Moti, a 12-year-old Bengali boy, tells us about his country and life, and how the latter has been shaped by his encounter with Paul Danvin. This French captain, in the depths of depression, recently let pirates attack the hull of his boat, the Alhambra, with blowtorches. We’re in Chittagong, Bangladesh, the last port of call for the Alhambra. Minus ship, crew, identity papers – which were stolen from him – Paul takes the train for the capital city of Dacca where he crosses paths with Moti and his mother Alima. Whether by instinct or fascination, Paul strays from his path and follows Alima and Moti to Rulipara Village on a strip of land protected by dams from the river Jamuna. While the monsoon rages and the Jamuna begins to encroach on Rulipara’s houses, forcing the population into a new exile, Alima and Paul struggle desperately to give free reign to their love.