Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Deen'e Phila'safar - Man on the Bridge

Dinanath used to live at Habba Kadal. It is said, once in a while, on some mornings, a leaf or a flower - any flower, any leaf - in hand, he would walk up to the house of his botanist neighbor and ask him to check the caffeine content of the specimen. This was Dinanath's private quest for a caffeine free tea. But, people didn't get his private quests.

Dinanath was a professor of mathematics. Sine, Cos, Tan - that's all he understood. But people didn't understand him, they thought him strange. Calculus was his only love and reason. And for this people named him 'Deen'e Phila'safar', Dina the Philosopher.

A happening in a morning from his life is still quite a popular anecdote among the people.

On that morning, while taking a walk on the old Habba Kadal bridge, as was his wont, contemplating - as it is said - whatever it is that great people contemplate - Dinanath stopped right in the middle of the bridge, slowly moved close to the rusty railing, and looked down deep at the cold, brown m - it was still late summer - murky waters of Jehlum. A man, just a random guy who recognized Dinanath and saw him walking to the edge of the bridge, shouted out, 'Haya! Deen'e Phila'safara,' and walking towards Dinanath from the opposite side of the bridge, with a movement of eye that could be mistaken for a wink, but may well have been an involuntary twitch, in a mischievous tone added, 'are you thinking of jumping into the river?'

It was the morning of Dinanath's beautiful proof. Dinanath remained unmoved, caustic agent seemed to have had no effect. The other man must have thought of saying something more but then in a sagely heavy voice, Dinanath replied, 'Why should I jump off the bridge and into the river when I am already in the river!' The other man was perplexed even if he was hearing this from the Deen'e Phila'safar himself. To this man's astonishment , Dinanath added, 'If we think about it, if I may point out, even you are right now down in the river'. And then, Dinanath produced his legendary 'Man in the river' proof. It went something like this:

If, A= B and B = C
then, A=C is always true

Similarly, if Man is on the bridge and Bridge is on the river

then,
Man is on the bridge
-------------------------
Bridge is on the river

Bridge-Bridge cancel out..Now that the bridge is out of the equation, now that there is no bridge, without doubt, man is in the river.

-0-
Image: An illustration and the view from the railing of the new Habba Kadal bridge.

2 comments:

  1. Another anecdote associated with deen'a phila'safar...Once phila'safar was going along a road in a remote village..and as is a common site in remote indian villages..deen'a saw walls along road side adorned with Cow-dung cakes (gobar ke uple)..left out to dry... Deen'a comented.. "Was is the cow who went up the wall or wall came down for the cow "...

    ReplyDelete
  2. Haha...i think that's just a joke that people credit him for. I think I have heard another version of this joke in which a foreigner is supposed to have said that.

    ReplyDelete

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