Vidya Balan’s new film, a biopic on India’s Human Computer releases on July 31. Here’s all you need to know about the real-life Shakuntala Devi.
One of the most awaited films, ‘Shakuntala Devi‘ is one of the few Bollywood biopics on a female. Starring Vidya Balan in the lead role, it’s directed by Anu Menon, who also made the first season of the web series ‘Four More Shots Please! and the film ‘Waiting’ with Kalki Koechlin and Naseeruddin Shah. They’ve made the film while consulting the late Devi’s daughter, Anupama Banerji so one can expect an accurate depiction of her real-life story onscreen.
The trailer shows a lively woman juggling both career and home life, and the see-saw she’s on. Before you stream the film on Prime Video, here’s a look at who India’s Human Computer really was.
Born in 1929 in Bengaluru, Devi’s talents came to light as early as the age of three, when her father recognised her understanding of numbers. This made him leave his job and take part in roadshows, where he showcased her talent in calculating numbers super fast. In three years, aged six Shakuntala Devi proved her skills at the University of Mysore, and by 1944 the father and daughter had moved to London to tap into it further.
With time and the best of training, she accomplished many milestones. From developing ‘Mind Dynamics’ to authoring several books to being names in the Guinness Book of World Records in 1982. she was one of the first in her time to pen a book on homosexuality, ‘The World of Homosexuals’, wrote guides on arithmetic and even created puzzles for newspapers. It was her appearance at the Imperial College of London where she multiplied two 13-digit numbers in 28 seconds, that won her a spot in Guinness. She travelled the world to showcase her mathematical genius, be it on stage or televised and even contested to become a Member of Parliament. The multi-faceted genius passed away in 2013.
The film focuses on her maths, marriage, and relationship with her daughter.