“I wont stop for you … I can do without anybody. I have … my own spark of divine fire. I care for life, for humanity; and you are a part of it that has come my way and been built into my house. What more can you or anyone ask? If you can’t stand the coldness of my sort of life, and the strain of it, go back to the gutter.” Many people consider these words of Prof.Henry Higgins, the fascinating and adorably arrogant character in Pygmalion, spoken to the flower girl, Miss.Elisa Dolittle as truly reflective of the character of its author, Bernard Shaw himself. He was one writer who was as much disliked as he was adored! The hatred even assumed murderous proportions as seen in the following limerick: There was a young man of <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-comffice:smarttags" /><st1:City><st1lace>Moose Jaw</st1lace></st1:City> Who wanted to meet Bernard Shaw; When they questioned him, ‘Why?’ He made no reply, But sharpened an ax and a saw. He was disliked more for some of his hard hitting home truths as "The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man". You don't have to change your views just because G.B.Shaw says so. I didn't change mine either. But after reading Shaw, I ran through my mind the pictures of all the unreasonable men and women that I had encountered during my turbulent voyage through life and, to my utter surprise, found how correct he was. Some of the most adamant and most unreasonable friends of mine in the college are making waves now in <st1:country-region><st1lace>India</st1lace></st1:country-region> and abroad. At the time we were in regular contact, these people were a constant source of irritation to me and other "reasonable" guys. They always made the most unreasonable demands and were able to get what they wanted. In fact, looking back today, several improvements in the amenities provided at the hostel and the college were solely due to their persistent and unreasonable demands. I now realise that if my college had only chaps like me who took the most reasonable stand on every issue including the ‘needle-gone’ vadai (as the time-barred vadais were known as in those days!), no perceptible improvement would have come about. In Tamil there is a saying that only a crying (unreasonable?) child gets the milk. We often tend to confuse complacency with reasonableness. If you tend to accept everything, whether you like it or not, without an iota of protest, you are called a reasonable man. If union leaders, for example, get the best of bargain from a management, they call the management very reasonable. But if the management acts tough and puts the Company’s corporate goal ahead of every other consideration in arriving at a decision, they are branded unreasonable. A ready-yielding management called "reasonable" or a tough-acting one branded "unreasonable". Who will take the company forward? It is a logical conclusion. Isn't it? The other day I was watching a movie at one of the much talked about multiplexes with my family. It was a late night show and around the middle of the movie, the air conditioners were switched off to save on electricity bill. The rising temperature was causing quite a discomfort but no one seemed bothered by it. Suddenly some burly man down the rows stood on his seat and shouted at the top of his voice to switch on the air conditioner. Soon a few more joined him while some of us in the upper rows were more bothered by this ‘unruly’ behaviour than by the discomfort caused by the switching off of the air conditioners. One of them behind me remarked that it was such rowdyism that discouraged him from coming to a theatre to witness a movie and he preferred to watch it in the comfort of his house. To give further vent to his ire, he added that none of the guys shouting below would have even a fan at home! But the theatre owners were obviously unnerved by this demonstration and quietly switched on the air conditioners. In every sphere of life, a demanding person gets more attention. There is always a flurry of activity around such people whether it is an aircraft, restaurant, theatre or saloon. But considering the overall improvement he brings about, it is a small price to pay to be branded "unreasonable". What say you?