fine and six months imprisonment after molesting a girl, ruining her family and driving her to suicide, Sagarika Ghose tweeted: “My daughter is almost 14. If I was Ruchika’s mother, I would have gone and broken Rathore’s jaw.”Above a picture in which Rathore was grinning widely saying “I am relieved today”, Sandipan Deb wrote: “Remember that face.” Revenge sells in a market where people consume what gives them joy, and not what is supposed to give them joy. The tycoons of the entertainment industry know it. Our journalists know it. Continue reading “Kasab’s Hanging: Revenge And Closure”