Dr. Ghai carefully wiped the sweat from his brow, the making of the swelter dropped into the open cerebral matter that lay before him among a mass of instruments. What he did not know was that the empty roll of the ink-blotter (which had been the easiest replacement for the more obligatory blood-blotter …) was still and unremoved from the open-brain of a six-year-old he was operating upon.

He carefully eased his long, protruding e gray the matter and snaked it meant from into w he thought was a point of interest. With a little more piercing and pulling, he located the hatch and by clicking it open. he stepped into Sonus highly confidential memory chamber. He stretched out his hand and pulled out a book from a big-Big-pile of books which he knew contained all that Sonu had experienced in his six years of mortality. He kept it aside and stitched the cerebellum back, packed it into the skull and fixed it onto the tiny patients’ forehead and led him out of the operation hall. The scene outside the theater was pathetic. Sonu’s mother was weeping and his grandmother was pleading. His digital father was pacing and his grandfather was trying to keep up with the former’s stride. As soon as yesterday Ghai was on the scene, everyone jumped up and rushed to him:

“Sonu…”

“Ah! Operation successful. Congrats!”

There was sudden rupture of happiness as Ghai was led into a whirl of ecstasy. The surgeon was all the while trying his best to conceal the stolen diary from the child’s brain.

It was the evening as Ghai was sitting on has easy-chair with the burglarized book in his hand. On the cover page, the following title ran: “Sonu Nathan’s secret thoughts 1996, book one “.

January 1, 1996:

Hello New Gyar Sonu. You won’t believe me, but all the people in my surrounding world think that I am a lunatic. I have no objection…

After all, I do not expect anyone to say, ‘Sonu! You are the wisest chap the universe’ … What’s more, the world has a huge conspiracy for me. Man! You really can’t trust anyone these days and so I look at everyone- EVERY MOVING LIVING ORGANISM- with suspicion and contempt. There’s the no-no to the wickedness the people can limit themselves to these days. Anyway, I have to do my homework, which I must say Is a huge bundle and why? Just because tomorrow is a holiday and teachers do not want me to enjoy it…

January 3

I was just to go to school when I heard my new wrist watch ticking. I know only time-bombs tick. Vinay’s watch does not. He says it’s digital. Heaven knows what he means by it. Getting back to the point, I had also seen a film yesterday in which the hero. Vijay had found ticking device. He had thrown it away just before it got busted. What’s more, it had a needle too! Instantly, my genius brain identified the culprit-Uncle Parle! For it was he who had come and given me the ticking device yesterday. Gosh! Even the closest of your neighbors can be your enemies! Anyway, I had no time to think… So I threw the watch in the air like Vijay had. It didn’t burst. Maybe it would, later. I ran off. I was just hoping that the bomb would go off as soon as that uncle of mine stepped in- a taste own medicine, perhaps. Just then the school bus arrived. No sooner had I stepped into it that Vinay popped his first question:

“Hey! Sonu! You told me about your new wrist-watch. Where’s it ‘?”

Aha! So Vinay in league with my uncle. Look! He did not even wish me “Good morning, as he usually does. So very interested in the “watch”, eh? Pretending you know a thing eh? .. “Mind your business,” I replied. I could clearly see the disappointed look on his face. Not so happy to see me alive?

January 4

The headmaster the school-bus commented today:

“Sonu Nathan! … Cut your hair once in a while. is too long for a boy…”

What? I never expected this out of HIM! Does not he know what goes on in the saloon? If he does not, I do. Why, just yesterday, my dad had gone to the coiffeur to cut his cheek hairs and returned home with half of his cheek gone instead. No sir! I LOVE my neck. guess, he purposely wants me to get a haircut -to get rid of me …

January 5

After the morning formalities in the school which was the agonizing assembly, conducted intentionally wants the cruel Sun, with the brutal drill master (who, to my annoyance never got ill and stayed at home for a day), was ready to face the teacher. She came in, fully equipped, with a cane and some books. Pity, she uses the cane to thrash us. I just love sugar canes. They are so juicy. If she does not know about tasty sugar-canes, how can she be called ‘learned’? Anyway, she asked me the first question:

“Who was Jahangir?”

Jahangir? I know a zillion thing about him -he was a man, a human being, etc. etc.

Unfortunately, the teacher always canes me when I give her such answers. I’ll try another retort today:

” Uh! He was a person with redhead and… ” I was trying hard to remember spiderman … part carmine and part blue stomach?” When the unexpected happened-WHACK!I do not know why she cracked me-maybe was jealous that I knew the correct answer. After all, it was she who had asked the question?

January 6

I found my best chance and escaped the school campus during the recess period. I ran to the nearest bus-station and hastened into a moving bus. A chap, dressed in gray came up to me:

” Give me your money, boy. Where are you going?”

Saying this, he took a booklet full of pink and yellow papers which seemed to be ticketed.

“Why should I give you my money?” I replied.

“Because ..” he said, “I am the conductor and you are the passenger ”

“And why should I believe you are the conductor. In school buses, the conductors do not ask for money. They thwack children who do not behave themselves … You are a thief-THIEF-THIEF! ”

No one moved. All the people in the bus were together with the thief ‘conductor’.

There was no escape. So, I handed him twenty rupees. Okay.

The next thing I knew was a man offering me a chocolate.

” Here Small boy, take this.”

I took it. On the cover, it was written MINTED CHOCOLATE. I could not perceive the meaning of the first word. I took off the cover and put the brown thing near my ears No ticking sound. I smelt it. Yes, a strange smell, like Polo the mint with the hole. But this thing had no hole. So, it must be a tranquilizer. Perhaps, after fainting, this man will steal my shoes. I threw the choco out. To avoid further trouble, I threw my shoes too. The man frowned. Aha! So, he was not happy with my spoiling his plans? Children of today are politicians of tomorrow.

When I got down near my house, I saw this street dog dotted in front of my house. This was the last thing I had expected from mom. Keeping dogs to prevent me from entering the house before completing almost six hours at school? Okay, I ran off.

January 7

I was wandering about aimlessly in the streets when I saw a man approach me

“Child, are you lost?”

At first, I was perplexed. Why could be the purpose of this question? Immediately, my useful brain came up with the only possibility. As soon as I would say ‘yes’, this man would kidnap me and….I shuddered. So, I replied:

“Uh…no…that’s my father,” I said pointing to a stall where a man, who didn’t even know, was happily munching away samosas I think was just bad- timing that this chap looked back and noticed me pointing at him. When the supposed kidnapper, had left this man a formidable one, came up to me:

“So … young man? Why were you pointing at me?

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