Love in the Era of Likes


Kriti always admired the art of acting, especially theatre artists. Yet she never harboured dreams of meeting or chasing after them on the streets or social media. She found joy in appreciating excellence.

It was 10:30 p.m. Kriti was awake, scrolling her Facebook feed and watching some reels. Suddenly, she noticed a short film with a social message starring her favourite theatre artist, Ayush. Unable to resist, she sent him a message on Facebook Messenger, expressing her admiration for his work and extending her best wishes for his future endeavours.

Turning off her internet, she slipped into slumber. Days went by without any response, and she didn’t expect one. One afternoon, while teaching her students, her phone buzzed – ding! She glanced at the phone resting on the table. Unlocking the device, she read the message. A smile spread across her face.

“Am I dreaming?” She softly muttered, unable to believe her eyes.

Ayush had replied with a smiley emoji. Kriti, in turn, thanked him for his response.

“No problem. What do you do?” Ayush typed.

“I teach dance to underprivileged children,” Kriti replied.

“Wow, that’s incredible! What a coincidence,” Ayush responded.

“Coincidence?” Kriti pondered, posting a confused emoji.

I am looking for a dance teacher to help me with some moves. Will you teach me?

Her heart raced. With each ‘dhak dhak,’ she felt a rush of adrenaline. “Oh, God. Did I let myself get carried away by someone I thought was the real actor? Why would an established actor like him need a teacher like me? Perhaps he is a fraud posing as Ayush,” she mused and swiftly exited the chat page.

“Hey, are you there?” Ayush typed and waited.

Kriti paused for a moment, then with a snap of her fingers, she said to herself, “Idea!”

“Yes, gimme a minute,” she responded and made a video call on Facebook messenger.

Ayush appeared on the screen. Her gaze fixed on him.

“Oh God, I can’t believe my eyes. I’m talking to THE Ayush!” she exclaimed excitedly.

She continued, “Do you need dance lessons from me? You’re a star, and you must have so many contacts.”

“True, but I am drawn to your simplicity and kindness. Plus, while I waited for your response, I stumbled upon your Facebook page. You are a fantastic teacher,” Ayush replied, expressing his appreciation.

From that day onwards, they found themselves commenting on each other’s posts, appreciating and engaging in a playful banter.

They wished to meet in person to see if the chemistry shared online would be the same offline.

One summer evening, they met at an ice cream parlour. The moment their gazes locked, they felt their connection was real, and they had known each other for decades.

As they began posting pictures together on social media, comments flooded in. Some praised Kriti’s appearance, while others trolled Ayush for his choice. However, they remained unfazed, understanding that true love does not require any validation.

They were an imperfectly perfect couple made for each other.

Sheela Iyer