In a remote town in the Himalaya, Maya tries to put behind her a time of great sorrow. By day she teaches in a school and at night she types up drafts of a magnum opus by her landlord, a relic of princely India known to all as Diwan Sahib. Her bond with this eccentric, and her friendship with a peasant girl, Charu, give her the sense that she might be able to forge a new existence away from the devastation of her past. As Maya finds out, no place is remote enough or small enough. The world she has come to love, where people are connected with nature, is endangered by the town's new administration. The impending elections are hijacked by powerful outsiders who divide people and threaten the future of her school. Charu begins to behave strangely, and soon Maya understands that a new boy in the neighbourhood may be responsible.