Mumbai-lad Chinmay Prabhu is infusing innovation to his Guinness World Records tally

Chinmay Prabhu was elated as he received an e-mail a few days ago from Guinness World Records. The organisation, headquartered in London, United Kingdom, had just sent a confirmation! This meant, Chinmay, 25, was now the official holder of five Guinness World Records. The latest being ‘Fastest time to solve a rotating puzzle tetrahedron in a soap bubble’.

5-time record holder Chinmay Prabhu. Photo courtesy: Chinmay Prabhu/Instagram
Chinmay Prabhu. Photo courtesy: Chinmay Prabhu/Instagram

The feat was attempted on 25th February 2024. His timing of 29.97 seconds was adjudged admissible on 20th March 2024. Speaking to Connected to India’s Sudipto Maity, Chinmay opened up about his passion and his penchant for records.

While it might have taken him less than half a minute to solve the puzzle and claim the title, the process to perfect it took almost five years. Chinmay says that it was during his stint at a talent hunt competition in Romania that the idea of involving bubbles was first conceived.

“Back in 2019, while representing India at Romania’s Got Talent in Europe I met a bubbleologist. I got very inspired by her and learnt the art of making soap bubbles,” he says. However, the process wasn’t easy, given India’s hotter climate condition. “A major challenge was the weather conditions in India as compared to Europe. I practiced for nearly 5 years for this record across all seasons to see which conditions would be suitable for the bubble to last longer.” Satisfied with the samples, Chinmay chose the period between February and March as the best time to carry out the job.

The 25-year-old admittedly has been fascinated with the Rubik’s Cube — a 3-D combination puzzle invented in 1974 by Hungarian sculptor and professor of architecture Ernő Rubik — since 2015. Seeing a friend solve the cube piqued his interest, encouraging him to look up the Internet. “I found out multiple speedcubing competitions happen across all countries. That is when I stepped into the world of speedcubing,” says Prabhu.

The first of his five Guinness World Records was created in 2018. Then a teenager, Chinmay solved nine puzzles sitting underwater, holding his breath for 1 minute and 48 seconds, for the title of ‘The most Pyraminx (Rubik’s cubes) solved underwater in a single breath’.

The next record was set the following year. This one involved a bicycle and balance! In order to make ‘The most Pyraminx cubes solved on a bicycle’ his own, he solved 176 puzzles in 1 hour and 7 minutes. Both the records were attempted in Mumbai, Chinmay’s home town.

The third record took a while, understandably due to the coronavirus pandemic, which kept the world in a lockdown for nearly a year between 2020 and 2021. In 2022, Chinmay attempted to ‘solve a rotating puzzle tetrahedron upside down’ while performing a bungee jump in Goa. His time of 7.90 seconds was deemed the fastest by the UK-based organisation.

The same year, he also achieved his fourth record. With most parts of the world still shaking off the COVID-induced rust, Chinmay headed to Chonburi in Thailand to partake in one of the most adventurous ride of his life. “I did a tandem skydive and solved the cube in 24.22 seconds in freefall,” he says, recalling his memories of the attempt: The fastest time to solve a rotating puzzle tetrahedron whilst in freefall (skydiving).

Asked, which among his five records is the closest to his heart? Chinmay says that the first will always be special. “Back then I did not even know the procedure of getting into Guinness World Records, figuring out everything from scratch, practicing to increase lung capacity for holding breath, everything from the first record is special to me,” he says. Chinmay adds that the last one, involving the soap bubble, was the most difficult.

When not solving records, Chinmay works in a Bengaluru-based cyber security firm. He credits his office and colleagues as a huge source of support along with his family members. “Everyone in my office is happy to see how creative I get with the records,” he says.

For now, Chinmay Prabhu isn’t planning for his sixth record, but the desire to hoist the tricolour, which he did in Thailand after successfully completing the record, keeps him going. As a rule of thumb, he takes six month to prepare for a record, before attempting it. So, keep an eye on his Instagram page @chinmayprabhu13 for updates.