Moderating any e-group or online forum is usually a fine balancing act. But moderating an Orkut group is plain hilarious. I happen to be the moderator for our school group on Orkut. It started out as a group for all those who have been/still are "associated" with the Sacred Heart Convent School (SHCS) of Jamshedpur. Why "associated" and not something as definitive as "past and present students"? Well, simply because I never thought that some friendly people on Orkut would take the word "associated" in the profile to its many literal and bizzare conclusions. Like Rajesh Kumar* from Karim City College who feels his association with our school (read long, futile waits oustide the school gates) qualifies him to join the group. Then there is a 16 year old school boy from Asansol, Faiz from Mirzapur and even a bunch of blokes from Pakistan. Hey! Faiz how are you associated with our school, no really? And let me guess there is a SHCS shrine in some dusty village across the border that keeps directing their misguided youth our way. I can easily dismiss these jokers as hormonally ravaged but what about the husbands who turn up along with their wives or the middle aged grumpy man with shiny pate who believes in open relationships? Whatever happened to the individual offers of friendship and its many dyslexic cousins that is so Orkut-ian? Part of the problem could be that their brains promptly short circuit after reading "Sacred Heart Convent" so they never reach the part which reads "moderated".
Come to think of it, its not such a bad thing after all. I have to admit that I do derive an immense amount of pleasure from repeatedly hitting the reject button. I can judge, discriminate and snigger without any regard for good old PC. And here's another thing...over time our little corner on Orkut has become a wonderful forum for reconnecting with people you never knew existed, like the lady from the 1970's batch who also turned out to be somewhat of a family friend or classmates who moved to distant cities ages ago. When you look at it that way, the pimpl, satchel carrying lad from Asansol becomes a very, very minor irritant....one that can sometimes provide a few good laughs.
* not his real name (no, I am not protecting his identity...I forgot his good name!)