In dull and dusty Pipalnagar, each day is like another, and 'there is not exactly despair, but resignation'. Even the dreams here are small. Adrift among them, the narrator, Arun, a struggling writer of detective novels in Urdu, waits for inspiration to write a blockbuster. Meanwhile, he seeks reassurance in love, and finds it in unusual places: with the young prostitute Kamla, wise beyond her years; and the orphan Suraj, homeless and an epileptic, yet surprisingly optimistic about the future. this is a memorable story about small lives, with all the hallmarks of classic Ruskin Bond prose: nostalgia, charm, underplayed humour and quiet wisdom.