Zaheeb Ajmal reports from Sargana, brief dated March 5, 2017.
11 a.m.: Mahadev Yadav has just finished sweeping his courtyard. He welcomes me warmly and asks me to sit. I have been enquiring about his and his son’s trip to Sasaram, where Suraj had been promised a job by an acquaintance. Mahadev asked me to come home today. We both sit on the machan in his courtyard and he narrates details of his trip to Sasaram.
We came to know about this job through a distant relative, a brother-in-law of my brother-in law (saala ka saala). He told us about an opening for a security guard with a construction company in Sasaram. We went over to meet his contact on the 15th of last month. This man told us the company’s name was Gladeur and claimed that he was the Manager. He told us there would be an interview the following day, but he did not know yet the time or the venue. I found this rather strange.
The next morning, the man called us and told us the interviews would be in two hours at a location that was very close to where we were staying. Suraj and I went to the address the man gave us. We found it to be a decrepit two-storeyed building but went in nevertheless. Inside, in one room, there were about fifty young men and the person who called himself a manager making a presentation. He was showing his audience a film about selling soaps, detergents and other cleaning materials. There was no interview! Suraj and I waited for a few minutes. The man had finished his presentation and others were talking. We began to walk away.
That was when things took a strange turn. The man came running after us and asked us why we were leaving. We told him that Suraj had come to interview for the position of a security guard, not to sell soaps and detergents. I would not mind if he was willing to hire me, but Suraj flatly refused to get involved as a salesman. The man told me he I could have the job if I wanted. I stood there perplexed. But it was what he said next that allowed me to understand what was going on.
The man said I would have to pay him INR 16,000 if I wanted the job. He said it was a security deposit for all the items that they would entrust me to sell. That was when I realised this was a huge scam. I told him I didn’t have the money. He had a solution for that too: he asked me to leave Suraj with him, return home and pay him the money through a bank transaction.
Did he think we were fools? Suraj and I walked right away.
I know how these things work. I’ve been scammed once before [proceeds to talk about his experience with a Kolkata-based chit fund company] so I’m not stupid. I am just very angry with everyone. Most of all, my own relative. How could he have done this to us?
Our own have betrayed us.