Sunday, January 20, 2013


The Real Life Network versus The Social Network
Food for Thought
Thanks to the advent of the internet, you have the opportunity to live in two worlds:

1. The Real World 
2. The Virtual World 

You can also have two identities:

1. Your online identity in cyberspace
2. Your physical real-world offline identity in real space 

You can live a dual life, one life online and one life offline, by maintaining two lives, one in real space and one in cyberspace.

You can have two kinds of relationships:

1. Virtual Relationships 
2. Real Relationships 

You can have two kinds of friends:

1. Offline flesh-and-blood Friends
2. Online Virtual Friends  
Internet is a great tool for social networking and it enables us to live two lives and enjoy the benefits of instant interaction and friendships across the globe and facilitates us to enjoy the best of both worlds.
It is good to have the best of both worlds, the real and the virtual, as long as you maintain a balance. 

Yes, like you try to have work life balance” you also must have a real-world versus virtual-world balance in order to enjoy the best of both worlds.

How do you do this?

Well, here is one of my favourite Mulla Nasrudin stories which exemplifies this aspect:

Mulla Nasrudin bought a beautiful house at a picturesque place far away from civilization high up in the hills. 

From time to time he would suddenly pack his bags, leave the city, and go away to his house in the hills, disappearing for days, sometimes for weeks, sometimes for months.

And just as suddenly as he used to disappear, he used to unpredictably return back to the city, suddenly, without any warning or notice. 

When asked the reason for his erratic and whimsical behaviour, Nasrudin explained:   

“I have kept a caretaker woman up there in the hills to look after my house. She is the ugliest woman - horrible, repulsive, hideous, and nauseating. Just one look at her and one feels like vomiting.  

When I go to live there, at first she looks horrible. 

But slowly, slowly, after a few lonely days, she is not so horrible. 

Then after some more desolate forlorn days, she does not look all that ugly and she does not seem so undesirable. 

And as more and more time passes in lonesome seclusion, a day comes when I start seeing some beauty in her. 

After I spend some more time in that lonely desolate place, far away from civilization, a day suddenly comes when I start finding that ugly woman desirable and start getting attracted towards her.

The moment I start finding that horrid woman desirable, I know that it is time to escape from my virtual world in the hills.

The day I start feeling attracted to the hideous woman means enough is enough – I have lived away from the real world for too long - now even this horrible revolting woman has started looking beautiful.  

I may even fall in love with this ghastly ugly repugnant woman and that may be very dangerous for me. 

Enough is Enough ... Enough of the virtual world ... it is time to get back to the real world ... 

So I pack up my things and rush back to the city.” 


Dear Reader: 
Has your Virtual World, your cyber space, your second life, started looking a bit too “beautiful”…?  
Are you spending more time in cyberspace, social networking and interacting with your virtual friends rather than having face-to-face interactions and communication with your immediate flesh and blood friends in real space?
Is there an imbalance? 

Are your virtual relationships overwhelming and taking precedence over your real life relationships? 

Is your online identity becoming more important for you than your offline identity?
Are you losing touch with reality?
Maybe it is time for you to return back to the Real World, isn't it...? 
Of course, when you get saturated and bored spending too much time in the real world and start feeling suffocated with relationships in the Real World, you can always go back to the virtual world which is like your alter ego.

Like Mulla Nasrudin, you too can and you must enjoy the best of both worlds.

You can alternate and switch over between both your lives, online and offline, just like Mulla Nasrudin does between the city and the hill-station! 
Social Networking gives you a lot of pleasure and satisfaction and internet a great tool for building relationships. 

It is good to have two identities and live a dual life, offline and online, and enjoy the best of both worlds, the real world and the virtual world, as long as you maintain a balance between your two lives, one in real-space and the other in cyber-space.

Copyright © Vikram Karve 2013
Vikram Karve has asserted his right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 to be identified as the author of this work. 
© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

Did you like reading this story? 
I am sure you will like all the 27 stories in my recently published book of short stories COCKTAIL
To order your COCKTAIL please click any of the links below:
If you prefer reading ebooks on Kindle or your ebook reader, please order Cocktail E-book by clicking the links below:

Foodie Book:  Appetite for a Stroll (a Book of Foodie Adventures)

About Vikram Karve

A creative person with a zest for life, Vikram Karve is a retired Naval Officer turned full time writer and blogger. Educated at IIT Delhi, IIT (BHU) Varanasi, The Lawrence School Lovedale and Bishops School Pune, Vikram has published two books: COCKTAIL a collection of fiction short stories about relationships (2011) and APPETITE FOR A STROLL a book of Foodie Adventures (2008) and is currently working on his novel and a book of vignettes and short fiction. An avid blogger, he has written a large number of fiction short stories, creative non-fiction articles on a variety of topics including food, travel, philosophy, academics, technology, management, health, pet parenting, teaching stories and self help in magazines and published a large number of professional research papers in journals and edited in-house journals and magazines for many years, before the advent of blogging. Vikram has taught at a University as a Professor for 15 years and now teaches as a visiting faculty and devotes most of his time to creative writing and blogging. Vikram Karve lives in Pune India with his family and muse - his pet dog Sherry with whom he takes long walks thinking creative thoughts.

Vikram Karve Academic and Creative Writing Journal:
Professional Profile Vikram Karve:
Vikram Karve Facebook Page:
Vikram Karve Creative Writing Blog:

© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Nice story...