Thursday, 9 July 2009

The Pi of Life

A few years ago, a Canadian writer by the name of Yann Martel wrote a book called the Life of Pi. It is a fascinating book that starts off in the former French colony of Pondicherry in India, where a little boy named after a swimming pool has his life thrown out of balance as the Pondicherry Zoo is closed down, and within a few pages he finds himself on a little boat in the Pacific with a hyena, zebra and of course, Richard Parker, the Bengal tiger that accompanies him all the way to... hmm maybe I won't give everything away and let you discover that for yourself. I'm not even sure why I brought it up. After all, this post has nothing to do with that young boy named Pi. Nothing to do with him at all.
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That Pi might be a stranger to some of us. But the Pi that I'm referring to is one that we all know.
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Pi
A mathematical constant, the value of which is the ratio of a circle's circumference to its diameter.
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Or the definition I prefer.
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The ratio of a circle's area to the square of its Radius.
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In the few years of my human experience, there is one thing that I learnt very quickly: there are very few constants in life.
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Things change. People come and go. Joy does not party for long, and sorrow doesn't linger either. Cookies disappear from jars. Chocolate melts even faster. Fluffy pet rabbits leave for heavens of green meadows and crunchy carrots. Maids who become family get on a plane and fly away. Snowflakes melt. Coal black hair becomes salt and pepper. Friends forget. The great big ball of fire burns out a little more every day. At first there are no teeth, and then there are so many that you need a thin wire to restrain them, and then even they fall out. A hand held by a hospital bed one day becomes ash and rejoins the earth.
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In contrast, the list of constants is very short. In fact, the official list begins and ends with only One item, which ironically (or perhaps not) is also referred to as Ek. God, Guru, Yahweh, Khuda, Bhagwan.
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But this post has nothing to do with that either.
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It is about my list of constants, to which I add an item of my own. One that may not be as All Encompassing as Ek, but is no less Divine.
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My mother.
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My very own Pi.
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Pi and Radius
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Pi is the ratio of a circle's area to the square of its Radius.
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When the Radius expands, the rule of Pi makes the area of the circle increase because the ratio between the two, Pi, is constant. On days that life seems expansive and infinite, She spreads Her wings and takes me on Her back and we soar as we fly amongst the stars. We visit all my hopes and dreams and get close enough for me to reach out to hold them in my palm. And when I open my hand to show Her what I have, She beams at me with a light so bright that the stars around us pale in comparison.
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And when the Radius contracts, the rule of Pi makes the circle smaller, because again, Pi is constant. On days that I just want to curl up and disappear, She pulls the boundaries in, plants a garden of blossoms around me, wraps me in a blanket, blesses me with a prayer, and keeps me warm like only the love of a Mother can. In that little piece of heaven, I don't even remember the contraction, because all I see is an endless ocean of lilies.
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Being Pi means that She has to keep the ratio constant same unchanged. She has to stop drop halt give up everything anything all the time anytime always when the Radius changes moves shifts. Because the ratio cannot must not will not change.
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The Radius knows that Pi is at its mercy. It expects constant attention as it shifts, pushing the circle in and out, sometimes too rapidly, sometimes intentionally, sometimes continuously, without giving a moments thought to Pi, and the fact that She has so many other Radii to watch over as well.
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Pi and some of her Radii
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Pi is just expected to keep up.
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And Pi does.
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At times it seems as if Pi does not even exist for Herself. Her entire existence is defined by the length of the Radius.
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And what has the Radius ever done to deserve its Pi?
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I do not know. I cannot think of my Pi as anything else but a blessing so magnificent, so unwavering, so constant, that every inch of my existence is defined, blessed, celebrated, just because I have my Pi.
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My Pi that brought me to the feet of my Guru. Sat with me every night until I finished my homework. Held the umbrella when it rained. Smiled through tears, because sometimes a child does not understand. Held out a hug anytime it was needed. Prays for me, for my happiness, for my peace, for my soul’s journey, without me knowing when or why. Holds me when I cry, and cries with me. Makes our home a temple and a sanctuary. Loves me as if I am the greatest gift and blessing God could bestow.
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Radius can be quite a challenge for Pi
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And all I have to offer in return is a humble prayer, that Pi is as blessed to be a part of this equation as Radius is.
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Because without Pi, there would be no circle.
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And the Radius would mean nothing.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

U love making people weep don't u?? haha.

This makes me wanna go hug my Pi right now!

loads of love,
Manpreet

Dalip Singh said...

wow

manmeet said...

i've read the book.. & although the story's pretty interesting, i think i like your story of pi better =)

huggies!

dolly said...

WAH-Hay-guru, i am tearing ... this is so beautiful, my hear is full of joy to see such love. yeah she's a real inspritation and you my dear is a real sweatheart. Proud of you darling.

love and light,
dolly

Hargobind Khalsa said...

that's my mum. Pi. and this is my sister. harkiren. radii. i don't know whether a younger sibling can be proud of an older sibling, or if it only works the other way around. right now, i really don't care.

i'm proud of you phenji. and i'll say it everyday for the rest of my life.

Harkiren Kaur said...

Thank you all for your loving words :) There are many beautiful Pi out there, I just wanted to honour my own :)

Satnam