Meet the prodigy who authored a novel aged 8

At a time when many children of her age struggle to grip a heavy book, Shriyadita Rao possessed the imagination and the necessary language skills to author a book.

A Grade-5 student of Greenwood High in Sarjapur, Shriyadita published her first 14 chapter novel Seso’s Dream Adventure (SDA) in 2016 in Dharwad. She was just eight years. She was possibly the country’s youngest novelist back then.

Daughter of Meera and Praveen Rao, Shriyadita is now ready with two novels and an anthology of poems and short stories. Apart from her writing endeavour, she also dances, plays chess, swims and trains to be a filmmaker.

Shriyadita’s tryst with words began when she was still a toddler. “She picked up (words) very fast,” Meera told DH.

“She had a strong vocabulary aged just one-and-a-half. She began reading books much before she went to kindergarten.”

Praveen and Meera bought her loads of books, especially literary classics and Meera narrated bedtime stories to bolster her creative writing.

She penned some of the top-notch stories and poems in her school literary magazine. Shriyadita is currently learning filmmaking, including shooting, editing and script writing, besides Western and classical vocals and Bharatanatyam.

“She dreams to be a film maker. The field suits her creativity,” Meera says.

Asked why she is learning several things at a time, Shriyadita says it is good to have extra knowledge through books that could be used whenever necessary.

Literature, in a way, runs in her blood as her grandmother Veena Shanteshwar is a renowned Kannada writer.

As a nine-year-old, Shriyadita received a Distinction Certificate from the University of West London for her excellence in London College of Music Examinations. Last year, she also emerged champion at Spelling Bee competition held by MaRRS International and the Spelling Bee competition in Asia for school children.

Shriyadita bagged the Certificate of Distinguished Performer at Salangai Poojai Bharatanatyam in February conducted by Kalaloka, the school of performing arts, while also being awarded Certificate of Distinguished Performance at the Assessment of Scholastic Skills through Educational Testing a year ago.

She also won the Merit Certificate at Karnataka State Schools Team Chess Championship 2015 conducted by United Karnataka Chess Association.

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Meet the prodigy who authored a novel aged 8

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