Based on this title, if you’re expecting Miss Marple, or Byomkesh Bakshi to apparate, I’m sorry to disappoint you. What I write about today is certainly no mystery.
When it comes to women, it’s always been about access. Approaching the pretty girl at the bus stop, mustering the courage to walk across a room and introduce yourself, initiating small talk in the college canteen, exchanging furtive looks in the kirana store. All the trepidation and planning to even initiate a conversation came with an intrinsic charm and sensitivity that was endearing. Cut to the present and all one needs to speak to a woman is the tact and manner of a mountain Gorilla and of course, a ">social media account.
Type of guys on DMs: Welcome to the strange world of DMs or direct messaging.
My niece once spoke of slipping into someone’s DM as if it were an ill-placed banana peel. Having spent some time with this phenomenon over the last few years, I think whoever coined this phrase was prescient and practical. It is exactly that. You come across some woman online who seems interesting, attractive, intelligent (anything beyond the picture of an egg) and it’s an instant ticket to invite yourself into someone’s personal space and ask them strange questions. Now I’m aware of the benefits of this access for those looking to expand their work footprint and reach. In fact, I’ve made some wonderful friends here within the writing community, but much like many features of the world wide web, this one has taken a life of its own.
Let’s take a look at some of these alien entities who decide to parachute into your DMs.
The Greeter: This one is the harmless sort and will at best take up space in your inbox. He is brave enough to write to you but cannot get a word out beyond the perfunctory hi/ hello beautiful/ hello there/ hello are you there?/ hello hello/ namaste madam. I once had a guy send 18 hellos to me. Such a friendly chap.
The Fashionista: This one’s tricky. Could be anyone from a darzi to a dadima given the detailing and love with which they speak of your clothes, the cut, the fabric, and how it must feel touching it. It’s sad that they have not realised their true potential and applied to the National School of Design and are instead testing the waters with rank strangers on social media.
The Flasher: This gent doesn’t believe in beating about the bush, or does he. He gets straight to the point and generously shares photographs of his genitals, breasts and from what I’ve heard from some friends, even armpits. There’s a lesson to be learnt here on shedding inhibitions, solicited, aesthetic or otherwise.
The Poet: You’ve got to love this guy. Move over Milind Soman. This gentle, articulate lover is the Javed Akhtar of the online stalking world. Beware, this heart stealer has his eyes set on charming your pants off (literally) with his shero-shayari. Of course, immediately after he might morph into the flasher but he will flash you in the most poetic manner possible. He will keep you guessing. Thrilling huh?
The Ted Bundy: Beware. This one prospects with serial killer vibes. He will read your posts first, pick up information about where all you have been and then proceed to casually tell you he knows where you are, what you are doing. Might even drop a few restaurant recommendations for you. Such a helpful psycho. The likelihood of having a monologue with himself over multiple, obsessive messages is high and there will be several suggestions and a keen insistence to meet up. To be given the widest birth.
The Therapist: Pull out the couch and lay back. The shrink is in the house. This one will typically proceed to give you advice about some problem you might have mentioned. He is Om Swami, Jay Shetty, Dr Phil and Baba Ramdev all rolled into one online package. Of course, the ultimate solutions will be promised when you meet with him. Take this prescription at your own risk.
The Celebrity: A known (ranging from popular public figure to I’ve seen him somewhere status) figure who will appear with the haughty entitlement of a toddler but without an ounce of innocence. He will assume that you will come somersaulting out of your DM into his lap at his beckoning. You’d think being celebs, they have a multitude of important things to do but you’d be surprised. The anonymity and lure of the world of DMs is too hard to resist.
Suggested Reading: The Hairy Warriors: Shav-ing The Way, One Feisty Follicle At A Time
The Chameleon: Ever received a DM and follow request from Raja Chellapalli but he looks like a Roger Stewart in his DP? Yup. This smart fellow will use the DP of random good looking guys to draw women in. They usually pretend to be pilots. I can’t figure out for the life of me why this would be an irresistible profession for women but then I don’t claim to understand everything that happens in the world.
The Preacher: This one has the soul of an irate schoolmaster and will berate you for things you have done, indiscretions, your attire, profession, expressions, your social circle. It’s a buffet of choices for him and you’ll just have to wait and see what gets his goat.
I now think that you are sufficiently prepared to navigate the precarious, confounding yet entertaining waters that flow through the land of DMs. I’m afraid I must take your leave because my phone has just pinged with a DM carrying a marriage proposal. While I deal with the delightful, faceless groom who has already committed to this relationship without even meeting me, there is one last option at your disposal that I forgot to mention. That of never checking your DMs at all!
Richa S Mukherjee is an award-winning writer with four books under her belt, two of which are getting adapted for screen. Views expressed by author are their own.