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Rahul Da Cunha: What's your hashtag?

See, I'm not a huge social media addict. Regarding tech related stuff, I'm no nerd, yet I'm no novice. I see the merits of Google maps over rolling down car windows to ask for directions to a destination. I will admit that having an app for everything does make life easier. Instagram, I am a fan of, you know to show off your photos. I like Facebook actually, except for three things:

1. When people post pictures of food. Actually half-eaten food, usually from a tray served during a 6 am flight.

2. When friends post messages like — Am presently climbing an ice cap in the Antartica. Anyone around, ping me.

Illustration/Uday Mohite
Illustration/Uday Mohite

3. Or posts like — I'm bored. Or… Now walking from bathroom to living room.

But it's the frenetic excess of the concept of the hashtag that totally confounds me.

Dear older reader, a hashtag is not that cool narcotic you inhaled through your college years in the canteen (instead of attending lectures).

A hashtag is like this unifying social media thing — a word or phrase preceded by a hash sign (#), used on social media sites such as Twitter to identify messages on a specific topic.

Let me enlighten you.

So, it's my birthday next week. Instead of merely informing you of this huge day, like 'June 24 is my birthday" I will create multiple hashtags i.e. #janamdin #24June #BirthdayBumps #WishRahulDaCunha #MyBirthdayYeah #JeffBeckMarilynMonroeCheGueveraAndIShareABirthday etc. This is meant to create massive excitement.

Now let's take some of the happening event this week.

Smriti Irani is in the news for her strong nature, vociferous tweets and passionate blogs. She is upset that a Bihar minister referred to her as 'Dear' in a tweet. A fair way to greet her, I feel. But the lady isn't happy, she feels her womanhood has been insulted. So, here are some hashtags that could follow: #DontCallMeDear #AngryMinister #ImAuntyNational #WomensRights #HRDMinisterPissedOff #I WentTo Yale #MyHusbandWillBeatYouUpHesParsi

In others news, Pahlaj Nihalani is public enemy number one after he tried to destroy the movie Udta Punjab by administering 89 cuts, plus remove 'Punjab' from the title. One Censor Board member who wishes to remain anonymous, said — "We saw a version of Udta Punjab, with 89 cuts. It looked more like Angry Birds — thankfully the High Court passed the film, with just one cut, while telling the Censor Board chief not to behave like a grandmom.

Some of his hashtags in response:

#IRespectMyGrandmom #WhatsWrongInBeingAGrandmom #IAmModijisChamcha #IWasOnDrugsWhenISawTheFilm

In Mumbai, the prestigious Bombay Gymkhana members shot down a motion to allow Maharasthra ministers from becoming members. The hashtags:

#NoBabusAtBombayGym #MembersOfMantralaya #ItsBombayGymkhanaNotMumbaiGymkhana

And finally there's Rahul Gandhi who is convinced that if the Congress is voted to power in Punjab, he will single-handedly eradicate the drug menace in a single month. The hashtags that could follow this superhuman statement:

#GandhiFamilySmokesUp

#RobertVadraBuysAllThe Maal #Rambo5 #HighHai and my favourite #WeAreAJointFamily

Rahul da Cunha is an adman, theatre director/playwright, photographer and traveller. Reach him at rahuldacunha62@gmail.com

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