Imagine I am a very popular blogger who goes by the name, say, Wordsmith. Fellow bloggers don't know his personal details except that he is a Virgo and he works in the field of publishing. They, of course, know all about his personal life and love to read about it. Then one day Wordsmith dies. Will the fellow bloggers, for who Wordsmith had become more than a soulmate over the months, ever get to know he is dead?
I often imagine a similar scenario for people who make friends in chatrooms, something increasingly common these days. There are people who never fully give out their identities to each other but still are good friends: often to the extent of not being able to do without talking to each other. The heart says: "Go, meet that person." The head says: "No, don't do that. You like talking to that person, just stick to talking. Who knows what that person could be in real life?" I know people who are more than friends to me, who mean the world to me, but who, so far, have remained identity-less. If, God forbid, one of them dies suddenly, I will never get to know. And vice-versa. Only the messages and e-mails will stop coming, and I will keep wondering why.
By the way, will such a death be considered as the death of an electronic entity, or the death of a human being? That's another thing I wonder about.
Not all my wonderings are as morbid. It is just that in the past few weeks, especially past few days, I've spent a lot of time in what people call Blogosphere. Suddenly, there are a set of people who matter to me: what they think matters, what they say matters. It is like having a small, cosy office: you walk in and you see them all sitting in their cubicles. You say 'hi' to each and take your seat. If you find someone missing, you wonder: Where is he (or she)?
My second wondering, well, a few might find it morbid as well, but I can't help expressing myself. It's about sex. As in people having sex.
Many of us have grown up -- and there is no denying that -- watching at least a few porn movies, Western porn that is. And in these movies, the actors make a lot of sound. So much that even the distant neighbour would know what you are watching -- they all have the standard soundtrack. I don't wish to describe those sounds in detail but they are usually about the female asking the man to do it harder and then announcing that she is approaching an orgasm: "I am coming, I am coming. Don't stop now" sort of thing.
Now this is another area where the West has immensely influenced India. It is common for couples in India to make such sounds, especially the "I-am-coming type." Now don't ask me how I know that. But it is interesting to note that such sounds are made only in English. A couple might be speaking Hindi or Tamil or Kannada in their day-to-day life, but when they make love, they do it in English. Even the much-reiterated "I love you" is in English, leave alone the "I am coming-I am coming."
I guess the English language makes things far easier. You can say "Fuck!" and "Shit" a million times and get away with it. And can also say "Fuck you!" and "Up your ass!" and be considered cool. But try using the vernacular translation of these words and you could find yourself mouthing something outright dirty. Or risk getting beaten up. Why the discrimination?
That makes me wonder: how do couples who don't speak a word of English cope with the onset of orgasm? They obviously cannot say, "I am coming, oh, I am coming!" Perhaps they make that exclamation in their own language, whatever that may be. But try translating "I am coming, oh, I am coming!" into your mother-tongue. Doesn't it sound, well, a bit funny?