Being Subodh!

By Victor Mukherjee

I love Subodh, I admire him, I respect him and I look up to him. To some people, he might be the biggest loser to take subodhbirth on planet earth; to others, he is a freak. Well you can call him anything, but that doesn’t change the efficiency and effectiveness of a person like Subodh. He is not only a person, he is a cult. For a whole generation inspired by Dil Chahta Hai, ‘Subodh’ is the one thing that affects people the most. A man with an amazing memory. Thats all that you need, thats all I ever wanted to be. Believe it or not, women want their partners to be like Subodh. One who remembers everything, especially dates…
Let’s see how many dates are we supposed to remember in a man’s lifetime. Let’s start with birthdays. From childhood, other than your birthday, you have to remember your parents’ and siblings’ birthdays. In a joint family, you will have your uncles and aunts, cousins and dogs. It’s unsocial, not remembering their birthdays. Once you start mingling outside your family, you definitely have to remember your friends’ birthday (depending on who gives you better gift on your birthday). Then you grow up, you start getting attracted to the opposite sex. As a flirting tactic, remembering birthdays rate very high. So you have to remember her birthday too [most of the times it’s more than one, hence more pressure to the brain]. Some girls respond to the flirting, some tie the rakhi instead. So unintentionally you get tied up into remembering some more numbers. Above all these you have those important dead people whose birthdays you forcefully remember in the quest of public holidays.

You go to college, where celebrating birthdays at cafes/restaurants/pubs with newly associated friends have pretty much been in fashion over the last decade. Now is the time when you start enjoying other people’s birthdays. If you by chance remember these birthdays you get welcomed into the brotherhood, which wins you couple of beers, couple of colas, some fries and chips or at least a Chicken Mc-grill. Then you start working in any organization, remembering you boss’s birthday acts wonderfully for your career, remembering the accountants birthday stabilizes your finances, remembering the workaholic colleagues birthday lets you reduce your work pressure and remembering your receptionists birthday, of course can give you some cheap thrills at the office loo, lift or at the parking lot!

Now there will be a time when you finally want to settle down in life with someone’s birthday you already know. That saves you some grey cells. But if you decide to marry a new birthday, there will be a whole lot of newer birthdays which come as tag-along with it. Namely her immediate family, her cousins, her friends, her colleagues (very rare), her doggy subodh 2etc. Quite unexpectedly they expect you to remember these dates clearly. And the list goes on and on and on. It is very safe to say, in a Facebook-free life, men are bound to remember at least 50 birthdays. That’s when we first realise, how being a Subodh is a boon…

Well other than the birthdays, we have the anniversaries [ parents’, friends’, ex-girlfriends’ and off course your own], we have the graduation days, school establishment days, we have the company annual days, annual holidays, dates of a well spent trip somewhere, blacklisted days in the history of the country, world, even universe. I mean the 15th Augusts and the 9/11s. It sometimes gets very confusing you know… No wonder Veena Malik screwed up between 26th January and 26th November!

But Subodh is beyond this, he kind of remembers dates of first coffee, first kiss, first dialogues, first dates, first altercation, first movie watched, first ever music piece. And he never needs the help of facebook or any kind of social network to remind him of such events. You can safely call him a Human Timeline.

But why am I writing about Subodh? What is this whole piece all about? It’s about a little worrying fact actually. It’s about our dependence on social network, how we depend on a website to remind us of the birthdays of our close ones, how we dchhave stopped maintaining a diary with the birthdays of people we care about, how we have started blaming Facebook for something we should remember ourselves. It’s about the lack of usage of a very interesting & intriguing body part called memory. Facebook is indeed a very good tool to remember the birthdays and other dates of all the other people you deal on a need to know basis. But your friends and family, the close ones, they don’t deserve this. They don’t want a belated wish from you simply because you forgot to check Facebook on their birthdays…

In the whole line up of different characters in Dil Chahta Hai, I would choose Subodh every time. You can make fun of him, but you can never underestimate his efficiency. In a social network driven generation, Subodh is the odd man who evens out the discrepancy between control and chaos. We need more Subodhs in our society to make relationships less virtual. Why am I so bothered? Let’s go back to the first line. I love Subodh, I admire him, I respect him and I look up to him. He is me, I am him…

(** Subodh was played by Azad Dadarkar in Dil Chahta Hai)

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