Hemanta Bista was born in Kailali in 1996, the year that the Maoists started their 'people's war'. When he was six the police station next to his home in Motipur near Lamki was attacked and seven policemen were killed. The police station lay in ruins and students from a nearby school didn't venture in because they thought it was haunted.
But in 2003, when two photographers were in the building curiosity got the better of them and Hemanta and his friend Aman went inside and were peering through a mortar hole when Amrit Gurung clicked the now-famous photograph which was chosen for the cover of the book, A People War. Published by nepalaya, the book is a pictorial story of Nepal's ten-year conflict.
Four years later, when a travelling exhibition of pictures from the book arrived in Dhangadi on Tuesday Hemanta was asked to inaugurate it by unveiling his own photograph .
"I never thought I'd be asked to inaugurate this exhibition," Hemanta said, "but the pictures also made me sad. I hope we don't see a war like this again."
Hemanta misses his classmate Aman, who is also in the picture. Aman's mother died after the picture was taken and his father took him away to India where he doesn't go to school anymore and works in a restaurant. In Motipur itself, the hole in the wall has been patched up and the police post is being rebuilt-a sign that the country is finally coming out of the ravages of war.