Rohit Srivastava comes to the United States for getting a Master's degree in Computer Engineering. He longs for his home, family and friends. He has a hard time being accepted in the new society and making new friends of either gender. After graduating he undergoes the anxiety of finding a job since he does not have a Green Card. His family in India arranges a marital match for him with Seema Dhillon who is the daughter of a corrupt Air Force officer amassing large wealth by bribery. She is also in love with her cousin whom she cannot marry. The marriage falters since there is no attachment between the two and also the Dhillon family tries to dominate and take over the life of Rohit. Meanwhile Rohit encounters a beautiful movie star Archana Roy, while traveling on a business trip. He saves her from a very embarrassing situation that sparks a bond between them. This turns into a torrid romantic affair. Archana knows about Rohit's marriage. She is in love with him but does not want to break his home. She tries to help the situation keeping herself in the background.
Coming to America:
Raj starts his life in the United States in a small and arid town of Odessa in West Texas. Inspite of his several degrees and long experience in India, he toils for the minimum wage in a sweat shop along with undocumented aliens from Mexico. He slowly works his way out of the hell hole and carves up a career in Information Technology accomplishing great heights. His life slowly integrates from his upbringing in India to that of his adapted country that is studded with some laughable and some lamentable incidents.
The central stage of this drama is Connaught Place in New Delhi which the narrator compares between three major times when he visited it. He tries to show how the place, particularly the spot of Volga restaurant has undergone transformation in a course of 5 decades.
First time when he visited this place the city was very much like Lutyens had planned and built for the British. The political and economic landscape of the country as well as internationally was so different after the end of the WW-2 and end of the Colonial era. He also describes what it was like to grow up in a little town of Udaipur and its social environment.
The second time he visits Connaught Place in New Delhi is in the mid 60s which was the time of Vietnam war protest, the Beatlemania and the Beatniks. The country is in the throes of economic slow down and socialism is in the air. He has just returned after spending a year in Europe and is an up and coming young man with good friends and a career in the upswing.
The third and final time he visits this place is in the late 90s after he had stayed in Dallas, Texas for a few decades. The place now looks so much different because he himself has changed a lot and so has the country. This time he visits some of the historical sites nearby taking the story back in history as well.
Pot Shots at Hot Shots:
This a compilation of questions and tongue in the cheek responses of some highly influential people that the narrator encountered while attending the Distinguished Lecture series of the Southern Methodist University at Dallas, Texas. The speakers include Henry Kissinger, Charlton Heston and Christan Bernard.
Paradise Lost & Paradise Regained:
Raj is a child that would have been aborted but for the strong religious belief and the love of his parents. The family, consisting of the parents and eight children plus a grandmother and aunt, is leading a very happy and prosperous life in Hyderabad (Sind) before the Indian sub-continent was divided into two parts. The partition of the country throws the whole country into a turmoil turning the lives of this family topsy turvy. The family gets into some very bad times leaving serious wounds.
Later Appanna the paterfamilias, finds another job in a place called Udaipur in the state of Rajasthan. This town has an idyllic setting with very heroic history behind it. The situation there is very chaotic and full of challenges that Appanna has to face before he is able to settle down to a more stable life. This also brings the situation in the family under control All the eight children slowly settle down one by one. The parents Appanna & Akka finally heave a sigh of relief when the youngest graduates with a degree of Bachelor of Science.
Tryst With A Mystery Woman:
Raj is traveling by car near his ancestral village when he is unable to go any further due to bad weather. He is bound in an ancient ruin where he has to spend the night. At that time he is beckoned by a very lovely and loving young lady, who as it turns out, happens to be his ancestor from 6 generations ago. Raj's attitude toward her varies from that of her parent to that of her lover and child, those being the characteristics that are ingrained in his genes.