Tony a mountaineer snow swept and lands at high perched Kalash hot caves.His step mother and sister secretly invovled in fresh trade.The pagan Kalash treat his injuries.
Synopsis- The Kalash is a tribe descendent of Alexander the great still surviving in North-Western Pakistan living in high mountains. An injured mountaineer lands amid them who live in naturally heated caves and story revolves around the life of Tony, hero of novel whose love, romance and adventure with them depicted.
Tony is a loner, orphaned at young age since his father a Colonel died in action, his real mother expired when he was young, father married again, stepmother is not congenial to him, and he is unaware that his stepmother and stepsister are involved in sex trade. His girl friend is Tania, the only daughter of a serving Brigadier in Pakistan army. After doing his Masters he goes without informing to his friend and family to mountaineering a hobby he has but it is also an escapist tendency in his character that led him not to face boldly the reality of his life.
At base camp of expedition, he went to rehearse climbing not caring for a warning by team leader not to go outside due to adverse weather forecast and a local porter is foreboding,
” There are many jinni, ghosts, and snow-bounded souls of men and women, who haunt mountain climbers. Not go sahib.”
A sudden snowstorm swept him, into an abyss and he falls on a tree near a mountainous settlement.
Pari Gul a young girl sees him dangling on a tree and says,
‘The snow god is coming to my help.’
She belongs to Kalash tribe a descendent of Alexander the great and they rescue him from tree. Those pagans are living in isolated naturally heated caves on a high mountain ledge where they treat Tony of multiple fractures sustained during fall from a cliff. Their chief, who is pitiful old man, tells him to remain with them until next summer as their guest because in winter the ledge remains inaccessible from everywhere due to snow. In desperation, he asks old man one day after gaining a little health,
“What about any reachable settlement in Pakistan side?”
“Pakistan side is more treacherous and it takes fifteen days trek to reach the nearest village in Chitral in summers. Ascend and descends are steeper than Afghan side mountain walls and it is a somewhat vertical piped mountain fortifications around us in which we are living, our god has mercifully given heated that cave to save us from evil doers, cold harsh weather and to live in peace with prosperity without any interference from misguided Pathan Muslims living far below.”
Pari Gul was dainty little orphaned girl and Maya was grown up beautiful young woman of Kalash. It is not long before Tony realizes that clan chief’s daughter, Maya is seducing him, and he is afraid of her advances though the tribe is promiscuous. Earthly Maya tries to charm him in many methods and later with her sorcery to induce in him weird visions.
While her stepmother, Jasmine and stepsister, Yasmeen presume him dead after mountaineering club informs them that Tony is missing from base camp.
Bir, a young ibex like climber of mountain and brother of Pari Gul arrives with winter stores and lives in the same cave where Tony is living and they develop the rapport of understanding with one another. He reassures to take him to his home next summer from a place where rescue helicopters cannot land to height of High Mountain and its very steep site.
Tony wounds slightly heal and he limps in walking. He then hears strange sounds and sees scenes as if he is sitting in a cinema. In one vision, he observes that his stepmother and stepsister are whoring and his suspicion of them about it becomes a fact in his mind, its ignominy compels him to consider Maya’s overtures less sinful. Meanwhile his step relations try to take over a large farm that his father bequeathed him. They approach Brigs Happy for a help in settlement of property that these feudal tries to grab, Brig is a friend of Toni’s late father, whose only daughter is close friend of Tony. His real name is Ali. Brig becomes indifferent to Jasmine and Yasmeen’s greedy desire to own estate. Tania and Toni’s relationship though deep rooted is in a problem due to her father’s reluctance to marry her daughter in an immoral family and Tania becomes worried after hearing the news of death of Tony though in her heart she believes that he is alive. She also becomes distressed due to her adoration towards father and her strong loveable attraction to Tony.
Old man dies And summer come. Kalash demand money to take him to valleys, he promises to pay them and then they take him on their back to descend treacherous mountains through adventures to another accessible hot spring while Maya accompany then in the trek downwards from the ledge to a town from where Tony can find conveyance to go home. Brig Happy pays the money and Tony comes to Tania’s house to live with her. Maya marries another Kalash man of a valley. Tony operated on by an orthopedic surgeon and Tania nurses him. He recovers and gives upper storey portion to his steps to live separately in the house.
Maya and her husband become Muslim and associate with extremist to invade the ledge on the mountain. They destroy Kalash high perch settlement and Pari Gul and Bir escape to come to Islamabad to live with Tony. Kalash girl has grown up little. Day Tony takes her to Murree hills and a pedophilic instinct buds in Tony that over took his otherwise gentle behavior. He grabs her waist by his one hand to move her mouth towards his own on the precipice and at same time with other hand finger darts her, Pari Gul wriggles to say,
“You devil, not an angel I presumed earlier and now I am going to my god Inder.”
She dies by leaping from ledge and Tania ditched Tony by marrying another person.
“A god has descended on the gorge tree and you hurry otherwise he will fly again to heaven.”
The old man thought his granddaughter has been becoming insane and indifferently inquired,
“What are you saying? Are you in your senses?”
“Yes, Grand pa I have seen it with my own eyes if you do not believe come with me and I will show you the miracle of descending of a deity on the tree.”
The old man went with her to see a mountain climber precariously perching on the tree. He then asked the girl,
“Gul, go to your uncles and ask them to come with a ladder and rope. Hurry. We have to save a life of a human. He is not a god but an unfortunate climber.”
Gul dashed towards cave dwellings while old man contemplated that no mountaineering expedition ever passed through their secret hide out and from where the man came to perch on tree or had he fallen from an airplane. The more he thought of a strange phenomenon the more he became confused to solve the mystery of a stranger in their midst, however he determined him selves to save the person at any cost. In the past also there were many incidents of his folks going into mountains for cutting wood to fall on a tree or into a ravine and many were rescued some were not.