When I lived in Powai, I used to talk about my childhood and college days a lot. My room-mate and I would talk about our earlier years whilst travelling to work or returning from the grocery store. Those were times when I’d flip through a mental black-book of sorts. There were strange teachers, weird neighbors, nasty boys on the streets, haughty girls in school, random strangers in buses, glib pick-pockets at Dadar station, friends I shared tiffin with, the cunning boatman in Kashmir, the braggart outside Mehboob studio, the date who’d got me sand from Sri Lanka. It amazes me now, how much I remembered about these people from such a long time ago.
My room-mate once told me that I’d met very interesting people in life. I should probably catalog details about them. They were clearly more than shadows in my mind. They had become stories I remembered and retold time and again. “Write about them”, she told me. “One chapter on each person.”
I thought it was a superb idea. I told her I’d do it. “What would you call it?”, she asked me. In my mind, I had thought of writing not more than 150 words on each person. In my book, I’d have a sketch of a person’s face on the left-hand side, and a write-up of my most prominent memory of them on the right. It would be a book of faces. I’d thought, therefore, of calling it ‘Facebook.’
‘Facebook’ – a book of faces. It’s such a beautiful name. Of course, it was gonna get taken.