'Dad resented Shakuntala Devi’s passion for theatre' 

'Dad resented Shakuntala Devi’s passion for theatre' 

Singer M D Pallavi digs out an amusing incident from the 1970s

Well-known singer M D Pallavi has recalled an interesting anecdote about Shakuntala Devi, the ‘human computer’ whose biopic is now streaming.

Shakuntala Devi was keen to act in plays, and did some stage shows with Pallavi’s grandfather A S Murthy as the narrator. 

Shakuntala’s father was against it. Pallavi says: ‘Every Saturday sweets would arrive from my great grandfather’s house. Once, my grandmother distributed the sweets and gave one to Shakuntala Devi. She took it home.”

It turns out the math genius’s father took the sweet to the police station and filed a complaint, saying Murthy’s family, living in Hanumanthanagar, was trying to poison her. Murthy, a popular radio and theatre personality, and his wife were called to the police station. The policeman questioning them looked around for the allegedly poisonous sweet.

“But they couldn’t find it. One of the cops then confessed he had eaten it up. The case was dismissed,” Pallavi says.
 “My grandfather was nicknamed ‘Akashavani Eeranna’ and his voice was popular on radio. He donned the character of a villager and discussed and debated many things. The show was a big hit.”

In Shakuntala’s shows with Murthy, people would give her complicated sums and she would solve them.