Yesterday's post about book snobs (coupled with Veena accusing me of being the biggest snob of them all - such praise!) made me think about this incident from 6 years back.
The setting is the IIFT campus in Delhi. Falstaff (looking visibly thinner! Sigh) has just got done with his WIMWI interview, and is hanging around waiting for a friend to finish so they can go grab lunch. As the scene opens, a Gorgeous Young Woman (GYW) comes up to Falstaff and strikes up a conversation about his interview, hoping (no doubt) to pick up a few tips for her own .
GYW: "Did they ask you any Math?"
Falstaff: (Sure. Want to go in the back and practise multiplication?). "No" (Ah! Falstaff's being his usual eloquent self we see)
GYW: "So what did you talk about?" 
Falstaff: "Oh, nothing much. You know. This and that. The usual." (Give her an answer, numbskull) "Let's see. We talked about poetry for a while".
GYW: (in panicked voice)"Poetry?! Are you supposed to know about that?"
Falstaff: "No, no, it's just that it was on my form, that's why. I hardly think they'd require a background in poetry for an MBA admit, do you? Ha! Ha!" (though come to think of it, why not? Bakul, are you listening?)
GYW: "Oh, are you interested in poetry then?"
Falstaff: (smirking. Is a fish interested in water?) "Oh, you could say that, I suppose. I dabble in it a bit" (note to OED editors: dabbling is now defined as staying up night after night spending hours on something)
GYW: "So what did you talk about in poetry?"
Falstaff: "We were talking about Ghalib, actually."
GYW: "Ooh! Ghalib! I just love Ghalib! He's so exquisite."
Falstaff: "Yes, he is, isn't he."
GYW: "I think the Ghazal is such a passionate form of poetry. I just love Urdu poetry."
Falstaff: "Yes, I'm quite fond of it myself." (Take deep breath. Push luck) "So, do you like any English poetry as well?"
GYW: "Some. I haven't read too much."
Falstaff: (smiling indulgently) "Who would be a poet you like, for instance?"
GYW: "Well. I love William Blake."
Falstaff: (Wait. This woman a. Likes Ghalib and Blake b. Is HOT c. May be coming to WIMWI! See what Santa brings you if you're good.) "Really!! So what poems of his do you like." (kicking himself for not having read the Four Zoas that fifth time)
GYW: "I really like Songs of Innocence. There's that poem in there about the Lamb, I don't know if you know it."
Falstaff: (with the air of an astronaut who discovers halfway to the moon that his fuel gauge isn't working) "Ah, yes. Songs of Innocence. Yes, they're not bad (further note to OED editors. Not bad is now defined as make you want to tighten the tie around your neck and hang yourself from the nearest rafter) But have you read some of his later stuff? The marriage of Heaven and Hell? Jerusalem? The Four Zoas? That's what I'm really into."
GYW: (looking puzzled) "Oh. No, I haven't read any of those. To be honest the only Blake I've read is the one about the Lamb. And the one about this little black boy. And wasn't there something about a Tiger." (You don't say. You're sure you're not confusing him with Winnie the Pooh, by any chance. Aaargghhh!!!)
Falstaff: (to sound of heart shattering like glass under a bulldozer) "Ah, well. There you go then. So anyway, we talked about poetry for a bit. In the interview. Oh, and I think that's my friend coming out now. I've got to run. Did you have any other questions about the interview? No? Best of luck then" (Have a nice life!) "So nice meeting you. Bye." (exits, running).
Sigh. And then I wonder why I'm still single.
 This was the first time it occured to me that having privileged information might make you more interesting to women. It's an idea that's left its scars.
 Why do people ask this? It's ridiculous that people think they can get useful information from the experiences of people totally unlike them. People are always asking me, for instance, whether I studied word lists in preparation for CAT. I didn't, of course, but my point is always that the fact that I didn't doesn't mean that they shouldn't. It's all a function of where you're starting from.