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Affinity for sharks

Not all sharks are found in the ocean. Some are land bound and abound in the remotest of locations. They come disguised in various forms. Sharks, when in human form, appear friendly, helpful and benign. Writes Harwant Singh.

chandigarh Updated: Sep 29, 2014 10:36 IST
Harwant Singh

Not all sharks are found in the ocean. Some are land bound and abound in the remotest of locations. They come disguised in various forms. Sharks, when in human form, appear friendly, helpful and benign. But it is not only the unsuspecting and simple who fall prey to their wiles, but even the clever, cautious and ever-suspecting can get trapped. Their tactics, techniques and methods vary depending on the targeted quarry.

These sharks can be found in the least likely of places. For instance, if you are a golf addict at the Chandigarh course then be wary of the sharks that abound on the grassy spread. I have often been and continue to find myself in the friendly jaws of these predators. In some cases, no money changes hands at the end of the game, but the result is entered in a book jointly kept by the foursome and hard cash changes hands at the end of the week when the earnings could run into a large figure.

Betting on the golf course is allowed, perhaps within limits, but for these sharks there is no limit.

Even on good days, I am unable to trap any of them and yet I continue to game with them, may be with the same resignation as a lamb that voluntarily walks to the slaughter house. Or may be in my case, it is simply an affinity as I have often fallen prey to a wide range of them, including those realtors who build deceptively fancy apartments in the vicinity of Chandigarh. At some golf courses, including one in Delhi, a corporate honcho often loses a few thousands on purpose to a bureaucrat handling his business proposal.

Some of those with whom I have been playing this game of golf have bought golf carts, out of winnings where my contribution is substantial. While they merrily ride carts, I continue to walk the course often dragging my own trolley. Though I have been at this game of golf for over two decades and have acquired fair skill and proficiency, yet never have I been able to get the better of them.

Often I lead in the game, but the end result is always transfer of money from me to the sharks, who take turns to collect the ransom. Whenever they sense that I am about to say enough is enough and call it a day and shift to another foursome where betting does not go beyond signing for the evening tea by the loser, they draw me back by offering strokes!

Here in America, I go out fishing in the Atlantic and lo and behold every time I reel in the line, I find a shark hooked on the spoon. It is amazing that in Chandigarh I am invariably hooked by those two-legged sharks and I travel thousands of mile and end up hooking not fish but sharks. You can call it luck or simply my affinity with the two varieties of sharks, on land and in water.