Skip to main content

Fleeced...

Have you ever been duped? 

Know the feeling of being duped? Ask me, I know. Happened to me many moons ago yet it makes me miserable even today. Realizing it was because of me that my dad got fleeced for hundreds of rupees. There is no excuse, it was all my doing! 

Here is what happened -- While exploring the valleys of Panchgani, more specifically the table mountain, we came across many interesting people. Now all of these people claimed to be gifted, yet-to-be-discovered face readers and therefore, were offering their services for a mere 10-20 bucks. Such talent always catches one's attention and it surely caught mine! So mom and I, between catching up on sightseeing, saving our food from the monekys [too many of them there! One of them wouldn't let go of the Bisleri bottle my sister had. Finally we had to relent and that chap actually broke open the seal and drank water like it had paid for it!], we met  this mahan baba type man. 

Modestly dressed in dhoti-kurta with rudraksh beads hanging around his neck, he looked his part, i.e., a good baba who could predict one's future by just reading their faces. Or so we thought! So on a whim I decided I wanted to get my face read!

Now this god-man started talking about me. He was right about my relationship and my impending marriage. He said many more nice things which made my mom, dad and aunt beam. So the game continued. He spoke about my sister next, said accurate things about her as well. My cousin was next in line, my mom, my aunt and even my dad. 

He was right about everyone, making us happy which meant that he was successful in gaining our confidence. In the recent past my sister had suffered from a prolonged illness and my parents were deeply troubled about it. So that was the weak point this man had managed to touch. He started talking about the various possibilities through which the curse/evil eye could be lifted off my sister and she would regain health. 

Parents, however smart, are gullible to such things. So playing his cards correctly, the man subtly asked my father to talk to him privately. He finished reading everyone's face and then took my father aside. They spoke for some fifteen minutes after which my dad was really quiet. 

Next my aunt wanted some private predictions as well so she insisted the baba help her out too. More than happy to have bagged another idiot, he took her aside and began pfaffing about something. But this time round my cousin decided to go along. Now here is where my brother realized that this chap was just pulling wool over our eyes. Sure he had some talent but more than that he was just trying to get a lot of money out of us. 

People like my aunt are most gullible. These crooks start talking about people close to them and then start spinning their web. So tightly knit is this web that one doesn't realize when one is asked to part with large sums of money. Fortunately my brother stopped my aunt from giving out two thousand rupees and they set the baba off with Rs 200 instead. 

But my dad was not spared. Dad was quiet the whole day. He posed for pictures and participated in shopping but hardly said much. Soon we left for Mahabaleshwar where we were staying for the rest of the trip. We shopped in the evening too, continuously discussing the predictions and seemed happy on the whole.

Back at the resort, my aunt and mom started discussing money. What had been bought, where from and for how much. Fussing over calculations had begun and soon they found a glitch.They couldn't place a few hundreds so they asked dad. My poor father had gaged by now that he had been fleeced so he confessed that he had paid the baba an additional Rs 1500! 

The room went quiet for a few seconds. My brother was the first one to start talking, "The bloody bastard...he asked mom for a large sometoo!" And then a barrage of expletives followed...

Manu: "What the...[stopped in time to swallow the 'F' word else would have to bear my mother's wrath!]"

Aunt: "Badmaish! Saala..." [interesting stuff in Bengali]

Mom was flabbergasted. I say this because 'aghast' would be over dramatic here. And as you may have noticed, all this while I wasn't in the scene. That is because I was busy talking to my man on the phone outside [serious network issues in the hills!]. 

A few seconds later I entered a quiet room [the usual banter was missing but I just mistook that for a long day instead] with my sister looking funnily at me. No one was telling me why I was getting the weird looks. I did not question much and went towards my room. By now my aunt had had enough and could not contain herself anymore. 

Aunt: "Nikki...we have been robbed!"

Me: Giving the clueless expression "Huh?"

What followed next was a garble of many sentences in Hindi and Bengali but nothing was said by me. I was too embarrassed to give an opinion. Bah. 

So the mahan/dhongi baba got away with 1700 bucks in all...




18 comments

Read Related Posts

Related Posts with Thumbnails

Choicest picks...

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - my take

So I was not the biggest Harry Potter fan around but this way before I saw Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Yet still, I wasn’t crazy about the Potter mania like many I know are. However, watching Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows has compelled me to say otherwise. I am a fan and how!
Whenever one [me to be precise] hears about a great series as such, to be realised on the big screen, I am left with a twinge of disappointment. Harry Potter, on the other hand, is a series that is very rightly realised on celluloid as compared to the many literary masterpieces which have tasted dust.
So here is what I loved about the film:
From the very beginning the plot seems to creep up onto you. "These are dark times, there's no denying," said the Minister of Magic, Bill Nighy. Yes, this very sentence sums up the last book. 
To start with, the colour of the film, I mean the treatment, living up to the theme, is all gray, cold unlike the magnificent magical dining room at Hogwarts. H…
This is a 'nameless' post. I cannot bring myself to name it. If you ask me why, I could quickly crumble into a heap of tears (I don't care if this doesn't sound right!) and bawl my heart out. 
Remember my previous post about having a pet? Well, just my luck that my folks back home decided to finally give the nod to welcome a cute little Labrador pup. This was to be my sister's 25th birthday surprise and believe me when I say I was jealous for the very first time! I even ranted at my father saying he had to wait till I get married and then agree for a dog! Were they not listening when I begged for one as well? But not everything ends well, does it? We had the pup for a mere seven days. A cute little beige Labrador, we called Bolt. He was jumpy, nippy, cuddly and so much more. 
But god had different plans. Simply a week later the pup left us. Stopped breathing after a bout of ill health. Just when we thought he was recovering, he gave up. I wasn't around when they …

Animation films Part II

Animation has definitely come a long way and we know it and bare witness to it. But there is much more to animation and it's different forms way before Disney made Snow White. I have been fortunate in the past to have read and written about some of the masters.
In this post I will also talk about the ones I missed out on!
Animation is not just about bringing drawings to life. And the technique of 3D did not exactly exist then! This was way before computers were invented too. So read on...

Persepolis. I was really kicked about the film and loved the first half. Excellent narration and the b/w makes for the perfect setting! Marjane Satrapi's best!

Madagascar I &2 are both laugh riots. I like the way they move it...
Manny is absolutely adorable as is Diago and Sid. Awesome film and Scrat is the bestest!!!

Ari Folman is no animator yet Waltz with Bashir is a film par excellence. Sometimes animation is just a medium for brilliant storytelling and prove to be the best way to broach su…

Animation films Part I

This blog post is dedicated to my friend Vemana and Bharathy for they love animation films just like I do! I had long promised this to many of my twitter friends and finally I am putting this up today! Well, I of course cannot decide which animated movies are my favourite so I have just come up with a list of few must see films!

Lets start with Happy Feet! Happy indeed it was and made me extremely happy! Lol. I had the opportunity to watch it in the Dome theatre and the experience was just brilliant!

Now nothing beats this one! The Incredibles is one film I can watch over and over again and still look forward to watch it! Hahaha...awesome racy action and some cool moves...they are incredible! This is the first feature length animated film in the world! Walt Disney's Snow White is a masterpiece! They say this 2D animated film has so many frames that if you line up the paper drawings...it will go up to the moon! Absolutely delightful!
Awww...this was my first animated film in the theat…

A book review – Whispering Paths

The first time I interviewed someone for an assignment, the piece came back with a remark which read – ‘MOTS’ needs flesh, i.e. man on the street needs flesh! Whatever that meant, confusion was my first reaction to it. However, with writing and then rewriting the same assignment over, and over again, I realized that I had to add character or rather more ‘meat’ to the story. So what is my point here? I am trying to say that when someone asks me to read a new book or try a new author, I am generally wary of them. Why? Because I do not want to read through the book like a zombie because there is nothing (in terms of ‘meat) in its story or the characters!
But (There is always a catch, isn’t it?) Whispering Paths by Sneha Subramanian Kanta is different. Her debut publication has already put her in a league of writers who are out there to tell stories; stories that touch a chord deep within us and haunt us (in a good way) for time to come. Stories that a reader can relate to, feel the pain, …