Of Dogstail and GUGU

We were chatting at Starbucks, when Ciarra’s iPhone started buzzing. She looked at her phone and put it away. “What happened”, I asked her. “Why do people post negative comments with fake names?” she asked as she wrinkled her nose with disappointment. “Oh! they must be GUGUs” I said casually.

“What does GUGU mean?” she asked. I thought hard but couldn’t explain it, all I managed to say was, “It is a slang!” “In which language?” she wanted to know. Again, I had no answer. Was it in Hindi, Punjabi, Kannada or a word used in Bangalore – English? Even Google baba (Mr. know it all)  couldn’t help me this time. A cursory check on Google revealed an actress by the name GUGU.  I racked by brains further and tried to explain “It means someone who acts timid, subservient or rather cowardly!” She burst out laughing! “The commenters sure are GUGUs, and look at their names Dogstail and Pigsnout” It was tempting to reply them as “Catsfur” but I couldn’t do it. Although, I have replied to comments as “Anonymous.”

So would it be a good idea to ban “fake names” on the internet altogether? But then, considering how everybody (me and a lot of people I know) relish reading the comments even before we have finished reading the main piece, it would be devastating to not have any comments to read. As people would be less inclined to comment without being able to use their fake names/personas.

One time while conducting a “social experiment” of sorts, I realized that while having an interesting name like Anahita elicited umpteen comments in the internet world,  it got old in about a month, especially, the fake madeup details. While I enjoyed the ride, it felt unreal, and that was many years ago. So back to GUGU, am I a GUGU? when I comment as “Anonymous”, I think so! I try to convince myself that I would like to keep my anonymity or whatever is left of it, because it is so easy to track people down on the internet, that it is almost scary.

The last thing, I want is a comment made by me showing up on google even after 10 years, so I mostly stay quiet, does that make me even more of a GUGU? My boys can have the last laugh now! Wary of being called GUGU they would do anything, even if it meant asking for directions in a new town…..but they never realised the biggest GUGU of them all was sitting in their midst…As for the language of origin. Any ideas?

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