“Mom. What is wisdom?” a girl asked. Her mother showed a jar in the kitchen and queried whether she would eat a cup of sugar from it. “No” aid the girl. “How about eating few raw eggs or Maida?”
The girl was confused. Her mother continued: “But you love to eat the mixture of those ingredients, called ‘cake’. Same way, wisdom is the final product, ingredients being intelligence, knowledge, skill, logic, Reflex actions, Lateral thinking, Common sense, Rational thinking, Answering under tension, Presence of mind, Communication, Spontaneity, Art of listening, understanding and speaking. Individually they are not effective, but combined together, they formulate wisdom. Unfortunately no educational institution teaches them”.
“Mathematics is the poetry of logical ideas” said Newton. To solve a mathematical equation, first devise a plan. Draw the nearest and correct route to the answer. If you fail to reach the target, use other variables. This applies to management accounts, statistics, costing… and life also.
‘Wisdom’ mainly comprises of memory and intelligence. When a student solves a mathematical equation faster than others, he is normally said to be intelligent. When a student is good in history or biology, he is industrious.
Mastering maths involves three steps. Understanding the problem / Practice (solving innumerable types of problems) / Application (solving a particular problem in different ways).
I was a member in interview panels of some reputed organisations. Many intelligent candidates also used to be nervous. They were unable to answer simple questions due to negative cortisol, a neuro-transmitter that is released in the brain when you are nervous. For a simple question like “Are you a bachelor or unmarried?” instead of answering ‘both’ (if he is so), the candidate said, “I am a bachelor”.
Many students fear maths. Once you understand the basic formulas and elementary theorems, mathematics is one of the most interesting subjects. Studying math is different from other subjects, as ‘study’ is of two types, Active and Passive. Mathematics is an active study. Whenever you are bored or feel sleepy, engage in mathematics. Unlike other subjects, each ‘step’ in maths is built on the previous lesson. For example, unless you are well versed with algebra, you don’t understand logarithms.
Irrespective of whether you are a 5th standard student or a Post graduate in Mathematics, this book suits you. Solving puzzles in this book reduces over-confidence, and develops wisdom. It quickens reflex actions and eases tension.
Here are 300 puzzles. Give one puzzle every day and ask your student (or child) to work on it. Some of these questions test the capacity to hold your nerve under pressure. Don’t feel dismayed even if you are not able to answer some of them.
Optimism knows what the ‘tips’ are, but success knows where the ‘pits’ are. Know the pits first. This book shows your deficiencies, and encourages locating your sphere of weakness. Tease your friends with these questions. Request your parents to ask you these riddles and win a bet for correct answer.
And finally… Many of these puzzles are from internet and are not my own. I modified many of them to nativity, included additional explanations for complicated questions, and added some of my own. My intention is to pool all varieties of puzzles, categorise them into groups and present them to the students. I also included few cine-artists and cricketers names to make it more interesting.
I thank Ms Prasanna Vanamala, Uday Srinivasula for assisting me to finalise this book.
Yandamoori Veerendranath, is a famous Telugu novelist. He had written many social, fiction, super natural thriller stories and novels. Hailing from Andhra Pradesh state in India, he influenced younger generations with his socially relevant writings. In his writings he addresses many of the important social problems in India like poverty, prejudices, and superstitions, and encourages people to be socially responsible. He successfully bridges the idealistic and the popular styles of literature.Rent Now