September 10, 2006

How to find the HCF of two numbers?

Filed under: Life as I know it — Celia Rexselin @ 3:50 pm

Romba easy matter thaan.. Aaaana, enakku gnanodhayam kudutha matter. Ennada, ‘how to find hcf’ nnu sollitu rant panraaalennu paakureengala? Matter idhu dhaan.

My neighbour has a 10-year old son (Ajit) and it seems he is not faring well in his exams. She was very concerned and asked me whether I could help him in his maths assignment. Seri 5th standard thaane, matter simpleaa thaan irukkumnu, I said fine.

Ajit then came with a set of papers, a pencil, pen, a ruler and assignment paper. Ada, payyan evlo poruppunnu asandhu poyitan. My people were watching a movie (so was my neighbour) and my brothers were busy in their rooms. Not knowing where to sit, we went to the terrace and sat there. His sister (7th standard) also joined then.

Ajit then gave all the papers to me and looked up as if asking me to write all the homework for him. I gave him a ‘tirunelvelikkee halwava’ look and skimmed throught the contents of the paper and received my first shock. The assignment had been given on August 1 and students were expected to submit it by August 30.

“Dey, last dateey over da.. ippo panni enna panradhu?”

“Parava illa akka. Miss thaan, date extend panni kuduthurukaanga” (paavom andha miss)

I looked into the questions and saw that the questions were on hcf and lcm. Seri, hcfla irundhu payyanukku start pannalaamnu, I asked him to draw margins on his paper and a rough column. Romba poruppaa pannaan.

I then took an example problem and started explaining him.

Rule 1: Factorize each and every number.

“factorize naa enna akka?”

“hmm.. adhukku factors kandupidikanum da..nee pannadhu illa? you would have to check and see whether 2 is a factor, if yes, then divide it by 2 or else find whether 3 is a factor.. and so on till the number is completely factorized”..

“Oh appadiyaa”


Rule 2: Find all the common factors of the numbers involved

“Adhu ennaku theriyumae”

Rule 3: Write down the highest number as the hcf.

“Oh avlo thaana ” (Idhukku onnum kurachal illa)
I started writing down the problem while explaining it to him (and he was mandai aatifying). Then, I took the exercise problem, wrote it down and asked him to solve it. For one second, he looked at me in disbelief.

“Enna akka”

“Solve pannudaa.. Engayavadhu stuckup aaanana I will help”.

(The given numbers were 35 and 49)

He sat opposite to me and I sat in one of the steps.

Oru 10 minutes aavadhu poyirukkumnn nenaikiran.

“Akkaa, indha number 2 la poga maatengudhu ”

It was my turn to stare back at him in disbelief.

“Dey, unna yaaru idha 2la divide panni paaka sonna? ” (He didn’t know how to check whether a number is divisible by another number)..

Seri rules kku vaa : For a number to be divisible by 2, the number should end with any one of the numbers in the list (2, 4, 6, 8 , 0)

Like that, I told him for numbers till 13. Made him memorize it like hell.

‘Seri da, ippo try pannu’

He started again and occasionally he stared on to the sky biting his pencil tip (Idhula yosika appadi enna irukku?)


“Yaaruda adhu santhosh? Thedeernu koopidara”

The sis who was silent till now says, “Naan solran kaa.. innaikku unakkum enakkum paathomla, adhula hero peru santhosh” (Kashta kaalame!! )

He then proudly said, “Akka, adhula Trisha appadi thaan avana koopiduva, santhooosh!!”.

Adhu sari, Trisha va pathi appurom pesalaam. nee mudichitiya?

“Hmm, mudichitan”

He had indeed done it but I literally had to search for the answers as the paper had numbers written all over it in a random manner. (My my!! I can already see Einstein at work in him)

“Coool da, Nee romba chamathu”. Indha indha problem podu paakalaam.

I gave him another set and then saw his mother coming towards us. She came and sat on another step and started puzhambifying to me. “Padikiradhe illamaa, eppo paaru tv tv le ye irukaaan”.

“Cable cut panradhu thaane aunty”

“Ayyo. Ivanga appaa paavom, kadaila (he is a businessman) irundhu tiredaa varum podhu edhavadhu paapanga (appadiya? I thought that you watch serials all the time.)

“Ellaam avan seyal.” – Idhu Ajit.

“Ennada, thideer gnanodhayam?”

Sis pools in to help. “Idhuvum dialogue kaa”.

Aunty nods her head sadly and says, “Ivana tutionkkum anupuran. irundhaalum kavanam ellaaam engayo irukku”. She checks her time. (It was almost 8 then).

Seri, Aji maa , akkaa solla solla nee ezhudipiyaam..

I realized that she was more interested in completing the assignment than getting Ajit to understand the problems. I said, “Its ok, Aunty. Neenga ponga. Naan ajit konja neram kalichu anuppi vekkiran”.

I finally did too. He then wrote a fair copy again and went home by 9.

I took note of so many things during this incident. First of all, Ajit was intelligent and he didn’t look like a student who can fail in Maths. Second, he grasped everything very quickly. But, I saw that he was very distracted. And his distraction was caused by serials and movies.

If that could be corrected, this is a guy who has the capability to be the top ranker. Aana.. pethavangulukku puriyanume”!! 😦



  1. very funny!… scientist in dark!.. and the darkness caused by distractions and parents not interested to remove darkenss!.. so he has to go in search a light where his darkness can be removed… and he found :D.. cool..

    Comment by sujit — September 10, 2006 @ 4:03 pm | Reply

  2. nice post! idha padikkum bodhu naan oru nimisham pasangalukku paadam solli kodutha eppadi irukkunu nenacchu paarthen! sagikkkala! its true that TV is distracting a kids a lot, not only it is confining their minds, but it is also stopping them from being physically active! naanla oru kaalathula veppa marathulayum maa marthulayum uunjal katti addunadha nennachu paarthen! todays kids are really missing a lot of things!

    Comment by Prasanna — September 10, 2006 @ 11:58 pm | Reply

  3. yenna solreenga andha aunty ku malargal,latchumi,kolangal,selvi,pen itha vidava pasanga padippu mukkiya 🙂

    Comment by Syam — September 12, 2006 @ 6:11 pm | Reply

  4. The aunty’s decision can be summed up in one word – “Kanavarukkaaga”.

    Payyan ‘serial killer’ aagaadha varaikum seri 🙂

    Comment by thetalkativeman — September 13, 2006 @ 1:35 am | Reply

  5. Cha Cha Cha, intha akka-marungalalla orey torture pa.. lol 😛

    Comment by J — September 13, 2006 @ 3:42 am | Reply

  6. Kizhinjudu po. I remember how in my childhood i was allowed to watch TV only after i finish my homework. Adukaagavae seekiram velaya mudichiduvom. Hmmm….kashtam thaan.

    Comment by harish — September 15, 2006 @ 8:34 pm | Reply

  7. @Sujit – 🙂

    @Prasanna – Very true, the current generation has a greater responsibility in shaping up the future generation.

    @Syam – 😉 Mugil amma, inga vandhu konjam ennanu paarungalen.

    @ttm – Adadaa, konjam gavanam. Serial direct panna ungala thookitu poyida poraaanga 😀

    @J – konnuduven !!! unna thaanda solran.

    @harish – Yeah, moi too. My mom cut the cable connection and if we finished the homework in time, we were allowed perks like watching oliyum oliyum or DD-2’s junoon or anniyan. Aanaa, appo kooda, I had an inclination to go out and play and not to sit in front of the tv and watch soapies. Couldn’t understand the kids these days. May be they are already “Grownups waiting to grow physically!!”

    Comment by Bindu — September 16, 2006 @ 12:32 pm | Reply

  8. Good one. I doesn’t know much of Tamil but understood theme of the post. Gone are the days for todays kids; they need internet, cable connection, orkut, yahoo chat blah blah blah. They pretend that they know every thing but end up nothing.


    Comment by bkondepudi — October 6, 2006 @ 12:03 pm | Reply

  9. Yeah it’s true, but boys watch serials only until the age of 17. Their interests changes to sports and some movies.

    @Bindu – This is a great story and I think I’ve read it atleast 10 times(b4 this comment). My sister also liked it very much!!!!

    Keep it up!!!!

    Comment by Rahul — November 28, 2006 @ 8:29 pm | Reply

  10. another question:

    r u a friend of Radio Mirchi Suchitra?
    Excellent Tamglish nakkals!!!!

    Comment by Rahul — November 28, 2006 @ 8:31 pm | Reply

  11. @Balu – Yeah, Very true. My cousin is very much interested in video games and is hooked on to the computer. While I can say that his generation understand technology concepts sooner, they are really missing out the main point..

    A simple play game with friends, a walk by the road, a combined study group etc..

    @Rahul – Thanks for the comment :). Nah, am not Suchitra’s friend. Ennada idhu vambaa pochu. tamilla nakkal vida kooda Suchitra voda friendaa irukanumaa enna :((

    Comment by Bindu — November 29, 2006 @ 8:59 am | Reply

  12. @Bindu – Nakkal illa ka, actually it was so funny that made me to think like that. You are in chennai rite?

    Comment by drahul — December 15, 2006 @ 2:31 am | Reply

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