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Young vexillologist



Manjit with his favourite flags. --Photo: C.V. Subrahmanyam

Ask this child which animal is called the 'ship of the desert' or which is India's national bird? And he would sweetly mutter, 'Kamul' and 'Peecuck'.

Well, that's Manjit Singh Dhaliwal, the 23-month-old toddler from the School of Wonderkids.

Though the school has already picked up the reputation of producing quite a few precocious kids over the years, Manjit is little different. The little fellow is yet to walk a few yards without wobbling.

Tagging along with his mother who is a teacher in the same school at its Gajuwaka branch, he has picked up over 100 general knowledge questions, knows by-heart all the State capitals of India including the newly formed ones and could identify the flags of over 18 countries.

According to the school director, Vanisri, Manjit picked them up in just five months. "The actual admission age in our school is two and half years but in this case we could not stop him from coming as he would accompany his mother. After a few days we noticed that he was picking up certain things on his own that we were trying to teach the other kids, and that was when we started taking interest in him. What surprised us is the speed with which he learnt certain things. Identifying flags with the names of countries is a difficult task for a child of his age, as some of them look similar but he is able to distinguish the minor differences and point them correctly," she says.

Another important factor in this case is the number of languages Manjit responds to. Basically by birth he is a Punjabi, so he understands Hindi. His neighbours are Telugus and in the school he learns English. He thus understands and responds to four languages. Isn't he awesome?

S.B.

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