//@Cyber Menace@\\

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Mr. Sunglass-Man

This weekend (Sunday) Connaught Place a.k.a. Rajiv Chowk was blessed with my presence (silly pompous fella I am !). Had planned a rendezvous with an old friend. Waiting there for my not so punctual friend I witnessed Mr. Sunglass-Man duping his second catch, an ignorant village dweller (I guess). He waved to me and I waved back. Mr. Sunglass-Man's modus operandi was simple, zero down on an ignoramus, befuddle him with a conspiratorial mumbo jumbo about his smuggled Ray-Bans that he wanted to dispose off for a throw away price (with additional special affects that included talking in a hushed voice while looking all around as if he would de-materialize if the elusive cop materializes). He would quote 1000 Rs for his ill gotten possession which according to him costs Rs 4000 in the showroom, the dimwit customer usually tried to bargain and quote Rs 800. Mr. Sunglass-Man pounces on this opportunity, deal is done. Mr. Sunglass-Man disappears in a jiffy and Mr. Simpleton is left wondering if he had a good deal after all.
I had the pleasure of talking at length to Mr. Sunglass-Man last year at the same spot. As usual I was waiting for someone, killing time, when I started observing Mr. Sunglass-Man's tactics. That day he was not having any luck I noticed, so I called him. He came promptly and started with his sales pitch. I stopped him mid-sentence and told him that I just wanted to talk to someone to kill time. He kind of understood that I knew his stuff was fake and obviously wont buy it. He tried one last time, asking me to at least buy one sunglass for Rs 150 which I could gift to some friend. I laughed. I explained that all my friends were well informed to judge a fake from the real one and moreover it would be an affront to their prestige and mine. I also added that he was free to continue his business if he liked as I would only be wasting his time and buying nothing. He was keen on talking anyway, because on that day he was not making much progress as far as business was concerned. He told me all about the fakes, where they were made, where all they were sold, and stuff like that. He told me about the "hafta", protection money he paid the cops and reasons why he took to this profession. In short he presented his life's story in a nutshell. He however never told me the actual cost price of his wares. Business ethics/principals I guess. Finally I spotted my friend coming my way so I wished him goodbye, have a nice day, best of luck and all that. Finally, before parting he offered me a sunglass at any price I wished to quote. I tried Rs 20. He agreed without arguing! I was left wondering like Mr. Simpleton whether I had a good deal after all. The sunglass still lies untouched in a dark corner in my cupboard.
I have bumped into Mr. Sunglass-Man almost everytime I have been to C.P, he remembers me, coz he always smiles and waves to me. Mr. Sunglass-Man can be tracked between Starbeans cafe (not StarBucks) and Wengers at the inner circle of C.P. If you get a sunglass from him for Rs 20 then you have a deal !
 

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