Thursday, October 02, 2008


What did they look like, I wonder, in the olden ages, these entities they called vampires? Vampires and blood sucking demons exist in folklore from around the world from Europe to the Far East and the Australian aboriginal legend, and with good reason I suspect. They are among us.
They look like you and I and sometimes they are beautiful, charming, and they captivate us always don’t they.
And then they take our life blood and walk away leaving us to either die slowly or survive for another day. Is it true that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger? But is it worth it ? Why do bad things happen to good people and vampires simply walk away? I have always wondered.

Consider my friend, Jenny.
Jenny is perhaps the closest I have to a sister- since I don’t have one of my own. She saved my life ten years ago, at considerable risk to herself. She stands not even 5 foot high and has the weight and expression of a pretty little pixie and yet she took on the wrath of my heavyweight six foot owner-husband at the time, because I was being abused and she felt something was wrong and that at risk to her life she would interfere in my domestic misery and solve this problem for me. I doubt that I would go out of my way to put myself in danger for someone unknown as she had done and I was her bosses wife. That’s a long story involving police entries and the threat of acid disfigurement but she withstood it all and stood by my side because she has faith in the power of good and right.

Jenny was one of the unfortunate investors in the recent scam carried out by a small set of individuals who set up a sham financial institution, wrote out promissory documents in exchange for cash deposits and escaped the country with all the money.

She is one of the few people I know who I can trust with my children, my money, my life, and if I had a man, my man- and it breaks my heart to see this happen to her. Can you being to imagine what this means to her?

The money her family saved for the last 15 years, and they have a very modest income from government jobs and clerical wages; the family wealth and hope for a house gone; her dignity, her security, her future, and perhaps her marriage, gone because of one mistake she made.

This is all about a young couple who did not have much apart from each other, love, family and faith. And now in one moment of oversight they have lost everything material they ever had.

Jenny keeps smiling, she always has but I know that she is crying inside.
How did it happen I ask her?

“There was a very smart, charismatic girl who came up to me when I was travelling by bus” she sighs, “ she was so fluent with her story and persuasive in her manner. She said she had seen me in the area (!) and asked if I banked at her institution. Since I had been thinking about getting a loan to lease a vehicle for a business, I kept remembering her and the file she gave. We went there one day and they had this impressive office, smart furniture , framed photographs of the president on the walls, shiny certificates….”

At the risk of sounding patronizing, which I am not, my sense of empathy means that I suffer too, when I have to watch evil befalling people I just know are good; and it leaves me wondering , asking, groping for an answer , why them? In particular? Why?

“ of course they deserve it “says another friend of mine rather callously “these sri lankans , just greedy for anything that seems good, its that new lamps for old mentality ; Sri Lankans are just stingy , greedy and stupid”

Well, that’s extreme I would say, because I know Jenny is a very generous soul in her own way, she gives what she can to people she feels sorry for, and if she has no money, she gives of her time, on social causes, maybe its true she was greedy but then think of middle class existence in this country, day after day trying to scrape together some saving to make your future stable, and it never happens. Thousands of people living in difficult dreary drudgery unable to meet basic needs like a house of your own; sometimes you want to dream that there will be a way out of this… and so there are con artists who prey on your hope, who break you and leave you with nothing not even your self esteem.

Give me a mugger any day, give me a full scale armed robber, a carnivore who forcibly and violently relieves you of your possessions, this is much better; I would say, a natural predator who does not play mind games but takes what he wants and leaves you with clean unidirectional hatred. This can be therapeutic.
But conning is subtle, it is cunning, this way half of the hate will be directed at your self and eat you away in regret before you can even begin to think of the perpetrator.

Jenny is planning to leave the country if she can; she is a gentle soul, not very pushy in the co orporate area, but talented in home-sciences, high on EQ and very nurturing , so perhaps she can get a job as a caregiver or a nanny- I will try my best to recommend her to my contacts who can help. I want desperately for this to be an opening to a new horizon as tragedies have often been when they forge the human spirit in steel.
I know in my heart of hearts that she will survive this and today I pledge to do what I can to make her overcome this too.
Because I owe her.

1 comment:

Jack Point said...

That is a sad story. This is why I cannot stand scammers and confidence tricksters.