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Fearing repercussions..!
By Robert Clements
What irritates me no end is when I get an email asking me to forward the same to ten or twenty-five others so that good luck will come on me. I generally trash such stuff and don't read the mail: Years ago as a young lad, the postman knocked at my door, "Letter for you!" he'd grin knowing I was an aspiring writer and waited everyday to see whether article had been accepted, more often than not they were reject slips but once the envelope looked different.

I waited for curious postman to go before I tore open the cover. It was my first exposure to a chain letter. I read it eagerly. It promised manifold blessings on me, and the prayers of all the saints including some special ones if copied same letter and send it to twenty- five others. If I didn't all the curses of those same suddenly angry saints would be thrust on my young head. I shivered.

Those were the days before xeroxes, and cyclostyling machines existed only in the offices of schools to churn out dreaded question papers every year. There was only one way to dish out twenty five copies and that was by writing the message over and over again by hand.

Like most kids of my age imposition was something that was thrown at us by every class teacher, monitor and prefect and everybody who claimed some semblance of authority in school. This letter was imposition. Never mind the blessings, never mind the promised curses, I decided that nothing on earth would make me impose such punishment on myself. I walked to bedroom window tore the letter into small bits and threw it out. I shivered at that moment but never thought of the letter again.

Times have changed. Xerox machines have come in. E mail has stepped in and with this communication revolution so have the number of chain mail. There's not a day I don't open my computer and see blessings being showered on me if I only send letter to five or ten or twenty of my friends. I never do.

I've never wondered whether all the falls I've had, my busted shin, my aching knee cap, clumsy landings in airport containers, ah yes thats another story, are all due to the curses that have built up over the years from those chain letter senders and their favourite saints. I don't know and I don't care.

'Where the mind is without fear, and the head held high;

Where knowledge is free; ....... Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way into the dreary desert sand of dead habit; .......Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake.....

Rabindranath Tagore.

News Updated at : Thursday, July 11, 2013
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