"This is Hema? The last time I saw her, she was in pigtails. Now she has a daughter who is that big!""Yes. And this is Shukla aunty, who still looks the same."
"Who is this?"
"Don't you remember? The Gaurs on the 4th floor? This is the daughter Ritu."
"How did you get the pictures?"
"Ma, this is Facebook. It is a social networking site. I found a lot of my old friends here. They keep uploading their pictures. And we exchange notes and greetings."
"How did you manage to locate all these people after so many years?"
"My friends found me through friends search."
"Our times were different, we had to send letters. And if the addresses got lost then that was the end of our friendship. Who are all these men?"
"Don't you remember my friends Dheeraj, Aziz and Ajay?"
"Of course I do, they were very sweet boys.This is Ajay? He looks like a panditji."
"That is because he is a panditji now. Well, almost. He has become very spiritual."
"Has he stopped painting? He was so talented."
"No, he still paints. Only, he paints pictures of gods and goddesses. Want to see some of his paintings? He has uploaded some of them here also."
"How come there are so many men here?"
"These are all my friends, ma."
"You have so many male friends? Does your husband know?"
"C'mon ma, I am an adult now. I can have male friends you know."
"Hmmph. This is beyond me, all these men and you. Is your brother also on Facebook?"
"Yes he is, but he is not my friend."
"What? You and your brother are not friends? Is that how I raised you? You do not want to be friends with your own brother?"
"Ma, he is not my Facebook friend. I don't want him here snooping on me. Moreover, if he has not sent me a friend request, it means he also does not want me as a friend."
"This is completely outrageous. I hope your husband is there in your friends list."
"Yes is, but he is not very active."
"What else do you expect? He is a very busy man. He will not spend time on such frivolous activities."
"Facebook is not a frivolous activity. A lot of very busy people are there on Facebook. It helps us to reconnect with all our old friends. It is just that your son in law is not the friendliest of person and does not have many friends. Hence he is never there."
"And what is this red heart doing on your page? It says you have a relationship request pending."
"D sent me a request to be my spouse on Facebook. I did not accept, so it is still pending."
"But he is your spouse. Why did you not accept?"
"I don't want him as my spouse here, OK?"
"This is totally beyond me. You and your strange ways. He is your husband, whether you accept him on Facebook or not. And what does Akhila mean here? Her relationship status reads as 'It's complicated.'
"It means that she is recovering from her divorce and is currently seeing someone.''
"O my god, when did this happen? She was such a sweet girl. I always knew her husband was a moron. How much time do you spend on this Facebook?"
"Not much ma, just log in to tell my friends what I am doing at the moment. Drinking coffee at the Barista, at home teaching the kids, like that."
"Who will be interested in knowing all that?"
"All my friends. They also keep updating, so I know about them too."
"Can anybody open up a page on Facebook?"
"It is called opening up an account and yes, everybody can."
" Is Vikram on Facebook?"
"You know, Mrs. Usha Reddy's son? They were on the 6th floor. remember?"
"Oh yes, I remember. She used to send us yummy tamarind rice. I don't know, why?"
"She once taught me to make mango thokku pickle. I forgot the ingredients. If her son is there, then may be you can ask him to be your friend. And then may be two of us could connect after all those years. She was such a fabulous cook, she made lovely chutneys and stuff. And she did ask me once how I knitted those cable sweaters. May be we can be friends on Facebook and share our stuff. Hey, if you are in touch with Mrs. Sharma's daughter, can you then tell her to make an account for her mom too? And remember Mrs Balakrishnan?...."
November and December are busy months for me. This is what my daughter Ayushi calls the 'guesting season'. As you have guessed, my parents are already here. I am also expecting my friend and her mother from USA, my cousin and her family from Muscat, my brother and his family from Kolkata. So I will be blogging sporadically till December. I will however keep reading all my favourite bloggers. So you keep blogging. Till then, bye....