May 30, 2023


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Book Excerpt: The Hills are Burning by Anirban Bhattacharyya

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Read an exclusive excerpt from The Hills are Burning by Anirban Bhattacharyya (Published by Fingerprint Publishing, 2023)

The Hills Are Burning – Love. Memories. Revolution


27 July 1986

“Lapchey, Bhotey, Nepali . . . Hami Sabai Gorkhali!” (Lepchas, Bhutias, Nepali . . .We are all Gorkhas.)

A never-ending sea of people flowed down Rishi Road in Kalimpong, past the Dambar Chowk. Hundreds, maybe thousands, Tukai estimated.

Tukai stood at the entrance of Gompu’s Restaurant, hypnotized, watching this sea advance, wave after wave, holding placards, banners, chanting with their proud, loud voices.

Bang! Bang!! Bang-Bang!!

The sounds of gunfire rent the air, above the din of the chants. Tukai gasped as he suddenly saw people being lifted off the ground with wide gaping holes in their chests. There were screams, pandemonium, rushing feet…

With a blood-curdling scream of ‘Jai Gorkha’, a man swung his kukri at a CRPF jawan who was charging at him. The head still wearing the American GI-style helmet was sliced clean and it rolled down the street and came to a standstill. The eyelids of the jawan fluttered for a moment, like a malfunctioning robot, before it shut itself down. The decapitated body, though, ran for a short distance, with its arms swinging wildly and blood gushing like a fountain from the neck, before its knees buckled and the body collapsed.

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