Completely outclassed and overwhelmed by her genius younger brother Jayant, seventeen-year old Maya has always regarded herself as a ‘background person’ and even worse (she has not been permitted to sit for her Boards). Her only gift it seems, is her ability to produce instant limericks – all too often directed against herself – a talent which leaves her younger brother unimpressed (‘write poetry’) and her friends appalled. All excepting Yash, the quick-witted precocious 15 year-old ‘shoulder-high’ boy she meets while on holiday at her uncle’s posh beach resort on the west coast. Yash teaches her to fight mighty sea battles with his fleet of model galleons, which much to her astonishment she enjoys hugely. His exuberant and spontaneous delight in her limericks, and his cheeky nonsense, bowls Maya over completely. (That, as well as the flame-throwing dragons allegedly tattooed on his bum.) Until of course, the evil little hobgoblins in her own head begin to heckle her with insidious (but truthful?) suggestions…

A terrible truth, held back at a vital juncture changes her life forever. From ‘background person’ Maya suddenly finds herself catapulted to the ‘center of the universe’ with the world looking up at her with ‘awe and respect’, a national heroine no less. But Hari, her obnoxious nineteen-year old cousin with his wandering hands and up close manner, (and self-avowed ‘sting journalist’ in the making) knows that Maya can and will pay a huge and hideous price for her omission for fear of facing national disgrace. He plans his moves with predatory cunning and a ‘nightmare beyond belief’ begins for Maya, from which there seems no escape. Until one night when the spring tide runs strong and Maya is faced head on by her greatest fear yet again and must redeem – or condemn – herself forever.