How Math Propelled My Subtle Bonding With My Teenage Daughter (And My Career)

Karthik Rajan
6 min readOct 7, 2023
Image by master1305 on Freepik

There is something about the unexpected. They stick with you.

I recently met a retired mentor of mine for lunch. He shared something unexpected that perked my interest. His face beamed when he said that his middle age daughter does a book club with him. I felt his whole being sensed a meaning in that bonding.

He said he may have done something right in life, as many of his contemporaries could hardly find something in common with their grown-up kids.

He was grateful for his luck.

Riding back home, I wondered how I involuntarily reacted to his sentiment. As a kid, I enjoyed Math. Never in a million years would I have thought that it would help create awesome memories with my teenage daughter.

Bonds are built on shared passions and when my daughter asked me if I knew how to do the inverse of a matrix on a calculator. I shrugged and nodded my head in the negative- calculators were not the in thing with my teachers. She said, “OK. I will walk you through it.” I protested. She said with a warm smile, “You guide me through math stuff, let me get an opportunity to walk you through stuff.”

There is a joy in learning. There is more joy in learning with your kids. There is even more joy when your…



Karthik Rajan

Stories to fuel your mind. Theme: life’s hidden treasures in plain sight. Goal: Warm tone, solid content, crisp stories. About me: one google search away.