LIFE IN THE CITY
By NEEL ANIL PANICKER
Ram Bahadur scanned the street in front of him; his little slit eyes X-raying every single movement fifty metres around him.
The instructions were succinct: There could be a terrorist attack.
Staccato and plaintive, even matter of fact, delivered sans any emotions.
That’s what life in the big city was.
A mere physical act; a timeless routine; human beings mere cogs in the wheel of sheer mundanity__expendable and instantly replaceable; all callously swept away into nothingness, the resultant void instantaneously replaced by another.
Ensconced in a rickety plastic chair outside the mall entrance whose glass windows advertised the season’s ‘Very Low Prices Sales’ gala offers, fifty-year-old Bahadur reminiensced about his previous life, a life more than idyllic even though it were steeped in poverty, a life lived in the lap of Nature, a life sans money but still a life that breathed air that invigorated one’s being, a life of purity where one woke and slept under the stillness of the open skies gazing at the heavenly sight of the spectacular silver streaked Himalayas.
His thoughts were still up there when the hail of bullets felled him, his brains spilling over, forming small red blotches on the stony steps below.
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