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…

Bhuto’s Banyan Tree

On a chilly December morning, as the first rays of sunlight pierced through the veil of fog created by the condensing water vapour rising from the forgotten Adi Ganga river passing nearby, it revealed the silhouette of a massive and ancient banyan tree the likes of which perhaps nowhere else could anyone find. The golden beams of…

The Boatman

Robi’s boat gently swayed in the cool evening breeze of the mighty Ganges at the mouth of the estuary as he prepared his supper in it for the night, a little bit of rice, a bowl of dal and two fried Tilapias. His life as a boatman in this part of the river, especially after dark…

Maratha Ditch

Savitri hummed the ancient Bengali lullaby – “Khoka ghumalo, para juralo, Bargi elo deshe. Bulbulite dhan kheyechhe, khazna debo kishe? (My boy has fallen asleep, silence has set in the locality, the Bargis have come to our state. Passerine songbirds have eaten the rice grains, how shall I pay my taxes?) She was trying to make…

The Lighthouse

Khurram Kha anxiously glimpsed at the trickling sand in the hourglass. Glanced up towards the night sky, and then gazed at the frothy ivory waves lit up by the moonlight, lashing on the ancient and rugged rocky cliff-shore, on which stood his lighthouse, and finally looked at his daughter standing on the edge of the…

Donali – The Shotgun Of Haider Ali

In 1904 in the city of Defiance in the state of Ohio in the East North Central region of the Midwestern United States, Daniel Myron Lefever and his sons Charles, Frank, and George crafted some of the best shotguns ever made. Almost one-hundred years later in the year 2000, one of those original guns, a…

The Blue Indians

The year is 3,300 BC, Bronze Age begins in the Near East. The passage tomb of Newgrange is built on the north side of the River Boyne in Ireland. The Ness of Brodgar is built in the Heart of Neolithic Orkney in Scotland. The Harappan Civilisation of the Indus Valley dawns in the Punjab province…

Bandook Gali – Gun Lane

Fourteen-year-old Abadan finds a one-hundred-year-old Mauser Construktion 96 semi-automatic broom-handle pistol encased in its legendary walnut holster cum detachable shoulder-butt, wrapped in a disintegrating rag with the faded tag – Messrs Rodda & Company, buried under a rock in the garden inside the Zoroastrian fire temple of Anjuman Atash Adran. The year was 2014, and the…