Con-monitization – The 5 legged Cow in a moving Temple

On the 10th of May, I was traveling from Madikeri to Mysuru & saw this unusual looking 4-wheeler in front of us near Kamplapura. I was craning my neck to get a clear view as it was cloudy, raining & mad driving in a 2-way lane. That’s when my husband said look at the extra limb on cow’s back & the people are taking advantage of its deformity. He continued, see how the vehicle is modified into look like a shrine, picture of one of the prophets is kept decked with flowers & the cow is made to look holy! The 3-ladies & the driver, & perhaps even some more might be making a living out of the deformity of the cow!!

Like prostitution, conning is one of the oldest professions in the world. Akin to the prey & the predator of the jungle, wherever “innocent victims” congregate, the Salesmen “concentrate”.

I call it CON-monetization (en-cashing on the innocence, ignorance & helplessness of poor people in a cunning way). One has to marvel at their ingenuity, creativity & the ability to fool their fellow beings. Looking at them I remember a famous line from the Kirtane of Kannada Saint Composer Kanakadasa (1509-1609): Ellaru madu-vudu hotte-gagi genu batte-gagi {Ellaru = every one, maduvudu = doing or does, hottegagi = for the sake of stomach, genu = a measurement from the finger tip till the elbow & battegagi = for clothing. In short, everyone is working to fill one’s stomach} be it a King or a pauper, thief or saint, etc., etc. Ironically that piece of cloth is what differentiates the humans from the rest of the living being who walks vertical & has no natural cover!


After the mystery of Mother Nature, it’s Religion that always fascinates me. Often I wonder who coined, designed, shaped & coloured something called religion. It’s soft & fragile as a new born, beautiful as a flower petal, fragrant as jasmine, stronger than a earth quake, powerful than a tsunami, brighter like Sun, darker like moon lunar, blind as a mud snake, deaf & dumb like each other & definitely the most used, misused & abused aspect of human life. It has taken more lives & spilt more blood than anything else in the history of mankind. As a Kodava, I am privileged not to be bound or bundled by something called religion & it gives me both an edge to privacy while freedom to watch & learn. I find it very funny when someone tries to lure me (twice I experienced) with the classic “you are such a nice person, you must read our book, it has so many merits” … (I have no idea if there is shortage of good people…) & want to tell them to be humans first & then think of religion.

It happens only in India… In India Religious con-monetization & fooling is not just limited to Hinduism but practically wide spread in almost every religion though in different fashions. For example one of the Religions from Middle East has made their Prophet from almost God status into a pure Ghost-Buster (remember the movie & the music?). I am not sure if the Prophet was married or not, wondering what status they would have given her… a she-ghost-buster or a she-warlock? The Religious Salesmen are pro-monetizing* the innocent, the ignorant & the helpless by promising protection from the current & the future ghosts for generations to come!! Guess the entire community of ghosts from India including the ones from Kukkarhalli kere goes to these religious congregations seeking solace & comical action. (*Pro-monetizing, I just made up the word meaning buying human bakras (goats) by converting to boost the volume to accommodate more ghosts even from overseas).

I was under the impression that Black magic & Ghosts doesn’t belong to any particular religion… LoL the possessing of Ghosts & the powers of Priestly Salesmen are so funny I can’t just stop laughing… if anyone wants a good laugh for free without going to a standup comedy show you can watch one too many strange & funny videos on you-tube…

Everyone will do anything for the sake of filling the stomach be it in a righteous or in an unrighteous manner. It will continue to be till the last man on earth survives & sadly religion is the easiest guise to cover up the con.

Pink Guava – Bin Laden’s fruit?

Last Tuesday, 07th of May 2013, while I was skyping my cousin’s husband “Mr.X”, he asked his children “pudiya pannu katira makkale”? (Children, did you all show the new fruit?). I was wondering what was this new fruit not known to me (I am a fruit freak & will eat any fruit including durang as long as it is edible & sweet)!!  The girls showed me the fruits in different positions & asking me to guess what it was. It had the colour of a dragon fruit but the shape was different, had the shape of an apple but the skin texture was different, too many guesses & then I gave up. They finally said its a Guava… arrey wahhh!!…. ‘How come I never had the privilege of seeing it till now?’ was my thought… so I asked how much was it? I was told Rs350 & they had picked up 2 kgs paying Rs.700 for the precious fruits & started giggling…. moodiya… tolekate yen maduva? (girls what else they will do but giggle…. yeh?)


My cousin Mrs.X was visiting namma Bengaluru with her husband & daughters. Mr.X opted to stay home to avoid driving in the mad traffic & my daughter Cau was the chauffeur.. all the four ladies did their shopping & finally it was time to go home… Cau went with one of the daughters to get the car which was parked about 100 mtrs away & Mrs.X and the other daughter were standing near Safina Plaza and they noticed a fruit vendor there. He had a shop set up with a lot of variety of fruits & the shop seemed to be bustling with customers. Then they noticed a thermocol box sitting there. The vendor was opening it just a little (as if it was the most precious possession & he didn’t want the hot air to get in!) and pulling out fruits from it- individual fruits. Each fruit was bright pink & it was individually wrapped in transparent plastic wrap. You could see that the box was full of ice surrounding the fruits. There were even tiny dried leaves in the plastic wrapped fruits, perhaps to give the ‘natural’ look!! So Mrs.X went n asked what it was, and the vendor said that they were pink guavas that had just arrived from Thailand!! When she inquired about the price, he said 350 Rupees(Rs) per kg. Normally guava rate is about 50-60 rupees, the best ones!! Also, there are these 1-kg guavas available in the market, costing around 100 plus Rs per kg (i.e. per guava 😉 ). In Coorg it is free as it grows in their own home, and that too its organic hum. So this was quite a price he was quoting. Meanwhile there was another customer there, who had just bought 2 kilos of this pink guava, and he also told Mrs.X ” see madam, my boss placed order for this & i’m picking it up! Very nice madam, very sweet!”.  The vendor also egged on.. that if it was not sweet, he would return the money (perhaps he knew Mrs.X was out of town & was never going to come back all the way just to return it?). Soon the car was there & it was a no parking zone so eventually Mrs.X got convinced & ended up buying 2 kilos of the bright pink fruit!! When he packed it, he again gave it in a thermocol box, with ice surrounding the fruits.

On arriving home, every one excitedly opened up the box, pulled out the fruits & cut open their plastic packing. That’s when the bubble burst & to their dismay, on a closer look, it was clear that the guava had been peeled clean. The outer skin of the fruit was gone. Still, it was pink! So they then cut one open, and to their disbelief, it was only the outer skin that was pink; you could notice that it was some kind of colored dye or sugar syrup (may be gelatin was also added), that the fruit had been left in. Had the skin not been removed, the fruit would have not soaked in the colored dye, and that was possibly why the skin had been removed. The peeled guava had absorbed the color and the sugar (plus what God alone know?) had formed a thin film of coating which could fool one’s eye like a complete fruit. So there was a layer of pink dye around the fruit -pink guava!! On biting into it, that pink layer was really, really sweet…so the dye was the sweet-guarantee!!! It was all falling into place now. They had been fooled 😦 so badly!! The guava was peeled so artistically & evenly it’s very easy to get fooled, the ability of the vendor is high appreciable!!! And my cousin realized that the “customer” who was buying along with them was probably a friend of the vendor, helping him add some credibility!

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The irony is that Mrs.X did her studies in Bangalore, has seen the world & one can confidently say, has good of the authority on plants, flowers & fruits. All her 50 years she has lived in Coorg. She has personally grown practically every kind of fruit at home, even knowing most of their botanical names! So how did she get fooled?…The packaging? (It was in deed quite deceptive) The marketing? The hurry-burry?.. or the vender is too smart? All I can say is that if she could be fooled, anyone could be fooled!! So if any one you got fooled by this treachery don’t be sad.. 😉

Now I know the answer to how Osama Bin Laden’s finance network works: It’s the ability of his followers to raise funds like knife in butter… so I have decided to name this pink guava as “The Bin Laden” in his honour.

Now I need a favour: Anyone visiting Safina Plaza (before the vendor is arrested or disappears), or if you see the pink guava somewhere, please try to get me some nice picture of the vendor!