On Chain Mails & Spam e-mail - by Barnali Saha

Nashville, Tennessee: Sept 1, 2009:


Forward this message 2 ur ATLEAST 10 friends including me

2 make ur mom live long”

Have you ever thought what could happen if you don’t forward this message from some anonymous philosopher? I guess you mother would have to die an untimely death and that too because of you and your skepticism.

I received the above message from a virtual friend at a social networking website. I was instantly shocked that he, who is a lawyer, could forward an utterly illogical, brainless forward message to his friends. These spam forward messages and mails flood our mailboxes everyday, and each one has some imperative message in it. They ask us to forward the message, in most cases, to all the people in our contact list and thereby save ourselves from utter mishap. If you read them carefully, you will feel that Cassandra’s clairvoyant spirit might have haunted these divine philosophers who write these predictions in their dream, and her specter might have insisted that they read the mind of the world. But Cassandra would never do such a thing,  since she, I guess, has more important things to do, and I think people who write these baseless messages and use the softer side of our mind to propagate their bogus ideas, should better find another useful profession.

The sole aim of these forward junk posts, as I call them, are to make us truckle in the face of misfortune. We as human beings should have the courage to face life; and our minds, in order to prosper, should be devoid of baseless fears and superstitions. I agree that faith plays an important role in our lives; I think religion and belief are an intrinsic part of our existence. But these people use the suppleness of our mind and force us to believe that if we don’t cater to their wishes (i.e. forwarding the mails or messages) something really bad would happen or we would miss the chance of changing our checkered lot. My question to these people is where on earth did they know all these? Did they meet the Almighty? Or did they decipher the codes of life and death? I know they cannot answer me, because their prescience depends on chicanery. They make a series of chimerical stuff up and throw them at humble and honest people. And these people, mostly out of fear or out of sheer practice, instead of stopping the process of sending and receiving these junk mails altogether, send the mails to every contact in the list and thereby propagate the bogus ideas.

Here are a few mails that I had in my inbox:

Example of Spam Chain E-Mail

I do not have any personal acquaintance with the President of Argentina, and due to my lackadaisical social skills, I totally forgot to forward this important message. I did have a lot of disorder in my life, well, we all do, but I am not intending to blame my act of not sending this mail to others for my personal problems. I am not agnostic, I am a believer in divine grace, but I detested the mail because it intimidates me and God never threatens or intimidates His children. I realized that Jesus or Mother Mary didn’t mail me so I discarded this message. My passive approach to the juggernaut of future did make me feel powerful.  I am glad that I am not swayed by common practices and that I choose to bear my individuality and judge every situation by my own wit rather than listening to others and following their views blindly.

Here is another one:

Example of Spam Chain E-Mail

Even though, at these strenuous economical situations, we all need Mahalaxmi to bless us fiscally, I don’t wish an electronic message to convey my wishes to her. I am old fashioned in transmitting my wishes to God, and I trust a silent prayer more than this email.  So, I did not forward the mail and dug a pothole in my fortune.

Finally, I would like to say that faith and belief are one's personal choices and I don’t intend to denigrate one’s personal believes, but if  people read the junk mails before forwarding, I am sure we will be receiving them less often than we do now. Exploitation of believes have become a thriving industry in India, and I wish to see a newer India devoid of a pile of superstitions in her mind. Destiny can not be averted, misfortune and good fortune come in circles; and happiness and sorrow would come and go even if you send these mails or not. I believe in the inner goodness of humanity and I detest the art of trickery that these junk forward messages are using to sway the human mind. As a blogger and a writer, I would be happy and would consider my effort positive, if you abstain from sending the next forward mail you get in your inbox. 

Barnali SahaBarnali is a creative writer, painter and elocutionist from Nashville, TN, and is a regular contributor to Washington Bangla Radio.

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