Amitav Ghosh chronicles his journeys and conversations with several hundreds of people of the subcontinent. The Indian government tested five nuclear devices about forty kilometres from Pokhran.
Pakistan tested its own devices after seventeen days. Three months after these tests, the author goes to the Pokhran area, and then to Kashmir as a part of the defence minister’s entourage.
He also visits Siachen where Indian soldiers have been fighting Pakistani attacks for more than three decades. Amitav Ghosh also travels to Pakistan and Nepal, the experiences of which is partly constitute the content of this book.