“What is Orkut?” I asked Arun, he looked at me mockingly and asked, “is it her?”. Kavana just giggled, I looked at his face intently hoping for an answer, he finally budged in and said ” its an online platform, wherein you can add new friends and be in touch with your current friends” , I impatiently asked “how do I do that?”, ” with your gmail ID” he said, “can’t I do it with my yahoo account?” I probed, he started laughing and said “no” and gently pressed my shoulder and added “create one”, “hmmm” I responded. Bus was scheduled to drop us near the school which was in Basavanagudi and in order to reach Basavanagudi he took an interior road to avoid the busy Kanakpura road traffic at peak hour and had to go past Devegowda petrol bunk, I requested the driver to drop me off there and he obliged.
I took and 1 ruppee coin and dialed my brother’s number and requested him to pick me near the petrol bunk, he came there after few minutes on his Kinetic Honda, I asked him “do you have any work in BDA complex?”, he replied “no, why?”, I further requested “can you help me create a gmail ID?” “Ok, come let’s go” he replied and turned his moped towards BDA complex. We both entered a small shop which was the fastest cyber cafe in the locality back then but now it has been turned into a tailor shop. We both sat inside a cabin, which offered considerable privacy, he typed Orkut.com and signed in, the purple screen popped up, there was something called as scraps, he had added a photo, few had commented on it, he had about 80 friends and he was part of few communities, mostly metal music communities. I asked “I want an account like this”, “its for 18 and above” he replied and added “anyways you have been corrupted more than an 18year old” however he helped me create a gmail account, I felt yahoo was much simpler back then, but now not using yahoo and completely dependent on google for everything. He helped me create an Orkut account by entering my year of birth as 1987, 4 years prior to my actual account, after that he taught me how to add friends and join communities and few other features that social networking site provided. He accepted my friend request and he made me send friend requests to few other people whom we both knew in common. I did find few of my classmates, to my shock found Darshan and Indrajith, also they even had a community of our class and one more of our school as a whole. After this we both left the cafe and went home.
Next morning, Arun was carrying the memento and certificates, which I wasn’t present to collect on the dias as I was lost in conversation with Aishwarya. Our headmaster announced it on the stage and everyone cheered, it was the first time I was stage for a good reason and not for getting punished. I had managed to save about 20 rupees out of 50 rupees which my mother had given me previous day just in case to buy food at the competition. After school I headed to a shanty cyber cafe in one of the interior most streets of Gandhi bazaar, I opened my Orkut account and found there were quite some visitors and few had sent friend requests, which I accepted and few to whom I had sent had accepted mine. I searched for her name “Aishwarya Rao” in Baldwin Girl’s High School group and found her account , she was using her photo as the display picture, I sent her a friend request and started browsing on alternate window, after roughly 5 minutes, I got a notification saying she had accepted my friend request and she had typed “Hi Bhaskar” on my scrapbook and I responded back and we chatted for close to an hour and the cyber cafe guy came and reminded me that my duration was over and I had logout, I quickly typed that I had to leave and logged out. Well I learnt what was Orkut.