All the good things

Introspective post alert: don't blame me after you've finished reading this.

When I was in the final days of my first year at college, a final year senior gave to me what was his slam book. I had never seen one before, and duly filled in every section until I came to the section that said, "Write what you think about me". This was kind-of bizzare... and I turned to the other pages of the slam book to see what others had written. As I expected, there were messages like 'I will always remember you as the cheerful person', 'You will shine wherever you go', and stuff like that. I would have rather chosen to remain neutral, but I settled for good wishes for your future, etc.

Things did not change much after I went into more senior years, because I knew more and more people then. People who I had hardly interacted with came with or passed their slambooks to me (and everyone else), and you had to fill in all the details all over again. And the worst part invariably was when I had to write something about them. For the people I knew, it wasn't much of a problem. I knew what to write and fill in. For others, it was a problem... because I would have rather chosen to remain neutral than to write "All the good things".

In my final year, therefore, I decided not to go for a slam book. Some people had actually asked me about mine... and I had just replied that I don't need one. Just a quizzical look on their faces, and that was the end of it. I however, duly filled in everyone's slam book as and when they were passed to me. Not just those I hardly knew, but also for those people I knew. Unfortunately, it is difficult even now: I find it difficult to express even now why I did not like to write in their slam books --- people with whom I hung out, studied, lived together, etc. Giving out contact numbers, email ids, etc were ok, but not trying to tell them how good they were or anything... the further problem being that if I wrote in one of their books, the others would take notice and ask me to fill in theirs as well.

This still persists with me on Orkut. When adding a new friend, I always choose the level 3 or the default level in the yellow zone. I don't change it, not for anybody. Similarly, I am not there on anyone's fan list, and do not grade people to be sexy or trustworthy or cool. I know what my friends are, and they are worth more than what I can express on a slam book or by rating them on Orkut --- and the people close to me understand this (thankfully).

Yes, I know that this is bizzare and that I must be sounding obsessed or something... but that is how I perceive things. I feel it undermines the friendship to rate someone, or to write about him/her in their own slambooks. Sorry junta, I just don't like doing it.

P.S.- On a different note, look at the google ads surrounding the post below this one: Catch a cheating husband, detective agencies for cheating spouses, how to survive infidelity, duh!


  1. Well Sudipta, different ppl perceive these things in different ways...
    Feelings for Good frnds go beyond writing testimonials and filling scrapbooks.
    Well I too didn't keep a scrapbook during college days, cos I never felt the need.
    I'm still in touch w/ ppl of my college, but didn't expect scrapbook entries....

  2. errrr..... will you tell me in private what do you think of me?

  3. The google ads had me in splits :)

    You know I faced this same situation in my college years - but I took a slightly different approach. What bugged me most abt slam books were they were predictable to the core and usually asked you to write irrelevant boring details. So I made up my own slam book and gave it only those ppl who I really wanted to keep in touch (which err umm were many). But I really worked hard on my slam book - and it took nearly 8 months to get the effort finished.

    At the end of it though - was I happy? Yes. I still have that book, whilst I am pretty sure that those who gave out those petty cheap slambooks have thrown them away and with that many things ppl wrote for 'em.

    You are so right abt Orkut though - I find it so stupid actually hehehe - so by default everyone becomes my best friend :D


  4. Ahh... I think u may have inspired me to write on my slambook as my next post :P


  5. In my final yr I was sick n tired of filling up slam books n writing gud things abt pple.....I thought it was unecessary for me to hav a slam book coz the chain was pretty long.If i could get hold of 1 person I could manage to get hold of anyone in his/her slam book:-)......u remind me of my last days in college...:-)..n i absolutely agree with u on ur views.After all actions speak louder than words.
    nice one!!!

  6. Vivekanand, yes, everyone is allowed his/her own point of view on this... that is why this is exclusively my own view... I don't want to force this on anyone or stuff. Yeah and we al remain in touch with some folks... scrapbook or no scrapbook!

    Sunshine, you really don't want to find out... given the recent attacks of saying the truth that I've been having! :)

    Supremus, yes... you reminded me of the predictability of those darned scrap books! But I will surely be interested in knowing about your custom-made scrap book! Maybe it can even be a marketable idea! :)

    P.S.- I am on a roll in inspiring people, yaay!!

    Bristi, exactly my idea! Besides, I ahd thought that if all I needed was email ids and birthday reminders, then orkut and yahoo address book are enough!

  7. U r rite!! Its so mind-boggling to write the same details over and over again( how many times can u write that ur favorite food is chicken tikka?? There r limits!!). I sometimes feel that a neat little cut, copy, paste option would have been very useful for me! :) Now that even 10th and 12th students have started onto this trend, God knows wat will happen in future!
    Further, it is difficult to write good things abt one and all who give their slam books! (Sometimes, its downright embarassing coz u barely know anything about the owner of the slam book!) Anyway, I write a simple good luck wish to many! Well, wat else can b done?

  8. Hey Sudipta,

    Nice post yet again...

    Agreed wid wat u said, However, it sometimes feels good to know how ur closest pals perceive u as... I know slam book entries are so predictable, yet lookin at those books ten years down the line, makes u so happy... ur friend's handwriting, the tiny notes stuck on it, the silly cartoon faces... man, its a bundlehouse of memories...

  9. Finally I fine a sane soul on this earth, forgive me as I am going to refer all the idiots whose books I didnt fill to this post.
    I once refused to fill in a slam book of a person I was not really familiar with and all my friends castigated me as being rude. Well I never got slam books, tried to understand the concept but to no good.
    My understanding is if your my friend you know what i think about you and why, and you would also know not to ask me to transcribe that feeling.

  10. Harini, thanks! Yeah, actually, that is why online Yahoo address books come handy! :)

    Ships, thanks a lot! You are here after some time I guess. I agree with the sentimental value of these slambooks and stuff. But one must not go scrap-hunting to people you hardly knew.

    Goan Pao, ahh... sanity! Thanks!! :) You put my feelings well here. But well, not filling the scrapbook of a person, I'd say that is rude. (Sorry) At the end of the day, it is just a few scribbles on a piece of paper that can keep this guy happy and leave good memories of you.

    Anyway, I liked that style of revolt! :) Will not fill your scrapbook, outright! :))

  11. I agree with you. But in this era of standardization, demand rises that even friends should be categorized into "cool", "trustworthy","sexy".....

  12. Alka, demand and supply, eh? Now, that is interesting... meaning if we could do a search on orkut for everybody who is at least 90% cool and 80% sexy and stuff... he he he

    Thanks for dropping by again...


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