At an age when children can barely frame two sentences together, four-year-old Ayan Gogoi Gohain of Assam’s North Lakhimpur district has earned the title of ‘Youngest Author of India’.
The India Book of Records has bestowed the title on Gohain, a student of St Mary’s School in North Lakhimpur, for his book ‘Honeycomb’, published in January this year. The book, priced Rs. 250, comprises 30 anecdotes and accompanying illustrations by the toddler.
Indian Book of Records documents extraordinary feats by individuals across the country. It awarded Gohain with a plaque and a certificate in January for his achievement.
In brief, the book tells us about the preschooler kid who took to painting at the age of one. By three, he could “compose stories” all by himself. “The amazing journey of Honeycomb started when he began to address his unquenchable love for words, colours, sounds, tastes and sights with his keen observation,” it read.
Gohain, who lives with his grandparents, said he writes about everyday things that catch his fancy. His parents are based in Mizoram. “I see what is happening around and write about it. It could be anything – a chat with my grandfather, or something new I just learned,” the toddler said.
The four-year-old boy considers his grandfather Purno Kanta Gogoi his ‘best friend and ‘hero’. “My grandfather inspires me to paint and write about new stuff every day. He is my storyteller, a rock star and a football lover. He is my best friend. My Chocolate Man!” Gohain giggled.
Mr Gogoi, a retired bank officer, thinks the little one would create wonders when he grew up. “He is a wonder kid. I remember he had once seen a rainbow and composed a poem, comparing its seven colours with the seven notes of music,” Mr Gogoi recounted.
Even the cover page of ‘Honeycomb’ was designed by Gohain, the retired bank official said.
“Ayan has a passion for yoga. He likes watching cartoons, playing badminton and football, baking, and gardening. The four-year-old also dotes on his puppy, Oreo,” he added.
‘Honeycomb’ has been reviewed by several litterateurs, including author and poet Dilip Mohapatra. The excerpts of the reviews have been published on the back page of the book. “This ‘Honeycomb’ is not just an intricate configuration of hexagon dripping of the sweetest of the nectar, but much more: it’s very alive and coming from a tiny tot, pulsating with creativity, colours and passion to captivate you and make you wonder,” he said.
Writer and story performer from North Carolina in the USA, Joan Leotta, said the book would be a reader’s delight, no matter what the age. “Ayan’s writing and his pictures show the ebullience of his youth. His elegant writing style and profound insights show him to be wise while still innocent. This is a book that adults and children will enjoy,” she said.