Not everyone has a head for calculation and figures let alone computing complex numbers in seconds. Give Vivek Raj, a mental math expert from Alappuzha, any single or double-digit number and he can add or multiply it to itself over and over to reach up to seven digits (addition) and up to 32 digits (multiplication) in a jiffy.
While performing addition, he can produce a seven-digit result in 10 seconds. In multiplication, he can produce a 32-digit number in a-minute-and-a-half.
His passion for numbers recently earned him a Guinness World Records (GWR) title for memorising the longest number sequence in four seconds.
In an event held in Alappuzha in March, Raj was given a 28-digit number by judges using a random number generator. He memorised the number displayed on a screen in four seconds and recited it in no time. The official confirmation of the record came this week.
Raj, who has many achievements to his name, calls the GWR feat a dream come true. “It took more than a decade of practice to make it happen,” says the 32-year-old, who is an expert in Vedic Mathematics.
Prior to attempting the GWR, Raj entered the Limca Book of Records by continuously adding a two-digit number to itself over and over for a total of 19 times until it reached seven digits in 10 seconds in 2016. He also set the record for continuous multiplication of a two-digit number to itself. He received an Asian record for the fastest mental calculation the same year.
Raj, who fell in love with numbers at a relatively young age, has so far recited multiplication tables of around one lakh numbers. "My grandfather was very good at calculating and memorising numbers. I was influenced by him. I started the habit of memorising numbers during school days by noticing number plates on vehicles and mobile numbers. I recited multiplication tables of around 1,000 numbers when I was in seventh grade. Later, when I grew up, I stepped into progressive calculations," says Raj, who holds a B.Tech in Mechanical Engineering and a Master of Business Administration in Marketing Management.
Raj, who has performed in many schools and colleges across the State, is currently engaged in imparting the knowledge he acquired through years of practice to young minds.