Sunday, December 6, 2009

51. Math-o-phobia!

In all these 22 years of useless uneventful existence, there is one thing I can tell you for certain.

                                 My GENES are scared of math.

Its as much the pain and agony that Ishaan Nandkishore Awasthi goes through while finally arriving at 3 into 3 is equal to 3. I am those kinds who switch on the in-built calculator function in the phone the minute after handing the shopkeeper a 500-rupee note for easy day-to-day addition and subtraction. A pain in the posterior end is what Math is to me.

Recently, my good friend SJ aced the QA section in BILLI with a whopping attempt of 12 questions out of 20. For the uninitiated, QA stands for Quantitative Aptitude, Math, Dread(for some mathematically challenged people like me). Now, now. Any Quantophile worth his salt should be able to tell you how decent an attempt his is.

Well, by and large, I am not a huge fan of Ganith. Its like that unknown fear that sometimes grips you tight, gnaws your brain inside out, clawing incessantly at your desire to give it a good fight. Its like the Ghost of Christmas Past, tormenting me everytime I wish to run away from its clutches. I am what you call, the Math-O-Phobic. This, my dear, is not a case of Recently Acquired Mental Deficiency. I have been diagnosed with this Syndrome ever since HE decided to unfetter me into this cruel world of Math lovers, with the skills of Periplaneta americana - the cockroach.

Ironically, and agonisingly, my friends circle and family always consisted of people like SJ and others high on the math-solving quotient. Round table conferences at the canteen would involve serious earth-shattering discussions like,

"A dealer sold 200 quintals of sugar at a profit of 7%. If the ants ate half of it and the hen in the garden gave grey colour eggs, find his total profit and selling price."

Suroo aka Bat-ball, I am sure, will make headlines someday by doing 17-digit multiplication mentally while doing somersaults. Really. And then there a lot many names we will avoid here, just for the fact that their math profile makes me feel lower than a skateboard. You got the drift, right? :| My genetic code did me no good either, what with having a grandma whose hair greyed drowning an entire city in the mesmerising and bewitching pool of hard-core math that commerce had. Some real gene mutation there as you can see.

It was then that movies came to my rescue. Bollywood taught me my elementary math. Ek do teen(1 2 3), Do aur do paanch(2 + 2 = 5), Do doni chaar(2 x 2 = 4) etc. came my way. Life had found meaning. Little did I know of the games God played. "Ek Aur Ek bhi Gyaarah(1 + 1 = 11)" and "Nau Do bhi Gyaarah(9 2 11)". Dont even look at me. I am full of disgust.

Aging brought no wisdom, and life only got tougher. Sample this.

"A milkman sells the milk at Cost Price, but he mixes freely available water in it and thus gains 9.09141345%. If the quantity of water in the 1 litre mixture is 83.33 ml, then whom the bloody hell does he think he is kidding?"

My days of despair had finally come to an end, or so I thought, when I scored a 780/800 in the QA(refer above) in the GRE(Getting Rid of Everything?), comparable to the likes of Devi Durga slaughtering the demon Mahishasura. Little did I know that I had been banished away from this cruel word of number lovers. A woebegone period of upping with the lark to see the numbers dancing in front of my eyes, and all that people had to offer was a, "Ae-chal-chal, hattttta, GRE maths toh, eeeeeeeaassssyyyyyyyyyyy". Whoever said it's a beautiful world. Not cool, guys. So not cool.

Anyway, I am not built of lose-hope metal. So, I continue racking my grey cells(the few that I possess) at this demon, for the love of my life. For the sake of this guy, who has been the sole cause for me still groping in the dark for that non-existent light at the end of the tunnel. Pythagoras. Yes, that's him. I search for shades of him in every triangle problem I come across. He has helped me think straight(read 'look for RIGHT ANGLES everywhere').
He taught me not only 'Sec A' and 'Sec B' but also 'Sec C' :P Thank you Pythagoras, for making life colorful.

You can imagine my plight, in this fair land of ours, where the intellect of every living nematode is judged by - right- MATH. Is there hope?


  1. For Math-o-phobics like you, you should go and see

    More madness... :-)

    Terence Tao got his Ph.D. in math at 20 and in 2006 won the Fields Medal. This blog is a grad math seminar and puts topics in Math for the public. :-)

    As for your Pythagoras triangle ratios, you seem to have got your inverses working. :-)

  2. i can so relate to this post.. and i share ur sentiments abt ppl being judged based on their mathematical capabilities..did a post long back..

  3. @RamMmm,

    Thank you, Sire for contributing in your own sweet way towards this cause of helping Math-o-phobics like me. I totally loved the site, and I made sure I stayed there for not more than 20 seconds :|

    Inverses, yeah, ROTLFMAO! :D

  4. @AJCL,

    Sadly enough, thats the way it works here. Hopping to your blog.

  5. Didn't I warn you ahead saying more madness? :-)

    Small contribution from me to help math-o-phobics like you get over math completely. :-)

    The only bad thing about some aspects of math is not knowing a potential application for all the equations, derivations, formulae etc. Where the heck do they use all this somewhere in real life? This never gets touched in schools and colleges. That would have made math a trifle more interesting.

  6. I was a math-o-phobic till 7th and after that with a great teacher, I started to enjoy and then eventually love maths! :)

    My Math grades were always good back in school and college!! :D :D

  7. //when I scored a 780/800 in the QA(refer above) in the GRE(Getting Rid of Everything?), //

    Oh my!! I should prbobably shouldnt comment in ur blog LOL :)

    //I search for shades of him in every triangle problem I come across. He has helped me think straight(read 'look for RIGHT ANGLES everywhere').

    Waah!! nicely writtern :) Thanks for visiting me :)

  8. @RamMmm,

    Your contribution did its work, trust me :) w.e.f this minute onwards, I am charging penalty at every math lover who leaves behind links to incomprehensible math websites :) Watch it :|

  9. @Pix,

    Thanks for rubbing it in, gal :| As far as my memory lane takes me, the only time I was 'good' at math, was prolly till 7th grade. And even then. I never got to the point of 'loving' math :)

  10. @Srivats,


    Dikhawe pe na jao, apni akkal lagao. Sprite bujhaye only pyaas, baaki sab bakwaas. :D :D What modesty no? :P I thought the post should highlighttu ATLEAST one good thing math did to me :D

  11. /when I scored a 780/800 in the QA/

    for a mathophobic u sure arent afraid of big numbers!! :D latin for cockroach hindi for CAT !!! palamozhi pulamai poonthu velaaduthu :D Loved that portion with hindi movie names :D :D poar kuariku ungala 10shun panrathukagavay Raammmmmmmmmmm antha terrytao site solirukar pola :D :D :D antha milkman problem padichi madhu cheenu kaamedi onnu thaan nyabgam varuthu :D ennoda edathu kaila 5 orange..valathu kaila 5 orange..renduthaiyum setha enna varumnu keta..rendu romba peria kai varumngara mathiri mathu will reply...probably ungala base panni antha script vanthirukum neankren :D

  12. @Gils.

    //latin for cockroach hindi for CAT !!! palamozhi pulamai poonthu velaaduthu :D //

    Ahaa, suttha damage! :) Yenna oru observation!! Chance e illa :P

  13. //Raammmmmmmmmmm antha terrytao site solirukar pola :D :D :D //

    Orey petrol oothufyings thaan! :( Kekkadeenga.

  14. //probably ungala base panni antha script vanthirukum neankren :D//

    Tamil cinema la vara comedy section e yennal daan nu nenakkaren :(

  15. //I thought the post should highlighttu ATLEAST one good thing math did to me :D

    LOL vividly :)

  16. Math-o-philia here !!!

    I love Maths. I can count from 1 to 100 and then backwards without stopping. I can count the number of eggs in a basket and calculate eigen value for the egg matrix. I can multiply any two numbers without using paper and pen as long as one of them is zero or unity.

    Alas !!! people say there is lots to improve !!!

  17. @Srivats,



    OMG! You almost gave me a complex there :P
    Thanks for visiting.

  18. Haha... what a delightful read....! Brought back memories of my torrid affair with the dreaded subject of Math. It was my most hated subject at school and I used to run at the mere mention of numbers. Still, much like you acing the GRE test.... I ended up being a Chartered Accountant. Life throws up the most incredible ironies, I say.... !! Still, somehow maybe I think the passionate contempt for the subject leads us to study harder for it (thinking maybe we are weak in the subject), thus leading to adequate results. That's the only logical explanation I can conclude from this phenomenon! ;)

  19. Avanti,

    Talk about sailing in the same boat... :) That's really ironical as to how a math-hater gets to keep the subject for life :D I cant thank life enough for sparing me though!*Or wait, is there more?*

  20. hilarious! cockroach, skateboard and pythagoras bits made me lol!

    maths aint dat bad, ma'm! (comes frm a 99.97%iler in QA-CAT'08...did anyone say modesty's still a virtue???)

  21. @Bunty,

    First things first!

    You got a 99.what? in CAT 08?? :O Who even allowed you here? :) XL guys dont belong to ths world, seriously!

    Modesty certainly isnt a virtue on this blog :D


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