“Fool me once, shame on you; Fool me twice, shame on me”
That’s how the saying goes, but I would like to tweak it a bit in the modern Indian context.
“Fool me once, I am too sure; Fool me twice, I am always lured.”
Well, this is what people in every strata of the Indian society are thinking these days. There are people, who will fool others once, twice and over and over again.
And there are people, who will be fooled once, twice and over and over again. And they are just helpless.
And, the shame is NEVER theirs; it is of those people, who shamelessly exploit others.
Ask a poor farmer, who is fooled by the middle man, who buys from him at a meagre price and sells at a much higher rate. What is the SHAME for the farmer, who is ready to get fooled over and over again as he earns daily bread for his family if the middle man buys from him?
Ask a prostitute, who is fooled by the pimp, who sells her off to new customers every day. What is the SHAME for her, who is ready to be fooled to earn her daily bread and a decent education for her child?
Ask a poor couple, who is fooled by money lenders to sell their land at a nominal price. What is the SHAME for them, who are fooled to sell off their own possession to arrange for their daughter’s marriage?
Ask a young girl, who is fooled to work as a maid at someone’s house. What is her SHAME, who is the only earning member of a five member family, sitting miles away in her village?
Ask an old couple, who is fooled by the police, who keep assuring them that they will find their son’s killer. What is their SHAME, who just lives with the memories of their son and wants justice for him?
Ask a young lover, who was fooled by her boyfriend and sold to an old man after eloping from home. What is her SHAME, who only believed in the colourful dreams narrated by the man, whom she loved so much?
Ask a wife, who is fooled by her unfaithful husband that he has late night meetings, whereas he smiles in the arms of his lover. What is the SHAME for her, who thinks she is the most precious thing for her husband?
Ask a little girl in the slums, who is fooled by the vegetable vendor with a pervert mind with candy every day, but one day he does something beyond belief. What is her SHAME, who just loves to eat colourful candies, which her father could never get for her?
As a young terrorist, who is fooled by fanatics in the name of God. What is his SHAME, who only wants a good life for his family and wants to do something for his religion?
As a devotee, who is fooled by the people at a temple, to extract money in the name of God. What is their SHAME, who believes in the Supreme power and thinks God can make everything right in their lives and wants to please him?
Ask a consumer, who is fooled with discounts (in an already elevated price tag) and higher prices for their day-to-day needs. Well, the SHAME is not ours, but the way we cling to our lifestyle and beliefs. A poor man would never panic if toothpaste goes extinct like we will. Because, he has means, but we don’t.
Well, many of us get fooled over and over again, but still the SHAME is not ours. The first time, people are not sure, but from next time we are always lured because we see a benefit in the first time. We fail to realize the underlying false intentions and motives. So, we are lured to believe in something false and get cheated or fooled over and over again. Either, there is no other means, or we are not ready to come out of our comfort zone. We fail to see the actual truth and fall prey to conditions and situations.
Well, if there is a way to make the original proverb work and make the SHAME of those, who keep fooling people, is a new topic altogether. But, the proverb only justifies only one side of the coin; you have to look at both the sides to judge the real FOOL and the real SHAME.
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