Thursday, September 25, 2008

A piece of genius

You must have heard an anecdote from the life of Einstein told to justify the fact that brilliant people people make stupid mistakes when the eventually succumb to making one. Einstein had a pet cat which inevitably gave birth to kitten. So, Einstein decided to construct a small home for the cat and built a home with two entrances, a big one for the mother and a small one for the kitten, missing the obvious point that if the mom can enter through the bigger entrance, so can the kitten. But that's the oft told story, too boring to merit a repeat. So sticking to the ubiquitous rule "only change is constant" let us narrate another story from the life of another undisputed genius.

This happened one day in his childhood when he had an upcoming basic mathematics exam involving addition, subtraction, place value identification, division etc... Being a sincere student he had been preparing hard for the exam under the expert guidance of his mom. On the morning of the exam, while he was taking stab at a random bunch of problems his mom realized that there were too many problems to solve in such a short time before starting to prepare to go to school. So, she told him "Don't worry about attempting addition, subtraction and place know it very well. Attack the multiplications and division and get them right. That should be enough". And the genius obliged. Feeling confident after the revision, he left for school to conquer the exam.

That evening his mom enquired,"How was the paper?"

As if he was just waiting for his mom the answer the enquiry, he beamed,"The paper was great! I solved all the division and multiplications right!"

Puzzled, the mom asked, "What about the addition, subtraction and place values..?"
"Oh, but why should I even attempt them mom, I know I do them very well. I just attempted the multiplications and divisions. Isn't that what you said?"

Now who is this genius? Well..who else? :)

Friday, September 5, 2008

Prasing her or picking on her?

I got introduced to Hindi when I was in my fourth standard (I think), but then for as long as I was in Chennai, my Hindi hadn't matured so much to understand movie songs right out of the player. It needed offline processing. But remember your school prayer or the "India is my nation" pledge? Honest to god, when was the time in all your 12 years of school have you stopped to think "What the hell is the meaning of what I am saying? Does anyone even know or am I the only dumbo?". For the privileged Tamilians like me, a lot of Hindi songs fit the category too! There are always exceptions, and you do sometime get the meaning of what Udit Narayan is trying to tell Alka Yagnik. But the funny ones are the songs that leave you confused! For example,  this song is from an absolute box-office smasher that catapulted Shah Rukh from a chocolate hero into a bitter-sweet anti-hero. The cause for the confusion though is the South Indian heroine, the only one for who a temple was built, if romours are anything to go by.  This extract from the song has always left me wondering if the hero is praising his sweet heart or making fun of her for being excessively fat. Here is the extract..

"Jadooooo teri nazar...Khusbhoo tera badan..."