I still remember how email first came into my life. Initially I had a hotmail account and one that was given by my dial up internet connection. The idiots had spelt my name incorrectly, so my email account had an extra “a” in my name and half the emails were thus lost. Then came the official mail account. Believe it or faint, in those days it was a status symbol to have your own official email account :). And it was a rumor that the IT guys snooped around our accounts. That did not, however, stop anyone from sending love letters :). Then came yahoo and AOL till I found the partner I had always been looking for — gmail. And, thus I have stayed like a faithful muse with him all these years.
Emails seriously are so convenient. As much as I go back and read handwritten letters, I have never gone back to writing letters after them. And now we have email groups and forums at work and even in the communities where we live. They are indeed useful for sharing resources, information and opinion. But they can also be a source of fun and frustration, inhabited as they are by these exotic species:
Obsessive compulsive emailer: What do you say about this person? They are completely committed to the cause of solving all of society’s and nation’s problems on email. So, this enthusiastic person after an aarti of the computer early morning sits down writing about each and every issue, replying to each email on issues they clearly have no clue about and bringing to fore pathbreaking information that our species absolutely needs for survival. They slog till late at night not letting up on their social responsibility of being a responsible citizen via email! The hose of their opinion is perpetually unplugged. Ah the joys of seeing their prose in every conversation!
The spiritual adviser: Your eternal optimist, he/she can give all the babas a run for their money. They liberally dole out spiritual, philosophical fart complete with youtube links peppered with their thoughtful insightful crap. They spend a lot of time culling this information, and they must convey it to you for your good, you nimwit!
The Angry man/woman: This species loves to spew venom at the touch of a key. They are angry at the society, netas, babus, environment, people living in the community, those living outside the community, rain, drought, onion, garlic – I am sure you get the drift. They enjoy making personal attacks. Never interested in actually solving an issue, they use email forum as a WMD to unleash their rage. Counseling may help them, but who’d dare bell that cat?
The humorist: God bless these folks who try to lighten up things. They can infuse life into the most morbid of conversations and keep emails worth looking at despite all the other aforementioned pesky creatures.
The informant: These are resourceful folks who will tell you about kickboxing classes half way across town, wedding planners that hopefully you will not need, travel agents who do packages to Mars, chilli and ice cream flavored bubble gum makers and supplier of fresh cow dung for your terrace gardens. What saviors these people are, I tell you! Most of us just don’t recognize true worth.
The self promoter: These people do not let go of any opportunity to peddle their wares. Every conversation or conversation thread is gently nudged towards their coaching classes, beauty parlor, article writing, crèche services, jewellery, or clothes on sale. Yes, email forums are absolutely meant for advertising and none of us has heard of google, just saying!
The confused English writer: These people communicate in a language that looks and reads like English but strangely enough makes no sense. Perhaps it is Russian or Spanish masquerading as English! God bless their bosses and coworkers who have to decipher that on a daily basis. I know it is totally my comprehension of English that is at fault here. After all I studied English way back in school!
The activist: These fiery individuals are always badgering you with their views on environment, women’s rights, elections et al. Perhaps they can take a leaf right out of my tree and start a blog for their verbal diarrhea! We have blogs and social media profiles for our esteemed opinions. Those who know me can totally vouch for that.
The colorful folks: By no means a statement on their dressing sense, these people seem to have only recently discovered the delights of font colors. So they enjoy going red, green, and blue with bold vengeance. They also absolutely love making their point by using all caps, italics and underline tools to their complete advantage giving one an experience of being bruised in a roller-coaster gone awry by the time you are done reading their email. And let me not even go where there punctuation marks have gone?!?!?! Such talented artists, I tell you! Their true calling is yet to discover them.
The moh-maya brigade: They are the kind religious folks who are always propagating the word of God! They entice you to religious celebrations of a grandeur that can put a loud Indian wedding to shame! Sab bhakti aur moh maya hai! Haath mein ant mein aakhir kya aaya hai!
The essay writer: I so envy these people. I could do with some of them working with me with their sharp analytical skills and their steep fall towards verbosity. Seriously they can churn essay-like emails that very few even dare to wade in. They clearly need to find a place in the “theek hai” writing brigade with their exceptional talent, for the larger good of this nation!
I tell you, what would we be without these email forums! They add so much color to our dull and boring lives.
Have you come across any of these in your daily ew-mail interactions or am I the Chosen One?
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