The Indian Scam

Recently, I received yet another variant on the Nigerian Scam e-mail. And it set me thinking: what if there were similar "entrepreneurs" in India. What would their pitch be like?

Ask, and ye shall ... Read on:

DEAR FRIEND,

PLEASE TO REPLY TO MY PRIVATE E-MAIl f_remit_dept@readiffmail.com

I AM BEING MR.FIROZE JHUNJHUNWALA, BILL AND EXCHANGE MANAGER AT THE FOREIGN REMITTANCE DEPARTMENT OF UNION BANK OF LOKHANDWALA, JHUMRITELAIA BRANCH WITH DUE RESPECT AND REGARDS, I AM PLEASED TO CONTACT YOU ON A BUSINESS TRANSACTION THAT WILL BE VERY BENEFICIAL TO BOTH OF US AT THE END OF THE TRANSACTION. DURING MY INVESTIGATION AND AUDITING IN MY DEPARTMENT, I AM COMING ACROSS A VERY HUGE SUM OF MONEY BELONGING TO A DECEASED PERSON, A FOREIGNER WHO DIED IN A TRAGIC HUNTING ACCIDENT. SADLY TIGERS DO NOT LIKE BEING FORCE FED CASHEWS.

THE FUND HAS BEEN STAYING IN HIS ACCOUNT WITH THE BANK WITHOUT ANY CLAIM OF THE FUND IN OUR CUSTODY EITHER FROM HIS FAMILY OR RELATIONS BEFORE OUR DISCOVERY TO THIS DEVELOPMENT. ALTHOUGH PERSONALLY, I KEPT THIS INFORMATION SECRET DESPITE THE BEST EFFORTS OF THAT BOZO BOSE IN ACCOUNTING, THE AMOUNT INVOLVED IS RS. 2 LAKHS OR $5K. MEANWHILE THE WHOLE ARRANGEMENT AND DIRECTIVES NEEDED TO PUT CLAIM OVER THIS FUND AS THE NEXT OF KIN TO THE DECEASED, WILL BE SENT TO YOU UPON YOUR ACCEPTANCE.

IN FACT, I COULD HAVE DONE THIS DEAL ALONE BUT BECAUSE OF MY POSITION IN THIS COUNTRY AS A CIVIL SERVANT. AS WE ARE ALL KNOWING THAT CIVIL SERVANTS IN INDIA CANNOT BE CORRUPTED, WE ARE NOT ALLOWED TO OPERATE A FOREIGN ACCOUNT, PARTICULARLY THOSE IN SWITZERLAND. THIS WOULD EVENTUALLY RAISE AN EYE BROW DURING THE TIME I WORK IN THIS BANK, ESPECIALLY FROM THAT IDIOT BOSE. THIS IS THE ACTUAL REASON WHY IT WILL REQUIRE A VINDALOO TYPE OF FELLOW LIKE YOURSELF WHO WILL FORWARD A CLAIM AND ALSO PRESENT A FOREIGN ACCOUNT WHERE HE/SHE WILL NEED THE MONEY TO BE TRANSFERRED AFTER DUE VERIFICATION AND CLARIFICATION.

THIS TRANSACTION IS BILKUL 100% RISK FREE.ON SMOOTH CONCLUSION OF THIS TRANSACTION, YOU WILL BE ENTITLED TO 35% OF THE TOTAL SUM AS GRATIFICATION, 65% WILL BE FOR ME PLEASE. YOU HAVE BEEN ADVISED TO KEEP TOP SECRET AS WE ARE STILL IN SERVICE TO THE GOOD RESIDENTS OF LOKHANDWALA. I AND HOPEFULLY BOSE INTEND TO RETIRE TO A BEACH ASHRAM IN GOA AFTER I CONCLUDE THIS DEAL WITH YOU.

I WILL BE MONITORING THE WHOLE SITUATION HERE IN THE BANK UNTIL YOU CONFIRM THE MONEY IN YOUR ACCOUNT AND ASK ME TO COME DOWN TO YOUR COUNTRY FOR SUBSEQUENT SHARING OF THE FUND AND FURTHER INVESTMENT (I HAVE A PERCENTAGE STAKE IN THE HOWRAH BRIDGE THAT COULD BE A GOOD OPPORTUNITY). ALL OTHER NECESSARY INFORMATION WILL BE SENT TO YOU WHEN I HEAR FROM YOU.

I SUGGEST YOU GET BACK TO ME AS SOON AS POSSIBLE STATING YOUR WISH IN THIS DEAL. AS THE GOOD POET SAID "LOHA GARAM HAI MAR DO HATHODA" - STRIKE WHILE THE IRON IS HOT.

REPLY TO MY PRIVATE E-MAIL f_remit_dept@readiffmail.com

BEST REGARD
MR.FIROZE JHUNJHUNWALA

Spread the dishum:  digg it del.icio.us reddit furl My Web

- June 27, 2007 10:13 PM // Fiction

Goin' South

by Manish Kothari


I’m a sucker for fortune cookies. Not that I wet my pants or anything – just pure, simple, anticipatory pleasure. And so when I’m done with my broccoli and cashew nut chicken, I crack the cookie open: “You will meet with unexpected happiness on a trip south.”

And somehow that weekend, I found myself on a train heading south to San Diego. All the while, thoughts keep invading. It’s not that I’m unhappy – I have friends, the occasional lover and a cat that I share with my neighbor. Flexibility and fun. I’d have to say I’m pretty happy. So what did the cookie mean?

The train was quite empty, most of the inhabitants being lovestruck couples making a vacation out of the trip. I mean, c’mon, who would take an eleven hour train ride when you could get there for seventy nine bucks on Southwest in an hour. I purposely chose a seat with someone sitting opposite me. He was thin, but looked out of shape with a pale anemic face and unkempt hair. I put my books – Kite Runner and Freakanomics, my water bottle, my apple and the fortune down on the table.

“Hi” I said, “Going to San Diego?”

“Yes” he said, and went back to reading his book, the second in the self-professed Dune prequel trilogy, in hardcover.

Actually he turned out to be a good conversationalist. Well, at least for a while. He was a scientist, a physicist at Lawrence Livermore Labs, where they make bombs and do nuclear stuff. We talked about string theory, global warming, Iraq, WMDs and modern space flight. “Why are you going to San Diego?” he asked. I showed him the fortune. “You mean, you’re going all the way to San Diego for this fortune? I can’t believe it. Are you unhappy? You don’t seem unhappy? Or irrational, for that matter.”

Outside the sun was setting, and the cabin was awash in a rosy glow. Couples were snuggling and kissing. A guy had taken out his guitar and was strumming chords as his girlfriend sang. It was all really beautiful.

I tried to explain. I really did. That it was the word “unexpected” that had hooked me. Unexpected happiness. Not big happiness, not life-changing happiness. Just unexpected. And that my life, however happy and rational, had become very deterministic, very predictable. I needed some positive random probability.

He appreciated the scientific metaphors, and stumbling, stuttering, offered to kiss me – an offer that was so definitely unexpected, but one I couldn’t see bringing any happiness.

It was quiet, dark and awkward after that. He read Dune, and I read the Kite Runner to the end. And he looked uncomfortable when I started crying.

Spread the dishum:  digg it del.icio.us reddit furl My Web

- June 24, 2007 11:05 AM // Fiction