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by Subhadeep Bandyopadhyay

It was an usual morning in the small town of Dora in the northeast mountainous region of Nepal. The shops had opened, the tourists were enjoying their morning tea, the rush was evident on the busy streets, the offices were carrying on the daily business as usual. The children displaying different school uniforms were attending their classes in schools and a bright day was at sight.

When it was 12 noon the tremors were felt. The Richter scale measured it as 8.02 and it lasted for just two minutes but the damage had already been done. The buildings started trembling down like a pack of cards. The moans and the pain of helpless people were heard and the ambulances and fire engines were constantly at service. The tall buildings had become debris and with each after shock that followed the molten lava from the mountain crust mixed with the sweet water of the stream started flowing as if blood was rushing from the heart to the different parts of the body.

It is said that in these kinds of circumstances a hero is born. In one of the debris was trapped a little boy of three, ZORU. He tried his best to come out but somehow was unable because of his short stature. He hoped that somehow his cries of pain would get heard or people would notice his waving of little hand, but the fire fighters were nowhere at sight. His elder brother of eighteen was lying beside him but ZORU was unable to hear his heart beat. He decided that somehow he would save his elder brother if not himself. He remembered the day when his brother joined the school cricket team and his aspiration to play in the royal cricket team of Nepal. In Nepal cricket was an alien sport unlike in friendly neighbor country of INDIA where it was like religion. He got selected in district cricket team and money started flowing in. He was the only earning member of the family and earned through Cricket. He was good in studies too. He had taught his younger brother ZORU not
to lose hope, to pray to the supreme and believe in mankind. He dreamt of buying his own house where he would stay with his parents and younger brother. But his parents were by now dead. Soon started the heavy drizzle, the clouds had darkened and it appeared that there was no respite from nature's wrath.

Long ago his father had taken ZORU to the mountains. He had explained that the mountain was like a vicious lady with deep secrets. His uncle who worked in the royal Nepal navy had said that earthquakes were caused by the movement of the plates inside the earth's crust and the tremendous energy got released as a process, and as the stabilization process started after the tremors and shock maximum damage was done. But these concepts were beyond understanding for ZORU who just loved the mountain and some day wished to become the greatest Sherpa. He would enjoy the sweet wind, the flying birds and the flowing stream by the mountain side. His drawing book contained the sketches of the sun god, the primary source of energy for the mother earth.

He decided that somehow he would snatch his brother from the fangs of death. If he dies, so dies all the possibilities and prosperity. Just then like a flash of insanity he was struck by an idea. He took the cricket ball from the pocket of his brother and with all force threw it towards the sky and this attracted the attention of the fire fighters. Eventually they came to his rescue. The rest bit of the story was not pleasing though. By the time they took him to the hospital, he was declared brought dead and his elder brother was in coma. His vital organs were kept under life support systems. The government decided to keep him on those systems for a month before taking them off completely. But people believe that one day he would surely wake up from his sleep, so would the nation, rise high on hope after the catastrophe and from the clouds would echo the sweet sound of Zoru: "DAIJU I LOVE YOU!"

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