There was a queue for electric furnaces at Kalighat crematorium on the eleventh of October. Ritwik did not know how long he had to wait before one became available.
Miss Gilby neatly folds the letter and puts it away in a pocket. Ruth asks, 'Everything all right?' politely, perhaps because she has noticed the slight tremor of her friends' hands. Miss Gilby nods and reaches for the binoculars on the little stone table between them. She looks through it and tries to find the brown eagle but it is gone. She can only see the snow-scarred slopes of the distant mountains, brought so close now by the glasses that she could reach out her hand and almost touch them.
Ritwik Ghosh, 22 and recently orphaned, has the chance to start a new life in Oxford, when he arrives there from Calcutta. But he soon discovers Oxford holds little of the salvation he is looking for. Instead Ritwik moves to London, where he slips into a shadowy hinterland of illegal immigrants.… (more)