On this day :
1981 Iran Hostage Crisis ends, 1777 Battle of Millstone New Jersey, 1909 GM takes an interest in Oakland Motor Car Corp, 1863 Mud March begins, 1949 Truman announces Point Four program, 1974 Football playerturnedmurderer born, 1980 Bullfight spectators die when bleachers collapse, 1841 Hong Kong ceded to the British, 1945 FDR inaugurated to fourth term, 1961 John F Kennedy inaugurated, 1987 Terry Waite disappears, 1996 Arafat elected leader of Palestine, 1993 Actress Audrey Hepburn dies, 1961 Robert Frost reads at JFKs inauguration, 1973 Country star Jerry Lee Lewis rocks the Grand Ole Opry, 1981 Ronald Reagan becomes president, 1937 Franklin Delano Roosevelt is sworn in as president, 1980 President Carter calls for Olympics to be moved from Moscow, 1969 Richard Nixon takes office, 1972 New communist offensive anticipated, 1918 Goeben and Breslau battle the Allies in the Aegean, 1942 The Wannsee Conference,

Stories

Prashant

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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?

Seller: Prashant.

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?

Prashant: No.

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?

Me: Yes?

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?

Me: Um...

Prashant: See? What is your job again?

Me: I write interviews.

Prashant: So tell me, could you live without news, or without food?

Me: Food...

Prashant: So both of us are sometimes happy, sometimes not but I sell what people really need.

Me: So...

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?

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