Saturday, March 8, 2008

Internet Immortality

I have entered the stage of relationships that I never have before - the entry of the family. Q, the boyfriend, has taken the step of sitting down with his parents and explaining the existence of "someone", and contrary to all (read as me and Q's) predictions, they are all gung ho and want to naturally see the "someone" in the flesh now. I had already done the honours, but have not met with any success - six months after I told my mother that I was seeing someone, she casually asked me if "this Q thing is serious?" and makes very feeble protests against other relatives attempting to fix me up with loser GSB boys. As for my father, the less said the better. Our conversation went pretty much like this:

Me: Dad, I'm seeing someone.

Dad: So?

Me: So...

Dad: So...

(ten minutes of silence later)

Me: What?

Dad: What?

(ten more minutes of silence later)

Me: Well?

Dad: So what? Are you asking me for permission?

Me: (thinking) Oh, that's how it works, is it?

Me: Well Dad, can I see someone?

Dad: (pouting) Well you've already done what you had to, now what are you asking me for permission for?

Am guessing that with my parents, this is going to take some time, at least enough time for my to pull my Dad's fingers out of his ears when I do break the news to him, again.

Anyway, as caring parents, Q's parents do the most reliable background check that can be imagined in the circumstances:

They run a google search for my name.

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I have been googled by my boyfriend's parents.

Googling someone is the most effective diligence that can be performed on someone, besides Orkutting them. You never know, their name might turn up on an "INTERPOL MOST WANTED" site or something. As A and Laks both rightly pointed out, at least my blog is under a pseudonym. I admit to having googled Q after we went out on a first date of sorts, I found a PBase album with wild photos and a Blog of which I understood very little, but other than that, nothing incriminating. The rest, as they say, is history.

So I also decided to do a little ego-surfing to see what turns up. I found an interview I did with a legal website on litigation as a career choice, a few articles I wrote, some college activity website postings. My articles had even been referenced on a few BBC websites, and even as an external link on Wikipedia! My google name search was almost impressive.

And then I saw it.

I thought I had erased all remnants of the biggest mistake of my life, a three year relationship I had with a person who can only be described as (and will henceforth be referred to as) the Psycho, and there it was, right in front of me.

Relax, it's not a proclamation of love or anything that mushy. It's rather innocuous. One day, in the pre-psycho days, Psycho decides that he had to be part of some World Organization which controls domain names, or some such internet gibberish. The selection of the committee is on the basis of votes, and even though this was before the advent of the SMS voting era, our man had it all figured out. After not much pleading for the same, Psycho got me to second his name for the selection after registering on the damn website.

And there it is, immortalized for eons to come: ruma@yahoo.com has posted "I Second the name of Psycho for this damn organization that I care two hoots about".

AARRGGHH!!!

Since then, I have been trying to find out someone in google who can kindly remove this link from turning up as a hit in my name. Look, it's not because my boyfriend's father will look at this and say oh whatay fallen woman who once proposed some strange boy's name for world internet domain name domination and now she cannot date my son. No no no. That's the least of my worries. I am appalled that somewhere, there is the immortalization of my name with this psycho who, according to my shrink, is responsible for driving me to near insanity, and there's nothing I can do about it.

The moral of the story is that people should be circumspect about what they lend their name to on the internet. Even a comment you leave on someone's blog can be potentially harmful. In Law School, seniors would sit with the list of students who made it through the entrance exam and painstakingly google each and every one of them. Once, they hit paydirt with one sweet boy having left a "nice website, really enjoyed the content, keep it up" comment on http://www.bighotboobs.com/.

Of course, sometimes things like these can work wonders, especially when you're a lawyer. A very agitated woman, whose husband got her checked into a mental asylum while he was philandering with a belgian transferee in his office, was hitting dead end after dead end with Right to Information Applications being rejected at every possible office for information on this other woman. In a fit of boredom, I keyed her name in my google toolbar for a search.

The Husband had tried everything in his power to make sure the relationship was well hidden. Even though they were living in together in the Company Flat, as HR Head he had fudged all official records to make it seem like he and his belgian babe saw each other only once a year on the Company's annual offsite. Well, they say even the smartest of criminals makes at least 14 mistakes which a smart cop can catch.

As for the stupid ones, they visit a Hotel Website in South Africa:

"Karen Colma & Raj Kapoor, India

Thanks so much for your hospitality and your genuine warmth. Your place is gorgeous and we enjoyed every moment of our stay."

(names changed so that when they make a google search for their names, they don't find out that they've been busted)

An additional affidavit in evidence has been filed in her maintenance petition. When I showed it to my boss, he had a glimmer of new found respect for me in his eyes. Just a little.

Actually, now when I think about it, I got off pretty easy with the Psycho and the internet. Things could have been much worse. Anyway from what I hear, though a wave of votes from his juniors and family members and other Indians (later known as the Sanjaya effect) ensured he made it to the post, he was sacked on account of inactivity, something which probably turns up when you google his name.

Heh heh heh.

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