Last night my son who is 8 yrs. old remembered something about his project after 9.00p.m. He usually remembers homework and the like at this hour! Yesterday he was told to him to get some literature on any one Indian Mathematician for a project.
In a flash I told him that he could write about Ramanujam, the great Mathematician who is probably more famous among laymen like me for his musings on the taxi number 1729 or about Aryabhatta - The man who gave the world 'zero'. Given a few hours too I don't think anybody else would have come to my mind.
The children searched the entire collection of books we have - I am quite proud of my collection of books encompassing all possible subjects - but to my disappointment we could not find any article about any Indian Mathematician. I had articles and chapters about Archimedes, Ptolemy, Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr. and so many great men who changed History but none about these two great Indians! What a shame! It was 11.00p.m and so I put off further searching for the next morning - today!.
I got up late this morning, and hence so did the entire family! Just when I had begun to reflect over my cup of tea my son entered into the room asking me whether the material was ready! I postponed the search a little further as I knew that the net will have all the information we could possibly require for an 8 yr. old!
Afterall preparing breakfast and lunch was more important. Imagine my consternation later on finding that the server was down - my last resource was out of work! I searched in vain again among the books until my husband announced that it was time for the children to leave - His contribution to the mayhem so far!! I promised my son that we would keep the information printed and ready in his favourite bag and deposit it during the short break at school. He seemed pacified!
I forced my husband to shop around for a book on Indian Mathematicians. He called me up a while later and informed that there were absolute no books in the few shops he found open that early. Desperate moments like this one needed desperate actions too! I wondered whether Dr.Homi Bhabha could be passed off as a Mathematician but his contribution was to Physics! Sanity prevailed and I bounded two steps at a time to a well-read friend's house in my building. Thankfully they had an internet connection at their office - in our society itself - and I accessed the much needed information and took down a few hurried notes.
When I was finished and back home I found a cool husband playing spider solitaire and not the least bit bothered! Having assembled two cardboard boxes, stones(brought by the dad!), and the treasured information sheet in a bag I asked my husband to drop it off at the school.
After he left I realised that my knees were weak with exertion of bounding up and down, and that my pulse was racing. It was 10.20a.m. and I was already late for work!
Labels: Ramanujam, triumph