Me: Hello? Excuse me!
Seller: Yes, would you like some mangoes?
Me: What? No, sir, actually I want to...
Seller: Come on, have some! I’ll sell for three hundred a dozen. Not too bad, right?
Me: I do not want to buy mangoes.
Seller: Then go away. I’m here to sell mangoes.
Me: If I buy some mangoes, will you talk to me?
Seller: Um... Yeah, sure.
Me: Okay. There goes my lunch money.
Seller: Mangoes are a nice lunch. Want some more?
Me: My name is Prem Sinha. What is your name?
Me: Oh, how nice. I want to know about your life.
Prashant: I grow mangoes. I sell mangoes. I make money. I grow more mangoes.
Me: You must be using some money on food.
Prashant: No, I eat my mangoes.
Me: Nothing else but mangoes?
Prashant: I have an acre large farm! I grow what I want to eat!
Me: A whole acre? You should be quite well off then.
Prashant: I only have land. I don’t have seeds.
Me: Well, why don’t you buy more seeds?
Prashant: I don’t have enough money.
Me: Take a loan from the bank.
Prashant: That’s the problem. They don’t just give money, but take it back also.
Me: Does your family help you in making money?
Me: Do you not allow them?
Prashant: I have no family.
Me: Oh, sorry. I didn’t know.
Prashant: It’s okay. At least I can live alone in peace.
Me: What is your house like?
Prashant: What do you mean? It has kitchen, a toilet and a door.
Me: Do you ever wish for more?
Prashant: You want me to answer that?
Prashant: Of course I do! Everyone has dreams!
Me: What do you dream of?
Prashant: I dream of Jeanie, my wife.
Me: You said you had no family.
Prashant: I had a wife, but she disappeared.
Me: How did she...
Prashant: Don’t ask!
Me: Could you just tell me...
Prashant: No, I cannot.
Me: Okay, then. How much money do you make?
Prashant: I make Rs. 5000 a month.
Me: Not too shabby.
Prashant: It’s enough for survival.
Me: But what about living?
Prashant: Don’t get philosophical in my face! Survival is living.
Me: No it’s not. Look at me.
Prashant: What do you do for survival?
Me: I work for a news company.
Prashant: And what do you do for a living?
Me: I work for...
Prashant: Where’s the difference now?
Me: That’s not how I meant it. Don’t you understand?
Prashant: Sorry, I didn’t go to school.
Me: Oh, that must have been harsh. I can imagine you craving to go to school as a child...
Prashant: Not at all. Rather, the kids who went to school wished they could laze around like me.
Me: Is that so?
Prashant: Yes, it’s like that. I spent my days chasing dogs and spinning tyres.
Me: Damn, that must have been smooth.
Prashant: Of course. Why education at all?
Me: It will teach your children how to...
Prashant: Do what? Do a job that’s more stressful and tedious than this?
Me: No, they will earn more when they grow up.
Prashant: What will they do by earning more?
Me: They will live in comfort.
Prashant: Do you consider yourself one of them?
Me: I am educated, so yeah.
Prashant: Are you always happy?
Me: No, but neither are you.
Prashant: So, what’s the difference?
Prashant: See? What is your job again?
Me: I write interviews.
Prashant: So tell me, could you live without news, or without food?
Prashant: So both of us are sometimes happy, sometimes not but I sell what people really need.
Prashant: So I am doing a service to mankind at no extra cost, while your family paid for your education so that you can get a job and do nothing that helps in man’s survival. You want more mangoes?