August 22, 2022
Many years ago, when the internet was not as accessible as it is today, I remember Eddie uncle and I going to Sastan, to witness some fine match making. The match maker had made up stories about Eddie uncles’ son, and I would say sold them pretty well, until Eddie uncle’s conscience awoke, leading to the banishment of the match maker!!!
That was a long time ago! Things have changed. Internet and mobile technology have wreaked havoc in our lives, enslaving us, sometimes even after we go to sleep and before we wake up! Eddie uncle and I were not insulated from this phenomenon. We too, embraced it. We send good morning messages to friends, we follow other people’s lives on Facebook and Instagram, we send religious messages such as the chain forwards diligently and help people go to heaven, we fast forward the sermon and watch the Sunday mass on YouTube. And now, we have even taken up matchmaking over the internet!
Our recent customer- Kittu, brought an end to our growing business.
On his yearly vacation from Dubai, Kittu, with his belly that jiggled like jelly and his long flowing, but thinning hair stuck to his scalp under the helmet, thundered his way on his new Royal Enfield to Eddie uncle’s house.
“Eddie uncle, Do something Eddie uncle. Get me married. I am already on the other side of my 30’s and before my head turns out like that Anil’s, please get me married.” He wept.
The moron did not know I was right there!
Eddie uncle, by now had considered himself as an Internet Entrepreneur and did not want to lose such an opportunity.
“Ahh, Kittu.” Honestly neither did I nor Eddie uncle knew Kittu’s full name. The name Kittu was stuck with him since childhood. Eddie uncle continued “He only has a clean head Kittu, you have two problems here, my boy” pointing to his beer belly.
“Whatever Eddie uncle. Find a girl for me. Once we are married, all my problems will be solved.” Kittu was desperate. Somehow even now, marriage seems like the ultimate solution to all problems faced by singles, and having kids seems like a solution to all problems faced by married couples.
I feigned cough and came out to where the discussion was going on.
“Ah. Anil! I did not know you were here.” Kittu tried to do some damage control. I did not care.
Scanning Kittu from top to bottom, Eddie uncle fixed a price “One lakh, twenty-five thousand.”
“What?”!! Four more hair from Kittu’s scalp must have fallen off.
“Of course,” Eddie uncle remained unflinched “To get that pot belly tucked in and to let some grass over that landscape, there is a lot of work to do. Photoshop, Facebook adverts, Instagram reels and many more tricks. Moreover, we too have to earn something,” Eddie uncle smiled.
“Ok Eddie uncle. Do what you feel like.” He paid him the advance 25% and left.
“Ah. We should prospect for people like Kittu. If we net 12 to 15 people like him, we will be wealthy Anil,” Eddie uncle flashed his crooked smile. I did not like this smile of his.
“What now?” We had taken the money. Now we had to find a match for Kittu.
The same crooked smile blossomed on his lips, spreading its crookedness across his cheeks and finally to the ears. He opened his mobile and the smile was in full force now “Kazar.com” he exclaimed.
That infectious yet crooked smile bloomed on my lips too!
Evil thoughts and actions do not last long. Our small transaction with Kittu also did not last long. A couple of days prior to Kittu’s engagement, not only his alliance broke off, but also our lucrative business of Matching making over the Internet.
This is what happened.
After taking the money, both Eddie uncle and I had completely forgotten about Kittu and his desperate plea to get married. A phone call from him, after four months reminded us of the job at hand.
Eddie uncle flew into beast mode. I have never seen the man so efficient. He opened up three to four tabs on his browser. Kazar.com, Facebook, Instagram and many more. I did not bother to look. Within an hour he gave me three sheets with details and I was supposed to call them and enquire. I did the job given to me.
The engagement was fixed, the roce and wedding dates were also fixed. All of this in 3 hours!
Eddie uncle called Kittu “All our research is thorough Kittu. I first check the profile on kazar.com, then double check the profiles on Facebook and also on Instagram. Then we call the girl and speak to her. You will not find a better girl than her. Mark my words,” He wanted to bask in the glory of his research.
Kittu readily agreed without even speaking to the girl once! For heaven’s sakes…. Eddie uncle and his gift of gab made it easy for Kittu, I believe.
Our next instalment came in through the next day.
“The moron did not even wait to meet or talk to the girl,” I opined.
“It is the mobile world my friend. Don’t worry. We have done our job. Now it is up to him,” Eddie uncle acted professionally.
The night before the engagement, Kittu and his brother reached Eddie uncles doorstep, enraged!
“Come out Eddie uncle. I haven’t seen a big liar than you in my entire life. Come out. Why are you hiding behind Cecila aunty there?” Kittu was very angry.
I was there that night. Sensing from Kittu’s raging anger, we quickly realized something was wrong. We just did not know how serious yet.
“What happened?” Eddie uncle came out of his house.
Kittu continued his rant, “What do you think? DO you think I am that desperate that you fixed me up with such a girl?”
“She is a nice girl. You must have spoken to her before fixing dates,” Eddie uncle countered.
“Oh yes. That was my fault of only speaking to her and not meeting her,” Kittu gave up in a jiffy.
There was silence, a lingering one which I finally cut off. “Calm down. Come inside. Let us talk.”
Kittu’s brother asked, “The match you have made for my brother is not a good one.” He looked at us.
“Why do you think so?” I replied, “I have spoken to her myself. I have gone through her Facebook and Instagram profiles. She seems lovely.”
“Did you not know that she is a convicted criminal?” Kittu s brother put forth the question that completely shocked the daylights out of us.
“What?” we both said startled.
“Yes. I think she missed to put this up on her Facebook profile and also Instagram. I am just wondering why” Kittu exclaimed sarcastically.
“Who told you this?” We were still clinging onto our research over the internet.
“Her brother had called us just now” Kittu replied.
“Please tell me that one of you went to the girl’s house to check.” Kittu s brother asked.
We were both silent. We actually had not.
Eddie uncle burst out weeping. I had never seen this side of his. “Forgive me Kittu. Break off the engagement. There is time. And God bless that poor brother of hers for calling you at the right time.”
The situation had been salvaged as within minutes the old man himself called the girl and gave her piece of his mind. Seemed like a heavy burden was lifted off his chest. “Kittu, I will refund the money tomorrow. By the way, what was she convicted for?” Eddie uncle asked.
Kittu and his brother looked at each other!
“You guys are so naïve. Don’t believe everything that is up on the internet. It is just an alternate reality of people which seems rosy always,” Kittu’s brother replied.
“You didn’t answer my question,” Eddie uncle asked again.
“For murder” he replied.
“What?” we both exclaimed. “Whose?”
After a pause Kittu replied, “Her husband.”
That was the nail in our coffin. Both Eddie uncle and I have deleted all our accounts from the menace called social media, ever since.