Truth, Faith and WWW

November 3, 2010 at 9:15 PMNov (Friends, Media, Musings, Slice Of Life)

1

January 2007. Navendu Raviraj and I went to Gokarna to do the required ground work for the documentary we intended to do on Tadadi thermal power plant which was to be established in Tadai, near Gokarna. We reached Gokarna by train and from the railway station took an auto to the car street fof Gokarna where we had planned to stay. We had a quick lunch and took an auto to Tadadi. After speaking to people and visiting the proposed site for the Tadadi power plant we took a bus Gokarna.

The bus dropped us at Gokarna bus stop. How to reach car-street from the bus stand, we did not know. Raviraj and i were looking for some direction boards. Nothing was to be seen. Eye lids were falling being heavy with sleep. Body was tiered and so was the mind. No direction board was to be seen.

Looking at Raviraj and me Navendu asked what were we looking at. I told Navendu that we were looking for some direction board which will show us the way to go to the car street. Navendu who did not know Kannada, was not able to read Kannada. But after looking around for a minute, he showed us a narrow lane and said it was the way. “Navendu bhai see you are new to this place and are not aware of the geography. Let us find the way,” i said. “I know the way, follow me,” said Navendu and started walking in the direction which he pointed. It is no point arguing with Navendu. Ravi and i followed thinking that we will have to walk back.

We reached the room!!! Ravi and i were surprised. How did Navendu know the way when it was his first visit to Gokarna and when he was not able to read Kannada boards for direction. Ravi asked Navendu to which he replied saying, “Kal raat maine google earth pe dekha tha.” (Last night i had seen the routes on google earth)

2

One day in his class on culture Sadanand Menon, at Asian College of Journalism, mentioned about the theater director Kanhaiyyalal from the north east. He narrated the story of how K got into the National School of Drama and then got thrown out because he couldn’t speak Hindi without his north east accent and how he went on to be one of the finest theater directors of contemporary India after being thrown out of NSD. The next day some students came to Menon Sir and hesitantly said, “Sir, yesterday when you spoke of Kanhaiyyalal, you were bluffing, weren’t you?” Menon was surprised. He asked why the students felt so. The students said, “Sir we googled it and there was nothing to be found.”

3

The relationship status changed to “committed” from “single”. It was 00:00 hrs. His phone rang. Picking up the call Shoaib laughed. He went on answering to several questions that were being thrown at him. I was laughing hard sitting on the bed. I go online after a while and see people congratulating Shoaib for his new relationship. Several comments flooded in. Some pitying the girl, some feeling proud about Shoaib and some in a state of shock. Around fifty comments came till evening when one of the cousins of Shoaib asked Shoaib, on his changed status message, whether it was a prank played on the day of 1st April. The real matter struck everyone then.

What fooled everyone? Was it the faith placed on the information gotten in the virtual world?

4

He returned too early. Was the place he had to visit so near by, i wondered. Sipping hot tea i asked Vaibhav about the temple that he had gone to visit. “Oh brother, dont ask me. I had visit Shani temple and the google maps saiid it was in a particular place and i took an auto to that place but that temple does not exist there. There is some other temple there but not the one where i wanted to visit.” We laughed.

What did we laugh at? At how false the information on google maps was or on our foolishness to have believed it?

02 May 2010

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