A slightly geriatric prodigyHappy Children's Day to you too. I'm celebrating the day by reading Champak, that too in Marathi (courtesy a kind friend who probably recognized that my actual age is far different from my chronological age). After a small teary-eyed nostalgic note to wonder where my entire collection of Champaks and Tinkles and Chandamamas disappeared, I move on to my main topic of discussion.
Everyone who knows me agrees on one fact: I am no child prodigy. It can be safely said with some amount of confidence that I shall never be one. If you could be a child prodigy whose talent was hating child prodigies, then it may have been me. I grew up a little disgruntled at these child prodigies, especially musical ones. There, they would point, look at him - he's a child prodigy, they said. Implicit in that accusation would be a minimisation of the talent part and a maximisation of the dedicated/hard-working/sincere part.
But with the passage of time and with the benefit of years, I am no longer threatened by child prodigies. I am able to consider them with avuncular eyes (whenever the eyes are not busy doing un-avuncular things). I saw a special "Children's Day Special" (sic) on CNN-IBN, which featured a chess player, a young girl whose a female Tathagat Avtar Tulsi of sorts, and "Keyboard" Sathya, who's made a name for being particularly adept at playing carnatic classical on his keyboard.
I have time on my side, and the competition is either dying by the roadside or has just given up. In about 40 years, I'll have the last laugh. I'll be a slightly geriatric prodigy.
No, wait, that's A.K.Hangal, about whom (with all due respect to his fine work, especially in Hrishikesh Mukherjee movies), it can be safely said, in the immortal words of Lakshman "Lucky" Prasad Sharma: "woh to paidaa hote hi buDhDhaa ho gayaa".