Bihzad is an artist struggling to come to terms with the true meaning of his talent. This is a tale of an obsession to paint, and an obsession to be the best, and og how worldly things - love, lust, alcohol, pride, ambition - get in the way, and have to be overcome.
Wandering from room to room, he'd come upon Zuhra and the eunuch. She would be applying colour to his nails, braiding his hair, like mother or daughter, or applying a burning paste to his body to remove his hair. The boy screamed as she spread the rusma, then scraped it off with the sharp edge of a mussel shell, threatening to rip off the erring strands with her teeth.