Sidharth Vardhan

The Songs They Sang

(A short fiction by Sidharth Vardhan July 15, 2018)   PART I I probably know more about Adiyaas then anyone else does. The Empire has long known that they have dwelled in the difficult conditions of these mountains in the North of empire. In fact, I myself have been part of several of Empire’s efforts to seek them out, so as to civilize them. Several times the whole of their communities have fled when we were just moments from getting hold of them. A few times, some of them have actually been caught. The ones that were caught were almost always old or sick, too weak to move, but never children. Few who could walk were too weak to go too far –we had to carry them all on horses. These ‘deserted’ ones were always submissive – not crying, not wailing, not resisting.  Unfortunately, we were forbidden killing those who give themselves up. The Empire still hoped to try and understand about ways of the Adiyaas from them.  They had been deserted, you could expect them to betray; but no, not one of them did. They wouldn’t understand our language when we tried to speak to them. Even in the