Published : Sep 13, 2017 12:30 IST

Excerpt from Neermai by Na. Muthuswamy, and translated by David Shulman and S Ramakrishnan.

The lamp hung from a hook at the end of a chain attached to a rafter. It was rusted and stirred up a memory of the person who hung it there. As the chain swayed, it cast the shadow of the lamp on the wall and the floor in turn. All the things in the room, and she too, moved with the shadow, displaced. The shadows on the floor climbed on to the wall, losing their shape, frightening us. You could give a name to every shadow. Among them her shadow danced like a huge phantom. It took some time to settle down, like coming out of a stupor.

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