On The Line by Jay Krishna | Cottonian Magazine | 2017 | Digital Infotainment

On the Line.

By Jay Krishna

Why is it that we feel shy to talk to someone in person, but feel free to do so when we are online? Fear, withdrawal and the feeling of not being able to connect, pricks us in the back of our head's. Why is it, that even after having the person standing right in front of us, we can't make a sound? Thoughts expressed in words, not through verbal feedback, but a medium of text, that too adieu pen and paper. Why is it, we choose to replicate ourselves, by creating a false impersonation, which feeds on us 24x7, ignoring the reality which is in front of us, for a virtual one, a surrogate if u may? Have we become so caught up in this world of digitization, that the basic human emotions and feelings that makes us humane, can only be expressed in 0's and 1's? I hope not.

01:07 AM 21 May.
Bed creeks. It's been a long day, Ajay was finally in bed, he took out his phone and posted a status "A long day, had loads of fun, now feeling tired"; he then began going through the news feed. After checking his notifications, liking and commenting on a few posts, he was finally about to finish his day, when; a pop-up appears on the screen. He clicked on it and found it to be a friend request from a GIRL. A bit surprised, he accepted the friend request. Minutes later, a message came in.
Richa: "Thank you for accepting the request :)".
Ajay was a bit cynical, as to why a girl was thanking him, that too for just accepting a friend request. But he replied back.
Ajay: "Sure, no prob".
After a while, another message came in.
Richa: "If you don't mind, I would like to be your friend".
Ajay thought for a minute, and without caring much, agreed to the proposal. They had a small chat, after which Ajay went to bed. Thinking about what had just happened.

09:15 A.M 22 May.
The next day Ajay was woken up by his mother's calling, him for breakfast.
Maa : "Ajay Beta, get up! You will be late for school". He woke up and peeped at his phone, it had a message.
Richa : "Good Morning :)", Ajay too replied.
Ajay: "Good Morning".
He went to take a shower and sat in to have breakfast. His phone beeps.
Richa: "Had breakfast?"
Ajay: "About to.. u?"
Richa: "Having Maggi :)".
Ajay: "It seems you like it :)".
They had a casual conversation, after which Ajay was reminded by his mom that he was getting late for school. He switched off his phone, strapped his bag and left.  
2:00 P.M.
Ajay had returned from school, He was tired and was searching for his mother. But she seemed nowhere to be found. He went to the kitchen, where he found a note stick to the fridge.

"Dear Ajay, have gone to the market to get some groceries. Lunch is in the fridge, if you need anything, call me.

                                                                                                                                                             Love Maa"

He got his lunch out, sat on the sofa turned and on the TV. It was time for his favourite show 'MTV Roadies'. He switched on his phone and turned to facebook. He had a few notifications and several messages. He checked and found all of them to be from Richa. He started reading them one after the other, "Hey", "Are you back?", "When will you be back?", "I hope I'm not disturbing you..", He was reading the last text, when he got a new one, "So you're back". Ajay paused for a minute and replied, "Yeah just came back". Richa, "Had lunch?". Ajay replied, "Yeah". He asked her where she lived and which school she was from, to which Richa replied, "I'm from Montfort High, Khanapara", Ajay heard about Montfort from one of his friends, saying that it had the most beautiful girls studying in that school. Ajay was lost in his thoughts, when the tone of his phone brought him back to earth. Richa, "You're from DPS right?", Ajay was surprised as to how she knew. He asked "Did anyone tell you?". Richa, "It's written in your profile silly", to which Ajay answered sheepishly, "Oh Yeah, hehe".
From days to weeks and from weeks to months, their friendship escalated. It seemed that both of them were meant to be together. Ajay also felt that he had a special connection with Richa, feelings started to emerge in his heart. From calls that lasted to a few minutes, now seemed to never end for hours and hours. They both were completely engulfed with each other.

4:05 P.M 17 Dec

Afternoon, Ajay was at one his late afternoon adda's (Hangouts) with his friends Vivek, Rohan and Abhi. They were all having a swell time together. Meanwhile, Ajay thought that now would be a good time to disclose to his friends about his relationship with Richa. After hearing about Richa, everyone was surprised and happy for him. Except for Vivek, who questioned him, how could he be sure that she felt the same way. She could just be considering him as a good friend, which left Ajay a bit perplexed. But Abhi tried to lighten his mood by saying he need not worry, she too probably felt the same way. But Vivek still questioned his so called love. He suggested that, in order to test his love, he should get a nude from her. Ajay as well as his friends were shocked at their friend's revelation.
Abhi: "Are you crazy? What are you saying!!".
Vivek: "Well if she loves him, she wouldn't mind, would she!".
Rohan was still trying to grasp the situation.
Abhi: "Well she might. And to top it off, this is none of your concern".
Vivek: "Well let Ajay decide".
They all had a huge argument. After which Ajay decided to head back home. On his way, what Vivek had said, kept bugging him."That Vivek, he thinks he's so cool and knows everything. Why should I listen to him?" thought Ajay, But the idea of Richa not actually loving him, was killing him from within. He reached home and went directly to his room and shut the door. For the next few hours only Vivek's words and Richa thoughts, kept circling his mind.

 07:07 P.M

Ajay woke up in bed. He didn't have a clue as to when he had shut his eyes, His phone was ringing and it seemed the only thing visible. He looked at the time and found it to be 7. He went and turned on the lights.
Ajay: "Hello".
Richa: "Where were you? I have been calling you for hours..".
Ajay clearing his eyes replied, "Was tired, had a nap".
Richa: "Well you could've just told me, I wouldn't have been so worried about you!!".
Ajay: "Well I have told you now, haven't I ?".
Richa: "Why are you being so rude? Did I do something wrong?".
Ajay: "No it's nothing, just tired that's all, I will call you back". Saying this Ajay disconnected the call. He went and washed his face, and stared at the mirror."What am I doing?", he thought. He took out his phone and texted Richa, "Do you love me?". One tick, two tick, seen.
Richa: "Sure I love you! Are you crazy?".
Ajay felt good at hearing Richa say that she loved him. But the context of Vivek's words were still in his mind.
Ajay: "Will you do anything for me?"
Richa: "Of course! I love you silly..".
Without giving a second thought, Ajay texted, "Send me a nude then!". Richa was shocked by Ajay's words, she couldn't believe in what she was hearing.
Richa: "Ajay what are you saying?", But Ajay was adamant.
Ajay: "You heard me! Prove that you love me".
Richa: "Is this the only way I can prove my love to you? Don't my any of my words mean anything to you?".
Ajay: "I don't know about that, but are you sending me a pic or not?".
Richa was really heartbroken, she didn't know why Ajay was behaving this way. Slowly her sadness gave way to anger.
Richa: "If you want me to prove my love, then why don't you send me a pic!!".
Ajay without hesitation took off his clothes and sent a pic of himself to Richa.
Ajay: " Now your turn". But Richa went offline. Ajay waited for hours, but Richa didn't show up. He called her, but the number showed busy. He thought, he had really upset her, he kept calling, but it was of no use, Richa wasn't picking up. Later he had dinner.
Maa: "Ajay is anything wrong? You look upset".
Ajay: "No it's nothing".
Ajay had dinner and went to bed. He thought of buying a gift and apologising to Richa the next day. He turned off the lights and went to sleep.

08:09 A.M 18 Dec

The very next day Ajay was interrupted in his slumber, it was a call from his friend Vikram, "Hello, yes Vikram", Vikram was in a hysterical state, "Hey man are you okay? Please don't do anything stupid, everything will be fine alright". Ajay was a bit shocked as to what he was trying to say, "Wait Vikram, what are u talking about?", Vikram was shocked as to how he didn't have a clue about what had happened."Wait you don't know, where are you now?", Ajay told him that he was at his apartment."Okay, you just stay there, I will explain everything once I get there", saying this Vikram disconnected the call. Ajay was still confused, as to what had just happened. He got up from bed and opened facebook and found that a lot of people had texted him. Rupesh, "I never expected this from you man, you are a real disappointment", Nandini, "Your such a cheap, I couldn't believe I was friends with you", Lily, "Looks like someone's not that hunk after all :P", Ajay was shocked as to what was going on, he kept scrolling and then he couldn't believe what he saw. The pics which he had sent to Richa the other day, were on facebook. His mind went numb, he tried to remove them but couldn't, as it was uploaded by someone else, Ajay was in a state of shock and despair. He called Richa, but the call was being disconnected saying, the number did not exist. He went into facebook to search for Richa, but there too Richa's account was nowhere to be found. Ajay had become a victim of digitization.

Note: Advancement in technology, has made man dependent on the Internet for all his needs. Internet has given man access, to anything to everything while sitting at one place. Social networking, online shopping, online studying, online jobs, every possible thing that man can think of, can be done on the internet. Internet is used in almost every sphere, and with the development of internet and its related benefits, It has also developed the concept of cyber crimes. Cyber crimes are committed in different forms. A few years back, there was lack of awareness about the crimes that could be committed through the internet. In the matters of cyber crimes, India is also not far behind, with the rate of incidences increasing day by day. As of March 2015, India's cybercrime rate has soared to 350%. Incidences of cyber crimes under the IT Act has increased by 85.4% in the year 2011 as compared to 2010, whereas the increase in incidence of crime under IPC is by 18.5% as compared to the year 2010. Visakhapatnam records the maximum number of incidence of cases. Maharashtra has emerged as the centre of cyber crime in India with maximum number of incidence of registered cases under cyber crimes committed in the age group 18-30 years. Hacking with computer systems and obscene publication were the main cases under IT Act for cyber crimes. Please be aware of what you share on the internet. Take the instance of Ajay, as an example and be tech savvy. No matter how close you are, no matter how complicated things get, try your best to resolve things face to face, and not through the NET.

"The above story was published in the 2017 edition of 'Cottonian'(magazine) of Cotton College, A Premier Institute of Assam.The story revolves around the world of online communication and what are the risks involved in doing so. Special thanks to Gunjan Sarma (Editor, Cottonian) for publishing the story. If you found this story to be entertaining or useful, then please LIKE the post and share, it is your encouragement that keeps us going :). If you want the author to write more such stories, then please leave a comment below and let us know.".

With Best Wish'es,
The Digital Infotainment Team.


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