Two passengers plummet down to the water and survive: Gibreel Farishta, a famous Bollywood actor, and Saladin Chamcha, an obscure voice actor who lives in London. Gibreel had a hardscrabble youth – he started working as a delivery boy as a teenager.

Shortly before the fateful flight, Gibreel had a bout with mental illness, but recovered. Soon after his recovery, he met and fell in love with Alleluia Cone, an English mountain climber.

Out of jealousy, his former lover, Rekha Merchant, committed suicide.

He married a beautiful but troubled white woman named Pamela Lovelace.

Shortly before the fateful flight, he returned to India to perform in a George Bernard Shaw play.

Eventually, they wash up on the English coast, where they are taken in by Rosa Diamond, a senile old woman.

Someone sees the men crawling out of the water and reports them as illegal immigrants.There, he started an affair with an old friend, Zeeny Vakil.He falls in with Zeeny’s friends, George Miranda and Bhupen Gandhi, both of whom are active in left-wing politics.Saladin, born Salahuddin Chamchawala, grew up in Bombay, where he was molested by an older man and had a troubled relationship with his father, Changez Chamchawala.He always dreamed of moving to London, and got his wish when his father sent him to boarding school there.Mahound climbs a mountain to consult with the archangel Gibreel, who reveals to him the word of God.