Me: You are up early
He : This is regular. Everyday.
Me: Do you catch a lot of fish at this time?
He: I do my best. Sometimes I catch. Sometimes I dont.
Me: You are alone here.
He: In this world we all are. It doesnt matter.
Me: How many children do you have ?
Me: What do they do ?
He: They go to the municipal school.
Me: Is it a good school ?
He : I dont know. They go. They come. They are happy. I am happy that they are happy.
Me: Have you considered a big boat ?
He: I have thought about it. I am happy with this. On a good day, I make about Rs.200/-. On a bad, its next to nothing.
Me: You could make much more with a big boat !
He: Your educated mind will tell you so. But I am happy this way. No loans. No folding of hands before some money lender. Just about enough to give the family what it needs.
Pause. Reflective pause. Silence.
He: Just about enough of money. I dont understand you educated people. Running behind money.
Saying so, he lowered the boat into the water and went fishing. I kept looking as his steady rowing took him farther away. Aware that in his matter of speaking, he had brought me closer to myself.
Which is when the phone rang. I had to get back and get ready to participate in the conference. We were to discuss ‘Inclusive growth’ !