CYBERIA NEWSLETTER

deepak_sapra@hotmail.com

 

Gymkhana’s venture into cyberspace began in the fall of 1998, when a few of it’s ex-inmates independently set about the task of assigning Gymkhana its own little niche in hitherto uncharted territory.

 

So, what did these pioneers do? Simple enough- they did what every netizen does first- set up a web-site on one of the many free sites available (for the record, on tripod.com).

Evolution came with time, as did the involvement of more Gymkhanites, thanks to swelling of TCP/IP connections all over the place.

 

Even though the web-sites were poorly designed, it was a start. And it was this feeling of having got a start that encouraged SM Varma’80, JL Singh’65, Sunil Bajpai’80 and Deepak Sapra’92 to carry on with whatever html experiments they had started, each of them working independently.

I believe that the turning point for Gym in cyberia came with the setting up of LOUNGE SESSION at www.egroups.com , as a result of which interaction between Gym-netizens got a big boost. The opening lines at the lounge session made it abundantly clear who the group was meant for--- they said-- “ You have to be a SAM or SIMI to enter this lounge- if you don’t know whether you are one, please leave this place immediately”.

 

With it came songs (thank God for MIDI, and now for AMP), photographs, phattas, news, views (from matrimony to Gandhi to Chekov to ragging to World Cup to traditions to Kargil To Railways to Jamalpur……), tit-bits, Treasure hunts (organised on Club Day 1999) , Railway station codes, Railway trivia, Socially relevant questions, name-codes for Gyms in cyberia, discussions on who would be the greatest Gymkhanite of all times, and lots of interesting, pail-oo stuff. SAM magazine became on-line, and we heard the guys at Newsweek and Time shiver…..

 

The good thing about this collection of SAMs is that it cuts across the barriers of distance, with its members spread over 4 continents (at last count – North America, Europe, Africa and I forget the 4th, …. perhaps Asia …). Demography of this motley group points to a big chunk from Delhi-centric organisations like  RITES, COFMOW, CRIS, NRM, BH, RB; another fairly big one from Lucknow – RDSO and the many sheds/workshops/Divisions in the city of Nawabs, the higher studies group also is a substantial chunk- what with netizens from Stanford, Tulane, MIT, and from our own, ghar ki murgi- the IIMs. The floating population includes the many probationers who frequent RSC/Baroda for their first feel of cyberworld (when they find time from viewing a particular type of files, that is) and other less privileged Railway wallahs,  whose tryst with the internet doesn’t last too long… Hopefully it won’t be long before we have only one un-represented continent in this Gymkhana territory – that continent, you might have guessed, is Antartica.

 

That’s as far as  the geographical stats go; the age profile is no less interesting and varied, with people from the 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s  batches interacting with a kind of freedom that will be quite difficult to achieve when they meet in person- the 50s and 60s SAMs have been particularly open in this regard, and I must mention Mr V. Narayanan ’55, Mr P Ramachandran ’59, Mr G. Shankar (I think ’59 ),  Mr OFH Jung ’ 57, Mr JS Chhokar’63 and Mr JL Singh’ 65 for encouraging the freedom of expression amongst Gymkhanites in Cyberia.

 

While most of the people from Gym on the net are there because they are compulsive surfers, for some it is the ONLY way to keep in touch with the world- two names that immediately come to mind are Mr R. Chandra ’66 (I think….) and Madhup Tewari ’89. While the former is in Africa (remote Botswana[still remote Moleopole]), the latter is in much remoter  Aizwal (Mizoram), so they are making good use of their time on the net.

 

There are about a 100 Gymkhanites who have taken to this form of communication, which is only about 15% of the number of Gymkhanites alive….a figure like that , that too in AD 1999 doesn’t speak too highly of us. To all of you who are so far not into it, a few tips-

1)      Try getting an internet connection wherever you are- if you are in IR, you can quote letter No. D.O.No.98/C&IS/IT/Group dt. 09/11/1998 by CRB to all and sundry in which the big boss has advocated the use of internet.

2)      If you are unable to secure a connection, try using the internet kiosks (similar to STD-ISD-PCOs) which have sprung up everywhere, offering access at competitive rates.

3)      Once you are connected, you can find  info about Gymkhana on the net at the following places-
http://jamalpurgymkhana.tripod.com/
http://gymkhana_jamalpur.tripod.com/

 

4)      Enlist in the lounge session at http://www.egroups.com/lounge-session and talk to fellow Gymkhanites at
 http://www.egroups.com/group/lounge-session

5)      Make your listing in the IRIMEE alumni fraternity at http://www.batchmates.com/ by entering Indian Railways Institute  in the institution box provided at http://www.batchmates.com

6)      Once you are through with these basics, let your hair down and bombard the world with your views and ideas.

 

Here’s hoping that you will be reading this on-line, and not on paper.

 Before I go, I’ll give you a few common emoticons- use them….

:-) smile
;-) wink
:-* kiss
:-( glum, unhappy
:-O shouting
:-b... drooling
=:o argh, disgust
{*} a hug and a kiss

 

Happy surfing !!!!

See you on the net….

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