This is the era of Jungle-Raaj in Bihar - the dark age of increasing anarchy and lawlessness in the state.
Control over law and order has long since passed from the hands of the administration to caste-based gangs and organized crime syndicates enjoying political patronage. Kidnapping has become one of the flourishing businesses of the state, while every other industry has dwindled down and the development plank has gone on a pause mode, on account of Rangdari, which is yet another booming business apart from contract killing, smuggling, illegal tree cutting, and vehicle snatching. Migration to other states is at peak: not only of big businessmen, but also of lowly laborers. And those who can’t leave the state are either sucked into the crime world or are forced to live under fear. Albeit the local newspapers everyday sketches the sordid saga of the state, the execrable condition is not likely to improve by any means in the near future.
Digambar Babu, a middle-aged man of a small town Motihari (the place of Mahatma Gandhi's Champaran Satyagrah), is dejected and dismayed for his family falling apart, and so sets himself on a mission to make amends for the mistakes he has done in the past. Shakuntala Devi, his wife, infuriated at herself for having devoted her whole life selflessly and arduously for her ungrateful family, wants to make up for the injustice she has done to herself, by living the rest of her life selfishly. Sarvesh, their asthmatic son, whose first marriage perished about a decade ago, is still struggling with both his career and his married life, and Nisha, their daughter, is married to someone whom she thinks she will never be able to love. The biggest threat to the already troubled family is Nisha’s ex-lover Kanhaiya Tiwari, who is the youngest corporator of the town, and has sworn to ruin the family.
Shyam, Nisha’s husband, who is ‘the absorber of the emotions’, in keeping with his fluidity, writhes in pain but transforms time and again, in order to win his wife’s heart, while Savita, Sarvesh’s current wife, colludes with Kanhaiya Tiwari in his evil intent, in order to have all the strings of the family in her hands. Benighted in Sodom, they weave their web of Karma, and fabricate their fates, but the biggest sufferer in the ruthless game of dominance and survival are the innocent children of the family.
The story tries to draw parallels between Digambar Babu’s disarrayed family and the disordered town.
The novel is inspired from the real events happened in the town during 90’s era of jungle-raaj.
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