In this short story, we meet an elderly civil servant, who considers himself an expert on advising young Indian women who want to immigrate. One day he meets Miss Rehana, whose fiancé has instructed her to join him in England, but soon discovers that she is the teacher and he is the pupil.
Salman Rushdie aroused the fury of the Muslim world when his novel The Satanic Verses was published about twenty years ago. The book was considered blasphemous and banned by Moslem governments and several people were killed in riots and demonstrations in Pakistan and India. The Iranian Government pronounced a death sentence on the author and all those involved in the publication of the book throughout the world.
*blasphemous/blasphemy: if someone offends or insults something that is considered sacred and holy.
In October 1993 William Nygaard, Rushdie's Norwegian publisher, was shot and seriously injured outside his own home in Oslo, an incident which was linked to the fatwa, the death sentence. For the western world freedom of speech, the very essence of democracy, was at stake. Salman Rushdie, who was born in India but lives in Britain and is a British subject, had to go into hiding with the British Government's security services. Then, in the autumn of 1998, after the fatwa had lasted for almost 9 years, a pronouncement by the Iranian Government indicated that the fatwa was officially withdrawn and Salman Rushdie could once more resume the life of an ordinary British citizen.