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Based on multicultural experience set in a significant point in modern history, this novel starts with a scene in Heidelberg, in the then West Germany. Siddhartha, or Sid, an exchange student from India studying at the university, explores the progress made by the post-WW II German society, often contrasting the conditions back home. With his youthful energy and curiosity, Sid becomes a part of the Schulz family he stays with. Frau Schulz, her introvert husband Kurt, perhaps suffering from a sense of guilt about being part of Hitler's Wehrmacht during WW II, and their friendly teenaged son bond with Sid in more ways than one, thus providing him with insights into contemporary German mind. The city and the charming Neckar that lazily flows past it come alive as he roams around with Barbara, his new-found friend and exchanges his experience with his ex-girlfriend back home. The Berlin Wall stands as a reminder of the nation divided and a symbol of stifled human aspirations. Sid returns to his homeland - sombre and uncertain - shackled by Emergency. Using a variety of events and characters, the book narrates the time and life in a small town in the erstwhile West Germany in vivid details.
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