Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The Life of Sine

I am indebted to two people for providing the idea for this post. One of them  is Yann Martel, the writer of The Life of Pi. The name of his book gave me the spark of imagination that I needed. The second is a royal friend. I am indebted to both of them.

So, allow me.
It is an observed fact (the observer is yours sincerely) that an average or a median or a normal person pays practically no attention to a sine wave. True, people ponder over its equations, its peak-to-peak values, its rms and average values etc etc.. The sad part is, no one looks at the bigger picture.
No one pays any attention to the life of a sine wave.
The universal sign
Some of the pictures of a sine wave are rather nice to look at. Lets have a look, too.

This one is nice!

People often grudge a sine wave its symmetry,its usefulness, its love for smoothness and its horror of all things sharp and unpredictable. The sine wave itself is bored and sick of exactly these things. I managed to get hold of a sine wave. It told me about the troubles it has to face in this harsh, cruel calculating world. Continue if you want to know about them.

Symmetry: A sine wave is symmetric about the x-axis and the y-axis. This means that you may rotate a sine wave by 180 or -180 degree.There is no effect on its appearance, it looks exactly the same. That can be very tiresome. The sine wave is particularly tired of having no expressions. It can never show its joy by a smile. It can not indicate disapproval by means of a frown. An open mouth and a raised eyebrow are things alien to this poor, poor thing. Try to imagine its sufferings! If you are successful, you will certainly shudder.

Not much Peaks. A sine wave has no fear of acrophobia. On the contrary, it has a taste for hilly resorts. It intends to get away from all the people pawing and dissecting it and to spend the rest of its life on a mighty peak that remains white half the year, and green the other half. It dreams of having a small hut near a waterfall. It thinks longingly of the time when it will be able to spend all night gazing at the stars in the sky, singing along with a stream that rushes nearby.
You must have noticed that a deep and well-hidden portion of the sine wave's soul is completely lost. Lost to a place and time that exists only in its imagination. Lost forever.......................
The point is, a sine wave may go high.It may go low. But it cannot go higher or lower than a particular limit. And that is the bane of a sine wave's life. It is essentially like having a lower and upper limit. Like every freedom-loving thing, sine wave hates limits.

Uniform rate of change. There is always a change going on in a sine wave's life. There is no lack of it A sine wave is at times high.At others, it is low. Sometimes, it goes from being positive to negative. Sometimes, it goes from being negative to positive. A common person would say that this is one hell of a lot of change. But the predicament is, the rate of this change is always the same.Always. You would know how bad this situation is only if you had to go through the same changes again and again all your life. As it is, you cannot know what a sine wave suffers.

Predictability. Some say that a sine wave is very punctual. If you know all about a sine wave at any time, you can always find out the time. A sine wave is so very predictable, it is one of the only predictable things in this universe. If you know the time, you can always find out what the sine wave will be like right that moment. This is creepy.Plain creepy, and nothing else, no matter what other people might say. Imagine and put yourself in
a sine wave's place. Think;time itself tells everyone everything about you. I hope you have got the gist of the thing by now.

Sickening Smoothness. A sine wave often wishes that it could be sharp, in order to teach people a lesson. But unfortunately for itself, a sine wave has no sharp points at all. Not one in its whole life. You must agree that its is a deprived life, a life not worth living. Certainly not a life worth dying for. What could be worse?

Loss of individuality. One sine wave is not much different from another. All you need to transform one sine wave into another is to look at it from a telescope ( sometimes from the right end, some times from the wrong one), and to compress or stretch it a bit. either horizontally or vertically. Thats all that is needed. One sine wave is NO different from the other.In fact, there is just one sine wave in the whole world!

Its one and the same thing!

At this point, I must confess that I was moved by hearing an account of THE sine wave's sufferings. The sine wave itself was so overcome with emotions that it could speak no farther. Getting up from the rock on which it had been sitting during this interview, it glided away and dwindled, gracefully yet fast , lest the sympathy shown it by a human for the first time in its entire life be just the catalyst it needed to cast away all its chains and to declare itself a Free Sine Wave. A Sine Wave that could live just as it pleased.
Than it dawned upon me that what the sine wave had been narrating were simply the consequences of a problem.
The real problem is just that the sine wave is scared of the status quo being broken, and of its imagination coming to life.
Now, I cannot decide whether I should pity the sine wave or despise it. I am utterly lost.
Will someone help me?


  1. PS.I just saw the date. The end of another beginning!

  2. I think you should have pity on it! Its life is misery....

  3. Seems as if the sine wave is exaggerating a bit. But still predictability is something one can be really scared of. You understand it completely, don't you?

  4. I can not know whether the poor creature was exaggerating or not. I have no chance of meeting it again!
    Yes, being predictable is scary. And thats why I understand how hard it must be for the wave.
    Still, you have not answered the million dollar query. To pity or not to pity, that is the question.

  5. I think you should be proud of yourself, you helped set the sine wave free and made it realise that it was unique, there was nothing else like it in the universe.

  6. Thanks a lot for your kind words! I can just hope that I have been able to help the poor creature. Even a little help counts.