Harry is no spring chicken and is developing a dairy farm in Sri Lanka, and is an author of historical novels based mainly on Asian recorded history. Whilst visiting his publisher’s agent in London, and waiting for his publisher’s cheque to clear, he decides to visit his family home of many years earlier. He meets the tenant, Makshi, an Indian lady nutritionist, but whilst they are enjoying a coffee together a man with a baseball bat attacks her car! He is confronted by Makshi and Harry, and attacks Harry in a drug induced rage, just missing his head with the baseball bat, but badly bruising his left shoulder. The baseball bat has a mind of its own and breaks the attacker’s leg.
Harry would have continued on his journey to childhood places and meeting old friends, but stays overnight with Makshi before she takes him to her hospital for x-rays and treatment. Harry agrees to stay with Makshi for several days, ostensibly to let his shoulder mend, but their relationship develops over those days, with several explicit sexual acts which surprise both of them. Their relationship matures and they decide to live together, sometimes feigning marriage, which many people assume they are.
The attacker is taken to court, and pleads ‘racialism’ as his defence as Harry’s father came from South Africa, and where Makshi was born. The attacker is eventually convicted of actual bodily harm. Makshi completes the remaining years of her hospital contract, and they both fly to Sri Lanka where they live on Harry’s farm. Makshi develops her ‘clinic’ at Harry’s farm to treat the Tamil families living on the former tea estate.