When I was in 9th standard, my Mathematics teacher (Komalam teacher) asked me to participate in a mathematics exhibition that is being held in Govt. Girls High school, Irinjalakuda. So, I prepared a list of things to be bought from Prakasham Press, and gave it to my father: Black "Indian Ink", Art papers, black and red sketch pens.
We (I remember Rajesh, Pramod and Saji were there) assembled in the class on a saturday, and started preparing the "charts". We had collected (flicked) some "mathematic fundas" and questions from some magazines and books. We put margin and borders on the art papers with sketch pen. Pramod had bought some thin bamboo strips with their edges sharpened with a knife. We dipped these edges in the famous "Indian Ink" and started to write. After few letters, I decided sketch pen would be a better option.
On the day of the exhibition, we went to the school and pasted all the charts with cello tapes and gum. The exhibition went on without any particular bad incidents:-)
The reason why I remember this insignificant Mathematics exhibition is because of a delicious thing called "Pothicchor". Normally I used to take lunch in tifin boxes. But this time I asked my mother to make a "Pothicchor". It is very simple to make a Pothicchor. We first take a large banana leaf and keep it over a hot plate for few seconds. This is to make it flexible like a plastic sheet, so that it wont break while folding. Then we spread it on a newspaper sheet. After that we put rice and curries and pack it. This is the simple thing called Pothicchor. I think I had rice, cabbage thoran and mango pickle, and a large Pappadam that day. When I opened the packet for lunch, I was surprised to see how the simple lunch had transformed into something special - the smell of rice mixed with curry, pickle, the banana leaf and cold Papadam... Is it because of some reaction between hot rice and the banana leaf? I could still feel the aroma of the simple lunch I had on that day.
It was on another Mathematics competition (held at Model Boys High School, IJK) that I met Krishnakumar. He is from Thottippal, a village some 10 Km away from Irinjalakuda. I felt happy when I met him after two years, in Christ college, Irinjalakuda. I enjoyed his company during the pre degree course. He is once of the most innocent people I have ever met. Don't know where he is now..? Whenever I see the number 108, I remember him. That was his number in the college.
Probably my most colorful memory related to Mathematics would be the quiz competition held in St. Joseph's Women's College, Irinjalakuda. I went to participate in that along with Madhu, Narayanan, Tito and (??? Don't remember who it was), forming the Christ college team. Of course, we lost the quiz, but I really enjoyed watching the audience. There was certain girl in the stage itself who drew my attention in particular. She had beautiful eyes and a sweet smile which tempted me to do some research later and find out her name.