No, this is not yet another piece on Budhia Singh—whether he should have been allowed to run 65 kilometres. Nor is this a part of the debate surrounding his coach and his motives. Not because I don’t
have an opinion on the issue. Indeed, like everyone else, I do. This piece is more to do with the questions that a story like Budhia’s pose. It’s about young children and their journey to success and fame, and the role that all of us play in it.
The world has, forever, known child prodigies—Mozart, Beethoven, Ramanujan, Jodie Foster, Lata Mangeshkar, Zakir Hussain, Nadia Comaneci, to name a few. Do the lives of all these stars raise the same questions? Perhaps yes, because the core issue remains the same—how much push and how soon?
What makes a child prodigy a potential star? Clearly, these are children who are special. But given today’s hunger for visual gratification, ability and talent are not enough. A musician must possess an X-factor, as must a sportsperson or a designer. At times this X-factor...