Talk is Cheap: The Art of Sounding Credible while Lying

“So someone sent me a joke yesterday of an HR Manager who is asked to choose between Heaven and Hell at the Pearly Gates by St Peter”, said Jigneshbhai, as we sipped our coffee last weekend.

Swami and I were busy reading up on the stock markets, as they were getting interesting by the day. We looked up to listen to Jigneshbhai’s joke.

“The HR manager – who had hired many while alive – is given an introduction of a much-better-than-expected fun-filled day in Hell, followed by a somewhat quiet, peaceful but subdued day in Heaven, and then asked to choose. She is so pleasantly surprised by how good Hell was (what with all the luxuries and the company of her colleagues and even a friendly Satan), that she is convinced that her suspicions were unfounded and has no doubts in choosing Hell.”

“It is only after reaching there, that she sees the real Hell and protests on realizing she has been conned. To which St Peter remorselessly says – yesterday we were recruiting you, today you are staff.”

Jigneshbhai completed narrating the joke, and laughed heartily. Swami and I had heard this one before, so weren’t amused but smiled, just to be polite. We continued looking down our pink papers.

Looking at our somewhat subdued response, Jigneshbhai sipped his coffee.

After a brief period of silence, he said, “You are being recruited – by fund managers, by the media, by the markets. Like the HR Manager did while he was alive, and St Peter did to the HR Manager at the gates of Heaven, they are simply doing their job.”

That got our attention. Swami and I looked up this time. As usual, this intriguing statement caught Swami first. He looked up with his usual questioning mind to my broker friend – not quite sure what he meant.

Jigneshbhai was smiling, and continued talking.

“Yes – this is like politicians before the elections. Time to make promises. Because the voter wants to be given dreams. So Fund Managers also sell dreams.”

Swami got further confused with this. It was enough for the question to pop up.

“Please make your mind up first. HR jokes or politician’s promises or fund managers’ dreams? Don’t blabber in all directions” he warned.


My broker friend smiled. “They are all the same. They show you dreams till you get on board. And most of them dump you after that. And they are very good at that.”

“They increase their pitches when you are ready. And eventually they will get you. It is a new set of recruits every time. This is not the first time.”

I could sense a tone of lament in my broker friend’s voice. Swami and I looked at each other, wondering what was going on. We were getting a bit of what my friend was saying but not in entirety.

We waited for more. While Swami and I were hunting for investment options in the pink papers, the thought could not escape my mind – to wonder whether we were the hunters or the hunted.

While we were lost in that thought, Jigneshbhai continued.

“It is interesting how history repeats itself, and how short our memories can be. Every few years, fund managers recruit retail investors – like HR recruits job seekers and politicians recruit voters. All that is needed is promises and dreams. Talk is cheap, isn’t it?”

My broker friend was positively cynical this time. And Swami and I had got it.

But we weren’t sure what it meant. As usual, Swami’s mind was restless to ask questions.

And just as he was about to ask my broker friend, the wealthy man in the sprawling bungalow (who always spoke cryptically!) walked over from the table next to us.

Jigneshbhai was enthused when the wealthy man came closer and waited for him to speak.

But as we had our last coffee sip, he paid our bill too, and stepped out. Looking at Swami and I, he warned,

“Yes – talk is cheap, but if you act based on that, you might have to foot the bill. Mr Market’s predators are out on the prowl with their weapon – the art of sounding credible while lying. Beware. Tell them ‘no ullu banaving’.”

2 Responses to Talk is Cheap: The Art of Sounding Credible while Lying

  1. Sid says:

    good one!! You’re a good story teller. Give the likes of Chetan Bhagat hell!!! Introduce a Gujju Ben with a yen for making money and over the next few months make Swami fall in love with her…hehehehe

  2. thanks! what an idea sirji! 🙂

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