By the first decade of this century, even trend-resistant Calcutta has given into the lure of reality shows. The first such, named ‘Sikander, has ten contestants locked in a house called ‘Jatugriha’ as they engage in a game of ruthless nerves and wit. The person who exits the house last will be declared the Sikandar of Bengal.
This is a story of a narcissistic actor, a crooked industrialist, a teacher, a hermit, a prostitute and several other characters whose paths cross at this emotionally charged moment of their lives. Each contestant takes turns to lead the reader through the search for the champion of champions.
As the show progresses, we enter the skin of the players and learn why they behave the way they do: why a revolutionary leader is keen to win the competition for the sake of her daughter or why a brave young man believes he is sure to be the first to leave the show. As the show unfolds, dark secrets tumble out as the contestants make confessions, people ruthlessly try to pin others down and illicit love affairs become the order of the day, even as some secrets are buried forever.
A chain reaction alters the lives of the participants forever. And while some wake up to undiscovered aspects of love, true love also blossoms in the hearts of two young people inside the walls of Jatugriha. In the end, although there is only one true ‘Sikander’, each of the contestants finds an individual and personal Victory.
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