Fake Facebook Profile: Have I Finally Arrived?

Someone has created a fake profile of me on Facebook. Good friends have let me know about it. So please, do not accept any friend requests from “me.” And for God’s sake, do not send money. Or photographs. Or whatever. I assure you, I’m not in dire straits on some exotic island with no access to funds.

Living with a touch of imposter syndrome, discovering there’s an actual imposter out there is quite something. I’ve always wondered if I’ve truly made it, and now it seems I have, in the most dubious way possible. Only the noteworthy have their profiles duplicated, right? Atleast, one friend thinks so. Thats the first one who alerted me!

Now, for the burning question: Why would anyone choose to create a fake profile of me? I mean, really, have they seen my posts? My life, filled with incoherent rants about all and sundry, unflattering essays, and the occasional (intended) wisecrack that didn’t go anywhere, hardly seems worth the trouble. But if you get a friend request from “me,” please, don’t accept it. The real me is too busy navigating the existential crisis of finding matching socks to befriend you twice.

Then there’s the money aspect. These imposters often ask for it. Here’s the truth: if you ever receive a message from “me” asking for money because I’m stuck in a remote location with no cash and no support, do not send anything. Normally, I’m never far from a local ATM or my trusty phone. Besides, If I needed help, I’d call you directly, not via a sketchy Facebook message. Plus, the real me would probably call you crying, promising to never book a non-refundable ticket again.

In reality, my daily struggles include keeping track of the numerous OTPs I’m compelled to key in for grocery thats getting delivered at different times of the day. And trust me, if I was really in dire straits, I’d find a way to let you know that didn’t involve a social media plea. Maybe a skywriting message, or an interpretive dance, but not Facebook.

This whole incident is a timely reminder to make real friends and reconnect with ones I haven’t in a long while. Of course, be cautious about accepting friend requests from people you think you already know. The best way to do that is to stay connected in real life! Enjoy life – meet real friends, have real conversations, do real things. Like figuring out how to remove dark coffee stains from your favourite shirt or having a debate about the best way to run a country.

Next time you see a friend request from “me,” remember this post. Enjoy the irony that someone thought my life interesting enough to fake. It’s no small matter. I need to take adequate precautions like changing my passwords, letting my friends know, letting Facebook know and such else. Besides all this, I found myself shaking my head and smiling. Because in this age of digital absurdity, sometimes all you can do is chuckle at the ridiculousness of it all.

The Wonder Years !

So there ! The new year has brought in a reconnection ! Reconnection with long lost classmates from a distant time and a lost memory. Lost in the speed of day to day living and in the name of making a living !

Orkut and Facebook have suddenly occupied centrestage in life and voila, people that i last spoke to when the first dinosaur shed its last milk tooth suddenly came alive.

Well, the chaps from school did sound different ! Of course they would. I am sure they say the same of me, if not worse ! And boy do they look different !! Each with a kid or two. Some going to the same school that we went to. Some looking exactly as they used to. And many others, giving me comfort and company by looking…well, different !

An unintended consequence has been reminiscing the wonder years.

Those years where you played a serious cricket match (during a lunch break of 45 minutes), with a tennis ball and half a branch of a coconut tree. Years when the closest health worry was the quick healing of a twisted ankle, in time for the cricket match !

Those years where you had wind in your hair (and of course, hair in the first place..) and a spirit in your walk, that was tested only by the Maths test ! Years when ‘a house’ did not come with a home loan ! But with a sleeveless florescent vest !

“Houses” ( groups) you used to belong to for the Sports Day ! I think those houses, in our case, went by the name of Kaveri, Ganga, Yamuna, each signified and separated by a colour coded ( Fluorescent Blue, Green, Yellow, Red..) sleeveless vest !

Years when ‘competition’ didn’t mean valuation / contribution etc but simply : drawing, handwriting, essay writing et al !! And of course, those were the years when you got a prize for just showing up ! Yes. I recall winning a prize for two consecutive years years, for attending school without a single day of leave !! I wonder what i was thinking !

Those years of gleam eyed learning in the chemistry labs. In the library. In the Annual day. And the inevitable sinking feeling when the report cards showed up, or when parents were ‘summoned’ !

Years when ‘pedaling’ didn’t mean pedaling a stationary cycle to lose weight. But when you had to pedal all the way to school, and that you did with great fun ! And the jet black BSA SLR that stood gleaming at home, washed clean, many times in a week. My first set of wheels !

Years when you did not understand terrorism. When Soviet Union was ‘friend’, and disdain for anybody who said ‘America was good!’ Years of Span and Readers Digest. Years when you didnt care if your tie matched your shirt. And of course, didn’t care if the tie was in its place !

Years when you used to wear ‘colour dress’ on your birthday, and go from class to class, with a box of chocolates in your hand. Years when amma used to bake those wondrous sponge cakes !

Years when you didn’t understand what sex was ! And when you went up to appa, and asked aloud, (when he was with guests), ‘Appa, what is rape ?’. And tell him that the school has mandated reading of newspapers this question was part of home work !

Years when the only diet that you needed to be concerned of, was what was in the tiffin box, and of course,when calories where non-existent ! Years when holidays meant you play from morning to lunch time, have lunch, and then play from evening to late night and come home to have dinner and catch some sleep.

Years of static TV called Doordarshan. Of no FM radio. And no computers…. But those were years when you grew. Years that shaped you. Years that made you what you are today. Years that stay fresh in the mind. Every memory of it, brings a smile and a yearning for those times.

Today, classmates stay all scattered. Across the globe. Some working for those giant corporations, hospitals and other small companies. Many others, building their own organisations ! Still others married and settled down. And yet others remain untraceable !

But those shared years were the wonder years. Wonder years, when you could question anything and anybody. When the minds limit became clearer only when we graduated from each class to the next ! To me, those still are the defining years !

Defining wonder years !

A special thanks to Bala for the snaps !