Sunday, June 19, 2011

Murphy's law? How about NDL? (Nidhi's Dumb Luck)

When I griped about my computer failures, there was a lot of advice, very little sympathy. Murphy's law (Anything that can go wrong will go wrong) was quoted. And as if to prove their point Murphy's law reared its head again, this time on the golf course.

On my last outing of golf, I almost had a hole in one. The line looked good and the ball landed short of the hole and travelled towards it but it just veered past the hole at the last moment! Probably just one blade of grass out of the hundreds had turned the other way and against me. But that is Murphy's law for you!

Frustrated I asked myself, is there an opposite to Murphy's law and will it work for me? And it happened on the same day! No, not a hole in one, but I chipped in from out of no where! I could not even see the flag from where I hit the ball, but the ball landed on the green and made a turn towards the flag and I ran sideways, pro style, to see it drop into the hole. None of the others in my group saw, which was a huge disappointment!

I thought there must be a name for this phenomenon! Sure enough there is and it is called the Yhprum's law! Not very imaginative, but easy to remember. The law states Everything, that can work will work.

But what happened on the golf course could not be Yhprum's law! In which case every chip shot I make should drop into the hole. Don't ever tell a golfer that he made a bad chip! It was not serendipity as it was not something unexpected. We expect that every time we hit a ball it goes where we want it go!

This reminded me of a couple of unlikely situations in my life. I remember my first trip on a greyhound. The bus stopped on the street near the bus station in New York, I got off and walked into the terminus looking for a bag conveyor like in the airports. Suddenly realised my stupidity and ran back to the street! There was a moment of panic as the bus had already left and then saw my suitcases lying on the pavement. A big relief.

Or the time at the Madrid airport! Stepping out of the taxi sans my briefcase and being blissfully unaware of it till a man tapped me on the shoulder. It was the taxi driver and he just handed me the briefcase and ran back muttering something about the police. There are many such stories!

So thinking about a scientic explanation for such occurances, I saw this on the web: 'According to Heisenberg, nothing can be verified to a probability smaller than Planck's Constant (roughly 6.6 divided by 10 to the power of 34), where absolute certainty has a probability of 1'.

That was a lot of zeroes and I gave up trying to find a scientific reason, even though we are getting used to more and more zero's in our life. Just look at the money involved in recent scams! In fact, whether you read papers or watch TV, it is a certainity that Murphy's law is on a rampage in India. Then the solution occurred to me! What India needs is just my kind of dumb luck to change things and set it right when in all probability it is as remote as the planck's constant.


Kesari said...

You have to thank that blade of grass that took your ball away from the hole at the last moment. If it had dropped in you would have had to buy drinks all round!

Marisa Narula said...

If you want to look at it scientifically Nidhi, then the answer is simple......."be more focused" keep forgetting Murphy's Law or Yphrum's law or whatever.....just your forgetfulness. Aw come on.....You definitely do not have bad luck....and don't keep repeating that in your head....Try my scientific method.....create your own law of always attracting the life of a "hole in one"....Love Marisa

prasan said...

If you had made that hole in one, you might have dreamed of following Tiger Woods !! -- not in every way, I hope !! Yes, I think most people can relate similar experiences. Would you still host around of drinks for that "chipped" hole in one ?!!

Ram said...

Hahaha....great blog...there is a pill on the market called Golf promises enhanced concentration enabling hole-in-one possibilities...happy golfing