Town to host International Reminiscence Championship for psychological athletes | Mumbai Information newsfragment

Newton eats apple”. “Invoice Gates loses his fortune”. “Japan bans nuclear power”. “Solar stops heating”.
What read like headlines from The Onion are, in fact, statements from a set of 175 ‘Historic and Future Dates’ printed on a sheet that will not amuse 779 ‘memory athletes’ for at least five minutes after it’s handed to them next weekend at Vashi’s Cidco Exhibition Centre.
That’s all the time their brains will have to not only scan the software-generated statements such as ‘Donald Tramp lost in kindergarten’ but also process the random years against each one of them before jotting down as many as they can recall .
‘Historic and future dates’ is one of ten timed ‘disciplines’ such as ‘faces and names’ that make up the International Association of Memory’s World Memory Championship 2023, which is happening in India for the first time in its three-decade life. Launched in 1991 London by Tony Buzan, an English author and ardent peddler of mnemonics, memory competitions typically see participants who are called ‘mental athletes’ trying to memorize and recall large assortments of information spanning decks of cards to ‘spoken numbers’ within short, stipulated spurts of time.
With 779 participants from 13 countries spanning Norway to Mongolia, the event -which will be held in Navi Mumbai from November 24 to 26 after a three-year Covid-induced lull-is touted to be one of the biggest in the history of the contest. Brain Infinite, a city-based memory-coaching institute, bagged the opportunity to host the event after founder Amrut Jadhav-who had once surprised a taxi driver called Rajesh Gupta by recalling his full name the second time he bumped into him in Kandivli and startled top cop Vishwas Nangre Patil by recounting the concerns that the 15 people in his office had just expressed to him-impressed the interview panel at International Association of Memory in multiple rounds.
“Our training gadget tells us to review…” says Jadhav, a two-time silver medallist in memorizing names and faces. “But it surely does now not let us know methods to learn about.”
Host of the 2019 national memory championship in India and referee at the World championship in pre-Covid Wuhan, Jadhav was a father to a four-year-old when he quit his marketing job to introduce droves of cops and corporates apart from his son, Arjun, to visualisation techniques such as the memory palace.
Dating back to ancient Greece the method exhorts athletes to park assorted names, faces, designs, numbers and visuals along a familiar, well-trodden route so that these can be later retrieved in the same sequence. Puducherry-based “I-hate-studying” third-year IT student Vishvaa Rajakumar, for instance, likes to keep object-induced visuals such as running cats and pouncing elephants along 20 locations in his house spanning the kitchen and guest room to the terrace and the neem tree.
Trained to focus amid chaos by the 40-odd real domestic animals in his house-an assortment comprising chickens, roosters and a pet dog-Rajakumar’s record-breaking head does not rely on caps or earplugs to cut out noise. “I simply meditate or concentrate to song within the morning,” says Rajakumar who “cried” when he learnt that the WMC is going to happen on home ground.
Besides keeping lunches light, Rajakumar says hydrating through the event is important. “We won’t discuss phrases aloud however we ‘sub-vocalise’ hour studying random phrases,” coughs the athlete, who aims to break the world record of 318 in random words -a discipline that has been curated to include seven languages including Vietnamese and Azerbaijani.
While reigning national champ Uttarakhand’s Prateek Yadav would be missing in action due to unforeseen reasons, Sri Vyshnavi Yarlagadda-who has evolved from a 16-year-old first Indian to break a record at the 2011 World Memory Championship by remembering a series of names of faces whose photos she had just been shown to a 27-year-old US-based International Grandmaster of Memory-would be spotted in the role of an arbiter.
“Logistical feat” is how Austria-based Corinna Draschl, who would also be one of the arbiters, describes the event that marks her maiden trip to India. “One of the crucial easiest reminiscence athletes are ladies,” says the Austrian. “The mind is a muscle,” she says. “There are slightly any limits to what we will be able to have in mind.”
But what’s the point of memory training in the digital age? “Knowledge has deny price except you’ll have in mind the place to search out it,” says Draschl. What about things like keys? Does she not forget where to find them? “After all, I omit issues,” she reassures. “However forgetting isn’t a malicious factor. It simply approach the mind didn’t believe the item impressive enough quantity to concentrate on.”

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