1974. My parents are taking a stroll beside the Ganges in Calcutta, hand in hand, cooing to each other, probably planning me.
"Do you enjoy poetry?" my father must have asked my mother. (They are both enthusiastic readers of poetry and prose still)
2008. Hola! Myself Kartik. Nice to meet you. Do you blog?
Have I really been as busy as that to not notice when the dating scene has undergone subtle changes?
Where are the pink rose printed writing papers with neat rows of painstakingly written praises of the goddess? At 28 I suddenly feel eons away from comprehension as friends looking for dates casually ask each other "do you blog?"
Till 2005 my friends in the US asked me with unbridled wonder "Really? you do not blog? how do you take care of all that anger?" "The good old fashioned way," I used to say. "by smashing some one's skull."
Everyone blogs these days. And as a girl friend says "If you are thinking of marrying a man, first read his blogs."
Wait. Isn't that twisting some other saying?
She states firmly - a man who does not blog must have been brought up by wolves. Because his blog gives an insight into his world, his upbringing, his passions and his yin and yang.
Apparently it's as uncool to ask someone "what are your hobbies" as it is not to blog.
Even when people like me, brought up by suspected villagers, let slip that question, the answer is a friendly "you can get all that from my profile info, you dummy. I'll ping you the link."
Privately I always believed that most of this sudden hype about blogging is the sheep-falling-into-gutter theory.
Which is why online peddlers of second rate pornography dare to call their blogs "inspired works of Indian eroticism".
Who will call a spade a spade when it is also apparently "uncool" to leave unflattering comments on what everyone else is hailing as prophetic.
Which is why the vicious who-sleeps-with-whom gossip blog about colleagues was suddenly a rage among journalists some time back.
I get the line "please check out my blog" all the time.
And when I do, sometimes I am pleasantly surprised with original poetry, startling photography and truly humorous prose.
And sometime, as is common these days, I trudge through a marketing page for products as boring as electric heaters.
Despite my cynicism, I have helped some of my unenlightened friends start blogs, sometimes simply because it is a fun thing to do.
I have had to remind them once in a while of course to update what they have created in a moment of unprotected passion.
Sometime I thank god for getting over with the dating scene in the very late 90s.
When swapping Back Street Boys music cassettes was all that was required of me, apart from looking all pretty and flustered of course.
A perfumed note written on fancy paper, caught in the wrong hands, back then would mean a session of tongue-lashing from mom with the suspended threat of "wait till your father gets home."
With my limited knowledge about the Internet and techno jargon, I think I would not have made it very far with a volley of questions about "Do I blog? Am I on AIM? Can I link to your profile? Are you on Facebook chat? Do you Flickr?". Yes, times have changed.