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This article is written by Sudhir, a fellow enthusiast of Hindi movie music and a contributor to this blog. This article is meant to be posted in atulsongaday.me. If this article appears in sites like lyricstrans.com and ibollywoodsongs.com etc then it is piracy of the copyright content of atulsongaday.me and is a punishable offence under the existing laws.
All numbers are unique unto themselves – inasmuch as each number has its own claim to fame just by being what it is. And but for the imagination and fancies applied by our minds, which at times picks on certain characteristics and binds some special stature to some of them, all these numbers would be as interesting, or for that matter disinteresting, as any other number. Let me quote the instance of a number that has now become famous as the ‘Hardy – Ramanujan Number’. This anecdote is attributed to a conversation in or about 1919 (wow, ninety seven years ago), that happened in London. Indian mathematician Srinivas Ramanujan, who was based in London for some time, was ill and confined to his bed at his residence. His friend, Godfrey Hardy, another mathematician (who had invited and arranged for Ramanujan’s travel etc. to London), came visiting him. The initial conversation was about Hardy’s journey to see Ramanujan. He mentioned off hand that the number of the taxicab in which he had travelled, was 1729 – for all intents a most uninteresting and boring number. To this comment, Ramanujan replied that ‘1729’ was a very special number. In fact it is the smallest number that can be represented as the sum of two cubes, in two different ways. (I am avoiding the calculation details; interested readers can google this for more details).
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