Friday, July 16, 2004

John Matthew's Ryze Business Networking Page

Sometimes we do incredibly stupid things. Something like that happened to me. I had to get some of my dad's shares transferred in my name. I went to the central stamp office at Town Hall. Imagine the crowd there... there wasn't an inch of space unoccupied by the creations of god and man... the place was bustling... the building was old and unmaintained... and everybody was sweating by the bucketfull.

There is this clerk who will only frank 100 rupees worth of stamps... funny... I asked why not a fraction... like 65 rupees for that was what I wanted... he said no... some funny government rule that says you can only frank there in multiples of 100 rupess... I was so mad I yelled at him and took his name... to complain about him to the Chief Vigilance Commission (CVC)... but then what is the use.... There was this othere queue for fraction of stamps that I wanted and I stood in the long and winding queue... "Long and winding road"... anyone heard that song? It was just like that....

Then this guy... a seedy kind... with enough tics on his face to cover his entire face... says... psstt... I have got stamps... I will give at same price... no problem... trust me... have no worries... the same things con guys always say... and I believed and trusted him....

He took me to a seedy restaurant bought me a cup of tea... the restaurant owner had an expression like he had seen better days... and was now in the evening of his uneventful life... I watched the seedy character before me as he stuck the stamps on my share transfer forms... and I paid him... trusting the guy with the tics all over his face... and there was this waiter who had a face like... like... a stove had exploded in his face or something... and in such macabre setting... I had this shady guy stick stamps on my precious share transfer forms... paid him the money... and came out....

On the way home... I just opened the transfer forms... just to see what it looked like in the light of day... as it was very dark in the restaurant... and I saw... immediately... shockingly... that the stamps were as fake and seedy as the vendor himself... it was the job of some out of work printing press... with sub-standard equiment... the sort of fakes... that circulates easily in India....

The lesson... don't take decisions when you are not in the proper frame of mind... I was mad at the stamp vendor and in a haste... made a decision to trust this shady character... and paid for it....

Also makes me wonder... how much of the things we buy are genuine... Abdul Karim Telgi could manipulate enough to buy a government press... print stamp papers... stamp papers... imagine... the very paper on which legal documents are executed in this country... and could sell it without being caught... then what about share transfer stamps... I have decided not to use the share stamps... and go through the process all over again....

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