October 25, 2006

Dharamsala trip (Chapter 4 - The Great Indian Con Trick)

If you thought that was the last of the studboys you are wrong. Morning brought us to Ludhiana where the bus stopped. LS and HS announce that this is as far as the bus will go and that he will put us on a different bus to Jalandhar! Some of the passengers scooted. Others, around 20 of us stayed behind. To cut a long story short the bus driver was beaten up, the conductor called his henchmen and before we were witness to a bloodbath we also decided that it was in our best interests to hit the road.

Now lets spend some time on the business model of our studboys. First they have a variable charge for all the forty passengers. In this case, the fare ranged between 240 and 400. Expenses like border tax, road tax are dealt with by playing 'Good Cop - Bad Cop'. The driver is the Bad Cop who runs away with the bus stranding the conductor / owner with some passengers. The Good Cop cries in front of the police, it fits in because the anxious passengers are around who have no clue whats going on. Fortunately, the police in this case are Sardars too. They fall for it hook, line and sinker! The bus meanawhile heads on, the others hitch a ride (who cares anyway). Somewhere at a major city along the way comes the coup de grace! The studboys put you on a different vehicle to your destination, Downgrade you from a luxury bus to a local vehicle, Pay a nominal amount to the new guy and scoot off. Wonderful I must say and I was totally impressed by the conceptualisation, planning and implementation. Pity they don't teach strategy at BSchools!

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