Like any other 15 year old, Gurmeet does exactly what he is forbidden to and unearths the secret behind the unbroken line of Diwanchand family's sons. The beautiful girls who were lowered into the well to keep the tradition alive are now a series of ghosts, he discovers.
You could be forgiven for thinking this makes the story spooky and gruesome. It does not. With a deft and gentle touch, Ranjit Lal turns this story into a fantasy, where the girls show their brother that had they lived, everyone's life would have been much more fun and enriched.
Even as Gurmeet tries to struggle with the enormity of the crime, he is amazed at the calmness with which the girls accept the atrocity and refuse to strike back, despite having some 'ghostly' powers. Soon, Gurmeet finds he has a bigger problem in hand...
The novel is more YA (young adult) fiction, hence the story is kept simple and sweet. There are a few plot holes, for instance, if the women were pregnant so often, surely the neighbours remarked on how the women turned up without a child at the end of it. It could be explained away as a stillborn birth, but so frequently? If we set aside this, there is nothing to crib about because the story has a beautiful heart, it brings out how much a girl child enriches the lives of the family.
I am a fan of Ranjit Lal's writing. I loved his book The life and times of Altu Faltu. His writings on birds appear frequently in magazines.