The poems in the title sequence journey through a lifetime and focus on the big events - birth, love, death - that all readers will warm to. Elsewhere, Alvi's imagery creates a dreamlike atmosphere, lending a surrealism to the everyday. Fans of recent Anglo-Indian fiction will particularly enjoy her poems which deal with the immigrant's experience.
You can lock the doors, even
bolt the air, but there's no way
of keeping your daughters in at night.
It doesn't matter how old they are -
three or four, six or seven -
a tornado throws them down the path
and ravishes them.
Stars glint like metal in their hair.
from Eine Kleine Nachtmusik