Math, science catch a rhyme

Jun 07, 2015, 06:10 IST | Phorum Dalal

In Sunil Mishra’s book titled Return of the Hypotenuse, Einstein, Newton and Archimedes’ principles pass through fun meters and rhymes, finds Phorum Dalal

Sunil Mishra, the author of Return of the Hypotenuse, a book of 23 poems and 29 essays on math and science, wrote his first poem on Newton’s law around two years ago for his 12-year-old daughter to recite at an elocution competition. “I couldn’t find an appropriate excerpt on the Internet for her to recite. So I jotted down a little poem, which she ended up reciting on stage,” says the 43-year-old chief business officer of an online real-estate portal.
The Chembur resident who studied from Veermata Jijabai Technological Institute (VJTI) and earned an MBA from IIM-Bangalore, went on to scribble three to four peoms “just for fun.”

From the humble pi, Newton’s law of gravity, and when man landed on the moon, Mishra attempts to simplify principles and offer a recollection of concepts. The preface, too, is written in a rhyme:
‘I also thought of all the people,/ who studied Science and Math in school/ But couldn’t figure out, what it was all about/And why did the nerds find it so cool?.’

Until a few months ago, his wife Ragini and daughter Adviti were his only two readers and critics. They encouraged him to go ahead and write a book. “Each poem or essay took around three hours, which included fact checking the concepts. In the book, I have tried to stick to math and science concepts taught from Class 8 to 11,” says Mishra whose working title was Help Mom, Einstein’s Back.

With around 80 blog posts on his url,, where he writes on various topics such as management, parenting and growing up in Mumbai in the 80s and 90s, another book is in the pipeline. But ask him what’s easier, and Mishra promptly replies, “Writing poetry is easier than studying engineering.”

 Sunil Mishra, author

PS: Do notice the cost of the book R314, which is 100 times the mathematical constant pi.

No humble pi this

If you walk across a circle
In one minute flat
And then walk around the circle
 What time will you take for that?

The answer is about 3.14
For a small circle or for Saturn's ring
This is true for any circle
Isn't this just amazing?

3.14 is called Pi
The Greek letter for P
P for the circle Perimeter
The length of the periphery.

It has taken ages to solve
The mystery of exact value of Pi
10 trillion digits after the decimal
And no single soul knows why

I have measured nook and croner
Of my home and playground
But no mysterious relation
Like the Pi I found!

Eureka -- the Wonder Buoy

This is the tale of the Man
Who ran naked on the streets
Crying "Eureka, Eureka"
No towel, no sheets.

So what did he find out,
Which filled him with delight?
That made him forget
Was it day or was it night?

He had laid down in his bath-tub
And seen the water rise
It was then that the fact had struck him.
And he ran naked but so wise.
“The weight of the displaced water
With my stepping into the bath
Equals the upward push I got
from the water.

That showed me the path.
Buoyancy pushed me upwards
Nothing high or mighty fancy.”
And this fact discovered by Archimedes Was...
his Principle of Buoyancy

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