On my husband’s insistence I write this piece ‘cos I cannot refuse him the right to be part of my blog world. He likes to tell people that he gives me ideas and I elaborate them which is not wrong. A few of the stories that make their rounds in our family have indeed found a place here and it was he, who suggested them. I was on a vacation to the south and in Tiruchy I happened to hear of a distant relative who’d qualify to be a Mrs. Natwarlal – such is her flair for duping people. B……. is a modestly educated woman who has duped the likes of bank managers who trusted her enough to give her loans for starting a computer center in the first instance and a dairy farm in the second. On the first occasion she borrowed money from the bank and purchased 10 computers at Rs. 30,000/- each and sold them for 20,000/- in about a month. She lodged an FIR with the local police station that her computer center had been robbed and the loan was written off as bad credit. On the second occasion she purchased 20 Jersey cows that yield a good amount of milk and started a dairy farm. Once the bank inspection was over she managed to sell the cows and replaced them with scrawny looking cows well past their reproductive age buying them for a pittance. Whenever the bank officials came to collect money she’d say that the cows did not yield sufficient milk and she’d pay up the loan when business picked up. When asked why the cows looked so disabled she’d insist that they were being fed well and suggest that perhaps a jealous neighbor had cast evil eyes on them. Finally they stopped approaching her since she would wail and complain that they were harassing her for no fault of hers. She could only feed the cows and it was up to the cows to yield milk. On a third occasion she bought jewelry from a well known goldsmith impressing him by arriving by car wearing a good amount of (artificial?) jewelry. She fussed a great deal about the design, rejected a good number of their stuff and finally purchased some jewelry pretending to oblige him and promised to come again when a fresh lot arrived. She paid him by cheque signing it by an imagined name and gave him a fictitious address. The cheque naturally bounced and she could not be traced.
I am not really sure if a person can get away with cheating and falsehood each and every time but I have no reason to doubt the story having known such a person in Jamshedpur as well. I had heard of his fraudulent dealings through reliable sources but while traveling back from Bangalore earlier this year I met a couple who had been his victims who gave me a first hand account. The man had taken 1.5 lacs from them promising admission in a reputed engineering college for their only son. The son neither got admission nor was the money returned. It is also said that the man’s wife explains to her children that their father was justified in accepting money for such services since he had the right connections. He was only charging them a ten percent commission. If the people he dealt with swallowed the money how could he be held responsible? A friend of mine talks of an acquaintance who claimed that it was not wrong to take advantage if one had the right connections.
“You are righteous under compulsion.” She’d say. “If you had the right connections you’d also make proper use of it.”
Would we? I wonder. As far as I perceive a person who cannot even make ends meet could well be honest and upright and another having all that money can buy could still crave for more and may resort to unfair means to obtain it. It is all in the mind and studying the mindset of such people may be interesting.
I personally wouldn’t mind being called a loser if a winner was defined as a person who expected to win whatever the means. Call me old fashioned but I cannot agree that the end justifies the means. At the same time I do agree that stories such as these have their own entertainment value.