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It's important to be silly, to be serious, to be strong, to be frail...for what is life if we only shared a mask?

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Whose Wall Is It Anyway? Letter To FB

Dear FB,

Please don't ask me to write on someone's wall, poke them, ask them to upload a picture or friend people you think I might know. I know you mean well but let's face it you are not match.com

Let's see I joined Facebook June 2006 and I must admit I have been hooked. I was there when all those applications were the rage. Superpoke was big that year, vampire fighting was in and so were all those growing gifts, animals popping from eggs, grafitti on the wall etc. Seen you guys move the dot and assimilate a lot of good stuff. And here's my take on your audience.

There are people who are new to facebook and pacing themselves. I call them the "Gingers". They have just signed up and are gingerly testing the waters. Like my daughter for instance. She joined and she got hit with a bunch of friend requests. She is searching for a profile picture and will not upload one till it is exactly what she is looking for. The gingers will take their time to understand the environment. They are self conscious and do not want to blurt something on their virtual wall and put their proverbial foot in the face. They are also very concerned about what their friends might post on their wall.

Then there are the Divers. Divers typically dive into everything with full gusto. They found something. They will learn everything about it. That profile picture will be on the very next hour. They will import email addresses. Scan their friends friends. Send friend requests. Within a few weeks, Divers would have completely understood the environment and raring to go. Divers will "like" comments; they will comment on links/posts and have those status updates buzzing. They might even bite off more than they can chew. Alpha...alpha...alpha.

You also have the Watchers. These folks have been around for sometime. They are there. They are quiet. They are reading. They may pretend that they are not interested and they will at gatherings say openly that they are too busy for facebook. They might ask Divers where they find the time to facebook. But they are there and they know just what you have been upto.

Another breed is the Sleepers. Sleepers or Dormants are different from watchers. They set up their profile. Probably forgot their username and password and have been like sleeping beauty, asleep for a few years. Now there are many instances when Dormants wake up and suddenly become active like those sleeper agents that Russia has planted in the US.

I would also throw in the Rashers. Rashers are dangerous to have as friends. They can write anything on your wall. Rashers go where no person has gone before. The bull in the china "wall" so to speak. Rashers can divulge information that was to be shared in an inbox. They can make provocative comments that can start a fire...you get the drift. The way to deal with Rashers is to isolate and use those newly improved privacy settings.

Add another important segment the Gamers. Gamers are competitive and committed folks who enjoy the many opportunities to match and win points. There are rural gamers who like the gentle farm animals, or the ones who prefer out and out combat...mafia, vampires, any others out there...bring it! You are either a Gamer or you are not...it is a genetic thang.

There are more. The optimists. The pessimists. The critics. The sage. The jokers. The daters. The mamas and the papas. People who make FB go round and around. So when you ask me to poke, to prod, to friend, to feed, to post, to suggest, remember all friends are not created equal. Jus sayin!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

The Bridesmaid

Worn around the edges
And fading away
Aging faster, trying hard
To keep Chronos at bay

Memories woven and spun like silk
Sepia scenes embellished,
Enhanced and retouched
Unable to gaze away

Constant chatter clutters the mind
Every empty space crammed with noise
Silence and stillness
No longer a choice

Her eyesight’s fading
Her hearing acute
Her body failing
Her mind astute

Her life was lonely
But not alone
Tending to children
Not her own

A supporting role
The eternal sidekick
Always the bridesmaid
Never the bride

Unsure of her legacy
Of lives she touched
Gifts of music, language
Poetry and love

With every reflection
Faint outlines of possibility
As ethereal as the mists
On the hilltops of Ooty

Do we ever die if we can
Touch one life
Change one destiny
Inspire one verse?

Copyright © 2008 Shaku Selvakumar

Thursday, January 14, 2010

What if 2012, What then 2010?

So the world may end on Dec 21st 2012 according to the Mayans and that would mean a little less than 3 years left on this earth. Whether we take the prophesy literally or metaphysically, the fact is that we are being forced by natural, social, economic and cultural shifts to engage in some serious reflection.

"The Hopi and Mayan elders do not prophesy that everything will come to an end. Rather, this is a time of transition from one World Age into another. The message they give concerns our making a choice of how we enter the future ahead. Our moving through with either resistance or acceptance will determine whether the transition will happen with cataclysmic changes or gradual peace and tranquility. The same theme can be found reflected in the prophecies of many other Native American visionaries from Black Elk to Sun Bear." - Joseph Robert Jochmans

Entering 2010, there is deepening awareness that our time on earth needs to make more sense than just existence. We can always say that 2012 is yet another disaster movie script and it doesn't mean anything. It probably is. Aliens may attack. Some maniac might launch a nuclear weapon. Or the earth may continue spinning on its axis for a very long time till the machines take over. But the point is we all are mortal and every day goes faster than the last.

So if we live like the world might end in three years would our decisions, our choices, our lifestyles, our priorities, our focus, our realities, our reactions, our careers be different? Would we love more and judge less? Would we say no more often to work that brings more stress? Would we stop living like we have all the time in the world?

I love resolutions, bless their tidy souls. At the heart of every resolution lies intention that is so vehement on bringing change. As the days pass, those intentions start rusting due to little or no care. And by the end of January, like boring leftovers, they are tossed into the bin of waste. Till the first day of the next year.

So as I look back at 2009, I mark it as the year when our world shook under the weight of so many revelations and uncertainities. I mark it as the beginning of another phase of constant change. When we became that generation holding the baton as our parents have passed it on. There is no longer any generation to blame only generations to lead.

"Sometimes, when we don't have the courage to change, everything changes around us to direct us to a new path. You cannot stop yourself from growing - evolution requires it." - The Secret

Here's my Nickelback anthem song for 2010 and I am hoping that if I hear it often enough I will not take the free ride in my own life.

"Against the grain should be a way of life
What's worth the price is always worth the fight
Every second counts 'cause
There's no second try
So live like you're never living twice
Don't take the free ride in your own life"