Saturday, May 14, 2011

" we are educated" mindset of average people - humbled by experience

One would be proud of being normative.  Human beings are rational and take pleasure in doing things that are practical and sensible.  We take pride in identifying the values, possibilities, uncertainties and other things in a given situation and would be proud to tell others ‘I told you so – earlier !’.
What we do not realize or are not prepared to admit is that face that many a times, we are driven by preconceived notions.  Often we form an impression of a person or object by the looks or our earlier experiences, without really trying to have a subjective opinion. 
May 13th is important for the Nation (more for the States of Assam, Kerala, Pondy, Tamilnadu and West Bengal].  The people of TN – the electorate, the politicians and everybody else were made to wait for  a month after days of political calculations, exhaustive campaign, extensive propaganda, polling.  Now no more speculation.  All that was earlier done by Political analysts, news channels, newspapers and Psephologists – most of them were common in their views in telling us that ‘it is unpredictable’ and it would be close call in Tamilnadu.  Proving all wrong – TN is heading for a clear verdict.

the parallel lines
There are always optical illusions where perceived images differ from the objective reality.  This is not about them either.   This is more of perception and mindset that sometimes drives us on the wrong lane.  Mindset is a set of assumptions or notions held by one or by a group which is so well established that it creates powerful directive to individuals and groups to adopt the prior behaviours and thinking them only to be rational.  There are times, when we perceive that what we think or speak is the only way right.
In this age of Internet and Communication, we exchange so many e-mails, some write, some communicate and some simply forward including the ones which say that if you forward them to … no. of people, you will get some charm and more……  Once in a while, we do get things that change our thinking and make us feel small.
Here is one received from a person whom I admire much [which made me read this interest and found it to be really interesting.  No matter whether it is real depiction of whatever happened to any individual or simply concocted, there is something to learn and ponder about.
Do read on ………………………. [me forwarding a Hindi transcript is not acceptable by the passive norm that I have been adopting still..]
There were two rickshaw-walas vying for our business when we wanted to go to Sankat-Mochan temple in Benaras. I agreed to go with the one who was about 20, seemed like a regular young rickshaw-wala, but I found something interesting about this fellow in his eyes. I was not proved wrong.
~ ` He wanted Rs 50, we said Rs 30. We settled for 40.
Here are the highlights of the conversation that ensued while he rode the rickshaw: ~ "aap kahan se aaye hain"
-  "Delhi" ~"bijness ya kaam karte hain?"
-  "naukri karte hain"
- "internet mein"
~"humara bhi kuch wahin kaam lagwa do"
-  I just chuckled
~ "main try kar raha hoon engineering padhne kee. achchi naukri lag jaayegi tab"
- "achcha?" I asked a little interested
~ "haan, delhi mein Guru Gobind Singh Indraprashta University mein engineering ke liye apply kara hai. achchi hai woh university"
- "haan, achchi hai", I agreed.
~ "haan, kal hee maine JEE bhi diya"
- "JEE matlab, IIT ka?" ~ "haan, Joint Entrance Examination" he pronounced it perfectly.
 - just to make it clear to me what JEE stood for. "mushkil hota hai exam" ~ "haan, 2 saal toh log padhte hee hain uske liye, asaan nahin hai" -  I carried on the conversation ~ "Delhi mein Akaash coaching institute hain na?"
-  "haan, hai"
~ "aapne kya padhai kari?"
- "main engineer hoon, aur phir mba bhi kiya"
~ "kahan se engineer?"
-  "IIT delhi se"
He swung back, surprised, a little delighted, and smiled. "Ok, aapke liye Rs 30".   Swati and I laughed.  Swati asked "padhai kab karte they IIT ke liye"
~ "bas, rickshaw chalaane ke baad raat mein". Then he added "kismein engineering kari aapne?"
- "Chemical"
~ "toh aapki chemistry toh badi strong hogi"
- "nahin, aisa nahin hai"
~ He continued "yeh bataiye....jab Mendeleev ne Periodic Table banaya tha tab kitne elements they usmein?"
-  Now it was my turn to get surprised. He was quizzing me. I said "shayad 70-80"
~  "no, 63" he said sharply. "kaunse element kee electronegativity highest hai?"
-  Swati was laughing, and I didnt try too hard and said "pata nahin"
~ "Flourine", he said confidently. Without a break he asked,"kaunse element kee electron affinity highest hoti hai?"
-  Now I was laughing too and said "nahin pata"
~ "Chlorine. toh aapka kaunsa subject strong tha?" clearly having proven that my chemistry wasnt a strong point
-  "Physics", I said
~  "achha, Newton's second law of motion kya hai"
-  I knew this one I thought, "F=ma" I said
~  "Physics is not about formula, it is understanding concept!"  he reprimanded me in near perfect english. "Tell me in statement"
-  I was shocked. Swati continued to laugh.  I said "ok, Newtons second law, er....was...." ~ " 'was' nahin, 'is'!Second law abhi bhi hai!" he snapped at my use of 'was'
-  Surely, my physics wasnt impressing him either. "yaad nahin, I said"
~ "Force on an object is directly proportional to the mass of the object and the acceleration of the object", he said it in near perfect english. "aapne mtech nahin kiya?"
- "nahin, MBA  kiya"
~ "MBA  waale toh sirf paisa kamana chahte hain, kaam nahin karte"
- "nahin, aisa nahin hai, paisa kamaane ke liye kaam karna padta hai"
He said "arrey, rehene do"  or some words to that effect. He didnt think too highly of me apparently anymore. In a minute we reached our destination. We got off and I told him that he must and should definitely study more, and that I think he is sharp as hell. He took only Rs 30, smiled and began to leave. I got my camera out and said "Raju, ek photo leta hoon tumhari". He waved me off, dismissed the idea and rode off before I could say anything more....leaving me feeling high and dry like a spurned lover.
Moral of the Story  :  Never tell a stranger that you are an Insurer.  If they ask you something on the fundamentals like Insurable Interest or Proximate Cause,  One would find self awkwardly placed, having moved so much from the core concepts…………
In a Tamil Cinema, comedian Vivek would be loitering with a book preparing himself for the interview and would hire a rickshaw.  He would tell the auto driver that things are so difficult, get in and start reading loudly.  Upon hearing, the driver would give ready made answers for everything including mathematical formulae. 

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