Thursday, October 19, 2017

Looking forward... not.

The whole world is already aware of my deep love for WhatsApp forwards. That's because I don't hold back. Even if I have just met you, my next few words after 'Hello' might just be 'You know those damned WhatsApp forwards...'

As Diwali approached, my heart raced. I have been receiving Happy Diwali pictures, gifs, and videos since Monday. The count currently stands at approximately 398430577094535 messages.

I did not bother to reply to any of them immediately. Not because I'm rude (actually I am, to WhatsApp forwarders) but because I wanted to wait till the worst was over and then copy-paste 'Thank you. Happy Diwali to you and your family too." the required number of times. Do it all in one shot. Save time. I shall not stoop to the level of replying to a Diwali forward with another Diwali forward. I shall send typed out text, but because there's a limit to my patience, I shall use the life-saving copy-paste feature.

Now some forward-thinking people may argue that I should be grateful -- arre someone cares enough to send you these forwards, arre someone sends you wishes because you are in their thoughts.

Nuh-oh. I'm not in their thoughts. I'm just in their bleddy contact list. I only discovered this amazing fact last week when I asked Viv why people are sending the same Diwali gif to a WhatsApp group I'm in, and then also sending it to me individually! Why me? Itna pyaar kyun?? And then he shook that wise head of his at me and said, "They're not sending it to you. They're sending it to every contact and group in their phone. Without looking, without thinking."

What I really want to know is this: is there anyone in the world who actually likes receiving this stuff? I have not met a single person who looks forward to receiving forwards. Why then are people still sending and receiving and forwarding this stuff? Why is this even a thing?

This morning, I got a Diwali forward from a school friend of mine from 20 years ago. I sent my standard 'Thank you' text, the shock of which must have knocked him right off his chair, because he immediately sent me a 'Hey!' As text. Not a gif with the word 'Hey!' creepily making its way towards me. A simple 'Hey!' in text format. That knocked me right off my chair.

So I sent back a 'Arre wah, there is a 'Hey'? I thought there was only that Diwali forward.' He got all defensive saying at least he sent the 'Hey!' when I never sent anything at all, and then I got all defensive saying 'At least I don't send you Diwali forwards'. Finally, we both agreed that we were even, and had a proper conversation for 20 minutes. It was awesome. So fine, it may have been triggered by an idiotic forward about light and prosperity and joy and lamps and illumination, but it reiterated what I miss about conversations with my old friends. Let's talk. Let's not forward. If there's nothing to talk, then let's not talk. But let's be done with the meaningless forwards. Forwards are backward. Let's stop.

However, there is, even though it's tiny and flickering, light at the end of the tunnel (wah wah how apt for the festival of lights). Once in a while, you come across some forwards which just make life worth living again. Presenting two items below, which I believe will provide much relief to those who have been recently scarred by Diwali forwards.


Arun said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Arun said...

(Scared to comment. Might be considered a forward)

Anubhuti said...

Couldn't help forwarding the forward I received just now about the WhatsApp forwards:
Effect of over flooded Diwali messages on WhatsApp. People reply even without reading at all most of the time.

One doctor receives message from his friend
*My husband is suffering from severe loose motions, what should I give?*

Doctor replied:
*Wishing the same to you and to your entire family also . Enjoy the moments with full fun and have a blast*

Bubblegum inherhappyplace said...

Like last two Diwalis- I made a postcard using photos of rangoli created by me - with an app and a malfunctioning keyboard of the phone --- I posted them to around 10 people. I got their wishes - we chatted. I was rude to every one else who just forwarded a 'Happy Diwali and A prosperous new year' message and vanished. Not that I cared.

I am happy.

Divya said...

I also hate forwards from the bottom of my heart and make it a point to type wishes of any kind.
An interesting thing happened this time. I sent a hand written Diwali message to a particular close group of moms. After sometime, I saw one person from this group had copy pasted the exact same message I had taken pains(somewhat) to type; right below mine! Thankfully they had changed the from line at least!

Charan Deep Singh said...

Why to over analyse. Each technology has its pros and cons. I feel the benefits outweigh the irritants in this case.

I created a personalised e-greeting this time and chose only 100 contacts out of 1000 on my phone book to send it to. But after first few this also felt mechanical.

Click here for my latest post on corporate world. Hope you like it Sayesha.