Date of Thesis



Shatranj contains the prologue and first five chapters of an in-progress novel completed as an Honors Thesis in Creative Writing. The story is set in Mumbai, India and tells the story of a fictional assassin company called the Fireflies. The story is told through the perspectives of multiple characters; Ishan, the protagonist, a new recruit to the group; Rhea a former Firefly who left the group and joined a group of other Firefly deserters; Tahiliani, one of the heads of the group; and Akash, a senior member of the Fireflies who desperately wants to prove himself and replace Tahiliani as head of the group. The prologue and the first five chapters serve to set the scene, hint at past events, as well as explain the function of the Fireflies and the hierarchy within the group. Ishan's story begins with his first assassination and continues every alternate chapter. The rest of the chapters deal with each of the POV side characters and their situations. Akash, unsatisfied with his life, yearns to take over from Tahiliani, who is shattered by events of the past. Rhea, who is forming a group of Firefly runaways returns to Mumbai in the hopes of turning some of the Fireflies to their side. Tensions rise, secrets are highlighted, and each character's position on the chessboard is established. These chapters serve to showcase the skills and techniques the author has learned after four years of writing classes at Bard College and Bucknell University. It can be classified as a work of fiction.


Creative writing, Fiction, India

Access Type

Honors Thesis

Degree Type

Bachelor of Arts



First Advisor

Robert Rosenberg