It’s good to be a civilized Western man to live in a civilized Western country, and have in my wallet crisp banknotes. You can come to any creepy, rotten cesspool and live in the same civilized Western hotel. Nothing changes. Just a little bit more interesting.
Enjoy the exquisite flavors of turmeric and saffron, buy bright embroidered saree (cost pennies!), use the services of rickshaws as it is so unusual, when one is used instead of a horse. You see, they live in shacks made of cardboard? Wow! You know they still practice human sacrifice? How exotic!
The plot of the story begins with the fact that a major magazine hires Luczak to fly to Kolkata and to bring the manuscript of a new poem by the great Bengali poet M. Das. On this trip there would be nothing unusual if not for two facts that influenced the whole course of subsequent events. First, the Das disappeared eight years ago and nobody knew where he is now and alive if at all. And, secondly, Luczak decided to take a wife-Indian Amrita and seven-month-old daughter. It was understood that the wife will satisfy your nostalgia for the childhood memories and at the same time help with the translation.
And further events are developing in accordance with the above quotation and the Western view of the world. The latter implies that there are “civilized” and tolerant, adhere to the moral principles of the West, is the surrounding “darkness”. And over the Calcutta, of course, have long been shining Eye of Sauron.
For unsuspecting Luczak and his family immediately began a hunt. Sent to meet him, the writer was killed, and the airport, a mysterious young man Krishna, who later became the conductor of the poet into the hidden world of the slums of the city. With family immediately met granddaughter Dasa. And even the local Union of writers, and to commence the transmission of the manuscript of the poem, it seems, is playing a double game.
If you try to define the genre of the novel, then it should immediately be noted that this is not fiction. With the exception of brad Luczak in the sanctuary, everything else is the exact description of Calcutta of the seventies of the last century. With its metre-high piles of garbage in alleys and running down the streets, sewers, cripples, lepers, beggars of all stripes and hopeless poverty, when, for lack of space in the tin huts, forced to spend the night in the middle of the street.