On this day :
1989 Exxon Valdez runs aground, 1765 Parliament passes the Quartering Act, 2007 Ferraris aroundtheworld relay stops in LA, 1862 Wendall Phillips booed in Cincinnati, 1977 United States and Cuba engage in direct negotiations, 1998 A school shooting in Jonesboro Arkansas kills five, 1989 Exxon Valdez runs aground in Alaska, 1603 Queen Elizabeth I dies, 1996 Shannon Lucid enters Mir, 1999 NATO bombs Yugoslavia, 2002 Halle Berry Denzel Washington triumph at Oscars, 1955 Cat on a Hot Tin Roof opens, 1958 Elvis Presley is inducted into the US Army, 1834 John Wesley Powell born, 1949 Truman signs off on aid to Palestine, 1976 Peyton Manning born, 1965 First teachin conducted, 1975 North Vietnamese launch Ho Chi Minh Campaign, 1918 German forces cross the Somme River, 1944 Wingate dies in Burma,

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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