It was a fine Saturday afternoon and i, with my superior, was visiting our new art gallery site which is under construction. We were on the second floor inspecting some civil work when a security guy came and told me that, “some people are downstairs and are asking to meet the person in-charge”. I thought that they might be some salesmen approaching with some products/services pertaining to the new construction and hence i decided to check it out myself before telling my superior about it. But when i reached the spot, i was little shocked to see some 5 men, who looked like heavy weight wrestler, were standing around a man, who was comfortably seated as if the building was owned by his family. And then the man introduced himself.
He said, “Hi! My name is Sushil and i am son of the local MLA(Minister of Legislative Assembly)”
I asked him,”May i please know the purpose of the visit?”
He replied,” I know the owner of the building and i want to see the senior most person available on this site”
Now, i knew the senior most person on the site was my superior, who was not only the grand daughter of my employer but a women too. And no offence meant, i thought it would be unwise to introduce her to, as it seemed to me, some local goons.
Hence i said, “Sorry! She is busy right now and can’t meet you. Maybe you should try another time”
By the time i finished my sentence, two of his “Gaurds” stood up and said in bit of a commanding tone, “Tell her that the MLA’s son is here and she will come running downstairs”
At that moment, i presumed that they knew her well and if what they were saying was true, i.e the running downstairs part, she might know them as well. So, i gave her a call from my mobile and told her about the whole situation, and she decided to join me downstairs to find out what the deal was all about.
The whole introduction thing was repeated, word to word and he just added one more line to it, “All the state’s heavy weight wrestlers are at your service sister, whenever required”
Now, it not only puzzled her but gave me the feeling that something was amiss.
She finally asked,” Sir,what do you want? and how can i help you with?”
And then came the real deal! They were collecting money for a local devotional music event or something and they wanted her i.e the building owner,who they knew was a millionaire, to help with some donation. We all had a basic idea about it and we were proved correct.
She tried to handle the situation by saying,” I am not carrying any money(which was actually true), so please come around next weekend and we’ll talk then”
But at that very moment, he adjusted/narrowed his gaze upon her, clearly giving us a message that they were not going to move an inch without getting the money.
So, she finally broke and asked me if i was carrying some money and i nodded affirmatively, because i always carried money to the site as some emergency finance backup.
She asked me,” Do you have 11?”
I replies, “Yes”
She asked,” 11,000 not 1100″
And even though i was shocked to hear the value she was asking for giving as a donation, i didn’t show it and i replied,” Yes, I do”
But the “goons” were not happy with amount and asked for more.
She said,”Do you have 15,000?”
And as i didn’t know whether i was supposed to lie or tell the truth, i replied,”Yes”
And finally, the 5 guys seemed happy with the money and they left without giving us any bill/receipt for the money, which clearly meant that it was going to their own bloody pocket and not to some devotional gala event.
This event left her,my superior, with a sense of relief that they were finally gone; me with a confused state of mind; and our two security guards with frowny faces because their combined total monthly salary was less than the amount we handed over to some random politician, without even asking a single question.
Later, we found from our local connections that they were, as some call them, “political bandits”, who come & ask for bribe in the name of devotion, which actually is the price for keeping off our property and not troubling us.
If you are wondering/thinking, that there must be some legal system which can help us with this type of situations and we should approach them, i only have one thing to say to you,
” WELCOME TO INDIA!”
A country which is governed by Goons & Thugs,
Where every new government try to fill their filthy pockets,
So that when they lose next time, they have enough money to sleep over,
Where the poor gets poorer everyday and the rich become richer overnight.
P.S: This is a real life incidence and all the statements/facts given above are true.