Vidya Balan To Star In The Biopic Of India's 'Human Computer', Shakuntala Devi

Directed by Anu Menon, Vidya Balan will be playing the role of math genius and India's first 'human calculator' - Shakuntala Devi.

Vidya Balan is starring in another biopic after The Dirty Picture. She will be playing the role of math genius and India’s first ‘human calculator’ – Shakuntala Devi.

Devi had a very interesting life outside the world of numbers. Born to a father who rebelled against the family tradition of taking priesthood as the profession, she grew up with a travelling circus. Discovering his daughters prodigious talent around numbers at the age of 3, Devi’s father accompanied her to the University of Mysore to get a full picture of her potential.

Devi and her father moved to London when she turned 15. Exhibiting her talents with numbers across Europe, her mental-math abilities were later studied by a psychologist from University of Berkeley.

Shakuntala Devi got married to IAS officer Paritosh Banerji somewhere in the mid 60s. They divorced after she found out he was gay. Trying to understand her ex-husband, Devi went on to become one of the most vocal activists for LGBTQI rights in India. She even wrote the book, ‘The World Of Homosexuals’ – which was described as ‘pioneering’ by some.

The biopic starring Vidya Balan will be directed by Anu Menon, who made the very sensitive Waiting (starring Naseeruddin Shah & Kalki Koechlin). After being in talks for the MS Subbulakshmi biopic for so long, it is heartening to see Balan coming back on the big screen. Her last Hindi release was Srijit Mukherji’s Begum Jaan, and when this one releases in the summer of 2020 –  the gap will be nearly four years. Hope it’s worth the wait.