Doing Some Good

The Magi, if you remember your O’Henry, were wise men. They travelled from faraway lands to bring gifts to the king who was about to be born in Bethlehem. The Magi brought Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh. Gold, as to a king; Myrrh, as to one who is a mortal; and Frankincense, as to a God. How very philosophical. I wish they’d brought me some bones.

Now, what do you think they would have brought if this was happening in recent times? An I-pad, perhaps, to post his first tweet? “#beingborn is soo cool! and look these old fellas brought me gifts too!!” A few shares of Berkshire Hathaway maybe? (for all you business illiterates, that’s the holding company of Warren Buffett.) And maybe a season ticket to Old Trafford?

I don’t think so. The Magi, as I’ve said before, were wise men. How about some fresh cool air? Some shade from the Sun? Something natural and healthy to eat perhaps instead of all that flavored crap? no? of course not! That’s stupid and uncool. Guess what, there are still some stupid and uncool people in this world.

For example, take this village called Piplantri in Rajasthan. These people actually care about things you’re probably tired of reading about – girl child, and trees. They do this weird thing – they plant 111 (yes, one hundred and eleven) fruit bearing trees every time a girl child is born in their village. In the last six years, they have planted over a quarter-million trees in and around the village. Of course, there are people like you in that place. People who are not overly enthusiastic about a female child. Fear not, they have made arrangements for that as well. When such a family is identified, they collect Rs. 10,000 from the parents, the villagers pool in Rs. 21000, and the total of Rs. 31000 is then put into a fixed deposit for 20 years. If you do the math, that turns out be a little over two hundred thousand for the girl when she turns 20. Not bad, eh? Moreover..wait, you just don’t give a damn, do you?

No wonder. The Magi, wise men that they were, were never seen again either. What does that tell you?

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