‘Blood needed urgently for child. Please call 9xxxxxxxxx’, the message read. ‘Forwarded as received’, the person sending it to me had added.
I thought that was a ridiculous statement to add. However, the Good Samaritan in me wanted to help. I called the given number. The gentleman started shouting at me & was just short of abusing (perhaps he held himself back since he was talking to the opposite gender); and in the midst of his tirade, he started weeping and repeatedly said, “Stop, just stop. Make it stop. Make it go away. Stop. Please stop.”
Shocked, I didn’t know what how to react to a stranger, who, seconds ago, was shouting, and was now weeping. I couldn’t very well hang up. Well, I could, but it didn’t seem right to me. I calmed him down and then asked what the matter was. “My son died 2 years ago. No one came to help then. Now people call randomly and rub salt to my wounds. Can you make this stop? Can you make it go away?“
Ever since, I am trying to get people to stop this madness called ‘Forwarded as received’. Please, for the sake of fathers like the said gentleman, don’t forward as received. Either verify the information before you forward or don’t forward it. If someone in you immediate circle needs help, share with your network. Put a date to it. Whatever you do, please, don’t ‘FWD as received.’
(If you liked this article, you might also want to read my other article ‘Why I wince..’ The story I have written above is the one I promised in that article.