I’m sorry I don’t smoke!

It’s funny how all of a sudden the conversation ends.

I’m the one ending it; it’s when a local engages me, we have a short broken conversation which I enjoy, me trying my best to understand and learn the language and maybe a few giggles or laughs.

Then it happens…

It’s the little hand motion, the light rubbing of the thumb, index and middle finger, and maybe also the slight motion toward the mouth as if asking for a smoke.

I don’t know what it is but I do. I simply look confused and walk away wishing them well.

Basically I’ve just been asked for money.

Then there’s the other scenario, what seems to be a genuine interest in where I’m from or my interest in the city. But it’s not long before I’m shown the family tailors, oh and let’s not overlook ‘the brother’ who worked in ummm oh yes, where was it again … that’s it … London!

Yawn.

So for kicks I play along and dig a little to be informed that…

REALLY, OMG!

…said brother not only worked WHERE?

Saville Row?! AND he had a store there, WOW! He must be AMAZING!

But … why the fuck is he now back here riding a shit moped? An observation I hold private.

Yawn now becomes a grunt of annoyance.

Again I end the conversation with the decency to leave on a positive note in the face of such blatant deceit and underhanded actions.

I’ll be blunt: India has so much beauty, and beautiful people too! But the bullshitters are so blind to the damage they do, blinded by greed, and unable to see the ill seeds of distrust they plant.

It’s such a pity because now I treat everyone with the same ‘what the fuck do you want’ guard. It sounds wrong and believe me I don’t like being like that but I have to!

Because every time I’ve let my guard down it happens … again … and again … and again.

Ironically even as I write this from a cafe I watch another trusting tourist get blagged…

Funny thing is, I didn’t see these two tourists be approached once!

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