A simple confession of a simple person, who just loves to do math.
I used to enjoy long hours of absorbing intense mathematics and put in a lot of my ATPs into running the circuitry in my brain and get dopamine hits by solving and thinking about mathematics. People call it pure mathematics. I don’t know the impurity in mathematics I didn’t know. I just loved to do anything that I got to do in Mathematics.
You know people have a very high tendency to identify themselves with some name or the other, just for the sake of saying, I am a Pure Mathematician, just like they respond to the fact they are vegans or not.
I was in Class 11. I got used to the people asking what I will do in the future? I also got used to the sequence of questions that came after my answer. I wanted to study mathematics. What will you do by studying mathematics? Do you want to be a professor? Yes, I loved to teach. So, blatantly I used to tell yes. I came to know the workings in the minds of typical people, who never pursued they wanted to at their youth. Either they married, or started to do entirely different that they didn’t vibe with and then get settled for life with decent money and not allowing the next generation to pursue their own likings, instead follow the dreams, they failed to pursue.
But. my parents allowed me to do, what I loved to do. They allowed reading math books with the cover of our geography textbook. I am fortunate to live this life. So, I don’t want to waste the opportunity to not share what I think. Therefore, I am here sharing this with you.
One day, I got asked a very strange question, how will you help people by doing mathematics. Yeah, I loved to help people, make a change in society, but I had no answer because somehow the question demanded something more than teaching or sharing.
The question demanded the answer to the question “What is the use of all the mathematics I am doing?”.
I was speechless. I never knew why I liked to do what I was doing. Many questions cropped to my mind. I started to ask how the iota(i) in complex numbers will help the people. I started to ask how these equations anyway gonna change the world.
I started seeing films like Gifted, Fermat’s Room, etc.
One of the ending lines of the film after one of the mathematicians threw away the proof of the Goldbach’s Conjecture in the river water.
See, has the world changed around you?
I started to question myself. I really didn’t have an answer. All my dreams started to fall apart. It was an existential question. Yet, I had a passion for it. Maybe I am identified with the subject too much!
This phase of life went on for half a decade. I started to go into different paths. I started to see more applied stuff of mathematics. I started to teach mathematics. I have spent months not doing single mathematics. Yes, the same guy, who couldn’t live without mathematics for a day.
But, I learned a lot about myself, my thoughts, how my brain worked to solve the problems. I used them in my pedagogical stuff. I developed an interest in other activities too.
But even during these times of not doing mathematics, I found that the small times of doing mathematics was most joyful.
I tried to trick my mind into so many ways, yet I felt that way. I started to investigate why. I finally got my answer. It is something that I never thought out loud, but yes it is true.
I just love doing mathematics, just for the sake of doing mathematics. In fact, it isn’t that learning and doing mathematics is the thing that gave me pleasure, I found that learning and sharing and making a society out of mathematics, gave me a fully satisfying experience of life.
I love to do mathematics, just as a game. I think it as a game. Hence, abstraction never bothers me too much. In fact, making things more abstract is what gives me more pleasure sometimes unless I cannot proceed further.
The part of sharing and making society of mathematics and helping people grow with what I love to do gave me extra bonus pleasure.
In fact, I felt empty with any one of these aspects missing. I understood my purpose slowly. In fact, I discovered I love to write and share. Mathematics and Research gave a boost in shunning my intellect of expanding myself a bit with every single thought and sharing of it.
Now, if people ask me, what is the use of the mathematics I do?
I have a simple answer. It makes me happy. You can’t ask a child making a toy home out of lego bricks, what is the use of this? It just make him(her) happy. Period.
If one asks me again, is your happiness the only thing that matters to you?
I will ask him, try to be happy 24 hours for one day and come to me again. I will show you the hundreds of people drunk in mathematics for hours. I just help them to be drunk for a few more hours.
Have I wasted my time? No, I just fell in love with mathematics a bit more logically.
Yes, I will die one day. But, I will die being happier and letting some people be a bit happier too.