30 September, 2010

Time flies...

Time Flies. You Can not. They fly too fast.
This is a puzzle which my father posed to me many, many year ago.
There were a few such puzzles.
There are 9 balls, out of which 8 are of the same weight while one is of a different weight. There is a balance which can be used thrice to isolate the ball with the different weight.
The above remained unsolved by me. I had to go back to my father for the first one and I got the second one solved by someone else in 2007 in London. 
The third one, which is actually a class 9 physics question.
If there is a tunnel along a diameter of a planet and an object is dropped into it, what will happen to it.
This one I got in class 9 itself. It took a lot of work though.
The only reason I am reproducing this here is to record it lest I forget it. I do not think I will ever forget it because I did not solve the first two. My father had to solve it for me. I wrestled with it for many years off and on and eventually gave up. I am not sure if my father was disappointed with me - I have not thought about it until now.
I think that it is common for children to admire their father. Your father is probably the second person you start to recognise. He is not always there, adding to the allure. He is strong, dependable, full of love, always busy with work and taking care of the family and knows just about everything a child might ask. As a child grows up into a young person, he might start to see some chinks in this image. As time passes, the parent shows up more and more as a human with a set of strengths, weaknesses and limitations.
I live with my father now. I have always admired him.I am a few years away from the age he was from when I remember him. With this comparison at hand, I admire him even more.
He has always taken care of everything I have needed. More importantly, he has always heeded to all that I have had to say - keeping him awake when I was young and wanted to know everything about trains while traveling overnight to Patna till now, when he wants to listen to me talk about my business every week. He has been like this with my mother and my sister. He might have his physical limitations, but his mind has always been something different. He rarely loses his temper or control over what he says. He has always been fair - a good husband and son and parent.
As I become a man of my own right, I realise that on this planet, just being a decent human being is gradually inching towards the superhuman.

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