Friday, March 14, 2008

Equations & Inequalities

This thought passed my mind last Sunday during my CAT classes. We were solving numericals in the module of 'equations & special equations'. We all have solved numerical equations during our academic years. Some problems are given straightforward; the equation stares you in the eye. Others require you to 'form' equations from given statements. Analyze it properly, get the proper equation & then... solving it is just a skill of the procedure and methodology adopted. And thats the easy part. If we ponder a little upon the essence of equations, we unanimously would deduce that every equation in the world revolves around that simple mathematical sign we call the 'equal to' (=) sign.

The sign is all-encompassing; the crux of every equation. And till both sides of this sign are balanced, we keep trying; solving... sometimes in few seconds. Sometimes with many minutes, hours put together before arriving at the answer. And then? What do we do when we finally get that final answer? Just look at the solution key and tally your answer... and rejoice or introspect where you went wrong. Thats what we do with all maths equations, isn't it?

Now lets divert a little away from the world of numbers & get to the world where we live in. Although it has very little to do with numbers, the fact remains that nevertheless, we still deal with equations. The equations of situations, equations of people around you, of feelings, of decisions. Most of the times, life's equations don't appear as do their mathematical counterparts. You really have to ponder much just to get the equation in front of you. And even if it does, most of the times the 'equality' sign is blurred. It hardly appears & the inequality sign takes away all its glory. On what side of the expression that 'inequality' points to, determines a lot in your life's equations. The challenge before us is to convert that inequality sign to that of equality so that both sides balance. That challenge is daunting & how you tackle the challenge decides what you give to your life & what life gives to you. Success & happiness inevitably comes to those who understand the mathematical subtleties of life. These two abstract nouns eventually become the reference solutions for you to tally whether you got the right answer or not. The beauty of life is about getting 'qualitatively' measured solutions... not 'quantitatively' solved!


Atul said...

Hi Mihir,
Excellent piece of work. While your thought-process is right on the track, I would like to dwell on your last line."Beauty of life is about getting qualiltatively measured solution......".
Well not really. The beauty of life is that however we try, we never get a solution. We keep on trying to convert inequality sign to equal sign. But when we approach the solution, different set of circumstances brings fore the inequality sign again. And that process of our continuous trying is called "life". The moment we reach the solution in terms of equal sign, the life is over since the process is over. All we can strive is to make that process to be qualitative.
Also unfortunately you can't measure the 2 abstract nouns Success and Happiness by the same standards because the mankind has decided to treat "success" as a quantitative one while "happiness" still remains qualitative. So even if you achieve the qualitative process of life, you may not be termed as successful.
Well dont worry... While we should thoroughly enjoy the process, dont even attempt to solve the equation. The inequality sign is the celebration of the human life.
Atul, Bangkok

mihirtronics said...

Hey mama,
U seriously should consider writing! Yes, success can be said to be more or less of a quantity..agreed!
Hope to receive your valuable feedback and mentoring every time!!!

gauri said...

Hi Mihir,
Concentrating on your last line, 'The beauty of life is about getting 'qualitatively' measured solutions... not 'quantitatively' solved!', is it that necessary to measure, compare, equate? Doesn't equating seem unfair? What do you tend to compare? Situations that seem alike? Reactions? Emotions? I am sure you agree that they are not that superficial that you can cut-copy-paste one incident onto another. Then why waste energy in brainstorming on wrongly formed equations? As you said, some equations are left on us to be found out. But according to me, its up to us, whether we want to identify sides and subject them to this '=' sign.
It is human nature to analyze situations; to keep on pondering why certain things happened the way they did, but more often than not, it leads to a much more disturbed mind. A mind in a constant state of contradiction. We should learn to accept 'what is' and move forward, a wiser self,rather than running behind 'why it is' and 'what it should have been'.

payas said...

Hey Mihir,
Your blog made a nice reading and also gave me something more to think about. If I would add anything it would be my thoughts on both happiness and success. I do not think that they come to those who understand the mathematical subtleties of life. They are very subjective and really depend on each person and how he or she defines them. So I am happy as I am successfully writing a comment to this blog.
So blog on.

Sabah said...

some awesome stuff there mihir!! i loved the end.. its so true and i love the way u related simple things in life to something so complicated and inexplicable! Happiness and sucess.. 2 important things in life.. n abt inequality.. yeah.. i am always at a loss trying to balance things.. scales up n down.. n then voila! balance.. but lasts for no longer than a moment.. but for that one moment when there is perfect beautiful balance.. all the trippin n fallin is worth it!!!! awesome work.. keep writin n updating!

Shilpa Shastry said...

Hi Mihir,

Thanks for ur comment.Your comment has actually inspired me to blog more often despite all the time management reasons I keep giving myself.

I loved ur perspective of seeing the mathematical inequality in a different light.I loathe Maths as a subject but ur post made me feel that maybe I don't hate Maths but the way it is shown to me.

Shilpa Shastry

Shrirang said...

Very interesting thoughts.

In my opinion, Life's act of balancing eqation is more like a seesaw action of balancing both sides. Once both sides level-off the game of life is over. Life is borne only because of the state of inequality. The state of equality leaves behind sheer existance (केवळ अस्तित्व).

mihir mulay said...


Well said, kaka! But don't you think balancing the equation would result into the ideal state of harmony with others, with yourself, with your alter ego and importantly, with your inner self?

I agree, it would be hypothetical saying that, but yet just a possible theory.... 'your material existence ceases and you enter into a relationship with your undiscovered self'

Wouldn't that be the hidden 'equality'?

Dunno, just a thought drawing upon your comments!
Thanks for your comments!!! :)

Shrirang said...

Once the equation is balanced, there is no "you", "me" or "them". Its all a sheer existence. "मी आहे" मधला "मी" गेल्यावर उरतो तो नुसता "आहे" . जाणीव गेल्यावर उरते ते केवळ अस्तित्व !