A Children’s Day quiz

Joy Bhattacharjya | Updated on November 13, 2020

Birthday man: Jawaharlal Nehru   -  THE HINDU ARCHIVES

It’s Jawaharlal Nehru’s birthday, and this week’s quiz is all about his favourite people — children!

Child at heart

1 On Gandhi Jayanti, 1957, an act by 14-year-old Harish Chandra Mehra, with the PM as witness, resulted in which tradition being started in India?

2 Maria Anna, nicknamed Nannerl, was a well-known musical performer when she was just seven, and her father would take her for tours around Europe. Her younger brother often accompanied them and then, when she stopped performing, took over as the leading musician of the family. Name the brother.

3 The hero of Haarlem, the boy who put his finger in a leaking dyke in Holland and saved the country, is one of the most famous characters in children’s fiction. In which famous book did this story first appear?

4 Which well-known martial artist and performer won several gold medals in wushu at the All China Games when he was just 12 years old?

5 When this French mathematician was just 16, he derived his first theorems on conic sections, now named after him. When shown, Descartes, the most famous mathematician of the time, thought it was the work of the father and dismissed it. Who was this precocious genius?

6 Walter Tevis’s 1983 story about an orphan and her amazing journey in the world of sport was recently made into a series. Name the series and the original novel.

7 Which musical prodigy’s first major appearance was with his family in an American beauty pageant in 1969, where they performed a cover of the Isley Brothers hit It’s Your Thing?

8 “I stopped believing in Santa Claus when I was six. Mother took me to see him in a department store and he asked for my autograph.” A quote from whom, regarded as probably the most famous child actor in history?

9 Ryan White was a 13-year-old haemophiliac who contracted a disease after a blood transfusion. His battles with the stigma related to the disease and to raise funds for research made him one of the best-known advocates in the US in the ’80s. Though he died at age 18, the Congress passed an Act named after him for federal funding to fight the disease. What did Ryan suffer from?

10 Charles Barbier, a French soldier, had invented a way for soldiers to read their orders at night. Which 12-year-old child prodigy, intrigued by this, improved it and made a system that is in use to date?


1 The National Bravery Awards. Mehra, a boy scout, had used his knife to rip open a burning tent, saving hundreds of lives. Mehra was among the first awardees in February 1958.

2 Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, five years younger to his sister.

3 Hans Brinker, or the Silver Skates by Mary Mapes Dodge.

4 Jet Li.

5 Blaise Pascal.

6 The Queen’s Gambit, featuring Anya Taylor-Joy.

7 Michael Jackson, who originally performed with his siblings as the Jackson 5.

8 Shirley Temple.


10 Louis Braille; the Braille alphabet for the visually impaired.


Joy Bhattacharjya is a quizmaster;

Twitter: @joybhattacharj

Published on November 13, 2020

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