You’ve Got Spam: The 5 Types of Emails that Clog Your Inbox


You’ve Got Spam: The 5 Types of Emails that Clog Your Inbox

Illustration: Shruti Yatam

Email accounts are like childhood music choices: You made them in your teenage years, you told everyone about them, but you’re embarrassed of them now. Not only have you committed the sin of creating or, but you’ve also flaunted it on Orkut and a million other places. And today, since everyone has that contact, you can’t get rid of it. That email account is what Abhishek Bachchan is to Amitabh. A pain in the ass. And just like Abhishek’s filmography, your email account is full of crap.

Spam emails then are the internet equivalent of standing at a railway station and being handed over flyers by everyone you pass by. You might be least interested, but they’ll keep coming. You won’t go through them, but you will still have to take the trouble of throwing them in the bin. Only if I were given a rupee for sending each of these spam emails to trash, I would have been Nirav Modi.

Over the years, I’ve discovered that spam emails too can be sorted. Here are the five types of spam that refuse to leave your inbox.  

The vanilla spam: The vanilla variety of spam is generally sent by banks, travel companies, LIC, and diagnostic centres. These are mails you delete without even opening them. The subject line is so dull, it makes Chetan Bhagat look like Charles Dickens. The vanilla spam is the Shraddha Kapoor of spams. We have no idea why the fuck they exist.  

Attention-seeking spam: As you dig deeper into your email account, you’ll discover spam mails that don’t merely want your attention, but are demanding like your pet dog. With subject lines like “Can’t you give $3 million to help a Nigerian astronaut get home from his secret space mission?” and “I’m contacting you in respect of a family treasure of gold deposited in my name”, these guys deserve an A+ in creative writing. Also be grateful to the Nigerian prince who believes  you are capable of sending some extra cash over. I’m sure even your parents don’t think that highly of you.

The vanilla spam is the Shraddha Kapoor of spams. We have no idea why the fuck they exist.

The givers: This is the Santa Claus of emails. They want to shower you with money and gifts. The zeroes on the prize money that you have “won” are more than the zeroes on the amount that Vijay Mallya and NiMo together laundered. Even Ramalinga Raju blushes in his prison cell when he gets one of these. These mails declare you a “Lucky Winner” who has won a free iPad. You’d have loved to believe them, but there is one glitch. You receive one such mail every other day. If only you could accumulate all the free iPads, you could have staked you claim to the title of PadMan.

The ego-crushing emails: A different kind of menace is targeted marketing. Skinny people are sent mails about gaining weight, fat people are sent mails about losing weight, and for some strange reason, guys named Hardik get mails about penis enlargement products. An angry email from your boss doesn’t hurt your ego as much as a spam mail from someone in California telling you your penis isn’t big enough.          

The guilt-tripping spam: These spam emails are like Indian parents – they have the knack of making you feel guilty for even sneezing in an hospital. The senders are charities and NGOs that want you to “Take Action” and “Bring Change” in the world. You are bombarded with at least a dozen of them in a week and the only change you wish for in the world is that these mails stop finding their way to your inbox.

The world would indeed be a more peaceful place if you had the patience to open each one of these emails and unsubscribe from their mailing list. But there are two problems with that. 1. It would take a few light years to go through them all. 2. Spam mails are like mosquitoes – there’s no way to find out where they come from and where they go, but they’re forever there. And it’s fucking annoying.