SPICE PEOPLE: Shakuntala Devi is regarded as India’s human supercomputer, is acclaimed worldwide for her special ability to calculate mathematical problems within seconds. As a numerologist, Devi has provided consultations to the late president of South Africa, Nelson Mandela. Her biopic is set to be released on Amazon Prime Video starring Bollywood actor Vidya Balan as the human supercomputer.
Born into a Brahmin caste family on November 4, 1929, in Bangalore, it was when she was three years old that her father noticed her ability to memorize numbers. At the ripe age of six, Devi stunned the best minds at the University of Mysore by showing off her arithmetic capability and in 1944, she moved to London with father. The child prodigy then used her gift as an expert in solving mathematical problems by driving the agenda to expand human capacity and thinking.
Shakuntala Devi attained universal fame when she demonstrated her ability to multiply two random numbers of 13 digits. She could mentally multiple 7,686,369,774,870 × 2,465,099,745,779 on 18 June 1980 and gave the correct answer as 18,947,668,177,995,426,462,773,730 within just 28 seconds.
The first woman mathematician in India, Shakuntala Devi died in Bangalore on 21 April 2013 at the age of 83 due to cardiac and respiratory problems.