It deposed Facebook! Who will harvest my tomatoes on Farmville now? Who? Who? And yet you persist in patronising a Silicon Valley-based venture that hyper-connects people. Oh wait…

There’s peer pressure across generations to join it. If you haven’t created an account, your street cred is lower than Charlie Sheen’s at an AA meeting. As the Amish will ignore an Amanda Bynes in their midst, so your social circle will ignore you.

The long phone call is obsolete. I haven’t had me one of those since they considered Kamaal R Khan for a Dadasaheb Phalke. Because in these degenerate days, two friends who last heard each other croak when Manmohan Singh last spoke, will catch up by pumping their thumbs unto phalangeal destruction. Oh well, at least hearing loss won’t be a problem.

We’re continually hyper-informed. Don’t send me a picture of the grotesque boots you just bought; I’ll see you wearing them tomorrow. You needn’t message me what Tina told Bozo told Wonky told you; stewing in his suburban Moscow dacha, Edward Snowden knows about it anyway.

News isn’t new anymore. A hasty Whatsapp notification will update me instead. No more can I wake up to a newspaper headline saying, ‘Royal Baby Burped! Imperial Nanny To Be Appointed Dame!’ Relaying personal news is a drudgery too. Recently, I posted a bit of happy tidings on a Whatsapp group and received congratulatory replies. Meh. Then, on a whim, I called up a friend to convey the latest; his reaction evoked an emotion I struggled to identify for five minutes. Excitement.

Life presents lulls. And oft when on my couch I lie in vacant or in pensive mood, I could insert my left little finger up my left nostril, and dig. Then my right little finger up my right nostril and…you get my drift. Instead, I settle for the dubious pleasure of staring at my phone till I hallucinate that it pinged. It didn’t. Wait, did it? Lemme check.

Articulating one’s thoughts in words is a dying art and like a dying fart (Ready? Try. Wait. Sigh.). This is the Age of Emoticons. Among others, a pig snout, a brinjal, and what looks like a Buckingham Palace guard’s head are expected to stir up the deeps of my soul.

Stalking has gotten easy, and legal. Just dig up the number of your desired (and desirable) prey, open a chat window, download their profile photo and ooh-gle till the blood rushes to your cheeks (and elsewhere). Also, if my ‘last seen’ time that you checked at 11.40, 11.43 and 11.45 p.m. is 10.30, I’m fast asleep, you idiot!

Everyone has permanently flexed necks and double chins. Poonam Pandey could be gyrating up and down a convenient streetlight. Subhash Chandra Bose could pop over from Taiwan and say hello. But you’d be looking at your phone, engrossed in debating whether your parents will let you watch BA Pass (*Blush Blush*).

Here ends my account of WhatsDown with WhatsApp. WhatsLeft is WhatsRight with it.

* * *



  1. After a long time read a free flowing and humourous take on the tech-addiction. The “dubious pleasure of staring at my phone till I hallucinate that it pinged” part was epic!!

  2. Oh God, that bad huh? One of my friends would say, “techie stuff will bring the downfall of civilization as we know it.” As I am a skeptic, I don’t wait with baited breath at this so-called “downfall” and just open my wordpress account instead.

    The universe I live in is still as uncool as Charlie Sheen and Amanda Bynes in the scenarios you’ve mentioned.

    So I had to check about Whatsapp in Wikipedia (another one of my bestfriends). This sentence, in particular, caught my attention: “As of June 20, 2013, WhatsApp has over 250 million active users, and handles 27 billion messages in a single day.”

    OMG, that’s a lot of users, which incidentally, is a fourth of the population of India (if my Math is correct — which it rarely is) and a sixth of China’s.

    What do I think? I think that, one’s life “is an island separated from all other islands and continents. Regardless of how many boats one (sic) send to other shores or how many ships arrive upon one’s (sic) shores, only thyself is an island separated by its own pains, secluded in its happiness,” says my favorite poet who is now dead, named Kahlil Gibran.

  3. Totaaallllly agree with you….
    the article highlights the pangs of the current generation ( i belong to it too sadly ) and how we now yearn to hear voices of our loved ones and friends but have to be satisfied just with the ” beep sound ” instead….
    I tried prying into a fellow commuter’s whatsapp account in a mumbai local….. and was astonished at her silly messages..
    Kudos and well thought about article!!

  4. Brilliantly written and so amazingly true. We have so fallen pray to whatsapp ( yes i have renounced bbm and that old form of telephonic interaction with people, what do they call it? SMS???) Whatsapp is a haven for stalking too. Especially to know when the world had “last seen you alive” . If your trying to ignore someone, your best shot is to throw away yr phone and run into the bat cave.
    Great work Mrigank. Your articles are an awesome read at any point of the day.

  5. Finally! A tech piece (if at all it is one) which has the flavour of humour (& capability to get forwarded on Whatsapp). An enjoyable read!

    PS: I don’t use Whatsapp for decent stalking.
    But many from the human community do.

  6. hello. that was funny.and well written, and pertinent. i happened to read one of your posts by chance and now i’m a regular visitor 🙂 cheers. keep writing

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