Mar 29, 2011

An innovative way of cheating passengers

"Give two rupees more, I will give you five rupees in return", told the conductor to me for buying a ticket to Cuddalore from Pondicherry, which cost 7 rupees. The conductors are always in short for change, thus leaving many passengers to wonder where does all the coins produced by the Indian Government go!

The bus was boarded by more than its capacity, however, I am one of the few lucky passenger to have got a seat to sit. I picked up my purse, took a two rupees coin and flipped it on to the conductor whose hands appeared out of nowhere like a magic, amidst the crowd. He took the change, put it in his bag, searched thoroughly for a 5 rupees coin or note, but found none instead.

"Wait sir, I will give you 5 rupees as soon as I get one", he promised. The office people and school kids occupied every square inch of the bus, with their bags occupying another square inch of the space available. The person who is sitting in the opposite row could not be seen, leave alone the conductor. Thus it was impossible for me to 'see' him to remind him of the change, though I could hear his voice every now and then  shouting "ticket...ticket...".

It was only when I reached the destination that I could meet the conductor and ask for the change. But by then, he had already seen almost hundreds of faces to remember and recognize mine.

"Will somebody give 12 rupees for a 7 rupees ticket? Are you trying to cheat me?" he shouted. My attempt to explain about how he did not have 3 rupees change and so demanded 2 rupees more to round it off to 5 rupees went on his deaf ears.

It took some time for me to realize that I got cheated by yet another innovative way!