Ganges Boy tells a profound coming of age tale against the backdrop of the heart and soul of the fascinating city of Varanasi. Kabir, an orphaned adolescent born out of wedlock to a Hindu mother and a Muslim father, struggles to cope with the loss of his murdered mother while trying to navigate the harsh reality of street life. After years of working in a sari factory under an authoritative owner, and later as a boatman on the holy river Ganga, he is confronted with his unknown past when he meets his blind Grandfather for the first time. Kabir is taken away to politically charged Delhi and submerged in a foreign world of privilege and education. However, the initial exhilaration of the luxurious life soon fades away when he discovers a sinister side to his Grandfather. He is torn between choosing the free spirited life he once knew and the new life of opportunity. Kabir’s journey of self-identity is poignant and touching as he searches for his place in the world while also trying to understand it through religion, friendships, family, and passion.
An Auspicious Beginning is the story of Leela, daughter of a renowned but impoverished master of a classical Indian instrument called the veena. She moves with her family to a palace where her father has been hired to play for the Maharaja. Just as the family is getting accustomed to their new life, English colonialists begin tightening their grip on Indian culture as a means of consolidating occupational power. As per Indian tradition, women were barred from playing music publicly, but Leela’s talent and passion for music as well as her spiritual connection to the veena becomes a means to defy the patriarchy. This story is her journey of navigating her responsibilities as a wife and mother and defying tradition and British rule, to pursue the art form she is so passionate about.