Tuesday, July 15, 2014


Cover illustration by Yasha Mushtaq Mir
It was an unsettling sight. He went asking for it, and he got it good. As he lay with his head down, blood seethed all across his back, and on it lay in a tangled pile, the carcasses of the dead sons and daughters of Niobe, all fourteen of them. She sat at the top, with an impassive face, tears spilling out and soaking into the blood lapping against her hem. Her face was twisted in a faraway gaze like that of somebody who has seen the end.  She was supposed to be as beautiful as Aphrodite, but grief veiled it all. The twins were not in sight. It was just the heap of dead bodies, and Niobe above it. Arrows that pierced the stiffs fanned out as rays all around her. The sad sight struck the end of many things, and not just the lives of the fourteen. It was all over for their mother. But she was the one who asked for it, and the twins gave it to her, right there, right then.

As each one of her darling children dropped down dead at her feet, she couldn’t meet eyes with the mother of the twins whom she had earlier outraged in public. “I got fourteen; seven sons and seven daughters, and against their might, her twins don’t stand a chance!” she had earlier scoffed from the podium. But then little did she know that the twins would call it war, and drown it all in a flood of blood. Those tears- she would shed till her very end, but the blood on his back would dry up in a day or so. One had to carefully look in order to see the details, as the lines were fresh and bleeding. He lay on the futon prostrate with the ceiling fan switched on the whole day, perhaps to cool the sting down. Tuck must be back in town. It couldn't have been anybody else. He was majorly into these big themes. The clowns who ran shop in the shacks along the beach pricking butterflies and scorpions on hippies can't hold a candle to this, because this one was a perfect tattoo, and it called for a real artist. 


  1. Very touching Jitesh .. Nicely carved out emotions :)

  2. I liked the way you write Jitesh..very engaging and detailed description. I remember your story about a prostitute...that was really a good one... Keep writing... :-)

  3. There are very deep emotions penned in this one, but i just couldn't place where the story ended up.Beautiful and complex. *confused*

  4. Detailed & poignantly etched out, Jithesh.
    This seems so real.
    Wish there were no killings...

  5. @yasha...i loved the cover pic, beautiful simple strokes complement the story very well. @jithesh...i liked the subtle twist to the otherwise macabre story.


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