THEY all schooled together, grew up as one, spun tops, flew kites, playedmarbles, and in the playgrounds of school, followed more sophisticated sports like cricket, hockey, football, as seasons went by.
They hurt their knees playing kabaddi, fought each other on piggyback, then got up and embraced one another.
And finally, when school and college came to an end, they parted, became doctors, teachers, lawyers, chartered accountants, some successful, some moderately so.
“Let’s start a WhatsApp group!” they shouted when they met at their reunion, and such group was started, joyously, though short lived was the joy!
Something had happened from childhood years of innocent fun to now when they found each other in WhatsApp chats. An unseen monster crept in with them.
A monster called communal hate. It walked in surreptitiously through skilled fingers, adept in the intervening years of spreading dislike. And those fingers which once wielded cricket bat and hockey stick, sent marble spinning to knock opponent’s one, now spewed hate, through podgy fingers, clipped finger nails!
Nails and flesh that belonged to the invisible monster who looked no more at comrade classmate as another friend but saw some new shroud that covered same person. Shrouds of suspicion that questioned worship in mosque, rather than in church or temple.
Shrouds of anger that anointed some as successors of some century old indignity or indiscretion their forefathers had done and sprouted grudge for ancient deed.
The WhatsApp chat grew bloodied as new Spartacus’s with surgical swords, slashed, split and sliced opponents in bloodied battle every day.
Spectators, rather fellow classmates numbed at first, soon joined the fray, and with giggle and chuckle, at times got off their ringside seats and clapped and applauded their bullying classmate’s antics.
Once upon a time, not in virtual group, but on real field, blood spurted from vicious fight, but when evening came, same foes walked home, arm round each other. Not so now.
Armed with communal gunpowder, happily provided by power-hungry political leaders, fights go on for days and nights in the battlefields of WhatsApp groups formed to farther friendships.
Armed with slights and insults, respected professionals who are otherwise with ledgers or stethoscopes, now, don’t mince four letter words to get their bullets, arrows of sharp piercing, lethal words across.
The very friend they carried piggyback, now is addressed not by school nickname, but heckled by the beard he sports or clothes he wears.
WhatsApp Terrorism: Lethal, murderous, fatally destructive! Once upon a time, they spun tops, flew kites, played marbles, and in the playgrounds of school, followed more sophisticated sports like cricket, hockey, football, as seasons went by.
They hurt their knees playing Kabaddi, fought each other on piggyback, then got up and embraced each other.
Now, they don’t, as WhatsApp terrorism comes free with favoured app..!