The Conversation.

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 looked like this:
Maha farmer

I was in traditional Indian attire of white kurta and pajama like this:
self-design-off-white-kurta-with-white-pajama-BC47_l

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?
I: Yes.
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.

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19 Responses to The Conversation.

  1. Maxi says:

    Hmm, I don’t see much difference in the way you two are dressed. But I’m American so…
    Your conversation made me feel a little sad for the other man. I could feel his desire to be in your shoes.
    blessings ~ maxi
    Maxi recently posted..Puppy Love Ain’t Real

    • You are very sensitive. No, I was in more elegant, if that is the word for it, style and of much better fabric. Yes, there certainly was a lot of wistfulness in the man. I doubt however that he wanted to be in my shoes, but would have liked to be what he was and yet be capable of buying and using the device that I had.

  2. Grannymar says:

    I bet your kurta had fewer creases or fold marks than the one pictured above.
    Grannymar recently posted..Photographing the Alphabet ~ S

  3. It’s nice to be reminded how blessed we are. I love how you encouraged him.

    • I enjoy talking to strangers CM. In fact, on the way to the center, I had a long chat with the taxi driver about his life and his ambitions for his two little children.

  4. Looney says:

    Now I will spend the rest of the weekend pondering what it means to be dressed like a politician. Clearly it is an insult, but I am not exactly sure what this fashion looks like.
    Looney recently posted..Hebrew Paper #3

  5. Cathy in NZ says:

    Interesting how innocent conversations lead us to find out more than we probably want to know…but certainly technology is moving at such a rate; I feel quite behind with the times in the mobile/cellular arena – even though I still see people even younger than me with a similar old cellphone with the modern bells and whistles…
    Cathy in NZ recently posted..Taking The Tour…

  6. tammyj says:

    you are keeping up.
    my phone is about 9 upgrades behind now. and I still don’t even know how to use all of it’s magical wonders!
    the meeting with the old farmer was sweet and kind. yet respectful and not condescending in any way. it was very ‘you’ rummy!
    and I love the indian traditional dress. though wondering if it wouldn’t be very hot! if I went out here with everything up to my neck covered … I think I should pass out in the heat and humidity! maybe just in my head… but still… stifling!
    tammyj recently posted..bin bizy bak soon!

    • I doubt that I have a choice with the resident tyrant chasing me to become smart now that he has given me a smart phone and a smart tablet,

      His innocence and demeanor would not have elicited any other response from any civilised person Tammy.

      It is now monsoon season here and very cool.

  7. I always find it interesting (and, I admit, off-putting) when people quiz me about how much something I have costs. Feels intrusive. But I guess he was mightily curious about a different life than his own.
    Secret Agent Woman recently posted..Hearing a different drummer.

  8. Humanity is so universal and you are able to be so Western. it is nice to be reminded that you are truly, authentically Indian. I learn from you all the time, but in some ways, I learn more when it comes home to me that we grew up in different cultures and have different roots from which we extract sustenance.
    The Old Fossil recently posted..Heat Tolerance

    • Well said TOF. I keep learning from all my blogger friends too. Just a small observation. Apart from the fact that I do wear Western clothes, increasingly less frequently, I would call myself modern rather than Western. I can be very comfortable in a Western milieu, but basically I am a modern Indian with universal values.

  9. You are lucky to have a son who gives you gift that not every after have. You handled the conversation well. I wish all the best for that man too. Thanks for sharing this experience.

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