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Shakuntala Devi

Shakuntala Devi

 

EARLY LIFE

 

  • Shakuntala Devi was born in Bangalore, Karnataka to an orthodox Kannada Brahmin family.  Her father discovered his daughter’s ability to memorise numbers while teaching her a card trick when she was about three years old.
  • Her father left the circus and took her on road shows that displayed her ability at calculation. She did this without any formal education. At the age of six, she demonstrated her arithmetic abilities at the University of Mysore.
  • In 1944, Shakuntala Devi moved to London with her father.
GENIUS

 

  • Shakuntala Devi travelled the world demonstrating her arithmetic talents, including a tour of Europe in 1950 and a performance in New York City in 1976.
  • Shakuntala was a mathematical prodigy with an uncanny ability to memorise numbers.
  • In 1980, at the Imperial College of London, she correctly multiplied two 13-digit numbers in only 28 seconds. The feat was even more remarkable because it included the time to recite the 26-digit solution!
GENIUS

 

  • The numbers—7,686,369,774,870 and 2,465,099,745,779—were selected at random by a computer, and the answer is 18,947,668,177,995,426,462,773,730!
  • It earned her a place in the 1982 edition of the Guinness Book of World Records. Additionally, she also came to be known as “the human computer.”
GENIUS

 

  • In the mid-1960s, when Shakuntala returned home after displaying her mathematical skills to professors and researchers in London, she married Paritosh Bannerji, an IAS officer from Kolkata.
  • All seemed well until Bannerji’s sexual preferences came to light.
  • Shakuntala Devi explained many of the methods she used to do mental calculations in her book Figuring: The Joy of Numbers.
LIFE

 

  • In 1977, she wrote The World of Homosexuals, the first study of homosexuality in India.
  • She returned to India in the mid-1960s and married Paritosh Banerji, an officer of the Indian Administrative Service from Kolkata. They were divorced in 1979.
  • In 1980, she contested in the Lok Sabha elections as an independent, from Mumbai South and from Medakin part of Telangana (presently).
  • In Medak she stood against Indira Gandhi, she stood ninth, with 6514 votes (1.47% of the votes). Shakuntala Devi returned to Bangalore in the early 1980s.
DEATH

 

  • In April 2013, Shakuntala Devi was admitted to a hospital in Bangalore with respiratory problems.Over the following two weeks she suffered from complications of the heart and kidneys.
  • She died in the hospital on 21 April 2013.She was 83 years old.She is survived by her daughter, Anupama Banerjee.
  • On 4 November 2013, Shakuntala Devi was honoured with a Google Doodle on what would have been her 84th birthday.