Meet Mihir Malhotra. He’s a (secluded) writer by day -actually, any moment of the day- and a chat room fanatic, throughout the day.
Let’s look at one such chat group, which made Mihir go crazy. Literally.
*Ping* – You have just been added to the group ‘Khamoshiyan’. Accept the request?”
—————— DAY 1 ——————
Angel : Welcome to our group, Mihir!
Zeus: Been looking forward to this moment. (smiley)
Mihir – Hey guys! You talk like you know me.
Angel – Well, we do. But it’s not vice-versa.
Mihir – Ah. I have always liked the mysterious appeal in conversations. So, what’s up?
Zeus – Same old. You tell us? You never tell us anything.
Mihir – We just started chatting..and I don’t even know you guys..
Angel – Truer words have never been spoken.
Mihir – What?
Zeus – So, how’s your job?
Mihir (taking a look at the first page of his draft, which was blank) – It’s going good. Let’s see.
Angel – You need to stop lying.
(Mihir is typing …
Mihir is typing… )
Zeus – Ha ha! Angel has always been the funny one.
Mihir – That wasn’t funny.
Angel – It wasn’t meant to be, but okay. Haha. Let’s laugh together.
Mihir – Um… haha?
Zeus – I love you guys. LOL.
Mihir – The ‘LOL’ sounds a bit out of context, maybe..?
Zeus – Why? LOL. ‘Lots of Love’.
Mihir – Oh. Alright. Hey, this reminds me of my Dad. He used this abbreviation for this meaning.
Zeus – Oh! Maybe I should meet him then! I have a feeling we’ll get along pretty well!
Angel – Ha ha. Hmm. So, how’re you, Mihir?
Mihir – I’m good, I’m good. Tell me about you guys.
Zeus – We’re just ordinary people. We’re pretty new to this whole ‘chat room’ business. You see, human interactions have just become so mainstream now. Tsk tsk.
Mihir – HAHAHA! TELL ME ABOUT IT. I never saw the point in meeting and talking to people anyway. Glad to know that I have company in that department!
Angel – Let’s play a game.
Zeus – Later, Angel. We have to go out now, remember? Meet me in 5.
Mihir – Hey, nooo! We were just beginning to have fun. C’mon, guys.
Angel – Zeus, maybe a little more?
Zeus – No, we’ll be late for our date, and I don’t want to face Charlie’s hate!
Angel – Your rhyming abilities have melted my heart. See you in 5.
Mihir – Guys, stay!! What game, Angel?
Angel – Bye, Mihir. See you tomorrow.
Mihir – GUYS!!!!!!!! STAY !!!!!!!!!!!!!!
(Unread by the other participants).
“YES! Finally. Someone’s message has come.” (Mihir his moment and opens his chat room sessions.)
*New messages from ‘Khamoshiyan’*
Angel – Let’s play my game!!!
Mihir – Hellloooo.
Angel – Mihir, we didn’t have a very interesting conversation yesterday. Why are you so excited to talk to us anyway?
Mihir – Haha wow, straight to the point! Well, chat rooms are my life. Literally.
Zeus – Clearly.
Mihir – Hey man! So, what’re we waiting for! Let’s start the game.
Angel – Ask us to guess anything about you.
Mihir – Okay.. What is my favourite pastime?
Zeus – Chatrooms.
Mihir – That was an obvious one. :P. Okay, umm… What is my favourite fruit?
Angel – You don’t like eating fruits.
Mihir – Whoa, like..are you guys spies or something?
Zeus – Something like that.
Mihir – Elaborate, please!
Angel – When the time is right!
Days pass, and so do more and more conversations. Virtual ones (obviously).
Let’s cut the long story short and move to the last day –
Mihir – Man, I love you guys! I love talking to you guys.
Angel – You do?
Mihir – HELL YEAH! Let’s meet! [This is the first time I’ve said this, in the chatroom-saga of my life]
Zeus – Oh my…
Angel – Sigh.
Mihir – Thanks for reciprocating the enthusiasm…
Zeus – Ha ha. You do know us, but you don’t know us at the same time.
Angel – You KNEW us; and then you…stopped knowing us.
Mihir – Let’s stop beating around the bush now, shall we?
Zeus – Do us a favour, Mihir. Open the drawer in your room. There will be an old notebook.
Mihir – Yeah, I’ve seen that. I assumed it to be useless. Hey, how the hell do you know about this… OMG! Is this Rahul? Dude, seriously? ‘Zeus/Angel’ ?!
Angel – Open it; and, not Rahul.
Mihir – THEN WHO ARE YOU GUYS!?
Zeus – We have to be someplace else now, it’s been lovely chatting with you!
Angel – YES! You stopped talking to us… and we could not live with that, so we decided to reconnect with you in your own style.
Mihir – You guys are making it sound like a final goodbye or something.
Zeus – Fortunately or, unfortunately, it is. We have to go back to our normal lifestyle. We aren’t used to the virtual world, so we’ve decided to put an end to it.
Angel – Hope to meet you soon. I’m so glad that we reconnected.
Mihir – But..but I don’t even know who you guys are!
Zeus – Don’t you?
Mihir – What is that supposed to mean? Of course, I don’t!
(After 30 seconds)
Mihir – HEY COME BACK! (Baffled and stunned)
*Mihir Malhotra has left the group*.
“Let’s see this book that they were talking about, if there is even one, in the first place.”
Needless to say, there was a book! It looked pretty old and smelt old too.
The first-page read:
“Zeus and Angel, Forever.
Na koi dooriyan, na koi khamoshiyan
– S&J Malhotra”.
The room starts to spin. Mihir sinks onto the floor and starts whispering “Mom…Dad…” over and over again.
It’s been 5 years since Mihir’s parents passed away.
Photography By: Sarthak Dubey