Tayub Ahmed Refai (Refai Salafis) grew up listening to jungle lore and other interesting tales in a valley abutting the Cardamom Hills of South India. The sights and smell of that fair country lingered on and continued to inspire him even after he moved to one of India's crowded cities far away from his beloved hometown—a move he loathes and regrets to this day. His fascination with the mountains bordered on the absurd, just like the Englishman's romance with the desert. In fact, the very first scene that he had the good sense to put into words was a recurring nightmare: a man running in the woods (recounted in chapter nine of RHODESLAND). Rest of the story fell into place over a period of seven years.