Sunday, February 07, 2010


If there is something that I admired from chldhood, that is Kolam. The simple dots and curve/straight lins combination with thr myriads of combination use to fascinate me a lot (as a teenager, those who made the Kolams were the intersting objects..that is a different story)
When in Kochi, I read a paper in a journal about Kolam and Maths expressions. Curious though, it did not catch my attention except for the fact that solutions for some mathematic problems can be solved/ interpreted through complex designs of Egyptians, Assyrians and the South Indian Kolam. I did not know much about Kolam and so simply dropped the idea of reading it further.
Recently, in a geometric puzzles book, I found a pattern of kolam (3*3 matrix) used to explain the problem and how that can expand to multiple rows & columns matrix to include several smaller kolam dimension. The amazing fact was that Kolam is a symbolic representation of an expanding challenge with solution given by geometrical interpretation. In one snap, you see the whole picture of the problem and the solution itself in it. Haven't we heard that 'problem have solution in itself'?

The logical deductions follows the use of symmetry and curves (some finite and some infinite) . Any problem solving technique involves
1. Breaking of the challenge into chewable pieces
2) Representing the problem into something more basic and understandable and
3) Finding solution by the representing object,s physical rules. This is based on core logic and reasoning.
If you see how the elderly ladies of the house approach a problem, you can see the pattern. The emotional angle is their expressive media( cut that out for a moment). Their logic works on the rules of the practical world. They use a lot of similies and comparisons for a solution. They 'picturize' the problem mentally and offer solution based on historical data. I now believe that credit goes to their Kolam and carnaric music.

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