Above them the great rock bulged out like a too clever forehead, too clever for anything to grow upon, too smooth for anyone to climb… It might be the only place on earth which is so high and difficult to get to, that people can't reach it.
When Sangita the Ranee of Bidwar is caught up in a scandal, her husband banishes her from the palace and forbids access to their young son, Anwar. She lives miserably as a disgraced woman, praying to Ganesh for Anwar to be taken from her husband, so that he would know her suffering. Then, Anwar goes missing.
In a hill-tribe far above the palace, on land impenetrable to man, the young males are dying. When they come across a Coarseone – a child from civilisation below - they use him to create a new life: their new Maw, their king.
Two generations later Sangita's granddaughter, Devi, heads to the family's derelict hill palace to research the mountain's minerals, with instructions to look out for the apocryphal Ama stone. At the same time, a tree-felling company finally reach the mountain top where they discover the hill- tribe. Maw, now a young man, is injured trying to stop the lumberjacks driving them off the land. He is brought to Devi, who takes him down to the palace where the family care for and educate him, but he always has a look in his eyes that no one understands. Will his tribe think their king has deserted them, or do they suspect he is playing a longer game... a life-long game to avenge his tribe their suffering?
Tikkipala is a hypnotic tale of love and preservation at a time of fading empires. Meticulously and soulfully written, Banerji takes the heart on a journey through mystical cultures and spiritual practices, to a world where anything is possible if love is strong enough.