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With her days split between a passionate marriage and a high-octane television studio job, Homi is a thoroughly modern young woman-until one day she is approached by a yogi on the street. This mysterious figure begins to follow her everywhere, visible only to Homi, who finds him both frightening and inexplicably arousing.
Convinced that the yogi is a manifestation of fate, Homi embarks on a series of increasingly desperate attempts to prove that her life is ruled by her own free will, much to the alarm of her no-nonsense husband and cattily snobbish mother. Her middle-class Kolkata life, and the relationships that define her identity, are disturbed to the point of disintegration.
Following the inexorable pull of tradition, the mystic forces that run beneath the shallow surface of our modern existence like red earth beneath the pavements, Homi ends up in Benaras, the holy city on the banks of the Ganga, where her final battle with fate plays out.