Thursday, September 01, 2005

Sticky issue

An observation that I have always made or should I say, I didn’t have a choice but to make is that every time I eat rajma, a piece of the jacket of the rajma always sticks itself to my upper right second molar. It’s strange because it happens every time I eat it. Again, it so happens that rajma is my favorite dish and so I eat it often enough to understand that this is not a one-off incident. After having observed this phenomenon for the last six months which is when I started noticing it, its left me flummoxed. There are two very specific things that are of interest to me-

1.Its always one piece of the jacket of a rajma that gets stuck. In one sitting I probably eat about 100 pieces of rajma. So why not two pieces or thirty or sixty-seven for that matter. Why is it always one?

2. Another is that it is always the upper right second molar. You are probably asking yourself-second molar if you count from the inside or the outside. Hmm…after having carefully explored the interiors of my mouth with my finger, it seems like the upper right second molar when you count from the inside.

This phenomenon has also lead me to a very interesting problem on probability which I could conceive but did not attempt to solve it (for obvious reasons!!)

Now what is the probability that a person (in this case me) eating 100 rajmas a day has 1 rajma stuck in his upper right second molar when counted from the inside.

It is also imperative that I give you some miscellaneous information, which would be vital to solve this problem.

1.Lets assume that I have been eating rajma for the last 17 years and over this period, say I ate rajma twice a week.

2. I have 28 teeth as my wisdom teeth have a ‘mind’ of their own and seem to operate on their own whims and fancies and so I have banished them from the premises.

Just looking at this problem makes me feel I would be better off sticking to the simple dal-roti.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Or you could have a cavity in the upper right second molar, which catches the rajma.

What fascinate me, though, is: the first rajma that sticks there must be the rajma that remains there until u take it out. There must be race going among rajmas to reach the coveted spot ;-)

12:38 PM  
Blogger Saraansh said...

Ajay that is a scenario I have forseen and I am proud to say that I have no cavity in my upper right second molar.

As for the race among the is no race coz they know that they are all going to be minced meat soon...oopss..should I say minced rajma soon.

12:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Flummoxed,

I have the right credentials to answer these deep,philosophical questions, as my father-in-law is a botanist with special interest in rajma and my nephew is into computer simulation.

You have not mentioned what you mix your rajma with, but as you say you are from Chennai, I presume you eat it with mouthloads of sambar rice.

Finite element analysis and fluid modelling done on my nephew's computer show that the first 26 pieces of rajma, by being deeply embedded in the sticky sambar rice,invariably manage to get past the epiglotis, unchallenged. The 27th piece however gets loosened from the rice and gets stuck in the molar.

Why only the same piece from the jacket ? Simple. The thinner and outward piece gets knocked out first. As in circumcision.

Why only the upper second molar ? Because of a phenomenon called electrostatic precipitation, which shares the same acronym as extra-sensory perception. The 27th rajma is pre-ordained and genetically programmed to get crushed in the upper molar, just as a salmon swims thousands of miles back to Alaska, into the waiting jaws of the grizzly bear.

Advice : 1) Don't forget to brush your teeth every Saturday 2)Don't eat more than 26 pieces of rajma at a time and 3) Buy only the pre-circumcised rajma variety imported from the Middle East.

1:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hillarious!!! When most of us are busy relishing our meals didn't know there was someone who would be lost in such profound thought...
And what a way to link two subjects closest to your heart - Food and Mathematics!!!! Waah....
But i wonder for the last 17 years why hasn't it bothered you as much as it does now?????

3:45 AM  
Blogger Saraansh said...

Ok Plus Ultra, after having read through your analysis, here is what I think...

Numero uno-An assumption you made while starting out seem to be flawed.I am not from Chennai,I live in Chennai and therefore your inference that I eat it with mouthloads of sambar rice is wrong-I eat it with chapathi.

"Finite element analysis and fluid modelling done on my nephew's computer show that the first 26 pieces of rajma, by being deeply embedded in the sticky sambar rice,invariably manage to get past the epiglotis, unchallenged."

No sambar-rice and hence no getting past the epiglotis.

As for the 27th rajma being pre-ordained and genetically programmed to get crushed in the upper molar,scientists today have unraveled the entire genetic code of rice so if they went a step further and did the same with rajma, then would'nt I be able to genetically modify the rajma to be able to stick to any other tooth of mine or is that too macabre a concept that the Vatican will throw a fit over it.

As for the circumcised rajmas, I like MY rajmas with their skin on them, if you know what I mean...

12:35 PM  
Blogger Saraansh said...

Mobi,mobi,modi(shaking my head!)
Thats the question I have been asking myself all these days as to why did'nt I realise it earlier. Its like this,there are times in our life when everything ahead seems a lot clearer, we are able to think better, its like a new understanding has dawned upon us and then a faint but definite glow appears around us-in one of these moments it struck me or should I say "stuck" to me.

12:39 PM  
Blogger Ram Subramanian said...

Maaru, the first thing i thought of when i read this post is whether you ever brought rajma for lunch to college.

Nice memories of eating the roti and ketchup that your mom used to pack up (for you).

8:16 PM  
Blogger uma said...

try chocolate. works beautifully. well - it tastes beter than rajma, anyway.

12:00 AM  
Blogger shooshaa said...


2:44 AM  
Blogger Saraansh said...

Now that I think about it I did bring rajma to college,infact Prax and Adel have eaten it also but don't remember if you ever got to eat it.You did eat a lot of my paneer.

By the way those were not rotis that you had with ketchup-those were parathas.A technicality but a vital one at that.

Uma(eyes wide open in shock!!)
Did you just say that chocolates are better than rajma??You are the first person to have commited sacrilege on left,right and centre.

I understand...someday...somewhere...ok guess I will stop with that.

9:38 AM  
Blogger FlyingHigh said...

The next time I eat Rajma I am going to be very very careful!

Funny post!

12:16 AM  

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