Surrounded by a group of curious onlookers in front of the Bhanja Kala Mandap in Bhubaneswar on Sunday, the little boy looked around without realising that he was the cynosure of all eyes.
The boy, his trainer claimed, had just completed a distance of 58 km running all the way.
Hardly four years of age, Budhia Singh, however, didn't appear to fathom what the fuss was about.
Budhia's trainer Biranchi Das said that the child, who has been displaying enormous stamina, had traversed the distance from the Jagannath temple at Puri to Bhubaneswar in over seven hours.
"The boy, who lives in a slum in the Goutam Nagar area of the city, has the rare potential to become a marathon runner and compete in a future Olympics if properly guided," said Das, secretary of the Orissa State Judo Association.
Everyday Budhia used to regularly cover a distance of 30 km on the Cuttack-Puri NH-201 but today he extended it upto 58 km, from the Grand Road at Puri upto the Judo Association campus here, Das said.
Das is leaving no stone unturned to make him an athlete of substance and has also prepared a road map in this regard.
"I wish to see that he finds a place in the Guinness Book of World Records as the youngest marathon runner", he said.
The coach and his trainee board a bus early morning to reach their destination from where Budhia returns to Bhubaneswar running all the way with Das cycling behind him.
Budhia's father Krushna Singh, a beggar, died a few months ago. His mother has been struggling to maintain a family of five including three daughters and the young boy.
Das, who is the president of the Kalingaputra Basti Basinda Association, intervened to take Budhia under his wings and kept the boy with him along with 20 other poor boys in the Judo association campus.
The boy's talent for long distance running was discovered by sheer accident, his trainer says.
One day Das heard Budhia abusing one of his friends. Angered, he slapped the boy and as punishment asked him to keep running in the campus till he returned.
Das, who went outside on some work, was to return within an hour but he had forgotten that he had asked the boy to keep running.
When he returned after about five hours, Budhia was still doing the rounds with all sincerity.
"Sir has asked me to keep running", he told other children when they asked him to stop.
"At the first sight I was shocked. I found him having awesome patience and stamina. He was neither tired nor thirsty", Das said.
Then it occurred to me that the boy is blessed with some inherent quality. So I wanted to delve into it," Das said.
He is being provided with 'chhatua', a mixture of protein -rich pulses, banana, mutton soup and four eggs a day.
Das helps him tone up his body with massage and other exercises to keep him fit while an orthopaedic doctor examines his health once a week.
Budhia, not bothered by the attention he is getting, has only one aim. "I want to be a great runner," he says.
Orissa's minister of state for School and Mass Education, Nagendra Pradhan, who has shown interest in the boy, said the government would like to provide the boy necessary equipment including running shoes and proper diet to help him along.
Sportspersons, though showing much interest in the prodigy, felt that the boy required the proper training and atmosphere to blossom.