Thursday, January 28, 2010

Me? Are you sure?

It is bad form to speak ill of the dead. Similarly, it is not correct to speak about a severely handicapped person in less than glowing terms. My qualities were similarly hyperbolized so much that often I was not sure if people were speaking about me or about somebody else who I seemed to know quite well. Perhaps the propensity to exaggerate my qualities was amplified by the fact that I had the IIMA tag. A sort of halo effect seemed to be at play and I seemed to be doubleplusgood at everything. The tendency to further embellish my qualities in every mutation was no doubt aided by the misinterpretation of my blinks.

To my embarrassment, I was sometimes referred to as a genius. As Lawrence Durrell said, 'Like all young men, I started out to be a Genius, but mercifully laughter intervened. ' Of course, I should not have been surprised because now-a-days every Tom, Dick and Suresh is called a genius of some sort or the other. I had many super brains studying with me. Many times I used to sit silently and look in awe as they solved complicated problems casually over breakfast and wondered how I will ever be able to compete with these...geniuses. In THE RED-HEADED LEAGUE, Watson says of Sherlock Holmes:
I trust that I am not more dense than my neighbours, but I was always oppressed with a sense of my own stupidity in my dealings with Sherlock Holmes. Here I had heard what he had heard, I had seen what he had seen, and yet from his words it was evident that he saw clearly not only what had happened but what was about to happen, while to me the whole business was still confused and grotesque.
I had many such Watson moments. No wonder I breathed a sigh of relief when I got through IIMA without any major goof-ups.

Once one guy came to my room and complimented me on the colours that I had chosen for the walls of my room. He said that I had chosen these colours because I had lived abroad for many years and had seen how houses were painted there. This was news to me because I have never been abroad. I don't know from where he got the story. I did not see anybody correcting it. So, I don't know how it will come back in the future.

I was once called a Mathemagician. It was the first time I had heard this word. I had thought I was reasonably competent in maths but no magician of any sort. (That reminds me of this TED talk. That was the second time I heard of the word Mathemagician.)

Jaya, her Dad and Sujit had gone out once when some visitors came home who I had never met before. When they came to my room, I was reading some popular science book. Looking at the book, one person said that I had been a scientist. The nurse did not understand what he said and nodded. My mother-in-law was in the kitchen preparing tea. Everyone looked at me as if I had just arrived from Mars while I sat quietly not knowing what to do. By the time my mother-in-law returned, the conversation had moved on to some other topic so she did not know that her son-in-law had become a scientist and the error remained uncorrected.So some people somewhere think that I was a SCIENTIST.

I will tell you when I become a neurosurgeon.


  1. Hey Suresh,
    Not fair...on you as well as those poor guests!!The IIT,IIM tags define your qualities and surely,you cannot underplay your achievements.
    As far as those guests are concerned-paavam!!Am sure they did not know how to react to a "severely handicapped person" reading a Science book!!!

  2. Serves you right for saying that the incomprehensible International Trade course was interesting, great, etc.!

    Those who read your blog must be paying (well-deserved) compliments to your writing skills - and will soon extrapolate that to other aspects of your intellect. Be prepared.......(like I said, serves you right for .....)

  3. You might not be a scientist or a mathemagician but you certainly can weave magic with words and seem to understand the science of keeping readers interested in your blogs. You are doubleplus good in the mathematics of the written word!