Walking in Beauty


She is bubbling with her enthusiasm about Mathematical Physics. Half of what she is  telling me- especially about  the Calculus classes -goes above my head. I watch her animated face as she speaks about a senior who is enrolling for a Masters in Perimeter Institute, Canada ( her dream) and has deferred his PhD admission to Stanford by a year. “One day, Amma, I will be there!” I have absolutely no doubt that she speaks her destiny.

‘My child, I wish to tell her, keep this faith alive. For every naysayer who had dissuaded your dreams in a thousand ways by not supporting you, by laughing at girls dreaming big, by mocking you for ‘not fitting in’, you have always had those few critical people who stood by you like a rock. In life, for every hundred people who could not care less about you, you will find one  genuine well wisher. That solid love is more than what the little green sapling needs to thrive in this world. Every battle won with sweat and tears of dedication creates way for a wonderfully tasting feast of celebration. But the warrior needs rest and recuperation too.

Do not get caught in the fancy trappings of what ‘success’ is acclaimed to be by the world. The quiet scientist who toils away in her laboratory and advances the cause of Science, leads a life which illuminates the way for humankind. Perhaps her coat is stained and sweaty. Perhaps it is not. Perhaps she is not known outside her circle. Perhaps she is.  These are irrelevant.What matters is that when she sleeps at night, there is a joy of having another beautiful day to wake up to and live her dream.

May learning light up your way. May your dreams come true. May you remain humble and grounded. May you always think of leaving this world a better place with the gifts that you were born with. May you follow your bliss and your true calling. May the right teachers appear at the appropriate time. May you always remain my bubbling and happy child.

Tremendously grateful for the gift of hearing you passionately describe your Calculus classes and your wonderful professors. Stay blessed. May your light brighten the life of all whom you meet in your life path.’

‘Amma, you are not actually listening!’ She pouts.

I smile. ‘ Your Amma still has nightmares about her engineering maths.’

‘ Yes! You should have studied Byron instead. No issues! Ok so you know what professor…’

She walks in beauty, like the night

Of countless climes and starry skies

And all that’s best of dark and bright

Meet in her aspect and her eyes…

Ahhhh, Byron. You did get that one right.



The Mathematics of Blue Moon

“Once in a blue moon,”she asks, “Amma, what does it mean?”

I cast a bemused glance at the curious cat. She has a grin on her face, a la Alice’s Cheshire Cat itself.

“A very rare event,” I explain.

Little girl starts grinning wider and wider. The grin almost eclipses her face.

“What is up?” I ask.

This one smiling over an explanation,  with such a sunshine glimmer,  happens once in a blue moon. Usually she ponders deep, over explanations. Presumably filtering it through her own special eight year old truth filter.

“I wrote in my note book that I was a very good girl.”

I cough politely. I have certain other  distinct view points about the interpretation of Good. Especially when good girls seem to be fascinated by the looking glass, to uneven time proportions. Ignoring homework.

“Chechy wrote next to it- once in a blue moon!”

This time, I grin. Ah, there  are other eyes too that see the truth, eh?

“Do you agree with what your sister wrote?” I ask, mildly.

My little one laughs. Shaking all over in her mirth. Happens once in a….


“Ma,  never let this brat study Law! She will switch sides to suit her interest easily! The client would be in a very bad position!” warns the elder one.

We were discussing possible career options for the little girl. Considering her outstanding ability to cry at a moment’s notice, for example. And to stop crying instantaneously, as soon as she concluded, that no one was interested in the whole scene. A more remarkable ability.

My little Turncoat, sniffs with elegance.

“What is Law?” She ventures, after some time.

Before any one could explain, she speaks. ” I want to study fashion!”

“You have to do addition and subtraction  for that” , advises her sister. ” Pass class four Mathematics, next! And then continue to do Math  for years,” she grins with sheer vindictive joy.

A shudder of horror passes over the young one. Maths and she are not friends.


A very poignant question over the injustice of it all. A sentiment I could very well relate to, since I have a love- hate relationship with Maths too.

“You have to measure clothes, right?” Laughs her sister, getting into her groove.

A look of concentration comes into the small face.

“I will do addition and subtraction then,” she says, to no one in particular.

For the first time in her summer vacation, she reaches out to her Math text book.

“The crow will fly upside down today,” chortles my elder daughter.

“May be it is you , who should take up Law,” I mutter, ” because you have accomplished something next to impossible.”

The scene ends with the elder one patiently explaining   Class Four mathematics problems in terms of a pretty actress’s choice of lipsticks and blushes.Her sibling has an awed look at her face, as light dawns on the application of Maths in life and death issues.

I praise the Heavens, wholeheartedly.  The peace in the house is as rare as a blue moon.