Inspired by a lot of Indian bloggers, I have been wanting to write satirical news items for a long time. I finally got myself to do it, thanks to the "Citizen Journalism" section of the fantastic website Faking News. Here is a link to my article at their site. For the sake of posterity and my own reference, I am pasting the entire text of the article below :
Girl arrested for checking in from 29 countries while sitting at home
The Tamil Nadu police has arrested 24-year old Soumya this morning following startling revelations that she checked in from 29 countries in the last two years, all the while sitting at her home in Chennai. On contacting one of our sources in the Police force (who wishes to be unnamed), it was revealed that she is now held in an undisclosed high-security no-internet zone.
When asked how the girl fell under Police scrutiny, our source replied, “We were going through random Facebook profiles to arrest people who abuse the Government on the internet, while we came across this girl’s profile. We were stunned to know that she managed to visit 29 diverse countries in just two years. I mean, even our former President managed to visit only 22 countries, and the Honourable President took 5 years for that. We were sure that something was amiss”, continued our source, “And we started tracking the IP addresses of all her check-ins, only to realize that all check-ins were made from the same IP address.”
“Initially we suspected a cyber-savvy criminal using sophisticated techniques to mask her original whereabouts, and we hired hacker Bharghava Rallapilli to help us crack the case”, revealed our source when probed further. “After 6 months of sustained effort, we uncovered the fact that all the 29 check-ins came from the same machine located at Chennai. We immediately proceeded to arrest her, but she has been very uncooperative, and has refused to answer to any of our questions.”
Debashish Roy who studied with her in a popular engineering college in Tamil Nadu expressed his shock over the incident. “No man, I didn't know her personally. But I was always the first person to like her activity when she checked in from various places and uploaded picture albums. I had even envied her life. I mean, look at me! I got placed in an IT company and I have been sitting at the same place all these years. But she was supposedly visiting all these funnily named places! What? Did I ever think of asking her what she was doing at all these places? Dude, I didn't even care! I thought she was doing some MS or something.”
Using tremendous journalistic presence of mind, our correspondent managed to get an exclusive interview with Soumya by offering her his internet-enabled mobile phone in exchange for her answering a few questions. “Once I completed engineering, I didn't get placed anywhere. I didn't even have money to do a MS”, declared the visibly emotional young girl. “So, I decided to join a Visual C#, .Net course at a local computer centre. But the only thing I learnt throughout the 6 month training was Adobe Photoshop. Being an optimistic person, I decided to use the skills I had learnt, and started uploading morphed photos of me in front of the Taj Mahal. Encouraged by the fact that I got more than 100 likes for each photo, I started uploading photos morphed photos of me from all around the World. I also started checking-in from various cafes just to maintain consistency”, she trailed on.
“In my virtual World, I have already been chased by bulls in Spain, sky dived over Lake Wanaka in New Zealand, skied on the Andes Mountains, climbed over The Great Wall of China and trekked through the Amazon Rain Forest”, sighed Soumya. “I was about to complete my whole bucket-list, when I was caught”. Saying thus, she refused to answer further questions, grabbed the reporter’s mobile, and started checking-in from Lola’s, Cape Town. At the time this article was being written, the check-in activity had already garnered 77 likes.
Meanwhile, Rahul Gandhi sent out an a strongly worded email statement condemning the “sorry state of affairs in the country”, and referring to the Government in third-person. When we pointed out to him that he was a part of the ruling party, we didn't receive any replies. In Bombay acclaimed director Madhur Bhandarkar announced in a press conference that he was so “deeply moved” by the story of the girl, that he would make it as the theme of his next movie. The as-of-now-untitled movie would focus on the struggles of engineering students, how they lose their identity, and how they lose their virtues when faced with utter-despair.
To a question by a reporter from The Times of India on whether the move would have any love scenes, he quickly retorted with “Arey! Didn't I already tell you? The movie is about engineering graduates.”