Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Uploading . . 20%

So today was the first Diwali after my wedding. It was also the first time I didn't wake up to the sound of firecrackers. Or the acrid smell from burnt gun powder. That day I dreaded is finally here - it's now my turn to do the American Diwali. Where making sweets, lighting lamps, wearing new clothes is only half the celebration.

As a social junkie, I'm a pretty frequent user of Facebook and Orkut. It didn't take me long to figure out IQ and desperation levels of the different profiles there. Or why I showed up right on top of somebody's fan list. Yet, for years, one thing I didn't understand was the picture- posting pattern of Indians in the US. I didn't have a damn clue till I took that painful 18 hour flight.

The first categoy of DAPONS ( Desi Album Posting On Networking Sites) is usually occupied by newly married ( 0-3 years) individuals. Couples who usually appear in public at least one restaurant table apart are often seen in a difficult and unnatural embrace. The wife's hand is usally placed in such a way that hubby's expanding tummy is covered. Husband's hand is, well, usually holding the camera cover. Also included in this category are couples who painstakingly dress up and take timed-self portraits on anniversaries and birthdays. They are, most often, celebrating the event by themselves. Single people who dress up in traditional attire and take matrimonial pictures, this is your stop.

The second category talks about locations but really, calling them all 'Patel pictures' would be so 1960. Maybe 'Sriram Pictures' or 'Ganesh Pictures'. Or even 'PavanPictures'. Besides usual suspects like the Statue of Liberty, Empire State Building, Times Square, Golden Gate and the White House, the scope of this category has expanded vastly. Accepted backgrounds for an entry here would include a Toyota Camry, someone else's sports car, trees in fall colours and the first batch of snow.

Pictures of the last category are unique in their composition. Most of these pictures do not include a living subject. The pictures are usually of Indian dishes made with Mom's recipe narrated over a Reliance call. The others usually include shots of the kitchen, a bare living room, the view from the balcony and the bathroom tub. Pictures of the diwali decoration and the navrathri golu also belong here.

I can think of many reasons why we post the way we do. The simplest one is probably to convey ' We are having fun. Really.'

Anyway, that's what I'm moving towards. From festivals and events where I had too much fun to remember to take pictures to a world which funnels itself through an uploaded image. Category 3, here I come.

P.S All my issues from my earlier post have been solved and settled. A ton of thanks for all your comments and emails. If any of you are stuck in similar situations as listed there, please leave me your email id. I will try to help you out and keep the karma in circulation.