They told him they would give him a job. He did not continue studies beyond class six or seven. He was not sure, which one. The government can't give you a job. We will give you one they said. But you must undergo a few months training.
What training? he thought. Training they said, intense training, trekking knowing nature, the hills, trees and jungles.
And where will I live? he thought. In huts, in forests, there you will know what life is. In the city it is fast money. Here, it will be hard earned. And what will the training be about? he asked.
You will find out, but you will not regret it.
His parents wept everyday. He was missing since six months.
The villagers whispered:' He has gone to those men'.
Which men? Those men in uniforms, the soldiers. Which soldiers? Foot soldiers. They look like army men. He began to like the life he led. It was fun to wield that thing and hear the shots. There were desperate cries. Don't shoot, please don't shoot. He laughed. Sometimes he cried inwardly, to cleanse his guilt. He did not mind this life at all.
The payments first came in a trickle, then large wads of notes. He licked his lips. He saw blood. He saw tears. Secretly he wept.
During free time he played games. He loved the life he led. Trekking, shooting, gun slinging on his shoulders. He heard his mother cry out. Mother, he shouted. Mother! Stealthily he entered a house.
Shh... he told the old man. It was pitch dark.
I won't do you any harm. I need shelter.
The old man with a semi lit lantern asked: 'Who are you?'.
'Just shelter for one night'.
Early morning, when he woke up with the cock's crow, he realized he was back home. The training was over, perhaps?