8 a.m.: Gyanesh Mandal stands with his father outside their shop. He is wearing a checked shirt and a pair of trousers. A pair of earphones connects to a mobile which he peers out of his trouser pockets. His shirt buttons are open, he is clean shaven and bare-foot.
Gyanesh reached home at about 9 p.m. last night. He left Kozhikode by train on the 19th, to reach Patna yesterday early in the morning. He then took the connecting train to Katihar and a third one from Katihar to Araria. From Araria station, he took an auto up to Ranigunj, and another one from Ranigunj to Sargana. In all, he travelled a distance of over 2,700 kilometers in approximately 50 hours.
Gyanesh plans to stay on in Sargana till at least February when he will re-sit the school-leaving exam. His maternal uncle has asked him to prepare for these exams right away rather than leave them for the last minute, a prospect that does not enthuse Gyanesh at all.