Tag Archives: Probability

Probability is amazing

This is just a small thought on probability.

I love September afternoons. In fact from mid-September to mid-October is my favourite time of the year despite the fact that I rarely get a chance to spend afternoons and late afternoons outside (because due to some strange turn of events almost every year, I am busiest during these weeks so I don’t even realize when they pass by). Monsoons are almost over and Nature seems to have taken a bath. Although it is still hot under the sun, if you can sit under some shade you can enjoy the outdoors. Anyway, today I decided to have lunch in the balcony. The afternoon was bright but it wasn’t very hot. The wind was mild and pleasant and the dark blue sky was dotted with white and off white puffs of clouds.

After finishing my lunch I kept sitting outside alone as Alka (my wife) and Vasudha (my six-year-old daughter) were busy doing something inside. It was totally peaceful and not a single soul was outside – our building is like that, people prefer to stay indoors.

All of a sudden, a broken plume came wafting from somewhere, brushed against my cheek, and then came to a rest on my lap. It belonged to some pigeon. I absentmindedly picked it up and then thought about probability.

Our lives are full of miraculous probabilities that we don’t even realize. What was the probability of I deciding today to sit outside on the balcony, have lunch, keep sitting, a plume getting detached from a pigeon, brushing against my cheek and then falling on my lap? It was a random decision. Vasudha had forced me to get up from my chair and come to the sitting room and since I was there, I decided to ask for lunch and then suddenly I looked outside, saw how bright and pleasant the weather was and within a second decided to have my lunch in the balcony.

For a few moments I kept thinking about different probabilities. Although the bigger, more prominent tasks seem to be a part of our day-to-day plan, most of our lives constitute of millions of probabilities. Even in a fraction of a second it changes the way we are going to live the rest of our lives. The changes might not be visible, but they are there. Maybe they don’t affect us directly or maybe they affect someone else or something else, but they do have an impact.