Indianizing the Facebook “Like” button

In India, we do things differently.

And in keeping with the rich tradition of orally imparted knowledge and MMS scandals, we rarely like to write things down, and that is why when we go to “foreign”, we spare no chances in pontificating, elucidating and prognosticating on the Great Indian Difference. In India, we have history. In India, we have ancient culture. In India, we have the world’s most unhealthy kind of vegetarian food. Etc. Of course, elderly Indian gentlemen with NRI children play it both ways, hitting forehands down the line glorifying Western infrastructure and orderliness while slicing backhand drop shots edifying the sanctity of Indian chaos when the audience is melanin-challenged. Even the murderous Blue line buses of Delhi will derive philosophical inheritance from the cosmic randomness of Shiva, especially if there’s a white chap politely paying attention.

For all of the intellectual vainglory, we still steadfastly refuse to update Wikipedia articles – that is left to small minority of passionate enthusiasts, right-wing zealots and Rediff commenters. In fact, the entire Indian internet can be, in the keeping with our ancient tradition of classifying stuff, divided into 5 castes.

  • Bloghards – People with blogs titled with a combination of the words “Random”, “Thoughts”, “Scribbles” and “Rants”. This crowd is also almost exclusively on Facebook because Orkut is totally like..um..untouchable. They are also too intellectually dense to be on Twitter
  • Twithers – Folks on Twitter. Tend to be slightly pretentious and RT. This crowd also stays away from Orkut
  • Mahipal – A whole generation of Indian men who believe that any girl on Twitter is like a personal ad on Craigslist, except the responses here are public too
  • Orkutiya – Dey rite lyk dis
  • Rediff Commenter – The visible visceral online manifestation of the Indian National Mood – Outrage. Note: Rediff commenters are everywhere, not just on Rediff

But unlike the Chinese, who are forced to live in their own Internet behind the Great Firewall, the Indian Billion has a greater potential to stamp their “difference” on what is today, a mostly Americanized web. Case in point – I can’t seem to get Urban Dictionary to add “Amit” and “Madrasi” despite providing them with a detailed definition and several usage examples. Apparently, they prefer Pop culture to Appa culture. So we need to change our ways. We need to do the online equivalent of the salt march (which of course means a Facebook page + Orkut community + Adobe Flash based candle lighting mass campaign through email attachments) and stamp our Indianness on the web. All of this talking will get us nowhere.

I believe we can start with the Facebook “Like” button.

There’s a simple reason for that – it’s already ubiquitous. And it’s very western. We Indians don’t just like something. We are so nuanced that we believe that there are nuances to the word nuance itself.

For starters, we don’t just “like” stuff. We have opinions too.

When we listen to Rahman, we have to point out that Ilayaraja had the best bass lines, and I suspect that Indians will much prefer to see this on Cricinfo player profile pages, where they might as well hard-code “Sachin Tendulkar” in the text box above.

And speaking of Sachin, Rajni and other luminaries, frankly, a thumbs up just does not cut it. In Indian culture, we fall at the feet of our elders and celebrities

Also, after falling at people’s feet, it is part of our culture to take the respect to the next level and “like” something to the point where one wishes to felicitate the author.

Nothing screams “felicitation” more than a silk shawl (called ponnaadai in Tamil).

And what logically follows a felicitation? Yes, a lamp lighting. The largest amount of “like” one can give another human being in India is an invitation to light a lamp at at a college function.

And do we simply “like” something and leave it at that? Have you not seen comments on blogs that go “Hi. Loved your post. Can you read my post on the same subject”? We rarely listen to people. We are usually busy formulating a smarter response in our heads while someone else is talking. So to represent that behavior, it is only fair that we have a custom popup that appears after one hits the “like” button.

It will allow us to quickly select from a drop down list of old jokes, marginally funny pop culture references and dubious facts and send it to the author.

What about women? In the land of a million maruding mahipals meandering motivatedly to misunderstand, misconstrue and misinterpret the slightest mark of civility as an invitation to marriage, women cannot just “like” anything without making their intentions absolutely clear.

Do not forget. We are a nation of men that get strange ideas when we see that a girl has visited our Orkut profile, commented on our blogs or RTed our tweets. And when they use smileys, we notify our parents to initiate horoscope exchanges, so this is no laughing matter. You women might laugh, but for men, it’s matter.

Speaking of mahipals, we also need a “like” button for the citizens of Orkut

We are also a nation of permission takers. What do you mean you can go around liking anyone? In the nation of arranged marriages, you first need approval

After that, a printout needs to be sent to a gazetted officer who will notarize and approve it. Then a copy of the attested form will be sent to the Facebook headquarters where a clerk will make the neccesary “like” entries in the database

India also believes in viral effects. We have been mass forwarding emails decades before upstarts like Youtube and Twitter redefined viral propagation. With Hotmail, Outlook Express and Microsoft Word, we understand viruses better than anyone else, in every sense of the word. So it is only fair that the “like” button also send out mass emails to everyone in everyone’s contact list (not in the Bcc: field, but in the To: field). The email itself can go something like this

“If you forward this link to 10 people and get them to click the Like button, Bill Gates will make Lord Balaji grant your wish by making a 10 million USD donation to TTD which will then be used to rename the Taj Mahal to Tejo Mahal and also find an Ayurvedic cure for cancer, impotence and Pakistan”

 

 

 

260 Comments

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  1. You forgot the , “I like but don’t show on my profile” that is very popular in and around images of Sherlyn Chopra and Mallika et al😉 Good one dude !
    Ashok: Ah good point. Since I’ve never actually clicked on a like button, ever, so I did not know this

  2. thala
    i dont agree with the urban dictionary part…
    http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=jades

    a term we used to use in our college…
    has its roots from a hostel named jade mostly inhabited by northies…
    jade usually was the hostel with water problems…
    which was not a problem for northies who took bath only during holi…
    Ashok: Ah nice, but I can’t help notice that there are 2 definitions, and the second one, a rather generic definition, is the marginally popular one. But in any case, I must try submitting to UD again

    1. Wow. Jades on UD. Nice. Or, as an amit123/Jade will say, NITT rockz yaar !!

      KA, loved the digs on the Rajnikanth and Suresh Kalmadi “jokes”. Some solace in the fact that I was not the only person who felt nauseated on hearing them repeated time and time again !🙂

    2. jade -refers to jade hostel in NIT trichy..(explains the meaning in the urban dictionary)
      flooded with the future Amit123’s of the IT world and otherwise!:)

      NIT trichy 05-09

  3. Indianizing fb relationship status is need of the hour, “In a relationship” , “In a relationship and its complicated” etc doesnt have an pinch of Indianess. It should have options like “Spoke to a person of opposite sex”, “Horoscope matched” , “Bride / Groom seen” since these are the wonly significant milestones as for as reln status are concerned.

    1. One more addition to the Indianization, when a girl accepts the fraand request, it should appear with an automated “like” update and then a notification to all about the new found acquaintance.

  4. Like but bigfatphoenix is da best.

    When someone comments expressing liking for one part for a post, as a response to that specific comment, a ‘like like same same’ button can be made available.

    I touched upon this in a highly accessible post here.

  5. “If you forward this link to 10 people and get them to click the Like button, Bill Gates will make Lord Balaji grant your wish by making a 10 million USD donation to TTD which will then be used to rename the Taj Mahal to Tejo Mahal and also find an Ayurvedic cure for cancer, impotence and Pakistan”

    Awesome!!! You rock sir!!!🙂

  6. I have come only few times on this blog but this time it was hilarious. Such a nice satire on the cultural and social habits of Indian.

    Loved it🙂

    Krish Ashok, you have made my day !

  7. *Like*

    We also like to “double like” things, a puny click of a like button does not convey the Hanuman-ness of emotions that we feel in our hearts. So there need to be the following variants :

    1. ___ * Like (insert a number, accurate to two places of decimal, of your choice to indicate the quantity of “Like”)

    2. “LLLLLiiiiiiiiiiikkkkkkkkkkkkkkeeeeeeeeeeeee” – This variant spelling of like should now be under consideration with the Oxford and Webster dictionaries. It should also be a staple “trick” question in various American Spelling Bee contests.

  8. We definitely are a nation of men with strange ideas. When a random girl smiles, this is the exact dialogue or at times even a slight variant of this. “Aye Bradher, that hot Katte just smiled at me. Think she is into me. I am the kool man here’

  9. Hilarious as usual! ” a printout needs to be sent to a gazetted officer who will notarize and approve it.” Gahahaha!

  10. nice write up.. on a lighter note, it would be nice if FB customized the relationship status too – can have something like, intro talk on phone completed, horoscopes matched, parents discussing formalities etc.. cos its funny to see people who speak to the “amrikan maapillai” for a couple of hours and come to a conclusion that they were born in this earth just to meet and marry this person get confused and update their status with “in a relationship”, “its complicated”, “committed”, etc..

  11. Like but don’t get the wrong idea!
    ROFL!
    hey! you forgot to mention the “super likes” and the “super duper likes”!

  12. Fantastic post.
    I approve your inclusion of Mahipal. After millennia of effort and RTing, I could shed proud tears that the boy is finally gaining popularity and making it big outside the intellectually undense network of Twitter. The next step would be a post purely on Mahipals.
    “And when they use smileys, we notify our parents to initiate horoscope exchanges, so this is no laughing matter. You women might laugh, but for men, it’s matter.” So troooooooo. Best lines.
    Loved the “kal la vizhara” like and the “pon-aadai and “kuthuvilakku” likes. But most of all, the kai kooping faceless aunty from the “Application to Like” like. I have of an evening wondered who she is and if her hands are glued together.
    This essay-based comment is a method of extracting revenge for your essay-based comment on director Shankar’s dog being chained.
    And since it hasn’t been used generally in a long time, HAUNNNNNN!!

  13. It’s only fair to expect Krish’s next on hashtags or simply desi makkal on Twitter. Very refreshing post, much on lines of SRK’s preachings – Hum aise bhi hain, hum hain waise bhi. Phir bhi dil hai Hindustaani!

  14. Crap, just figured I’m one of the “Random thoughts” guys! :O Btw that Mahipal guy is hilarious.

    Like.., you are the day by day improving. *Reality show style*

  15. Brilliantly written. Great sattire. Can’t bookmark it from a phone- and this is enough motivation to download that bookmark app.
    Shalabh
    Chasingthestorm.com

  16. Who on earth is “P James Magic Show”? I personally find her regular and sporadic appearance about as funny and hilarious as Krish’ blog posts themselves.

  17. Its not that I like this post less, but I love the other ones more ( The Shakespearean Like button)

    Also, please enable Like for all the comments. And the like button for liking those comments and….

  18. ‘We are so nuanced that we believe that there are nuances to the word nuance itself.’🙂
    we are the land of the Samskritha amarakosha remember?
    and I love the forehand and backhand analogy too..very apt strike there🙂

  19. Hey Brother,
    Fantastic!!! Why dont you forward this to our Hon. Information and Broadcasting minister for further actions as suggested by you😀

  20. “Do not forget. We are a nation of men that get strange ideas when we see that
    a girl has visited our Orkut profile, commented on our blogs or RTed our tweets.
    And when they use smileys, we notify our parents to initiate horoscope
    exchanges, so this is no laughing matter. You women might laugh, but for men,
    it’s matter.”-
    Talk about hitting the nail on the head!!!

  21. worth the long wait over the last 3 months. enna oru kalaai…”You women might laugh, but for men, it’s matter.” awesomeness.😀

  22. I missed the sentimental like category: I won’t forget this for the rest of my l living years; or I will name my child after you etc.

    The ponnadai like is superseded by the cutout like, where you indicate that you’ve scoped out land at Adyar signal for a massive cutout. Also, the aal uyara malai like.

    We indians also need reciprocal like counters to prevent one sided liking.

  23. Awesome entry dude!

    “If you forward this link to 10 people and get them to click the Like button, Bill Gates will make Lord Balaji grant your wish by making a 10 million USD donation to TTD which will then be used to rename the Taj Mahal to Tejo Mahal and also find an Ayurvedic cure for cancer, impotence and Pakistan”

    too good!

  24. I really think “Bill Gates will make Lord Balaji grant your wish by making a 10 million USD donation to TTD which will then be used to rename the Taj Mahal to Tejo Mahal and also find an Ayurvedic cure for cancer, impotence and Pakistan” will come true, with the number of likes to this post!😀

    Good one!

  25. Please do write more often. It’s been ages since I read one of yours. I read all the less funny stuff in my reader first and got to this today, ah the joy!

  26. Brilliant post – …didn’t go through all the comments so may be someone already has already shared this same idea with you.
    How can an Indian “Like button” option list be complete without the quintessential head bobble? Something alone these lines..
    http://yfrog.com/euewpg

  27. Oye teri!! one of THE BEST diction seen online in recent times. You rock dude… totally.
    See am praising the Indian style too…

    And what with this “Anupras Anlankar or something” type of usage in this sentence ” In the land of a million maruding mahipals meandering motivatedly to misunderstand, misconstrue and misinterpret”

    All Ms… awesoMe…

  28. wow man!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! great post…. i personally LIKE the ponnadai and lamp lighting thing…. i was just surfing and came across your jalsa and jilpa and gilma things… keep up the good work… waiting for the next post….

  29. Sooper post! “Like” and the proposed avatars of “Like” were rib-tickling! How about, “Dont Like” and “Mokka” versions of like too😉 shabbbah.. romba nal kalichu post potrukinga ippo than office vanthu blog padicha trupthiyay regained!!! thank u. keep blogging.

  30. It is a fantastic idea to start an Indian Facebook Like…..Loved the “SAASHTAANG PRANAM” like…..

    U r one of a kind….Well will it be possible to display all the RASAAS in Indian version is yet to be discovered.

    we can also start a new FLATTERY BUTTON..Lol!!!!

  31. This really made me LOL! Of course they need the kutthuvilakku. They’ve even moved to more prestigious ‘electric kuthhu vilakku.’ Saves the chief guest trouble of dripping wax.

    Which caste would you consider yourself to belong in? Me, bloghard. No doubt. >.>

  32. finally a blogpost which i relee lyk 2 mch!!

    i was the one who spotted you outside the cricket stadium at Blr on sunday, day 2 of the ind v/s aus test and asked you to keep writing!

    cheers krish!

  33. Brilliant, as always! You blog way too rarely to satisfy the teeming millions who follow your work.

    There’s one more level of Like beyond the felicitation — Honorary Doctorate. A logo for that would be a good idea, I think.

    While on that topic, I wonder if any tax laws apply to honorary doctorates, seeing as how it is part of the perks package for politicos in TN.

  34. Nyce😀 Read your Indian Express article. Rituals are not just for the theists. It’s comforting to atheists too. Like unhealthy, greasy comfort food🙂

  35. 4c – “Creativity Catering Curious Concepts”

    is what I “C”ounted after going through it although might be
    different to what you perceived before making the same come
    alive on the Internet.
    🙂

  36. Its quite satirical. But funny, I’m unable to see the “funny” part here. This is my first visit to your blog. You seem to mock at people who are not as ‘abled’ as u.

  37. How dare you denigrate ancient Indian tradition of bowing down at people’s feet? Do not take advantage of over-tolerance of a billion Hindus.

  38. This is my first visit to your blog. And i’m impressed. Hope facebook team also got a copy of ur post. The changes can make facebook all the more interesting.

  39. ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

  40. Excellent! I’m not even Indian, but it was funny despite not being able to understand some of the references.

    Roger Ebert linked here from his Twitter, so expect a flood of hits!

  41. hi friends in my point of views this is an awsome great and cool idea ever

    if u like some thing

    just press 1 button and it will b shared all over ur network and the popularity of the subject will b shown directly by the number of like button clicks😀

    http://www.mintrio.com

  42. Hi,

    I appreciate some of the interesting insights you made into the Indian way of registering thoughts… I think that has provoked (read inspired) me to register this as I had been reading your blogs for a long time for now but have never left a comment…

    you do write really well and would like you to continue this writing which is hilarious, subtle in bringing out points which we miss in the daily routines…

    keep up the good work..
    Cheers,
    Bala

  43. The part beginning with women and after that is especially humorous. We enjoy it because we all are ‘like that’!

  44. This is the first blog I have read from “Doing Jaspa and showing Jispa” and I found it to hilarious and Indian!!😀
    Keep up the good work.

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  46. Love the ‘Like but don’t get the wrong idea’, but only after the prostrating and the lamp lighting likes 🙂
    I have a cousin on FB who writes the orkut style – and I never understood what the deal was.

    Not to blatantly steal from your post, (‘hi loved your post can you read mine :)) but I recently posted an amazing experience my husband had on his trip to India with Spicejet. Check it out when you have some time.
    -sri

  47. This was one of the most brilliant articles I have read during the past 3 years !
    *I shall now proceed to pick myself off the floor 😀
    Thank you for your candor , honesty , cynicism , accuracy and blatant humor ! .
    I really needed this😀

  48. I enjoyed it. In fact I did something similar on FB, i.e. giving unwanted opinion and someone that I don’t know directed me to this post on your blog…

  49. I wish you’d added a Like button at the end of this piece (the “kaal-la vizhara type)! As always, sooper sir!

  50. As a self-respecting Chennaite, I was hoping to see cutouts and cutout-paal-abhishekam right after shawl-pothufying😦

    And how can you brush away the language issue under the carpet? We will self-immolate if “pidithirukkiradhu”, “pasand hai” and “bagundhi” are not included before chandramana ugadi..

  51. Awesome post!

    Of late I’ve observed the “Superlike” phenomenon, where one is so mesmerized by what they “like” that the must comment “superlike” to enhance the awesomeness effect!

  52. Absolutely love the “Mahipal” description. I am sick of guys calling me dear, sweetie, sexy etc just because I play scrabble with them on Facebook! What a bunch of losers! Thanks A MILLION for writing about them..

  53. Thank you i like this facebook “Like” button most of the friends are adding the in the online through the facebook. you do write really well and would like you to continues. And also you can share the messages and also post the the sites. The layads are used to the post your free classifieds in India.

  54. “When we listen to Rahman, we have to point out that Ilayaraja had the best bass lines”.. I ALWAYS do that!!! You write well! My “like” is sitting with the gazetted officer, waiting to be notarised!

  55. Came upon your blog by chance and I love it! Have it bookmarked for updates. You’re hilarious! And your Tambrahm Rage? I can’t believe I haven’t seen it before. Was a laugh riot at home when my husband (aathukaarar) and I read it! 🙂

  56. Krish you’re the Lollu Mannan;
    Aana ellorukkum pidithamana Kannan!
    Nallavey Kallakkura Paiya;
    Innum Kallukkiney iru
    Naina!

  57. Krish Ashok, I really like your posts but don’t the wrong idea!!

    BTW, I’ve seen ppl ‘liking’ posts like ‘lost my wallet’, ‘have had an accident’ etc.

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