Someone Somewhere

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Someone Somewhere…

By Upagupt Mohanty

Prithivraj Kapoor, Nirupa Roy and Amrish Puri often come alive at home, when the object of admiration (read as ridicule) is ‘ME’. With each passing day the discussion around my future or the lack of it, was only getting hotter. “What next in life, after college? Comparisons were rife … Mr.Anand’s son went in for engineering, Mrs Patnaik’s daughter is pursuing a medical course etc. etc. etc….it seemed unending. Boy! I could feel the family chord snapping in me.

Friends did act as shock absorbers but I had to part ways since our academic year came to an end. Dealing with this stress, all by myself was taking its toll on me to a point that the song ‘Main Aisa Kyun Hoon…Main Waisa Kyun Hoon’ from the movie ‘Lakshya’ had become my favourite number! Desperate to vent out my frustration, I headed straight for my archaic Laptop and spent hours browsing on the internet (partly because of the 128kbps speed). This soon became a ritual, till a point when my elder bro probed in a heavy voice (akin to that of Mogambo!), “Are you into some project or research, that you are glued to the computer for hours? You’ve also stopped joining the family for meals? What’s the matter?” I felt it was prudent to remain silent.

In no time, I was so addicted to it that I couldn’t care less for the innumerable mosquito bites. Glued to my chair, I was oblivious about the world, hunger, thirst and sleep. Man ! Chatting on Instant messaging (IM) was so entrancing. Yeah, I was busy chatting with a girl. I was part of a chat room for creative thoughts, that’s how I knew her. Once when i was cheerful and happy and chatting away, receiving lot of attention , another member who saw green was trying to pull me down unnecessarily. I was upset with it. Just then I got a private IM from someone named ‘Pink’, “Are you alright?“ I thought that it was a sweet gesture and it did help me cool down but I never expected a follow up message thereafter. Her: Hello… how are you feeling today ? Me : Hi, my life is as beautiful as you, thank you, how about you ? Her : Aha…. You liar.. Your words are without a smiley…. Asl ( age, sex , location) plz. Me : You labelled me a liar… what difference would it make if i furnished asl with a smiley … there could be millions with the same asl. Her: I’m sorry …did i hurt you as the others ?… you seem interesting! Me : Is it ? How did you figure that out? Do u work? Her : Yup, IBM Me: Oops !!! IBM ( indian boring machine ) 🙂 Her: Yah, one of these boring machines got you to me…. hehe. Her : Btw, what’s your name ? Me : Stranger Her : Do you ever smile …. Can i share a joke. Me: Sure Her : Light can replace dark, success can replace failure, smile can replace pain, but nothing can replace you. Me : Is it….why? Her : Defective piece, no replacement…..ha haha Me: 😀 😀 Her: I hope this brought a smile Her: Tell me, how do you find these chats. Me : It’s a made up space where idiots turn intellectuals and pretenders turn real. Real get screwed…hahaha… btw, it helped me find a good person like you. Her : Aha, don’t worry……you wont get screwed if you are not a pretender… nice chatting with you … thanks for your time.
Log Out

The saga of chatting with her, moments of fun, understanding and positivity continued and I felt peace within. Our late night light chats went on for a few months. I shared every little thing about my life with her. She could make me happy even when I used to hit rock bottom even though we were unknown to each other. Soon, mindless chatting turned into more meaningful discussions with passage of time. Life gives us two gifts, a chance and a choice. I got the chance to have a virtual female buddy but I had no choice to stay at home and continue chatting. I needed to relocate to a different city to find a job. The move was otherwise a respite from the everyday Bollywood style middle class drama back home.

At my new location, my first priority was to find a roof over my head. A guest house precisely, adjacent to a cyber café. The chat sessions went on with her but the addiction wasn’t quite the same. It turned into non-regular Short Messaging System, but for me it was a Soul Massaging System.

Monday:

Her : Hi , mr.stranger…. U thr Her: Whr r u dis days? Whats happng n ur lyf.. I ‘ve same ru tin(routine) each day Her : Listen…one of my angels is missing, should i call God” Log out

Thursday :

Me: Hi, ms.beautiful Me: I was online on monday for you , perhaps just after a minute you logged out as per ‘last seen status’ in your dialogue box Me: Im in mumbai , quite boring, still in search of the jackpot Me: Listen…you need to stop, being so adorable … Are you missing me Log out Never a poor student, but it did take me a while to find a job and finally I hit the jackpot. I rushed to the cyber café to share the BIG NEWS with my invisible lady. There were no offline messages from her end. Out of sight & out of mind, I thought. But something was clearly amiss!

Sunday :

Her: awww…mumbai….oh gosh,my place.

Log out Now I knew that she was a Mumbaiya girl, who had by now become my emotional anchor. Meantime, her silence was already too long and I left many offline messages referring to the BIG NEWS, but there was no response. Returning back from office, very disturbed and occupied about her silence I ran into a wheel chair with a girl in it. Thankfully, she went unscathed even as I sustained mild injuries.
Log out Now I knew that she was a Mumbaiya girl, who had by now become my emotional anchor. Meantime, her silence was already too long and I left many offline messages referring to the BIG NEWS, but there was no response. Returning back from office, very disturbed and occupied about her silence I ran into a wheel chair with a girl in it. Thankfully, she went unscathed even as I sustained mild injuries.

In true Bollywood style, I headed straight to the nearest Sai temple to seek some divine solace and sure enough I heard from her shortly. Her: Hi …. Congrats on your new job !!! May everyday in your new job be rich rewarding and kind…may there be no limit to the happiness you find. Her: Sorry for the silence….i had kept a fast (sai vrat) for your job, mr.stranger…shhhh Her: Silence doesn’t mean, i’m not dying to chat with you. Her : Wh a t s up…. Ke h t e hain “pehle naukri then chokri“ have you found your someone special? ….hahahahah Her : Hey!! Can you send me a recent photo of urs!! Don’t you find it abnormal how our relationship has progressed even without seeing each other 😉 Log out Me : Hi ms. beautiful ….thanks for your noiseless contributions in my life..i remain forever indebted Me: I was worried… I had sent lots of messages Me: What a coincidence, recently, i had been to the sai temple. Me : Someone special ????? Me : I really like chatting with you Me : Bcoz i really really like you , ms. beautiful Me : Photograph ? –ditto Log out Having known my virtual girl for a pretty long time now, I’d perceived her to be neither too fast nor a ‘behenji’ – in short the perfect woman for me who could add freshness to any gloomy moment in my life. I could sense the growing proximity in our relationship, from her recent messages. I pinched myself ! Now, I didn’t consider myself to be the tall, dark & handsome types which normally women seek, so I was really apprehensive about sending my pic to her. I was plagued by the thought “Will she reject me after seeing my pic?” Though I was conscious that she may also be going through the same predicament, I was truly scared about losing her. I donned my best clothes and coaxed a colleague who had a flair for photography (at least he claimed so) to click some nice pics of me. Happy with the output, I mustered the courage to send her my ‘portfolio-worthy’ pics. Hehe Eager as I was to gauge her response I soon realized that the history of silence was being repeated, again. After several days of frantic checks of my IM account, I was beginning to feel rejected and ejected from her life. To my surprise, her offline messages proved otherwise. She messaged: Her : OMG, mr. stranger , you were an interesting person Her : I didn’t know you were so good looking as well! Her: I have sent u my pic Log out I couldn’t make much of her through the photograph since it was quite hazy and blurred. “Having known me now for such a long time, why would she send me such a photograph?”, I thought to myself! Flooded with mixed emotions, I sent her my phone number, so that we could meet for real. My trust in our relationship was being put to test. I received her phone number, but her blurred pic had bothered me so much that I waited until the weekend to speak to her. Our very first telephonic conversation was short and hesitant from both sides, but long enough to fix up the details of our potential date. It was amazing how we both didn’t bother to know each other’s name. Post the call, all the apprehension had disappeared from my mind and I was gushing and beaming like an infatuated teenager. Looking forward to my first date…. I bought new clothes and accessories to look my best and I also bought a gift for her- a locket to hold a photo. The calendar showed first date of my life , make over was perfect and time clicked right. I reached the mutually agreed venue. (to be continued in our next

 

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