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  • 10 rupees = roughly 1/4th of a dollar for a packet of those plastic fish that 'move' briskly in water. Surrounded by half a dozen young kids, I enjoyed the ticklish amusement of plastic fish swimming as beautifully as the real do. Right then a friend of mine who did very well at school whispered, 'surface tension,' partly trying not to burst the crowd's amusement bubble and partly to not offend the seller.

    'Yes, this is physics. It's because of surface tension. I use a little bit of camphor on the plastic. You're right,' said the skinny, middle aged man who made a living out of this - clearly, a literate, educated man who also got his basics right - while my friend made it to the best business school in the country and is now heading a company, this man will perhaps make more than just two dollars a day or sometimes lesser before he leaves the market and goes back home.

    It's the same basics, I wonder where things go wrong.
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