by Bobo Khuraijam
Are you there? Listen sweetheart dear, just listen carefully. True, it’s true. The moment we met for the first time was not so long time ago. You wouldn’t believe it was love at first sight. No…No, it was love at first story. I heard about you from one of my best friends. He told me about you. I fall in love with you the moment I heard about you. He didn’t tell everything about you. Only a fool would ask for a biography of someone to love with. I was not interested in your biography. I am kind of a person who is not interested in knowing every detail of what I eat, what I wear and most seriously about the person I am going to have a relation with. Just a brief account of what you are now and how much you can make out of my life is necessary. So, that was it. I did not care to ask every single detail of your past life. My friend who knows me and my taste gave a brief introduction. He told me where you came from, though I did not bother to ask. As I have told you I am not interested in details. I glued my mobile handset to my ears carefully. I didn’t want to miss any word about you. He told me about your popularity in your circle, and also about your rising popularity in the town. I think I fall in love with you the moment I heard about you. You know how excited I was to hear about you. Well, to tell you something about my friend who for the first time introduced you; he is a simple guy, an average guy with modest income with not so interesting trait. We have been friends since we were in school. I bate; he had become a changed man after knowing you. He never used to tell stories with the kind of ecstasy. He insisted to tell me more about you when I meet him. I promised to meet him by evening. When evening came he took me to a cyber café. It was strange to see a good number of middle aged surfing on the net. I mean, you know… some of them are allergic with computers. Strange though, there was a sense of delight to see them surfing. I thought: alas they have come of age! Information technology can change so many things in life, including people, that too middle aged ones. Three to four of them together were sharing a single terminal. The one with the mouse on his hand must be the techno savviest among them. Good that they are helping each other. I called it strange because for all these time our middle aged comes to visit the cyber cafes when there is need to down load competitive exam forms, or to check exam results for their children. Oh no, not again. What am I rambling? Honey, I don’t mean to bore you with the middle aged story. Well, how far had we gone? Yes..Yes, I was talking about our first meeting. My friend and I also park ourselves in front of a terminal. He located you after punching some alphabets on the keyboard. And there you were with the whole of your family and friends. Your vital statistics wow! Who would not fall in love with you? Don’t get hurt. It’s a compliment. To tell you the truth: I could not sleep the whole night after our first meeting. Your sheer beauty, your style, your popularity and most importantly the kind of hope you instilled on me. That hope has befallen as a dream to live for. Live for you, live with you die for you. With you by my side I feel I can change my live, as I have been told by my friend that you have changed lives of so many by leaps and bound. That new neighbor of mine, who recently bought a land in Imphal, he now lives in a four storied building. He works as a peon in a government office. That SI in the police, he drives ultra luxury car and plays tennis with the officers in the club. That village panchayat member, who was an unskilled labor, now owns a tractor. That new owner of three buses, who worked as watchman in a government hostel has lots of airs around. That MLA, who pawned his eenkhol to fight the election, now owns flat in the metros. That no nonsense engineer, he now owns three JCBs. That one time secretary of the local club, a fire brand social activist, now a thikadaar gives loan to most of the netas for their election. Dear, lives of so many people are changing at digital pace. So should be my life. With you, I can get ahead of them. The dream that I dream everyday after knowing you would be a reality one day. I will come out of the wretchedness of everyday kangshoi and superfine. Come what may, I am ready to face anyone. Promise me dear, you would not leave me for the whole of my life. I don’t mind about your mingling with so many people. From the top bureaucrats and high ranking police officials, from petty government servant to private school teachers, you mingle with them day and night. That is the virtue of your popularity. Those who know you and saw you once, they long to see you, cares you on the information super highway. As for me I have kept you in my heart, yes, in the inmost reaches of my heart. I have treasured you as my only hope. My hope to drive a sixty lakh car, my hope to become a global tourist, my hope to shine with my familial UPLINES…what? You have packed your bags!! Why? Tell me why? Why are you leaving me so soon? I haven’t have spent enough time with you. That’s unfair, that’s gross. Please don’t ruin my life. Without you, how am I going to live my life? For DOWNLINE shake, please don’t you ever leave me? How am I going to show my face to them? The gold ornaments they have pawned at the Kangabam leikai, the bank pass books they kept to guaranteed their loans, the huge amount of loan they have taken with eight percent interest; how are they ever going to pay it back? No, you cannot leave. To hell with them who have forecasted that your beauty is momentary. To hell with them who have denounce your popularity. How can you cut short our profound pyramidal love story? How can you jeopardize our multi level relationship? How am I ever going to forget the virtual love making? Don’t you ditch me, my sweetheart NETWORK?….yours and yours only paramour, THE NETWORKER.
FOOTNOTE: building falls, bridges fall anything can fall in this part of the world. The stall falling down at the ongoing Book Fair in the town is not surprising. Leipung Ningthou calls it “thikaa gi phiji phina da lairik na netluba”