In this epic novel, Bhyrappa examines the social, political, moral and psychological fibre of contemporary Indian life, spanning the decades between post-Independence and the declaration of the Emergency under Indira Gandhi. The range of characters is astonishingly comprehensive – the true Gandhian idealist who, despite all odds, holds on to his values; an honest, uncompromising journalist who remains steadfast to his professional ethics; the “liberated” career woman who gains favour in the business world due to her promiscuity; and the academic-politician with a carefully cultivated charm used to seduce impressionable young women. Tantu is panoramic in scope, moving from Bangalore to Mysore, from Banaras to Delhi. Police brutality, goondaism at the village level, the superficial five-star hotel culture and the smuggling of art objects out of the country are all subjects the novel relentlessly examines. Corruption and nepotism in high and low places is portrayed with absolute candour, as is the steady erosion of traditional Indian values. Tantu: The Loom of Life is a fascinating survey of modern India, examined from many different angles.