“Baba, do you know the meaning of DMAS?"
The question was simple enough, but just like almost everything that comes out of this generation, it was beyond my perception!
I replied in the negative, while helping my daughter finish her mathematics homework one fine evening.
Savouring the joy of having an upper hand over her father, she chuckled and said, "Do Math After supper!"
I found it curious, especially when Farah has a penchant for procrastination, and mathematics is neither her forte, nor in the list of her 'favourites.'
Farah is a fourth grader; soft spoken and hardly participates in class activities like raising hands to answer questions. She just seats there, but attentively. Yet, Farah for one will never volunteer to go to the board and write.
Her good friend Satyam is the one who goes to the board and tackles all the math on behalf of Farah, and almost every other student in the class.
Farah is perhaps like every other girl of her age, compassionate, willing to learn and developing a conscience based on what she sees around her. She is from a generation that is bombarded from all quarters with distractions and it is up on the parents to guide them as much as they can.
My Farah, even at this tender age, has already made a career decision — lawyer or physician! I believe that is because of the stereotypes that she sees around her. And I hope she sincerely considers other vocations when the time comes. But before that day comes, I cannot help but reiterate to her, “Two plus two makes four and it is true in London, Dhaka and elsewhere. If one math is true any where it is also true everywhere. So, learning math is akin to learning the truth."
With another chuckle she said, “You are trying to dupe me into doing math. EVEN AFTER SUPPER!”
And to her astonishment, I replied — “You told me about DMAS, I did not!"
And then we went on being busy solving problems, or should I say wandering into the world of math magic with delight.