This young jockey for Channel V wouldn't mind a dirty online conversation with Madonna!
Claim to fame:
One of the youngest live radio jockeys in the country, VJ Gaurav moved to television jockeying with V India. He will also be seen in the soon to be released Darna Mana Hai.
How Net savvy are you?
Well, actually I am just learning the ropes. My brother is a genius; whenever I'm stuck, all I need to do is talk to him over the phone. He just fixes things up.
What do you enjoy doing online?
I have a Hotmail account where out of 300 messages, one is relevant to me, the other 299 are people trying to sell me obscene things. I need to clear spam every 3 days. One site I go to by default is msn.com. And of course, Super Selector is a fascinating game. I was hooked on to espnstar.com like never before, thanks to the game. I've worked in the movie Darna Mana Hai and the site freaks you out!
What is your daily routine like? How much time do you spend online?
I would log on to espnstar.com everyday to check my scores. We were a group of 10 friends trying to outperform the rest. Once I logged on, I would get hooked for three hours at least. It went like this. Each of us could buy a team for 1000 points. Say, Sachin Tendulkar came for 150 points and Yuvraj for 30. The performance of our team had to tally with the performance of the real cricketers.
We had to be very wary while laying our cards. If it was a match between England and Bangladesh, you knew whom to bet on, but if it was a match between India and Pakistan or India against Australia, you really could not predict anything. There were a lot of permutations and combinations involved. I was at my interactive best online then.
How would your favourite site be like?
The Net can be intimidating. If you don't know where to go, you can get lost. There is information overload with all the sites trying to beat each other. Information is presented in a roundabout manner.
It's like they are punishing you for logging on. Why have 400 meaningless pages instead of having 40 nice ones. Also, some headlines are misleading. You'd probably read, "Tom Cruise is injured" on msn.com, go further down and find he's probably banged into a door. My favourite site will have information to the point.
What are your favourite sites?
Espnstar.com is definitely my favourite site.
What's your favourite Web-based gadget?
A computer with very good speed! Actually, the book Road Ahead by Bill Gates is my favourite Web-based gadget. How's that for an answer? Some may say, a Webcam, others may say a laptop; I say a book is my favourite gadget. The book speaks about how technology will dictate our lives 30 years from now. It's intimidating, but fascinating. It's a must read for anyone tech savvy.
What do you like the most about the Net?
It has made people so much more aware. There are so many ideas, and so much information and knowledge, which can be shared by people all over the world, at any time and any place, at their fingertips. Sitting in my living room in Bombay I can connect with my buddy at work in Sydney, or cousin in New York. That is so fascinating. It was impossible some years ago.
What do you hate about the Net?
The connectivity. It is much too slow and I'm a very restless, impatient person. Also, sometimes people do put up your interviews on a site without ever having interviewed you. It happened to me 3 years ago. If it's a good interview, you don't really mind. But, it doesn't really matter. What matters is your work. That site shut down like a million others. It's quite crazy.
Anything you would want to change about the Net?
It would be piracy. As a policy I never download music online. I don't have anything against people who do it, but I cannot. I have discussions with musician friends of mine and they tell me that after putting years of hard work into cutting an album, someone somewhere puts it online and then no one goes out to buy it.
It's cheating someone out of his livelihood. I have worked very hard in my film, the producer has put so much money, and someone sitting in Brussels can upload a CD and watch it for free. It takes away from the hard work you put in. I wish there were stricter anti piracy laws that could be implemented. Maybe, someday, somehow it will happen
Have you chatted with strangers?
I have had neither the time, nor the inclination. I get invited to a lot of conversations, but I never reply. You don't know what kind of perverted freak wants to talk to you. It unnerves me. If I want to chat, I'd talk to my friends. They are strange enough! I have a small list of 20 friends on my messenger. There are a 50 more whom I've blocked.
Do you ego surf?
There is a section on our portal vindia.com where viewers can post messages and they get recycled every 24 hours. Ego surfing is okay once in a while, but I must lead a real sad life to seek validation everyday. I get fan mail in my hotmail account too.
Do you download pictures?
Friends send across pictures if they are really funny and freaky. My mom has a screensaver with pictures of mine. I didn't know about it. One day I was sitting on the Net and got up to answer a call. I nearly jumped off the chair when I returned. There were 30 pictures of mine coming at me one after the other. My cousin had downloaded it when I was away. My brother had got it from vindia.com and passed it on. My family prefers my pictures to me. They prefer the visual headache to the audio headache!
Any celebrity you would like to chat with online?
I would have interesting conversation with Robert De Niro and a dirty naughty conversation with Madonna.
Have you bought or sold anything online?
I would not mind selling. If money's coming, let it come. I don't think giving your credit card number online is a safe thing to do. I have friends who shop online and they tell me it's pretty secure, but my answer is "No, thanks". I shop for all I want abroad.
Any strange experience online?
Well, I did get an email from a 'VJ Gaurav' once. Getting a mail from oneself is kinda strange. What happened was this guy tried a lot of combinations with my name and one of them clicked! He wrote to me saying he was my fan and named his account after me. That was really sweet.