Now, before you all decide to draw your swords reading the headline, allow me to make some clarifications. This list of ‘exceptionally talented’ kids is by no means complete in itself, because as the tagline of the movie ‘Taare Zameen Par’ goes, every child is special in himself/herself. It is simply a modest attempt on my part to inform you about five children who are talented enough to put their peers to shame:
Ethan Jordan Bortnick: First on this list is the boy who began playing a keyboard at the age of three and was composing music by the age of five. This gifted pianist, singer, composer, songwriter, actor and musician created history in 2011 when he performed as the youngest headliner at the Las Vegas Hilton, the same theatre that presented Elvis Presley. Wondering what was his age then? He was simply 10-years-old! But that’s not all. The young musician also has a heart of gold. Whenever he visited his ailing brother in the hospital, he was deeply moved because of the sufferings of the other kids. However, the kid went beyond empathising and sought to help them out financially, which is why he is also hailed as one of the youngest philanthropists in the world as he has raised a whopping $30 million through his performances at charity benefits!
Hamad Al Humaidhan: Born in 1999 in Kuwait, this child is often addressed as the ‘Young Picasso’. Several connoisseurs of art are of the opinion that his style, bold black lines, the use of vibrant colours and cubist forms bear a striking resemblance to the works of the Spanish genius, Picasso. And to top it all, he is believed to have adopted Picasso’s style even before he had a chance to see the latter’s work! Hamad chooses to paint his world with youthful emotions-his characters- some real, some legendary and others just imaginary, are composed with mastery. Not surprisingly, both his collection were sold out within hours of them being released.
To see as to why he is tagged as the mini version of Picasso, please click hereÂ for his latest collection.
Nancy Yi Fan: It is only in the last couple of years that several college students in our country have sought to writing and getting their works published. So was the case any different with the 19-year-old Ms Finn, who too got her book published? The answer is a resounding yes! First of all, her work has been published by none other than Harper Collins and that too at the tender age of 13. The children’s book titled ‘Swordbird’ was published in English, her second language in which “selflessness and courage, wickedness and cunning of the characters blended into one message: peace is wonderful; freedom is sacred”. But that is not all. After hitting the shelves, ‘Swordbird’ flew to the top of the New York Times best-seller list! It was then followed up by ‘Sword Quest’ and ‘Sword Mountain’ that hit the bookstores in 2008 and 2012 respectively, which too were widely appreciated.
Lilly Gaskin: The youngest of the lot, Lilly is a cute little toddler who can barely speak. But she is an expert in geographical locations. That’s right. How many countries can you identify while looking at the world map, especially when you were a little over two years? Well, when Nancy was 26 months old, she had already mastered world geography and could identify more than 100 countries.
Check out her YouTube video here: The Original Video of Lilly: The World Map Master
Kishan Shrikanth: For anyone who was scanning the list to see whether an Indian child is listed or not, well your search ends right here. We are talking about the Guinness record-holder for being the youngest director of a professionally made feature length film, the 17-year-old Kishan. The movie that earned him the world record and several international accolades at the age of ten was ‘C/o Footpath (Care of Footpath)’ which revolves around an orphaned boy who wants to go to school. The film was an adaptation of a short story written by himself in which he played the lead. Not only has he acted in several movies and television shows, but has also been featured in the top 15 genius children of the world by none other than Oprah Winfrey.
To say that these young men and women are brilliant would perhaps be an understatement. But then the lesser mortals like us need not despair. Though the prevailing wisdom suggests that such geniuses are simply born that way, the inherent optimist in me believes that one’s hard work can surely give these and many, many others like them, a run for their money.