Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The Crook Factory









The Crook Factory

by Joel Mendonca


STATESMEN and gentlemen, it is said, were made by God and sent to Earth. Crooks and thieves, I guess were made by the devil. Globalisation was expected to reduce inequalities between the rich and poor and usher in an era of equality. Ironically, the globalised world, so far, seems to be churning out a greater number of crooks than were present in the pre-globalisation days.

Every failed business is a loss to the local industry and enterprise. Big corporations, with their massive resources, are better poised to defeat any opposition. And every time a local entrepreneur is displaced he is brought one step closer to becoming a criminal.

Frustrated by repeated losses, his entrepreneurial faculties get diverted into devising sinister plans to make a quick buck. No wonder, Goa has been experiencing several crimes and offences in the recent past. Burglaries, bank heists, rapes, molestations, extortions, kidnappings seem to be occurring at the drop of a hat.

If that was not enough, several defenders of the law are found to be in collusion with criminal elements. Shrewdness and guile are the guiding principles for these ‘merchants of profit’ in their routine exploits. A queer incident comes to mind when thinking of such individuals.

A newly married couple was in search of an apartment. In their search, they came across a broker who seemed to be a gentleman. The simple-looking guy apparently won the trust of the couple with spurious documentary evidence and realistic tales. He then requested a hefty instalment to book the apartment. The couple paid him without hesitation.

When contacted on the stipulated date to seal the deal with the owner of the flat, the wily broker gave an excuse that seemed suspect, at best and rubbish, at worst. Not to sour relations with the broker, the couple decided to wait for another week. But the crook kept giving one excuse after another, in a bid to buy time. Moreover, he refused to return a cent they had paid him.

Shocked and disappointed, the couple sought recourse with the police. It was there that they got wind of the bitter truth. The man whom they regarded as their ‘estranged broker’ was a petty fraud. He was notorious in the police department for his routine brushes with the law. After cheating a party for a certain amount, he would leave the state for greener pastures.

But no matter how many culprits and thieves there are, for every scoundrel there will always be a hero. For every atrocity committed, there will always be restitution to pay. In the end, good will always triumph over evil. The crook, with all his cunning and cheek will survive but for a jiffy. Truth will always prevail.

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