10 Years, 10 Break-ups

Sudhanshu Ramteke
Saturday, 28 December 2019

With 2019, the decade (2010-2019) comes to an end and while we still don’t have flying cars or car drivers who can find our exact location, things look hopeful. And that’s the reason that I’ve no regrets about things I’ve broken up with during these last 10 years.

With chat lingo and autocorrect, I’ve long forgotten how to frame proper sentences or spell the words correctly.  Hu needz languaz rulez wen u can type lik dis? Why bother learning difficult words when you can quickly Google the correct spelling? Kids, if you’re reading this, remember that gRaMMar iz fr LosErs.

I’ve a pout face, duck face, grin face and ‘look slim’ face but I can no longer keep a straight face. In fact, I take so many selfies in a day that when I look into the mirror, I scrub the surface right so that it applies filter on my face. Who needs a straight face when you can have a dog face with your tongue out?

I’ve cracked the secret code of social interaction. All you’ve to do in social situations is to stare at your phone and pretend that you’re busy. Simple. If things get more social, pull out the heavy guns from your pocket and plug those earpods for total isolation. However, do ask someone (sibling/friend) to keep updating you on what’s happening around you. My friend Raj didn’t realise that it was his engagement ceremony that he was attending until someone asked him to remove the earphones.

There was a time when old people were relevant because of the knowledge they possessed. However, with Google, you don’t need knowledge because you can search for knowledge. For eg, I just searched that banging your head against a wall for one hour can burn 150 calories. Did your elders know this? Go ask them. They might beat you and throw you against the wall for doing this, but hey, at least you’ll be losing weight.

There was a time when I could recite phone numbers of my friends from memory. However, I don’t even remember their real names now and instead call them by their Instagram handles. Who needs to memorise names when you can just tag them? While it has been mostly convenient, when I saw ‘_Bomb_Bae_’ at the local mall and tried to call her loudly, I was held for questioning by the security. Luckily, they couldn’t extract any names from me because I’d already forgotten.

Chop chop! I want everything quick and fast because I broke-up with my patience long ago. Fast food, fast internet, fast services, fast replies, fast traffic, fast everything. Gone are the days of the dial-up modems that used to play their own death metals songs whenever a connection to the internet was made, only to load a picture of Mahatma Gandhi 30 minutes later. However, I’m a changed man now and I digress from the path of non-violence even at the slightest hint of slow internet. 

What’s the point of praying in this digital world? No matter how many times you pray, the WhatsApp groups will never stop buzzing with messages, the YouTube videos will never stop showing advertisements, your friends will never stop tagging you in ugly pictures and your one-day delivery shipment will never arrive on time. Therefore, I’ve decided to stop praying and I instead channel that energy in shooting people in PUBG.

It’s no coincidence that anytime I talk to a friend about something, the entire internet starts showing me advertisements related to that product. I’ve stopped trying to care about my privacy and personal data because I know that the government and the social media sites are listening and reading everything. In fact, I’ve now stopped backing up my data because if need comes, I know who to ask. Also, (Mark) Zuckerberg, if you’re reading this, please can you find my friend’s video where he is promising his then girlfriend that they’ll be forever together? I need to show it to his new girlfriend that she’s not special. 

I’ve locked my common sense in a box and thrown it away before the 2020 begins. There are so many people out there to challenge your beliefs and opinions that it’s better to keep logic and intellect at bay. I’ve stopped getting into online arguments and stopped entertaining debates on the WhatsApp groups. Now whenever someone sparks a controversial debate, I pick up a random quote from the internet and reply with it, it works like a charm. Don’t believe me? “Another day, another blessing and another chance at life.”

I would like to shamelessly admit that strangers on the internet liking my pictures, seeing my stories, reacting to my posts and giving me compliments, provide a kind of validation that’s as addictive as drugs. I want these people (who matter not) to like me and appreciate me for things that I’m not. I’ve broken up with my self-worth long ago and now I shamelessly do things just for the sake of social media. That cake you saw in my story? I didn’t bake it. That car you saw on my profile? It’s not mine. That girl you saw on my Snapchat? She’s my sister. Me? Remember that video you saw where a guy was banging his head on the wall to burn calories? That was me.

That’s all folks. Think about your breakup list now and see where you stand. And hopefully, 2020 will be a year of patch-ups for all of us. 

Wish you a happy new year and a joyful new decade.

(Sudhanshu Ramteke is a stand-up comedian)

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