Subbu’s mind goes back and forth and assesses events and happenings based on new norms highlighting the conflict between the New India of stock options and artificial values and the Old India. The cold blast that hits Subbu in the form of fortunes that get built based on stock options, the prenuptial agreements, and the different business setups where the employed and the organization have a purely contractual relationship make reading of the novel a very meaningful exercise. For example, when his great-granddaughter is born, he worries that she should not be named with the new economy tongue-twisters – Vrimnolika, Karnishta or Avnita. He is relieved when she is named Maya, a simple but traditional name.
Subbu, who has seen so many of his family members gone forever in his lifetime dotes on the eight-year-old Maya, his great-granddaughter. The powerful characterization of the ever uncertain Bharat, a successful investment banker and Subbu’s grandson and his personable but aggressive wife Indu, an executive in a software firm, adds to the richness of the plot. Of note are the ways the events move when she can’t accept their young daughter’s nonchalant attitude towards the e-world’s modern tools – online chat, games, and all other non-academic activities, while the girl loves nature and pursues simple interests, which transcend social class and technology barriers. A nature-loving child becomes a problem child when she does not get attracted to the Internet, expected of her in these times.
Rule-setting Indu wants to run the family with an iron grip, in the same way she works in the office, and that includes her old, suffering father, who lives alone and who in the past had a great social and business life. Several of Indu’s actions, so well brought out, typically represent the false sense of righteousness that pervades the society and her own response towards sad personal events and the partying life makes readers wonder and worry about the chaotic degeneration that we all see in our presentday lives.
Subbu also finds many modern day activities at odds with what he has seen in his prime – every working day in any family, the apartment complex transforms into a bedlam of noise and confusion by seven-thirty in the morning, only to become quiet and solemn in an hour. His concerns about the potential inequity that modern society is spreading and how the beneficiaries tend to overlook it are a representative point about the type of issues that the novel seeks to bring out.