My father was a Defence Scientist(now retired) and being in Jabalpur, which has a huge cantonment, and three big defence factories, I was besotted with the fact of being an Army man, right from being my childhood days.

Sometimes, my Dad will bring some documents home, and I would just flip through the pages, even though at the age of 7 or 8 I cant understand an iota of that, but I was mad.

Those were the days of Cold War and I was in Class third. Right from the beginning my father used to subscribe to newspapers and magazines, which cultivated the habit of reading in me. And during those times, there were lot many articles about nuclear holocaust, specially in Frontline.
By any standards, I was the best informed guy in the whole class(due to my reading), and would always love to spread the gospel around(any 8 year old would do that).

So one day, when it was free period and all my friends gathered around me(I was topper of the class, so geting them listen to me was not tough), I started reciting the horror stories of a nuclear holocaust, of what would happen, if Pakistan nukes us). I had the details and described them graphically as best as possible, feeling like a guru, who knew it all.

The details were too graphic too digest and Harshal and Arif started to cry(Any 8 year old will cry at the very thought of death, and I was too naive too know that). Slowly, it got out of the hand, I guess my story telling was more original than it ought to be, and all my fellow compatriots got convinced that Pakisatan is gonna nuke India, Jabalpur is the love of Pakistan and they are gonna nuke it first, and we all are gonna die, even before our lives have started!

Whole my story telling was at its best, the period ended and the new one started. Harshal and Arif continued to cry(Anybody would continue to cry, if he has been convinced by a moron than death is near, though I never knew that I had so much convincing power!).
Dikshit madam came and he was my class-teacher, he asked why the two people were sore eyed and others, so sore faced, if they have been asked to come school even on sunday.

The story came out and I got a good thrashing. I was asked to bring my Mom to school next day(It was only one of those instances). Somehow I told my Mom, what had happened in the school, got a few slaps from her in the home and she agreed to come to school.

In the school, my Mom, a tough lady, made me touch the feet of Dikshit Madam and swore that I wont do such a mischief again. It was so embarassing but knowing my mother, I had no other option.

Since that day, I decided not to relegate the details of a hololcaust in public ever. Private audiences, eveready. But please dont cry!!!


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