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The book is author’s last, most enigmatic and daring of her novels. It spans the period from the partition of the time of the Mandir-Masjid dispute in Ayodhya in the early Nineties, consistently connecting the present to the past. Centred around two prominent Lucknow families, the narrative closes in on the lives and struggles of Qambar, a romantic revolutionary, and the three women drawn to him?Bela, the daughter of a mirasi-bhand couple, desperate to break away from her tainted ?legacy?; Safia, the polio-stricken daughter of the Raja of Teen Katori, an independent ?educationist? dealing with the crushing rejection of her childhood betrothed and the demons that haunt her in its wake; and the eponymous heroine, Chandni Begum, destitute survivor of a once powerful landed family, looking for a way to get by respectably.