Over The Rainbow Bridge

Hatchu opened his eyes and found himself in a mesmerising meadow of greens. The constant pain in his hind limbs was no more there. Neither was there the nagging agony in his kidneys. He slowly lifted his right leg just a little bit to mark his territory. He was scared, that like every time, there…

Bat Brigade

“Steady your breathing Naba. You are one with the forest. The jungle is an extension of you, an amplification of your senses. That which grows, creeps, crawls, and moves in it – you are aware of its presence. The night is your prowl and darkness your element,” whispered the ninety-year-old warrior Akoijam to his prodigy. War…

The Last Click

At 141 Surendranath Banerjee Road in the New Market area of Dharamtala, in the post-colonial city of Kolkata, stands a dilapidated building named Photographe. Established in 1840 by famous Calcutta lensman William Howard from Britain, the studio was taken over by the British photographer and traveller duo – Samuel Bourne and Charles Shepherd and renamed…

Duburee

Atop a small hill, on the banks of the mighty Damodar river in the steel city of Durgapur in the Bankura district of the state of West Bengal in the Indian subcontinent stood a rickety little mud cottage. In front of this tiny earthen adobe towered a metal and concrete two-way vehicular bridge atop a…

Kaali of Malana

In a small stone tribal hut devoid of any hint of natural light, under an abnormally pitch-black night sky, with the moon and the stars hidden behind a veil of a never seen before black cloud, a mother gave birth to an unnaturally dark-skinned curly-haired girlchild. At 8,600 feet above sea level, isolated from the…

Hucchuman And His Humber

Horogobindo Haldar was the funniest looking man anyone could ever come across. A strikingly protruding lower lip & jaw topped with a tiny button nose coupled with a pair of beady and squinty eyes under a large shiny dome with a few strands of flickering hair perfectly sat in place to create his hilarious look….

The Gatekeeper

Neither very far from the hustle-bustle of the Kolkata city nor very deep in the lap of the South 24 Parganas rural landscape stood an ageing gated community, the Adidham Housing Complex. It was developed in the year 1937, a decade prior to Indian independence. At the time of its inception, the project was a…

Hunter’s Moon

Chandrabhanu lay motionless as a rock on the wet and cold forest floor, camouflaged in the colours of the jungle like a predator patiently waiting for his score. Neither the seldom trickling of the night dew nor the occasional insects crawling across his seasoned skin made him blink or move. The creature he was after…

Flame Of The Forest

Deep in the jungles of Ajodhya Hill and Forest Reserve Area in the Purulia district of the state of West Bengal in India, blossomed the sacred Dhak tree or the Butea monosperma. Locally known as the Palash, it was nicknamed Bastard Teak by the Britishers. Much of its ancient forest tracts lying in the historic Doab…

The Dom And The Goddess

In the year 1690 on the banks of the river Bhāgirathi-Hooghly locally known as the Kali-Ganga or Ganges in the ancient village of Sutanuti or India’s present-day Kolkata city stood a mesmerising idol of the Hindu Goddess Kali under the shade of a bowing colossal Neem tree. The appearance of the idol was simply bone-chilling. Her…