Rajesh Parameswaran, “The Infamous Bengal Ming”

500x500_1864193_fileA tiger realizes he loves the zookeeper, but isn’t quite sure how to show it.

(from I Am An Executioner)

I stretched and smacked my mouth and licked my lips, tasting the familiar odours of the day. Already, I somehow sensed that this morning would be different from all the other mornings of my life. On the far side of the wall hippos mucked and splashed, and off in the distance the monkeys and the birds who had been up since pre-dawn darkness started their morning chorus in earnest, their caws and kee-kees and caroo-caroo-caroos echoing out over the breadth of our little kingdom. These were the same sounds I heard morning after morning, but this morning it was all more beautiful than ever; yes, this morning was different. It took me a little while to puzzle out the reason, but once I did, it was unmistakable.

I was in love.

If you like unreliable narrators you will love unreliable tiger narrators. Such a heightened state of being. Like so many lovesick fools, poor Ming doesn’t know what he’s doing or how doomed he is. But of course you’re rooting for him. This story’s a blast

I found “The Infamous Bengal Ming” on Flavorwire, in a piece on the “50 of the Scariest Short Stories of All Time.” I would say this one is more darkly funny than straight-up scary, but that’s beside the point. I’m sure I’ll be returning to this listicle for more suggestions. Listen to this story here.


One thought on “Rajesh Parameswaran, “The Infamous Bengal Ming”

  1. Jay

    Sounds like a great story! I love the passage you quoted and also the “unreliable tiger narrator” remark. :-) I wonder if the author had read or was familiar with Balzac’s A Passion in the Desert.

    Thanks for the link to “50 scariest stories” too. I read a lot of short stories and that will be a great resource.


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