The Indian models 23/12/2010

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


4 thoughts on “The Indian models 23/12/2010

  1. Prof.V.N.K.Kumar

    …..How are you going to spend your time? Won’t you feel bored sitting at home all the time? I asked……

    When you said that, you were spot on and have hit the nail on the head ! I just couldn’t agree with you more.

    Leisure presents a terrible dilemma for people with money : Either they don’t have enough of it because they are always working or they don’t work at all and are drowning in leisure.

    The vast majority of millionnaires are self-made and one of the primary ways they gain their wealth is by sacrificing their leisure and freedom. Next time you walk through the first class aisles of an airplane, check out how many of the passengers have their faces buried in paperwork and laptops. Is that your idea of leisure ? Most of these people don’t feel free — they feel frazzled, worn out and exhausted.

    Some people, though, are rich without having to work – they inherit money
    – marry someone who is rich
    – win a bumper lottery
    – or make a fortune early in life.

    Having a lot of money and no obligations feels good for only a short time. Boredom soon sets in, along with a feeling of worthlessness and ennui. Too much leisure is oppressive and as boring as being locked-up in a jail.

    When you don’t work, you lose all the benefits that you would have got in the work situation. Apart from salary income, work provides a number of hidden benefits :
    – It provides structure to the day
    – It gives status
    – It provides several ready-made social contacts
    – It prevents life from becoming aimless
    – It gives a sense of identity.

    So to offset their boredom from too much leisure time they might : Start a company, or do social work.

    Thus we see how too much leisure leads to unhappiness. If I were to be that boy’s grandfather, I would have given these insights into the secrets of a happy, productive and meaningful life to my grandson.

    1. The stinking rich have all the time to sit and stare whereas the common folks have no time even to stand and stare!
      (a variation of the lines by the poet Davies on ‘Leisure’)

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