Saturday, April 12, 2014

The Wedding Wish

The big news is that my sister is getting married!! If you are from India, you attend marriages all the time.But generally,as a kid, all you care about weddings are meeting with cousins, playing with them and hopefully avoid scoldings for spoiling a new dress.Everything else is for the grown ups.So the first thing that hit me when I got the news was, Well!Thats it,We are grown  ups now...and we still haven't really stopped quarrelling.In order to kickstart the wedding , We had this small engagement ceremony and out of the blue,I was given a mike and asked to speak about what I feel. Now what do I say?How do I feel? Happy? Duh.But there is a lot more than that.

Everything has to start at some point...the earliest memories I have with my sister are playing those girly games,which we shall not go into.She did become the tom boy and played cricket later,But the first sport we played was Tennis(or at least we thought it was).We used to buy a balloon which was to be our ball and a couple of combs to be used as bats.We used to tie a towel across the dining table chairs and play on either side of it using it as the net.It was great fun.We also used to assign tennis players to each of us.She was always Steffi Graf and I was Monica Seles.It took me many years to figure out that my first role models in everything  were women.Thanks to her,I also danced to rangeela when I was small  and used to cycle around on a  violet ladybird. 

The good thing about having an elder sister is , whenever you are unsure of something,just do what she does.Don't know what to call someone or who someone is?Just call them what your sister does.( I should stop doing that now ,or things are going to get awkward :-)).Someone offered you something?Take it if your sister does.So , you learn what to do.The more important thing that I learnt from my sister was what not to do.Being the fiery little kid she was, she was the one who generally got into trouble.Not that she used to do anything,Its just that she used to express her opinions or desires a lot more and fight for them.Being the wicked genius I was, I used to observe everything and figure out how not to piss my parents off and in addition get a free ticket for being the smaller kid.She fought tooth and nail for a new tv and I enjoyed watching cricket and F1 on that.She fought for a computer,I used it more etc.

 Another thing I loved about my sister was the way she used to tell her stories.Everyday she used to have some incident or the other at school, or college or whatever.Everything with her was a first time experience for every one of us.So even my parents paid attention to what my sister had to say while I was generally cut off by her "been there done that" attitude.So whatever she was doing always appeared to be the paradise I was searching for.When I was in first class, 4th class sounded awesome.When I was in 4th, suddenly it was normal and 7th was the class to be in.Sometimes,during exams ,she used to explain her stuff to me so that she could revise, and I always found them to be so cool .So I always had this desire to move forward and be there and never had any fear of the unexpected ,because I already knew what is going to happen and couldn't wait to start.Our school had co curricular activities only for students above 4th and quizzes only above 6th.I used to attend all her debates and quizzes and I wanted to do the same.It wasn't some competition, I just wanted to do it because my sister does it.It was a shock for me and for her when I was put into another house(one of the four groups in the school).we used to fight over it and argue over whose was closer to griffindor and whose was slytherin.(It didn't help that my house colour was green and hers was red).  

One thing you definitely have with your sister is the sibling rivalry.I am proud to say that I am a book worm.The reading habit is the one I consider to be one of my best qualities.And I give full credit of that to my sister. Our school lets students borrow books once they are in 6th standard. So ,my sister got this new Enid Blyton novel home and showed it to us.I probably wouldn't have given it a second thought,but she stopped me from reading it and told me I couldn't.Now ,reading that book became the most important thing to me.I stole it from her bag,hid from her and started reading it.I didn't understand much, but I HAD to read it . I thus discovered my love of books.I had to later re read some of my early novels much to the amusement of my mother and sister.I also got permission from my school to start borrowing books one class earlier than normal. Now that I started reading books, we had our share of challenges.Most of the novels we read were Enid Blyton novels.Now my sister used to read the books before me and threatened to give away the suspense if I didn't do the chores she wanted done.So whoever finishes the book first,has the advantage.I never got to use my advantage as my sister always found some other means to blackmail me.I was basically imbibed the Management and Game theory gyan by my sister.The main reason I was a well behaved kid was not to give an initiative for her to blackmail me. I once called one of my cousins an Idiot, at the beginning of summer.She used it as her trump card the whole summer till I went and told our mom myself.Our mom didn't say  anything,But Lesson learnt,I never swore again , till I joined the IIT;-)

Sometimes she used to blackmail me even when she had nothing on me...whenever I used to get something I can use against her ,it used to go like this...
Me:"I'm gonna tell this to mom unless you do what I say".
Her:"Yeah Right, Im not gonna do it...and If you tell on me,I'm going to tell her what you did the other day"
M:"What did I do?"
H:"You will get to know when I tell her" 
M:"Noooooo,I will do whatever you want ,Don't tell her"

Inspite of all the petty fights we had,she never let anyone else get the better of her little brother.We were from the same school and she was always very protective of me.She used to take over my fights and intimidate those guys.I used to hate it.I wanted to be a grown up and finish my fights.She was also there at the NCC camp I attended and I got special treatment from the seniors there because of her.I also hated the fact that she used to come to every debate of mine and sit in the audience.I used to speak well till I saw her, and then fumble.The problem is no one else will care whatever happens on stage, But she will be there to analyze and criticize every mistake, so I was relaxed if she was not in the audience and even now,have no stage fear. I always tried to prevent her from coming to my speeches.But she was there to cheer me everytime.What I hated the most was riding pillion when she was driving.I learnt to drive 1 day before her,but my mom never let me drive on roads as I looked like a kid.So through my 10 th and inter,I had to sit behind her while she drove when my classmates were driving motor bikes. Most of my conversations in class used to start with "I saw you at so and so were sitting behind your sister"  and then laugh.Painful memories. And there are all the other memories,that I remember...The surprize birthday parties for each other,buying gifts,stopping at dolphins on the way home for snacks,the dance classes,performances, cheering each other in school at the same time trying to get our respective groups ahead.Fun times.

And now we are here,and she is getting married.And I have the mike in my hand....All I want to say is:


If this is the end of our childhood,Then we sure had an epic one.You have always been there, sometimes as a guide and sometimes as a friend sometimes as my hero while sometimes, my villain. Your experiences at every step right from school to engineering were my life lessons for every choice I made.

Remember we used to dream about having adventures when we were kids(I still am one)?Well, you might not have the famous five kind of ones, but I wish you have lots of delightful adventures and pleasant surprises Ahead !! 
And I cant wait to see kids call you Auntie :-)

Monday, December 23, 2013

The Railroad Fixation

There are a lot of firsts in life. First watch,First cell,First job and a whole lot of first experiences.I have this habit of keeping track of firsts,however ridiculous or unimportant they seem.Though I went to two different countries,both times by a plane,I never flew domestic.I should have been excited when I finally got to do so,But all through the journey,I wasn't .I felt like I was breaking tradition.

My sister was back from the USA after a gap of three years.I was very restless and wanted to meet her asap.But the placement season kept me from running off home.I did have a ticket back by the first train possible,but had to postpone it because of some application business.Still, I tried getting a tatkaal ticket so that I could get a train.But it wasn't meant to be.So I had to accept the fact that  wouldn't be going home in a train.why do I have this stupid fixation with trains?

I did have some good memories from my childhood.I remember calling 131 or 132 to find out whether the train to Hyderabad was on time.We used to take an auto to the station and get in the reserved compartment and pay a fine.For a very long time, I didn't know that the general compartment existed.Sometimes,we used to take the Shatavahana from Hyderabad to Warangal. This was the train I believed was the fastest in India,Just for the reason it was faster than the other ones I used to travel and the fact that I used to travel in it.(In my defence,I was a small kid with big ego).

The two years of my intermediate were probably the most important ones in determining how I ended up.Though I feel IIT has had an impact on my personality,it wouldn't have been possible had it not been for some decisions during this time. My parents boldly chose not to let me join one of the (jee)factories in Hyderabad(something I can't thank them enough for) and I was only too happy to stay at home.On the downside, you never knew how good you are.If you were in the top batch in Narayana or Chaitanya, you can  just  read the material provided for two years and be sure of a rank.Here,You have to decide what you read,how you study and what to do.So,I ended up getting everything I could lay my hands on.I had all the popular books on Maths,Physics and Chemistry.I subscribed to all the possible magazines and postal materials possible.I had materials from Aakash,Resonance,Bansal,Time and lots of other random material.It is one of these subscriptions,FIITJEE to be exact,that led to my attachment with the railway.

Fiitjee has these All India tests which are very reputed and having taken their material, I was eligible to take them.The only problem was that they were held in Hyderabad.So I did take the rail route to the test.In my first year,I used to start on saturday afternoon.There was this passenger which charged Rs20 for the trip.I always used to try and read something on the way ,but was disturbed by curious co passengers,each of them having their own advice on life and education.But then,It was fun.The people also were so different.I had talked to guys such as principals of schools ,auto drivers and migration workers from Orissa.I remember praying for the express to get delayed so that I reach early,but getting held up for the crossing one station away.Then my uncle used to pick me up and take me to his place where I would spend the night before the test.In my second year, to save time,I used to get up early and catch the 4:40 train to write the test.The test used to have the same pattern as the old JEE (9-12,2-5) and was generally out of sync with my curriculum.Halfway into the second test,I used to start weighing solving unanswered questions against catching an earlier train(the Shatavahana again!!).I always took the former,and then rush to the Secunderabad station,which was 5 min of walk from the center.I still had some tough decisions to make.Whether to try and get into the 5:40 express which would reach already full,or to take the 6:20 one in which I would definitely get a seat.I did prefer the 6:20 one.The Padmavathi express from Secunderabad to Thirupati.I used to check my solutions with the ones given after the test and calculate the marks.I sometimes had my friend and  junior,Savant for company in the ordeal.I used to have a generally one-sided conversation with him,poor guy never used to talk much.I had better ones with some other passengers,or best ,used to listen to conversations without getting into one.And boy,they were interesting,especially in 2009 before the general elections.I used to reach by 8:30,on sunday at the station  where my dad used to wait.Good Memories.

But the best memory,or the one I remember the most was this.As I was travelling in the general,which is at the last of the train,it used to take some time before I could reach the exit.By that time,there would generally be the announcement of the next train,the Charminar express.I used to tell my tired self "Do this for a few more times and work hard, and in some time you will get on that train ,going to IIT Madras".I told this to myself every time in that station.And it came true!!

Now ,everytime I come home for a weekend,I try and book a ticket in that train on a sunday. Everytime I get on it, I feel proud to have made it.That sense of achievement might not be obvious to many, But even after 4 years,I still feel amazing.Cause its not about IIT ,its about workinf hard and getting something you wanted and you knowing it.Most of the times,when we reach early,I get to see the Padmavathi coming on to the platform.I smile and  tell my mom or dad,"You know,I used to come in that every sunday"while take a glance ,trying to see if by chance, there is a boy with bag ,some Fiitjee papers, and dreamy eyes...

Saturday, December 15, 2012

The Telugu Movie Traumatization

I am not much of a movie buff.When I was a kid,I used to rarely watch movies and during some point of time , took a pledge not to watch any(However hard I try,I don't remember why).Still ,of the few movies I used to watch,most of them were in Telugu except for the occasional Hindi one and that too ,after I was into my teens and started understanding the language.As for English,the only movies I knew as a kid were Independence Day,Titanic and Speed.

Now,I have been watching decent number of movies in all three languages and feel that I have a decent taste in movies..Not surprisingly,I'm actually put off by Telugu movies and here are the reasons

1)Copy from Hollywood and Still screw it up.

Culprits:Any movie that looks too good to be original.

I recently watched a movie called Julai. There is this one scene in the movie of inconsistencies that I particularly hated.It is a complete rip off of the introduction scene of the Joker from the epic movie -The Dark Knight.

The scene in the original is a scheme where the joker hires people who are experts in one task and he gets them killed once their task is over.So basically use and throw kill.So what does the guy in the rip off do?Take 9 men into the bank to steal,kill them inside and then steal the money.The most important job these 9 guys do in the movie is walk behind the villain when he walks into an empty bank.This is done to project him as highly intelligent.

Lets for a second forget that its a movie.For all I know ,stealing a bank gets you lesser prison time than killing 8 people.Heck,it could actually lead to the capital punishment.So,when in all probability,you can loot the bank alone,why take people in ,kill them and complicate matters?

Another such is a rip off of the comedy Blue Streak.In the movie,The robbers loot a bank in th eoriginal and one of them tries to take the loot by himself.All of the robbers except two of them die.The other guy jumps from one building into the opposite one by using a tight rope and stick the diamond in a air vent.What happens in the telugu version?They dig up a hole in a neatly laid out floor and put their loot there.I mean,if the workers notice someone dug up the floor,the first thing they do is investigate. At least, the director redeems himself as the money is found by some worker in the movie.

The worst adaptation is the movie Varudu,which rips off the climax from X:Men Wolverine.Why the hell were there cooling towers there in agricultural field ? and why would anyone in their right senses climb them to the fight with an apparently powerful villan? 
Have a look at how he rips off a fight between superheroes and places in the Indian context:  

2)The complete ignorance to science, law end everything else.

Culprits:All the action oriented movies. Balakrishna gets a special mention here .

The first thing that should be done to directors of the movies is to get them in one place and teach physics.
Just watch one movie of any popular actor in recent times,and you would see them doing stuff which would make superman jealous. Nowadays, not just flying in air,but fighting them at it,getting head shots with a pistol without even aiming and taking on at least 50 people is something a regular citizen can do if you go by the movies.  

Also there are some other added benefits in the movie.You can go on a shooting spree in full public or possess weapons if you are the hero.Killed dozens of guys and some one or two hot shot politicians who are corrupt?No problem ,Law is only for extras in the movie.

In the final fights,Irrespective of whether the villain has a sniper,bazooka or a ship full of explosives,the hero prefers going physical.Obviously.If mere punch can send goons flying miles away why not show it off more?As if anyone really worries about things like physics.

3)The complete lack of Respect for Women.

Culprits:Almost every movie.

It no big thing that most of the movies released are male oriented.Most of the world seems to do it that way.But it is alarmingly more so in telugu. 

In mainstream Telugu cinema,the main role of the female lead is to look pretty in the first half ,run behind the hero ,dream about him and manage to get captured by the villain.If the movie has some story in it ,the last part is cut off.You can actually run a movie by replacing the lead actress by a doll.Its okay if its one or two movies.But the trend is observed in almost every movie I watched recently.And the industries version of a female oriented movie is where she is shown to be struggling only for some guy to come and rescue her.Its female oriented cause its about her getting rescued. 

While the hero is capable of working ,thinking and outsmarting the villain and winning fights,The heroine is capable only of fawning over the hero.There actually is a movie where the hero slaps the heroine on multiple occasions and she is still okay with it.
Talk about self respect and independence.
In all crunch situations,It is the hero who has to come rescue her.There is actually no movie where the woman helps the guy or at least puts up a fight.

Another interesting trend is that,if the movie shows the actress in some profession,it means that the hero needs some person from that profession in the movie.Lets say if she is a press reporter,I can safely bet that he needs some info or airtime in a channel.If she works in some office,the boss will be a side kick of the villain and has some necessary info.If not so,she will be portrayed as someone who spends all her time shopping and looking pretty.How hard is is to show an independent woman or an entrepreneur who has her own goals?

4)The irritating hero worship.

Culprits:Every actor who has acted in more than 1 movie. NTR,Pawan kind of overdo it.

Apparently this is the reason why people come to watch movies.Right from the beginning to the credits,every character has to praise the hero and by this ,not as a character in the movie but with indirect references to the actor,his relatives and everything.There is this scene is a recent movie where a character takes a wooden cut out  of the lead actor to scare away the bad guys.

There are no lead actors in any movie.There are just heroes. 

Praise the lead actor a few times,Put in some fights to prove his mettle and throw in a cute girl for him to save and one mad guy whose job is to take the most primal weapon any one can find and kill people with it,That makes one Telugu movie.Who bothers with rudimentary details like story or motive?

DISCLAIMER:If this offends you, Let me assure you in the most polite way that I don't really care and do pity you for your apparent lack of ability to comprehend the truth .Just kidding,I know there are some exceptions to the above said trends and there were some good movies. I was just pointing out some dominating traits.

Friday, September 14, 2012

The little things

There are these little things in your life,which some are habituated to since birth and some are unlucky to never do it.Then for others, there will always be a first time,when you feel like you have conquered the world. 

It must have been amazing to stand up on your feet and walk for the first time.But however hard I try,I cant remember.I remember the time when I looked back from my cycle and saw my dad far away.To realize I could cycle was awesome.Thought I have been cycling for years now,I havent felt the same as my first ride.You must also have lots of similar experiences.Probably your first blood donation,first bike ride,overcoming your small fears,stuff like that .Little things.Normal things.Recently,I had one.
I was ,for the first time in my life,Up in the air.

I was going to Bristol to participate in a competition.Though it was my first flight,I had no time to comprehend it as I was busy with all the other work regarding the competition.So I had no clue what to expect and no idea what to do once I got into the plane.Realizing this,The friends I was travelling had their share of fun trying to scare me ,advise me and distract me.Before long,It was time to get into the plane.On first sight,It looked big enough,though a bit smaller than I imagined.Thanks to my friends,I got a window seat and settled.

The plane started moving ,initially backwards and then forward at some speed.It went from the terminal to the runway.The movement itself was exciting.Then began the most awesome 5 minutes ever.First was the sensation of the insane acceleration of the plane shooting down the runway.Then the amazing view of the landscape moving back at high speed.Before I could comprehend what exactly happened,I saw the world tilt and then we were in the air.Nothing could probably express the way I felt that time.I saw chennai city in lights fell in love with the city ,which I used to hate the most.For the next hour or so ,I spent the time closer to heavens than I had ever been (well, even literally).

Since this flight,I have been on four different flights.Each has been a new experience.The next one has been a really huge flight with a landing in Heathrow.The one after,we had a view of London in lights and the last one was a trip in business class.So each was more exciting than the previous and I had great fun.But then I noticed that for most people,It is not such a big deal.While I was at the window seat waiting in anticipation,most of my passengers were either watching movies or snoring off.
I feel I am lucky to have flown when I could appreciate the experience.I would have missed a lot if I was regular to flying since a kid.Even now ,the anticipation and excitement I had on the first flight was not there while I was on my way back.

So my advice to people?You need not conquer the world to feel special.It is these little things in life that make it more interesting.So just keep looking out and enjoy every moment as it comes by.And what do I do?I hope I have a chance to fly a lot in the coming years and I still have the same anticipation and excitement of flying for the first time.
Now thats not easy .Isn't it?

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Everything ends well :-)

It has been 3 years since I came to the institute.I have had lots of dreams about my life here of which,some are fulfilled and most are not.After coming here and getting acquainted with the life here,I came up with more aspirations,which were more short term and were related to my life in the institute.

I could get some of them..which was not a big issue as all you needed was some hard work and effort.I was a part of the robotics team I wanted ,I made some cool electronic stuff and all.But,more interesting were the goals I set in the institute and couldn't achieve.Because every rejection had its role in making my institute life better and gave me the identity.

The first one was in my first year.At that point of time,I thought (like all others)that cordships were very important .I was just done as a volunteer for Robocon and was of the opinion that I had a very good knowledge of all the technical events (and specially all the required contacts).I applied for a new event and was well prepared for the interview.It went well but the cores were of the opinion that the event would not be such a good idea.Imagine my anger when a very similar event happened (to their credit,the event was held under a different department and these guys had no idea about it).I was a part of a project which was to be  displayed in the fest.I was worried that my contribution is very minimal.But that turned out to be one of the best times I ever had at the institute.I volunteered to work with some students on some interesting mini projects and out of nowhere,I was working with people who I always looked up to.I was suddenly in a league with all the best people in Tech in the institute and I learnt a lot from them.I'd say this was the point where I changed the way I looked at things.As for that event ,I ended up participating in it and made it to the newspapers because of it.(Not being proud here,just wanted to say it ended better than if I were a coord).

The next one happened in a semester which I consider the worst in my institute life.Anything that could go wrong did go wrong.First of all ,We couldn't make it past the quarterfinals in Robocon.I haven't worked harder for anything else and took it the hardest.My grades weren't anywhere close to what I wanted.Friends left the insti in ways I never imagined they would.It was during this semester that I stood up for an election.I wanted to be the Technical Affairs Secretary of the Hostel.I wanted to inspire freshies as my tas did for me.I wanted to bring nothing short of a revolution.For that,I stood up alone against a lot of people.But alas ,I wasn't meant to be.It hurt because in spite of being the most experienced and having worked like no other in the hostel,I couldn't win over people.It was during these days,a chance to be a part of the CFI core team appeared out of nowhere.I took it up because I wanted to do something worthwhile but had very little expectation.Little did I know that for the next one year,I would be a part of the best team ever formed to organize tech in the institute.I was on regular meeting terms with people ,who ,you would probably see only during important institute days.Needless to say,I have learnt a great deal from these people.I saw what it takes to be in a position and what it takes to take taunts from virtually everyone and still stand by what you believe.I experienced the amount of effort that takes to run an organization and the motivation required to silently bear  constant criticism and still keep your cool.For a bloke who just turned 18,it was an opportunity to gauge the challenges ahead and be prepared.It made me stronger,more than I could imagine I would be.
There were some people who tried their best to make sure I lost the election.I couldn't bear to tolerate them.But now it turns out they did me a great favor.

Another interesting incident happened exactly one year after the first one.It was also related to cord ships.This time it was the problem of plenty.There were two people who were literally fighting to get me into their teams.The first one as I listed his post as my first preference and the other as I am good at that event and it would be a loss if i didn't take it up.I felt I have proved my point to the people who rejected me the previous year.They realized my worth.But incidentally ,I took the post which I didn't list at all,because I felt it is better to work for someone who approaches you rather than the one whom you approach.

The last one happened very recently.I have applied for a post and failed to get it despite a lot of people rooting for me.I had really wanted to get this as this was the post once held by the person I admired the most in the institute .Nothing was more important to me than being looked upon as I looked up to him.What I failed to realize was,I don't need to be in the same post to be a similar person.Still,I applied for the post and didn't get it.Saying that this was a HUGE shock wouldn't still do justice to the way I felt.Though anything miraculous didn't happen till now,Im sure something is just around the corner. Because,If I don't get something I wanted,I realized I always got something better.I not only fared better,But also got to learn lots of stuff.I found out how to read people,I found out who really cared about me and who didn't,I learnt what true leadership is and what responsibility really means.
Most importantly I learnt how to deal with the hardest times in your life  and keep your cool through it.

Interestingly ,these past three years,I have never got what I wanted.But I have always got something I needed(or may need in the future).Maybe that is why its worth Hoping and Never Giving Up.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Atheism Vs Theism

I am an atheist.There is nothing new in that.Because of it,I am generally pestered and in some cases threatened by my theist friends.Nothing new in that too.So here is an analysis which I came up with which actually shows that Its better being an atheist than a theist.It goes on like this.

Now,God can either exist or not.So lets assume that there is a 50% probability for both.So if you are an Atheist,You are right half the time.Lets assume you are wrong.There are again two possibilities:

Lets say you live your life in a good way,helping people  all the time while being an atheist.You then knock on the doors of heaven(which you didn't believe existed).Then according to everyone's belief of god,you will be allowed in.So you don't lose anything by not praying.So you still have a neutral 25% chance where you don't lose out because of your belief.

Now ,for the last possibility, lets say God is particular about praying and believing in him.He says"I wont let you in even if you were an angel down on earth only because you didn't believe in me".This is like a form of corruption which our politicians and landlords are famous for.You actually don't respect these guys.Its like you are forced into praying to get advantages which goes against all the theist preaching.I would not pray to someone like that even if they existed, cause it doesn't feel right.Admit it,you pray to someone whom you feel is righteous in every way.So what theists believe is not what exists.So you are right when you say u don't believe what they believe.

So that makes it a complete advantage to atheists.What say??

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Tricks of Trade....Or a call for Help?

"I seem to have lost my purse and I have to catch an auto to reach home.Can you help me ,son?"Said an elderly man to me in the busy junction of T.Nagar.He was well dressed and seemed very worried.He seemed coming from work and  spoke in fluent English and looked embarrassed to be actually asking for money .It took no time for me to feel really sorry for the man.I gave him the Rs.30 He apparently needed and walked off feeling a lot good over myself.It happened a long time ago and I forgot all about it Until recently, some separate incidents brought back this memory.

The first one was in a busy shopping center in Hyderabad.I was waiting in a car to pick up my cousin.A man knocked on the window.He had a backpack on him and and looked like he was on his way home from work.His request(bordering on demand) was similar to the elderly man from Chennai but he wasn't as polite and didn't seem to be ashamed of asking the money.Though i didn't feel sorry for the man,I gave him off the money as what he demanded was not much.As soon as he left,A beggar woman came running to me and asked for money.As a courtesy i put a small coin in her hand .She didn't move and demanded I give her the same amount I gave the man.This angered me and I told her she cant demand and anyway i wasn't in a position to give her more as I had no more change.Her reply struck me the most.She walked off saying:"You can give five rupees to a physically fit man,But you shout off a handicap who needs it more".Though I didn't take it seriously,I got to admit ,her logic was right.I didn't feel moved at all for a handicap but felt sorry for a person who sure had other ways to reach home.Why was it so?Its not just me.Most of you would have reacted in the same way.

There is this guy called Simon Sinek who says the best way to convince people is not to show facts.It is to relate them to the facts.In the first two cases ,I imagined myself or people close to me losing a purse in an unknown land and roaming aimlessly.Its a nightmare that haunts all of us.So when the old man was asking me I was able to Imagine the state he is in.I was more troubled by his troubles than even he was.which was why I didn't mind giving him any amount of money.But with this beggar woman ,all I see about them is that they are the guys who pester you at every traffic signal.I probably don't have the imagination to actually imagine their troubles and even if i did,I m pretty sure I wouldn't relate to them because I need not have to face them.

Now in the last two weeks,In addition to being begged at almost every traffic signal,every time I'm  in a busy place or a bus stop,people came up to me repeating the same old story and in most cases,stating the amount of money I should give them.I began to wonder how many pickpockets were there in Hyderabad.After a couple of instances where i got tricked,I understood that this is the new form of getting free money.These guys need not be in a business school to understand the tricks of trade.They do much better on the streets by themselves.And it was pretty comfortable.You need not beg.No one shouts at you and people seldom get irritated.You tell them how much to give and more often than not,you get what you need.

The next time it happened to me,I was at the railway station waiting for a train that was late by an hour,(having nothing to do)I was observing an old woman who was following this method.Had she been really in need,she would already have got the money needed.It was a matter of time before she came to me.(Actually this was the place I realized this was a  new business.)I wasn't impressed by her story and walked off.She caught my friend who wasn't conned by this method ,and tried extracting money from him.I stopped him and this irritated her to no end.She started cursing me and told me to imagine my mom in the situation.
I on my part told her what I thought of their business.

This left my friend amused and he called me insensitive.I told him about all the experiences I had in the department and the new free money menace building up.We drifted off from the topic and the incident was soon forgotten.

But again,what if I was wrong?What if she was an innocent woman in a city of such tricksters ?
Would I be helping people who are in such need again?...
would I ever feel sorry for them like I felt for the old man or would I just brush them off ?
Am I becoming wise or Am I becoming insensitive?Or does becoming one imply the other?
How do I know?