14 September 2011
A Plain Tale from the Hills
I had recently finished (for perhaps the third time) Kipling’s Plain Tales from the Hills, a masterly collection of short stories originally published in the Lahore Civil and Military Gazette, a newspaper at which he worked as a young man. Rather presumptuously, I decided to try writing a story of the same kind – a kind of student piece in the manner of Kipling, in which Nuwara Eliya, the Ceylonese equivalent of Simla, would provide the frame, just as Simla did for the original Plain Tales. I don’t know how well I succeeded, but the magazine, Himal Southasian, accepted the piece for publication. You can read it here, and I hope you will, though if you can find and buy a copy of the magazine and read it there, that would be even better.
The central conceit, by the way, is stolen from another famous master of the short story, Jorge Luis Borges. Can you identify the story in which it appears?