HONOUR means different things to different people. For the Khimjas honour is the purity of their race, the continuity of their orthodox traditions, the maintenance of the rules of caste, gotra and clan. The quick and summary justice that is meted out to those who flout these unwritten, but implacable rules is part of their known and accepted culture. Om Prakash Khimja, the sarpanch of the village of Angratta and the undisputed leader of the Khimjas of the village, is instrumental in the destruction of the love affair between a Khimja girl, and a boy from a lower caste. But what will he do when his own daughter falls in love with a non-Khimja? Anant, the outsider with a past, an enigma that even Om Khimja could not unravel, plays his part with finesse, managing, manipulating, and finally escaping from the politics and rivalries of village life. But does he really escape the Khimja retribution? With a masterful pen, Bela Lal has drawn an authentic sketch of the horizon where urban and rural lives merge, mix and conflict. Her vividly drawn characters, her authoritative description of contemporary Gujjar history brings to life a canvas of the complexities of our modern times.