An odd looking guy with a bag slung over his shoulder stood by the compound gate. On enquiring, he mentioned he had some cameras to sell. Certain that he was selling some cheap reel cameras, we shooed him off.He persisted mentioning that he was selling genuine digital cameras for dirt cheap prices. I was caught off-guard. Digital Cameras being sold door to door !!!. Anyway there's always a first time I thought and let him in.
He removed a box from his bag and uncovered a "digital camera" that looked more like a black box. I asked him the name of the company that manufactured these. He mentioned that these were indigenously made as part of his family business. The mystery further deepened. "How much?", I asked while he was resisting my attempts to get him to open the box to reveal the camera. "15,000 rupees, Sir", he said. "Market prices for these digital cameras are upward rupees 20,000. However I give them off for cheap prices as my family personally manufactures them and sells them".
I asked him to demonstrate his camera. He was more interested in getting the price settled first. "Sir, I will give it for 14,000 for only you.". He was still not getting his "digital camera" out of the box. I decided to play along with him. "No, I will pay nothing more than 2000 rupees", I said crashing all his expectations. He started packing to leave. He still had not shown us his digital camera. I was by now too worked up to see what was the digital camera that he was selling like. I dangled another bait before him. "I will purchase 2 if you give me at Rs. 2000 each". He paused, "Make it 4000". "No, not a paisa more than 2000". "Ok, I will settle for 3500". Finally after much hassling, he settled for 2800.
Opening the bag he had just packed, he opened the box and removed a plain looking black box, reminiscent of the first box like cameras that appeared in the early 60s. "Is this a digital camera?", I asked innocently. "Yes sir, you just need to put the reel and snap pictures. Once the reel is complete, you can give the reel to the photo studio and for about 50 rupees extra, he will give you a CD with the photos that you can send by Internet.". I was gaping in wonder at the finesse with which he was delivering his well-crafted lies. He would have surely duped any person who had never set his eyes on a digital camera. He continued, "I have sold about 23 pieces today. Sir, as it was salary day and workers purchased most of them at the industry gates nearby.". This was probably the only truth that escaped his wretched mouth.
Time to expose the con man, I thought. "Have you seen a digital camera?". He stared at me in bewilderment. Collecting his evidently shattered composure he replied shakily, "Why do you joke , Sir?". "I am not the one joking here, mister. You are!", I shot back with all the seriousness I could muster. "You just tried to sell me a reel camera passing it off as a digital camera. I have called the local police and am going to lodge a case against you". I could see the beads of sweat forming across his forehead. "Sir, forgive me sir.....I have not seen a digital camera myself. If you want you can keep that camera for free sir. Please leave me sir. Don't tell the police anything, Sir. I beg of you sir", he said crying piteously. I was unrelenting. I bought my digital camera, took a snap of his camera and showed him the photo on the LCD screen. He was flabbergasted. This, I announced, will be the photo I intend to had over to the police as proof. It seemed like I had passed the death sentence on him. His survival instincts kicked in and he collected all his stuff and dashed off as fast as his feet could carry him. I mockingly shouted, "Wait, I need to take your photo too, posing with your indigenous digital camera". My brother protested for having let him go and insisted that we pursue him. I told him not to worry. "This photo of his", I said, tapping on my digital camera, "will ensure that he never steps foot again in our locality. It may also never allow him to lie so confidently about his amazing home made digital camera". We all laughed out loud. Beware of this digital camera con man.
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