A lesson on Pattern Classification

The best part of living in Delhi is the huge no. of events that keep happening across the various astonishing places of the city. Its not just the events and the various art forms you come across. Its the people you meet and every time you visit one of these events, you get another perspective to life. At times I feel I have to stop attending events for a while merely because my mind wanders from one thought to another and I end up in such a self-contradictory confused state that I spend sleepless nights watching meaningless movies to divert my mind.

I visited the Book Fair on Saturday and was looking through Wiley Publications’ books, I just picked up a book on Pattern Classification and sat their looking at it when a charming looking lady, in her high 30’s may be, interrupted my reading and said – “You are learning from the wrong source. Get your sources right, you get the right information”. While I was still wondering what made her talk to me, she continued – “You seem to be a Computer Science student or professional is it? Its not all in the books boy, its out there. Come along…” she said and took the book from my hand and placed it on the table in front of me. She was charming so I didnt really bother giving a second thought whether or not to go along and I started walking with her to the tea counter outside the hall and I sat on the bench outside listening to what she had to say though still wondering on the same thing.

She continued in her confident and impressive voice “Look, more than 70 percent of the visitors to this Book Fair are between 16 and 30, mostly in groups or couples and 90 per cent of them are walking out of the Fair without buying a single book, may be just carrying a catalogue from one of the book sellers to avail the discount when they go to buy their syllabus books the next semester. On the other hand, the rest of the 30 per cent who are less than 15 or more than 30 are the serious readers, not to mention the lone wanderers like you (pointing to me) who visit a Book Fair to actually buy something to read.“. By this time, I was getting anxious to interrupt her whether she even had a point. Although I was flattered by her putting me in the category of serious readers. At this point, she related this to the real point “You see, the regular publications realize this point and do not go out spending on buying the hot spots in the Book Fair, which are thus occupied by the text book sellers who are targetting the students. Now, before you read anything on Pattern Classfication, its of utmost significance that you understand the phenomenon of patterns beforehand. Coz if you do not recognize patterns – whether its in the society or in numbers or in knitting, you would never be able to apply pattern classification anywhere. So, just go out and study patterns then spend any money of applying it in Computer Science. Hope you get my point.“. I still wasnt sure why would someone go out of way to prevent me from buying a book I was so thrilled to find in the first place. “There…“. and she handed me a book named The Wonderful world of Mathematics by Margaret Matthias. “Read this first. By the way, we met in 2002 IT Fair when you visited my counter of EDI and asked me for a loan. Remember now ? “. Aaahhh. She was right. She actually remembered our discussion on sponsoring entrepreneurs.

It surprising how an impression you leave on people last so long. While walking out of Pragati Maidan, this was the only think I could think of. Nonetheless, it was an enriching experience for me made better by the charm of the lady.

Looking forward to seeing her in another such Fair !!!!

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