Friday, February 26, 2016

780. The secret behind the Facebook like buttons

Today Facebook launched the Facebook like button variations with different emoticons. This marks the beginning of an era where Facebook users will get an analytical answer for the emotions they pull out from their readers. Though there is not an explicit dislike button added by Mark in this new feature pack, one emoticon "Angry" can indirectly be used to show dissent.

Lets analyse the various Facebook emoticon buttons in this post

1) The Like button

This is the same Like button that we are all used to. There is no change in the button. Users can click this button just to assure that they have seen the post. Almost all Facebook users post articles for this button

2) The Love button

Mark is a lover boy. This is the closest that FB comes to Tinder. Constantly pressing the love button for all the status messages of your love interest will convey that you are jollu vittufying them. This is one step intimate than the like button. All those who yearn for fraansheep can use this button to reap maximum returns

3) The Haha button


The haha button can be used to encourage the funny bones. This can also be used to make people believe that they are funny. This button will be one of the most widely used buttons on FB after the LOVE button. 

4) The Wow button

Apparently this button has found its way to Facebook to honor an achievement. But it can also used to usupethufy someone and ranagalapaduthufy them. This may be one of the least used buttons on FB

5) The Sad button

Touchwood! This is there only for sad reasons. When users used to post a sad news, all this while we had no other option but to click the like button t denote that we have seen their message. But with this addition, it will help users to empathize with those who go through tough times.

6) The Angry button

Though Facebook has not released a dislike button, the Angry button becomes the closest variant for a dislike button. If you do not like some one, you can keep on clicking this button only to be eventually kicked out of their friends list. I can now use this button to use for all TOI news on FB.

To read the history behind the evolution of the dislike button, click this post [ link ] where I have written about the strategy behind this.

- Chronicwriter

Friday, February 19, 2016

779. Decoding the Facebook log out image

This image always appears on my screen when I log out of FaceBook. I hope it appears for everyone reading this blog. I looked at the image and it gave me many different meanings. I did not know what the intended message behind the image. But I knew there would a story behind this. So in my quest to decode the hidden message, I wore my Sherlock hat and detective camelcoat ( My granny's torn housecoat) and gave some homework to my brain.

My brain asked me to interview some popular bloggers in Chennai to decode this script. I always obey my brain like Simbhu obeying Reema Sen in the movie Vallavan. I went to the loo, sat on the commode and handpicked some bloggers (from memory) and made a list of the top decoders in the country.

At first I approached Mahesh Lakshmanan. He is a retired boxer who is waiting to don his gloves again to punch me if I write nonsense about him in this blog. He looked at the image and sang a song in D major scale. The lyrics of the song is added here. It was a song in Tamil

Aavadhum paennalae, vaazhkaiyil sadhikaradhum paennalae, 
Pala naerangalil aangal Veena povadhum paennalae

which in english translates too " Women are the reason behind the success and failure of men". To his bad time, Uma Muruganantham overheard this line. She immediately punched our ex-boxer hard with the lines "Yellaam un sondha budhiyaalae" which means " It's all your fault. Don't blame the girls". Mahesh was now cornered. He felt like Vadivelu in "Vakkeel Vandumurugan case". He knew that anything said after that would land him behind bars. So he kept quiet and had an out of court settlement with Uma and they took selfies to sweep the disagreements under the carpet. 

I lifted that carpet and took some points from that and proceeded to meet the next person, Satheesh K Chinnappan who can take an Autograph movie with 10 heroines because of his exploits. Satheesh saw the image and told in a single line " Don't go behind the fake IDs in FB". He spoke those words with a clarity and tone that reminded me of Ravi Shastri's commentary in the 2007 T20 world cup when Yuvraj hit those 6 sixes in an over off Stuart Broad. After saying those lines, he started to cry. I did not want to disturb him any more. So before he could say another line I ran off from the scene.

On my way, I saw Gayu Venkat who was running to catch a bus. I showed her the image and immediately she said " That is kalla kaadhal" meaning " That is an extra marital affair". I don't know what made her say that. But those words gave a whole new dimension in the decoding project.

Katie Nathan,Bhushavali Natarajan, Kavipriya and Jenny Sarto were the next four people I met. They asked me to wait and started playing "Ringa Ringa Roses". When Katie, Bhusha and Jenny actually fell down when they recited the last line, Kavipriya played bongatttam by not falling down. After they played this game for 10 minutes, they called me. I showed the same picture to them and asked for their answer

Katie: We understand that you have signed out because your girl has logged out of FB 

Bhusha: Go and help your wife. Or else, she will will come and drag you

Kavipriya: Thallli pogadheeeee

Jenny Sarto: I see that you're headed out into the real world to have actual human contact?

Katie had a point. I remember the days when I used to log out when my girlfriend logged out of FB, only to log in when the second girlfriend logged in. 

Bhusha's comment also was logical because as a married man, I understood what she was saying

Kavipriya's comment made me realize that she was in the love mood. 

Jenny Sarto's comment was made in Mel-B's tone. Her Spice girly move made me realize that she meant business.

I left the playground only to meet Nandhini Chandrasekaran. She saw the image and said "Singlela ule vandheenga, jodia vellila poreenga. Santhosham. Aana seekirama kazhativitutu thirumbhi singlela varuveenganu numburom." which means "Even though you have found your pair on FB, you will have a break up like Virat Kohli and Anushka and come back to Facebook for yet another search.

I thought I had gathered enough information to decode the message in the image. So I went back home. When I was nearing my home, I saw a friend Ravi Shankar being chased by a street dog. I chased away the dog and saved Ravi from the dog bite. Ravi saw the image and told that it reminded him of the Vadivelu comedy " Kaiya pudichu illutheeya" ( Did you pull the hand). We had a hearty laugh. Suddenly we heard a girl crying out loud. We realized that the dog had gone and attacked someone. As we went to save the girl, we found that the dog was actually bitten by the girl. It was Anu Mohan. She was still having dog meat in her mouth when we asked her to decode the image. She said " Vaa Suruthi polaam" and continued hogging her hot dog.

With all these information, i returned home. When I entered the rest room, I met Nandhitha Hariharan staring at the mirror in the rest room and challenging someone in the mirror. As it became a habit for me, I pulled out that image; she saw the image and said " Thallittu pogadhey" and continued challenging someone in the mirror.

I closed the rest room and came back to the drawing room and plotted all the answers on a sheet of paper and almost decoded the message in the image. That's when it suddenly hit me " What was she doing in my rest room?"

- Chronicwriter

Monday, February 15, 2016

778. A letter to Siachen

It was a cold evening. He was sitting near his tent, shining his gun. In a split second a heavy snow boulder fell on his head. He saw his fellow soldier losing his balance and falling down the cliff. He felt dizzy, images around him were blurry. All he could sense was numbness that were transforming into scathing pain.

" Hi, I think I like you Rajiv"

" I am honored, because not many women would take the first step to say this to a man. I like you too"

" Glad you said that. I was thinking how you would react"

" Actually I am very happy today Sonia"


The snow ball almost fractured his neck. He could not move his neck. His hands went in search of the gun that he was holding in his hand a minute ago. He could not stand on his feet any more. His knees started to shiver and he fell down on the snow-capped mountain top


"I think It is high time that you got married"

"I need two more years amma. I might be posted in Siachen"

"Do you really have to go all the way to Siachen?"

" Siachen is a challenging place amma and only the fittest can survive there. I have to be there for our country"

" I am proud and at the same time scared. But marry Sonia first and then  go to Siachen"


His broad shoulders suddenly became numb. He searched for his gun. It was buried somewhere around him on the snow. He could not lift his left hand. He felt something break inside. He coughed a little and saw blood dripping from him mouth on to the snowy ground.

" You look lovely tonight"

She was silent which was so unbecoming of her. It was her first night after her wedding with Rajiv.

" Can I see that smiling face of yours?"

It was a different feeling for her. She was thinking to herself how a first night can suddenly change her. She was actually the first one to propose to Rajiv. But tonight, she felt different.

“Why this silence? Don't you like me"

She tried to respond. But words did not escape her mouth. She just looked into his eyes. Their glances spoke the language of love. The romantic vacuum was so thick that one could actually cut it with a knife. He understood the language and pulled her towards him and she just sunk into that heavenly embrace that ignited their journey of love after their marriage.


He was a brave man. But the sight of his own blood terrorized him. He coughed again and almost a liter of blood came out. There was silence all around. He did not even have the strength to cry out loud and ask for help. He could not move his head too.


“Do you really have to go now?”

“Yes Baby! Our country needs me”

“As if you are the only person who is going to defend our country”

“Yes! Darling… Your Maamaa only saves our country from the terrorists”

“But I don't want you to go now. Stay for some more time"

“I already told you about my situation. I can't leave the army now."


 He tried to move forward; but his body was not cooperating with him. He could only roll over and lie on the snow capped mountain. All he could see was the sky. Snowflakes were falling on his face. He could not lift his hands and wipe them off from his face. His eyes were filled with tears.


“I don’t want my husband to risk his life in that dangerous place"

“There is risk involved in every job. Aren't you proud that I am defending the country?"

“I am proud. But I love you and I am scared"

He pulls her towards him, gives her a long hug says “Where is the boldness that made you to first approach a guy like me?"

Somehow a small hug brings a smile on her face. Her smiling face evoke a mixed emotion of happiness and sadness. As he slowly walked away into the distance, the first tear drop fall from her eye.


He wanted to live. He could feel pain all over his body. He could feel pain inside him. Images of his wife flashed across his thoughts. The last time he received a mail, she had hinted of divorcing him. He wanted to talk to her now and explain his situation. As a husband he had failed to be by her side. As a son of the soil, he had tried his level best to safeguard the country. "I should not die now. I want to fight for my country" - His thoughts did not communicate with his vocal cord. "I won't shut my eyes. I want to see the world". Another boulder of snow fell on him and it was all over. Under the snow, the heart was still beating; but there were no one to feel that heart beat that was slowing down.


Hundreds of Kilometres away from him, Sonia was writing a letter, not aware that there was no need for one now…

“I can't take this anymore. I wanted to build a life with you, a home where we had fun and laughter. But I only have pain and regret. I don't feel that you love me anymore. I never wanted you to leave me and fight for the country. If you can't be with me, why did you marry me in the first place? I know you cannot live without me. But I need a family. I need to be loved. I need a child. I want to be like every other family. I know I am not greedy to ask these basic things in life. My parents have asked me to marry my cousin. I have finally agreed because I know it is of no use writing letters after letters to someone who does not care. I am sending the divorce papers. At least sign them and return it to me. I don't hate you. But I know that you would not be able to live with me. I hope you understand. Sorry and Bye

When she finally folded the letter, she began to cry out loud.


Sixty feet under the snow, another heart hardened, froze and rested.

- Chronicwriter

Dedicated to Lance Naik Hanamanthappa and hundreds of soldiers who have served our country. The idea for this format of storytelling is based on an Inspiration from the narrative style of Manoj. Thanks to him for making me write this.

Tuesday, February 09, 2016

777. Engineering Mathematics is a Pakistan Terrorist

Till last week, the only thing I remembered from my BE degree was my examination registration number. I finally forgot that 6 digit number. So officially I have retired from my Engineering degree. To honor me, Brendan McCullum retired from One day international cricket.

I am an Electronics and Instrumentation engineer. If you ask me anything from any subject during my Engineering degree, I will just give a blank stare. I don't remember anything now. I vaguely remember that I had a subject called Fluid mechanics in my 6th semester. I also remember that I had a subject called field theory in my 5th semester. 

Then there was this huge book written by A.K Sawhney. If Philip Koetler's book on marketing is the Bible for all MBA students who specialise in marketing, then AK Sahney's book is the bible for all Instrumentation engineers. The only thing I remember is that I sold that book for 200 Rupees and bought an underwear and a Beatles CD from the money.

I seriously don't remember anything else. Well! I remember all the cultural events that I participated in. I can write a book and publish it based on my Engineering days. But a lot of authors have already done that. So I won't do that. 

One thing that still haunts me is "Engineering Mathematics". I had one arrears paper in my BE degree and that was my first year Engineering Mathematics paper. I came across Fourier transforms (4th semester) and Laplace Theorem (5th semester). I still do not know how I cleared those papers. This is why I seriously doubt the credibility of University of Madras.

Let me tell you How I flunked in my first year Engineering mathematics exam.

I was a day scholar during my first year of Engineering. I was weak in mathematics. All the best mathematics students stayed in college hostel. Till two days before the semester exam, I tried my level best to study for the exam; but nothing entered my head. So I decided to study with my classmates who stayed in college hostel. That was the biggest blunder I ever did.

It was a Sunday morning. The exam was on Monday. So after the church service was over, I rushed to the college hostel. All the guys were wearing minimal costumes and were roaming freely in the hostel corridors. As soon as I entered hostel, Edwin (EEE student) approached me and said "Machi, came for combined study? You have come to the right place".

His words of encouragement was a tonic for me. He came along with me and took me to all the rooms in the hostel. All the rooms were filled with smoke. The guys were all high too ( I did my Engineering in Pondicherry. The college was affiliated to Madras University). I asked Edwin "When will all study for the exam". He calmly looked at me and said "Don't worry. We will start soon".

Then we entered one room where Augustine Paul and co were playing a game of cards. As I entered the room, they welcomed me and allowed me to join them in the game. After a few games, they said it was time for lunch. So we went to the college mess and had our lunch. Once we were back, all the guys went to sleep. I again asked Edwin when they will all study. He looked at me with a cool look and said " Don't worry machi. We will start in the evening".

I slept with he gang. It was a new experience for me. I have never been in a hostel environment and I was getting accustomed to the wolf pack. When I woke up at around 5 PM, no one was around me. I rushed out of the hostel room and saw all the guys in the college play ground.

Some of them were playing cricket and some others were playing ball badminton. As I was a ball badminton, right back player, I joined them and played to my heart's content. It became 7 PM in no time and it was time for dinner.

We again rushed to the college mess and had our dinner (chappathi) and came back to the hostel rooms. Still no one had opened their books. I started to panic at that point of time. I again turned to Edwin and he put his arms around my shoulders and said "Don't worry machi," Many of them started writing formulas in small chits. I understood that they were going to cheat the next day. I did not want to join them.

So I asked Edwin to lead me to the room where people would actually be preparing for the exams. Edwin is a Maniratnam fan. He took out his purse and showed a passport size photograph of Maniratnam that he had kept in his purse. Edwin started to explain the film taking nuances of Mani Sir. It seemed as though the spirit of Maniratnam had entered Edwin.  Before I realised, it was 9 PM. Now fear set in and I started to panic. I had an exam to write in 12 hours time and here I was standing without even opening the book. Edwin again looked at me and said "Ok Machi! I will help you now".

He opened his book and showed me some of the caricatures that he had drawn. He was a master story teller. I had no clue how I got sucked into his story. Before long, it became midnight and he yawned, thus showing the first symptoms that he was sleepy. He immediately packed his books, kept them in the shelf and lied down.

I looked at him in disbelief and said "Please help me". He looked at me with calmness and said " Don't worry da. We will wake up early at 4 AM and I will guide you through some exam questions". I slept too with the assurance that I will get up and learn some short cut methods to clear the exam.

When I woke up, it was 8.40 AM. I did not even have time to take a bath. I just brushed my teeth, wore my shirt and pants and ran to the exam hall. When I looked at the question paper, it looked like Rocket Science to me. I tried to fill the paper with random numbers and when I ran out of gas, I came out of the exam hall. The results came after 3 months. I had scored 12 marks out of 100. The pass mark was 45. I went in search of Edwin and I saw him talking to a few juniors (The first year students have joined by that time) about Maniratnam. I asked him how much he scored. 13 out of 100 was the reply. How did he get 1 more mark than me?

This is one of the very few photos I have from my Engineering days. Edwin is sitting next to me in the picture.

That was the first time I ever failed in a subject in my life in exams. Engineering Mathematics is indeed a Pakistan Terrorist.

This post is dedicated to my dear friend Edwin

- Chronicwriter

Sunday, February 07, 2016

776. Funny Facebook status messages

There is some joke in every single situation in life. One can come across umpteen number of funny stuff on Facebook. You might have come across some funny facebook posts that would have made you ROFL. Check these ten funny Facebook posts posted by some of the geniuses in the social media world

1) Mind voice-nu nenachu loud-a pesuna lady (The lady who did not know the difference between an inbox and a status message)

2) Who needs hackers when we have people like Jeremy, Heather and Sandi

3) When you try to be the know-it-all and end up at the receiving end

4) My mom used to do this all the time.

5) When She does not know if she is a she or a he

6) Nee adhuku sari pattu vara maatta

7) When you join the Al Qaeda without Osama Bin Laden's knowledge

8) I think it's so stupid

9) Enna kaiya pudichu illutheeyaa?

10) Asingapattaal Autokaari

- Chronicwriter