The Orkut shuts down - blues

I happened to suddenly see a video today. Curious - I clicked it on it. It was a video of students opening their deeply-buried Orkut profile- one last time. It has been quite a while since this 'Orkut is shutting down' thing going around. However, it is now officially shutting down this September 30th (handkerchief please - *sniff*). To be frank, this news never really meant anything, just until I opened my profile (after N number of attempts to recover username and then the password).
There it was - My Orkut profile created almost 9 years ago. Wow its been so long. Opening the orkut page, I see a teen me with shoulder-length, ironed- hair - sitting infront of a dressing table in my room -before my house was renovated, holding my first-digi cam. I stare at the picture itself for a while. Everything in it has changed. I now have waist-length curly hair, our house is newly painted, the accessories I saw in the pic are not used any longer, broke the digi cam and I am no more a teen. I then look around. I notice my 'online' friends in the right side - who also, have their 10-year-old pic! It stands as a mirror showcasing how we all of us were exactly in those days. Some fat, some thin and some almost unidentifiable. At that time, all we knew were scraps. We used to have something called 'scrapbook' where people can leave you a text (something like a wallpost in FB now). I still remember Pbs, Me and Olli having a stupid scrap-chat sitting right next to each other. God knows what we were chatting about. but that day we were laughing so hard in the lab, that we had tears. Pbs was one of my close friends, who had so much in common to my traits. Oh yes, we also fight alike - but still, we had amazing fun when were together. And Olli meant the tamil word for a person who was very skinny. And the name stuck till today. Oh, forgot to tell you - We were masters in Orkut - if we still managed to escape from any of our hi-techy-relatives-who-live-abroad. Someone 'discovered' that the name doesn't pop up in the search box if we add a symbol in the middle of the name - And invariably all of us had atleast one #* in the middle. How terrified we were of relatives and parents those days!

Social networking had not gained so much popularity back then. We still used to call each other over landlines, confirm a birthday party at college and meet directly at the spot. Rather than heaps of Whatsapp messages we do these days. Going online to Orkut was itself a big deal. You are asking why? Hmm .. We used to need laptops only for assignments, or writing thesis or any paper presentations. Today even a 5-year old has an Ipad in his/her hand. We came to know of Social networking itself, only through Orkut. That was how the whole 'community' thing came up. There used to be groups meant only for stupid talks, girls team, campus-placed-students, department chats etc etc., We'd spent hours chit-chatting (through scraps only!), waiting for the next scrap and the next and the next. If two people are talking (scraping) over a scrapbook, it will be visible for the other friends too. So they pop in and another pops in - and the talks never end. From day-to-day assignments, to suggesting tv programs, to recommending a song in radio, to deciding the next day's costumes or even to switch channels in tv - everything was through scraps! We killed our prime study time orkutting, deprived ourselves of sleep and some of them grew love through Orkut. One of my friends met her guy through Orkut and is now happily married - shutting Orkut down is very emotional for her. 

Futhermore comes the testimonials. Guess thats the only feature Facebook has not entirely brought into it. Testimonials were very popular then - it is something, where someone writes how special you are to them. Basically, a slam-book. Some: wrote for us, some: we got them written, some others: never wrote despite our tortures. And oh, I first wrote a testimonial to S - that was when many of our friends and classmates 'suspected' us atleast. Looking at it now, I can't stop myself from blushing - it looks so kiddish. S was never a 'socially-active' person, so I had to tell him to open up and read, instead of it being a surprise. Hehe. 

I am now sitting to read the testimonials my friends had once written for me. And copy paste them to Facebook msgs. (Maybe this will preserve the memories a few more years). For now, its just a handful of my close circle, whom I can still bug over 'what eyeliner should I buy?' With the rest, it is ofcourse saddening, to see how we have drifted apart after all these years. Maybe that's how Life goes on. The stronger ones stay - while the other fishes choose to drift off to the next current. So, with Orkut officially shutting down, with a lump in my throat, I bid Orkut a Goodbye - One last time - with a One Last Login.

Comments

  1. All said and done, we had made some good friends of all age group, all over the world, through Orkut. It was a group called Fraud Mallu (FM) where all Mallus who are outside Kerala can be members. A real fun and crazy group. Of course they have transferred the complete group to FB now.
    Yes testimonials were of the old order (it is still there in Flickr)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lucky you, to have them all transferred to FB now. We were in a crazy 'Cognizant placed batch 2008' group. Totally lost contact with the entire community :(
      Never knew Flickr has testimonials!!

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