02 August, 2021

Love, Cell & Dhokha

Heaven’s lost the prerogative, relationships are now being made and broken on mobile phones

Tribhuvan Tiwari
Love, Cell & Dhokha

Pilibhit, Uttar Pradesh: For Pankaj, it was love at first sight. He saw Nidhi from his office window, and then waited to see her every day, as she crossed his office to and fro from college. His cousin, a classmate of Nidhi’s at the all-girls’ college, helped him deliver notes, flowers and chocolates to her and eventually Pankaj convinced Nidhi to meet him at a temple where he proposed friendship to her. Nidhi accepted, and over the next few months they fell in love—mostly on the cellphone. Pankaj and Nidhi are from different castes—Pankaj from the ‘lower’ Kurmi caste and Nidhi from the high Rajput caste. They could not be seen together—even though this was a town, their families would have come to war over it, and the young lovers would have borne the brunt of it. Aware of the dangers, they immersed themselves in a parallel universe, chatting for long hours on their mobile phones, thanks to cheap calling plans. Eventually their love was exposed via a text message that Nidhi’s brother found on her cellphone. He threatened to kill...

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