Fishes by Tushar Jain Mr. Moshomoto, the renowned curator, felt the ulcer roil in the pit of his stomach, when the monsoons left, leaving in their wake, in his posh duplex, an infestation of fishes there were carps in the mouse-holes, and grubby herrings choked all the shower drains, and the guppies [oh, the guppies!] scurried around, dragging squares of bread crusts under the dresser, or salted orange rinds over the duvet there was a school of mackerel homed in the bumps under the rug, there were cuttlefish in the kitchen, lunging at the curtains, snapping at the trout that either clutched at the pleats of the Belgian drapes, or had wormed to the rose-pots, on the cherry-wood armoire from a grey jar marked ‘Sugar’, a Japanese eel, Anguilla japonica, had reeled out banana skins, and dragged them to savour in Mr. Moto’s prized, [not to mention, leisurely] Origami vase in the glass cabinet, behind the china, there were hamlets poised against an ornamental skull [“to barracuda or not to barracuda, that is the question!”], and at last, at the fireplace, piled in embers, ash, and cindery pinewood, a halibut kept gazing into the crisp orange screen of a summer fire Mr. Moshomoto, rubbing his sore eyes, clawing the beads of moisture on his itching scalp, grimly admitted that his little India trip, so far, wasn’t exactly working out
Tushar Jain is an Indian poet, playwright, and author. He was the winner of the Srinivas Rayaprol Poetry Prize, 2012 and a winner of the Poetry with Prakriti Prize, 2013. Subsequently, he won the RL Poetry Award, 2014. He was a winner of the DWL Short Story Contest 2014 for his short story “A humiliating day for [Dr.] Balachander”. He won the Toto Funds the Arts Award for Creative Writing, 2016. His work has been published or is forthcoming in Antiserious, The Nervous Breakdown, RaedLeaf Poetry, Papercuts, streetcake magazine, The Sierra Nevada Review, The Young Ravens Literary Review and elsewhere.