Shortlisted for the Commonwealth Prize 2010. Usman is visiting post-war London from Pakistan when he meets a young aspiring artist called Lydia who has, like himself, come out of an unhappy marriage. Just as the lonely strangers friendship begins to blossom into something deeper Usman has to return to Karachi, leaving Lydia behind. Two years later, Lydia impulsively abandons her life in London and boards a ship to Karachi, where the two are married. But as the years flit by Usman feels distanced from his life and realises that he hasn t noticed the buds of the gulmohar tree unfurl.