He’s a tiny, little man, who rambles on about dinosaurs like an expert and mouths real tongue-twister names with aplomb, leaving his audience spellbound. At seven years, you would imagine him to talk sports, video games or latest gizmos, but dinosaurs are what makes Pritvik Sinhadc’s world go round.
“I’m fascinated about dinosaurs because they were very big, and smart. In fact they are the smartest animals ever to walk on earth. And they did live a long life and were very fast,” he explains.
He has, in fact, written a 60-page book, titled ‘When Dinosaurs roamed the Earth’, which will be officially launched at Magrudy’s this Thursday evening, to document these incredible achievements.
And, that’s not all.
Pritvik, a student of Dubai British School, even doubles up as teacher for Year5 and 6 students, after his expert opinion was sought to tackle the school’s new module on dinosaurs.
The book, his mom Indira elaborates, was conceived by Pritvik after he felt his students were unable to grasp much during his lectures.
He took a year to complete the book, in which he explores “Triassic, or when the first dinosaurs started, then the early-Jurassic, Jurassic, early-Cretaceous and Cretaceous. That’s five different periods”.
His obsession, which dates back to when he was as little as a year old, did unnerve his parents, with his mother trying various tactics to ensure he did “normal things” that other kids his age would do.
“It started with reptiles, snakes, crocodiles and komodo, and it graduated to the prehistoric world. Then, there was no stopping him.
Initially we thought it wasn’t unusual, but soon he started getting so engrossed in dinosaurs that he didn’t do anything else,” recalls Indira.
“If you hear a one-year-old pronouncing these words correctly, with no baby tongue, it’s bound to worry any parent. And, his teachers would always complain that he never paid attention in class, even though his grades were exceptional.”
Pritvik was shifted from Dubai American Academy to Dubai British School following complaints from his teachers, but it wasn’t until his Year 1 assessment that his parents learnt that “he wasn’t autistic but, actually, gifted”.
His academic achievements were plenty, and enunciated this observation. “Pritvik topped the primary section on world maths day.
He recently got into the WOW book and he’s the only child who has got into it from this school,” beams his mom.
Walk into his room, which is a sanctuary of dinosaurs, in different shapes, size and colour, and you get sense of how passionate he is about the world of these prehistoric creatures. Even his paintings, that line the wall to his room or decorate coffee mugs, captures the prehistoric time.
Between taking out various dinosaurs from his collection to enlighten me about his favourite dinosaurs – Suchomimus, Allosaurusand Spinosaurus, to showing me images of mutated dinosaurs on the laptop, to educating me about the varied diets, brain sizes and nomenclature, Pritvik is a walking dinosaur encyclopaedia.
And, now that his first book is out, he’s focusing on writing two more. “One book is about Suchomimus and Spinosaurus, and other fish-eating dinosaurs. And, the next is on mutations and it will be 29 pages,” he elucidates.
Pritvik has a massive collection of DVDs and books on the subject, something that his granddad has gifted him, with ‘Jurassic Park’ and BBC documentary ‘When Dinosaurs Roamed America’ topping his favourite list. And, when he grows up he wants to become a palaeontologist and research on dinosaurs and types of fossils.
Apart from dinosaurs, Pritvik has now developed interest for cricket, karate, piano and guitar, much to the relief of his mom, who has to partake in sporadic dino quizzes to delight her son.
Even Pritvik’s friends are fairly tolerant about his obsession, and are eager to spend time with Pritvik but end up playing with a small collection of cars, that’s reserved in his room for those uninterested in dinosaurs.
From dinosaur-themed birthday parties to planning vacations to places that boast of dinosaur relics, Pritvik’s world is fairly deep-rooted in prehistoric times. With all this sudden media focus on her son’s achievement, Indira “constantly reminds him to stay grounded”.