Yesterday, I was returning home from Malleswaram in an auto-rickshaw. It was a long ride because of the terrible Bangalore traffic. So the auto-driver started discussing various things with me, which included topics like poetry, history, geography, mathematics and biology. He was the one doing most of the talking. I was simply listening and responding when I had something to add. He was fluent in English and Hindi, and he knew a little bit of Oriya too. He learnt a little more from me. I know Oriya as I have spent over 20 years in Orissa. Kannada was his mother tongue.
For some reason, he believed that the US got its independence on 9th July, 1777 even though I repeatedly told him that it was 4th July, 1776. I told him that I was very sure of the date as it is often used in Hollywood movies even though I was not sure of the year. He also mentioned that one can't find water, anywhere in the world, that tastes better than that of Coimbatore. He talked about angles and properties of circles when it came to mathematics. He talked about bones when we talked about biology.
He said that he never went to school but he ensured that his children got good education. He explained that he learnt most of the things he was discussing, including Hindi and English, from his children. He said that he learnt through experience that time is very precious and it should not be wasted.
Finally, he explained why he was talking so much. He gave two reasons:
- To beat the boredom.
- God resides where good ideas are discussed.