Hotel Chandrika, Cunningham Road, Bangalore
Following was a real-life incident narrated by the guy who sat opposite me at the lunch table to his friend next to him. Well, yes, i was overhearing.
Man, you should be very careful if you are doing business. And very professional. Recently I had an experience which taught me this. You know that girl who was doing a course with us last month. She said she prepared a logo for some association while she was in college. It seemed like we'd become good friends by then, so I asked her to do a logo for me which I can put on my business cards. She agreed enthusiastically. After a couple of days she came to me with the logo and I liked it somewhat. Then I committed that mistake. I told her that I'm a thorough businessman, quite professional and since I'm going to use the card for business purposes I would like to pay her for the logo. In that friendly mood I went on to tell her my business plans and how much profit I was expecting out of it. She just smiled and said she was happy to have done the logo and she did not expect more. We parted, or so it seemed to me, as thicker friends. I gave the order to print 500 cards with that logo on them.
Two days later she came back and told me that she was charging me Rs.5000 for doing the logo for my business. That took me by surprise. Every time I casually give away a business card, I'm going to pay her Rs.10! I told her to come later as I did not know what to do then. I was running short on money those days I deny that I'd told her I would pay? Shall I argue that she had to tell me her charge before she agreed to do the logo? I did not speak to her for a couple of days after which she came to meet me. She accused me of being non-professional and violating business ethics. She said it was important to have a good name in business. It sounded like some blackmail. Then I got angry and told her whatever I had in my mind about her, her logo, her exorbitant charge and everything. Finally, I paid her RS.2500 and ended it all. Man, you should never assume anything in business. Not the least about women. T
They have hidden intentions. And they can be so very deceptive.
Cunningham Road, Bangalore
As I walked back to my office I carried the story with nee. I tried to imagine those two scenes, one where he boasts of his business and the other where he gets the unexpected shock. I had just passed the old an who sells bananas and was thinking of the advise on women and deception, when I was blocked by that middle aged woman.
She was crying. She told me that her husband was in hospital and she needed money for medicines. As I had heard previous experiences of my friends having got cheated in the name of train tickets, medicines and so on, I refused to believe her. I felt the urge to nail down her lie with logical questions like which was the hospital, which ward or room he was in, what was his disease, where is the prescription and so on. I'd completed just the first question when I looked more closely at her face. It struck me that there was a lot of genuine expressions there - the slow tears running down, the shrunken eyes, the curves on her forehead, the pale cheeks, The worried and desperate tone of her voice was also striking except when she tried to invoke sentiments (apni maa samajkar dhedho). At this point an on-looker came to me and warned that this was common here and that such women can be very deceiving. As he started his round of interrogation, and the woman started fumbling for answers, I gave her just one-tenth of what she requested of me and departed from the scene
During the remaining walk to my office, I was thinking of her. How could her face be so convincing? How could she be (or she act) so natural? How could she be so deceptive? Perhaps she was trained in it. Maybe she was telling the truth. Perhaps her truth was different from what she conveyed but equally or more sad, and that truth is what brings out her genuine tears. If the latter is the case, then why did she not speak out her reality? Why did she have to invent the story? Perhaps her reality was something middle-class, comfortable, moral, optimistic people like me cannot (or would prefer not to) associate or identify with. Perhaps her reality was far more stranger and depressing than her fiction. Perhaps she did have a real reason to deceive.
And hey logo girl maybe you had a real reason to deceive too. Why dont you and a friend come across to my lunch table one day and share your version of the story with your friend?