A few days ago, I recommended Herstein’s Topics in Algebra to Shashank for his course in Ring Theory. Its indeed a good book but still, he was not able to comprehend something in it. I’d have explained the concept to him better if it was a injective one to one chat, but still tried my best to do so via the internet. Somehow he wasn’t able to grasp. The next day, I wrote a mail to him:

Dear Shashank,

Don’t get disappointed if you are not able to understand Herstein thoroughly in the first attempt. I remember, when I was reading equivalence relations, I was not able to understand at all. Not being patient (then) and without good company, I quit reading it. After a few days, annoyed as I was, I skipped the first two chapters and jumped directly to Groups chapter. This was in VNIT.

Now, it seems, things are not that bad, as I cleared the JAM exam enough to get admission!

Happy to help,

Abhishek Parab 

This was his reply:

 Not that I am generally disappointed about my progress, because this is not the first time when the going has got difficult. But I couldn’t agree more on your opinion of good company.

What makes reading Herstein a reward in itself, is that I think it gives me, more than anybody else, the ability to atleast slightly comprehend the monumentality of your achievement in getting into the  IIT. The exploits of our group in GATE, CAT, etc. have been justly appreciated by everyone; however there are but a few who will realize the magnamity of your exploits. Your journey indeed has been a difficult one.

I will try to compensate for the “company” factor by the use of internet. So be prepared for even more ridiculous doubts!

Bye!

Shashank

Needless to say, I was overwhelmed !

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