The conmen in trains

Please accept my sincere apologies for being late. Since my last trespass here, I have been to Madurai and back and have also joined Satyam Computers (will be working from their office in Shollinganallur, Chennai).

A second-class compartment is home to many con stories. Some of these stories don`t involve sedative-laced biscuits.

Even as I was in a train on Friday night, eleven young men fell victim to the biscuit gang all over the country. Mind you…these are not Gold biscuits villain Ajit (of the Hindi movies fame) would kill for…but plain Glucon D biscuits. Some of them, Good Day buiscuits.

Not for me these gangs…I am smart. Once inside a train, I introduce myself as Deputy Superintendent of Police, in training. On Friday night also I did the same to the three brothers and one family of four who shared the bay with me. We were all cocooned in the S3 compartment of the Pearl City Express.

The family of four (which involved two children, one illiterate mother and one semi-illiterate father working for the Income Tax dept as a peon) believed me instantly and started addressing me as DSP saab. The father took down my address and phone number so that he could get in touch when in trouble.

I don`t think I managed to con the three brothers who were probably aged 34, 38 and 44 years. Instead, they almost conned me.

Within a few hours of getting on board, the three brothers and I became good friends. They invited me to their ‘Air Conditioners sales & servicing center` in Chennai. They even gave me their visiting card. I had a look at the name of their firm and asked the brothers: “That`s a very unique name you have chosen for your firm.”

“All the three of us discussed and decided on this cute name,” the eldest brother said.

“You all thought over and agreed to it?” I wanted to be sure.

“Yes. The first suggestion was ‘Three Brother`s Airconditioners Service Center.` Later one of us shortened it to ‘Three Brother`s Airconditioners Center.`”

“That would have been a nice name.”

The eldest brother continued: “I know. That is why we did not want to change it when the board painter said it was too long for the board.”

“And then…” I elbowed the brothers further.

“But the painter persisted that we shorten the name. Thanks to him, we changed the name to ‘Brother`s Airconditioners Center.`”

“OK, and why didn`t you stick to that name?” I asked. Now, I was curious.

“Then, the youngest of us suggested we turn hep and name the shop ‘Brother`s Airconditioners.` This was fine till one of our kids doing his MBA suggested that we needed a name short enough for everybody to remember. He was talking of something called Brand recall.”

“So you had to shorten the name further, I suppose?” I was getting impatient.

“Yes. The MBA-studying kid of ours suggested we name our shop AIRCON.”

“That`s as fine a name as you would come across,” a confident me said. I was wishing these brothers would finish their story fast…for I needed to get to the dirty Indian styled toilet at the far end of the compartment.

“Yes, we also agreed it was a fine name till we realized that the name did not suggest we three were doing business together. I mean, not always do the brothers stay together and do good business…so we wanted to project that angle.”

“Cool…and….”

“And we decided to change the name from AIRCON to WECON,” the triumphant eldest brother said.

I did not ask them how their business was, but I am sure they think it is dull because of the winter.

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