The Story Of Watermelons

From: My India

Narrated by the indomitable Manohar Parrikar, Chief Minister of Goa who sadly passed away in harness yesterday.

I am from the village of Parra in Goa, hence we are called Parrikars. My village is famous for its watermelons.

When I was a child, the farmers would organise a watermelon-eating contest at the end of the harvest season in May. All the kids would be invited to eat as many watermelons as they wanted.

Years later, I went to IIT Mumbai to study engineering. I went back to my village after 6.5 years. I went to the market looking for watermelons. They were all gone. The ones that were there were so small.

I went to see the farmer who hosted the watermelon-eating contest. His son had taken over.

When the older farmer gave us watermelons to eat in the contest he would ask us to spit out the seeds into a bowl. We were told not to bite into the seeds. He was collecting the seeds for his next crop. We were unpaid child labourers, actually. He kept his best watermelons for the contest and he got the best seeds which would yield even bigger watermelons the next year.

His son, when he took over, realised that the larger watermelons would fetch more money in the market so he sold the larger ones and kept the smaller ones for the contest. The next year, the watermelons were smaller, the year later even small. In watermelons the generation is one year. In seven years, Parra’s best watermelons were finished.

In humans, generations change after 25 years. It will take us 200 years to figure what we were doing wrong while educating our children.




10 thoughts on “The Story Of Watermelons

  1. Oh Besides being an excellent CM he was a good writer too! It makes us think !what went wrong while educating our children is an observation one should really ponder over!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. An interesting question. These kids know a lot more and are much smarter than us. I’ve seen a surprising streak of idealism too. It’s just that they dont see elders behaving. Their idealism, semse of ethics get slowly chipped away on seeing how the elders conduct themselves. Take Parrikar for example. How many politicians in the local scene would be as inspiring as he was – hardly any. So I would say we have failed them more than anything else. In the world we have built for them, ethics languishes as an orphan child.


  2. The write up is so true what Parrikar says and it is sad
    Your comment on “ethics languishes as an orphan child “ – aptly put
    Morality and ethics – we lower the bar 😞

    Liked by 1 person

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