This happened to my daughter who was visiting us from Hyderabad in March this year. One noon, two persons – one in his 30s and the other in his 40s, looking like Sikhs (one of them was wearing a turban) - rang the doorbell and started speaking to my daughter in Hindi and English, offering to inform something about her personal future and family life. My daughter tried to shake them off saying she didn’t need counselling. But they were very persuasive and started telling her, “Madam, you are very much worried and disturbed about husband’s health and his career prospects. Your life should have been turbulent after your marriage and you must be waiting to raise your family but in vain. Your married life has been unsatisfactory.”
My daughter was immediately impressed by the way they reeled out information about her and decided to receive them in our drawing room. They took their seat on a sofa and started a lively conversation, prefacing it by saying them would accept nothing except a glass of water. By posing leading questions, they learnt about her problems like adjustment issues in her in-laws’ place, husband’s ailment, confusion over sticking to his present job and locked up investment in a house property. They counselled her on each of those problems and said everything will fall in place by next year and she will be fondling her child definitely in 2014.
They then told her about the voluntary service they were doing for the needy in their neighbourhood and suggested that she could offer some help in cash or kind. Since she did not have money in her handbag, she asked my wife for `1,000. The duo was patient and persistent that my daughter extends the donation. After collecting the money, they left.
I was not present at home when the incident occurred. Later when I learnt about it from my wife and daughter, I told them they had been fooled.
How did the duo know so much about my daughter? My guess is the suave duo must have overheard my daughter talking on her cell phone in a public place, followed her quietly till our house, pieced together some basic information about her, knocked our door after a few days nattily dressed up and mesmerised her with their persuasive skills. Remember all they first wanted was a glass of water. Glib phrases then loosened my daughter’s the purse strings.