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My Facebook friend, Gargi, is cleaning up her friends list, chucking a bunch of her friends out on their asses. Poalightly. She has taken pains ta explain how she is just not energized by the complete lack of interaction with them. If you happen to be one of those who don’t energize her, you’re history, bud. Beat it, okay? Scram, get a life and a ticket to Timbuktoo. Here are Gargi’s exact words…

“Okay yearly FB friend list cleaning day. Whenever I realize there are more than 250 humans in that list I get slightly wary…..Please understand if I ‘unfriend’ you its not because you are bad etc (childish qs have been thrown via pm). Its just that I do not find anything in common between us. We are different people whose thought process just do not match. No use hanging in each others virtual life ‘liking’ innumerable DPs……maybe 5 years from now we will finally have something concrete to discuss..who knows. Till then oktatatabyebye”

You’ll note that although Gargi has given some of her friends the boot, she has left the door ajar, in case she is in the mood for a possible future review. She is simply sending them over to cool their heels in her Gulag. Relax, she has not consigned them to the fifth dimension to languish with Mr. Mxyzptlk and the Kryptonite Kid.

Me, I got ready for the axe myself, my teeth chattering uncontrollably, assuming I would of course be in her Gulag black list, an old has-been like me. Anyways, I figured I mustn’t give up without an effort. I knew Gargi is crazy about pets (she takes in strays off the streets, I am given ta understand). She is crazy but I didn’t want to bring that up just when her boot was poised over us all. I might have low self-esteem but I’m not stupid.

Having decided on a do-or-die attempt to mollify Gargi, I went and got a Snoopy mask from the Dollarama across the road, slipped it on and snapped myself on my webcam, with me on my haunches, my two hands flapping in front like dogs do when they want a bone and my tongue hanging out going ‘huh..huh..huh..huh’, my face a picture of a complete pavam poochie (that’s Tamil for poor dear). I was going to message her with the pic along with the audio of the ‘huh..huh..huh’, in my desperate desire to be at least No.250.

I was about to upload the photo, when I realized that more than a week has passed since the above purge announcement and I am still around. I am still there on hallowed ground, Gargi’s friends list! 

But seriously, now that I had a chance to sit down with a beer and think over Gargi’s purge, I’m convinced she did the right thing, cleaning out her friends list. There are some FB friends I never get the opportunity to interact with, especially those with thousands of friends and hundreds of followers. They don’t really need my friendship, neither do they enrich my life in any way. Some of them make inane one-line statements ‘Why did God make Mondays..ugh!’ or ‘Have a nasty headache. Why do guys have to stare all the time?’ or ‘Played rummy with an old Cambridge friend all night, anybody know a decent breakfast joint?’ They are deluged with 96 likes and 64 comments and 44 XOXOXOs.

And if these friends happen to be celebrities, forget about any interaction from their side. They don’t have the time for the hoi-polloi. I had two celebs as Facebook friends. Both are well known Indian media personalities. The posts they create on their timeline are more like self-absorbed pronouncements and not meant to be interactive since they never ever acknowledge others’ comments.

The two had shown great alacrity in accepting my invite and I had been thrilled. In actual fact, my self-esteem was so low that I didn’t even realize I was being naive. I actually believed that they had personally viewed my request and tapped on the accept icon. They didn’t respond to even my intro messages. Made me realize that they see themselves as prima donas who are there to receive adulation. Their timelines are chock-a-block with ‘Thank you Sir, for accepting me’, ‘Thank you Ma’am for accepting me’ and other fawning comments, none of which are acknowledged of course.

I’m buying land next to Gargi’s Gulag. I’m building my own Gulag there. Achyut’s Alcatraz shall come up next to Gargi’s Gulag. I’ll move all my celeb FB friends in there. Mode of transportashun? Airborne launch, by virtual hobnailed boots….Hah! Pow! What the! Ouch!