Friday, February 12, 2016

This girl’s memory power will boggle you


Sri Vyshnavi Yarlagadda is youngest and first woman from India to win the much-coveted International Master of Memory title
* She also won the bronze medal in the names and faces category at the Championships

Sri Vyshnavi Yarlagadda has a very unique ability. She can memorise a mind-boggling number of words, names, faces, numericals, binary digits and images.

The highest ranked athlete in Indian memory sports, this Hyderabadi girl was recently awarded the 100 Women Achievers Award by President Pranab Mukherjee at the Rashtrapathi Bhavan. "I was one of five women from the sports category to have received the award and the second youngest among the 100," enthuses Vyshnavi. The award comes close on the heels of the 24th World Memory Championships held at Chengdu, China in December, where Vyshnavie excelled. She also became the youngest and first woman from India to win the much-coveted International Master of Memory title, and also won the bronze medal in the names and faces category at the Championships. Sri Vyshnavie tells us, "I had to memorise 1,000 digits in an hour, 10 decks of playing cards in an hour and an entire deck of cards in under two minutes to earn the title!"

Surprisingly, despite her skills in memory games, the 20-year-old admits that her memory does fail her sometimes when it comes to daily chores. She explains, "So to memorise anything, we convert the numbers or images into easy-to-remember links, and then we make a compressed form of the sequence in our heads. It's a system that I can switch on and switch off. So when I'm at home, I'm totally out of the system that helps me memorise and I am forgetful from time to time," she says. Sri Vyshnavie started honing her memory in 2010, but it was for a different purpose altogether. "My sister Ramyasree and I used to play chess. So our mom had suggested that we attend a two-day memory workshop to enable us to remember formations and probabilities.
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