Recently, while I was waiting for the train at Sydney Central Station, an old man who can barely walk came up to me and asked ‘are you from India?’ I politely replied ‘yes sir, I am’. He then asked ‘can I sit next to you?’ I wonder why he asked that question. The seat was empty and it’s a public railway station. I replied, ‘please’, after a bit of delay. After adjusting himself on the seat, the old man told me that ‘India is making lot of progress, earlier it was all mess but now it is gaining strength’. For a moment, I was taken aback. Now, I was able to guess, why the old man wanted to sit next to me. He had some opinions regarding India and he wanted to share those with me. Generally, I am the kind of guy who jumps into political discussions, however given his age, I wanted to be calm and polite. I told him that, ‘yes, India is making progress and China is doing well too’. By the way, I forgot to say, the old man was from Chinese decent. After hearing my reply, he gave a childish smile and said, ‘China has got one problem that is not known to the world’. Internally, I was thinking, oh damn, this conversation is picking up. I mean, how exciting it is to have a political conversation with an old Chinese man at Sydney Central Station when there is an option of checking out beautiful Australian women. I think I am very fond of Australian ladies… especially the ones I noticed in Canberra. Most women in Canberra wear high healed leather boots… which for reason I found very appealing. Maybe, because they all appeared tall in that 5 inch leather boots and all my fantasies involve tall women. Even without those 5 inch leather boots, Australian women are tall compared to women in US and Europe. Anyhow, back to the conversation with the old man at Sydney Central station. So, I started wondering, what could that one problem that China has which is unknown to the world. I gave a thought but then I quickly gave up. Maybe, I wasn’t in mood for thinking. I asked the old man, ‘may I know what the one problem is?’ He instantly replied, ‘do you know China has one child policy?’ I told him that I am aware of it. He continued ‘so, if two people produce one child, the working force of China is going to decrease by half within twenty years’. That’s certainly is an interesting observation! A gave a thought and then replied, ‘the progress of the countries isn’t dependent on work force, but rather on the intellectual and political acumen’. The discussion continued for more than half an hour since coincidently, the old man was also heading to same stop as I was. We discussed about India-China relations, US, Iraq genocide, terrorism and related topics.
As I now look back at that conversation, couple of observations I felt are worth giving a serious thought. People around the world are able to see potential in India and view it as future super-power. When I say people, I mean common people. This is a very positive indication. However, such an impression means we (Indians) have got more responsibility on our shoulders. Now, the question is, are we prepared to take on that responsibility?
(To be Continued)