October 22, 2021

KITAAB

Connecting Asian writers with global readers

Excerpts from 2012 Nights: Schahriar the Cat by Vipul Rikhi

1 min read

2012 Nights‘2012 Nights’ picks up on the Arabian Nights motif of storytelling as a way to avert death and disaster, and revisits it for our times. So there are reworked versions of Sindbad, Ali Baba and Aladdin, among a series of other mythological, historical and allegorical tales.

Perhaps I should describe Schahriar and how I found him (or how he found me), in order to explain these nightmares.

Strictly speaking, Schahriar was Karuna’s find. It was a balmy summer evening, as always, when she walked in the front door holding an incredibly fierce-looking tomcat in her arms. He was fully grown, and fat. He bared his fangs often, as if everything in the world rightly excited his mistrust. His eyes were so limpid that they seemed to melt into their very sockets. The dark pupil at the centre of that light, liquid sea of glaze constantly contracted and expanded, like an omen. He lost no love for anybody. He looked like a wild beast trapped in a cat’s body.

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