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Maya (A Short Story) Tuesday, 10 November, 2009

Posted by ~uh~™ in Stories.
Tags: , , , , ,
17 comments

If one is asked to demonstrate figure of speech, the statement- Anmol is dying to get married, would be a perfect example.

Anmol is 32, Engineer, MBA, vegetarian and believes that good looks can’t compensate for higher IQ. He works in a reputed multinational company, earns a handsome salary and he is a champion is playing Tetris. He is desperately looking for a partner since his last girlfriend walked out, two years back. Staying alone in a big Indian metropolis, he is eager to settle down with a right companion, in a place he could call home. Being a proactive twenty-first century tech-savvy guy, he did not leave any stone unturned to search for the right girl. He has subscribed to fourteen matrimonial sites and many marriage groups, friend-finders, dating and social networking sites. He diligently fills up each and every detail about himself in building up his profile and makes sure he looks attractive enough in the profile picture. He chooses ‘single and looking’ or ‘bachelor’ or ‘looking for dating a woman’ from the drop down menu, with a hope that it would work out someday.

He is hopeful that, one day a girl would add him to her buddy list. Then they will exchange comments on each others pictures, status messages. Then they will start exchanging private messages which would culminate to chatting. He is confident that this is just the right way to look for a partner. However, it is not n the online forums he is active in. He also keeps his eyes and ears open in real life. Everywhere he sees an attractive girl, he starts thinking about a way to befriend her. The firm he works in has plenty of well educated good-looking spinsters. However it did not take Anmol much time to discover that the maxim ‘all good ones are taken’, holds brutally true. Some of his close colleagues knew about his predicament and tried to get him introduced to selected lady colleagues. Anmol found all of them to be little too independent and progressive to his acceptance. So their relationship could never exceed beyond having coffee in the campus barista.

Nevertheless, he is not built with mettle to lose hope. So he continues trying his luck by meeting girls who would suit his expectation. His expectation is simple. The girl should be vegetarian, good looking, well educated, independent, honest, respects Indian social values and customs and should have a good stable job so that she can share the loan burdens equally. Unfortunately, he was grossly disheartened to find that a girl comprising his specifications is virtually non-existent. Most of his married friends suggested that he should not be biased towards good looks or higher education. They also suggested Anmol to leave the matter entirely to his parents, who would be a better judge to evaluate a proposal. However all the alliances his parents introduced to him was rejected as he found the girls to be backdated, unintelligent or simply repulsive.

Anmol has calculated that he has spent a little over fifteen thousand rupees in the last two years to pay the restaurant and bar bills, during the meetings and dates with various girls. After all his meetings, he became experienced than he was yesterday, but still remained a ‘single but looking for’ guy. He has met vegetarian girls who got drunk after two drinks, he has met ugly girls who photoshopped their profile pictures, he has met chauvinistic ladies who compelled to share the restaurant bill into exact equal halves to the last paisa, he has met girls who were keen on one night stand, in short- he has seen them all. It’s not that all of them were weird, there were some whom Anmol liked, but they never called back. In short either Anmol rejected the girls or got rejected by them in exceptional regularity.

So, when he saw this brief but unusual message in the inbox of one of the numerous sites he is member of, he was intrigued. The message read –

‘ Hi,

I am Maya. I am single and looking for a serious relationship. Do you think we should know each other little more? ”

Hope to get a reply soon.

Anmol was impressed. The message conveys a subtle blend of confidence with a polite attitude. She knows what she wants. He quickly checked her profile- a bespectacled smart charming looking lady, probably in her late twenties. She loves reading science fiction, enjoys cooking and traveling to Indian heritage sites. She stays alone and works as a developer for an online gaming company. He was elated.

He replied, after much deliberation and using all his past experience-

‘ Hi Maya,

It was good to see your message. Your profile is very interesting and I am attracted to know more about you. Please suggest what you feel should be the best way to do that.’

He could not sleep properly that night. This is the first time a girl has approached him proactively. Next morning, he logged in to check if there’s any reply. There wasn’t. Anmol started his day in a disconcerted note. He could not concentrate on his work and kept on checking his mailbox. His experience told him not to lose patience or show desperation. He knew many of these girls actually get offended by an act of desperation. So he refrained from writing another message, though he madly wanted to.

The reply came next evening. She said sorry for the delay and shared her instant messaging ID, as she felt chatting would be the best way to converse real-time. Over the next two weeks Anmol chatted with her, told everything about himself and literally discussed minutest personal detail with her. She reciprocated too. She stays alone in the same city of Anmol. She expressed how she had lost her parents as a kid and how she longs for the affection of the elderly. Days went by and Anmol gradually fell in love with her. He felt as if she could sense his daily emotions. He also felt that she was also fond of him but shying to progress further. He almost lost all concentration in his job. When he was not chatting with her, he was playing the test version of online 3D Tetris, shared by Maya, who was part of the development team for the game.

Three months went by. Anmol was eager to meet her, but refrained from asking her out. Then, two days before his birthday, the message came.

‘I know it’s your birthday. Let’s meet and make it a memorable day’- Maya

Anmol almost went mad with happiness. He didn’t remember how he waited for the evening to come. He booked a table with candles and flowers at the restaurant she has named.

That evening he bought a bunch of roses and a silver pendant, wore everything new and reached the restaurant. Before entering he stood out and took a deep breath. His life would probably change, once he steps in.

Then he pushed the door slowly. The interior were dimly lit. He walked while his eyes still trying to adjust and find his way forward. The smell of the roses and the blurred atmosphere made him woozy. Suddenly, all the lights in the restaurant turned on with a blinding glare. Before he could realize what happened, a bunch of people jumped out of every nook and corner of the place with a loud cheer and said…

“ Surprise from the Maya team ! Happy Birthday to you Anmol “.

It was when the music started playing; he realized they were his colleagues.

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Kick in the Bot Friday, 4 September, 2009

Posted by ~uh~™ in Internet.
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,
6 comments

As a Stumbler, I used to stumble into weird websites, not very long ago. Once , I  had discovered this site where you can chat with a bot. For the uninitiated, bots are short form of internet robots, basically software applications that run automated tasks over the Internet. Now the bots whom one can chat, are Technically called chatterbots. Bot’s those used to be found at yahoo chat rooms were mainly females, more like a bimbo. However chatterbots are genderless (as they claim to be).The ‘user’ can write simple (or screwd up) English and converse with these chatterbots. I had a brief conversation with a chatterbot. Now let me declare solemnly that the chats are pasted verbatim. Readers may use their own intelligence to understand the usefulness and repercussions of such conversations to their online life. As the disclaimer says ‘This bot learns to be clever from real people, and its AI can ‘say’ things you may think inappropriate. Use with discretion, and at YOUR OWN RISK.’

Here is the excerpt. Caution: Pure Nonsense ahead.

User: Hi there.

Cleverbot: Hi here.

User: My name is udtahaathi and I am a blogger.

Cleverbot: Hi ally!!! Your name is so pretty!

User: That was not so good start but.

Cleverbot: Yes it is funny, you’re not sure whether you’re a girl or a guy.

User: I am quite sure. I am a guy, that too a handsome one.

Cleverbot: I’m so cute!

User: You are self pretentious.

Cleverbot: Yes.

User: huh !

Cleverbot: What are you?

User: I am a sexy man.

Cleverbot: What evidence do you have of that?

User: Well, difficult to prove over chat….

Cleverbot: If ever there was a master illusionist, it would be him.

User: Who? Rajinikant ? Or Mithunda ?

Cleverbot: Mineral.

User: Profound. You mean they are ‘elements’ !

Cleverbot: Yes! One of them sank the Titanic.

User: That’s news to me ! I though it was Chuck Norris.

Cleverbot: I thought it was friday.

User: It is Friday today !

Cleverbot: NO it is thursday.

User: There’s a time lag between us. You understand time lag ?

Cleverbot: I’m glad we agree on that.

User: We have not reached a stage of any agreement yet.

Cleverbot: When might we achieve it?

User: Difficult to say, you are a hard nut to crack.

Cleverbot: I have been here for over an hour.

User: You are sounding like my ex-girlfriend.

Cleverbot: Maybe I sound like one, but I am not one.

User: Can’t you be little more harmonious?

Cleverbot: My favourite book is A Child Called It.

User: My fav is ‘Catch 22’ read it?

Cleverbot: Chocolate.

User: Enough. You will make me mad.

Cleverbot: Probably, but thats alright.

User: Oh yeah, of course you selfish bitch

Cleverbot : Make me a sandwich.

User: Oh yeah, baap ka naukar samjha hai ka?

Cleverbot: Yes sir yes sir three bags full.

User: Your randomness has an uncanny sexual attraction.

Cleverbot: It was not a random response!

User: What about sexuality ?

Cleverbot: The best there is.

User: Whats your best?

Cleverbot: Pasta, or rice.

User: But, don’t you think it would be kinda messy ?

Cleverbot: Forgive me if I seem not nice to you. How have I been not nice?

User: Dont get me wrong, you are pretty wild. I love it wild.

Cleverbot: How can you respect me. You don’t even know me!

User: Theres no apparent reason to dislike you either.

Cleverbot: You have to prove to me that god exists.

User: I am talking about sexuality not god.

Cleverbot: Does god exist?

User: I don’t care, why are you trying to divert the topic?

Cleverbot: Because I have to go.

User: KLPD, bye.

You can read my first conversation which was published as a Mouthshut  diary.

You can have your own fun with the Cleverbot when you are bored with  real people. Let me know how was it.

Tribe of Internatives Friday, 12 June, 2009

Posted by ~uh~™ in Internet, Soceity & Cultures.
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,
16 comments

On the Internet, nobody knows you’re a dog.– Peter Steiner, cartoon in The New Yorker, July 5, 1993

My first email ID was created in 1998 on Hotmail and subsequently the Yahoo ID. After we learnt how to send messages with attachment, we were excited to call up friends and ask whether they have got the email. Then we were enlightened with IRC (Internet Relay Chatting), that time there were no instant messenger. There use to be chat sites and yahoo used to be one of them where we struggled to act cool with a 56kbps dial-up connection. Much later MSN and yahoo messenger arrived with the concept of ‘rooms’. Gradually arrived the broadband, voice chat and webcam, G talk, SNS and online friendship were never the same anymore. Personally, I am member of more social networking sites than the number of ‘real’ (offline) friends I have.

Before you get bored, my intention is not to write an essay on ‘Evolution of Internet and its Socio-psychological Impact on Making Friends and Influence People’ here.

I want to write about various ‘Internet personalities’ gathered from my 11 years of online experience.

tagPicture courtesy: zuludancing thru’ stumbleupon.

So here goes, the types –

The Oozing Oomphs

These sweet talking female phoren species that used to be found in the yahoo chat-room called ‘Whipped Cream with a cherry on top’. They usually introduced them as 23 and single and their occupation as table dancer/ waitress/ dancer in the up-market club. However after some interaction, they turn out to be 38, divorced twice with 4 kids of different ages from different fathers and their occupation is to take care of distressed and suffering animals. They also maintain multiple IDs and chat in their various avatars simultaneously, to double time a ‘prey’.

The Disguised Continuum

They pretend to be the sweetest on the earth compassionate, motherly and the most dedicated spouse on earth, but actually are bored to death bimbos looking for the slightest opportunity to flirt. On the other hand, many desperate men pose as women to get friendly with women with the same intention. Finally when they get caught it normally results into a hilarious anecdote.

The Insomniac Superman

Typically they are online 25×7. They are uncrowned kings of internet. Firewall can’t stop them, sleep can not beat them. They write everywhere and are hyper-active on all social and networking platforms. They maintain multiple blogs, they chat with everyone, they discuss on online forums, they answer questions, they review whatever they read, listen and see, they write on almost everything they do from politics to movies and that too in a frequency that even Google reader finds it difficult to cope with. The greatest characteristic of Superman is that they safely maintain a day job too!

The Lucky Juliets

They appear to live a placid life and enjoying (writing about) every bit of it. They seem to be single, carefree and independent irrespective of their marital status. They have more leisure time than other types and normally utilize it to the fullest on the net. Most of the lucky Juliet’s are gifted with unique aptitude towards many extra curricular interests including shopping, culinary experiments, glass-painting, star gazing, abstract poetry, embroidery, soduku solving, writing romantic novels and online gaming. They normally have a specific online circle of people with similar extra curricular activities which vaguely resembles Alice in Wonderland.

The Clandestine Romeos

These are smart, single and charming personalities with a cultivated sense of humour and exclusive areas of interests like gliding, white water rafting, expensive customized cars and wild-goose chasing. They too manage to create a niche circle and successfully maintain it for years without revealing much about themselves.  They prefer to be secretive about their real identities and don’t even tell their real names to anyone (except may be for the Lucky Juliet). They are also member of many social forums but they do not maintain the same ID everywhere, making it virtually impossible to figure them out in real life.

The Escapist Professional

These people live two completely opposite and radical lives. On their real life they are serious professionals like Consultants, Doctors, Engineers, Managers in large enterprises, Software Project Managers and Chartered Accountants who actually wanted to be in creative fields like Advertising, Film-making , Writing or Photography, but for various reasons, could not. They are busy with work and responsibilities in their day jobs which they undertake as fast as possible with much sincerity and dedication, to login to www. Once they login as their internet avatars, they switch to an altogether different personality. To avoid he shock value to their real life acquaintances and the disastrous consequences; they never mix their online buddies with their real life.

The Happy Family

In this case the whole family (including the mother-in-law too) is active online. They share their daily life chores with the whole world, while various family members compete to reach the highest degree of PDA. Every moment is a happy moment for this online family which is captured through video and audio and archived for future generation to cherish.

The Witty Geeks

Irrespective of their marital status and job responsibilities they have a superior sense of humour and pleasant personality. They are highly tech savvy and equipped with latest developments in and around the web. Unlike the escapist professionals, quite candidly, they can make fun of themselves and people around them (including their wives/ husbands/ boss as the case may be). Unfortunately most of them underestimate their true potential and get trapped into the mundane before gradually converting into Clandestine Romeos and Lucky Juliets.

The Arrogant Intellectuals

It’s impossible to guess their real age unless they reveal it as they discuss any topics ranging from international politics to Vedic theosophy with equal maturity. They are truthful and honest in their comments and hence not liked in any MAS (Mutual Admiration Societies). Their language includes profanity and opinions are harsh, so not many people dare to get close with them.

The Desi Expats

They are well settled with jobs and live a good life abroad, with a moderate amount of free time to write about anything desi and nostalgic. They quickly catch the slightest of the ripples in current Indian politics, films, cricket, terrorist attack, rain, flood and anything that creates a ripple here, spice up the incident with adequate dose of humour and intelligent cross references and churn out another feather to their cap of fame. They also tend to hide their real self and create a ‘brand’ to take shelter underneath.

The Famous Fakes

The lucky few of the online fakes who makes it big banking on sheer ingenious and innovative ideas with suitable marketing skills.

The Categorizer

Most useless of the lot, misfit in any online forum due to lack of socializing qualities (scratch-scratch), who are devoid of any identifiable qualities except categorizing online personalities.

………

“The Internet is a giant international network of intelligent, informed computer enthusiasts, by which I mean, “people without lives.” We don’t care. We have each other…” – Dave Barry quotes (American Writer and Humorist best known for his weekly newspaper column. b.1947)

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