I am writing a novel with the working title Karachi Dreams.
Sadiq is a young Swiss man in Zurich, where he feels free but rootless. He moves to Karachi, the city of his birth, purchases the Apollo cinema, and shows art-house films there.
His film selection incites the wrath of a religious cleric. In a fatwa, the cleric calls for Sadiq’s murder and the destruction of the cinema.
Another cleric publishes a counter-fatwa, branding the first cleric a coward and taking sides with Sadiq. Fierce riots erupt between opponents and supporters.
Leila, a Pakistani nuclear physicist, falls in love with Sadiq. She tries to persuade him to return to Zurich and take her with him, hoping for a life of freedom there. However, Sadiq sees her as the embodiment of the home he has longed for.
“Karachi Dreams” is a narrative along competing concepts of life and society, conflicting ideas of man and the world. The characters ask whether freedom and home can coexist or if they are merely illusions.
The division of the Indian subcontinent into Pakistan and India, the two countries' nuclear bomb programmes and Switzerland's involvement in the colonisation of India form the historical background to this novel, which is set between 1995 and 1997.