Certain choices push a place beyond prophecies and resurrection. That is where Dhartipur is headed: an elusive tiger, a troubling settlement ─ Chhotopada ─ at the outskirts, and a rampant Border Security Force are only the smaller problems. The big one: the village lies on the Hindustani side of the porous Bangladeshi border that can’t resist playing children, illegally immigrating Bangladeshis, cattle rustlers and cough-syrup smugglers.
A barb-wire fence that the Hindustani government is erecting a hundred-fifty meters behind the porous border doesn’t list as a problem until Mooli, a destitute low-caste, finds that the fence would cut through his only land, leaving only a little inside Hindustan. It will be a while before Mooli finds out he was tricked into buying that land; that the seller knew of the coming fence much before anyone else.
Amidst all this, Tukai has reasons to be happy. Beside other reasons, his Bapi owns a mango orchard, and also knows the hills and forests around the village like nobody else; and lately, to the boy’s delight, Bapi has been teaching him things about the jungle. Then one day, troubled by his daemons, and without telling anything to anyone, Bapi leaves. Dhartipur’s melancholy, like a bunch a crabs, brings Tukai down.
The boy left behind and the man tricked then find refuge in Bhushan Majhi ─ the leader and guardian of everyone in Chhottopada. To Mooli, Majhi is a messiah standing beside him in his fight for justice. Tukai finds Majhi filling the void that Bapi left behind.
But hope can be both bright and blinding. From the blinding kind, emerge purposes darker than greed, fears potent than faith. Then in Dhartipur, innocent men, driven by fear and purpose, give in and make mistakes they would later regret. Redemption would cost more than they could offer.