Pitara Kids Network

The Making of a Prodigy

When Siva Kalyan was born, his spine or backbone was deformed resulting in a lifelong difficulty in walking. But that hasn’t stopped the nine-year-old from becoming a prodigy. This child, who loves reading comics, writing stories and enjoys sketching cartoon strips, is learning advanced mathematics and physics from one of the most reputed universities in the United States of America.

The Hindu reports that Siva’s parents were in Tamil Nadu when Siva was born. His backbone was not straight, his joints were loose and the muscles were weak. Till he was three-and-a-half years old, Siva could not even crawl. Wanting the best treatment for their son, Siva’s parents moved with him from India to Australia and later shifted to the United States of America.

The Making of a Prodigy [Illustration by Anup Singh]
When Siva reached the United States, his parents enrolled him in class two based on his age. But his teachers soon realised they had a genius amongst them. Siva was then tested for class eight, but it was soon found out that he actually qualified for college courses.

Siva’s genius has been recognised and he has received two awards from the Centre of Talented Youth of America’s prestigious Johns Hopkins University. He also got very good marks in the SAT I and SAT II exams.

Due to the treatment he received in America, Siva’s physical condition has improved, too. Not only is he able to walk today with the help of a walker frame, but he’s also wearing a brace or a broad belt, for making his spine straight.

And as if one advanced course (which means a PhD) is not enough, the brilliant boy is doing two courses from Stanford University – one in advanced mathematics, the other in physics.

But none of this ‘just happened’. A very large part of it has been made possible due to his parents. Their understanding and correct guidance, and the loving care of his grandparents, have all contributed to the growth of his genius. Siva’s highly educated, and hardworking family have in fact brought him up on the basis of certain principles. These principles were formulated by his grandfather, T. Krishnamurthy.

The family believes that once a strong foundation is built for the child in English and Mathematics, the child is equipped to master any other subject, be it law, history, or engineering. It is equally important to recognise the strengths of a child rather than forcing the child to do things that he may not want.

Siva’s parents helped Siva focus his energies on his strength, which is obviously mathematics. At the same time they took care to see that he had friends to play with and enjoyed a few recreational activities. The only activity that’s restricted for Siva is viewing television. Siva watches TV only for 30 minutes a day and video games are a bonus for special occasions.

Thanks to his mother who is a Carnatic singer, Siva has also learned music and even won the first and second prize at two competitions. In sports, he likes to swim. He began to learn swimming to strengthen his muscles, but by the age of eight he was able to swim a kilometre in both backstroke as well as free-style.

His parents’ role in Siva’s success has proven beyond doubt the truth of a research study conducted among British children recently. The study, which points out that Indian-born children have overtaken native Britishers in academic performance, squarely holds parents’ involvement in their children’s studies to be responsible for the children’s superior performance.