In the short story “Where Is Merchant Kale,” Nalayani, a young woman from India, sets off on a journey to find her long-lost best friend, Merchant Kale. After years of aimless searching, she reaches a city where signs of Kale’s presence can be seen everywhere. She is lost in the bustling city and filled with despair at being unable to locate him. With help from a local man, Nalayani is able to find Kale’s home. Upon arriving, Nalayani is overwhelmed with surprise, joy, and relief to find Kale living with his family. Kale has also recently stopped drinking, converted to Christianity, and married a woman from the city. Despite their shockingly different lives, their friendship remains strong. Nalayani returns home without Kale, but with a renewed appreciation for life and for friendship.
Where Is Merchant Kale?
The story follows the adventures of Merchant Kale, a traveling merchant, and her search to find her true home. Along the way, she meets a wide range of interesting people and creatures and has to make tough decisions on how best to use her limited resources to get back to where she belongs.
Merchant Kale – A traveling merchant in search of her true home.
Richet – A young runaway boy who helps Kale in her journey.
The Bandits – Intent on taking Kale’s precious cargo by force.
The Peddlers – Shopkeepers along the way who have wise advice.
Kale travels on her own, negotiating her way through the difficulties of being an independent merchant. Along the way she encounters bandits, mysteriously powerful monsters, and townsfolk who can offer her guidance. She learns more and more about the world she is travelling through and the people she is meeting. Eventually, Kale reaches a crossroads where she must make a difficult decision between two courses of action, either of which could affect her future.
Kale ultimately finds her way back home to the place she has been searching for, reclaiming her place in the world.