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The Gift of Mathematics - ep 4

Previously: Episode 3

“Go and finish your degree, then we’ll get married!”

These words of his sweetheart worked as a tonic to Ganesan’s spirit, as he boarded the plane to London. A large group of friends, family and his sweetheart's large extended family (who were also his students) came to see him off at the Subang International Airport.

He felt like he was living a dream...

But there was more of this dream he had to see through, there was little time to dream...

Life-long friendships was another precious blessing that he received. He travelled to London alone, and he found another family in friends there. A small group of Malaysians, and an Iranian, banded together to provide a home away from home.

Going into class on his first day, he saw only two other students! Shocked he asked...

"Where is everyone else?"

His Kenyan classmate laughed "We had 30 students in the first year...then 10 students in the second year...then two of us were left and now you are joining us...welcome!"

It had been some time since Ganesan last studied in a class..but his independent approach helped him navigate some of the abstruse teaching methods of his professors. He discovered his passion for Operations Research, a new branch of mathematics and did a minor in it. He would go on to apply many approaches from Operations Research in his steadily expanding roles at LLN/TNB when he got back.

Another applied mathematics field called "Actuarial Science" caught his attention...but his heart sank when he realised there were so many exams to write after graduation to qualify as an actuary...would he have the time to continue studying?

His monthly allowance was 75 pounds which had to cover all expenses including rent, food, transportation, etc. He had affordable edible meals at the Malaysian Hall for 20 pence..and would splash a grand 1 pound on biryani with his friends once a month. Once a week they would pool together 50 pence each and cook a nice meal together.

"Look mummy! That Paki is playing foosball!"

Ganesan was puzzled at first..Then he saw a young kid pointing at him...the kid's mum, embarrassed, quickly hurried away with her child.

"Haha Ganesan, that boy was calling you a Paki" They all had a good laugh together...

Ever the resourceful one, Ganesan found a way to do sight-seeing on shoe-string budget too during his holidays. He joined a Scottish missionary group's Europe trip for 10 pounds and got to see and experience many countries in Europe.

It was now time to go back home...and Ganesan couldn't wait to get back.

A new life awaited for him back home with his sweetheart - they were getting married after 7 years of being in love. Ganesan had laid the foundations for the rest of his life through his relentless dedication and passion for mathematics. Life gave him a difficult starting hand, but he shaped his destiny with his indomitable will. A will that attracted many other blessings into his life.

By no means was life going to be easy...there were many challenges..heartbreaks and traumas..and joyous occasions up ahead for him - but he would see through them all, and now he had a life partner who had an even stronger will power than him.

As for his actuarial aspirations - he had his way of attracting blessings, and he handed them over to his children. I hope I was able to convey this story in a way that inspires you - as it has been my inspiration all through my life, and it will continue to be so.

Appa, Thank you.

The End


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