He heard that in Rajasthan there was a villager whose memory was phenomenal, almost inconceivable. Curzon became so intrigued that finally he invited the villager to his court. The villager only understood his local language, Rajasthani; it is a dialect of Hindi. He had no other education, he had no knowledge of any other language, and Curzon, with his political cunningness, made such an arrangement that it was almost certain that the man would fail.
The arrangement was this: He called the man into his court, where he had to encounter thirty people, and these thirty people all spoke different languages. Each person – this was the process, the procedure – each person was going to say one sentence in his language.
The man will go to the first person and he will say the first word of a sentence, and then there will be a big gong struck just to get the mind of the villager disturbed. Then he will move to the second person, who will say the first word of his sentence. In this way he will go on moving – one round. On the second round, the first person will give the second word of his sentence. And each time a word is given a very loud gong is struck.
And he went on and on; he had almost to take twelve rounds and then he was asked to repeat each sentence. He knew none of the languages, and the way the sentences were given to him was a very strange and cunning device: One word each time, then twenty-nine words of other languages; then he will get the second word of the first language. Again twenty-nine words of other languages, then he will get the third word. The man, to the amazement of all, repeated all thirty sentences with absolute accuracy, without knowing the meaning.
Curzon himself has written in his autobiography, “I saw it with my own eyes, I had made this whole arrangement, still, sometimes I start suspecting whether it really happened. Is it possible to have such a memory? And the man was just a village idiot.”
The whole village thought that he was good for nothing, he could never do anything intelligently. But his memory was perhaps the most evolved computer that nature has ever produced in anybody’s mind. And you will find hundreds of the same kind of stories about great intelligent people whose memory is either almost negligible or nil.
The first man who found the law of averages was a great mathematician, Diodorus. He had gone for a picnic with his wife and his half dozen children. The wife said, “Take care of the children,” because they were crossing a small mountain stream and the current was very strong. The wife said, “Hold each child and take him to the other side.”
He said, “Don’t be worried.” Instead of doing the simple thing, the great mathematician did his mathematics. He measured every child, his height, and in the sand of the bank of that stream, he calculated their average height. Then he went and in a few places measured the depth of the stream; he again calculated the average depth of the stream. The average height of the children was greater than the average depth, so he said, “There is no problem.”