The LAN messenger icon blinked in the system tray. I clicked it immediately. A message popped up:
“Bhai…Friendly reminder – You have to write a “Testi” for me. Thanks, Abhijeet”
Oh yeah I remember. Abhijeet had written a “testi” for me three days back and I was supposed to repay the debt. I sat down to dedicate a paragraph to him. I completed it in less than 20 minutes, did a grammar check, right clicked different words and substituted them with their weightier synonyms (Thanks to MS-Word). Finally the testimonial was ready. I added it to his Orkut profile. He approved it in no time. Another flash in the system tray. I clicked again, a message popped up:
“Bhai thank you so much. Teri Angrezi badi mast hai”. I smiled.
The demand for “Testis (testimonials)” in impeccable English were always in demand. Some profiles had more than 40 testimonials. And the profiles had fans. Yes, you were not just confined to being a friend of someone, you also had the choice of becoming their fans. And people didn’t message each other, they scrapped. The scrapbook was not for the public to lay their prying eyes on. Your romance was your personal secret.
And then there were profile visitors. I recall the day when she visited my profile. I took a screenshot of the page, I still have it somewhere in my pictures folder. And there were highly moderated communities where people discussed love, religion, politics and philosophy. The friendlists never crossed the five hundred mark and there were no followers to give you the narcissistic high. You made it a point to say that you actually like a particular article or photo or news instead of clicking some crazy button. Those days, Parents maintained a safe distance from the Social Media. Fan-following of political parties was still to attain a cult status on the internet. Androids and IPhones were still to infest our lives.
The Orkut era was a glorious era. Probably every one of us got the first feel of Social Media through Orkut. Although it is highly obsolete now so “scrapping” it is the need of the hour but witnessing Orkut die is a heart breaking experience. It was a perpetual part of our daily life after all!
We will miss you Orkut! Thank you for the memories.