Arnay Agarwal, Greenwood High International School, Bangalore, is the founder of Reading Rhino, writer, online tutor and motivational speaker. In conversation with Brainfeed, Arnay talks about his pursuits
- Arnay, please tell us about Reading Rhino.
Two years ago, I began a WhatsApp group for family and friends to discuss books and authors. In January, I followed it up with blog and podcasts. That’s how the “Reading Rhino” was born – a space to share book summaries, short stories and reviews – with a vision to inspire the youth to pick up books. Reading Rhino is a space for children, of the children, by the children.
As the founder of Reading Rhino Society in 2018, with the onset of COVID-19, I am hosting motivational talks and storytelling sessions for children and seniors. To keep my audiences engaged, I encourage them to participate in storytelling. During the sessions of “Mantras of Life” and “Rouse up the house “, I inspired children to learn new skills. It is important that we stay healthy and positive.
The Reading Rhino (Community of 170 kids and their parents from India, Nepal, US) allowed me to conduct soft skill sessions, storytelling contests, virtual snacks party and talk shows.
Since parents are appreciative of Reading Rhino for keeping children engaged, motivated and inspired during this tough time, I also started a public speaking club for children. You can connect us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
2. Please brief us about the soft skill sessions that you previously mentioned.
Recently, I facilitated many motivational training sessions– Attitude of Gratitude, Mantras of life, Pillars of Sankalp, Learning through Crisis and Rouse up the House. All these session’s attendees were all prestigious, learned and senior people. For a session, I also went to the Science and Technology Institute, Gwalior. It was a stupendous experience for me! I am grateful to these sessions which helped me acquire knowledge.
3. Being a 12 YO, how does it feel to be on stage in front of grownups?
Initially, I was jittery since I had to speak in front of audiences who are way elder to me. But when I reached the virtual stage, I gained back my confidence. Within a few moments, I was on a roll and viewers started cheering for me.
I remember the words said to by P R Chowdhury, of the attendees, “Thank you Arnay for this wonderful revelation on gratitude.”
With all the continuing support, today, I am a confident motivational speaker, storyteller and an interview show host.
Reading Rhino is a space to share book summaries, short stories and reviews – with a vision to inspire the youth to pick up books
4. Who are your favourite authors?
My favourite authors are Rick Riordan, Clive Cussler and J.K Rowling. Sci-Fi and thrillers are my favourite genres. I like Sci-Fi because it has a lot of interesting elements, and I like how the authors come up with such fantasies yet fit them so realistically into the world. Lately, I have been reading mythological books by Rick Riordan.
5. What do you aim to be in life?
I want to be an astronaut and become the first person to set foot on a newly discovered planet.
6. Any literary achievements you want to share with us?
I have a few publications under my name– My Myriad Experiences (Amazon Paperback), Most Amazing Deshera Vacation (Amazon kindle), Two Sea Voyagers (Children’s Book Trust, Delhi) Juno and Ira’s Jungle Trip (Juggernaut) and Mrs Clark (in the process of publication). My articles are published in The Hindu and RobinAge. Some of my write-ups, such as Let’s Visit a Radio Station, Visit to a Book Fair and Interplanetary War, are available on digital platforms.