Are You a Social Media Fufaji?
I was having a good day after posting a hilarious joke until Ajay decided to ruin the mood. I would have argued with him but the retaliation would have offended him more.
This is really offensive and I think you should take it down,” Ajay commented.
Ever been to a wedding where there’s a ‘Fufaji’ who is always complaining about things? They’ll pick up petty issues like the quality of paneer being served, how much inconvenience it is causing to them and then fold their hands in protest until someone goes to them and massages their ego. Welcome to 2019 — an era where everyone is a social media Fufaji.
I was having a good day after posting a hilarious joke until Ajay decided to ruin the mood. I would have argued with him but the retaliation would have offended him more. This was third time this week that Ajay was offended and not engaging was my only option. I logged off from Facebook and started thinking about the happier times when people didn’t know about their unconstitutional right of getting offended. Instances such as:
Name calling: My maternal uncle was half bald and the remaining hair on his head resembled a waning crescent moon. He never took offence when the kids called him Chand Mama. Same was true for my friend Kalu who had a dark skin tone. In fact, he specifically asked us to call him Kaalia after he saw the hit Bollywood flick.
Stereotyping: Whenever expats came to our city and asked if India was a land of snake charmers, we didn’t correct them. Instead, in exchange of few dollars, we were happy to perform exclusive Naagin dance for them.
Political correctness: My friend once told me that I shouldn’t worry about being single. When asked why, he replied that people uglier than me were able to get into a relationship. Yeah, he called me ugly on my face. Those were the days!
“Sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never harm me” is history. The online world is now full of Fufajis who are waiting to be triggered. The worst part is that they will strike when you least expect it. My paternal uncle once got offended after no one replied to the puzzle he sent to the family WhatsApp group. He even threatened us that he will leave the group if he did not get the respect that he deserved. Just to calm things down, we had to make him the admin.
Political difference, sports preference, gender bias, religious opinion, sexual orientation, freedom of expression, type of clothes that Ranveer Singh wears — people are triggered about everything these days. It’s high time the government started charging tax for taking offence on social media (to be called Fufaji tax). The amount collected should be put back into the economy for useless expenditures so that it offends more people, thus keeping the demand supply equation going. Statue of offence, anyone?
What if Ajay was right, a voice in my head spoke. Maybe it was something that was hurting him and causing emotional stress. I pondered upon the thought, deleted the post that offended Ajay and looked up on the internet on how to deal with such situations in the future. The steps were easy: 1. Remain calm 2. Acknowledge the person 3. Resist passing judgement 4. Reply with grace.
Here’s how it went:
1. I uploaded an innocent picture of my family having dinner. Ajay, my nemesis Fufaji, commented that it was disrespectful to the food that I stood up while eating.
I remained calm and deleted the picture.
2. Next time, before starting to eat, I took a picture of my family on the dinner table. Ajay, being Ajay, commented that I was showing off all the food while people were dying of hunger.
I acknowledged him and deleted the picture.
3. Third time, I clicked the picture after everyone was done eating. Ajay said that it was bad omen to click pictures of empty vessels.
I resisted passing judgement and deleted the picture.
4. This final time, I clicked the picture with tables cleared after the dinner and Ajay pointed out that we shouldn’t be using plastic spoons because they are non-degradable.
I blocked him. I even called his mother and told her about his alcohol addiction. So much for grace!
I logged onto Facebook again and was happy that Ajay was gone. My friend had just posted about the TV series called Friends. ‘Ross and Rachael were not on a break, change my mind’, it said.
“This is really offensive and I think you should take it down,” I commented.
(Sudhanshu Ramteke is a stand-up comedian)