Stories that bring to life the complexities involved in being Indian and Muslim. In this collection of stories, Rakhshanda Jalil draws attention to the lives of the Indian Muslim, not the marginalized or ghettoized Muslims of popular stereotype but ordinary, mainstream ones.
The minutiae of everyday life are captured as layers of identities are peeled back to reveal people who are strangely recognizable in their ordinariness. Perfectly engraved cameos of grief and separation, frailty and strength, resilience and defeat, revenge and jealousy glow in the tautly strung warp and weft of her stories.
While the title story is an exquisite invocation of a vanished world, the others deal with contemporary, commonplace issues. The illusion of domestic harmony, the discord that breeds within a marriage, the definitions of success or failure; the inexplicability of what attracts one person to another ?the author explores all this and more as she lays bare a world at once familiar and little known.