For swiftly twisting and turning 26 Rubik’s Cubes while blindfolded to consecutively display all alphabets of the English language in 6 minutes and 14 seconds, Mumbai-based Afaan Kutty (13) has entered the Limca Book of Records, India Book of Records and the Asia Book of Records.
Named after Erno Rubik, a professor who invented it in 1974 as a brain teaser, 350 million Rubik’s Cubes have been sold worldwide since then. With six different colour facets each containing three squares by three (3×3), aligning the colours on each facet can be done in 43 quintillion possible configurations.
The younger son of Biju Kutty, an education consultant, and homemaker Sheeba, Afaan took to the cube just ten months ago when he was advised bed rest after suffering a severe bout of viral fever. Until then, this class VIII student of St. Mary’s Convent School, Mumbra was a mobile phone addict playing online combat games for five hours every day.
What began as an exercise to kill boredom is currently a daily three-hour compulsion which has transformed Afaan’s life. Most weekends, this 13-year-old is invited to schools and colleges to deliver lectures and share his online gaming experiences. “Since I took to cubing last year, I have noticed a marked improvement in my concentration and math scores. I highly recommend cubing to the entire students community,” says Afaan who delivered a TED talk on ‘overcoming addiction’ at Panaji in April and is a keen participant at cubing events organised by the Los Angeles (US)-based World Cube Association.
Afaan is looking to take on new challenges in future. “In the open eyes category with a time of 18 seconds, I am far far behind the national record holder Ujjwal Pabreja (5.57 seconds) in speed cubing with a 3×3 cube. My plan is to intensify my daily practice to equal his timing if not overtake it,” he enthuses.
Way to go, bro!
Dipta Joshi (Mumbai)