The Tiger by the River

by Ravi Shanker

Don't be put off by the intricate plotting. Just soak up the atmosphere and believe that all the threads will be neatly tied up by the end of the novel.


A bulb with a white porcelain shade hung down from a thin black wire. A spider swung from it sleepily. Swati switched on the light, and sat cross legged on the grass mat spread on the floor. It was cool. The old records had been stacked neatly within palmyra scrolls and folds of thick vellum paper on a low shelf placed against the wall. Antatra had kept them clean he noticed.

Swati touched the palmyra rolls, then ran his finger along the hieroglyphic ridges that detailed the horoscope of the river Papansisni, its history and myth. The bulb swung slowly in the breeze, and rings of light swayed hypnotically, intersecting the orche-dark shades of the room as he read.


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