Although Ramanujan secured a first class in mathematics in the matriculation examination and was awarded the Subramanyan Scholarship, he failed twice in his first-year arts examination in college, as he neglected other subjects such as History, English and Physiology. This disappointed his father. When he found the boy always scribbling numbers and not doing much else, he thought Ramanujan had gone mad.
Ramanujan began to look for a job. He had to find money not only for food but for papers as well to do his calculations. He needed about 2,000 sheets of paper every month. Ramanujan started using even scraps of paper he found lying on the streets. Sometimes he used a red pen to write over what was written in blue ink on the piece of paper he had picked up.
Ramanujan was interested in Mathematics and scored really well in school. He had no problem in cracking any exams as he was way ahead of his classmates and all other students of his age. He had read all books on the subject and had even made new ideas and theorems. But no human being in this world can claim to know everything and to be perfect. If one person is good at Maths, the other may be good at arts. Similarly, if one is good at dance, the other may be good at writing poetry. Each one should identify their talents, work on it and become the best in the selected area. But unfortunately for Ramanujan, the Indian education system passed off their student, only if the perform equally in all the subjects.
He failed in other subjects
Since Ramanujan spent most of his time in Maths, he did not concentrate on other subjects like Arts, Science, Physiology, English and history. As a result, he failed the examinations. He had even gained the Subramanyam award for Maths. But when he enrolled himself in the Pachaiyappas College, Madras, he failed twice because he could not perform well in other subjects. Just like any other parent, Ramanujan's father was also disappointed with this. From his perspective, he could only see that his boy was always scribbling on random papers. He could not understand the passion Ramanujan possessed, rather thought he had gone mad, as he was obsessed with Maths.
Ramanujan always solved maths
As he struggled to get a degree, he had to search for a job to sustain his life in Madras. He wanted to earn, most importantly for papers to write upon. If he did not write in papers, he might lose his ideas. It was more important to him than food. In order to do his calculations, he needed almost \(2000\) sheets of paper per month. That is how much he worked on various problems. In order to save paper, he started using scraps of old papers that he found unused, lying on the streets.
Most people need more papers because they need to correct their mistakes. It is not necessary that one should always get the right solution in the first attempt. But Ramanujan could not afford to use a different set of paper for his corrections. So he used a different colour pen and overwrote what he had already written in blue. That way, he did not have to use more papers. He also used the papers which were already written in blue by writing over them in red ink.
Words with Difficult Words:
|Scholarship||A reward, mostly in the form of money|
|Disappointed||Not happy or dissatisfied|
|Physiology||The study of living things|
|Scraps of paper||Small pieces of paper|
State Council of Educational Research and Training (2019). Term-2 English Standard-9. From Zero to Infinity (pp. 81-93). Published by the Tamil Nadu Textbook and Educational Services Corporation.