Friday, May 04, 2007

A Taste of being conned! :)

As of every summer, this year too the exhibition/carnival has been put up at the RBNMS grounds. its a melee of crowd dominated by kids - thanks to the summer holidays.

Me, mom, venu n anand had been to the exhibition on tuesday evg. Usual stalls, selling everything and anything. Interesting thing to note was the origin of these stalls. a few of them were from madurai, tamilnadu - reminded me of the mariyamman temple thiruvizah stalls. Similar merchandise, similar crowd - only the venue and presentation were different.

Another dominating factor was the cheap chinese goods. got to watch where we end up with such infiltration of chinese maal.

Apart from the stalls comes all sorts of joy rides and one "intelligent" dog-donkey pair. as i was curious to watch the action live, having heard the stories of this intelligent donkey from senthil last year, couldn't do so cuz of the queue and crowd for this particular show. may be on another visit perhaps. second visit is very likely as venu was very much interested to hike up one of those joy rides but to his dismay, neither me nor anand were game to give him company. me running cold and a fever wasn't very curious to hitch a ride.

Coming to the highlight of the visit, on our way out - there was this vendor with his equipment sported on a maruthi van, boasting to read your fortunes for 10 Rs. a person - by palm reading. Curiosity overtook us and always having a weak spot for such occult things, me and venu went in closer for a look, tempted.

In specific the vendor had a table before the van, on top of which there were a sheaf of papers and a duster kinda thingy. This got me more curious, as if he is going to take an imprint of our palms. So, moved in closer for inspecting what is that he has. Before we could realise, the vendor got us grabbed - quick and fast. Took venu's hand and even while we were making up our minds to proceed or not, he swiped venu's hand with the duster thingy, which turned out to be a simple inkpad soaked in water.

He got venu's palm wet and placed it atop a plain white sheet. Taking the mildly wet sheet with venu's palm imprint, he turned towards his magic machine - the looks of it were so sophisticated as that of a remote control panel :) (gotta see it to believe it). The back of the maruthi van was totally customized with a comp. monitor, the cpu, an inkjet printer and a mysterious looking slot for the paper and two side panels with a multitude of speakers mounted on 'em.

What the heck is he going to do...? Is he having a scanner in his sophisticated infrastructure that scans thru the palm imprint and interpret? Image processing? Pattern Recognition? Artificial Intelligence? this was getting more and more curious.

Even as these thoughts were racing thru my mind, the vendor slided in the paper into this mysterious slot, asked us in which language we wanted the reading and with a few quick key-strokes, switched to few hidden windows (crude vb written message/dialog boxes) for a fraction of a second and pressed a few buttons.

Voila, the inkjet started spewing out a print-out as this fellow pulled out the paper back from the mysterious slot. He got both the papers pinned together and handed out to us.

All this happened in less than a minutes' time.

To my amazement i saw the paper with palm imprint from the mysterious slot had turned black - as if it had been analysed, processed and printed, while the printout from the inkjet contained a page of random readings. All Preset!

Then it dawned on me!

:) we had been conned. lol.

It was worse than a 1 Re. weight machine spitting out random pre-printed quotes (about your personality/future) behind the weight slip.

But a brilliant idea and a beautiful show of con, exploiting the unassuming common-man of his 10 Rs.

It was hilarious. :) One side feeling infuriated for letting ourselves to be conned & fooled while on the other side praising his guts and intelligence, to put up such a business model in public and making a living out of it.

Goodness Gracious! Quite an experience it was.


kuppu said...

Reminds me off the memories of Chithirai Thiruvizha of my home town.