K. K. Harouni
K. K. Harouni is the estate owner around whom the entire short story collection revolves. He is a powerful figure of the past stuck in the ever-changing sweep of the present. In his old age, K. K. simply wants peace and companionship, so he takes Husna as his mistress. While K. K. searches for some sense of comfort, the others around him take advantage of his aging state. The Harouni estate bleeds money, and the lands that have belonged to his family for generations are abruptly sold away, yet K. K. appears to show little concern over the state of his affairs. He dies bitter, cursing those around him.
Nawabdin the Electrician
Nawab is a successful manager on the Harouni estate, and his efforts are rewarded when he is given a motorcycle to use as he conducts his business. However, a sense of materialism takes over Nawab, and when he is assaulted by a robber who brandishes a gun, Nawab risks his life to hold on to the motorcycle. Even in the face of the robber’s death, Nawab remains cold and refuses to forgive him.
Saleema has hopes of finding a better life outside the confines of addiction and abuse that bind her family. Yet even when her life falls into the same pattern once her husband begins using amphetamines, she hopes for things to turn around. She believes in her relationship with Rafik and cannot bear the sense of obligation that he has to his aging wife and their sons. Ultimately, Saleema is not strong enough to overcome the circumstances of her birth, and she succumbs to the dangerous life of the city.
Over the course of many years, Jaglani has taken advantage of his employer, K. K. Harouni, and he has become a rich man in the process. He has spent his life being dishonest, and once he finds love, his past ills come back to haunt him. He cannot comprehend why Zainab refuses to give her love to him even though she submits her body readily. Even on his deathbed, Jaglani curses Zainab for never having loved him, and all he wants is power and position for his...
(The entire section is 868 words.)