Ask Saswat which day of the week July 28, 2347, will be, and you will get the correct answer in an instant.
Show him a 500-digit number and he can reproduce it from memory.
He takes minutes to memorise 30-35 English words and rattle them out.
Now Saswat, 12, is aspiring that some day he will take a shot at the World Memory Championship. (www.worldmemorychampionship.com). To get an invitation, he first has to pass the qualifying test on its website and also improve upon his performance at the National Memory Championship. He has begun practising for it by attending private tutorial classes.
Saswat, the only child of Debasis Satapathy and Sujata Mishra, studies in Class VII, Loyola High School, Patna. He has worked hard to achieve his skills.
“When I was seven, I saw Venkat Kasibatla of Memory Vision — a corporate house that imparts training programmes in memory with branches in Singapore and Malaysia — display his memory skill in New Delhi. I was impressed and under his tutelage I gained valuable tips on how to improve memory,” he said.
“I rely on the three Rs — registration, retention and recall. I have an easy formula, which I call COMBS. I convert a two-digit number into colourful, moving, big and strange (COMBS) images and make a story out of it,” he said.
“The number 152634577 8909876543226753917 can be turned into a story. A chair and CPU are chasing a mouse that enters a cup and jumps into the sea and comes out as an elephant and eats all the cars on the road.”
“Isn’t the story interesting?” he asked as we returned a surprised look.