On this day :
1814 Napoleon exiled to Elba, 1721 Moravian missionary David Zeisberger is born, 1888 Henry Ford marries, 1862 Confederates surrender Fort Pulaski, 1951 Truman relieves MacArthur of duties in Korea, 1870 War is narrowly averted, 1968 Last survivors of ferry accident rescued, 1970 Apollo 13 launched to moon, 1979 Idi Amin overthrown, 1988 Cher wins Best Actress Oscar for Moonstruck, 1931 Dorothy Parker resigns as drama critic for The New Yorker, 1961 Bob Dylan plays his first major gig in New York City, 1803 Talleyrand offers to sell Louisiana, 1977 President Carter hosts White House Easter egg roll, 2004 Phil Mickelson wins first major at Masters, 1963 Troops from Hawaii sent to South Vietnam, 1972 B52s strike North Vietnamese positions, 1919 International Labor Organization founded, 1945 The US army liberates Buchenwald concentration camp,

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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