I went off WhatsApp at the end of December, after months of waiting.
I had reached a limit with such conversations without connection. For me, conversations had become cursory and connections had turned into complacency.
Kuch bhi chalegaa — anything will do — was not enough anymore. The technology was still doing what it was meant to but the way i was using it felt yuck!
Walking down this path without Facebook and WhatsApp has been an adventure. Here’s one for you.
Sy called from Kolkata in the middle of January. We had not spoken in 6 months, at the least. He sounded a bit worried.
“Hey dude, are you okay?”
I was, still am.
“I got a call from one of your friends saying, ‘I am unable to contact him.’ Is he dead or alive?”
“Errr, who was this, Sy?”
Aah, Je. A friend from school with a punch that would make me see stars under direct sunlight. It has happened a few times, too!
“We used to yap over WhatsApp. I am not on it anymore.”
“Aah, i see.”
“How did he find you, daaa?”
“He found my number online.”
“Oh! How did he do that? I’ll ask him.”
“Should i forward him your numbers?”
“He has th- yes. Also tell him i am on… Thanks, daaa.”
Je is currently on ship. He explained what had happened when we spoke that afternoon. He was, at that time, sailing somewhere in the Indian Ocean, towards China — was it Tianjin?
The conversation started with a flood of abuses.
“@*#₹&%…… Whatsapp chhoryu toh atleast bolvaanu ke nai?” Don’t you at least tell people that you have left WhatsApp?
“Aaaah… Correct, correct, correct. Sorry, boss.” No.
I learned that with the freedom to leave WhatsApp, came the responsibility of telling people that i had left WhatsApp.
“Eno number kem maliyo?” How did you find his number?
Je went online. Found my photo through a search engine — Google? It led him to a Twitter profile. Name tags helped him identify people in the photo. He clicked on the person he thought i would know best — the one with the long hair and the beard. I do not know why. It led him to Sy’s profile. Maybe i do know why. From where he accessed the website of the organisation Sy leads. That’s where he found the number.
All because MTNL’s network has been playing hide-and-seek in my area for the past month. All because i am not on Facebook or WhatsApp anymore.
There have been many more calls and connections since.