Wonder kids or child prodigies are one of the most fascinating things one reads in the annals of history. The idea that a child can do something that even some of the most experienced adults cannot is a marvel in itself. This is what makes these children a prodigy or a legend in themselves. But not all child prodigies go on to become successful adults. Not every good 5-year old footballer becomes David Beckham nor does every great young musician grow up to me Mozart. There are some wonder kids whose legend dies out quicker than we expect. The History Pictures brings to you 5 such wonder kids whose legacy ended before it began.
Also termed as the youngest Russian poet ever, Nika was just 4 years old when she asked her mother to write down a poem she had in her mind, which was apparently a word from God. Her mother did not know that this was just the start to one of the youngest poets in Russian history. Nika went on to write more poems and published her first poem anthology at the age of 9. But this was not the beginning of a legend but the nearing of the end. She experienced her first nervous breakdown at the age of 16. She consulted a psychologist and soon began taking counselling sessions and consuming medications. She soon shifted to Switzerland where she married her psychologist who was 60 years older to her. She stayed for a year with him and then returned to Russia and never spoke of her husband again. She had a number of problems with drug and alcohol abuse while suffering from more mental breakdowns. She died, age 27. by falling from a window on the fifth floor, at her friend’s place.
We thought we’d mention the Russians first, and so we listed our next wonder Nadya Rusheva, Russians youngest prolific painter. Born in Mongolia, Nadya was a magician with paintings at the tender age of 5. She kept growing and learning and it was in age 7 that her parents realized she was born to paint, when she drew 36 illustrations of the “Tale of Tsar Saltan” in one sitting. It is said that Nadya never used the eraser in her life, and mostly painted clean sketches. According to her, she lived the life of the characters she drew, they appeared like watermarks on paper, and then she drew more to lead them on. But the artist could not see a long life as she passed away at the age of 17 due to brain haemorrhage resulting from a congenital defect of the cerebral arteries. She left behind a legacy of more than 12 thousand paintings, all of which are unique in themselves. The asteroid 3516 Rusheva is named after Nadya.
This Pakistani wonder kid just came out of the blue and shocked the whole world. She was 5 years old when she asked her parents to buy her a computer. The parents did and what followed, made her a legend. She began learning codes and making presentations and at the age of 9 she became a Microsoft certified developer. She was invited by Bill Gates to visit he headquarters of Microsoft and when she returned to Pakistan, she was a legend. She represented the country at numerous international conclaves and forums. She was on the path of greatness, but unfortunately, fate had other plans for her. She suffered a cardiac arrest at the age of 16 and later an epileptic seizure damaged her brain She was hospitalized and Bill Gates even vouched to pay her medical bills. But unfortunately none of her fame and money could help save her life. She died at the age of 16 in Pakistan. Many a time, death plays a role that none can counter, and no matter how much fame and fortune you have, death has its way.
An Indian child prodigy, Akrit Jaswal was crowned as the youngest surgeon in the world. With no medical degree or training back then, Akrit performed a successful surgery at the age of 7. imagine that! At the age of 7. All this began when a friend of Akrit’s burned her hand. The burn was so severe that the fingers curled up and the skin on them melted together. The child was not that well to do, and so the parents could not pay for the expensive surgery that followed. Akrit took matters in his own hand and decided to operate on her himself. The surgery was successful and Akrit managed to treat the fingers to good health. His parent said that he started reading medical books when he was just 5 and that is what trained him to perform the surgery. He went on to join the Chandigarh College in India at the age of 12. He now pursues medical science as a profession and is a known figure among the medical professionals in Asia and around the world. He has also appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show.
One of the most controversial child prodigies in the world, William Sidis began reading when he was just 2 years old. And by the age of 8 this boy now spoke about 25 languages and dialects. He was enrolled into Harvard at the age of 11 and became a teacher there at 17. But fate had other plans for William who wrote a book titled The Animate and the Inanimate at the age of 22. William was arrested once for participating in the socialist May Day parade in Boston and after his release he began living a life of seclusion and privacy. He became an accountant and left the line of science. Most of the claims he made were later debunked by a researcher who said that most of the claims made by William and his sister Helena were a hoax. We don’t know the truth but the books he wrote and the language he created still stand testimony to the fact the he was indeed a wonderkid.