Rajesh Kumar

Optimizing life, one day after the next

In an other province far far away

23 Jul 2005

In an ever-increasing quest to tidy up my room, I have decided to take some drastic measures as of today. But first, you must hear the inspirational story behind it.

Some people like to draw, others just doodle. But if you ransacked their room, you'd come up with reams and reams of scrap paper full of stray drawings of the strangest things ever imagined in the annals of fantasy. So many drawings of various things, from anim├ęs to full-fledged motion pictures — so many that even they themselves would not know when and under what circumstances the sketch had been pencilled. This would provide you with a fantastic opportunity to engage in some first hand paper dating based on the amount of dust gathered or based on the shy hue of a yellow that is characteristic of old newspapers.

Me, I don't like to draw or doodle or poke fun at political characters by caricaturing their noses. That's probably because I have a lot of people around me who like to comment (often criticize) my work, and that's something I could do without. The only way, I guess, to avoid that is to go to the bathroom, do my funny pencil sketches, and flush it down the toilet as I walk out a tad lighter. No, that sounds like too much effort for nothing.

Instead, I've taken to solving math puzzles and proving complex theorems and equations. The best part about this is that common people take one quick glance at your stray papers and conveniently assume you're up to something way too sophisticated for them to even mention the word comprehend. The beauty of it is that the math doesn't really have to make sense or be mathematically sound. For all we care, it could just be an amalgamation of all the math symbols and variables you've seen in solid math textbooks the size of cricket bats. All that matters is that we have something that people can't look at and go "Oh, that looks nice" or "I don't think you should have done it that way" or "This would have been so much better if you'd have pressed your pencil a wee lighter" or things to that effect. If I don't find mathematics exciting enough, I move on to physics, or chemistry, or god forbid, literature. As we speak, I take a quick glance around me, and I find a rather carelessly lying sheet of lined paper with a rough sketch of an electrolytic apparatus to gold-plate an old, rusty, brass ring. The electrolyte in question is aqueous gold nitrate AuNO3

Just today, I came across an intriguing puzzle that I was sure I had solved previously. I was too unmotivated to solve it again and I started hunting for the scrap of paper that had the solution to it. I knew it had to be somewhere in my room; it couldn't have sprouted a pair of feet and walked out, could it? I mobilized a search party comprising of ten chubby fingers and a pair of watchful eyes to nail this scrap paper with the solution I'm looking for, but alas, I'm done for. The moons of Jupiter are not aligned to astronomical precision.

Thus, I have taken to organizing all my scrap notes. I hope to date each one of them, file them, and embalm them for future reference, lest they decay away. Hopefully I'll have everything arranged in an orderly fashion before I vacate my bedroom and move to Ontario this fall.

Tidying up your room is real simple. Either a) chuck out everything you got out the window or b) move to a different province.

I picked the latter option.

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