Count On Me.

Today has been a great day for me for some scintillating exchanges.

In the morning, I had messaged a friend in Mumbai to help me with something and he did quite cheerfully. Here is the exchange. I have just removed the full name to protect his identity.

Me: Thank you dear HM. I am glad to have you in my life.
HM: You can always count on me
Me: 🙏🏻. You an abacus? Or, remember the Casio? Or the Facit?

And to help him refresh his memory, I gave a link to my post on my blog.

Over the lunch table, I shared this exchange with Manjiree who was quite amused and recollected her younger days when she had to learn multiplication tables by heart. I too was reminded of the same and shared with her my own story.

I must have been around 12, my younger brother Arvind 11 and the third brother Barath 9. Our late father, a martinet, insisted on us learning multiplication tables up to 20 X 20 bottom to top and top to bottom. On his return from work he would first ask me one question say, 12 X 14 and if I did not know the answer, he would punish me. He would then ask another question to Arvind and the story would repeat. The third time around he would ask Barath say 14 X 8 and without batting an eyelid, Barath would respond with 62 or some such number and the old man, satisfied, would point out how great he was to the other two and depart. It was much after we had grown up that Barath confided with Arvind and me once while reminiscing that, he would just shoot off any number that came to his mind taking the chance that the old man did not know the answer!

The next thing that happened today was when I shared the HM exchange with my son Ranjan who promptly suggested that my sense of humour was diminishing as I aged. Great support from my heir apparent. 🙁

I am a teetotaller and a vegetarian which is quite amusing to many of my friends and the next exchange was with another dear friend who sent me this clip.

He added at the bottom – “See what you are missing?”

I responded with “I had a school teacher girl friend named Anita Singh. Her students used to call her Miss. Singh. The only missing I do is missing that Miss. Singh who became Mrs. Kalra.”

Wanting to have the last word, my friend concluded with – “Those were the days what?”

All in all, quite a day.

10 thoughts on “Count On Me.”

  1. My dad really enforced mathematics and arithmetic. He’d hand me a huge column of numbers and instruct me to add them up using a finger that never stopped on the column.

    To this day I can do this without thinking.

    I can relate to your story.


  2. Like Manjiree I know my times table backwards, forwards, up and down, sideways. I particularly like 7×7 49 and 12 x 12 144.

    Your brother Barath a guy after my own heart. Make it up as you go along. Call someone’s bluff. In my teens my father offered me a bet (on the year Goethe died). Felt genuinely sorry for him when he had to hand over the money.


  3. I learnt arithmetic in quite a different way at home, and I still have the cribbage board – Dad & I used, and some of the matches, which are tucked away in a type of secret opening with a rubber cap. I could possibly play crib again, I expect it like “riding a bike”. Anyway the key maths element has to do with both the board and the adding up of each persons score and still today I work in 5’s
    Catherine de Seton recently posted..And now it’s Friday…

  4. great post. an insight into the real Sean! LOL! and best… his humor.
    the only thing I remember my dad saying to me about math…
    “you’re making it harder than it is!” ??? “IT” was plain geometry.
    WHAT ..??? no. I don’t think so.
    which I of course did not say. you weren’t allowed to ‘talk back!’
    but I learned a simple life lesson…
    math people never get non math people.

    1. And vice versa Tammy. There is a Professor of Mathematics in our family who is the most reclusive of people that I know. He is perfectly happy in his own world even at his present age of 87.

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