I have been spending some time on Omegle of late, more as the new circus in town rather than an intellectual excursion. Omegle is a website where you are paired up with a random stranger to chat with (video conferencing, through your webcams) , like a virtual one-on-one blind date, with the rider that any of you can disconnect at any point into the conversation. Yes, the same concept as Chat Roulette. The experiences are pretty much similar too. People view it as online zoos, momentary glimpses into each cell before you disconnect to try another random combination. The text chat options are pretty much ignored, the normal procedure being to glance over to the right panel, where a live video of who you are talking to is beamed. You take a few seconds to gauge the face peering at you, and then try one of the three things,
- Disconnect immediately and try another random connection
- Make an obscene gesture to the person on the screen and then disconnect and try another random connection,
- Show your penis to the person on the screen and then wait for them to disconnect
At least that is the modus operandi as it appeared to me in all the permutations and combinations I tried. Despite how weird it may sound, naked men fondling their uh, package is a common sight, of up to one in every five interactions. Clearly, the first question facing the reader is why would I subject myself to such possible orientation affecting actions. In my defense, reconnaissance is a tricky task, and not for the faint of heart. More confronts you soon.
Kids, lots and lots of kids; alone, in groups, while doing homework, while talking to best friends pop up on the screen at an alarming frequency (another one-in-five instances case). One of my first interactions was with a group of white kids, 6-7 year olds who looked at me and screamed NIGGGER! No amount of my explaining would help matters, and I learnt quite a few hand gestures in a very short duration.
More about Omegle in a minute.
I have been very enamoured of the song Jal Pari by Atif Aslam for some time now, having discovered it off the Coke Studio recordings. My usual playings of the song run in non-stop loops through the day, whether they be on the ipod, or on the laptop, and I usually end up humming through it. Good time to hear the song (yes, right now in the middle of this, let’s build up the atmosphere, shall we?)
Beautiful, isn’t it? So I had been listening to the song for a while when I logged on to Omegle today afternoon and after a seeming endless procession of faces and disconnections, reached a desi face, a young 25+ guy who looked at the camera and smiled. I smiled right back as he wrote Behenchod on the chat window. I replied back with a Madarchod (Motherfucker). Suitably acquainted, the conversation went this-a-way from there,
Him: Are you Indian, behenchod?
Me: Yes, I am
Him: Par gaana to aap pakistani ka sun rahe hain (But you are listening to the song of a pakistani)
Me: Yes, indeed. Why is that a problem?
Him: Not a problem jaani. I am from Pakistan.
Me: Aur ye gaali dene ka kya riwaaz hai. Bina do- chaar gaaliyan idhar udhar exchange kiye, baatein aagey nahi badhti? (What’s up with the curses? Is it a tradition that one cannot converse before having exchanged a couple of curses).
Him: Wo apna style hai, bura mat maano jaani. Aur ye batao, kabhi choot maari hai? (That is my style, don’t take offense. And tell me, have you ever screwed a chick?)
Me: (in hindi) Dude, if you are horny, try porn. The world has changed, pornography is easily available.
Him: I am sick of porn.
Me: Go out and say hello to a woman then!
Him: Ok, I will try that.
He doffed his imaginary hat at me as he said bye and disconnected.