With a captivating start, A Handful of Sesame plunges us into the heart of the dying years of the 1857 mutiny. But the mutiny is largely a backdrop to the novel. When Kamalanabh of Kashi is manipulated by an impoverished Brahmin of Navalgund into marrying his daughter, the novel becomes basically the story of an internal migration. This is rare, and it remains one of the strengths of the novel. We are so used to speaking of migration across the postcolonial bridge and accredited national borders that we forget that India is a country of endless internal migrations – in the past and the present.