The online world seemed exciting. Although it had been a year since I had started blogging, I wasn't really active anywhere. But that June evening, as it poured outside, I had nothing better to do than go online. After checking my Orkut, my Gmail, my Hotmail and my Yahoo (which had over 400 unread mails!!), I happened to sign in to my blog and was surprised to see so many comments on it. It meant that people actually visited it more often than I did myself! I began reading those and I stumbled upon a blog of one of those commenters- Raghav, that caught my attention for the longest time. I enjoyed each and everyone of those posts and couldn't keep myself from leaving a comment there. After a little more blog-hopping, I went off to sleep.
The next morning, the first thing that I did was to visit that particular blog again to check if Raghav had left a comment in reply. Needless to say, I was thrilled to see one. It went on that way for a couple of days, and soon he was in my Orkut list and we happened to have a mutual friend too! On knowing that he went to the same college that I do now, my excitement doubled. He added me on GTalk the very next day and we started chatting endlessly. It was fun never meeting him in real life and yet talking to him like I've known him for years! Through him, I met many other bloggers online and started being very active on my blog. We always had a lot to talk to, and soon, advanced to talking on the phone too! He lived in the US, and that meant heavy call rates but that never seemed to bother him and we talked for hours.
I'd wait for Raghav's calls and for him to come online. And on days that he didn't, I'd feel restless and uneasy. This was a different feeling. I knew I didn't like him that way. It wasn't the kind of happiness that I felt when I was in love or the one I felt when I won a trophy in school. I just felt the need to talk to him everyday. I was addicted to him. We'd talk about college, about our friends, about our lives, even teach each other our respective mother-tongues! My life completely changed in two months time and my addiction kept growing by the hour! But I didn't seem to care. All I knew is I loved talking to him and he felt the same too. We enjoyed and that's all that mattered.
Then one day, I happened to go to a friend's place on the outskirts of Bombay to spend the weekend. I was meeting her after ages and we were catching up on each others lives over tea; I told her all about my experience and how things had changed since that evening in June. I expected a call from Raghav the same night, I wanted her to talk to him too! The clock struck 10 and I looked at my cellphone. Nothing. "This is the time he always calls, what could have happened!", I thought. I waited some more thinking he might be busy somewhere, but after an hour, when my phone didn't ring at all, I was sure he had forgotten and gave him a call myself. Nobody answered. I left a voice message, but felt very scared somehow. I stayed up all night talking to my friend and at the back of my mind, expecting the phone to ring anytime considering it was day-time in the US. But nothing happened. No calls, no messages.
When I came back home, I checked my mail and my GTalk to see if he had left any offliner. Nothing there too! I went all panicky, and pinged another blogger who knew Raghav too, to ask her if she knows of his whereabouts. She too had no clue! I felt helpless and stranded. I didn't know what to do. A week later, she mailed me saying that he was safe. Apparently, he had mailed another blogger to tell her that he was just very busy and nothing was wrong.
I heaved a sigh of relief but could never understand why he left that way. Today, he has left the blogosphere and has stopped interacting with all of those bloggers he had befriended once. None of us know why.
I didn't know what addiction could do to me and how wrong I was to give myself completely to someone who seems like a complete stranger now.
Now I know.