The shoe shine boy working on the Mira Road railway station, drew my attention. He was solving a crossword puzzle. Of course, this is not the first time for me; like you, I also seen several times, labourers, venders solving crossword puzzles while travelling in a train squatting on the foot board of a train, or any other place. To manyof my friend, this is not an act worth bestowing attention, but for me it is very important, and worth enough to draw attention.
As I have experienced, it is a very difficult intellectual exercise–to solve it requires a good stock of word, creative imagination , and of course, a good amount of GK. I say this from my experience; several times in my life, I tried to solve such crossword puzzles, going down to ones considered to be easiest to solve by intelligent people, but I failed miserably!!!……so much so that I no longer try to work at any crosswords.
With such a record failure of creativity on my part, when any person– especially who is expected to be an idiot , is found to be working at solving a crossword puzzle, naturally draws my attention, and I tend to talk to him. I talked to him really for a long time.
On my way back to home, I was wondering if these intelligences could be harnessed and employed in the service of the nation, would we not become richer as Indians??–yes, of course. Poverty has become a bane. Alternatively, if he were born in a developed country, it is not impossible that he would perhaps have been at the highest level, enjoying a good quality life……..( do not read me as a communist, I am a humanist. Whenever anybody suffers due to poverty, bad health, negligence, it pains me. )