Should I save the internet ?

Saving “anything” sounds like superhero stuff, saving the internet sounds like saving the planet, but what is it really about. In India, this movement is underway currently following in the footsteps of similar movements in the US since the Government has asked for a public response on the issue prior to its stand on the matter.

Net neutrality in a nutshell

Of late, net neutrality has become a key word in the internet activist community. On a very high level, think about the internet as a collection of wires connecting different computers through which data packets flow around, then net neutrality means that all data packets irrespective of what they represent (an image/video/a chat message/…) and all computers which are receiving and sending these data packets will be treated equally i.e., there will be no discrimination based on the nature of the data packet and the sending and receiving computer for transferring the data packets. This is the broad sweeping definition of net neutrality. It owes its origin to the origin of telegraph where a similar interpretation required that all messages irrespective of its content and the sender/receiver must be treated equally.

Do I really want net neutrality ?

That depends on your ideals. In an ideal setting if you had wires which could carry an infinite (any amount) of data packets at the same time, then ideal net neutrality would be a goal worth settling for. However, we don’t live in an ideal world, the wires can only carry a fixed number of data packets at the same time and worse a lot of senders and receivers share the same wires. As a result, the data packets need to be prioritized. As a result data packets are prioritized (image/video over text for webpages) and senders and receivers are prioritized too (people with a higher bandwidth plan need to pay more). It could be argued that this violation of idealized net neutrality is a pragmatic solution to an infrastructure problem.

What is the problem then ?

The real problem lies in discriminating the nature of the data in order to make money. If you consume the same amount of data, whether you consume it for reading a webpage, watching a movie, reading a social networking site, writing a blog post you should pay the same. This is where the major problem lies for telecom operators since there is significant money to be gained by violating net neutrality by discriminating the nature of the data. If you use social networking for communicating with your friends instead of using SMS, the telecom operators lose the SMS money. If you use Skype/Viber for voice communication, the telecom operators lose money they can make on charging phone calls. You could argue that the telecom operators are making more money now since you are still paying data charges. That is correct but then greed  gets in the way. Historically, the telecom operators had a leverage by controlling the applications that the telecom infrastructure could be used for. Of late, they have realized the internet infrastructure can be used for applications that they have no control of and hence they have no monopoly of the telecommunication applications and so they cannot make free money from people for just using the applications which the application developers can (youtube, skype …). The telecom regulators want a piece of this money that internet applications make for free in addition to the data charges by discriminating on the nature of the data. And this is where the real problem lies.

Is it all black and white then ?

A large awareness campaign is underway which is trying to educate the public about the perils of the move the telecom operators are undertaking. While most of the points in the awareness campaign make sense, a subtle point about equality in competition between large and small companies is trying to create a hogwash of the “David versus Goliath” story. The argument goes something like this. The telecom operators by violating net neutrality are going to discriminate between data packets to lets say Amazon and Flipkart (two e-commerce websites). As a result access to one of these websites would be significantly slower than the other owing to the prioritization. In order to gain parity, the company with the slower website must pay the telecom provider the same amount of money as the other provider or the user (i.e., you must pay some money to get the same speed to both the websites). That essentially means that some computers will be put on a high speed link and some on a low speed link and someone has to foot the bill, either you or the website provider.

Now the big question is, is this fair ?

I am not going to answer this. Instead of answering, think about how is this different between different sized companies competing with each other. Large companies always had a larger money pool to play with. Also consider the fact that just like you pay differently for different MB plans, computers that are sending data packets (servers where websites are housed) pay differently based on the plan they take, more for fatter wires with more data carrying capacity. So, is different speed to different websites unfair ? Is intentional slowing down and/or speeding up of the internet fair ?

Things maybe are not completely in black and white here but are shades of grey. Think for yourselves and decide.

So what should I do ?

Take a stand for net neutrality but be careful about your stand. Sign the petition (you need to actually email it) but take the time to read and/or edit the responses before sending it so that you understand what you are really saying instead of blindly supporting someone else’s stand.

Don’t let this happen

Free haircut on a Wednesday morning

It was a cold January morning in 2011. There was snow all around and I was trudging along with the trepidation of soldier treading a minefield. My destination was a hair salon to get a haircut. I looked at the board outside which said “studierabat” meaning student discount. I almost jumped for joy. The normal price for a men’s haircut boldly proclaimed 250 DKK. I went inside, was greeted by a beautiful girl in her mid 20s who went on to give me a great haircut. After the haircut, I paid 200 DKK (20% off as student discount) and that’s when the high prices of Copenhagen haircuts hit home. I had just experienced a hairy culture shock literally speaking. I had been living in Copenhagen for the past 5 months and I thought that I was immune to the price shock that outsiders felt when entering the Danish shops. I had never really factored in the haircut prices. I had chosen one of the cheapest places to get a haircut (after a great deal of internet searches) but I ended up parting with a week’s worth of grocery money.

That’s when someone told me about the Copenhagen hair cutting school where it costs 49 DKK for a haircut. The news thrilled me more than any of the groundbreaking discoveries my science books have drilled into me. It was almost like finding a hidden treasure. Sure, the people who cut your hair are students who are supervised by teachers but except on one occasion I have always got a great haircut there. On that one occasion, the hairdresser misunderstood what I wanted and ended up giving me a haircut which I had to bear for the next 2 months. Today I got another fantastic haircut and that too for free because it was my tenth haircut there which is free :-). Wednesday mornings could not be any better. I tried to ask out the beautiful brunette who cut my hair but she said she was married. I guess that was probably asking too much of a Wednesday.

It holds for Danish haircuts if you know where to look

The irony of conveniences

Its that time of the year again. I am in India for a short, hectic vacation which provides me ample material to rant about. So, its my due ranting time again. And before any of you classify me as a ranting no-good, let me tell you that I belong to that small group of homo sapiens who believe in bringing out the pile of rubbish swept under the carpet. And of course staying true to my actual abilities, I am not good enough to clean it up but hopefully someone good enough will see it lying around. Now let’s move on.

A few days back I was sitting comfortably in a train looking out of the train window on a platform crowded with people. While I was self indulging myself in appreciating (as a pseudo-intellectual) the diversity of the Indian landscape, a few beggars (4 to be exact) came by my window asking for alms. Two of them were old women, one was a child and the fourth one was an old man. They used various forms of begging and used multiple forms of emotional manipulation. However, my usual dogged response mechanism kicked in i.e., it is not possible to pay all the beggars (all or nothing), most of them are impostors, there are organized syndicates behind it etc. The mechanism ensured that I did not pay them a single penny. However, as usual after a few minutes my guilt kicked in for not being empathetic towards needy people. It was all the more overwhelming because of what had happened before the train journey.

I had booked 3 flight tickets and then had to cancel all of them because of a mini personal crisis (not mentioned for privacy which is in vogue these days). I had booked the tickets using Indigo and Jet Airways using Makemytrip booking site. When I cancelled the tickets, the cancellation charges were ~50% of the total booking charges amounting close to 5000 INR (quite a fair amount of money by my moderate standards). I am not going into discussions of whether it was fair for making me pay up for not using their service for valid health reasons, or for the airlines to exploit alternative sources of revenues, or for other stuff (lets leave that). If I could afford to lose ~5000 INR, I definitely could afford paying at least 4 INR to the four beggars. Somehow the hypocrisy inherent in me was magnified. I chose conveniently to ignore the ill-doings of a stronger party over a weaker one. If you look around carefully enough, the irony of conveniences in making choices affects us all the time. Maybe its time to pay attention to this irony. Its up to us to make this choice where convenience can again be involved.

Before I end my rant, I found the practice of these booking sites of asking for an additional “convenience” fee extremely insulting. Who is the convenience for ? Are there alternative forms of making the same booking (like in the railways) so that you can deem it “convenience”? The word “convenience fee” reeks of glib superiority and a condescending attitude towards the customer. I am not being naively stupid so relabeling it as “online booking” charges would make petty complainants like me happy for the nearer term. Makemytrip was a glaring example although they compensate to some extent by providing a guessing game in the form of redeem vouchers which go by the name of “MMTXXX”.

Stupidity in the guise of Cleverness

Of late, I am just sick and tired of “sort of inspirational” or “clever” quotes which appear on pictures of famous people. And no surprises there, Einstein leads the gang there. I am completely sure that he/any of the people claimed in the picture did not say all of them or any of them because of the following reasons:

  • They would not have had any time to become famous given the volume of stuff they had to speak.
  • They do not have IQ level zero or more realistically even negative.
  • They were mostly rational human beings.
  • They absolutely hated retards championing them.

So, it completely befuddles me to see the sort of absurd stupidity being paraded under the cloaks of perceived/established cleverness/wit. At times like this, I want to go back to the stone age where drawing pictures was the only form of communication between humans :-). And with that I end my rant.

Really !!

 

 

A little bit of winter dumbness

The other week I had gone to the Fotex store in Lyngby storcenter for my grocery trip. I came across a superb offer on Pancake mix. If you buy one you pay 22 kr. but if you buy 2 you only pay 26 kr. Given my love for pancakes buying 2 pancake mixes was just a no-brainer. I bought my stuff and came back home happier than ever. The next day I noticed I had only brought one pancake mix and the other must have got left behind in the shopping bag. I checked my bill to confirm and I saw that I had paid for 1 pancake mix for 22 kr.

That was not a happy feeling, but knowing how awesome the people in Fotex are I figured I could go the next day and pick another mix and pay just 4 kr. and be done with it. So I went. I went to the counter and explained the situation the girl at the counter and asked if its ok to pick up another and pay 4 kr. She rolled her eyes as she looked at another girl she was happily chatting with and asked me to explain it again. I did so dutifully taking all the pauses in the world and making sure I left no cryptic PhD talk in it. The girl at the counter again looked at the girl she was chatting with, rolled eyes, and said “No, that’s not possible. Its a new day”. Now that did not seem to make any sense.

I did not want to argue with her so I went over to another guy and asked whats the return policy. He told me if you have the bill and return the stuff within 30 days, we would accept it. So, I went to the counter again and politely asked the girl if I could return the pancake mix I bought. She said, “Yes”. I said, “Great, then please take it back”. I also told her that if this is so, isnt it exactly the same thing I suggested earlier ? That I return the stuff get 22 kr. back and then go buy 2 pancake mixes for 26 kr which is the same as paying 4 kr. for the other mix. The girl just made a weird face and said, “Please give the  mix and the bill”.

That I did, she went to her computer and did some stuff and came back and told me that the mix I was returning was not on the bill. The bar code on the mix did not seem to match with what the computer showed for the mix purchased in the bill. I just stared incredulously. I told her that was the bill and I have not bought any other mixes and the mix must be on the bill as otherwise the machines which detect if you have paid for stuff you are taking out of the store would have beeped when I took it the other day. How am I supposed to know what bar codes get put on the bill or not ? Am I not supposed to trust people on the counter ? Am I supposed to go check bar codes on bill after every purchase ? Her reaction was, “I am sorry” and she walked off. It really felt insulting the way the entire episode panned out. I am not being stingy about the money, I had just gone to correct an honest mistake. Given my past brushes with people in the stores here I was more than certain that the solution would just be eked out in a matter of seconds. It did not matter if I would have got the other mix for 4 kr. if the whole situation was handled with more care and understanding than plain rude, insulting behavior. What actually panned out was an episode of rude nonsensical behavior which has made me a bit wary of what to expect in stores. Maybe I was just lucky so far and this was just a jolt to restore the normalcy of day to day life.

Looks like this is what they did to me as well

A pinch of happiness amidst the insignificance

I have often heard people complain about the incessant lack of time and how everyone is so busy. A case in point is a new obsession of working people – the calendar. Whenever I travel on the S-train, I find it intriguing that people traveling alone always play with their smart-phones ignoring everything around them. I did something similar as well, getting myself engrossed in a book or a research paper for a short 15 minute journey. Until something really strange hit me home today while traveling back from the University.

The simple smile

I was biking back to take the train from Hellerup when on a zebra crossing I found an old man about to cross. I stopped and gestured him to cross before I turned right. He hesitated and gestured me to. Both of us started moving at the same time and we again gestured to each other. Then I got off my bike and gestured him to go. We both broke into spontaneous laughter. It was a simple but a poignant moment which shows how the simple things in life are just waiting for us to open our hearts to them.

The woman on the platform

I was still thinking about this incident as I made my way to the platform and suddenly I saw a woman walking across the edge of the platform. Something suddenly hit me. I was watching a video on the the relative insignificance of Earth in this Universe yesterday and the magnitude of it hit me today. What are the odds of some loose atoms coming together in a predefined structure to form the Earth ? What are the odds of some carbon atoms evolving to form this very woman living in a society all around us ? What are the odds of everything around us forming from nothing ? Isn’t it completely strange that as humans we choose to ignore it all believing we have got used to it being “natural” ? I got on the train and saw most people focused on their smartphone. And then I quietly sat and observed everything around me marveling at all the odds that came together in giving me my place in this Universe at this very point of time.  Being amazed and being incredulous is the least we can do to acknowledge our very existence.

And how insignificant we really are

Along came a greedy Domain Name Registrar

Everything was fine in the digital world, there was peace all along and domain name registrars maintained the peace. Then, one day I wanted to buy my own domain name so that I could set up my own private mail/web infrastructure on the public server I rented. As a proud and stingy person, I looked for the cheapest alternative around and hit upon Net4. They provided a .in domain for 199 INR (around 20 DKK). I wanted to buy the domain for multiple years but their multiple year prices were too high. I asked about the pricing policy, whether the renewal charges will increase. I was told it would be reasonable and consistent with customer expectation. The following year I was asked to pay 449 INR as renewal charge for a year. I was unhappy about it but I was busy in other stuff so I just quietly paid up. This year I was asked to pay 617 INR as renewal charges. What was weirder was buying a new domain with .IN extension cost 225 INR for a year and for multi-year period the maximum cost was 476 INR per year. The renewal charges for a year were substantially higher. This was just too much, the pricing policies were not reasonable and not consistent with customer expectation. When I brought this up before the customer care folks, they said the charges are determined taking various factors into account and are fair and non-negotiable. I had never heard such a self-contradictory sentence before. So, I have decided to move my domain to Gandi. I have heard well about them from friends. I am keeping my fingers crossed here. The entire episode has left a bad taste about the whole pricing situation with domain name registrars and IMHO we need some sort of uniformity here.

Hospitality in Lauterbrunnen Valley

I went in a group last week on a Swiss hiking holidays. I had a great time hiking around the Alps in the valley and would definitely advise and force anyone planning to stay in Interlaken to stay in Lauterbrunnen. However, even with the Alps all around us, what caught my eye was the hospitality I received at the Valley Hostel. Though this might sound as a sales pitch, it is not so. What struck me was :

  • When we arrived at around 7-30 in the evening, Susie (hostel staff or owner, not quite sure) was more than friendly. She helped us check in, asking us about our trip and plans just like a friend.
  • She took us to our room and insisted on carrying all the towels and linen herself. Now that made us feel very homely since at least I am used to such behavior when I go to a friends’ or relatives’ place.
  • Every time we had a question and we asked Susie about it, she made it a point to answer it with more than we asked for, till the point we had to interrupt and run away.

The entire behavior made me ponder how much a little thoughtfulness and friendliness can go to preserve memories. So much so that someone completely unknown ends up making a sales pitch for you

Awesome Valley Hostel staff (Susie on the left and the unknown guy on the right)

Awesome Valley Hostel staff (Susie on the left and the unknown guy on the right)

 

Where is my consent ?

Disclaimer : This blog entry is not supposed to justify or unjustify any points of view. It is just a thought experiment aimed to raise some questions which are maybe not asked. It just occurred to me while I was thinking of the situation and wanted to share it with the larger audience.
A real world scenario :
Recently, a fortnight back 3 Indian ministers were filmed watching porn on their cellphones in an Indian State Legislative Assembly(regional state level parliament) while discussions were going on in the Assembly. A huge furore was created over it and the ministers had to resign following social pressure(invisible yet present).
The thought experiment :
Imagine yourself in the Assembly with the above ministers. Imagine they are watching porn and you are picturing some porn movie you watched yesterday in your head. Now, let us assume “someone” has a “thought oracle”, a machine which can read thoughts and project your thoughts on a screen. Let us not go into discussing how the thought oracle can be designed, let us assume it exists. Now THAT “someone” trains the thought oracle on you and projects your porn visualization images on the screen. Let us assume the ministers have also got caught by filming what they were doing. Aren’t you and the ministers in the same boat ? The deterministic factor here is the technology while the incriminating factor here is the subject’s intention. Of course, there is subjectivity in judging intentions but the bigger question is “The judgment seems to be valid from a strict legal viewpoint but is it really valid from a social high horse ?”. As far as I see, the ministers resigned because they were not committing any legal offence(otherwise their employment would have been terminated) but they cowed down to social pressure and its larger socio-political implications. This is actually frightening.
This led me to the following questions which I would just outline. I do not have the answers, so I would not be verbose. Let’s just spare a minute for thinking, shall we ?
1. What has society become today ? Why was society initially formed ? Was it formed to be a collective entity where the weakest entity in the group is not as weak as he would have been if he had been alone and the strongest entity is stronger than he would have been had he been alone ? If that is the basic assumption, then what is the role of society today ? Is that role justified ? If individuals spawned society for ease is the basic assumption, then is the assumption not weak if not obsolete today ?
2. What controls the will of the society ? What do we define as fair and not fair ? Is the judgment being done from within the society or from outside ? How do we examine the system then ? Is the way we examine the system now correct ? Are we ending up going towards a situation where we would end up at a wall ? Is the sum of all societies the sum of all people ? Is that a valid and fair sharing ?
3. Why don’t I have the option of opting out of a society and not join any other society ? If the rules of the societal model are binding on all then, as an individual born why don’t I have the option of signing a Terms and Condition based rule set ? How do we define fair ? Is fairness/justice today defined only from a societal viewpoint and not an absolute viewpoint ?
4. Society can be thought of as a model, is the model flawed ? Are we spending too much of time and resources to solve the problems in the model without realizing that those solutions might lead to other problems owing to the assumptions in the model being inherently flawed ?
5. What is culture/religion/.. ? Is it just a mechanism to bind a group of unknown people into a society ? Is it the first point of common unification for such people to implement a collective group will ? Are those mechanisms self preserving using human emotions ? And if it is such, then is emotion just a masking factor for deciding something where logical decision is impossible owing to lack of sufficient quantifiers for the decision ?

PS: I have kept the questions at a very very abstract level because then they can be interpolated to very specific scenarios. I am aware that I might have used some mathematical terms but that allows for precise formulation in little words. Plus, I am a mathematician too so I cannot do away with my basic instinct, part of the society in me. At least, when I was thinking of these questions and discussing with my friend Ian Leinert while travelling in Geneva at -15 degrees, I did not find any obvious answers. I am not even sure if there are any but all of you are brighter than me, maybe you will find the answers or better still maybe you will ask some more pertinent questions.

The Ignorant Beggar

The young man looked out through the open window. He felt alone in the old compartment of the suburban local train. Though the train compartment was close to full, he felt completely cut off. He felt as if he was a misfit in the world, as if something about his existence was not right. It was not that he was unhappy about something he knew. He was unhappy because he was unhappy. It did not make sense to anyone but he did not care. The harsh June sun was beating down mercilessly on the small platform outside. There were a few small tin sheds, with too many people under them than they could pretend to protect. The whole platform seemed deserted. Suddenly, something caught his eyes.

A beggar whose legs had been amputated was crawling on the hot cemented platform outside. With a great deal of difficulty, he got up onto the train. The train started moving and so did his thoughts. He started remembering all the times when he had seen a beggar, with their mutilated limbs and deplorable conditions. How his heart had cried out each time. How he was told that begging was a business and you could not trust it. How his brain fought with his heart and ended up numb with neither side winning. The only fallout was an even greater feeling of guilt and shame which soon disappeared at the appearance of something seemingly more important in his life. How he hated it all. The self imposed importance, the self concocted mixture of feeding one’s ego, the self defacing habit of running after things than waiting for life to wash over you. How he hated it all.

The shrill voice of the beggar broke his thoughts. He jerked back to the musty slightly smelly train compartment where the person sitting next to him was dozing off on his shoulders. He wondered about the sensibilities of reason which all his friends talked about, how beggars do not have a life, how the Government should do something, how things needed to change, how growth of his country has to encompass all. With his new found seemingly superior powers of reasoning, he felt choked owing to the lack of answers. How he wished if he knew the answers. How he wished he could play God.

The beggar was a man of around 40. When he got up on the train he noticed this young man in his mid 20s sitting in the corner of the train compartment. He noticed him because he looked different than the others, his clothes were different, his manners were different, there was a conjured confidence which was trying to mask the unmistakeable uneasiness in occupying the compartment. But still, what caught him the most was the young man’s eyes which wore a misty confused sad look. He seemed to be some hallowed God to be in whose position the beggar would kill but his eyes wore a pain that even the beggar had not felt when a bus had run over his legs. He decided he had to do something.

The beggar went on singing a mixture of the latest Bollywood movie songs completely out of tune. He ignored all the furrowed brows of passengers who were roused from their slumber, the irritated shifting of the passengers in their seats. He ignored it all, he went on singing and begging for alms with an outstretched hand. It did not matter to him that his outstretched hands remained empty as he moved around. He just ignored it all. He reached where the young man was sitting. He stretched his hand and waited. The young man was numb again. His heart wanted him to give away the 10 rupee note in his purse. His brain however told him helping beggars was just increasing the problem and for self justification it also told him that the 10 rupee note was the last in his purse and he needed to keep it. The beggar could sense the confusion in the young man. How his look and eyes conveyed the compassion he felt for him but his attitude, manners and hesitation indicated otherwise. The beggar took away his outstretched hands and said, “Babu(salutation for Sir), where will you get off ? If it is ok with you, can I talk to you on the platform where you get off ?”.

The young man was shocked, so was the train. He wanted to lie to the beggar and slip off but something inside him told him to talk to him. He said, “I will get off at the next station”. The train reached the next station and the young man got off, followed by the beggar. All eyes in the compartment followed them. The beggar motioned the young man to come to the end of the deserted platform under a small tin shed. The young man was sweating profusely, he hated the summer heat but he went.

When the beggar and the young man reached the tin shed, the beggar suddenly asked, “Babu do you think you are better than me?”. The young man was taken aback. He replied, “I am not sure I understand. Why did you want to talk to me ?” The beggar smiled and said, “Babu you look like the person who would have done and got a thousand things which I can never ever even imagine was possible, I wanted to hear it from you and be happy like you”. The young man thought that the man was insane. Was he going to narrate his experiences which made for hallowed blog entries/acclaimed extempores to be read/heard/acclaimed by his reasonable friends to this person. The beggar broke his thoughts, “Babu, why are you sad ?”. The young man rudely replied, “I am not and I am in a hurry so if you have nothing to say I would leave.” The beggar replied, “Babu, do you think your life is better than mine.” The young man angrily replied, “Yes, it is. I do not have to curse about my leg. I do not have to beg to eat. I do not have to be sorry about my whole existence.” The beggar calmly replied, “You have only seen my missing leg and my begging and in that while you have presumed that my life is miserable and not worth living. I beg because with my condition I see it as the best way to earn money to keep me and my family alive. Even if there are beggars who cheat, how is it different when babus like you cheat in much greater magnitude and in place where the impact is so much more.” The young man was lost for words. Here was a person who was speaking things which he had never imagined.
The young man replied, “How can you live your life when you have nothing to look forward to ? At every stage of life, I am made aware by myself that there is a certain set of goals and when I reach there another set of goals crop up. There are big words and proverbs all around trying to justify your existence and journey when in fact they are there to distract your unhappiness with the fact that you do not know what is the purpose of existence ?”. The beggar smiled and replied serenely, “Why is the purpose of existence important ? Why do you think my life is worth nothing ? I get the same satisfaction when my thirst is quenched. When you eat a 5000 rupees meal with your family and I eat a 5 rupee meal with mine, the happiness we gain out of it is the same. Do you think your love for your mother and wife is more than mine ? Do you think any of the emotions you feel is different from mine ? Life is a gift which God has given to both of us and He never takes any of it from us. It is our perceived imaginary happiness that causes us pain and disappointment. God never gives anyone more or less, He gives everyone the same.” The young man was shocked. He never thought that someone as nondescript as a beggar could tell him this in the middle of nowhere. He asked, “So what is the purpose of existence ?”. The beggar replied, “Why is it important to have a purpose ? Purpose of existence is a hallucination. An attempt by your ego to justify that it is all important. We all have a life, we need to live it and experience it in the best way possible according to us. We all have experiences and choices. All we need to do when we finally close our eyes is take a look and just say, My life was beautiful and that would fulfill the purpose. Would it not ?”

The young man was stunned. He blurted out, “Tell me something, are you some kind of a learned man struck down by circumstances ?” The beggar simply laughed and said, “Is it because you think the things I said cannot be from a person who has never gone to a school? Babu, I have never seen the inside of a school. I am an ignorant man and I spoke what life has taught me. Forgive me if I spoke something wrong and wasted your time”. A tear flowed down the young man’s cheeks and he touched the feet of the beggar and said, “Thank you teacher for teaching me such a valuable lesson.” And then the young man told him the stories about the world he had seen and the beggar told him his. Both of them were sitting under that tin shed while many trains with incredulous onlookers passed by. And the summer sun was still beating down mercilessly but the tin shed was full of autumn warmth.