I left Orkut about a year back. Don't ask me why, I may not have a sensible answer. It was just one of those things one does and then doesn't know why one did (a lot of ones flying around in this sentence). Several of my friends were bewildered ("Huh? But why?"), some were disapppointed ("The testimonial you wrote me is gone! Thanks a lot for nothing!"), while others were resigned to the fact that since I wasn't replying to their scraps anyway it wasn't much of a difference ("Orkut is blocked in my office dude, seriously.. I am not, repeat, NOT avoiding you" got me a "Yeah, whatever!")
Although I have aged considerably since those long-gone, but oft remembered, days of college 2 years ago, getting back on Orkut has brought back a flood of fond memories....
Before I came to IIT-R, I was a simple girl with just an e-mail ID and an account on Yahoo! And then came Orkut. My senior, in keeping with the ritual of inducting a junior into the tribe, sent me an Orkut invite. Wide eyed with fear and trepidation (we were still having "interaction" with our seniors then), I filled up the form and with just a click, I was into Orkut.
I soon discovered that everyone in IIT and their aunt was on Orkut. There are all sorts of weird communities one can join... "Oversleepers Anonymous" lies drooling right next to "Proud to be an Oversleeper" ; every sun sign has a comm proclaiming its virtues and another one pulling it down ; arbitrary communities appropriately named "ArBit" and comms committed to various causes like "Save the Children" populate the annals of Orkut. One can discover long lost friends in their school or college communities n renew old ties (read crushes, as is done by certain friends of mine).
Then there is the life force of Orkut... the members themselves. With a profile format that allows one to write reams about themselves and put forth their likes and dislikes on any and every sphere of life, we often find innovative and interesting profiles and the people behind them. So we have "Rammurthy Selva" insisting he's into "Simple living,High thinking" ; "Hot Chick" who warns "You'll burn your fingers if you mess with me" ; "Count Dracula" who invites you "For a night of fun,frolic and blood sucking" ; "Sathish Sathish" who's "fun-loving and wants to make friends" but has a pic that would make your blood curdle (incidentally, he happens to be on Dracula's friend list..food for thought) ; "Hunk of your Dreams" with a dreamy pic, but a profile that displays his not-too-bright brains ; "Apocalyptic", reading whose profile will take me a year coz its so long ; "Mo' F*cka" who says just that in his profile some 10 times (driving home a point seems to be a big thing with this guy) .. and so on and so forth. While there are some who wax eloquent about philosophy in life, there are others who choose to write poems and songs, some who prefer profanity to anything else, and others who choose to say things like "If you know me, you don't need to read this, and if you don't know me, why the hell are you reading this anyway??"
The friend list and fan list are big ego boosters... or ego-busters. 270 friends and 123 fans sounds and looks good. But then again, how many would you personally know or care to scrap even once a year? Then again, having 2 friends and scrapping them incessantly doesn't help either. How bugging can you get? Everyday, the high point of the day happens to be checking out the new scraps you've received. Heartbreaks are common when there are no new scraps ("Why me?? What have I done to deserve this??") ... so is ecstasy ("He scrapped me today!!!") The number of people visiting your profile daily becomes a prestige issue (" Know what, 12345 people have visited my profile since Feb '06... beat that!!") . Scrapbooks become chatrooms, with scraps flying thick n fast when two buddies meet online. Unwanted solicitations, arbit friend requests, weird scraps are all part of the Orkut experience. Testimonials written for and received from friends further serve to brighten your day.. coz even if it isn't very flattering, at least you know the person took the time to write something for you !!
And if you need further proof as to how far Orkut has entered our lives.. here I am writing a post about it since last night. Guess we'll just keep Orkutting away to glory....