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Mistakes or rather a drastic step lingered in his mind space. The tragedies they caused and the memories they created couldn’t be erased. But they could be forgotten. Either that or one could ‘move on’. He was miserable at forgetting. In today’s world, he was cautioned that his way of thinking was rare. All around him, everyone had forgotten that tragedy, that betrayal of all things pure. But he held on to it tighter than before.

For in that moment of struggle, his action and reaction defined him and his every step for years. It was an aberration from his otherwise sombre and demure personality.

It was that time when there was a shootout in the local park. A group of Russians were shot. The anti-Russian blood in the small town was still strong. No body stopped the shooting. The next day no one even condemned it. None of the tourists died but they were all severely injured. Still, not a word was said, written or whispered against the shooters.

He was distressed by it all. Being an editor in the local paper, he was outraged. So, he wrote an editorial on the shooting and the intolerance underlying the shoot out. His chief thrashed it. After the chief left, he slipped it in.

The following day letters to the editor, angry calls, attacks on the office all forced the chief to fire him. In that moment he didn’t realise the risk he took. He couldn’t find a job after that. He survived on doing odd jobs in places where no one would know who he is.

Now, ten years later, everyone seems to have forgotten. He has a job again in a newspaper. He didn’t know if he should be happy or sad. He was able to write again after all; but he was agonised by the fact that his defining moment of defiance and the shootout preceding it was forgotten.

There was just the comfortable calm of everyone, overshadowed by his uncomfortable silence.

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