Yahoo! The crazy Yahoo ID that slowly came uninvited, minus knock knock on the door when we were slowly de-alienating ourselves to worldwide web. Social media was rocket science. It was the days we spent in the cyber cafe and yes, we had a life back then met friends at the dingy cafe and struck a conversation with that school girl, who sat opposite us chatting and sending emails. Internet ki Jai ho.
There were many like us who never owned a computer and the cyber cafe came like the messiah to hit send an e-mail to friends with the usual, hey! How you doing? It was the late 90s and ushering in the 20th century where creating a mail id was like...well! winning gold at the Olympics. The first e-mail I created was after the tuition classes in 1996 on my birthday and dashed away post tuition in the evening at the cyber cafe. Birthday boy...24 June!!! e-mail was born! Yahoo!!! Amitabh Bachchan fixation...firstname.lastname@example.org...I dashed to join the club of exclusives...extraordinary gentlemen and ladies who own an address now.
I ain't homeless. I got mail!!! I am no poor dude, you see. It tastes like liquor sending me in tizzy height of high spirits and chocolate marshmallow melting on the tongue. Cool dude is here, running with the heart doing dhak dhak karne lage to the cyber to check mail and the heart shimmered with excitement, eyes glittering and mouth wide open when the inbox pop-opens. Yay!!! I got mail. It's no less than an award. My love and flirt story started and transported to Khul ja sim sim...websites and the world wide web. Clicked and registered on websites of film stars, watched on film web address. I pranced and sang with joy. Life has just started you moron and mind you if you tell ki dude is boring and drab. I gotta life and gotta tell the world bout it.
The mailbox was never flooded like the Tsunami and it kinda made me sadder by the day. After all, why I don't get hundreds of mails like folks do?! See! Dude is crazy and he needs excitement in his life called e-mail and internet. It got me dreaming. I gotta add girls and landed on some random sites...added and mailed few chicks who dropped their e-mails. I hit send and complimented a chick who was studying in Australia. The heart went amok like the cartoon characters when she responded and almost leaped with joy. Distant...love was in the air. Ahem! Ahem! Ahem!
We exchanged few mails to discuss our happening lives. The heart broke into pieces when she didn't reply to that mail and after few months of mindless romance, the conversation was ripped apart. The romantic heart longed for her and sunk into depression, almost sang a single sad Hindi film song...Jiye toh jiye kaise.
Measly pocket money was splashed paying for one or two hours of chatting my way to heavenly bliss with girls, exchanging mails and what's not. There was bliss in this world when boy discovered something called mIRC chat room. It felt like discovering gold and wearing them like Bappi da. Spoilt for choice like the kid in the candy store prancing from one shelf to the other but here it was checking on the enticing chat rooms, love, girls, boys, sex and fluffy romance. The Internet Relay Chat to hook young adolescent boys and girls, to discover each other...with Hi and ASL...common questions as if it was some kinda bhajan we gotta sing and learn by heart. Age, Sex, and Location, followed after the Hi...and the nicknames, sugar babe, muckrakers, sweety, honey, hunter, lesbian girl...and the list goes on.
You gotta the right dashboard and you are served with options of names, clicking on them and typing Hi...the icon is flashed and internet chatting starts. Snippet of chat, dirty talk, humor, attempt to romance an unknown face who hid behind the veil on the large, boring white desktop. Yes! It was called computers in those days that lined up in the cyber cafe. We are 90s kids and proud to be that. Everything was simple and sometimes we fought with the couples of girls we would simultaneously chat with. We had a life! I had something exciting to boast about to friends, making them jealous of chatting with a sexy girl. No picture was flashed or phone number given...just a plain, kinda blind date on IRC chat till our time was up and pocket money emptied. The cyber cafe was a luxury and implored Mom & Dad to give pocket money to buy chocolate which was the cyber cafe. White lies to chat with girls.
Joining this group or that group as if someone is singing a song to tell the world or exploring sex for the first time. It just felt like that! If you feel like chatting with that cool and cute girl sitting next to you, make your move and train roving eyes not on her, stupid but her nickname that flashed on her screen. Next thing is easy peasy and you find her on IRC, sending her a Hi...and she types ASL! Common sense, na.
Play the pretense game and as if you don't know what's happening, seeing her smiling to her screen and you chat till you drop like some 90s ka chocolate hero.
Net romance, chat, and email started for me in this fashion, unlike adding shadding on Facebook or scrapping on Orkut. Hell! What's that thing called Facebook? It was mIRC in those days. My love affair started on net like some rebel teenager, exploring that what mustn't be and uncensored it stayed. The feeling, you know how it is, as if you just discovered the world of porn and making up in the dark. How many of you felt that way and remember your MIRC chat? It was my love affair with chatting on net.