This is inspired by “You just got cheated” a brilliant well researched book by Dr Sibichen Mathew.
The introduction in the book propelled me to recall the umpteen occasions in which I have royally fallen prey to fraudsters, been swindled, scammed out of money! But let me tell you it is never lonely in that realm, never an elite and exclusive club, as I am sure most of you have taken people at face value with disastrous outcomes!
Be it the autowallah or the conductor in the bus, who does not render the change, the shopkeeper who charges exorbitant, or the telecom service providers who swipe clean your account by activating the value added services, from the petty cons to the massive bamboozles, despite not being the so very gullible, have experienced it all!
The rip off journey takes me back to the growing up years when our excited bus journey to paternal hometown was cut short with rampant pickpockets who cleverly aim at dad’s trouser pockets, and the deft fingers in the jostling crowd goes unnoticed. How we manage to reach our destination is left to the reader’s imagination. My dad emerged smarter and his counter strategies was the customizing of his trousers with secret hidden pockets that stashed some valuable currency notes and not weeds!
Then there are the fly by night businesses who have taken us for a ride, these thorough bred professionals of the game, filch your private information and leave you high and dry. The fascination for travel led us to become RCI members, the largest condominium business in the world and for its upkeep, there was this annual membership which we were faithfully paying up to keep it active despite our inability to avail the services. In those days, there was no internet, no online payment and dependent on banking instruments or cash. When the payment was due in a particular year, a person came knocking at our door, we let him in as he said he was from xyz company, explained the offers that were available to us if we renewed the subscription for different tenures, there was no way we could believe that he did not represent the company as he was fluent, with gift of the gab and inexplicable marketing skills, well the fool and his money are soon parted and by the time the scales fell from our eyes, he had vanished without a trace.
The quest for underground water in our backyard is a story weaved in deception. The borewell company had monkey business going on and for months, as we waited for the springs of water to gush out of the earth, like parched souls, the pilfering company made good with a sizeable sum of money and showed us a clean pair of heels!!
One is always at the short end of the stick when it comes to property dealings and documentation, getting woefully cheated in broad daylight with full knowledge of the same. For an official fee for any document transfer which is around 100 bucks, these leeches suck 10x and our vows to fight corruption and bribery starts and ends there!
A seamlessly never ending list of incidents from the innocuous to a money heist, I have lost count of the numerous times of being hoodwinked. What are your experiences? Can you relate to my ordeals and adventures?