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Tariq says that his parents had died, and Laila shares news that hers have died as well. Tariq had lived in the foothills of Pir Panjul in Pakistan. Before that, he spent time in a refugee camp. He speaks of hunger, disease, the death of his father, and the pneumonia caught by his mother. He describes how he had to threaten a child in order to get a blanket for his mother. Tariq had tried to find work, but had difficulty doing so because of his missing leg. Once he was hired to transport a coat to another city, despite his suspicion that he would actually be smuggling drugs. The police cut the coat open and found hashish inside. Tariq was sent to prison.
In prison, Tariq met and befriended an older man named Salim who had connections to the outside world. Tariq learned of his mother's death while in prison. Upon Tariq leaving prison, Salim gave him his brother's address for a small hotel in order that for Tariq to have a place to stay. Salim's brother Sayeed hired Tariq as a handyman and a janitor. Sayeed is kind to Tariq, put him up in a shack behind the hotel, fitted him for a new leg, and bought him a coat. When Tariq had enough money, he bought his goat, Alyona.