Chapter 8: Family Issues

Now Prillin said ” I am coming go next. Send someone strong”. Gohan said ” I will fight him. Everyone else has fixed fights” Prillin and Gohan started fighting. Prillin was nothing like Krillin. He was more aggressive and more skilled. Gohan may have been stronger before but he didn’t train after the Buu attack. He was less skillful evenif his power was greater. There was a marginal difference since the sealing drugs were working. Prillin attacked Gohan from every direction. A kick, punch and energy black. Due to his small stature he was fast and was able to dodge all of Gohan’s attacks. But Gohan didn’t give up. He knew what was at stake. He gave it his all. He screamed in anger as he wasnt able to land even a single punch. For a brief moment his power increased. Everyone was shocked. The parallel versions were confused. They thought on how Gohan managed to increase his power even after he was under the effects of the drugs. This small increase was enough to give Gohan the upper edge and he KOed Prillin in one hit. He once hit him and said “This was for sacrificing your family, you scum”.

Next bout was Kami vs Piccolo. Both removed their outfits. Both of them well down and created a “thud” indicating how heavy they were. Piccolo said “It seems you have my mind atleast” Kami replied “I was going to say the same thing. Let’s see what else YOU have” Both flew towards each others. Their fists connected creating a shock wave. Piccolo said “You have good power”. Kami said “Thank you. Now see my speed”. He teleported behind him but Piccolo parried the attack. Both smiled. Their power and speed were the same. There wasnt much difference. Both were throwing punches and shooting energy blasts. Some were countered by the other, some weren’t. Finally Piccolo said “Time to end this” and he stood in a very familiar stance and he raised his hands and started raising his ki. Kami was shocked. Piccolo’s power was increasing. Kakarotto exclaimed ” How is this possible? How did you all manage to do this? “. Piccolo said with a smirk “A magician never reveals his secrets” In his mind he remembered the excruciating pain of ripping off his arms and fingers so that he could regenerate them back and in doing so increase his metabolism. Suddenly there was a huge energy blast. Piccolo wasn’t able to completely dodge it. His arm was blasted off. Kami laughed and said “Hahahaha!! Now you are crippled. Raise your energy more but you cant fight with a single arm” Piccolo was astonished initially and then smiled “Interesting”. He then screamed and regenerated his arm. Kami was staggered by this. He asked with a little stutter “H.. Ho.. How.. were you abb.. Able to do t.. t… thaaa… that?” “I can regenerate my body parts thanks to my Namekian origins” said Piccolo. “Damn you” screamed Kami. He then said “Ka.. Me.. Ha.. Me.. Haaaaa” and release a purple coloured beam. Piccolo dodged it. Everyone was astonished. “How can he do that?” asked Gohan. “He must have practiced it” said Piccolo. He then started firing energy balls at him. Kami tried blocking but to his amazement only a few of them hit him. When he looked around him he realised the grave error on his part. There were energy balls around him. “This are guided energy blasts. They will come at you together at once. You cant dodge them al.. “. Suddenly Kami screamed “SOLAR FLARE”. There was a blinding light. No one could see anything. Kami then said “I cant regenerate but I can learn techniques just by looking at them once. Now farewell Piccolo. I will kill you with one of your friends’ move”. Piccolo screamed “Like hell, I will let you do it” moved his hands to hit Kami. Kami also screamed “Final Flash” and the beam hit Piccolo. Both were attacked by each other’s attacks. Finally after everyone could see, they saw both of them standing, badly injured.

Vegeta said “What kind of an attack was that. It was similar to mine but so less in power”. Both of them collapsed. Gohan ran towards Piccolo and said with fear “Piccolo!! Can you hear me!? Wake up”. Frieza said “Fear not Gohan. He is just hurt. He will make it. The beam wasnt all that powerful and his attack further reduced any harm as they distracted Kami” He then threw a small pill towards him. “Give it to him. In a few hours, he will be alright. This is a like a medicinal pill. This will help him heal faster”. Goku said “We should have brought the Senzu beans. They would have come in handy for sure”. Vegeta said “Yes but Kami’s attack sure was weak. The final flash attack surely isnt this weak”. Goku replied “Probably even he needs practice. Afterall he didn’t invent the technique. You did. One cannot copy a technique of such level so easily”.

The penultimate match was between Begeta and Frieza. Frieza said “Begeta, we dont have to do this. Come back to us, my son”. Goku was confused and said “What is happening? Since when did Frieza become Begeta’s father”. “Your a fool, Goku. Isnt it obvious by now?” said Vegeta. Begeta said ” You aren’t my father. You never will. You destroyed my race and planet. You lied to me. You said Kakarotto’s family was responsible for it”. Frieza replied “I was scared. If you knew the truth, you would despise me forever. I didn’t want to lose you. I have raised you as my own son. Cooler treated you as your own brother. Please end this now so that we can all go home”. Begeta said “Enough of this. You will pay for killing my family” and he charged towards Frieza.

Next week extra large finale “Fallout” 

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Chapter 7: Fight for the 2 universes

​A few days ago,

Frieza transmitted a message “Kakarotto. Can you hear me?” Kakarotto replied “Say what you want to Frieza. We all can hear you clearly”. Frieza said “I have a proposition. We host a tournament between you all and us. The winner takes all”.Kakarotto said with pride ” Who says we dont have it all. I have a machine to travel between worlds. The only reason I haven’t moved away is because I wanted to destroy you. We thought we could use other versions of ourselves and then eliminate them and conquer their universe later. The plan may not have gone exactly the same way but still we got what we wanted. You are seriously wounded and your army destroyed. We will soon go to this alternate universe and make it our own”. Frieza said “Whatever you said is true. But you still haven’t killed me. I will take over your universe then. You can run away if you want to. But soon this universe will be mine. Along with that this new universe you conquer wont even be because of your strength. It is like serving you on a gold platter”. It could be heard faintly “Dont bite into it. He is baiting you. We are at an advantage now. Dont throw it away”. Kakarotto said “Shut up Namekian. Alright Frieza, the tournament is on. We will fight you all. Winner takes it all and the loser never retaliate”. Frieza smirked as they had taken their bait. “Within 3 hours of our landing, we will hold the tournament” said Kohan.

Now,

There were 7 members in each team. The parallel universe had Kakarotto, Kohan, Koten, Tarble, Begeta, Kami and Prillin while the other had Goku, Gohan, Goten, Trunks, Vegeta, Piccolo and Frieza. So Kakarotto said ” Let the kids go first. Then we adults will fight” “Let us start with the youngsters, Koten and Tarble who wants to go first?“ said Prillin. Trunks said “Let it be a doubles battle. Me and Goten vs our alternates”. “We know you can do the fusion. Why would we choose such a matchup style when we can beat you individually” replied Koten. “Firstly we dont have time for this. This will result in a faster tournament. Also I need to go early, I have a date” said Trunks. Goten said “Let it be Trunks. Our alternate versions are scaredy cats. They arent as strong as us anyway”. By listening all this, Tarble got red in his face. He said “It is a double battle. You do your fusion. We dont need it to defeat you.” Goten and Trunks smirked and both said let us get started. Goten and Trunks started doing the fusion dance and said ” FUSION-HA”. Gotenks was formed. His power was huge. He said “Let’s finish this right away”. He flew towards Tarble and Koten. He punched them both. He then released a barrage of kicks and punches on them. But they were affected that much. Koten said ” Is that the best you can do?” Gotenks got a little scared. He started releasing his energy and screamed “AAHHHHHHH” Tarble said “It is of no use. You wont transform further. We have restricted your power levels remember” Both of them then flew towards Gotenks and started attacking him. The kicks were powerful. Then for a brief moment Gotenks released his ki. This sent them flying away. He screamed ” AAAAAAAHH” and started releasing energy. But he couldn’t release it beyond a certain level. He thought to himself “Why cant I release more energy? I am doing exactly as to what Goku told us” Then he saw Tarble charging towards him. Then suddenly Koten grabbed Gotenks from behind. Tarble started beating Gotenks. His each punch and kick was stronger than the previous one. Finally Koten let go of Gotenks and both of them shot numerous energy blasts at him. Gotenks fell to the ground and was unconscious. He wasn’t gravely injured but was unable to fight further. Koten and Tarble laughed and asked “Who is next?”

Vegeta stepped forward and said ” I am. Let’s make this a little more interesting. Let Begeta also come with you”. Frieza said “I am sorry Vegeta but Begeta and I will be fighting. You should choose someone else”  Vegeta grumbled “Why should I? We fight our parallel versions”. Frieza said “Please Vegeta. I beg you. I have some unfinished business with him”. Vegeta felt nice to see Frieza beg even though it wasnt the Frieza he knew. He said ” Fine. I will fight the youngsters then. Kohan, you join them”. Kohan said ” I dont mind. It is your funeral” All three of the saiyans gathered around Vegeta. Vegeta was smirking. He said “Are we going to dance or what”. All three charged towards him. But in an instant Tarble and Koten were thrown towards the rocks. Only Kohan managed to dodge his moves. Kohan then started punching Vegeta. But each punch was countered by another stronger punch by Vegeta. Suddenly Vegeta moved out of the way. Kohan was surprised. Behind Vegeta was Koten charging in. Koten then bumped into Kohan. Vegeta flew towards Tarble and started beating him. There was anger in his punches, specially for Tarble. Finally the final punch rendered Tarble unconscious. Then Vegeta turned around and said “Big Bang”. Two Huge energy balls started flying towards Koten and Kohan. They were charging towards Vegeta not knowing that he will shoot the Big Bang on him. But both of them were blasted by it. All three now were bruised and had lost consciousness. Vegeta said “Hmph. These children are so weak. How pathetic your children are Kakarotto. You have no pride of a saiyan. But your children dont even have their strength”. Kakarotto clenched his fists and mummered “We will see about that”
Next chapter : Family issues

Young and Alive

​Young and lively,

Weird and hopeful,

Soon dark clouds came,

But that didn’t waver his spirit,

He understood and never crossed the line,

He did what was right and ethical,

The world didnt and condemned him,

That didn’t affect him and he continued on his path,

A path with little support from everyone around,

Abused, beaten he carried on,

Soon everyone turned away,

He thought he won,

But really people didnt care anymore,

They got what they wanted,

So now they were done,

He still smiled though not the same as before,

He helped his friends in their dilemmas,

He expected nothing but their presence in his life,

But priorities change, like they always have,

Soon he was left with the ghosts of the past, 

He suppressed his emotions, Inhibited them, 

But every now and then, it would rain,

Filling up the dam slowly,

He would occasionally relieve the pressure but it was never enough,

Finally one day it all broke out,

It rained heavily that day, 

Walking in the rain, a turmoil in his brain,

What should he do for it to stop,

He looked up to see the black clouds,

“Long time no see my friend”

He said smiling as raindrops rolled down his cheeks,

He asked “What should I do? Tell me”

The rain stopped and then there was a ray on sunlight. 

The Contradictions We Live

We have been living in societies since ages. We are social beings afterall. We have evolved over time. We have become sophisticated, as some would say. If look at the kids today they are much smarter than us, when we were at that same age. What makes us different from animals, is our mind and thinking. We possess immense thinking capabilities. It only through our brain and curiosity that today we are so technologically advanced. But this increased capability has come with its own share of cons. We no longer possess a simple mind set. We arent restricted to simple emotions anymore. We experience complex emotions. Greed, Lust, Pride, Gluttony, Wrath, Sloth, Envy – These are 7 deadly sins, as put forth by Christianity. We all possess them. We dont exercise them all the time but sometimes we do exercise them with reason and sometimes with no reason. Animals on the other hand are free from them. They never over eat, never show unwanted aggression. They only have sexual encounters to keep their species alive. But we do everything in excess sometimes to the point that it is a waste.

But slowly some people are understanding their flaws and try to be a better self. We see online pictures saying to be always truthful. We say “Tell me the truth, dont lie to me” But in reality, we cannot handle the truth. Truth is and always will be bitter. If someone criticises you, our first immediate response is to prove them wrong and probably abuse them. Maybe after some time we see our flaws and try to not continue doing them. But eventually we all into the same loop. We tell our friends and family “I will change, give me some time” But it is very rare for the change to become a constant.

When we are at our lowest point we are open to the greatest change- Avatar Aang

Once we are back to normal and are criticised again, we just bypass the whole conversation by saying that we tried. Somehow trying, in this case, means it is ok if dont change. Can we say when we promise to someone that we will change, we are giving hope to someone. When we dont fulfil our promise, we are betraying someone. If someone were to betray our trust or not deliver what we promised, we would stop believing that person and be angry with them. We would probably look for someone who can keep their promises. But if someone were to replace us, we would speak ill of that person even antagonise them in front of other people. We ourselves sometimes cannot criticise others because of the fear if the above mentioned thing will happen with us. We speak of having proper etiquettes while sometimes we dont even have the bare minimum

We speak of equality among all races, religion, sex etc. But there is not really a proper sense of equality anywhere. Initially there was “All whites are superior” But over the course of time, this ideology was reduced. There was a time when black people were treated like slaves and objects. But by the help of various international figures, this idea was abolished. But now we are free of that idea or are we? We still face racism in some parts. No idea can ever be destroyed completely. If someone would cast the black guy in a minor role or would show him as a bad guy while the rest of the crew is white and are good people, this is racism and bad. But if we “exchange the colours” here, suddenly it isnt racist. If the black guy is given an antagonistic role in a movie, the critic might point out that it was racist in doing so. But by doing so, isnt the critic himself being a racist where he expects the black guy to land all the nice roles.

In India, there are various reservations for various castes and tribes in education and jobs. Yes, it was imperative initially when they weren’t given enough chances but now it isnt the same case. Now it is the finances that has come into picture. Somehow being in the general category has become a curse. A kid with 4 GPA isnt given admission into college but a 3 GPA kid is. Why? Because the later belongs to a Scheduled caste. It doesn’t matter evenif the former’s family is just above the poverty line and latter kid has a iPhone and car just for him. Corruption has been a big problem. Everyone will say it is wrong but at the same time, someone will be bribing someone.

Teachers also take part in a double standard lifestyle. They expect the students to be sincere but their wrong doings are never punished properly. If a teacher does punish them, they regarded as evil, mean and “khadoos”. But we ourselves make it our life’s agenda to punish someone for their wrong doing. Trump has been in the headlines ever since he became the president. He promised to make more jobs for Americans. Everyone has slammed him for this. Has anyone given a second thought to his actions? Maybe what he is doing is for his own countrymen. In America a large chunk of jobs are taken by immigrants. We wont understand their dilemma as our jobs arent exactly being snatched up by people from other countries. An example that some would understand is China’s control over production of various goods. Almost everything is manufactured there. The whole market is flooded with cheaper models. It is after all natural to buy something cheaper. Who would by 1000 rupees ear pods for a 350 rupees china headphones. Even though the ear pods may work for maybe 3/4 months extra but still the person is able to save money.

All of us are inside this loop. We cant empathise properly with anyone. We all believe in something but do something different. We have mother in laws who prefer a grandson over a granddaughter. People in the upper strata that perform such heinous acts that makes you question the whole society. Hopefully with time, we will be able to see beyond the black and white. We could let go of the dualistic thinking. Afterall with this intelligence, we see not only the black and white but also the shades between them.

Chapter 6: Counterattack

​Goku rushed towards Vegeta. He swung his arm to hit him. Vegeta dodged it and kicked Goku in the back. Goku got back up and again raced towards Vegeta. This time he hit him with a powerful punch. Vegeta transformed into a Super Saiyan. He and Goku then exchanged blows. Both of them got punched and kicked. Vegeta was hitting far harder. Goku also transformed to hi Super Saiyan form. But he was astonished and said “Why cant I release more energy?”. Vegeta saw an opening and took his shot. He replied “You didnt listen did you? They have introduced a power restricting drug into our systems. You and I are now on equal footing finally. Let me show you my prowess”. Vegeta then unleashed a barrage of punches and energy blasts. Goku couldnt defend himself against them all. Finally Goku screamed and released his energy. He then gave Vegeta two devastating blows. Both of them fell to their knees. Vegeta said “What is wrong with you? Why are you running away. Accept it and move on. We have to defeat them else all those innocent people will have died for nothing. Our world is also in peril. The greatest fighters are here” “I get it Vegeta. But I have killed people

Innocent people. It is not something that I can just forget. But yes, I have to move on to more pressing matters. Our world has some good fighters” said Goku. Vegeta said mockingly “Yes sure. We have Yamcha, Tien, Chiaotzu, a pig. Yes our families will be safe”. Goku and Vegeta then had a laugh. “Vegeta, Thank you” said Goku. Vegeta replied “Dont thank me. I want to thank those people. I finally got a chance to beat you. We should get going now. In a few days they will reach home”. Both of them got up and walked away.

On seeing them Frieza said with a tone of care “Begeta, I mean Vegeta what happened? Why are you both hurt?” Vegeta got a little red with embarrassment and said “It is none of your damn business. We just had a brawl”. Trunks said “I am sorry Frieza. My father is just not used to seeing you as a nice person. His whole life he was a soldier for an evil version of you”. Frieza replied “I am sorry to hear that. I am sorry”. Vegeta snapped at Trunks ” Shut up!! Dont go on telling stuff about me. We need to come up with a plan to defeat them” “While you two were male bonding, we came up with a plan” said Piccolo. Vegeta wasn’t pleased and as soon as he was about to blast at him, Gohan interrupted and said “Frieza has come up with a plan. It is the best we have. He knows the saiyans best here”. Vegeta agreed to that. Goku said “Good. I think I have found a way to remove those power limiters. But before that can we have food”. Gohan and Goten smiled and were relieved that their father was back to his original self. Frieza said “Of course. We have some great vegetable and fruit dishes here.” “Wait a minute. Is there no meat?” asked Vegeta. Frieza said “No. We don’t eat meat” Everyone got sad. They loved meat but Goku with a little optimism said “We can try veggies for once. It wont be so bad”. “But before that, heal up” said Piccolo. Both were sent to healing pods for a few hours. When they returned, Goku said “Krillin is fine now. He still has to rest for a few days”. Vegeta said “What plan have you decided to go with?” “Well the plan is… ” and Frieza told them his strategy. Vegeta had a big smile. He said “Now this is why I decided to come here. I will have fun” “Do you know how to increase our powers to their original levels?” asked Trunks. “Well I have but I am not entirely sure. It has to come naturally i think”  said Goku. He then told them what he thought was the possible solution to their problem.

Frieza said “Well, I cant fully say I agree with you but we dont have another choice. I will send a transmission to them. I am going to give them an offer they can’t refuse” “Geez, that last line. You picked it up from a movie? ” asked Goten. Frieza, red with embarrassment, said ” We will use the next few days to train you. I know certain weak spots of them. You could use them to your advantage” “That is a good idea” said Piccolo. “Hopefully our restrictors will end by then” said Trunks. After a few days of training, everyone was ready. Krillin was awake but still wasnt at his full strength. Krillin said “All the best everyone. Beat those bastards, specially that Prillin. Lying to our faces about his wife and unborn child’s death. How care someone be so evil. To use his pregnant wife as a shield against Frieza and then to use it as a blind spot. How could he shoot energy blasts at you, knowing that they will go through her and kill her as well. It is despicable”. “Father, please bring brother back. Tell him I miss him. I made this bracelet specially for him. Please give it to him” said Cooler. “You have a brother?” asked Gohan in amazement. “Yes” replied Cooler. “If I see him, surely I will give it to him” said Frieza as he put the bracelet on his hand. “We have to go now” said Piccolo. Everyone grabbed Frieza’s hand and they transported. They all came to Capsule Corporation. Their counter parts came out and Tarble said “Well you all are early”. Goten said “Yes. Is there a problem?” “No, no none. You will die earlier that is all” said Koten. “We will see about that” said Trunks. “Shall we start the tournament?” asked Kakarotto. “Not here. Somewhere away from civilisation. Probably in the mountains.” said Goku. “Sure. Let us go” said Kami. All of them flew towards a range of mountains and settled at a place. “Let us begin” said Frieza.

Next chapter : Fight for the 2 universes

Chapter 5: Betrayal

​Goku screamed ” Nooooo!!!  Krillin”. Trunks said ” What is my future self doing? “. There was fear in his voice. Gohan said “What is wrong with you Trunks. I will kill you, if Krillin dies”. Future Trunks replied “Frieza is defeated  and you know everything now so I dont need to put on this charade anymore. I am not Trunks from your universe. THIS is my universe” He said this with an evil grin on his face. Vegeta said “What are you saying, Trunks?”. He replied “First of all, my name isnt Trunks. It is Tarble. I am the son of Kakarotto. I mean who keeps the son’s name after clothes, bullet missed.My mother developed the inter-universe travel machine so that we could escape this wretched world. We could never stop Frieza. But then I came to your universe. I waited and saw who you all were. This was a do good universe. Soon I learnt of the Dragon Balls. I collected them all and made 2 wishes.” Goten said “Impossible. We would have noticed it. The sky becomes dark when you summon Shenron” Tarble replied with irritation “Shut up and listen. I wished to know all about this universe pertaining you all. The second wish was that you all forget that the sky was ever black. Then it was a matter of playing the role of Trunks”. “SOLAR FLARE” screamed Piccolo. The counter parts were blinded. Frieza said “Grab my hand. I will get you all out of here”. The Z-fighters didn’t know what else to do. Goku carried Krillin and grabbed Frieza’s hand. Just as they were about to transport, Kakarotto, still blinded, said “Goku, I have to tell you something before you leave. The food you all ate while coming here, had a special chemical which seals your power the more you use it. You all now will be weak compared to your original selfs. Also you killed so many innocent soldiers”. He laughed and said ” You’re naive and you killed them, the innocent and righteous soldiers. Even now you’re best friend is bleeding and soon will die” Frieza yelled “Shut up. Enough of this. Let us get out of here” All of them were transported to a different facility.

Goku asked Frieza with desperation “Please help my friend”. “Father” yelled another voice from across the hallway. It was Frieza but younger and a little different. “Cooler, take this man immediately to the medical bay. He needs medical attention now”. “Yes father” said cooler and took Krillin away. Frieza said “You, namekian, are very smart. You had a backup plan or something right!” Piccolo said “Let me introduce us all first”. He introduced and then continued “I had my doubts from the very beginning. Future Trunks or Tarble was acting strange. He said it was the first time he will use the machine but he knew the side effects already? He was very eager to help them without even listening to the story properly. He killed many others for sport and not because he had to. He killed others before they could out his facade. Thankfully I have learnt different arts like Solar Flare and Healing. I healed Krillin a little before we transported here”. Frieza said ” I am sorry for whatever is happening to you. I should have been more strong and destroyed them before only. My naivety has cost you all too much. The saiyans destroyed my planet for fun. We were a peaceful race. We were on a quest to spread peace. We discovered their planet. Little did we know that they would use our technology against us. They used our ships and came to our planet. They destroyed it but managed to get their hands on many ships. They would use it to spread darkness in the universe. I and some others were away and so didn’t know what had happened. We returned to our planet to see space dust there. We were in disbelief. We went to their planet to understand why did they do it” Cooler returned and interrupted “Father, he is currently recovering and will require time”. “Thank you so much for your help” said Gohan. Cooler said “No problem. My dad was narrating his story it seems. Please carry on father” ” So, they laughed at us and said it was for fun. They started shooting at us. Some of us perished. The others fled. I was the last. I knew they couldn’t be allowed to live. The universe was at stake. So I destroyed them with my forbidden move. Over years, I had a child. I have kept this a secret and hope you shall too. We are the last of our race. Those saiyans managed to kill everyone from my race. They knew we had the power to beat them. Before that power could be manifested, they killed us.”

Goku was silently sitting in a corner with doubt in his mind. Goten asked “Dad, Is something wrong?”. Goku screamed “I killed innocent people. How was I so blind. I knew killing is wrong but still I did it anyway. Now Krillin is gravely injured. If wouldn’t have been for Piccolo and Frieza, he would have been dead. I need some time alone” Gohan said ” But father..”. Piccolo raised his hand and signalled him to stop saying anything. Goku walked away. Vegeta followed him. Piccolo said “Gohan, you must realise even your father has a pride. He has never killed anyone good just purely for fun. He is in shock. Let him deal with it. We have to leave him alone and come up with a strategy to defeat our counterparts”. Trunks agreed and said “I want to beat my doppelganger right now if I could” ” I have a plan. Listen to it. Maybe it will work” said Frieza.

Vegeta shouted “Wait Kakarot!! Where are you going?” Goku shouted back with anger “Dont you dare use that name now. I need some peace to deal with it”. Vegeta said “Ok Kakarot, run away. It is the only think you can do now”. Goku got angry. He turned around and flew towards him to fight. Vegeta smirked and said ” That is more like it. Bring it on”. 
Next Chapter “Counterattack”

Talk Like You Text

There is an increase in social messaging apps in the past few years. After the overwhelming success of WhatsApp everyone has started their own version like Telegram (a personal favourite), Viber, Allo, Hangouts and the list goes on. These have become an integral part of our lives. Almost everyone with such an app will either text someone or change his display picture (dp), status or will probably stalk his contact list by browsing through their dps and statuses. Very few people lead a non whatsapp life. Our parents might be a part of them. They might just use them to send greetings, important news and photos. Else they would prefer to meet or call their friends and family. While some of our parents have perfectly integrated the apps into their lives like us.

What was WhatsApp supposed to be? I feel it was supposed to be a substitute for the SMS services and a way for people to know about your availability. It was supposed to be a means by which we could send text messages for free instead of paying SMS charges. It was made a paid app so as to control its growth. But didnt stop its popularity. Eventually it was made free and it exploded. Each phone had this app. But like each and everything that made man’s life easy or somehow gave him some kind of power, it started being misused. It became a substitution for talking with people. Since this was the direction in which the app was going, the developers started introducing features to simulate a conversation. Last seen, the ominous blue ticks, voice calls, video calls all are a form to mimic a real life conversations.

Last seen, a way to see if the individual is present or no. Blue ticks to see if the person “heard” what you said. Soon a feature to screenshot conversations, because we can’t remember everything. If we really see, this has become a form of talking. Since it’s just text with no emotions, emoticons were introduced. Though there are certain debatable topics for which emoji means what, they are still used. These emojis add emotion to our chats in a way. What makes these so dangerous is that we can see all this. The last seen and blue ticks. God help you if your last seen is later than the message sent by your patner/parents/bffs. If you see the message and dont reply almost instantaneously, it is very much possible to see your obituary in the paper. But often the last seen and blue ticks show wrong information. Afterall the message and information delivery to your phone depends on many factors like your and your friend’s net connectivity, the load on the app’s server etc. If you hide your last seen or remove blue ticks, it can be seen as a way to hide your true feelings/emotions/status with someone. It is, in a way, hiding from a certain section of your social life. Sometimes people are too busy to reply which can be disheartening. What is even more sad is when people dont reply to your repeated messages. We have certain etiquettes when we meet someone. It would sure be helpful if someone laid down certain dos and donts for texting. The greatest way someone can show that they dislike you is when they block you. It is almost similar to ignoring someone.

The dps are probably a way to identify that this is the right contact number you have. But nowadays some people put random pictures or of a gift they received. The function of status has also changed. If you look at the inbuilt options, they include Available, Busy, At work etc, all of these show your availability. But now we use them to write our state of mind or a quote we read somewhere. Type “status” in Google and the first page has sites dedicated to good and innovative whatsapp statuses. Also it has become a social norm to put a dp with the “bday guy/girl” and a status saying “Happy bday” for them. Over the course of time, we have learnt to give an original twist by putting a personal message. Also on Independence Day, we have to put a tricolour flag as a dp or our childhood photo on Children’s Day. We change our whatsapp dp in support of a cause. “Change your dp to a black dot to show your support for No Rape”. This concept still eludes me. How will a dp change show my support. I have to do something for it. Call Police, if i see a girl being eve-teased if i cant physically drive her teasers away

But has this change in the form of communication affected us? Yes, to an extent. Even though our main form of communication has become through texts, we still occasionally try to hangout with our friends. All of us will agree that we have better memories when we hangout with our friends. Texting is just like alot of starter. It is always when we are physically present that matters. That is always the main course. No amount of starters can beat the main course. The texting format uses the human nature of not saying about our feelings. Earlier people would write letters or chits to say what they wanted to. We do the same but we do it all the time for everything. This has made us socially awkward. We cant talk freely about our feelings with ours bffs/family verbally. We are much more comfortable to do it via texts. We live in a very paradoxical society. Where we want to talk about our problems via texts but only a warm and comforting voice will help us through our ordeals. No wonder, it is our school friends that last the most in our lives. We spend 10 years, if not more, with them. Afterall a face to face conversation is more fun than a face to screen conversation.