lalita larking

An obsession with cryptic crosswords. Everything else falls in place.

Location: Kolkata, India

Wednesday, January 09, 2008


Every now and then Gmail informs me that so and so has added me to his or her contacts list and would like to chat with me. This confuses me.

I don't know them from Adam and Eve, so why would I want to chat with them? If they stumbled upon my blog in a strange fashion, surely they can mail me?

I do reply to mails, and if after some correspondence it turns out we have something to talk about, I'd be happy to add them to the list of pals I converse with. But a stranger (I know the person thinks I am not a stranger but still, it is a stranger) and a bolt out of the blue, asking to be added to my contacts frankly baffles me.

The thing is, I reply to mails, not these requests to add a contact, because correspondence establishes that they

a) are literate,
b) don't type gr8 and 4U,
c) have something to say,
d) don't ask for my number, vital statistics or rates per services and what services I do offer,
e) are entertaining and fun and do not indulge in multiple exclamation marks,

and then we can talk. I have made many friends online and most of them are dear and precious, but none of them started off adding me to their list of Gmail contacts and demanding they be allowed to know when I am online and chat with me.

Let us have a reason why we talk, after all.



Anonymous WA said...

I don't think its fair. All this bias against GR8 and 4U isn't fair.

12:08 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

:) now I have to be really careful not to use gr8 and 4u ;)

Gd, I have never anything to say that sounds really sensible.. hmm. we don't have any chance at all do we ;)

3:17 pm  
Blogger Sivaram said...

It boggles my mind - why would people send random chat requests/ unsolicited mails and so on ? I doubt if anybody who has anything to do in life would ever reply to these. And it does cause universal annoyance.

Or is that the principle : 'Double Double toil and trouble' ?

Btw, if people would only talk when there was a reason , then we would be living in a very silent world indeed ....

3:26 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

and by the way here is a blue ribbon for you

please accept it.. :)

lov and cheers

8:40 pm  
Blogger Lalita said...

WA- Using SMSese while mailing irritates me. I can understand various constraints while texting, but surely one can write clearly when mailing? It is just my take, and I don't think it is unfair.

Veens- Thank you for the blue ribbon. I appreciate it. :-)


"Eye of newt, and toe of frog,
Wool of bat, and tongue of dog;"

Indeed. I think chat and banter are different from mailing, which has to have a purpose, a question, or a clarification or something like that.

6:08 am  
Blogger complexvanilla said...

Unsolicited chat invites are indeed unwelcome. About your gripe against sms-ese, you can count me in when you going about making a list of people who abhor sms-ese! This is the first time I landed at your blog-step, and my word, did I get a roller-coaster ride! I ploughed through your gripe on the chat requests with a cynical smile and entered into your previous post, 'One last sane moment' and stopped dead.

Now, I love reading blogs of people I don't know before-hand, as it doesn't create baises in my mind about the opinions that they are expressing/trying to express, but here I was, reading your post (One last sane moment) and for a moment, I thought it was one of those dumb, much forwarded messages that end with 'I bid you goodbye. Signed - Year XXXX', a lame new year joke/wish, but no. I first checked the date of the post and the last line, but this was definitely no dumb new year wisecrack. So, was this person going through a really bad time ? Or was it just another attempt by a serial flirt to garner a score of 'I'm-so-sorry-for-you's and 'cheer-up-sweetheart's ? I browsed through the comments to get a clue and to say that I got my second shock-surprise would be an understatement! The comments were totally oblique, with no talk of sympathy and suffering (your's!). Intrigued, I ploughed further and read and enjoyed another couple of your posts. Though I'm not as fastidious (read correct) as you about punctuation and grammar and do overstep your exclamation-overdose rule now and then, I do pride myself on the fact that I get most of my spellings right without the aid of a spell-check tool. I feel the same way as you about sms-ese and love scrabble and sudoku and going by my experience today, I'll be visiting your blog quite often. Friends?

Prash Chengi.
PS: For the life of me, I don't understand why people need to use word verification on their comment pages. Does it contribute in any way at all, to justify its existence ?

7:13 pm  
Blogger dipali said...

Something for you on my blog, Lali.

11:07 pm  
Anonymous Hehhh said...


Do not judge people by their compulsions in seeking random companions. You might as well politely ignore, no ?

And my 2 cents against Weird Veri too. It doesn't keep ME out, why bother ?

And I similarly loathed emoticons, but am now resigned to them.

You left out u and r , grate more than gr8.

8:06 pm  
Blogger Sivaram said...

Talking about unsolicited invitations to chat - it is a part of a larger syndrome of Social netwroking on the net.
When you meet someone at a location - club, gym, temple, a pre-qualification is assumed. This is a guy like us.
When you meet someone - say sitting next to you on a long flight - you make the prequalification on the fly. You have to evaluate quickly and then decide where you will stop him. Anyway, unless you choose, the interaction is only for the duration of the flight.
When you meet someone in an online chat, no prequalification exists. Also, since he has found some address of the net where you live, you cannot shut him out.

How to stop this one-sided hand-shake ?

10:21 am  
Blogger Ravages/CC said...

I am heart broken. Nobody, nobody ever adds me to their chat list or whatever. What use is a blog when people don't stalk you, randomly chat you up?
Che! and Pshaw, even!

9:48 pm  
Blogger david mcmahon said...

I agree with you entirely. By the way, I grew up in Kolkata, so it's great to see that you're from the same city!

1:26 pm  
Blogger Lalita said...

Complexvanilla- Well, Prash, it is what I call 'letter fiction', first-person accounts addressed to another. My regular readers know it is fiction. As for the word verification, it stops spam comments. Friends, yes and drop in again.

Dipali- Will check right away, lady.

hehhh- True, I do politely ignore these requests.

Sivaram- If you find a sure method of stopping this one-sided handshake, do tell me. I agree with your take on the matter totally.

CCG- Ah well. Into each life some rain must fall.

David Mcmahon- Thank you. Do drop by again. Kolkata, not Calcutta, eh?

8:58 am  

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