Life & Style

How the young and the old alike are taking to Rubik’s Cube

Participants attempting to solve Rubik’s Cube during the summer camp

Participants attempting to solve Rubik’s Cube during the summer camp   | Photo Credit: Harikumar J S

With camps and workshops popping up in Thiruvananthapuram, the cubic puzzle is attracting more solution seekers

A bunch of kids huddled together twist and turn blocks of multi-hued Rubik’s Cubes with their nimble fingers. As Chaitanya Rao Srikanth, a class eight student and speedcuber from Chennai, effortlessly solves the puzzle in a jiffy, some of the beginners applaud in awe.

A Rubik’s Cube summer camp organised by Bany’s Cube Studio at Mitraniketan City Centre, West Fort, recently shows how the globally famous puzzle is finding enthusiasts, both young and old, in the city. “Rubik’s Cube is one of those puzzles that have stood the test of time. With only one goal irrespective of the type of cube, there are myriad ways of reaching it. Solving a Rubik’s Cube is a highly engaging and satisfying experience,” says Bany Sadar, a communicative English trainer and Rubik’s Cube enthusiast, who spearheaded the camp.

Chaitanya, whose grandparents are based in the city, says that when he heard about the summer camp, he wanted to find out how popular Rubik’s Cube is in Kerala. A frequent participant in speedcubing competitions, Chaitanya says his tryst with the mechanical puzzle began on his 10th birthday when a relative gifted him one.

“I didn’t want to look up the solution on the Internet and was keen on solving it myself. My dad likes to solve Rubik’s Cube and I used to observe how he did it,” he says. For many, the puzzle is a perfect stress-buster. “It’s just like why some people play golf,” says the teenager, adding that speedcubing contests are also a platform for making friends with a shared interest.

Bany Sadar explaining techniques of solving a Rubik’s Cube to participants at the summer camp

Bany Sadar explaining techniques of solving a Rubik’s Cube to participants at the summer camp   | Photo Credit: Harikumar J S

Jiya Rajesh, a class six student, started “playing with” the Rubik’s Cube after she was hooked onto it during a similar camp early this year. “Though I joined the session on my dad’s suggestion, I soon took a liking for the puzzle. I’m not quick yet at solving but I’ve been practising at home,” she says. While Jiya has been trying out some advanced level techniques, Nandakishore S, a class five student, is an eager first-timer.

Age is no bar as 27-year-old Shivasakthi A from Puducherry who studies at the Indian Institute of Science, Education and Research, Vithura, attests to. “I like to solve puzzles in general. I had tried learning how to solve Rubik’s Cube from YouTube tutorials but they felt like cheat sheets. In person, especially with a group, it feels so much fun,” she says.

Bany says better exposure will attract more kids towards Rubik’s Cube, which studies suggest, can help improve computational skills, hand-eye co-ordination and concentration. He opines that schools should consider incorporating the twisty puzzle, invented by Hungarian professor of architecture, Erno Rubik, in play sessions early on.

Rubik’s Cube

Rubik’s Cube   | Photo Credit: Harikumar J S

Lukhman Abdul Latheef, founder of Cubing Kerala, says it’s a misconception that “only the intelligent” can solve the puzzle. “It’s no magic but a pure logical, mathematical process that works by sequential moves. Rubik’s Cube may seem daunting for a beginner but anyone can learn how to solve it with practice and persistence,” he says.

Lukhman formed Cubing Kerala in 2017 with friends Fahad Haneef and Daniel James, a former national record holder for solving 3x3 Rubik’s Cube with feet in 36.73 seconds, with the aim of popularising the puzzle in the State in line with the guidelines formulated by Los Angeles-headquartered World Cube Association. Lukhman and Daniel are organising a Rubik’s Cube workshop, Beat the Cube, at Space, Thekkumoodu, on May 18.

It’s time to find some solutions.

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Printable version | Feb 22, 2020 11:11:39 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/life-and-style/with-camps-and-workshops-popping-up-in-thiruvananthapuram-rubiks-cube-is-attracting-more-solution-seekers/article27134613.ece

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