In this collection of delectable grisnoir short stories, the women make a statement. They are sexually liberated and fearless. They play with guns and knives and axes. They may be slightly broken but they aren't uninteresting. An amorous khayal singer in old Delhi—the Begum of Ballimaran—is nonchalant about taking a vulnerable poet to bed. Sejal, a nubile dacoit is running away from her lover, Rana, through thick jungles because he seems inclined to give up thievery. A young convict is trained to become an assassin under the patronage of her senior—the bald, scarred Bai Sa, and a car crash survivor, invited to deliver an inspiring lecture at a college, feels like pushing another speaker off the dais because the latter's sari is shocking pink. There's also a desert village where moustaches rule the roost, and a dark, damp world where the struggle is between glory and fate. Meanwhile, in the hills, through the mist, you spot a failed actor trying to kick the bucket, an ambitious manager trying to use telepathy to knock off his bosses, and a bus parked precariously during a torrential downpour. Therefore, shadows become hoary tales, and a whisper is the learning of a lifetime.