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Our Lady of Alice Bhatti

by Mohammed Hanif

Junior nurse, Alice Bhatti, has observed that women in Pakistan who attract the wrong kind of attention often end up in A&E or worse. No wonder she doesn't seem to trust us and doesn't invite us into her confidence. It's unnerving, but nevertheless her story must be told. So, bit by bit, we piece together the darkly comic, possibly miraculous, and ultimately tragic story of her life.

Extract

'And he was waving that real cock of his in my face.'
Alice Bhatti feels that Sister Hina Alvi understands perfectly well what she is talking about but doesn't want to agree with her because that might compromise her official status. She doesn't want to be misquoted later. Sister Hina Alvi feels powerless and doesn't want to admit to being powerless. God knows how vast the Senior's family connections are. God knows how long Sister Hina Alvi has known them. What if she herself has been through the same situation? She obviously wouldn't want to bring that up. She wants to start blaming the victim before the victim can blame anyone else. She wants to be remembered as a solid administrator.

Parallels

So That You Can Know Me by Yasmin Hameed (editor)
 

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