Format: Single

She has been variously compared to the Moon, the Dil Sagar Lake, a spotted quail, a gazelle, the Sun on the Desert of Kutch, the Dawn, the Stars, and the young bamboo … Her eyes are black and her hair is black, and her eyebrows are black as leeches; her mouth is tiny and says witty things; her hands are tiny and have saved much money; her feet are tiny and have trodden on the naked hearts of many men.


This is from “On the City Wall” in Soldiers Three – In Black and White.

It is a description of Lalun, the beautiful courtesan, whose chamber above the Lahore City Gate is a centre of gossip and intrigue. One night, later in the story, she persuades the narrator to guide an old man through the city during a religious riot. He only discovers later that this was an important prisoner who had just escaped from his confinement by the British in Fort Amara.