Countries, capitals, mountains and rivers… six-year-old Meghali knows them all.
She is just six years old, but she is already a human search engine in the making. Meet child prodigy Meghali Malbika Swain who has all the information about geography at her fingertips.
Ask her the name of any country and its neighbouring countries, Meghali would blink for a moment, imagine their location in the map and effortlessly tell you the names. If you are not impressed, then go on and ask her a country’s capital, its currency and its major mountains or rivers. She will not disappoint you.
Astonishingly, she will also tell you where a river originates and where it falls. It seems she has captured the world atlas in her mind.
This correspondent reached her home at Nayapalli in Bhubaneswar on Sunday with mixed expectations. Meghali is a bubbly kid like others her age. She studies in Standard I in the city’s DAV Public School. At school, she is a normal kid. But at home, she is in her own world taking in all the information she can access.
“When my daughter was just a four-year-old, I spotted the extraordinary talent in her. At that time, she was not even able to properly identify alphabets. But to everybody’s surprise, she could memorise the names of all the countries,” said Prafulla Kumar Swain, an Odisha Administrative Service officer.
“Everyday, I keep answering a number of queries she throws at me. If anybody thinks she has memorised world geography after being tutored intensely, then he is wrong. As parents, we don’t believe in burdening the child at such a tender age. It is her astonishing curiosity that has made her what she is.”
Says her teacher Q.A. Siddiqui: “Meghali is a very special kid. She has an amazing grasping power.”
Her parents are anxious to avoid distractions. “We don’t let her watch television. We are afraid that with her incredible grasping power, she might pick up distracting habits,” Mr. Swain said.
Her parents have not decided on her career. “Unnecessary burden could lead her nowhere,” Mr. Swain said. Of late, Meghali has picked up interest in the socio-economic situation of various countries. She can tell which countries are rich and which are not.