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    Volume 9 Issue 27| July 2, 2010|

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That Dreaded e-mail

Aasha Mehreen Amin

One of the things I dread most while checking mail is finding a chain letter that will come with profound messages about life or flattering accolades about oneself – how beautiful you are, what an exceptional friend you are, amazing mom, delightful worker… Then, just when your heart is brimming with saintly compassion or swelling with self-love, you scroll down to find that you are the thirty-ninth person to whom this mail was sent and that you must forward it to at least 20 people or hell will break loose.

If you do you will get a wonderful surprise: someone may give you a bundle of cash (just for the heck of it), the person you have stalked most of your life will reciprocate your slightly creepy devotion, your boss will insist on giving you a raise. If you don't forward it to the required number of people bad things can happen to you. The person you are mimicking to regale your friends, for instance, will be standing right behind you and you will be happily unaware despite the frozen look on your audience. You will spill daal on your brand new white jamdani. The barber will accidentally shave off one eyebrow and you won't know it until you meet with your most important client. Your stalker from hell will have made fast friends with your grandmother.

Rendered completely helpless, therefore, you must send the pesky email to 20 people who will curse you the way you cursed the person who sent it to you. Thus the cycle of cursing will continue infinitely.

Once in a while however, you may get a mail in the middle of a muddy, irritable day and even though it demands to be forwarded, it changes your mood from bitter gloomy to 'sweet n mellow'. A friend of mine, bless her, sent me a list of universal truths which made me completely forget that I had decided to be a grouch for the day. Some of them are priceless and must be shared:

“You never know when it will strike, but there comes a moment at work when you know that you just aren't going to do anything productive for the rest of the day.”

“I have a hard time deciphering the fine line between boredom and hunger..”

“I hate when I just miss a call by the last ring (Hello? Hello? Damn it!), but when I immediately call back, it rings nine times and goes to voicemail. What did you do after I didn't answer? Drop the phone and run away?”

After I got this I did the unthinkable. I sent it to all my friends. In fact I have been sending quite a lot of these emails, some funny, others just annoyingly lecturing. Now I make my own 'universal truths' list and send them to 50 or more people whose email addresses I have. Here is a sample:

* people who constantly nod their heads in agreement when someone is talking are not listening to a word being said. They are just trying to look attentive and warding off sleep.

* When someone invites you with: “It's just you and a few very close friends, be sure it means that everyone who is anyone will be there, including the hosts in-laws, neighbours, relatives they never knew they had, even a minister or two.

* When people tell their boss that they are late for the meeting because they were stuck in a traffic jam, technically it is not a lie. The truth however is that they started much later than they should have because of other reasons:

They woke up late and were so disoriented that they actually forgot until 15 minutes before the meeting.

They couldn't find a safety pin to hold the sari folds together or a clean, less creased shirt to wear.

The water ran out in the middle of a shower, post soaping up.

A bird decided to unload its dropping on their head just as they had walked out of the gate.

* When you see your co-workers feverishly typing away and then looking really seriously at the screen be sure that they have minimised their Facebook or msn windows for your benefit.

* Telling your teenager to wake up early on a weekend is as pointless as telling the TV screen to please skip the ads and get on with the film.

* Whenever you are experiencing unexplained well being, be sure that you have done something indescribably stupid – that you will remember in the next 10 seconds…

If any of you get this in an email be sure to send it to at least 20 people.

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