Thursday, May 20, 2010

Ghonchu and the random experiment

Ghonchu and his flatmates Maalu and Telu were sitting on the sofa. All three of them were looking at each other hopefully. Being extremely lazy, they were trying to decide which one of them would get up to switch on the TV. Eventually after three full minutes of discussion, it was decided that Ghonchu would do the job because the TV was nearest to him.

With a nasty expression on his face, Ghonchu obliged. Just as he was about to sit down, the bell rang. Maalu and Telu convinced Ghonchu that since he was already standing it meant less effort for him to go and open the door.

Unwillingly, Ghonchu traipsed off to open the door, and it turned to be the pizza they had ordered. After paying and just as they all were getting ready to eat, Maalu remembered, "There's no ketchup."

All three of them looked at each other again. The shop where ketchup could be purchased was at a mammoth distance of 100 meters away. Three options were presented. Option one was to eat without ketchup. Option two was all of them go and get the ketchup since neither was willing. Option three was to make one of them go.

(There was an option four also which they had used up the previous day. Wishing to eat maggi, and there being no maggi in the house, they ordered five kilograms of atta to go along with maggi. Reason: the minimum order for home delivery was Rs 100.)

None of them liked option one. Option two was discarded as it was a waste of effort. "Why should everyone suffer!" They had to fall back to option three with the only thing left to decide who would undertake the herculean task of getting up from the sofa, wearing sandals, walking 100 meters, buying ketchup and then walking all the way back.

Ghonchu had a brainwave. With a true engineer's mind, and wanting to leverage what Professor Chiru had taught them in Modeling & Simulation course, he proposed a coin toss.

Maalu looked scornfully at Ghonchu and said, "we are three." Undaunted, Ghonchu explained, " we will use two coins." The others, having taken the course themselves quickly understood Ghonchu's idea and assented. Telu, being most cunning, quickly took out two coins and said, "I will take two tails; Maalu, you take two heads; and Ghonchu, you take a head and a tail."

"Done", said both. For some inexplicable reason, Ghonchu observed both Maalu and Telu were smiling. He concluded it must be due to the novelty of the idea.

The coins were flipped in the air. Everyone watched the coins with bated breath as though their lives depended on it. Due to asynchronous throws by Telu, one of the coins landed first. "Heads", screamed Telu in relief. The other coin span almost for ever in the air while Maalu and Ghonchu watched it with bated breath. It landed tails.

Maalu and Telu started celebrating as though they had won the annual grand lottery while Ghonchu left for the shop looking as though he had an albatross around his neck.

He didn't hear the sound of renewed laughter as he closed the door.


  1. For anyone who didn't understand, the probability of "a head and tail" is 0.5 while for the other two possibilities, it is 0.25.

  2. but question is.. if you understood it, why did you agree to it?? a true lazy person would have never agreed!!

  3. maybe he was too lazy to check the probabilities in his head....

  4. sahi hai dost... tum logon ne machana band nahi kiya abhi tak! :P kitna samjhata tha, par tum sunte hi kahan thay!! ;) great read... :)

  5. its manipulated story and not near the truth. :P Ghochu didn't have any idea about coin toss its someone else' idea. also, out of four possible coin toss results, only three were assigned and it was decided that if 4th result comes, we will have coin toss again :P :D :D

  6. I never claimed this is a true story. In fact, most stories on this blog are fictitious.

  7. Great story!! Good its fictitious otherwise chiru would have declared Ghonchu never took any mod-sim class.

  8. I know it would take a Maal's brilliance to conjure such "weird" ideas! ;) :P

  9. Chiru will be so proud of you all