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The Hills - Summary

“The Hills” by Manoj Das  - summary

“The Hills” is a sensitive story on the need for ecological conservation by Manoj Das, a bilingual poet, short story writer, essayist, critic and editor, who writes in both Oriya and English. It narrates the anxieties of a lawyer Jaidev at being the mouth piece for illegal construction of a quarry by destroying the hills in Salanda.

Jaidev narrates two memorable experiences that happens in his life to his client, a millionaire Sajan Roy and his two partners. Sajan Roy had approached Jaidev for legal advice regarding the building of a quarry in Salanda. Jaidev didn't know that the quarry was to be constructed by destroying the Salanda hills.

Jaidev had two memorable experiences associated with the place Salanda. Forty years before he had been to Salanda along with his mentor Acharya, the great legal luminary and his friend Sagar Chowdhury. They had stayed in a bungalow built by the Raja. The Raja wanted legal advice from Acharya for protecting his rights over the land. Both Jaidev and Sagar Chowdhury were attracted by the three hills of Salanda which were covered with dense forest. Chowdhury spent a whole night staring at one of the hill tops. The next morning he told them how flashes of lightning at night had revealed a deserted castle on top of the middle hill and its interiors to him. But he couldn't find it in the morning. Nobody believed Chowdhury and they made fun of him. The next morning Chowdhury went missing. Raja’s men searched for Chowdhury everywhere but he was never found. Sajan Roy was least interested in Jaidev’s experience and made fun of him. Jaidev felt humiliated and decided not to tell him about his second incident in Salanda.

The second incident happened twenty years later when Jaidev got an opportunity to go to Salanda a second time. But he was sad to see half of the forest destroyed. He decided to go and look for Sagar Chowdhury, but met a hermit instead at the foot of the hills. He described his experience to the hermit and asked him what might have happened to Chowdhury. The hermit said that Chowdhury might have died for a new person to emerge or he might have found some hidden God instead of some sleeping beauty in the castle. Jaidev returned to his town confused about Sagar Chowdhury and the identity of the hermit.

When Jaidev returned to Salanda a third time with Sajan Roy to inspect the site, half of the hills and the forest had disappeared. The hills were transformed into a quarry. Sajan Roy wanted Jaidev to give him legal advice for the illegal construction of the quarry. Jaidev was hurt at the poor situation of the forest and pushed Sajan Roy to the ground. He was ashamed of speaking for such people in his life.

The story describes how the selfish desires of men lead to the destruction of nature.

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  1. Nice to read the story.very intresting says about the distroying of the of the beautiful story is'the hills'

  2. Thanks ...It's my xam time..really helpful notes

  3. it will help and motivate people to know the consequences of illegal construction of quarrya nd other illegal destroyment of nature , it will be the one of my favorite story i ever read in my life with the awareness about nature, i hope manoj das will continue his billiguel writing .

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