Didn’t they advertise regularly on TV and are you telling me the ads we see on television are rubbish? Didn’t they want to liberate us from the misery of getting a pittance on our bank fixed deposits? I fear that, in light of recent events, I will have to stop believing in a few of my favourite things.
For starters, when I get an email from a Mrs Ndabongo of Nigeria lamenting the demise of her husband in a shootout with bandits and asking for help in smuggling her fortune of $5,000,000 out of the country in return for a large cut, I will no longer assume I have been chosen to be her saviour by divine providence and reply eagerly.
I will no longer enthusiastically open mails from Lorraine, 23, with the headline ‘Hi Handsome, I am interested in you, when can we meet?’ curbing the urge to believe that somehow she must have been bowled over, at long distance, by the magnetic force of my personality.
I will not assume that the guy next to me has his hand in my pocket because his hands are cold.
When informed via email that I have won a huge lottery organised by an international corporation, I will not jump up and down in glee and rush to share my bank details with the letter-writers, but instead I shall ponder on how I could win without buying a lottery ticket.
I will desist from giving large sums of money to people who say they possess the chemicals that help them double the number of bank notes of large denominations.
I have started doubting the lady who is so eager to sell me power crystals. That’s in spite of her telling me the crystals are a ‘wish amplifier’ and that she is choosing me to practically give away this deeply spiritual product for a piffling $25 simply because she feels my vibrations match the crystal.
When people tell me confidentially that the West Bengal government, strapped for cash, is trying to sell the Howrah Bridge and that I can pay in small instalments, I will not automatically write out a cheque.
If I get a job offer from the US telling me they are impressed with my professional skills and want to employ me as a general manager with a haberdashery chain at an incredible salary and all I have to do is send them $50 for the visa fees, I will restrain my impulse to send the money immediately.
I will destroy the 15 toilet plungers I bought because the salesman told me they were the latest style in hats.
But just in case you do get scammed by these con artists, don’t worry, the government must raise taxes to reimburse us. They should tax smokers heavily, as Mamata has done. I see no reason to leave out tipplers. And those who frequent dance bars too must be taxed. They are responsible for society’s moral decay. They must pay for us.
Manas Chakravarty is Consulting Editor, Mint. Views expressed by the author are personal.