Sharjah 4-yr-old sets record with special affinity for numbers
The curious fact is that Mohammed Zidrinn hasn’t yet been formally taught any of the numbers after 10
It sure seems to be raining records on kindergarteners these days.
A four-year-old in Sharjah is the latest to win himself a place in the India Book of Records after being certified “youngest to expeditiously recite backward counting from 100 to 1”.
The achievement comes on the heels of five-year-old Praanvi Gupta in Dubai and three-year-old Abu Dhabi resident Advit Golechha both landing spots in the same book of records earlier this month for their respective triumphs.
Mohammed Zidrinn, who hails from Kerala, accomplished his feat in 1 minute and 48 seconds. The curious fact of the matter, however, is that his parents don’t know how he learnt to do this, as neither they nor Mohammed’s teachers had taught him any of the numbers after 10.
His mother, Shaira Raphy Khan, says her son surprised her one day while she was in the kitchen by randomly counting backwards. “I didn’t think it was unusual at the time but when our family and friends heard him, they suggested applying to the India Book of Records. The officials asked for a video with a visible timer — and then informed us that Mohammed is actually the youngest to count expeditiously (meaning quickly and with clarity) that way.”
Shaira adds that the youngster has now started reciting even and odd numbers — another concept that his parents or teachers have not introduced to him. “We’ve been absolutely amazed that he doesn’t know the concept of odd or even numbers, yet has come up with counting numbers in that manner on his own.”
Mohammed was late with many of his milestones, she notes. “It used to worry us. He called me ‘Amma’ for the first time only after the age of two. But now that’s he’s started speaking, there’s no stopping him. And he’s extremely fond of numbers.”
The kindergartener seems to have a good memory and has also learnt to articulate and write the entire Arabic alphabet, apart from recognising a range of auto manufacturers by their logos with ease. “My husband has a theory that he may have learnt to count backwards by watching elevators descending in our building. It’s still something we’re trying to figure out!” says the mum of one.
Shaira states that her only goal now is to “open the right pathways” for her son and allow him to pursue whatever interests him. “Now that we’ve understood his affinity towards numbers, we will do our best to expose him to different related aspects such as abacus training or coding. We will not compel him in any way though.”
An educator herself, she is more than familiar with students who are compelled into courses they don’t care for themselves. “I’m here because my parents opened the right doors for me and stood by me when I chose a course of study that went against popular opinion. I believe the duty of parents is to give their children proper pathways — and that’s all that we’re hoping to do for Mohammed too.”