Exactly two years ago, on 30 September 2014, Orkut died, and it would not be wrong to say that nothing else has filled the void its departure left in me. Some might say that there is no such thing as "the good old days", but I do not believe so because Orkut was my world. Founded by Turkish engineer Orkut Büyükkökten, it was a social networking stalwart of the early 2000s that boasted more than 300 million active users around the world.
Nothing can take the place of Orkut in my life. Orkut was a messiah, it opened an entirely new world in front of me with the most powerful communities and soul-stirring conversations with like-minded people. Orkut provided a welcome break when I was a student studying hard for the board exams. Despite my busy schedule, I somehow managed to devote one hour from my study timetable to Orkut. Yes, I was a teenager and could have been led astray, but that never happened. If anything, Orkut bestowed me with wisdom and intellectually stimulating conversations. My reverence for certain spiritual leaders and writers led me to join communities where we could exchange ideas that I may not have had an outlet for elsewhere. They say "When once the itch of literature comes over a man, nothing can cure it but the scratching of a pen." In my case the "scratching of the pen" was the tapping of the keyboard done by some of the brilliant people on Orkut communities.
But all that remains now are memories in the form of scraps and photos, community posts in a well-protected folder in the computer taken through Google Takeout.
Colourful Orkut existed before the advent of the touchscreen generation, when people were not such hopeless phone addicts. Orkut existed before I entered the outside world. Orkut reminds me of my younger self, filled with energy and enthusiasm. Orkut reminds me of feeling protected. Let me share a poem posted in a mutual community through one of my friends.
All flowers are born the same,
But seldom are their destinies.
Some flowers adore to corpses,
Some flowers add beauty to women.
Some flowers are laid at the altar of the God,
But the best destiny of a flower is not to be plucked at all.
So is with the mind.
Some minds are spent on pampering the body,
Some minds are given to the beauty of mortals.
Some minds are laid at the altar of God,
But the finest of minds stay within, without getting extrovert at all.
Facebook does not appeal me. Twitter and Reddit do offer some succour and I must confess that they are indeed very informative and addictive but I still miss Orkut. Meanwhile, perhaps I should try to find some solace in Hello--another social networking site created by Orkut's founder.