What happens to Paradise when its cracks begin to show?
Kashmir, the famed ‘paradise on earth’. As yet untouched by violence but with its shadows looming at the edges. Far inside it is an alley called Ailan Gali. Deep, dark, narrow, where houses stand on a finger’s width of space and lean crookedly against one another. Even thieves dare not enter this labyrinth.
The people who live and love here cling on to their old ways, sharing stories, sharing food, sharing joys and sorrows, sufficient unto themselves. But the outside world beckons, youngsters begin to leave, and slowly change makes its way into Ailan Gali only to come face to face with the change that has insidously been working its way into the lives of those who are the alley’s permanent residents.
This funny, poignant, evocative story is a classic of Hindi literature, available in English translation for the first time.