[This is my entry for the contest titled “Internet is Fun!” organized by Vodafone (www.vodafone.in/fun) and Indiblogger.]
A connected world is a fun place
Where you play with distant friends chess,
Where online music on phone is easy,
And videos when you’re not-so-busy;
Social networking and useful apps
That take care of security lapse,
Besides the huge knowledge pool on web
Without which you are today as good as in a grave!
The Sun still had about an hour to settle. They sat at the table, sipping
tea, as the last rays filtered through the half-open window. The couple was banished from their town, for
they had brought disgrace to the family by marrying each other. To make matters
worse, the gentleman’s bachelor brother, a part-time social activist, decided
to go and stay with them. They were not exactly in deep trouble; they had
managed to get a decent flat on rent. Now, don’t be amused by their names: the
gentleman was named Rama Rao and the lady Sitavati. The brother was Laxman Rao.
If you’re thinking that this sounds strikingly similar to the story of Rama’s
exile, you are mistaken. This is just perfect coincidence!
Laxman had been looking for a job. In his mid-twenties, Lax, as they preferred to call him, had to stay up-to-date with the latest news and updates from job portals. Besides, social networking was at its zenith. To keep up with his male friends, he had to ‘like’ and ‘comment’ on every photo or video some girl posted on Chasebook. And did I forget to mention that he was a great sportsman in school? He was a champion- in the popular sport, ABC (Archery Before Christ). With the new high-end phone in place and a lightning-fast connectivity, he could now play this game with archers from all corners of the planet (Yes, the earth still wasn’t known to be round). During these high-tension matches, he usually was disturbed by e-mail notifications from the job portal he had recently opened an account with.
Rama, an engineer by chance, used internet-on-the-go for stock updates and checking business e-mails, while waiting at traffic signals. Bored by the same playlist on his phone, he would often listen to music online. And boy, his latest craze was BSL (Banar Sena League), a prestigious tournament, in which top tycoons had poured glamor and money to watch provincial teams of Banars clamor while constructing a stone-bridge. Rama frequently tuned in for the latest scores, for he was a die-hard fan of his home-team, Ayodhyanagar.
At the table, Sita was browsing the internet on her phone. “You know”, she always complained, “I am fed up with the frequent power-cuts in this town. I so often miss my favourite shows in the afternoon.” She had recently persuaded her husband to get her a better internet ‘plan’ so that she could watch on Viewtube, glimpses of all those saas-bahu serials that she missed on TV. Rama had complied. After all, his namesake had set very high standards as to what an ideal husband should be like.
While scrolling for the latest products available at the nearby store, she suddenly got excited, held the phone in front of Rama and said- “Darling, I want this golden teddy! This is so cute! I want it now; the website says- they have only 2 items left!”
“Why don’t you order it online? If you don’t have enough money in your account, I’ll transfer it now; mobile banking...”
And before he could complete, she hit back strongly, “This article is not available online. Surely, this must be very special.”
When persuasions didn’t work, Rama had to surrender. He reluctantly drove his car out of the parking lot and headed for the store. Before leaving, Rama whispered into the ears of Laxman, “Take care of your bhabhi. Do not leave her alone. I will be back in half an hour.” Laxman raised his right hand with an air of assurance and went back to playing ABC on his phone.
Thirty minutes went by; Sita’s phone was ringing.
She picked it up-“Hello?”
“Hey, Sita. I …” and then the voice cracked.
Sita asked-“Who? Hello? Can you hear me? Rama, is it you?”
But there was only a noise at the other end. Then, the call snapped.
Sita tried calling back several times, but the call didn’t go through.
Sita was worried. Half-sure, she said, “Lax, it was Rama. I think he is in deep trouble. Please go and see if your brother is okay.”
On the verge of completing a hard-fought game, Laxman was annoyed.
“Bhabhi, bro will be fine. Don’t you know he is a black-belt?”
Sita got angry at this- “How can you talk like this when your brother is in danger? Don’t you feel ashamed to call yourself his brother, Lax?”
Embarrassed, Laxman got up from the sofa.
“Bhabhi, let me see what I can do. Don’t worry and please keep the door locked. I will ride my bike to the store and find out if anything’s wrong. Adieu!”
On his way, Laxman found Rama jovially driving his car, with a cigarette in his right hand. Their eyes met. The car and the bike came to a halt with the irritating noise of screeching tyres. Rama was upset- “What are you doing here? Why did you leave your bhabhi alone? Don’t you know that this place is not safe for women?”
Lax narrated the entire story. Rama was getting tenser. Uttering curses, he said- “Man, I better get home before something happens to her! This must have been a trap. And we fell for it.”
When they reached home, their worst fears seemed to have been translated. The door was unlocked and Sita wasn’t inside! Both tried calling Sita but were always responded by a “Out of reach” message. Rama knew- “Some goon must have abducted her and absconded; now they will ask for a ransom.”
Lax was quick to notice an update from Sita on one of the social networking sites: “Damsel in distress! Off to
tonight!” They stood dumbfounded.
Lax concluded, “So, they haven’t taken her phone? Strange! Probably they thought she had no roaming facility. Or they were too busy to notice that she carried a phone!” Laxman commented on the post, “Where are you now, bhabhi?”
He kept checking his phone from time to time but to his disappointment, there was no reply.
Refreshing the webpage, he saw a video posted by one of their neighbors, Jatayu Das, in which he had ‘tagged’ Sita. His heart throbbing with excitement, Laxman started to stream the video. Nudging his brother, he smiled- “Look, awesome speed, man. Internet rocks!”
The video was only 2 minutes and 12 seconds. For the first minute, the clip had caught the initial resistance Sita had put up. Then as the camera approached the scene (i.e. Jatayu neared), the phone must have dropped off Jatayu’s hands. It showed Jatayu being badly beaten up as he tried to rescue the beauty from the beast. Rama paused and watched the video thrice. Finally, he uttered with a deep breath- “It is Sh-Ravana. Let’s go to the police-station.”
Twenty minutes later, Hanuman Singh, the police inspector, nodded after listening to Rama. “Sir, we will try to find out your wife as soon as possible. We have a hi-tech team on field. They are equipped with state-of-the-art GPS tracking devices which are connected to their mobile phones. They get instantaneous updates on their e-mails.”
Impressed, Rama thanked the inspector. Within fifteen minutes of the alert, the cops found out that the goons were waiting with Sita at the airport to board the last flight to the Lanka capital. The police, connected via the internet to the airport security, informed them of the situation and got the thugs arrested immediately.
Within half an hour, Sita was back in Rama’s arms, weeping and at the same time relieved.
This is how the fierce gory battle was avoided, significant defense funds and innumerous lives were saved; more importantly, the 1.5 kg- epic called Ramayana was reduced to only a leaflet.