Emraan Hashmi’s Raja Natwarlal is apparently fiction, which is sad because real con men are super. Here’s a run through-
Frank W Abagnale Jr
Portrayed in Catch Me If You Can (2002)
Impersonated a pilot, a doctor and a prosecutor. Cashed forged cheques worth $2.5 million – before he turned 21. He went on to work with the FBI.
Filmi line: “An honest man has nothing to fear and I am trying not to be afraid of anything.”
Conmen who carried out a heist on 19 March 1987
Portrayed in Special 26 (2013)
A group of 26 people posing as tax officials raided a jewellery store in Opera House, Mumbai. They stole gold ornaments and stashed the booty in briefcases.
Filmi line: “Logon ke pairon mein chakkar hota hai ... mere dimaag mein hai.”
Inspiration for Imposter (2012), a documentary
Assumed about 500 false identities. Posed as a teenager and convinced his parents he was their missing son!
Filmi line: “A new identity was a real passport, an American passport.”
Mithilesh Kumar Srivastava
The reported inspiration for Mr Natwarlal (1979)
Dream of owning the Taj Mahal? Natwarlal sold it – several times. He escaped prison eight times. And remained elusive even in death: he died twice but could still be alive.
Filmi line: “Main apne dushman se kiye huye vaade ko bhi poora karta hoon.”
From HT Brunch, August 31
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