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   The chief asked me to interview a typical farmer... (March 4, 1990)

The chief asked me to interview a typical farmer and find out how he felt about becoming an ambassador.

So I went to Karjat, found a typical farmer and interviewed him. He was sowing rice for the coming season. He looked at me, up and down, then said: "If you want my voter forget it. I have already voted twice in three months and I am not going to vote again."

"No, no, I don't was your vote," I said. "Just want to know how you feel about joining the diplomatice service?"

"You all promise service for our children when you want our land to build a factory. But when it comes to giving service, you get you people from the city. I am not giving my land to build any factory," he said.

"Now why would I want it build a factory!" I said. "You are mistaking me for somebody else. I just want to interview you. I wish to know, if you are offered an ambassorship, would you accept."

"We have been offered all that, we know nothing comes out of it," the farmer said. "First, they offered us a bullock-cart with rubber tyres, then a tractor, then a truck, now you are offerning an Ambassador. If you can't giver womething, why offer. In any case, what will I do with your Ambassador, take my chicken for a drive!"

"Please, please, not that Ambassador," I said. "I would not offer my worst enemy an Ambassador. I am asking you about becoming an ambassador. Likd Mr. Kuldip Nayar, you know. Though he is not actually an ambassador, he is a high commissioner, but it is one and the same thing, you know."

"I don't know," the farmer said. Then he shaded his eyes with his hand, peered at the skies over the Matheran hill, and said: "expect an early monsoon. If you don't mind, I have to get on with my tilling."

"Amazing how you country people can tell by just looking at the sky," I said. "Just one more question, then I will go. I will be very speciafic. If you are made an abmassador, would you prefer to be in London, Paris, Moscow or Wahington?"

"You are doing an opinion poll on which fertiliser I use," the farmer said, "I have answered so any opinon polls on that. I use whatever fertiliser is givern to me. Though, I would say, so far the Japanese method of cultivation of rice has been the best."

So I returned to the office and told the dhief: "The farmer are indifferent about becoming ambassadors, though they would not mind being ambassadors in Tokyo."

 
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