This Is Everything That Pakistanis Still Miss About Orkut

By Haadia Paracha | 16 Oct, 2016

Internet-crazed millennials of today might be addicted to Boomerang videos for Instagram, dog filters on Snapchat, check-ins on Facebook, mood boards on Tumblr or phrasing themselves in 140 characters or less for Twitter but are absolutely oblivious to the treasure that was Orkut.

For the rest of us twenty-somethings, Orkut was the coming of age of social media platforms. Whether this meant re-connecting with old friends or making new ones, it’s safe to say that many teenage relationships took off, all thanks to the cupid with the purple arrow.

Source: memebucket
Source: memebucket


Let’s revisit the golden era to walk you through stuff every Pakistani remembers about Orkut:



This worked much like your Facebook Wall, except instead of writing on each other’s wall, you left your friends a scrap. More often, this was also a way of stalking your friends to see who they were really hitting it off with.


“People who viewed your profile”

Source: Deenga
Source: Deenga

This scary feature meant you couldn’t stalk people without them knowing which is something LinkedIn still incorporates in their interface. I mean, how did Orkut expect us to find our prince charming without the fear of tipping him off? Scoffs.


On the flip side, this was you when your crush viewed your profile:


Attractiveness Index


You got serious brownie points for getting voted “sexy” or “cool” but of course “trusty” meant total bro-zoning and even the Orkut owner didn’t have time for that.


Strange AF Usernames


Incorporating celestial beings in your screen name was the BOMB. Orkut was the breeding grounds for uppercase-lowercase special characters ridden conversations and somehow everybody thought it was K3\/\/LZzz


“About me” section

Source: darkorkut

This was your personal canvas, a page out of your diary. You could either play hard to get and mysterious, girl-next-door or simply go all out.


Celebrity profile pictures and Cat-fishing

Source: Deenga
Source: Deenga

Forget princess Aini and papa’s boy from Facebook, Orkut was where it was at. Cat-fishing was a norm and many traded their real identities for fake internet personas. We hope no one fell prey to this nasty trap.



If you were lucky, you were the recipient of these well-thought out pieces of writing or fiction:




Or these works of art:



Testimonials were important for your internet repertoire, we’ve all written the dreaded message “yaar, testi tou likhday?” at least once in our life and there’s no shame in admitting it.



Ah, the forums were always such a treat. Made you feel self-important, find like-minded individuals from Pakistan or abroad and have your go at a digital footprint in things that “matter”.

Be it study groups to rub shoulders with the geeks in hopes of gaining some pointers.



…or indulge in some casual hate-speech.



The forums were cathartic in nature, they helped you bloom into the person you are today.


Proxy for Orkut

Unsurprisingly, anything that brings joy to the students was a matter of concern for school administration. Soon, schools started blocking the website which was obviously cause for rebellion. Many found “alternate routes” through proxy servers. God bless the internet.



While Orkut is anything but a bittersweet memory of the distant past, it holds a dear place in our heart for dealing us our very first hand at social media. It was what eventually led to Facebook and the squad, after all.

[clickToTweet tweet=”It’s always good to remind ourselves of the dial-up era to see all that we’ve accomplished in a decade. #MangoBaaz” quote=”Its always good to remind ourselves of the dial-up era to see all that we’ve accomplished in a decade or so.”]

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