In the beginning, there was a world which was so separated, people hardly communicated with each other and it took immense effort to even consider communications across boundaries. And then came Orkut. Breaking all boundaries, bringing people together.
Well okay. I wanted a dramatic entrance to the posts. Though IMO, technically, MySpace and other sites were more veterans in Social Networking at the time, but you do get the point! In case you didn’t know, the website that introduced Social Networking to India, is shutting down on September 30th. And this post is to pay my one last tribute, a homage and my final respects to the website that exposed me to so many wonderful things, as I look back at the hours, days and years I spent sitting in front of my computer with this website.
My journey with Orkut began in my first ever email ID “email@example.com” (Yes, I’m very hip like that ) and adding people from my college class in my network during the first year. The year where I saved every 10 and 15 rupees that I could spare for half hour or one hour sessions of internet on the Cyber Cafe. After a bit too much of convincing, I made my parents get me Internet on home at a 128Kbps line, and then the whole world of Orkut and Internet opened up to me.
I was able to interact with people across the country and even the globe thanks to the numerous communities. It was a world where like minded people were brought together in an instant. The acquaintances, the friends, the close friends, the more than just close friends, the people whom I’ve met in real life and had a great time with on more than a few occassions… Orkut was the direct or indirect reason for everything.
From exposing me to the world of Anime and Manga to teaching me how to download pirated content on torrents and direct links to the innumerable contests, discussions and fights. Yes. Fights with random people on the internet and fights with people who had become really really close friends… The website represents all the countless people that I’ve had the fortune (and misfortune) to meet with.
Those were the days when I picked up pseudonyms over real names, and had Anime character avatars instead of real pictures of myself at my profile. It was the place where I displayed to the (virtual) world for the very first time my writing in the form a Dragonball Z fan fiction. The good reception it received pushed me to write further and further. There was once a contest where a team of people including myself raced to the 1000 posts mark in a matter of hours to win a contest. Spending hours and hours on Photoshop for coming up with a fancy profile picture and forum signature. Branching out from Orkut to GTalk to Yahoo Messenger to FB to even WhatsApp today, you’ve been the instrumental seed which had sprouted to such colorful and fruitful branches called Friends in my life. A few in particular have been so very much helpful to me in my life that I shudder this very moment to think of my state if it weren’t for them. 🙂
I know I haven’t visited you in years, but just knowing that you’re still there brings a smile to my face. There have been days when I’d throw out the friends who visited my home for something just so that I could continue a discussion on Orkut. Trust me, such things have happened. Orkut, you’ve played a MAJOR role in the 2007-11, four year stint of my college life. Even my English Communications Lab paper presentation topic was Orkut 😉
Even if I am a “software guy”, even if I understand that even the best projects of the past long gone have to be scrapped at some point, it makes me really sad that Orkut will be wiped off the internet once and for all.
You will be dearly missed, pal! In words of The Ninth Doctor, “You were FANTASTIC! And you know what, SO WAS I!”