In the fiction SHIKARAS IN THE RAIN, Cyril Mukalel uses characters’ similarities in spite of their cultural differences to explore what it is to be human. The images, fragrances, and sounds of Kashmir in the 1990s give texture and realism to the story of Saraswati, a Kashmiri Hindu girl. A burka abruptly replaces her innocence and childhood, when a group of Islamic terrorists infiltrate Kashmir from Pakistan and abduct her while she is on her way home from school. Her ill-fated circumstance couldn’t be predicted by the events incited when a daring and carefree young Indian soldier falls in love with her. He is compelled to find a way to free her from her gruesome past and risks his own life for her.
From the very first page, characters speak to a part of us- because they are a part of us. Mukalel brings us to a distant, yet familiar geographic and cultural atmosphere. Here, we discover what divides us as people, and more than that- we find the things we all have in common