Sonu watched the flickering embers with satisfaction. He had turned blue with cold huddling in the street of Delhi before he found the loose stack of pages lying in the pavement where it lay fluttering in the wind.
Crouching quickly and snatching it off the pavement, he had moved inside the alleyway and had lit the pyre that was now warming him.
Alerted by a scuffle, he had looked up to see the well dressed man run up and ask him breathlessly – “Quick boy, what did you do with the pages? Give it back. No time to waste.”
Suddenly noticing a legible fragment dance in the flames, he had smiled and said – “You have done a great service to the country. The plans can be replaced but if stolen would have been disastrous.”
Sonu curled his fingers around the crisp 2000 Re. note as the stranger walked away.