I know many who just delete them without a second thought. But somehow i find it difficult, though of late i have begun to do it selectively.
Or, why do i still insist that we are not three in number when we set out from the house for an auspicious or important occasion? I remember the daily routine during my daughter's SSLC exams. My husband , i and my daughter set out from the house together. She was dropped at the school, i at the bus station and then he went to the office. Since she was going to appear for the crucial exams which were to decide her future, i would wait at the gate so that we didn't set out in three, a number which was considered ill omened! My husband who, as a rule, is dismissive about such "superstitious practices", did not protest . Guess, he too didn't want to take a chance :-) . I still do it, but make sure it is done without drawing attention .
I have this habit of branding certain clothes and accessories as 'unlucky'. I remember the silk salwar suit i was wearing when the radiologist dropped the bombshell about me being diagnosed with a dangerous disease. We had dropped in at the the Diagnostic clinic after a party. I was wearing the most expensive Salwar suit i ever bought.
I gave it away to my maid who nearly fainted on receiving the expensive gift. She knew it was a brand new outfit.
"Why pass on an unlucky object to her?", my friend asked me when i told her.
"What's unlucky for me need not be unlucky for another person", i replied. 'Anyway, i didn't give her the Dupetta. So the unlucky combination is not complete".
My friend shook her head in disbelief. I thought she even looked disgusted when i told her about the fate of my brand new Biba salwar suits that I'd worn during the visits to the docs who confirmed the disease. I gave them to my sister in law who had to tamper with their perfect cut to suit her measurements. I thought my sister in law too looked incredulous when i told her why i am giving her those clothes, and why i refused to give the complete set(to break the unlucky combination).
And i always describe myself as a rational being!
Thus it is that i hesitate to delete those forwards which come with threats of divine retribution if i don't forward them to the specified number of people. Why take a chance with the ire of the almighty?
For a sample of the threats:
Some are blatant. They go something like this.
'If you don't sent this to 10 people, within 24 hours something terrible will happen to you". Some mails specify the nature of misfortune that will, without doubt, befall you if you break the chain- like loosing all your money, disease invading your family, losing job and the like. These mails sometimes give list of people whom disaster struck like a thunderbolt. That makes it really scary.
Some threats are subtle and use emotional blackmail as a tool.
"You have No hesitation to forward jokes, even vulgar ones. Cant you do this for God" or "Not only are you depriving yourself of a big bonanza, you are also depriving 10 others(instructions are to send to 10) of a fortune.
Some of the prayers/thoughts forwarded are truly inspiring or appropriate to your mood or the crisis which you find yourself in. But the minute i see the attempt to threaten/cajole/emotionally blackmail, i withdraw into a protective shell, and ponder over how to handle it.
Earlier, i sent them to those i knew believed in God and his bountiful as well a retributive nature.