Agnivesh Jyotiraditya Kannankara: Monu of many trades
Deccan Chronicle| Deepthi Sreenivasan
Just 12, Agnivesh has authored 10 books and won a fourth degree black belt. And that's not all.
Agnivesh Jyotiraditya Kannankara
Twelve-year-old Agnivesh Jyotiraditya Kannankara lives by a simple thought — whatever he has learnt and grasped shall be imparted among people around him. "What is the point of getting all these accolades? Is it just to sit and look at those," his mom still remembers his question. He started reading out words and sentences at a surprisingly young age.
Even as a toddler, he had a thirst to learn and know certain things around him so much so that he began schooling as a two-and-a-half-year-old. He then went on to secure a black belt in martial arts at the age of five, becoming one of the youngest to do so. He currently holds a fourth degree in black belt. By the time he was 10, Jyotiraditya had a plethora of accolades and achievements to his name, including 10 books.
Fondly known as Monu, Jyotiraditya talks with the maturity of a grown-up. Quizzed about his daily routine, Monu says he does not follow any routine. "I do not plan anything for the day; it all depends on my mood. If this interview were not to take place, I probably would’ve gone out for my chess training with my trainer or gone to play billiards or squash. It all depends on my mood," says the Class IX student.
Speaking about one of his books Naatukalikal, he says, "Once when I was playing cricket or football, I don’t remember, I thought — aren’t there games besides these? I love playing and wanted to learn more games. That’s when my grandfather gave me the Pallankuzhi board and manjadi muthu to play. I learnt that there are more games like this."
I spoke to a lot of people and made a list of more than 100 traditional games. Eventually, it got published." Although he was in Kerala only during the initial years of his life, Monu’s parents taught him Malayalam and he penned Naatukalikal in Malayalam. "I love Malayalam. I read Malayalam children’s books and comics. A mix of stories and information, comics are very interesting."
How did he develop an interest in writing? "When I was a kid, my mom used to read me bedtime stories. I was always curious to know how it would be if I changed certain things in those stories. Once I started reading and writing, I started to pen stories after reading these bedtime stories," he says. Monu is currently working on a book on Shillong for which he was approached by Don Bosco publishers. He also co-authors and edits books with foreign authors, the latest being Swede lake — the History of Alaska.
"I will be writing what is special about the place, the scenery. The culture of the people there and its cuisine. It’s a beautiful place and has a lot of waterfalls. I will be touching all the unique aspects of Shillong." Monu says he loves to travel. "I really cannot pick any one favourite place I have travelled to. But my hometown in Kerala, Thiruvananthapuram, is closest to my heart. I try to come to Kerala as much as I can."
Apart from these activities, Monu loves arts, his drawings have won him the Golden+ star award at Picasso International Art Contest. Like any youngster today he is also extremely tech savvy. So how does he fare in his academics in between all this? He is also the national and state level winner in various olympiads like NSTSE, NCO,UCO, NSO, IMO, IEO to name a few. Any particular subject that you do not like? He laughs and says, "Oh, I like all the subjects." Then again one cannot categorise him as the nerd of the class either. "I joke around all the time. Although my friends call me Joe, my jokes earned me the name ‘joeking’," he laughs. His mother adds, "he is very naughty, he is a prankster."
Is there something that he is looking forward to doing? "I am actually looking forward to improving on all that I am involved in right now. I have the freedom to do what I like and I am really happy with all the activities I am doing now."