The Indian Diaspora






Alistair is a British representative for the World Wildlife Organization, based in Karachi with his Jewish-American wife Hannah. Superficially, they have an idyllic ex-patriate lifestyle, but there is an undercurrent of tension beneath
the smooth surface of their marriage.

Alistair resents Hannah's family and their constant interference in the couple's life. Her father is a US senator with contacts everywhere, and there seems no way of escaping his influence. But more seriously, Hannah is unable to conceive a child, and despite endless tests and exploratory surgery, doctors are unable to explain why.

Gradually, the desire to have a baby begins to consume Hannah and she persuades a reluctant Alistair to go with her for three days to the shrine of Gulab Shah, run by eunuchs and with a reputation for curing infertility. The gamble works and Hannah conceives, after a bizarre ceremony during which she converts to Islam, and coaxes Alistair to do the same.

But as their greatest wish comes true, so Alistair and Hannah's cozy lifestyle begins to disintegrate. Alistair has
a brief affair with Samira, the friend who told them about the shrine, and Hannah's conversion seems likely to cause a diplomatic incident when her family become involved. And the eunuchs from the shrine will not leave the young couple alone, but seem to think they have a share in Hannah's baby.

As tension mounts, the dangerous cocktail of clashing cultures and religious beliefs explodes in the faces of everyone involved, leaving the guilty and the innocent alike damaged in one way or another.


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