Certainly, London at the turn of the twentieth century is home to the world championship of wrestling, but the British wrestlers know nothing of the giant Kikkar Singh, for example, who once uprooted an acacia tree bare-handed, just because it was disrupting his view. They know nothing of pehlwans: they know nothing of the brothers Gama and Imam. The Lion and Panther have come from Lahore to become champions—but first they must find an opponent willing to be faced.
“Lion and Panther in London” captures the yearning and dislocation of young men far from home, even as brotherly rivalry fails to disappear—the explosive, warm-hearted first story in Tania James’s acclaimed collection Aerogrammes.
Tania James is the author of the novel Atlas of Unknowns and the short story collection Aerogrammes. Her fiction has appeared in Boston Review, Granta, Guernica, One Story, A Public Space, and The Kenyon Review. She lives in Washington, D.C.