He was a cheerful fellow, with a wide grin as I came out of the airport. “Rough flight?” he asked. “You bet,” I said as I got into his car. I was there to address a group on the role of the press, I looked around at traffic jams and crowded roads and said, “My Bombay’s become a lousy place to live in, how’s it over here?” He chuckled and asked. “You want a story while I drive?” “Shoot!” I said and found his grin contagious.
“There lived an old man who owned a gas station,” said my new friend as he drove, “every afternoon he sat in his rocking chair and greeted the motorists as they passed by. One day his granddaughter also sat next to him. A tourist began looking around as if he were checking out the area for a place to live and seeing the old man walked up to him and asked, “So what kind of town is this?”
“What kind of a town are you from?” asked the old man.
“Where I’m from,” said the tourist, “everyone is very critical of each other. The neighbours all gossip about everyone and I’m sure glad I’ve left the place. It’s not a cheerful place at all pardner!”
The old man in the rocking chair looked at the stranger and said, “You know, that’s how this town is too!”
An hour later a family that was passing through stopped for gas. The father who had been driving strolled over to the old man and his granddaughter and asked, “Is this town a pretty good place to live?”
“What about the town you are from? How is it?” asked the old man.
“Well,” said the man, “in the town where I come from, everyone is very close and always willing to lend their neighbour a helping hand. There’s always a hello and thank you everywhere you go. I really hate to leave the place, because I feel almost like we are leaving family!”
The old man gave him a warm smile, “You know,” he said, “that’s a lot like this town!” and smiled at his wife and kids as they drove off waving.
“Hey granddad?” asked the puzzled granddaughter, “How come you told the first man it was a terrible place to live and the second it’s a wonderful place?”
The old man looked lovingly at his granddaughter’s wondering blue eyes and said, “No matter where you go, you carry your attitude with you and that’s what makes a new place wonderful or terrible!”
“So Bob?” asked my new friend as he drove, “what were you saying about Bombay?”
“Nothing!” I said and we both laughed out loud..!
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