The Photograph
Tirumal Mundargi

"Shishir! Shishir!" calls Putty the parrot from the cage. From the kitchen's barred window I peer into the dark green forest that borders the eight-feet high compound wall.

"Shh!" I say, stepping out into the drawing room. "Shishir isn't here."

"Shishir! Shishir!" Putty says again.

"Shishir has gone into the forest, riding his Enfield. He rides pretty fast, Putty. Yesterday a cheetah chased him, but couldn't catch up." I look up at his framed photograph on the wall: a gun in his hand, a dead tiger lying on the ground.

Putty flutters its wings, shivers a bit, and starts pecking at the apple. I go inside, the kerosene stove whirring on the kitchen platform. Putty says, "Shishir! Shishir" and urad dal donuts hiss in the boiling oil.

Tirumal Mundargi has stories in elimae, Monkeybicycle, Writers' Bloc and others.

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Detail of illustration on main page courtesy of bijijoo.

Read other TM work from the archive.

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