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Public speaking conquered, Marystown teen Nitin Murugeswaran’s next goal is to become a doctor

Nitin Murugeswaran of Marystown recently advanced all the way to the Lions Multiple District N in Antigonish, N.S. The 16-year-old has his sights set on becoming a doctor to help others.
Nitin Murugeswaran of Marystown recently advanced all the way to the Lions Multiple District N in Antigonish, N.S. The 16-year-old has his sights set on becoming a doctor to help others. - Paul Herridge

Master of speech

MARYSTOWN, N.L. —

You could say Nitin Murugeswaran has developed a pretty keen ear for accents.

He’s experienced four pretty distinct ones thus far.

The 16-year-old was born in India and lived in Sheffield in the United Kingdom for several years.

After a stint in Toronto, home to a rather unique Canadian English accent, Nitin moved to Marystown with his mother and younger brother about four years ago.

The Newfoundland brogue gave him trouble at first, but he’s since gotten used to it, he admitted, smiling.

Nitin is also apparently a natural public speaker with an ability to engage and convince.

In a bit of a sibling reversal, Nitin watched as his younger brother, Arjun, entered and won the Marystown Lions Club’s junior speakout competition last year. This year, he decided he'd give it a go himself.

He advanced all the way to the competition for Lions Multiple District N, for Atlantic provinces, held in Antigonish, N.S., in late May. While he didn’t win there – the Nova Scotia representative came out on top – it was a great experience nonetheless, he said.

“Being able to create your own message and something that’s important to you, to distribute that to everyone listening, I think that’s a pretty cool thing,” Nitin said.

Failure as a gift

Nitin was pretty green jumping in at the local speakout, his first time speaking publicly. He got the hang of it pretty quickly though.

As he advanced, he relied less on his notes and focused more on connecting with the audience.

His topic, how failure is actually a gift in disguise, is one he thinks is crucial for people to understand.

Failure is often viewed in a negative light, he says, but some of the most successful people in history – Elon Musk, today, Gandhi and Winston Churchill from the past – failed first.

Failure should be seen as a potential stepping stone to success, Nitin says.

“I just want to tell people that failure is not actually a negative thing. You’ve just got to think about it differently and hopefully that’ll inspire people not to be so upset and put in more effort to succeed."

Helping others

Nitin is also planning to follow in the footsteps of two other people he is pretty close to in his life. His parents are both doctors – his mother a radiologist in Burin and his father a pediatrician in India.

That his parents are physicians is part of the reason he wants to become one, too. He's always liked science, but also has a strong desire to help others, he says.

Sometimes when he goes to see his father in India, Nitin visits the wards, where there are young, sick children. He has always admired his dad for the career path he chose, he says.

“India is not as advanced as here, so infant mortality rates are higher and there’s still diseases still trying to be cured, so I think it’s great to become a doctor to help out all these people that are in need,” he says.

This summer, he’ll attend MedQuest at Memorial University, a program that gives high school students an opportunity to experience careers in medicine.

Nitin, who says he likes trying different things – in fact, he built a computer this winter – has come to enjoy living in Newfoundland.

“It’s quite different, but it’s also very nice. It’s like you kind of know everyone. It’s just a different experience in total. It’s easier to make friends, I think,” he says.

Living by the water is also “pretty cool.”

Having tried his hand at fishing and camping, he says he also hopes to give hunting a go.

“I really like the culture, actually,” he says.

paul.herridge@southerngazette.ca

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