Arnav Daga, was just 8 years old when a programme he saw on Cartoon Network sparked in him a desire to create a pyramid out of playing cards. By the time he was 13, this childhood interest had become much more than a hobby. The class 10 student from Sri Sri Academy, spends a significant part of his day engaged in this - which he calls his true passion.
‘I first saw it on a cartoon channel: a guy stacking a small card pyramid and was simply amazed by seeing it. As a young kid, I tried out the same at home, just to see if such a thing could actually be done. To my surprise, it did work out. Gradually it became a hobby. In the lockdown, I had ample time so I searched a few videos on YouTube and got introduced to the art of card stacking by seeing the masterworks card stacker Bryan Berg stacking buildings beyond imagination. Something I earlier did to pass my time became a blessing in disguise during the lockdown and turned out to be a game changer for me. That's how my card stacking journey started,’ says Arnav.
Arnav currently holds the title of "India Record Holder" for the tallest building constructed with playing cards in 2020 and has also been named the "Grand Master" of building the tallest structures in Asia by the Asia Book of Records. In May 2021, Arnav went on to break his own record by building the tallest card tower, a replica of the Qutub Minar. He has also been given The Telegraph's Balrampur Chini Mills Award for outstanding talent.
Arnav, however, has his gaze firmly set on making his mark on a larger platform. His current pet project is constructing the largest playing card structure. Once successful, he will enter his name in the Guinness Book of World Records by beating a previous record set 11 years ago.
One question Arnav gets asked often is about time management - and rightly so when one starts to realise the dedication, time, and concentration that his passion demands of him. It certainly gets difficult to manage time for one’s hobby & studies, but Arnav somehow manages both and he believes that when one is passionate about something, one always takes out time no matter how busy or occupied they are. Arnav became one of The Telegraph Online Edugraph 18 under 18 Chapter 2 winners in 2023 in recognition of his single-minded dedication to his dream while expertly juggling the other aspects of his life.
‘I am definitely happy and overwhelmed. It's an honour to be one of the winners of 18 under 18 Chapter 2,’ said Arnav after winning the award.
This year, Arnav seeks to do something difficult & challenging in his field and we wish him all the best!