“A centipede is crawling across a road with a velocity of one foot per minute. There are vehicles plying on the road at the rate of one per five minutes. The vehicles are of various widths like bikes, cars and buses. What is the probability of the centipede crossing the road alive?”
“Nil,” said Rohan without even thinking for a moment.
Radhakrishna, the mathematics teacher, was stupefied. He had expected the brilliant student to sit and apply some formulas. What is mathematics without formulas?
Radhakrishna had given the problem to Rohan in order to keep him quiet in the class. Rohan was an ADHD student according to the counsellor of the school. He needed a lot of attention. ADHD means that, hai na? Attention Deficit? So the loving and caring mathematics teacher gave him all the attention he could. He gave him all the problems that his knowledge of mathematics could create. He was particularly fond of algebra and Rohan turned out to be an expert with all the formulas in the algebra that Radhakrishna knew. It was then that the teacher sought the advice of Professor Miranandan who handed over the centipede on a platter.
“Show me the calculations. The steps of your calculations are vital in CBSE’s value points,” said Radhakrishna to Rohan.
“Arey Sir, your question is infinitely more absurd than the universe which has at least some laws like gravity. But I will solve it nevertheless if you tell me the velocity of each vehicle, its acceleration, wheelbase...”
Radhakrishna stared at Rohan. Rohan stared back.
It was then Sohan dangled a bra in front of the class.
“Alge-Bra. Alge-Bra. This is the bra that Radha Sir was trying to pull out from our balcony last night.”
Radhakrishna was saved soon from the classroom by the Principal who rushed there in spite of the obesity he had amassed in direct proportion to the donations paid by hapless parents.
“Algebra has become bra,” Leela shouted. Leela had a particular reason to shout. Her inner thigh had been pinched by Radhakrishnan Sir the other day for failing to get one step right in a problem which applied the formula (a+b-c)3.
Radhakrishna left the village the very next day bearing the shame of bra-lifting. But his mathematical mind was more preoccupied with his ADHD student’s universal laws of gravity. Gravity. Grave. Gravitation. Pull. Yes, everything pulls everything else. Sitting under a coconut tree which had thankfully no coconuts to fall on his head like Newton’s apple, Radhakrishna was attaining enlightenment. He refused to go to school though his magnanimous wife forgave his sin of pilfering the bra of Sohan’s mother. The thunderstruck coconut tree was in the next village and it was superstitiously avoided by people.
A stranger passing by thought Radhakrishna was a beggar and threw a ten rupee note as carelessly as a priest who gave gratuitous counsels to devotees. Radhakrishna was in too deep a contemplation to notice ten rupees. But more and more people passed by and the ten rupee note extracted the devotion and more currency notes soon which Radhakrishna could not ignore.
Radhakrishna soon became Radha Swami.
Algebra gave way to the Vedas.
“Those who are misers will never part with their money,” Radha Swami started his Satsang homily with a quote from Rig Veda.
The misers opened their wallets.
Radha Swami’s wife opened a bank account which overflew with currency from abroad soon as devotees sought online delivery of Radha Swami’s instant wisdom from beneath a thunderstruck coconut tree.
“Bra Baba is going to buy the Manorama estate,” announced Leela one day in the class.
The Manorama estate was soon razed to the ground in order to construct what Radha Swami called an ashram.
Eventually acres and acres of land was bought up by Radha Swami Ashram Trust whose motto was “Trust, isn’t that everything?”
Only Leela and Sohan and their friends referred to the Swami as Bra Baba. They were still children. When they grow up they will also become trustees of the Trust. Let us forgive them.
Rohan still remained an ADHD problem even for the Bra Baba in his mind. So the Baba appointed a corporate honcho to evict Rohan’s family from the village that was no more a village now...