Our Lady of Alice Bhatti is the story of Alice Bhatti of French Colony daughter of Joseph Bhatti, the prince among chooras. He is the go-to guy when a clogged drain flummoxes all the other cleaners. Her sainted mother died when she fell down the stairs in the house where she was employed as a maid. The mourners at her funeral were intrigued by a fellow servant from that same household who kept saying 'murder murder' as he cried. Some people were of the opinion that he was actually crying 'martyr martyr'.
What chance does Alice have of getting on in life when...
1. She is an untouchable, a choora
2. She is a Christian in the land of Muslas
3. She has just served time in jail
4. She is a woman
Alice tries to rise above her station in life by studying Nursing. With some help from Dr. Jamus Pereira she finds work at the Sacred Heart hospital of All Ailments. The grim looking Sister Hina Alvi comes to her rescue when she is stuck. The young jailbird Noor, another of Dr. Pereira's proteges, is working at the hospital so his mother, who is cancer ridden, can get medical aid there.
Alice has just started work at the hospital when Teddy Butt walks into her life. Captivated by the pretty nurse, Teddy starts wooing her with determination. Teddy Butt is body builder and also a peripheral police helper. His boss, Inspector Malangi has caught Abu Zar, a terrorist. Teddy is given the task of making him talk.
All these characters impact the life and times of Our Lady of Alice Bhatti. Alice is a victim of a society where it is a crime to be a woman, let alone being an untouchable and a Christian.
Mohammed Hanif draws a realistic portrait of life in Karachi and at a big busy hospital, Sacred Heart. In fact the life at Sacred Heart is so self sufficient, that the novelist steps outside it just a few times, when he needs to show how the events happening outside will impact the lives of those who live within the hospital.