Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Encounter 2: Being Conned in New Bombay by a Smart One

Since I wrote in an earlier blog on writing about my encounters in the past few days, here's one that might interest you.

It's evening and I am walking to the bus stop after visiting my optician in Vashi. Then I see him. He is dressed in a white trouser, shoes, a patterned shirt - worn outside the trouser - buttoned at the wrist, and is chewing on the concoction of betelnut and lime. As he walks confidently towards me he offers his clammy hand for shaking. I wonder why his palm is sweating so much. His greeting is familiar, "You know Kadam, I am a friend of his, don't you remember?"

I don't know any Kadam and say so. 

"You know the one who lives in Belapur."

"Where do you live?"

"I live in Vashi though I come to Belapur. I have seen you," he says familiarly, his voice oozing confidence. But I have not seen him in my entire fifty-odd years of existence. That coupled with his rakish appearance (you know only crooks wear spotless white trousers) has my proboscis up and scanning. 

"So where have you been?"

"I went to the optician."

"Let me see your glasses," saying this he tries to pry open the plastic bag I have with me. I resist. Who is this shady looking man and why is he being familiar with me at 7 p.m. in the evening? There are people around me who would give him a thrashing if I create a minor stir, raising my voice as I speak, or, hollering, "thief." However, let me admit, I am not one who offends anyone, and, may be, just may be, I know someone named Kadam. That seems a remote possibility since Kadam may also be as badly behaved as him.

"Look here, I don't know you, or, anyone who looks like you. You are probably mistaken." I say.

Perhaps he realised this and started apologising and walked away. I walked to the bus stop realising I had escaped from being conned by a smart operator. What do you think?

John is @johnwriter on Twitter and John.Matthew on Facebook. He blogs here. His Youtube Channel Page. His novel Mr. Bandookwala, M.B.A., Harvard.

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