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A thousand echoes reverberating the hill station
This is flash fiction on a 'Thousand' reverberating echoes of the lacerated hills. It aims to inform you, though in my own way, how a person killed, is called a murderer and a militant in this hill station.

HE STRODE up the steps twenty, twenty one...He had a small house just on top of the hill, from where he could get a panoramic view of the town, the town where he lived for so long, the town that he loved, the town which he considered to be his birth right. They called it a Hill Station. He would break into paroxysms of laughter when he heard the epithet. Why Hill Station? he asked querulously. Hill Town sounds more apposite, Hill Station sounds so colonial. But he loved to climb the steps and look down: “If there is a Heaven on Earth . . .”

He went to school tied to a hammock. He grew physically but mentally the growth was stunted. He is a slow, slow learner, the teacher nodded gravely. Every day his father or his mother dropped him to school or picked him up.

He went to school tied to a hammock. He had his apron strings and everyday he listened to the reverberating call of the hills. Boom, boom . . . He waved his hands frantically.

He went to college tied in a hammock. Now his physical growth too was stunted. The Hills called: Boo-om, Boom . . . He loved these calls and was desperate, desperate to love, desperate to hate. Then, he fell in love with her. In the local language her name meant flower. He flowered. But she laughed only laughed, laughed with him, at him. She only laughed. First he too laughed, then, slowly he wept at her laughter.

He was tied to a hammock with strings. He was still a baby but his body grew. He could not stop it. He wept. The flower, as he called her laughed. She continued to laugh. (She is still laughing today).

The Hills grew restless. One day there was arson and killing. He wept. She laughed. He wept. She laughed. He wept. She laughed. He saw her murderous eyes. The Hills growled, the forests quaked, the earth stammered. She laughed. He wept.

The violence continued for months. Kill him the police said, he is a murderer, he was with the gang when the arson took place last night. Moreover, he lives on top of the hill; this is a dangerous hideout, they said.

They dragged his body and threw it into a gorge. Next day the newspaper headlines blared. “Militant killed in encounter” (Remember he was a baby tied to a hammock)

A thousand echoes sounded in the Hills. She now wept, but he could not . . .

The story says that he still roams in the Hills.

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