From Calcutta to Trinidad they went, the girmitiyas, crossing two oceans to reach their new homes on the other side of the world. jahajin illuminates for us the extraordinary experience of that jouney, the train ride from faizabad to calcutta, the passage down the hooghly. the three-month voyage around the stormy cape and up the Atlantic to Trinnidad, where the weary migrants settled into life as indentured labourers on the sugar estates. The novel opens with the narrator, a young linguist, talking to 110-year-old Deeda, who came to the caribbean on the same ship as her great great grandmother. Deeda speaks of leaving her village in basti with her son and sailing across the seas to "Chini-dad", the land of sugar, and about the life and friendships she built on her estate.Nested within this larger story is the dreamlike myth of Saranga, torn between her monkey-lover and her prince. Deeda's stories of a lost world captivate the younger woman, encouraging her to make the journey back across the kala pani. Alive with compelling characters and the lilt of Trinidad Bhojpuri, Jahajin gathers up the various narratives of relocation and transformation across a century in a tale that is part history and part fairy tale.