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Bezos remembers his Lankan friend who helped him with algebra

Shiladitya Ray


Bezos remembers his Lankan friend who helped him with algebra

20 Sep 2018: Bezos remembers his Lankan friend who helped him with algebra

From a nerdy Princeton graduate to founding Amazon and becoming the world's first centi-billionaire, Jeff Bezos, now worth a whopping $159bn, has reached the heights of corporate glory.

Yet, there was a time when young Bezos was struggling with algebra, and could only cope with the help of his Sri Lankan friend, Yasantha R.

Three decades later, Bezos hasn't forgotten it.

Here's an interesting, old story.

Lesson: Yasantha helped Bezos realize his true calling

During a recent interview at The Economic Club of Washington, Bezos recounted the lessons he had learnt from Yasantha 34 years ago.

Crediting Yasantha for helping him realize his true calling, he recalled how seeing Yasantha solve a Math problem with which he was struggling made him understand that he wasn't cut out for theoretical Physics.

One wonders what would have happened if Bezos did indeed choose Physics.

Fact: Watch: Bezos recounts how Yasantha helped him

Details: Bezos recounts a harrowing, life-changing Math problem

"I couldn't solve this partial differential equation. It is really, really hard. (I was) studying with my roommate Joe, who is really good at Maths. The two of us worked on this homework for three hours. And we got nowhere," said Bezos.

Then they approached Yasantha, who Bezos described as the "smartest guy at Princeton".

It took Yasantha mere minutes to solve it.

Fact: When Bezos realized he wasn't cut out for theoretical physics

"That was an important moment for me because that very moment I realized I was never going to be a great theoretical physicist," Bezos said, explaining that watching Yasantha solving that problem with ease was a life-changing experience for him.

Yasantha: Twitterati quickly found Yasantha following Bezos' interview

Bezos' remembrance of Yasantha soon reached the Sri Lankan's ears, thanks to Twitterati who quickly found the Princeton graduate on Twitter.

"Wow! Jeff is talking about me. Amazingly he remembers interacting with me 34 years ago...Also no Amazon if it weren't for this, since he decided not to pursue Physics!," wrote Yasantha on Twitter.

Notably, he is now a Senior Director at MediaTek.

Fact: Twitterati can't get enough of Yasantha and Bezos

While Yasantha was left amazed by Jeff Bezos' remembrance of that moment, Twitterati couldn't get enough of the development. They bombarded him with questions about his relationship with Bezos, and urged the two to get back in touch with each other.