A husband called Mathematics

To every good thing, there is an exception-An exceptional quote by one of the well known Roman philosophers. From the day of 25th August, 1986 , I have been trying to prove this exact point to my over adamant parents who refuse to agree. Hailing from one of the high class “Math-freak” family, I was expected to carry on the torch of quantative glory till the end of my life. Obviously, everyone was in for a great shock when I made my first mistake of 2+5 in the I standard. My father went into a state of mental trauma, mother shut herself in the puja room and silence engulfed the entire house provoking me to get the answer right. Being a man of practicality, my father wanted to bring a new approach to the problem using “practical” approach. Whenever 2 toffees and three pencils sum came across, he gave away the exact number of toffees and pencils to help me count. His practical way of teaching stopped when I came to him with a sum that involved “4 cars and 2 bikes”. The numeric trait just skipped a gene in my case but sister was gifted with the ability making matters worse for me. While I was crying over simple problems of permutation and combination, she would be calculating the GDP of the country.
The only time my P& C was legally right was when I calculated the right amount of time to act busy and ignore her when she came to me with her doubts. This legacy with Maths disaster continued all through my school life and was very evident in my board exams. Coaching classes with one of the best mathematics teacher, Mrs. Gowri, didn’t help me either. While my best friends solved problems with passion and pleasure, I only gazed at the geometric circles like they were determining my destiny. In my classes, I vividly remember being taunted by a bi-spectacled teacher who had laughed a wicked laugh when I didn’t know how to make a thousand with eight 8s.I had to put in extra-extra-extra efforts to scrape through the subjects in my school days. Fate has a plan on its own and when it is mixed with family decisions, it becomes a deadly combination. I was to do engineering after my 12th and knew maths was going to become my “double sided cellophane tape” boyfriend who would never depart. In my Engineering, the only maths I remember is calculating the “probability ” of rain on the exam day, paper getting leaked and me passing the exam(and always landed with consistent zero).
I have many reasons to hate the subject. It freezes my mind and makes me surrender to it within moments. The numbers, x’s and y’s do a tribal dance in front of my eyes putting me to desolation and run away for salvation. I must agree I have had very little pleasurable moments with the subject and one of them was ‘counting my salary’. My company made it easy for me too; giving away as less as they can. I think I have decided to commit a double suicide when I joined MBA program recently. During one of the financial management tests, I literally gave up on my 16 years with numbers. I wonder why I get up at ‘6’ in the morning to take ‘8’ mugs shower, scamper on the ‘4’ idlis and walk under ’40’ degree sun just to realize numbers make no sense in my life.
The wikipedia definition of husband goes like this – The rights and obligations regarding his spouse, others and status in the community and in law varies between cultures and over time. In my case my ‘husband- Maths’ never gave up on me, following loyally, multiplying the expectations, adding my owes and screwing me royally.
P.S.; I wrote the first line quote. You wouldnt want a quote from a loser!
—–Subhashree Srinivasan
       IBS Hyd


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