A busy road in the city…the sidewalks too, men and women in a hurry to get wherever.
And, here this young man, well-dressed, spiritedly selling towels…switching easily from Tamizh to Hindi to English.
I watched him for a while from a distance. Curious, walked up and engaged him.
Was surprised to learn he worked for a well-known IT firm!
Looked at him quizzingly: Then what was he doing here?
Well, passing by, he had observed this man trying to sell his stuff to people who wouldn’t pause to take their breath…obviously tired from the effort.
Moved by his plight, the young man wanted to do something for him – he offered him some money. The old man was too proud to accept.
So here he is…doing the next best thing he could think of – standing in the place of the old man and selling his wares!
Source: Bhaskar Rao
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.