HYDERABAD: She cracked complex formulae and theorems in algebra and geometry when students of her age were still grappling with the basics of multiplications and division; she read Shakespeare and Keats while her peers were still muddled about the complexity of English grammar.
With the Intermediate exams looming overhead, students are busy burning the midnight oil to give their best shot, and vying with them for the top honours is the nineyear- old Naina! Naina was eight years when she cleared the tenth grade International General Certificate of Secondary Education Examinations under the Cambridge University and today she appeared for her first Junior Intermediate exam.
Ashwini Kumar, her father, who has been a teacher for the past 15 years started coaching Naina when she was five years old. â€œWhen she was 5, I started teaching her English, Telugu and Hindi and since then she has been doing well in her studies. I make her understand the topic instead of forcing her to study,â€ says the proud father. Naina adds, â€œMy father used to explain the topics to me first and then I used to write it down in a simpler form in my own language.â€ Naina, who is attending St. Maryâ€™s Junior College in the city, says she is confident that she will do well in the Inter exams.
And is it always work and no play for her? â€œI love playing table tennis and have played at the national level. I have also sung and recorded the Ramayana in a CD, and I can play the mouth organ,â€ says the accomplished nine-year-old.
In spite of his daughterâ€™s extraordinary achievements, Ashwini Kumar feels that she is no different from other kids. â€œAll children are blessed with extraordinary talents but it is the parentsâ€™ duty to discover the talent and teach them so that they reach their true potential,â€ he says.
Naina, whose favourite subject is English, says her parents never forced her to study and she devotes equal time for studies and entertainment.
â€œI want to become an IAS officer and also participate in the Olympics,â€ the ambitious child prodigy declares.
Her father who has been giving her memory lessons and helped in developing good writing skills, says, â€œThe syllabus from Standard 5 to Standard 12 is the same, the only difference is that the topics are more detailed in higher classes. If a student has a clear understanding of the basics it is not difficult to grasp the topics in depth.â€ Naina reveals her secret of success to the thousands of students drowned in frantic, last-minute preparations, â€œDonâ€™t just mug up, understand the subjects and write them in your own words.â€