India is a country blessed with great mathematicians and scientists. In the rich heritage that India has, one such great mathematician is Srinivasa Ramanujan. He was born on December 22, 1887 at Kumbakonam in the city of Chennai, erstwhile Madras. He came from a very poor family.
At the age of five, Srinivasa Ramanujan made his first appearance in school as a student. It was only a matter of time before it came to be known that he had extraordinary talent. He showed flashes of brilliance which were not to seen in any ordinary kid at that age. Srinivasa Ramanujan completed his primary education in a couple of years and then went to Town High School for further studies.
He showed extraordinary liking for mathematics. When he was yet in school, he mathematically calculated the approximate length of earth’s equator. He very clearly knew the values of the square root of two and the pie value. At the age of 16, Srinivasa Ramanujan got scholarship. But his love only for mathematics cost him the scholarship as he neglected and failed in other subjects.
The scholarship was of a great help to him as he came from a poor family. But the love of mathematics was so acute, that he did not know any other thing in the world. Srinivasa Ramanujan literally breathed mathematics day in and day out.
His loss of scholarship was a great blow to Ramanujan. He could not afford to study on his own. Poverty got the better of him and he had to find work and leave studies for good.
However, where there is a will, there is a way. He found a job of an accounts clerk in the office of the Madras Port Trust. That was good to support him. But more importantly, it was the relief that he could get back to mathematics again.
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