Zara, the suicide-prone protagonist of ambiguous gender, is raised as a son by her father. She has never been able to cry and so when she meets Zaid, a former college-mate, she is immediately curious because of the tear she sees streaming down his face. Thus begins a quest to understand this wondrous facility of easy tears. Her search for answers leads her to a crumbling mansion where she encounters Waris, an ailing repository of ideals and wisdom who moonlights as a children’s mystery writer, and Sheila and her brood who live behind the mansion, treating poverty as their religion.
Here with Waris as her guide and mentor she unravels the spool of Zaid’s humanity to resolve the befuddling mystery of his tears, and in the process reaches deep into the heart of her own dilemma as well.
The plot, with elements of magic realism, is never what it seems and springs stunning surprises at key moments of the tale. Who is the victor in this story? Who is the real narrator? Do some people die or merely change forms? Whose figment of imagination eventually makes love to Zara? The answers are as intriguing as the surreal questions themselves.