''She was meant to teach him about manners and behaviour, about love-making and its pleasures beyond the act itself. Instead. he learned about the vulnerability of the human heart and the way it defies reason.'
'Plagued by terminal illness, Khalid Sharif leaves his home in Calcutta to visit his Australian son, Javed. Javed is confounded by the old man's rebellious idiosyncrasies that contradict a life-long impression of a dull, predictable father who had devoted his life to business and family. What Javed does not know is that, as a young man, Khalid Sharif was sent to a sophisticated house of courtesans for a cultural education. Against convention, he fell in love with a young courtesan, Nazli, and asked her to marry him. An outraged family pressured him into breaking his betrothal. It is this broken promise that continues to haunt Khalid Sharif for the rest of his life.
'As he gets close to death, memories of his youth, especially his passion for Nazli, become more vivid. ' (Publication summary)