He seemed so non descript. A young banker, perhaps — bespectacled, wearing a pin striped shirt, sipping a cappuccino, sending a message on his Blackberry. Surrounded by an Android and two I Pads.
I would’ve walked past, but his dimpled smile piqued my curiosity. “The government has allowed us only five SMSes each, how are you managing to send out so many?”
“I don’t need to send out even five.... In fact today, I’ve sent out just one”, he said. “Messaging your girlfriend, I imagine?” “Nope”, he said, “Love is a wasteful, overestimated emotion. Hate is so much more tangible. Love doesn’t change the world. Hate does. Love is so passé. Hate is so much more 21st century. Love is passive. Hate is aggressive. Hate is in. Love is out.”
Unphased and interested, I continued “So where did you send your SMS to,” I asked, probingly. “Today was the North East. Yesterday was South India.” “So what do you do?” I asked.
He looked up at me from his phone. ‘You sure you want to know?” I nodded, terrified of the answer. “Think of me as an SMS assassin. I’m a Cyber Supari killer. Hired assassins shoot a gun and kill one person at a time. I press the ‘send’ key and a part of the world rises up in arms. Really works, man. I’ve had many successes in the last week. From Azad Maidan to Assam. I’m a spreader of panic. A Hate prophet. I am a nameless, faceless artist”
“How can you be an artist. You kill.” “Picasso had an empty canvas. I have a blank mobile phone screen. My words have immediate impact. They have passion, they have intensity. They move people to action.”
“Man, you are truly evil.” “No, I’m the opposite of evil. I’m realistic. I don’t take sides, I have no religious affiliation. I have no political agenda. I am not Indian. I am not Pakistani. I am not Bangladeshi. I am not Bodo. I am not Bengali Muslim. I am not a Jihadi.
I am not Hindu. I am not Muslim. I am not Maoist. I am not Rightist. I am not Leftist. I am not Obama. I am not Osama. I am not Taliban. I am not Lashkar. I am the Paris Hilton of mayhem. Send me an SMS and I’ll create your party. Or destroy it. Depends on you. I call it Anti- Social networking. A variation of Tom Cruise in Minority Report. He saw the crime before it happened. I create the crime and predict its aftermath.”
He finished his cappuccino. “Nice talking to you. I’m off to meet my wife,” he informed me.“You have a wife?” I asked horrified. “I do have one. Except that she doesn’t know that I’m having an extra marital affair with terror. Actually, you are right, I am in love. I am in love with hate,” he said.
Rahul da Cunha is an adman, theatre director/playwright, photographer and traveller. Reach him at email@example.com
The views expressed in this column are the individual’s and don’t represent those of the paper.
J. Jayalalithaa passes away: Her life in pictures
Photos: Shah Rukh Khan, Deepika Padukone, Alia Bhatt at an awards show
Photos: Big B, Iulia Vantur at Himesh Reshammiya's album launch
Photos: Aamir Khan with 'Dangal' actresses at fashion show
Spotted: Twinkle Khanna, Shriya Saran at an event in Mumbai