It is the ironic story of the ambitious Gautam Prabhu and his conniving wife Sneha Gautam that envelops the tragic life of their son Suresh Prabhu, which is redeemed by Vidya's love for him.
Book I, Artha and Kama, is a fascinating saga of conflict and resolution arising out of ambition and achievement, intrigue and betrayal, compulsion and compromise, sleaze and scandal, trial and sentence, and regret and remorse spread over eighteen chapters 1. Party Gone Sour 2. Trauma at Tihar 3. Mind of the Maligned 4. Twist at Tis-Hazari 5. Trial in Camera 6. Dilemma of Qualms 7. Moment of Reckoning 8. End within End 9. Vestiges of Prestige 10. High on Rebound 11. Bellows of Delhi 12. Dicing with Life 13. Spidering Spadework 14. Loss to Order 15. Daring the Fate 16. Victims of Deceit 17. Baring the Soul 18. Garland of Guilt
Book II, Dharma and Moksha, portrays the possibilities of life through repentance and recompense, hope and love (After all, it is the love to live that lets man fear the rope. When one is reconciled to death, then it should be much less a bodily pain than one might have endured in life, isn't it?')and compassion and contribution, leading to the spirituality of materialism pictured in twelve chapters - 1.. Bliss of Being 2. Collage of Crime 3 Domain of the Devil 4 Renaissance of Life 5. Sprouts of Love 6. Despair of Hope 7. Turn at the Bend 8. Amity of Empathy 9. Day to Remember 10. Spirituality of Materialism 11. Sense of Reincarnation and 12. Epilogue.
That New Year's Eve, all the nouveau riche of New Delhi seemed to have gathered at the Misty Nest in their ubiquitous wear. While women wore designer dresses, men turned up in safari suits. Hosting them at their grand dwelling in the Defense Colony were the Gautams, Prabhu and Sneha. By the time the last guest was hugged in welcome, Gautam’s silk kurta and Sneha’s mink coat were truly crumpled. Augmenting the warmth of their bonhomie was the Glenfiddich with soda. In time, while the lure of the Scotch drove many into the lap of Bacchus, the allure of Venus enticed others to ogle at the desirable. But, above all, it was Gautam’s good-humored banter and Sneha’s sensuous charm that lent aura to that midnight rendezvous.
When the New Year was an hour away in its coming, what with the inebriated becoming tardy in their tangos, the going got really bawdy. As Sneha too got into the act, there was a virtual riot for a round with her. When someone went overboard to bottom pinch her, she paid back with a belly punch that regaled the gathering.
As the gigantic clock was all set to halve the night, the antique chandeliers were put off. When the radium hands went straight up on the dial, the ribaldry reached a new low on the floor. At that, as the Gautams goaded all to raise their hands to fold out the year on hand, the boozers struggled to get on to their feet to welcome the year in the offing. But, for its part, the antique piece welcomed the incoming year with the first of its twelve chimes that reverberated in that sprawling banquet hall.
In the prevailing darkness, the euphoria that followed led to a fresh round of bear-hugs amongst the sexes before the stewards switched on the chandeliers as though to let those bear witness to the goings on. As if that translucence showed the revelers the reality of life, sanity was restored in that exuberant setting, and soon the pangs of hunger made the gathering scamper for the buffet of varied cuisines, brought from the capital’s five-star restaurants.
When the hosts went up to the table to pick up their plates, a steward alerted Gautam to an urgent telephone call. Soon, seeing her man turn all pale, Sneha made her way to him in apprehension. When Gautam made her privy to their unfolding tragedy in an undertone, Sneha nearly swooned into his arms. The news of Suresh Prabhu, the heir to their business empire, hauled up in the lock-up was enough to unnerve her. That he was booked for rape and murder as well ravaged her soul no end. In her state of shock, she was unable to comprehend what Gautam mumbled into her ear to lift up her spirits.
Having realized that they were attracting undue attention, Gautam led his wife into the anteroom, leaving the gathering with a free rein on the rumor mill. The breaking news, set in motion by someone who had eavesdropped on the hosts’ conversation, gained circulation with understandable exaggeration. And there followed an intense debate about the eventual outcome of the current indictment that led to the Gautams’ predicament. The indignant gathering, in one tone, roundly censured the hosts for the fall of their only offspring. For once, everyone seemed to agree that loose morals would only bring ruin in the end, even for the rich and famous. Of course, even the mighty of the world are bound to fail on the false path, so emerged the consensus. Even those who professed closeness to the Gautams maintained that they knew all along that things would come to this pass with Suresh, sooner than later.
Such are the ways of the world that the lows of life would turn the admirers into critics, and what is worse; make the naive speak as the know-all.
Closeting with Sneha, Gautam assured her that he would pull out all the stops to free Suresh in no time. But Sneha was terrified that the magnitude of the indictment might be beyond the endurance of their son. In spite of her awareness of their political clout and the loopholes of law, her sixth sense gave a dissenting note, making her apprehensive about the possibility of her son coming clean out of this me