People tend to have things in their lives that they hate and despise fanatically at times, and yet can’t live without. For me, it’s Mathematics. I am scared of it, yet delighted by it. Disgusted, yet enchanted by it. The phases change arbitrarily.
Sometimes I find myself considering bribing Maulana Fazl-ur-Rahman to give a fatwa against the blasted thing. At other times I find myself eagerly searching for challenging trigonometric identities and polynomial equations on the internet. At any rate, I can never be indifferent to it.
Alas! I am a fool. Maths might seem good enough, it might be beautiful, well-mannered, graceful; but from the inside, it is cruel, calculating and treacherous. The thing that bothers me most is its prejudice.
It treats a choice few of its subjects very generously. It rewards them with an increased understanding of the world. It helps them create mind-blowingly spectacular inventions and robust economies. It gives them the sensation of power and enlightenment. But for most people, it is a brutal dictatress, tormenting and impoverishing them.
It’s behavior and decisions are highly unpredictable, yet their finality is always inarguable. One can never call it reckless, imprudent or illogical. It defines logic. People who disagree with it are considered fools.
For me, it’s been a mixed meal. I’ve been rewarded sometimes. But most of the time, I’ve been betrayed and burdened with ghastly, unsolvable problems that take hours and sometimes even days to understand.
Whenever I manage to master a concept and think I’m advancing, I always hear it cackle and whisper,
You foolish mortal! You think you’ve understood me? You don’t know a thing! I have another, even ghastlier trap in store for you…
Note: The writer has been studying mathematics for the past two weeks to symptoms of paranoia and schezophrenia may be apparent in the post.