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“Enough of play, come on in.” Ma calls out as I enjoy a day outdoors. It’s spring and flowers bloom in the valley. I ought to be studying, with mid-term exams around the corner. But then, exams seem to be rather doubtful this time, they blew up the school last week. You can’t bomb schools and hospitals it’s said, but all seems to be fair in war.

But it’s no war, we seldom retaliate. We are, but a bunch of refugees; with no army, and no place of our own.

I gaze listlessly at the hills, Ma says she still recalls the fragrance of her garden, the green of her apple orchard, and the warmth of her cosy wood villa. She was all of five when some newly commissioned officers banged at her door, and overnight, an entire state was displaced and pushed to the barren mountains.

Three decades and the world looks on, as I manage to survive in filth, with a dead father, crippled siblings, wrecked houses, and random missiles flying overhead.

But someday, I swear, you’ll return Ma. I’ll take you. To the blooming valley, to your apple orchard, to the place you once called home.

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