Author: Sudhir Thapliyal
ISBN/UPC (if available): 8188575267
Michael Tarrance is the heir to the commercial empire of Tarrance & Co. Pvt. Ltd., and is a third generation Englishman born and bred in Calcutta. India is his home and he is among the few English expats carrying on the business of his firm in the time-honoured and crooked traditions of his father and grand-father.
But there is a new breed of entrepreneurs moving into the complacent and tradition-bound world of people like Michael Tarrance. They are men without any ethical viewpoints. For them money talks and the rest doesn’t matter. On the other side of the divide, fast gathering momentum, are communists and trade unions. In this inadvertent clash of capitalism and communism Michael Tarrance finds he has to resort to tactics harking back to the 19th century.
While the battle rages on Calcutta streets, Michal Tarrance has to come terms with his own reality. He sees himself as man who has been betrayed by history and that also not of his making. His alcoholic life-style has prevented him from seeing things as they really are. The wife cocooned in the world of burra memsahibs is of no help because she can’t give him an heir and has taken the alcoholic route to ease the pain of her loneliness. Sexually starved she finds new hope when she is seduced by a well known pimp who coincidently is also Michael’s cousin from one of the bastard off springs of his grand-father Mad Mike Tarrance.
Michael Tarrance discovers to his horror from the lips of his illegitimate daughter that she too is part of a plot planned by his wife to kill him for his fortune. He does what he always suspected his father of having done with his unfaithful mother. He has her assassinated by descendents of the tribe known as Thugs who swore an oath of allegiance to the Tarrance family when Mad Mike was establishing his empire in the 1860s, more than a hundred years ago. He does the same to his cheating accountant and the master-mind called Jagat Seth who wants to take over his business empire.
Leaving a trail of dead bodies, confused police men and the debris of his burnt out empire Tarrance and his daughter move to the Garhwal Himalyas where he meets up with an old school chum and discovers mental peace by exposure to the spiritual world of yogis and a woman mystic. As an act of redemption he opens a school for orphans and begins to live in a world where everyone around him has for some reason or the other chosen to escape from the life-style of a decadent middle class. He has for company a lapsed Marxist intellectual, a former British Secret agent and his schooldays rum drinking chum as he prepared to fade into the sunset of his life.