So, who is this professional who excels in the art of feeling the pulse, not just of his clients but also the society in general? No prize for guessing. He is none other than your friendly neighborhood barber. If you wish to gauge the mood of the society you live in, the barber's shop should be your destination. There you can find out things like whether people feel secure under the present government or if Obama could win 2012 presidential election. You will also get enlightened on whose wife ran away with whom or whose unmarried daughter got pregnant.
At the barber's shop you can also perceive if the society is in a jolly mood or if there is a furrow of anxiety on the society's brow. While you extract info from the barber, he tactfully keeps at harvesting the crop on your head and juicy files buried deep inside it downloading them to his own mental compact disc for future use.
When it comes to ingenuity in feeling the customer's pulse, the auto-rickshaw driver in Bangalore takes the cake. As you board into his contraption mentioning your destination, he switches on the auto-meter as well as his 'pulse meter'.
Firstly, he would gauge you from head to toe ( as though you were something the cat brought in) looking for any bangalorean features in you. Then, having started the vehicle, he would take a wrong turn at the first opportunity. If you fail to detect the mistake, he would engage you in some idle chat to ascertain your antecedents. Once he is convinced that you are new to the town, he would take you on a sight-seeing tour of Bangalore. And by the time you alight, you might find the need to visit an ATM to pay his fare.
This happened to a friend of mine on his maiden visit to Bangalore. After reaching the hotel in an auto-rickshaw ( after traveling 8-10 miles), he took a room on the top floor of the lodging. Then, having freshened himself up, he ambled on to the balcony of the room and gazed down at the panoramic view of the city. But a certain spot 200 yards away from the hotel looked familiar to him. Then it occurred to him that the said spot was the bus-stop where he had alighted before catching the rickshaw!
While dwelling on the topic of pulse, I may as well add a postscript. 'Enumerate and describe different kinds of pulses' was a question that was asked at an exam in a medical school. A particular student was at a loss to answer as he was totally ignorant of the subject. But he was not the one to take challenges lying down. He neatly answered as follows:
There are mainly three types of pulses -
1. Pulses eaten by humans - e.g. beans, lentils peas etc.
2. Pulses used as animal fodder - e.g. horse gram.
3. Impulses - Imported Pulses.
Well, on an impulse, let me call it a day ( or night depending on when you read this).