My father recently discovered Facebook. I had hitherto laughed hard at my friends who had taken the courageous decision of adding their parents and relatives to Facebook, comfortable in the thought that my family, being technologically challenged, would hardly follow the same route.
But I had discounted my younger sister.
The girl studied C++ in her 6th grade and Java in her 9th. I am pretty sure she’s devouring some dangerous books on cybernetics for her board exams. Way more steeped in the internet culture than I am, she is a veritable trove of knowledge and curiosity when it comes to anything related to the net. It was she who put my father on to the idea that I was on Facebook and he could have me add him as a friend.
Once he cottoned on to the basic techniques, my father wasted no time in setting up a profile and inviting me. Then he sent me an email to remind me of the invitation. An hour later he phoned me and informed me that he had sent me an FB invite. He sounded as excited as a little boy who had mastered riding a cycle.
I avoided going online for a whole week to think the situation through. Obviously, there were pros and cons. On the con side, any of a half-dozen pics of mine with beer mugs or with some of my dubious friends would be enough to set off full departmental enquiries. On the pro side, the location finder service of FB would always reassure him by letting him know where I was at every moment. Ohh, wait…
In any case, I did it. Not that I had much of a choice anyway. My sister managed to find out my password, log in from my account and add my father. Talk about sibling loyalty.
As dreaded, the first thing the pater chanced upon on my wall was an unsavory comment made on a blog post on domesticatedkid (“The quick and dirty 5 step guide to attending mallu weddings“) by some random religious nutjob. Unfortunately, the word “mallu” generates a lot of hits with search engines and not all of it would be approved by a Catholic nun. In fact, some of the sites associated with the word mallu would be downright frowned upon.
It so happened that my blog was being stalked by a particularly foul tongued Catholic nun (at least, that’s what this person’s online handle declared). She chose to regularly invoke the Lord in heaven to strike me down for using that word in my post, even though my posts have never had any objectionable material in them. On weekends, she would up the ante and try to persuade God to strike down my entire family. She also chose, for some reason best known to her, to abuse me with words she definitely did not pick up in a seminary. I used to regularly remove such posts, but one of them had escaped notice. And guess what the pater stumbled upon on his first visit to my blog?
Father: “Mone, ee ‘Asian mofo’ ennal entha”? (Read: “Son, what does this ‘Asian mofo’ mean”?)
Me: “Errrmmmm….. It means… ahhhhh….. It’s a marketing term for Asian economic classifications”
Father: “Ohh, I see”
Me: <sotto voce> “Phew”
Father: <sotto voce> “Phew”
Online stalkers are huge mofos who take the fun out of surfing for mallu families. Swear.