I could not see the people sitting in the front seat of the Sapthagiri Express but could hear their voices.
You will become a lawyer , the man was saying.
Thatha, I am not interested in what I become, tell me whether I will become very, very rich like Bill Gates, the voice was of a young boy who had an American accent.
Intrigued by the question, I leaned over the seat to see to whom the voice belonged. He appeared to be around 12. His thatha was reading his palm and making predictions.
A few more questions followed which were all centered on how much money he would make and how quickly he could do so.
When the forecasting of his future was over I invited the boy to sit by my side to chat with him.
Why do you want to grow rich like Bill Gates and what are you going to do with all that money? I asked.
Aunty, I can have a villa, a limousine and live a life of luxury, not work any more, was his unhesitant reply.
How are you going to spend your time? Won’t you feel bored sitting at home all the time? I asked.
He thought for a while and said, well, I can watch TV or browse the Net or invite friends home or go partying or holidaying.
But all those activities will leave you without any exercise and for all you know you may end up with health problems, I said, knowing the boy might have thought I sounded like a wet blanket.
By the way, would you like to study in India if your parents wish to come back for good, I asked wanting to change the topic.
No, never, was his vehement answer. Why do you say that? I asked.
At least in the US we have a model to emulate, whom do we have here? he shot back.
Quite a few, the only thing is you don’t seem to have heard of any, I said but my answer sounded strange to my own ears .I regretted that even the few icons worthy of emulation are ceasing to be icons any more.
N Meera Raghavendra Rao