Of what could have been

I was thinking of what all I would have been had I not been lucky enough to be where I am today. Confused? Read on…

Don`t know if it was the movie Page3 or Fat Albert that made me wonder about my past. Don`t ask me why, coz even I have not seen these movies.

When I think of the alternatives…the first that comes to my mind is a shepherd. Yes, I would definitely been a shepherd and would have loved it too. Had it not been for my father, who lost a quarter of an anna in 1962 and fearing the wrath of my Grandpa, left the village to join the Indian Army, today I would have been sitting on a rock counting my goats.

I know…you are probably laughing at me coz a quarter of an anna changed the lives of two generations in my family. But I guess that`s the truth.

What if my grandpa did not have goats? And I had no goats to become a shepherd…the thought itself is scary.

If my grandpa did not have goats…he would have had cows for sure. And that would have made me a milkman. My day would have started as early as 3 a.m.. I would get up, milk the cows, distribute the milk, come home, have break-fast, sleep for some time and get ready for the second round of milking.

God forbid, but what would have happened if my grandpa did not have cows either. I would have definitely become a bullock-cart driver (or should it be rider – bullock carts have only two wheels). No gears, no brakes…plain gut feeling…of the bullocks. The cart and the bullocks would have been my property and I would have decided my work timings. On the pretext of resting the bullocks I could have rested. One issue though…there would have been no rear view mirrors for me to comb my well-oiled and parted hair.

What if my grandpa didn`t have bullock carts…what would I be doing in my village? Selling groundnuts in Rs 2, Rs 5 packs ? No way. The villagers are smarter…they don`t fall for such cheap tricks. Pushing a thela and exchanging plastic wares for old clothes? Nah…in villages people don`t sell old clothes…they wear it till they last. A vegetable seller? No way…in villages most houses have gardens and they eat home-grown vegetables.

What does that leave me to be? I did a lot of research, and found out a few things about my village –

– There is lot of disposable income
– People are a little fashion conscious
– They love nature and would prefer to sit under a tree that anywhere else.
– They are very simple people who don`t like to deal with technical stuff like shaving sets, hair dyes etc.

Bingo! I would have been a barber operating from under a tree, had my father not lost a quarter of an anna way back in 1962.

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