Forward March!

Forward March!

I recognised this guy who has been sending me Good Morning messages for the past few years at the park. I recognised him from his WhatsApp display pic...

I recognised this guy who has been sending me Good Morning messages for the past few years at the park. I recognised him from his WhatsApp display pic – he always wears a T-shirt with a ‘Good Morning’ message on it. He is someone I do not remember meeting in my life - but we all have many people we don’t know on our phones (and in our lives) anyway.

‘Good Morning’ I said to him, returning all his 1,000 Good Morning wishes of the past years in one go. ‘You send me Good Morning messages every day,’ I said. ‘Oh, I did not recognise you,’ he said with the air of a star who did not recognise a fan. ‘I send it to all the contacts on my phone.’ ‘I always wanted to ask you,’ I said. ‘Why do you send those messages to people you don’t know? ‘It’s for progress,’ he beamed. ‘Come to our office,’ he said. ‘I will explain.’ He led me to his office. ‘FM.Forward March!’

There were many techies there, busy with their phones. Behind them was a banner ‘Forward March! Let’s take our country forward!’ They seemed to have developed some new technology to take the country forward. ‘Yes, forward technology,’ said Good Morning. ‘By the way, do you like my messages?’
I confessed I did not like his messages. They were tacky, childish, impersonal and a waste of time. I was planning to delete his number because I did not know what his agenda was.

He panicked. ‘Delete? You don’t like my messages?’ he said. He checked his phone. ‘Shall I send you violent stuff instead – accidents, stabbing, etc?’ No, I said. ‘How about videos of sexy girls?’ I was aghast. ‘Ok, how about unverified stuff about health?’ I shook my head. He was in a frenzy. ‘Religious and spiritual stuff?’ No, I said. ‘Surely.. fake political takes...?’ he pleaded. ‘Definitely not,’ I said firmly. ‘I have many vile jokes, shall I send them everyday morning, noon and night,’ he asked hopefully. ‘No,’ I said. ‘It’s terrible stuff. Don’t you have anything good at all?’

‘Yes, I do’ he said, pleased. ‘Good morning and Good night.’ I shook my head. ‘That’s not good enough,’ I said. He sent out a text. About 15 of his colleagues appeared. From the inscriptions on their T-shirts it was clear they headed a department each – breaking news, violent crimes, religion, science and so on.

‘Why do you want to block us?’ asked their boss. ‘Don’t view our messages if you don’t like them but don’t curb our self-expression by blocking us.’ ‘But I’m not interested,’ I protested loudly. ‘You are not interested in our country’s progress?’ he asked quietly. ‘What progress are you talking about?’ I asked. ‘We are sending these forwards to take our country forward,’ he said. ‘These forwards keep our people happy and engaged. What more do you want?’ ‘But your forwards are taking us backwards,’ I pointed out. ‘I am only engaged in viewing your dumb forwards. And I am not happy.’ They looked hurt.

‘But if we stop forwarding, traffic will fall. People will have nothing to do and might end up doing crazy stuff. On the other hand, we understand that some customers like you are unhappy.’ The group was distraught. I had a brainwave. ‘Why don’t you develop a new feature called Backward?

If this feature can search stuff that’s doubly as bad as the Forward, I can Backward all Forwards back to the sender with twice the amount of worse stuff. I’d be very happy to do it. It’s win-win. Double traffic, double progress! We can really go forward through Backward.’ They loved the idea and fell over backwards.

By: Harimohan Paruvu

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