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The Dragons who brought the sun to Tangra

Updated: Oct 1, 2020

These short pieces are speculative /fictional reconstructions of newspaper and archival stories about the Indian-Chinese community


They had heard that this former swamp that they now called home-factory, factory-home had been cursed in ancient times when gods and rakshasas roamed the earth.


It was not always like this and back then this swamp was known as the garden of eternal light, populated with animals, fruits and flowers that now only exists in dreams. It was presided over by Shvan, a god that took the form or a dog assigned to guard the garden. Despite his virtues of sincerity, loyalty and bravery- Shvan had one fatal flaw- jealousy. Having heard from childhood of the feats of his distant cousin Tiangou- venerated in China for having swallowed the moon, Shvan was determined to outdo Tiangou.


Blinded by jealousy and unchecked by wise counsel, Shvan decided that he would battle Surya and ingest him whole. Needless to say the escapade turned out to be a non starter and barely had Shvan expanded his muzzle when Surya burned down the garden and everything that grew in it. Reduced to a swamp, Surya cursed Shvan and his garden to an eternity of darkness and declared that he would never set foot on this garden until a million dragons danced in prayer.


Hearing of Shvan’s plight, Tiangou sent across a group of his followers to assist Shvan and every year thousands -soon to be a million-dragons dance with a hope of bringing down the sun to Tangra.

WHEN DRAGONS DANCE: THE CHINESE IN CALCUTTA CELEBRATE THEIR NEW YEAR, The Times of India (1861-current); Feb 18, 1979

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