This is the first volume of a 2-part series, a bio-historical fiction, centred in Madras and covering a period of 4 decades from the late 1920s.
Raju, the main protagonist, was born a posthumous child. After losing his other parent at the age of 15 and tossed from one school to another and later from one job to another, he finally finds his home in the historic, but rapidly modernising city of Madras.
Disgusted with the Endowment Department’s collusion with an artefact thief in his first job as a Temple Inspector, he shifts to a job as a Tea Salesman in a multinational company in Madras. The artefact thief happens to be Sankar, his childhood nemesis. Gaining insight from his earlier encounters with Sankar, Raju’s keen mind takes him into the dangerous realm of international antique and gold smugglers. His first mentor, Natarajan, guides him in his risky endeavours to put Sankar behind bars. It will take a lot of innovation and tenacity for Raju to make a breakthrough in the investigations. While one part of him is a daring investigator, the other part is a loving husband and father, a hard working employee and a caring friend to his other childhood friends, the communist-minded Sekar and the fickle Ganesan.
The main storyline has two parallel narratives. The first is related to the growth of Madras and the other with the behind-the-scenes twists and turns in Tamilnadu.