Of Theorems and Us
It’s almost funny that I had no idea that one is supposed to fall out of love with someone when they are asked to, until she asked me the same last night, and disconnected the phone immediately after. I have called her forty-nine times after that, but not once has she picked up. I didn’t call her the fiftieth time because forty-nine is the square of seven, and seven is her favorite number. She loves numbers. The odd ones, especially. What if I tell her seven times that what she thinks is wrong? Would that change her mind? No, I guess. Also, I could only tell her that if she picked up the phone, which she won’t.
Her mom is a mathematician. Perhaps that’s where her love for Mathematics comes from. She loves saying that she learnt counting while she was still in the womb. I remember the first time I visited her place with Maa. I was in fourth grade, and so was she. They had just shifted to our locality, and Maa thought it was her responsibility to visit their place and welcome them. She had dragged along a very reluctant me with her. I didn’t know what to think about the girl I met there. She didn’t look very different from the girls in my school, but the ones in my school never talked about math. Most of them dreaded the subject. The first and the only question she asked me was if I knew about BODMAS. You should have seen the look on her face when I said that I haven’t even heard the word! I believe that’s when I fell in love with her. It’s not impossible to fall in love in the fourth grade, is it?
Five years later, when she told me that triangles were her favourite shapes, especially right-angled ones, because they were so perfect, I told her that maybe we were the two sides that formed the right angle, and our love was the hypotenuse that connected the two sides, holding them in place. The love made sure that the sides couldn’t move away from each other, because the Pythagoras theorem won’t be true if they did, and theorems are meant to be true.
Well, there is no use thinking about those memories anymore, is there? With that saddening thought in my mind, I dial your number for the fiftieth time. It’s only when the ringing stops, and I hear you whisper my name in an unsure voice that I realize that in the end, numbers don’t really matter, love does. Theorems don’t really matter, we do.