In a world captivated by the allure of virtual reality, Rohit stumbles upon the stark truth hidden beneath the beautiful façade of society’s augmented reality lenses. His accidental discovery threatens to unravel the illusion that binds humanity.
In the bustling metropolis of New Delhi, life was progressing at a breakneck pace, with everyone connected to the digital world through their augmented reality (AR) contact lenses. The lenses were an absolute marvel of technology, allowing people to navigate with maps, correct their sight, and even see better in the dark. As time went by, mobile phones were replaced by these lenses, with tiny headphones installed in people’s ears for seamless communication.
Amidst this frenzy, Rohit, a 22-year-old Indian man, found solace in the arms of his lover, Arjun, a 30-year-old man with striking features and an irresistible charm. They fell in love, their hearts beating as one, and moved in together to build a life entwined with love and trust.
One fateful night, Rohit accidentally scratched his eye while sleeping, dislodging one of his AR lenses. When he awoke the next morning, he was startled by the world he saw through his unaffected eye. He eagerly awaited the doctors’ arrival to reinstall the missing lens, but curiosity got the better of him.
Against the doctors’ advice to keep both eyes closed, Rohit decided to explore the world through his one unaltered eye, while keeping the other, still fitted with the lens, closed. He was utterly unprepared for the shock that awaited him.
Colours were richer and more vibrant, and shapes more defined. People appeared entirely different from what he had seen through the lenses. His heart raced as he hesitantly looked at Arjun, only to find him changed as well. His once-perfect features had been replaced by a more ordinary visage, yet somehow, he seemed more genuine and even more endearing.
The realisation struck Rohit like a bolt of lightning – the AR contact lenses were not augmenting reality, but rather replacing it with a virtual one. The world he had known was an artificially created illusion, designed to keep the population content and oblivious to the true nature of their surroundings.
As Rohit grappled with this newfound understanding, he faced a daunting choice. Should he confront Arjun with the truth and risk their relationship, or should he feign ignorance and continue living in the fabricated world?
After the government doctors arrived to reinstall Rohit’s missing lens, he chose not to reveal his startling discovery to them. He pretended that he had waited with both eyes closed, as advised. With a heavy heart, Rohit also decided not to share his findings with his lover, Arjun. He believed that exposing the harsh truth would shatter their idyllic life, as the world seen through the lenses was undeniably more beautiful than the real one.
Rohit continued this charade for years, living in the captivating illusion that the lenses provided. But as time went by, the weight of the lie grew heavier and heavier. Rohit felt trapped in a web of deceit, and a profound sense of disillusionment began to consume him. This mid-life crisis brought him to the brink of madness, and he was eventually committed to a mental health institution.
In the confines of the institution, both of Rohit’s lenses were removed, allowing him to see the world as it truly was.
When his family and Arjun visited him, he fervently spoke to them about the real world he could now see. But Rohit’s revelation was met with disbelief and concern. His loved ones refused to accept that their reality, the one they knew through the lenses, was nothing more than an illusion. They wholeheartedly believed that Rohit was suffering from a severe mental illness and urgently needed treatment to return to “reality.”
After a long period of therapy and a year in isolation, Rohit reluctantly conceded that his perception of the world without lenses was a manifestation of his mental illness. With a heavy heart, he agreed to have his lenses reinstalled and was gradually reintegrated into society.
By the time Rohit returned to the world, he was in his 50s. Much of his family had passed away, and Arjun had moved on with someone else. Rohit resolved to live a solitary life, devoting his time to writing dystopian novels and stories about a dreadful world that awaited humanity without their AR lenses. In his heart, he knew the truth, but the world was not yet ready to accept it. And so, through his writing, Rohit hoped to plant the seeds of doubt, paving the way for a future where humanity might finally have the courage to confront the illusions that held them captive.
As the years passed, Rohit’s stories gained a dedicated following, with readers fascinated by the bleak and unnerving world he painted in his works. Though few dared to question the reality they lived in, Rohit’s words left a lasting impression on the minds of those who encountered them. And in the end, Rohit found solace in the knowledge that he had at least tried to break through the veil of illusion, even if the world wasn’t yet prepared to face the truth.
All images were generated using DALL.E 2 (Open AI)