Me and Maths… Noooo! by Gomathi

Blog post by Gomathi Viswanathan

Call it the mistake of Ramanujan I say! Why did he invent Zero and become a mathematical genius? Only to set the standard that “if you are a TamBrahm, you are definitely a mathematical wizard!” rather kanakula puli!

Having said that, this post is a shout out to souls out there like me within our wonderful community who dread this 5-letter word called ‘Maths’ (called Math by our NRI cousins who visit us annually). My paati’s countless attempts to make vendakka curry and vendakka sambar to make me stronger in the subject have clearly failed!

During my school days, there were TamBrahm teachers in school and also my tuition classes who would be surprised that I was not good at maths! I would be equally surprised that how come those teachers managed to teach both Maths and English! Aren’t they diametrically opposite subjects? It is only then I realised that there was something called BA (Math) and I would question myself isn’t BA supposed to be dealing with subjects related to humanities and how did an inhuman subject like Maths find its place in the league.

Post results would be the worst embarrassment. If by chance your athai, mama, periappa or even pakathu aathu mami would drop in to your house that day, the first question would be “Kanna, maths la evvalo?“ That question would beat any of the stress interviews at IIMs for your image in front of the opposite person will solely depend on this answer! With a constipated look, I would utter something in a very low voice 1 katta as per the sruthi box so that the other person can’t hear what I just said!

One faces the worst embarrassment when your sibling decides to play the joke on you. Once along with amma and paati, I and my younger twin siblings had gone to a neighboring mami’s house for purchasing a few sarees. As amma and paati were busy shopping, the house mama decided to entertain us. As is customary, the first round began with “Oru paatu paadu kanna”..We all sang and mama was full of appreciation with ‘sabhash.. besh.. podu.. bhale’..

Things were going fine till he asked us “Maths pidikuma ungaluku laam”? Pat came my brother’s reply “Ammam mama.. romba pidikum!!” I and my sister looked at each other and said a quiet yes! Mama then started his maths quiz! He began with basic 2 table and seeing that my smarty brother was answering in a jiffy, moved to complicated tables! After a gruelling session, he was thoroughly impressed with my brother and then came my turn! Looking at me, he said. “Akkaku ippo 12 table.” Goshhhh… Luckily for me, soon Amma called us out saying they were done with the shopping and podavai mami is giving vethala paaku (a custom you follow before the bye-bye)! Thank God! My sister and I happily waved back to the mama and left their house soon!

On that note, here is my vethala paaku to all mamis and kanya ponnugal and apple for mamas and boys!

Poitu Varen!


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18 thoughts on “Me and Maths… Noooo! by Gomathi

  1. Interesting piece. Maths is needed for Software Programming, English is needed for MS Office. So Tamil Brahmins are well suited to this profession. In the pre IT era Tamil Brahmins were Stenos in large numbers. It is a natural progression to being in IT.

    At another level this preference for Maths does not encourage Medicine. This explains the large paucity of Doctors in this caste.



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