I admit! I’m mathematically challenged and it hurts. There I was sitting as quietly as a mouse in a very serious meeting when suddenly the focus shifted to me.

“Ma’am, the stage for the children – 60 by 30 dimensions are good?”

Trying to sound as authoritative as possible but without a clue, “Err… Sure but will it be big enough? How about the size we used last time?” (Sneaky me trying to get a perspective whether this one is bigger than the previous).

“I don’t exactly know the dimensions of the last one but this one will be enormous.”

“Yes! It will be massive. So huge that there is a possibility that the whole stage might not be utilised at all”, piped another.

Ok! Now I had visions of a stage the size of a football field and I had to get a handle on the kind of space they were talking about pronto.

“How about we go out and see the area we are talking about. Will it extend beyond the pillars?” (That’s clever me!)

“We do not have to go out . I’ll sketch it on the paper – 60 from here, 30 or if you say we make it 40 but I assure you it will be big.”

Foiled! I give up but nod as intelligently as possible.

My nemesis, Mathematics continues to haunt me and torment me and I thought that was the last of it I’d ever see once I leave school. (Hmm, actually I’m still in school so probably that’s why … aargh!)

Honestly speaking I’m one of those academically inclined geeks who can discuss for hours the current political scenario, the latest Bollywood/ Hollywood blockbuster, Finland’s fantastic new education policy to teach by topics not subjects, did Dylan really deserve the Nobel, the mystery behind the Bermuda Triangle … you see diverse interests. So with great sorrow, I confess that Mathematics was one subject that never really excited me, it was more irksome really.

I remember how my eyes use to glaze over (actually they still do) when another person use to join in a sort of a race to mentally add columns of numbers first. It’s true, I always began enthusiastically but by the fourth addition I generally gave up, patiently waiting for the other person to arrive at the answer .

My family cottoned on to my Achilles heel early. Growing up, my mama’s favourite way to make me squirm was to randomly ask me tables or calculate numbers plucked from thin air just when I settled down to watch Spider-Man. Seriously? It was a regular episode of ‘*lost in a maze of mathematics mayhem*‘.

I still get the shivers thinking of all those algebraic equations, trigonometry and the cosmic relation between sin cos theta, the theorems to prove why my life depended on the angle x to be equal to angle y and z, the problem sums I struggled to make sense of through out the year. Cut to exams and I spent equal amount of time praying and swotting over sums that refused to be solved .

Today I know better. I may have a touch of arithmophobia or numerophobia (a legit phobia as per Dr Google). Having said that, I also turned out to be hopeless in Physics and that effectively ended my dreams of being an astronaut and the dream to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before. (Couldn’t resist the “I’m a proud Trekkie” moment)

Back to my stage dimensions dilemma, well found a cheat code to the problem . Used a measuring tape and marked the rectangle on the ground where the real stage was to come up.

Easy peasy and it’s true – the stage is massive!

Can totally relate to it. Need things to be spread out (believe in hands-on learning) to make sense:) Well written, words out powered the numbers!

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Thank you Manjari for once again bolstering my spirits. Believe me I felt pretty inadequate writing my experiences with a bogey called Maths … I’m with you – more power to creative thinking and concrete learning!

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You have written in detail about my ‘x’. ππ I enjoyed reading it . Keep at it

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Thanks Anupama for appreciating my ode to the mayhem Mathematics has wrought into my life .

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Maths ‘unfriend’ed itself from me as it matured and found its parasitic comfort in the superbrains. Though it wasn’t a foe, but did turn into a woe in the teen years!!

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I get that but my foe remains my woe even today π

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Maths never wooed me or may be I can’t fancy itπ Lost in the maze to look for others gazeπ reading this one too is an absolute delight. No number can measure the length of a creative thinking!

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Haha… its quite a relief to know that there are others like me who are terrorised by Maths . Only they can appreciate the depths of despair this subject inspires and the thinking out of the box required, to claw your way out of a mathematical mess .

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