Imagination is touted as the fount of all invention, but an excess of it landed 24-year-old Emmanuel Sharath in a soup. Sharath, weighed down by pressure of expectation, not only deceived his parents into believing that he had landed a job abroad, but he also led city police on a wild goose chase. Luckily for Sharath, the police took a lenient view and let him off despite him wasting their time and resources.
Sharath, posing as a techie who had just returned from Australia, had filed a false complaint with the police claiming that he had been robbed of valuables including a laptop, an iPhone, gold jewellery, passport and Rs 1 lakh cash by van-borne miscreants in the early hours on Thursday. On investigation, however, police realised that Sharath was lying. On questioning, Sharath’s story unravelled — it was all an elaborate hoax. The good thing though is that this prodigal son quickly realised that he had done wrong. “I should never have lied. I have learnt my lesson,” Sharath said.
The story goes back to December last year when Sharath landed in the city in search of a job. Sharath, whose father runs a high school in Mandya, had completed his BBM at Vidya Vikas College in Mysore in 2010. He had joined an engineering course, but had dropped out after a year. He attended interviews at two private companies on December 12 last year, but wasn’t selected. Mindful of the great hopes his parents had in him and not wanting to disappoint them, Sharath took his first step on the path of deceit.
He returned to Mandya the next day and told his parents that he had landed a job at Tata Consultancy Services and that the company was flying him to Melbourne on December 14. Sharath told his parents that the company was seeing to all travel and lodging arrangements and that they need not worry. Even so, his father gave him Rs 50,000 for any additional expense he might incur. Sharath returned to Bangalore and for the next three months stayed with a friend in Ramamurthynagar. He paid part of the rent. To make his parents believe that he was indeed working in Australia, Sharath used to visit a cyber cafe and speak to his parents over Skype.
“I always felt awful seeing my father’s embarrassment whenever someone asked him what I was doing,” Sharath said. “That is what drove me to begin lying. I didn’t want to see my parents being embarrassed.” During his stay in Ramamurthynagar, Sharath spent his time watching television and roaming the streets. Then his younger sister died in an accident and Sharath was racked by guilt.
“My parents were mourning and I felt I should be beside them rather than living a lie here,” Sharath said. “I did not want to hurt them so I decided to make-believe that I was actually returning from Australia. I called them on March 18 and told them that I will be landing in Mumbai on March 19 and will reach Bangalore the next day. I told them that I would reach Mandya on March 20. My parents were so happy. Since my family would be interested in knowing what I have got from Australia and what my work experience had been, I decided to concoct a story about being robbed in Bangalore.”
At 3.45 am on Thursday, Sharath walked into the Ramamurthynagar police station and filed a complaint stating that he had been waylaid and robbed near the Diesel Loco Shed in KR Puram by miscreants who got away in a Maruti Omni. The case was transferred to K R Puram police station as the purported crime fell under their jurisdiction.
V K Vasudev, KR Puram police station inspector, said, “A techie returning from Australia being attacked and robbed here was something that had to be taken seriously. We commenced investigations immediately hoping to apprehend the culprits within a few hours.”
Sharath was taken by sub-inspector Manjunath G Hiremath to the alleged scene of the crime and police sounded an alert for a Maruti van with a ‘BOSS’ sticker pasted on it. When police found no sign of the van, Vasudev began questioning Sharath to reconstruct the sequence of events. Under intense questioning, Sharath’s carefully concocted story came unstuck and he spilled the beans. Vasudev called off the wild goose chase and summoned Sharath’s father. Sharath’s father arrived late in the evening and was unaware of why his son was in the police station until police told him the whole story. Sharath then broke down and apologised to the police and his father. The cops let Sharath off with a stern warning not to lie anymore.
“This is a lesson to both parents and children,” Vasudev said. “Parents should verify the claims made by their children before handing over huge amounts of cash. Children too should realise that parents work hard to ensure their well-being and should learn to be truthful no matter the situation.”