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Uncover the truth Rudyard Kipling conceals in his unforgettable masterpiece, The Jungle Book.
One-hundred rupees for the skin of Lungri…
A mysterious Chinese girl arrives in India, determined to claim the bounty on the man-eating tiger. Intrigued by her unrelenting purpose, Rudyard Kipling follows her into the jungle on a mystical adventure that will transform Lungri—The Lame One—into Shere Khan—Tiger Lord.
Did you know that in Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book (not the reimagined Disney version), Shere Khan was first called Lungri? Did you know that Kaa rescued Mowgli from the monkeys? And did you know that Shere Khan was killed by stampeding buffalo?
While researching my story, I stumbled upon an early draft of The Jungle Book. Rudyard Kipling had originally set the story in Rajputana. Later, he changed it to a location several hundred miles away, Seoni. It got me wondering…why?
The entire notion of a boy raised by wolves amidst talking animals was already fantastical. Everyone knew animals did not actually talk. Why did the location even matter? What was Kipling trying to hide?
What if the truth was actually stranger than fiction?
My short story, Shere Khan, weaves around Kipling’s story, to tell another story of the conflict between the east and the west, of clashes between cultures and countries, and of a mystical world that runs parallel to our own. It tells you why the man-eating tiger named Lungri—Lame One—was first and forever acknowledged as Shere Khan—Tiger Lord.
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