Anil Kumar Patnaik
“Just three days are left and we received the message only today. Can you prepare the students and the exhibit for the mathematics exhibition Abhas?” asked the principal.
“I have an idea sir. I will take Sambit and Suchi for this project. Once I am confident, I will show you the exhibit,” replied Abhas.
“Go ahead…my best wishes are with you,” said the principal as he handed over the circular to Abhas.
Sambit and Suchi were super excited to know that they were chosen by Abhas sir for the district-level exhibition. Abhas described the project and asked them to prepare the necessary charts.
The children were ready with their presentation in just one day. Abhas rehearsed with them a few times. On the day of the exhibition, Abhas escorted them to the Town Hall, where the exhibition was taking place. Their exhibit was very simple. One chart had the names of 64 famous Indian personalities.
Please identify the personality
|1. RAM NATH GOENKA||2. P V SINDHU||3. R K LAXMAN||4. KISHORE KUMAR|
|5. SANIA MIRZA||6. MOHD. RAFI||7. VIKRAM SARABHAI||8. SADHGURU|
|9. MADHUBALA||10. SAM MANEKSHAW||11. R K NARAYAN||12. AMITABH BACHCHAN|
|13. LEANDER PAES||14. ABHINAV BINDRA||15. P T USHA||16. M S DHONI|
|17. SUSHMITA SEN||18. RAHUL DRAVID||19. SRI MANOJ DAS||20. HIMA DAS|
|21. AISHWARYA RAI||22. JAWAHARLAL NEHRU||23. HARIPRASAD CHAURASIA||24. ZAKIR HUSSAIN|
|25. K M CARIAPPA||26. A R RAHMAN||27. SOURAV GANGULY||28. DUTEE CHAND|
|29. MILKHA SINGH||30. RAJ KAPOOR||31. SAINA NEHWAL||32. VISWANATHAN ANAND|
|33. N T RAMARAO||34. DHYAN CHAND||35. LATA MANGESHKAR||36. BHIMSEN JOSHI|
|37. BIRJU MAHARAJ||38. HH SRI RAVI SHANKAR||39. AMARTYA SEN||40. SATYAJIT RAY|
|41. VERGHESE KURIEN||42. DR RAJENDRA PRASAD||43. SARVEPALLI RADHAKRISHNAN||44. ATAL BEHARI VAJPAYEE|
|45. INDIRA GANDHI||46. DHIRUBHAI AMBANI||47. SARDAR PATEL||48. DR B R AMBEDKAR|
|49. KAPIL DEV||50. M C MARY KOM||51. M S SUBHALAKSHMI||52. J R D TATA|
|53. SACHIN TENDULKAR||54. NARENDRA MODI||55. SRI AUROBINDO||56. SUNIL GAVASKAR|
|57. SIR C V RAMAN||58. VINOBA BHAVE||59. DR APJ ABDUL KALAM||60. MAHATMA GANDHI|
|61. SAROJINI NAIDU||62. MOTHER TERESA||63. M F HUSSAIN||64. DHIRENDRA KUMAR|
The second chart had the same 64 names grouped differently as shown here.
From the 64 names, visitors had to whisper the name of their chosen personality to Suchi. Sambit would be standing a little distance away. Then Suchi would say out loud three sentences, after which Sambit would give the name that was chosen.
The district collector cum magistrate was the chief guest. The collector chose a name and informed Suchi. Suchi said the following sentences out loud, “Personality can be told,
The personality can be told,
Personality can be told.”
Sambit replied, “Mahatma Gandhi.”
A broad smile appeared on the chief guest’s face as he got the correct answer. The chief guest requested another guest to choose a personality. After Suchi heard the name, she said, “The personality can be told,
Tell the personality,
Tell the personality.”
Sambit replied, “Sri Sri Ravi Shankar.”
The guests were so engrossed that they spent around 20 minutes at Sambit and Suchi’s exhibit. The day finally came to an end, and it was time to announce the prizes. Sambit and Suchi were completely tired as they hardly got any free time. Then, an old gentleman came to their stall.
He told Suchi – “If you say – “Personality can be told,
Personality can be told,
Personality can be told.”
He pointed at Sambit and said, “You will reply DHIRENDRA KUMAR, right?”
The children were amazed. The entire day nobody could guess what they were doing, but this gentleman understood their trick.
The old gentleman asked, “Who prepared you for this exhibit? Abhas? The children nodded their heads.
“Please convey my blessings to him,” he said.
At that moment, the organizer came onto the stage to announce the prizes. A huge round of applause reverberated as the first prize went to Sambit and Suchi. Many spectators, other participants, and teachers congratulated them. As they were getting down from the dais, Suchi and Sambit told Abhas that someone had decoded their trick. After listening to them, Abhas asked, “He blessed me? Tell me what name he chose.”
Suchi said, “Sir, the 64th one, Dhirendra Kumar.”
Sambit added, “We had asked you about him the other day. Who is Dhirendra Kumar?”
Abhas’s eyes filled with tears and a smile appeared as he said, “Sir…”
“Tell me…where did he go?”
“Sir, at that time, the prizes were being announced and we had to go to the stage and…”
“Okay, come with me.” Abhas came out of the Town Hall running. The children ran behind him. A few metres away, he found the person he came looking for. As Abhas reached him, he bent down and touched the old man’s feet. The old gentleman took him by the hand and hugged him. Abhas wiped the tears of joy and told the children, “Meet my teacher, Professor Dhirendra Kumar.” Both children touched their teacher’s guru’s feet.
A few happy moments later, the professor got into a car and left, but not before promising to visit Abhas and the two children again for some more fun math activities.
Now the trick…
The 64 personalities are divided into four quadrants as shown above.
In the first quadrant personalities from 1 to 16. In the second, personalities from 17 to 32. In the third quadrant personalities from 33 to 48, and in the fourth, personalities from 49 to 64.
Further, each of these quadrants is divided into four more quadrants, for example, in the first quadrant [1,2,3,4]. [5,6,7 8] in the second quadrant, [9,10,11,12] in the third quadrant and [13,14,15,16] in the fourth quadrant. Again, each of these numbers represents a quadrant, for example [13,14,15,16], 13 in the first quadrant, 14 in the second quadrant, 15 in the third quadrant and 16 in the fourth quadrant.
Now, the secret – PLEASE TELL THE PERSONALITY. Here, PLEASE represents the first quadrant, TELL represents the second quadrant, THE represents the third quadrant and PERSONALITY represents the fourth quadrant.
Therefore, to reach any number, just three hints were sufficient. The first word of the statement was taken. For example, to get 29, Suchi would say –
Tell the personality (focus on the second quadrant)
Personality can be told (focus on the fourth quadrant of the second quadrant)
Please tell the personality (focus on the first quadrant of the fourth quadrant of the second quadrant)
The 29th personality is Milkha Singh.
As the 64 names in quadrants were on the chart, Sambit just focused on the first words and gave the answer immediately. Which name did I choose if I say
Please tell the personality
The personality can be told.
Personality can be told.
Yes, you got it right, Amitabh Bachchan.
The author is an enthusiastic educator of mathematics and writes on topics related to innovative and engaging educational methods. He is a CBSE resource person for teacher professional development programmes. He is known for his creative skills, story writing, dramatic and mimicry abilities, disciplined lifestyle and contributions as a community worker. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.