It is early the nineties. Bhaswati starts working in an advertising firm in Calcutta. In a recently globalised economy, characterised by speed, commodification of women’s bodies and consumerist culture, Bhaswati is an increasingly disillusioned misfit. But her life changes one day when she finds out about the mysterious Mohua Roy – a former copywriter of the company, whose desk now Bhaswati uses. The employees in the company are tightlipped about Mohua – who was immensely successful in her career, but left for reasons they don’t want to tell her. One day, after finding a poem written by Mohua in her drawer, she decides to go in search of the author of this beautiful poem – a search that will take Bhaswati to the mysterious lanes of Calcutta, meet new people who sacrificed immensely for the same values that she finds are eroded in the newly globalised India. Who is Mohua Roy? Why did she leave the company and why is there a net of silence around her in the office? Will Bhashwati find Mohua? Will she leave her job, just like Mohua?
First published in 1997 in Assamese, Hriday Ek Bigyapan, was an instant bestseller, selling thirty-two editions in the next ten years. It posed some questions about modern urban life, that few Indian novels have been able to.