Shakuntala Devi: A Human Computer

Shakuntala Devi: A Human Computer
The Human Computer

A genius named Shakuntala Devi (1929-2013) is famously known as “the human computer”. She gained this name after proving a computer wrong.  


Shakuntala Devi had a strength of performing lengthy calculations in her head, swiftly. In 1977 she elicited the 23rd root of a 201-digit number in 50 seconds, where a Univac computer 62 seconds to do the same. Can you believe it?

Along with this, some other promising stories of the second most famous Indian Mathematician have inspired the Hindi-language film “Shakuntala Devi,” streaming on Amazon Prime Video. This movie not only inspires many people to follow their dreams, but also to respect their mothers.

Here are 7 reasons you should consider before watching the movie.

1. Shakuntala's struggles as an independent woman

‘Why do men always want women to need them?’ Shakuntala repeatedly asks this as she finds all the men she loved left her, just because they think she doesn’t ‘need’ them anymore. Her independence became the reason she’s constantly left alone. 


From her taking tours across the world, leaving her daughter in her husband’s care. And then being questioned for being an unfit mother, Shakuntala’s story sheds light on how an independent woman is often told that she can’t have it all. 

2. You get a chance to experience Shakuntala Devi's brilliance

Shakuntala devi

The movie gives you some moments where you will get blown away by Shakuntala Devi’s brilliance.  Firstly, you will question yourself, how can a five-year-old child solve those maths? 


Then throughout the movie, you will get astonished by the way she answered all the questions. We can also experience the ‘Guinness Book of World Records’ breaking moment in the movie. 


Last but not the least, your jaw will remain open and you will continuously ask yourself, how a human can prove a computer wrong!

3. Jisshu Sengupta is a delight to watch on-screen

Along with Vidya Balan, this man stands out in the movie. We would have loved more of him, but his role as a father and husband stole the show even with limited screen time. 

Jisshu’s character was quite layered, from a man who is willing to do anything to make Shakuntala’s dreams come true. To a husband who wants her back to take care of her daughter.

He is a great father, constantly doting on his daughter. But he is also a husband who decided that ‘To love Shakuntala is to set her free.’

4. The mother-daughter moments are adorable

While we’re used to seeing mother-son and father-daughter moments on-screen, this film captures the bond mothers and their daughters share. 

This movie’s backbone is Shakuntala’s strained relationship with her mother who never said anything, to her daughter and Anupama’s relationship with her – a daughter  who continuously wanted to live with her father. 

‘I will never be like her’ forms the foundation of both these relationships as daughters struggle to break away from their mother’s identities. 

5. The film shows you what a healthy relationship looks like

Even though the film focuses on Shakuntala’s strained relationships, the understanding between Anupama Banerji, played by Sanya Malhotra, and her husband, Ajay Abhaya Kumar played by Amit Sadh, warms your heart.

6. She was way ahead of her time

This movie visualizes that a healthy relationship never breaks, by showing the bond between Ajay and her wife.

However, this movie is not based on a normal human being. How can this movie only discuss the relations which are allowed as ‘normal’ in our society?


Homosexuality, a controversial topic yet to get legalized in many countries. However, Shakuntala wrote In 1977, “The World of Homosexuals,” a book to make homosexuality acceptable in society.  Wasn’t she way advanced of her time?

Book of shakuntala Devi

7. An incomparable persona

Though the much-awaited biopic of a human-calculator did not focus on her political and astrological career;  yet this movie has a lot to offer.

How can you miss the chance to witness the story of a person who broke all prestigious records and proved a computer wrong without going to school.

-Ishani Sarkar , Muhammad Israr-ul Islam & Totinee Chowdhury

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