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(Digital Romance is the name of the short novel that I am serializing on this blog. Abhi’s Life is the first chapter of the novel, and this post is the second part of that first chapter. I hope you like it.) 

Pleased with himself, he had enquired around about the cheapest and the best Internet Service Provider, and after due deliberation had got a connection, and that was the start of another fascinating journey. If he was spending a few hours on the computer before, now he spend almost all his waking hours on the internet. He had just finished college, and there was nothing else for him to do.

He was supposed to be looking for a job, but he was in no rush. He knew he had the skills and the talent to get a job of his liking anytime he wished. Abhi was a little over confident, but the way life had treated him, he had every reason to feel that way.

However old a person might be, there are some people who will always treat him like a kid. And parents are some of those people. Though Abhi was 21, his father treated him like he was still in school. He kept an keen eye on Abhi’s activities, and when he saw that Abhi was spending most of his time on the computer, he decided it was time to step in.

“What is the deal with you and your computer?” asked Abhi’s father.

“Deal??? What do you mean?” Abhi feigned ignorance, and although he knew it irritated his father, he still did it.

“I mean, you have been spending too much time on it…don’t you have better things to do?”

“Not really,” Abhi replied.

His father was angry now, but Abhi continued, ” These days computers have become an important part of every office, and since I have not had any specialized training in computers, I am just trying to make up for the time I have lost.”

And since that day his father had never questioned his sitting on the computer. Like most fathers, Abhi’s father wanted the best for his son, and if sitting on the computer helped in that, he would not be the one to stop him.

And to be fair, Abhi was a good man, and he did not really like to waste all his time on the computer playing games and doing all the other frivolous things that can be done on the computer. While he surfed online, he did actually apply for jobs, and try to learn new things and he was quite good at most of the things he did.

But, Abhi had been a loner all his life. He had hardly any friends in school, and whenever he made any friends, sooner or later, he ended up having an argument with them, over one issue or another and the friendship soon turned sour. Eventually, he had accepted his fate, and led a lonely life, but it did not trouble him a lot.

He had developed a creative streak in him, and before he had got introduced to computers, he used to spend most of his time sculpting. Another thing that his parents, especially his father, did not like at all.

“I am telling you, this boy of ours will be the ruin of the family…sculptor…who does he think he is…M F Hussain?”

Abhi had never felt bad about his dad saying that and other similar things. Abhi really enjoyed sculpting, and when he was in his makeshift studio, it seemed to him that he was at a different place, and that the world outside his studio did not exist at all. Moreover his father, he knew, was not into anything creative and thought that M. F. Hussain was a sculptor. So, he did not mind his father’s comment at all. Abhi knew he did not have enough of the sculptor in him to actually make his money or name that way, yet it was something he did because he loved it.

But things had changed. Now, Abhi liked sitting on the computer more than he liked sculpting. In fact he had hardly sculpted anything, since he had had his initiation on the computer. He missed that sometimes, but his new friend more than made up for it.

Computer was his best friend now. He could do what he pleased with it, and if he was irritated he could just turn it off and walk away.

Abhi had recently found a new feature on his friend and he had loved it. He had begun to surf the Internet, and, like most people, the thing that got him hooked was chatting.

Internet is a great thing, it connects people worldwide. Two people with nothing in common, living in two completely different parts of the world can communicate with each other as if they are sitting right next to each other.

To Abhi, it was a whole new experience. He had never had a lot of friends in real life, but now the friend’s list on his messenger was overflowing with friends. When the sun sets in one part of the world it roses in another part. Suffice to say that there are almost three billion people that are awake at any given point of time. And, so one or the other of Abhi’s friend was always online and he had begun to sleep less and spend more and more time on the Internet every day.

It had come to the point where he himself had begun to realize that the Internet was proving to be a real disaster to his life. Sometimes he felt how he was, now, shying away from real life friends to be with online friends. People, he couldn’t even be sure existed.

Of course he knew that too, and yet he was not able to get away from the attraction of the Internet.

The other day, he was with a friend and they began talking about Chatting online.

“You know most people are lying on the Internet,” his friend Rohit had said.

…Continued

(If you have read it till here, do take a few more moments to comment and tell me what you think of it. Since this is a work in progres, your comments can help me improve this.)

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