The location: A mobile phone service center.
The occasion: I had gone to collect a repaired handset.
The participants: Me and the person, obviously a farmer, sitting next to me.
The reason: Both of us were waiting to be called in a queue system to collect our hand sets. I was browsing the net in my tablet.
The language: Marathi.
My neighbour: What is that in your hand?
I: A tablet. Something like a small computer.
MN: What are you doing with that?
I: Checking for mail.
MN: Times have changed. We used to get mail through post office.
I: Yes, but this is faster.
MN: Yes, that is the problem. Everything is too fast now.
I: Sad, but true.
MN: Are you a Netha? (Leader, often used derogatorily to refer to a politician)
I: Good Lord, no. Why do you ask?
MN: You are dressed like one and have a computer with you.
I: The computer is a gift from my son.
MN: What does your son do?
I: Has his own business in the computer world.
MN: Does he make a lot of money?
I: Enough to buy me a gift like this.
MN: How much does that cost?
I: I don’t know. I did not ask him.
MN: Did he teach you to use the computer?
MN: I wish that my son could teach me!
I: Don’t worry, your grand son will teach you soon enough.
MN: With a big grin, Yes, he goes to school here in Pune. Wants to be an Engineer.
I: I wish him and you all the very best. It will happen.
MN: God willing. Thank you for your good wishes.
My neighbour was called to collect his hand set and I was left to ponder over that conversation.
On the way out, he stopped near me to take leave of me.