Late-night frauds..

The last week of July ‘07. Our joining was on the 27th and we arrived in Bangalore a couple of days earlier so that we could find a house. To begin with, we decided to stay in a lodge in Cotton Pet area, near Majestic.
Around 9:30PM my friend M suggested “Hey! We have been sleeping the whole day. Let’s go out for a walk.”
I knew the area, so I agreed. As we went on discussing our future and the plans for the next day, we came across a group of people, two families, what it seemed at the moment.There were two men accompanied by two women each carrying a child.
One of the men approached us and asked: “Hindi ?”
We replied yes and he took a step forward and replied in Hindi: “We are from Maharashtra. We had come to Bangalore for some medical purpose. But our bag got stolen from the railway station and we do not have any money. Please help us.”
I am not of the types who easily believe such stories. But my friend who had been out of his native for the first time was somewhat convinced with it.
Whatever be it he spoke: “We have come to Bangalore to join a job and we don’t have sufficient money”, to which one of the other guys replied: “Sir, at least give us some money to eat something. We haven’t eaten anything since morning. See our children and have some pity.”
And I can bet, however strong you might be, the sight of a hungry child can melt a thousand hearts.
My friend took out a Rs.20 note and said “I can only give this much. Take it, buy something for the children, they seem hungry. I won’t give you anything. You are grown ups and can manage.”
Although they pleaded for more, we moved away and continued with our late-night stroll. Moreover a Rs.20 isn’t much, assuming the children were hungry. After covering a kilometer we decided to return back.
Some half-kilometer distance later, suddenly my friend exclaimed:“Hey Amit, Stop. See those two families out there, the one’s whom we gave money. I think they are buying something for their children. Let’s wait and watch.”
After that what we saw was really shocking. One of the guys and the two women carrying their children sat in an auto-rickshaw and went away. The first thing that striked us was – The people who were begging for food a minute ago could afford to sit in an auto-rickshaw. Definitely we were cheated.
As we were analyzing, my friend suddenly asked me something interesting: “Where was the other man ?” to which I replied “Probably he was the person driving the auto-rickshaw.”
After living in Bangalore for around a year, I have come to hear many such incidents, the only difference being the name of the places that they describe. The two most commonly heard places are Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh. Actually it’s a side-job for many people. In our case, probably the man used to ride auto-rickshaws during the day and carry on with this fraud during the nights.
The next month I met another group who asked me the same question : “Hindi ? ” to which I replied “Yes. You from Maharashtra or Madhya Pradesh.” I think they got a hint and went away.

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