Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Read It and Feel proud to be an Indian.

“If I were to pick one field to focus on, it would be that of mathematics, India invented modern numerals ( known to the world as ‘Arabic’ numerals because the west got them from the Arabs, who learned them from us!). It was an Indian who first conceived of the zero, shunya; the concept of nothingness, Shunyata, integral to Hindu of culture and Buddhist thinking, simply did not exist in the west. (in the history of culture,’ wrote Tobias Dantzig in 1930, ‘the invention of zero will always stand out as one of the greatest single achievements of the human race.’) The concept of infinite sets of rational numbers was understood by Jain thinkers in the sixth century BCE. Our forefathers can take credit for geometry, trigonometry and calculus; the ‘Bakshshali manuscript’, seventy leaves of bark dating back to the early centuries of the Christian era, reveals fractions, simultaneous equations, quadratic equations, geometric progressions and even calculation of profit and loss with interest.
Indian mathematicians invented negative number: the British mathematician Lancelot Hogben, grudgingly acknowledging this, suggested ungraciously that ‘perhaps because all the Hindus were in debt more often than not, it occurred to them that it would also be useful to have a number which represents the amount of money one owes.’ (That theory would no doubt also explain why Indians were the first to understand how to add, multiply and subtract from zero- because zero was all, in western eyes we ever had.)

The Sulba Sutras, composed between 800 and  500 BCE, demonstrated that India had Pythagoras theorem before the great Greek was born, and a way of getting the square root of two correct to five decimal places. (Vedic Indians solved square roots in order to build sacrificial sophisticated altars of the proper size.) The Kerala mathematicians Nilakantha wrote sophisticated explanations of the irrationality of ‘pi’ before the west had heard of the concept. The Vedanga Jyotisha, written around 500 BCE, declares: ‘Like the crest of the peacock, like the gem on the head of the snake, so is mathematics at the head of all knowledge.’ Our mathematicians were a poet too! But one could go back even earlier, to the Harappan civilisation, for evidence of a highly sophisticated system of weights and measures in use around 3000 BCE.

Archaeologists also found a ‘ruler’ made with lines drawn precisely 6.7 mm apart with an astonishing level of accuracy. The ‘Indus inch’ was a measure in consistent use throughout the area. The Harappans also invented kiln-fired brick, less permeable to rain and floodwater than the mud bricks used by other civilisations of the time. The bricks contained no straw or other binding material and so turned out to be usable 5000 years later when a British contractor dug them up to construct a railway line between Multan and Lahore. And while they were made in fifteen different sizes, the Harappan bricks were amazingly consistent: their length width and thickness were invariably in the ratio of 4:2:1.”

 This excerpt is from the Novel- “The Elephant, the Tiger and the Cellphone” by Dr Shashi Tharoor.  I strongly advocate and advise you all to go through this amazing piece of work. 

Friday, December 9, 2016

My Neighbourhood

My neighbourhood is full of bright students. One was pursuing DM from International Medical University, Malaysia. His father had said hundreds of time that it was one of the most respectful professions of the medical field. Well, all guardians brag in the same manner when their son excel. I had still not given that sort of opportunity to my father.
One was in China doing a job in Zhengzhou Coal Mining Machinery Group CO. LTD... The other one was a teacher in the University of Dallas and was very well settled in America. And finally there was a local guy in my locality who was in India itself and that made me feel to fly to some foreign countries. In fact, he was a good guy but his achievement, and that’s too in my field of interest had embarrassed me. I was the victim of inferiority complex. He would quite often visit my house and as soon as he entered from the front door, I would exit myself from the back door. He was a strange guy. He loved to find errors and that’s too in every sort of thing.
“One who enjoys finding errors will then start creating errors to find”

 My father would insist me to have a talk with him but I was reluctant. After preferring me a couple of foreign author books, he would wrap up saying, “Ho, jaega. “

I knew how easy it was for him to say that. He was in his final years and he used to have more than 0.4k likes on his DPs. He would never forget to put his location in any of his status. In his early years, he was so dumb.

‘Ankit Sharma was sleeping with Vaibhav Prasad and 99 others at IIT Roorkee.’
‘Me eating Maggie with Abhinav Shukla and 102 others at IIT Roorkee.’

He used to tag almost every of his friends including me. His location used to make me reluctant to like his pic. However, in his penultimate year he had uploaded a pic of mine with him and to my surprise, he had tagged only two of us. I was happy as that publicity stunt soared my likes within no time frame.
But still, I hated him.
Sometimes I would think that he was just like King Midas. But unlike his gold capability, Ankit Sharma had unique ability to crack every exam he even thought to attempt. Once in a life time, I had cleared the first level of Science Olympiad and had got an opportunity to go to the next level. However few months after when my father was telling Ankit my success story, he came up with his own. He had ranked 2nd in International Mathematics Olympiad and had even got an opportunity to visit Israel. I had never felt so small. I was jealous.
“Jealousy is rather an enjoyable emotion to watch”- Chetan Bhagat
My father never told my success story to any other after that incident.


“Prabhat Singh, 64
Shanker poddar, 56
Khitij sharma, fif……. “.
She began to adjust specs and my heart almost stopped beating literally.
My Physics teacher gave me a dirty look. I don’t know why, but she hated me bad. I had come to know that some work of hers was delayed by my father’s office. And that was eventual. Well, she had tried to clear her file by saying that she was the teacher of the DMs son. And that statement didn’t go well with the concerned officers.
One day I saw Ankit walking through my school corridor and I just got startled. What the hell was he doing in this corridor leaving the other several ones? He began to approach my class room and I shrugged myself for not getting noticed through the door. I was on the first bench of the first column from the door. I had grabbed that seat so that I could see the girls crossing by. I was so damn wrong.
Finally, he had gone. Why had he come to our school?  He was an alumnus of our institution but he shouldn’t have come.
“Oh Ankit beta …”
Shit??? How he made it to our room. Over the few hundred rooms, he had got only ours to visit and that’s too in 6th period. The probability of such incident was even less than signal digit percentage but he had beaten the odds. Meanwhile, I thanked my Math’s teacher Verma mam as she had done a good job in probability.
I shrugged myself further.
“Guys, meet Ankit Sharma, one of the brightest student of our school.”
How she was able to remember his name so crystal clear.  She always stammered to call my name even when I was the humour imparting element of her class. There are always some guys favourite to some teachers and no matter whatever happens they are always made to stand up to answer a question followed by a huge round of laughter in the class. I was ‘THAT’ guy in her class.
“He is currently pursuing B-tech from IIT Roorkee and he was even the state topper of his batch”
I just wanted to kill that guy who had clapped from the back for Ankit Sharma. We had to follow the ritual. Many eyes of our classes had got lightened up after seeing him.
“Ok ma’m, I’m sorry for disturbing your class.”
“Yeah you should be faggot.” I said in my heart.
And finally, he winked at me before leaving that class. He may have slapped me or had beat me with his bare fists but that wink cost me more dearly. And finally, I heard the best sound in my ears.
(Ting Ting)

Back benchers surrounded me. The guys from the penultimate bench hovered to hear my call.
“Hey Kshitij, how do you know Ankit sir?” asked one of the students with very decent lunch box in his hand. I didn’t know his name in fact.
You see, how you garner reputation when you do something apart from the queue. And now they had started calling him ‘sir’.
“Let’s forget these things, guys. He is just my neighbour. “, I said as I tore apart the chakravyuh and went outside the class.
“He is so lucky!!!” said a guy as I was already out of their audibility range.
“Luckyyy…” I chuckled as I began to move down the stairs with hundreds of others students. ”

‘Luck has a way of evaporating when you lean on it’ - Brandon mull      

Thursday, December 1, 2016


Eavesdropping is secretly listening to the private conversation of others without their consent.
In order to understand about the etymology of the given word you have to understand about the Back formation and lexeme.

A lexeme is a unit of lexical meaning that exists regardless of the number of inflectional endings it may have or the number of words it may contain. It is a basic unit of meaning, and the headwords of a dictionary are all lexemes. For example, in the English language, run, runs, ran and running are forms of the same lexeme, conventionally written as run.

In etymology, back-formation is the process of creating a new lexeme, usually by removing actual or supposed affixes. Back-formation is different from clipping – back-formation may change the part of speech or the word's meaning, whereas clipping creates shortened words from longer words, but does not change the part of speech or the meaning of the word.
1.       Babysit from babysitter.
2.       Bicep from biceps.
3.       Biograph from biography.
4.       Burger from hamburger.
From the above examples it just means that the word ‘burger’ has got originated from the word ‘hamburger’. So this was the example of back formation.

Etymology of the word ‘Eavesdropping’.
The verb eavesdrop was originally a back-formation of the noun eavesdropper ("a person who eavesdrops") which was formed from the unrelated noun eavesdrop ("the dripping of water from the eaves of a house; the ground on which such water falls"). An eavesdropper was one who stood at eavesdrop (where the water fell, i.e., near the house) so as to overhear what was said inside.

And I found it worth sharing.

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