Fun Time: Loading Up on Facebook
Ranjit and his father, Ravi, were visiting Ravi’s father’s house in the village. It had been a few years since Ranjit had seen Dadaji, and he was eager to hear one of the old man’s stories.
“Dadaji, tell me about the time you killed the tiger.”
His grandfather took him into his bedroom, opened a drawer and pulled out a large book. He turned to a page with a black-and-white photo of two young men carrying the carcass of a tiger.
“What is this book called?” Ranjit asked.
“It’s called a photo album.”
“Is it like Facebook?”
Dadaji paused for a moment, contemplating the question. “Yes, yes, it’s a book of faces. Have you seen your father’s face when he was your age?”
“Show me, show me!” Ranjit screamed.
He was thrilled to see a photo of his father as a 12-year-old. “Daddy, come here,” he shouted. “You need to scan this photo and post it on Facebook, so everyone can see what you looked like with hair.”
“I don’t like Facebook anymore,” Ravi said, walking into the bedroom.
“Why not, Daddy?” Ranjit asked.
“I’m tired of it. It’s always the same thing. Aunt Manjula is always posting photos of her grandchildren. Every day, a new photo. She has posted photos of the grandchildren eating ice-cream, photos of the grandchildren playing on a swing, photos of the grandchildren picking their noses.”
“How can she afford to post so many photos?”
Dadaji asked. “The postage is too costly these days.”
“Posting is the same as uploading, Dadaji,” Ranjit said. “She uploads them to Facebook.”
“Is uploading the same as loading up?” Dadaji asked. “In my younger days, I worked for a shipping company and loaded up many ships.”
“Yes, it’s almost the same,” Ravi said. “Aunt Manjula is loading up Facebook with photos of her grandchildren.”
“What about space?” Dadaji asked. “If she keeps loading up, will she not run out of space?”
“Oh no,” Ravi said. “Facebook, unfortunately, has unlimited space.”
“What about the cost of film? Is it not costly to take so many photos?”
“No, not at all, Dadaji,” Ranjit said. “Digital cameras let you take unlimited photos.”
Ravi sighed deeply. “Unlimited photos, unlimited space, and unlimited grandchildren poses.”
“Why don’t you just skip over those photos, Daddy?”
“I tried that. Skipped the grandchildren photos and had to look at my cousin Priya’s selfies. Every day, a new selfie.”
“What is selfie?” Dadaji asked.
“A selfie is when you take a photo of yourself,” Ranjit said.
“Why is Priya taking photos of herself when there are so many people around to take photos of her?” Dadaji asked.
“Because other people get tired of taking photos of Priya. But Priya never gets tired of taking photos of Priya.”
“Does she load them all up, too?” Dadaji asked.
“Yes, she loads them up three times a day, with comments such as, ‘This is me on the bus with the conductor in the background,’ ‘This is me at the zoo with the monkey in the background,’ and ‘This is me at the bank with the robber in the background.’”
“Why don’t you skip over her photos, too, Daddy?”
“I tried that, but then I had to look at my friend Jamal’s photos. He posts photos of everything he eats and drinks. Many years from now, when historians want to know what Indians ate and drank in the 21st century, they can just dig up Jamal’s Facebook account.”
“Why don’t you skip over his photos, too, Daddy?”
“I tried that, but then I had to look at my friend Manish’s vacation photos. Every week, a new set of vacation photos. He posted one photo and wrote, ‘It’s so beautiful in Tahiti. Best place on earth.’ I asked him when he went to Tahiti and he said, ‘What makes you think I’ve been to Tahiti? Just because I posted a photo doesn’t mean I’ve been there.’”
Compiled and partly written by Indian humorist MELVIN DURAI, author of the novel Bala Takes the Plunge.
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