A Day in the Times of Internet Censorship

I woke up to the sound of LMFAO’s “I am sexy and I know it” which I have set as my alarm tone. The sun was shining bright in the sky and my one bedroom apartment in New Delhi was lit by Sun’s yellow rays. I checked the time; it read 9:30 AM, 22nd Nov 2013.

I got up and went straight to the bathroom. Being a complete social network addict I was bound to update my every activity on social networking sites. Sitting on the pot, I adjusted myself to update my first status:

“Long day ahead, but first things first *Poops* *Poops*”

My phone vibrated and an error message flashed on the screen.

Error: The following word, “Poops” may hurt the sentiment of some religious groups. To successfully update the status please remove it.

I was taken aback by the error message. In a state of shock I looked down and wondered how the hell my poop is going to offend any religious group? People belonging to all religion poops, Right? Instead of dwelling much on the issue, I moved on. While browsing my Time Line I discovered it was my friends’ birthday today. So I geared up and typed in:

“Birthdays are god’s way of telling us to eat more cakeJ.”

Error: The Bible, Quran and Vedas made no such reference; you are advised not to misled people. The status is therefore censored.

I shook my head in disbelief. After trying for a number of times and getting no close to wishing her, I thought of writing a simple message. So I typed in,

“Happy Birthday Sonia.”

To my amazement, this time the status went through but I was stunned to see that it went autocorrected. When I read her wall, I found the status as,

“Happy Birthday Sonia ji

I gave up, deleted the post and called her instead. After applying lots of hair gel and deodorant, I took off. On my way to office I saw some agitation going on and a huge traffic jam caused by the blockade. Unfortunately, I got caught up in the traffic jam and switched back to social networking to pass the time.

“Huge procession on the road; looks like an anti-corruption rally. Avoid the traffic jam that has built up.”

Error: There is no procession taking place against the inefficiency of ruling government.

“But there is, right in front of my eyes.”

Error: No there is not.

“I swear there is.”

Error: You have exceeded the limit. Hence due to security reasons your account is being freezed for next three hours.

Aggravated and crestfallen, I reached my office once the police lathi charged the peaceful protestors. While working on a PPT in office, I got a ping from Rahul who asked me out for dinner. Butterflies fluttered in my stomach. Rahul had been asking me out for quite some time now. I was having a shitty day since morning, hence, I said yes.

He picked me up from my place at 8 and we went to this new Chinese restaurant that opened up last week. Though I hate Chinese food but Rahul told me that it was near to impossible for him to get the reservations at such last moment, so I kept my mouth shut. The place was mind blowing. As soon as we were seated, I four squared my location. My phone buzzed again with an error message,

Error: There are no Chinese establishments in India.

There goes my appetite. And then it happened while my mouth was jam-packed with garlic chowmein, suddenly, out of the blue, Rahul held my hand. I stared into his deep blue eyes. He gave me an innocent, “make my knees buckle” smile and said, “I don’t know how to put it in a better way, but I like you. You bring a smile to my face whenever I see you; you make me say stupid things, you make me nervous, happy and at ease, all at the same time.”

The day couldn’t get any better. This was the best day of my life. Rahul dropped me home and we had our first kiss at the doorsteps. It was like one of those romantic nights that they broadcast in romantic movies. I quickly went inside the house to update my profile from single to “In Love with Rahul”

Error: Hindu religion does not permit such blasphemy and Rahul ji condemn this.

Bhanuj Saharan