At a Middle Eastern international airport, a Gandhian scholar from Hyderabad and a mining engineer from Johannesburg meet fortuitously in transit, and romance brews. Their love unfolds in musings and enticing historic narrations of twelve most celebrated diamonds in the world – the Hope, the Orlov, the Shah, the Regent, the Dresden & the Koh-i-Noor among others – that were once whisked away from India – changed the destinies of emperors & empires – and today the proud possession of nations around the world.
By a strange stroke of destiny, their lives get entangled with the journey of three younger entrepreneurs & fortune-seekers – a wily diamond trader from Lucknow, a vivacious former clerk at Anglo-Dutch – and an ambitious business woman of African political pedigree, once a student in Moscow.
An Indian trader dies in what is claimed to be a carjacking incident. A South African woman apparently jumps to her death from the sixth-floor hotel room. And an eminent Brahmin scholar, ‘a guardian of ancient esoteric secrets’ is crushed under the weight of ‘five thousand years of learning’, when a giant, iron-cast bookcase topples on him.
Is this tragic termination of lives mere mischance or premeditated & entwined? Are these fitful crimes of passion, eruptions of violence in the immensely enigmatic & lucrative diamond business, or part of a much more sinister web of desire, deceit, power & retribution in the timeless trajectory of the world’s most magnificent precious stones? Nonetheless, the plot & the subplots converge in a spectacular nail-biting finish.
Crafted over several years, Diamond in My Palm, is as much a literary novel as a tight-knit, fast-paced crime thriller. Its vivid, animated characters inhabit the richly evoked social worlds of global cities, from Johannesburg, Antwerp, New York to Hyderabad, Mumbai & Delhi. Within its fictional framework – the very first time an astounding trail of the world’s twelve premier sparkling rocks is fully unraveled – that motivates its protagonists, intensifies its action, triggers the murders and solves the manifold mystery in the climactic finale. An enduring story that transposes mythology into history, and history into fiction, as also how our world transmutes its political shades and hues.