I have no clue since how long has this been going on but I just witnessed a new way of begging – threatening a passer-by using a snake!!!
Here’s what happened or what may happen-
A completely unsuspecting “You” is parking your vehicle near any ATM. Since it’s a source of money and beggars expect you to carry money at least while returning from the ATM.
So you park your vehicle and turn around and find a SADHU/BABA/BEGGAR carrying a fat snake in his hands completely unhindered to bite you and it’s just coiled up against his chest and wrists breathing heavily as if it’s full! He asks you for 2 Rs. in the name of some God. He will keep trying till he finds the right God for you and he’ll keep shoving the snake and his pot of fucking HOLY water against your face asking you to give him the said amount. Since it’s a small amount, people tend to open their wallets easily and that way the beggar gets to have a look at your wallet and see how much money are carrying.
Here starts the next phase of modus-operandi. The phase now divides into – whether you are carrying good money in your wallet or not. If you do, they’ll ask you to touch one of your BIGGER notes to the pot of water saying it’s holy and that all your problems will be solved right then or else they’ll wait for you to return from the ATM and then repeat the aforesaid step of holy water. In either case, NEVER PULL OUT ANY MONEY FROM YOUR WALLET! ‘coz what they do next is really smart. As soon as you pull out any money from your wallet “IN THE NAME OF GOD”, they’ll pull it out of your hands and feed it to the snake!!!
Those snakes apparently have been heavily sedated and hence, never tend to digest the notes. Not only will you be shit scared of getting your hands inside its mouth but you’ll also have lost around 100 Rs. or 500 Rs. to an ugly ass near-dead snake!!!
Mind this and since most of my audience doesn’t belong to India, please be careful when you visit Delhi. This happens to millions of tourists who at first think this is all fun but then… it doesn’t end as one!!!
With me, I had already heard such stories from one of my colleagues and I was careful and almost frightful to nearly shit in my pants seeing that 4 inches wide snake coiled up in his hands breathing really heavily. At first I could keep the beggar at bay but the next time while returning from the ATM, he caught hold of me again and then, he started with all that GOD and holy water nonsense. I almost had enough sense left in me to shout out for a security guard who after nearly 5 minutes of frantic calling appeared from behind the trees where – who knows he may have been watching me getting looted or as he said – been having tea and Indian unfiltered tobacco BIDI. In any case, I managed to get that goon out of that premises to my satisfaction and then I again left for my office.
Be careful people. Begging is turning into quite another form of looting and since, I have been looted quite many times, I’d wanna warn you that do not mess with people on the streets. Not all of them are as friendly and fun loving as me!