Neha's Number Game has prompted me to write this piece. There she talks about how people are crazy for comment count, fans count and visitor count on twitter and blogs and facebook and such. I am not going to talk about these things, we know the obvious.But this post induced a thought process - NUMBERS.
How significant they are throughout our life span. Who invented them? They are so complex and confusing! A constant source of worry and nervousness from the time we come to this world.
From being a healthy 3.2 kg baby to gradually growing up in days, weeks and 12th month to celebrate the 1st birthday. Counting the 1st, 2nd and 3rd milk tooth while constantly monitoring the KGS and the INCHES.
Numbers and more numbers - Time of birth, date of birth play a vital role in deciding the child's future, compatible spouse and the career!! The years add up and the child grows, basking in the affection people shower and playing with toys; temporary relief from digits and numbers; though vaccinations and immunizations doses given at specific month and year.
Not before long, the child is put to school and his affair with numbers continue. But all affairs are not joyful isnt it? Starts his affair with 1 and goes till 9. So far so good. Then the child is taught the magical number of 0. His affair grows exponentially; hundreds, thousands, millions. The numbers are manipulated - add, subtract, multiply, divide, square, cubed.........not enough? His numbers are no more rounded off but they come with decimals.
The numbers dont confine only to his learning - his class room is numbered; he has a roll number, his question papers are numbered; his marks!! Aaah how could we forget that? The magic number of 35 - the number to obtain a PASS would no way be appreciated by his parents and teachers. Thats a BAD number. He has to aim for 90+....Still not bad.
Higher classes means more numbers. Rational number makes sense. But isnt it cruel to make sense out of irrational numbers? Cruel cruel world! How baffling it is when taught that "imaginary" number had a value! Integration did not mean "combining" anymore. Geometry and trigonometry rule the roost; where numbers and alphabets are related; there is 'e' and then there is 'pi'. These are constants but the child is clueless about its value being derived by describing a nonlinear curve! Whatever one has to memorize their value up to its 15th decimal level.
College time - ruled by internals, marks and GPAs. More numbers during entrance exams - cut off; percentage and such. Numbers - ruling the life - sometimes praised; sometimes cursed. Numbers - sometimes embarrassing; sometimes elating. The real test after graduation; hunting for job. Numbers dont leave you there as well. Interview questions revolve around them - "1, 4, 27...what is the next number in the series?" or a puzzle - "How can you divide a round cake into 8 equal portions with 3 cuts?"
Numbers my dear! They eat up ones life; they are benchmark throughout - good, better, worse; efficient, productive, smart....They size you up! "Whats your number?" means how much of money you intend to see as your bank balance before retiring. Whats your CTC? Is your organization CMM level 5? Is it in top 10 of Forbes Best place to work?
Is the number done with? No! Get married by 30; have 2 kids, get a decent flat for 50 lakhs and a car for 10 lakhs; retire at 58. Work hard throughout towards your appraisal so that you get a rating 2 in a 5 point rating and get a 15% salary hike!
Numbers everywhere; numbers throughout. Deciding the course of life, stalking you for the rest of your life. Well....how would life be without these numbers? NULL!