A WhatsApp Reunion

Some of you may remem­ber the piece I wrote in Octo­ber about What­sApp being an out of con­trol mon­ster because of the joke­sters who flood the app.

Just like Mr. Kejri­wal and his cohorts, who are now more enter­tain­ing than any other real­ity show on tele­vi­sion, I am amazed at my com­plete U-turn on this. I still don’t post jokes, but…

It started innocu­ously. On Dec 27th, a few of us from the 82 batch of LTMMC met up at MIG Club for din­ner. Some­time dur­ing that din­ner party we came up with a plan to hold a com­mu­nal 50th birth­day party in Jan­u­ary 2015.

On Sat­ur­day after­noon, I put together a small WA group of those who were to be involved in orga­niz­ing the 2015 event. While I was doing this, I real­ized I had the num­bers of at least another 15–20 batch mates and I added them too. The groups just exploded. By Sun­day after­noon, we had clocked 300 mes­sages. A few friends gave me some more num­bers to add and by Sun­day evening we had hit the group limit of 50. Three weeks later, we are still at an aver­age of 200 odd mes­sages a day.

Day­time belongs to those in India. By noon, the UKites join in. By late evening, the Amer­i­cans jump in. By mid­night, the Indi­ans are off and the UK and Amer­i­can res­i­dents keep the group alive, along with the one odd Aus­tralian, until the Indi­ans wake up. And so on…

I haven’t seen this vol­ume and chat­ter on any other WA group. And I sus­pect this has a lot to do with who we are and where we come from.

Peo­ple don’t really change, though the masks we wear mul­ti­ply and become more refined the older we get and the less we know the peo­ple we work with or meet socially.

We were 100 when we joined, whit­tled down to 80 odd when we passed 3rd MBBS. Like all batches, we made friends, fought, fell in love, broke up, formed groups, lied, cheated, helped, shared, stole and com­peted. Most of us were together for 8 1/2 years, which is too long a time to be able to wear any kind of mask. By the time we fin­ished, all of us had been stripped off all pre­tences and we got to know each other quite thor­oughly, some more, some less.

We then went our sep­a­rate ways, some in touch, some not, a few indi­vid­u­als cut­ting them­selves off com­pletely from their past. With Face­book and email groups, some of us did recon­nect, but spo­rad­i­cally and with­out much intimacy.

Now we are older, touch­ing 50 and per­haps a shade wiser. Most of us seem to have mel­lowed, with kids in their teens or already young adults, slow­ing down at work and with some spare time to boot.

While I have my school, galli and junior col­lege friends where I can be myself, it is refresh­ing to con­nect with another group of friends, in whose com­pany, we can let our masks slip off for at least some time each day. Face­book doesn’t count since it is by itself another mask. WA on the other hand allows us to drop our guard, with­out hav­ing to bother about who will stum­ble upon our posts and conversations.

I don’t know how long our WA group will stay alive the way it cur­rently is. But at least for the time being, every very few hours, I look for­ward to check­ing who is say­ing what to whom and stay­ing abreast and updated…with a big smile on my face.

4 Comments

  • with a group of 50, it is to be expected that the dynam­ics will change, the pur­pose may vary with time and the off-shoots may sur­prise even us. As long as the masks are off, and the mood is one of con­ge­nial shar­ing– Long Live the WA group!

  • What“s app (WA) is another refined ver­sion of FB.In these days of rat race no onw has any con­cern for any­body and all the so called social con­tact and exchang­ing pleas­antries is just super­fi­cial and a MASK as u put it.

    There­fore WA or any other new tool is to fool one another in the present era.

    lax­man

  • Ajay Bhonsle wrote:

    And we thought doc­tors were a busy lot with no time for trivia like WA! But it is also a fact that they have the biggest col­lec­tion of non-veg masala which they can share only with ‘like minded’ folks!!

  • […] Two weeks ago, I had writ­ten a piece on how our LTMMC batch of 82 friends had sud­denly found each other on What­sApp. Last Sun­day, our Aus­tralian friend was in Mum­bai and we decided to meet for lunch. Despite all the mes­sages that went back and forth, the nine of us who met, except for one addi­tional cou­ple, were pretty much the same ones who had met when he had come down last year, when we did not have the ben­e­fit of the WhatsApp group. […]

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