Post Fiction – The Sharks

Past. He was born in a village near Calicut among the coconut trees. He learnt to climb them before he could read. Lean yet strong, he grew up to become a fisherman. He married a girl from the neighbouring village. She bore him a daughter and a son.

Present. His catch is dwindling daily. The fish are going away. The gods must be displeased. The local godman recommends a sacrifice. The local communist party thalaivar (head) recommends patience, rationality and austerity. The godman shows him the large collection of small skulls in his inner chamber and boasts of his past successes. The godman offers unreal hope. The thalaivar offers real desperation. What is he going to do? 

Future. He could sacrifice his son. Or his daughter. No. He will take his fishing knives and pay a visit to the godman’s den. He will kill the godman, row a few kilometres out and offer the holy man’s body to the goddess of the sea. The goddess demands the blood of innocents. The sharks will make do with any sort. Small sharks. Nettable sharks. 500 Rs a kg. He will thank the godman for giving up his life to make this miracle happen.

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