Anant Prasad, a new immigrant, meets Sheila Puri, a beautiful and vivacious second generation Indian-American. They get married after a whirlwind romance, and after living together for ten years, they part ways. He tries to forget Sheila and move on with his life. In his search for a new wife he runs into an old flame, Meena Bhat. But unfortunately for Anant, the lady is married. But she promises to file for a divorce as soon as her son leaves for college. Meena lures him to New Jersey where they set up a love shack and see each other frequently. In the meanwhile, he and his long time colleague, Petra Sokoloff, suddenly discover each other. Anant is caught between Meena and Petra.
Anant Prasad, a mediocre student, was prodded by his father to complete his M.S. and then a Ph.D., and thus became a reluctant scientist. After completing his studies in Bangalore, he went to Chapel Hill for his post-doctoral work. There he met Sheila Puri, a beautiful and vivacious second generation Indian-American. Sheila got her M.D., and was doing her residency in Internal Medicine. Anant and Sheila get married after a whirlwind romance. Following his post-doctoral work, Anant found a faculty position and they moved to Kansas City, Kansas.After several years of tumultuous relationship, the couple gets divorced.Anant tried to forget Sheila and move on with his life. During his efforts to find a suitable woman he ran into an old flame, Meena Bhat. Meena lured him to New Jersey where they set up a love shack and see each other frequently. Anant divided his time between Kansas and New Jersey. At Kansas, his new research project to discover active cancer chemotherapeutic drugs ran into several problems. In the meanwhile, he and his long time colleague, Petra Sokoloff, suddenly discovered each other and a sizzling affair ensued.Anant was caught between Meena and Petra.
Even though he understood that his father meant well by sending him to this awful place for higher studies, he felt that he would have been happier working at a bank, doing a routine job. He was embittered and always grumpy, and consequently made no friends during that difficult period. In those two years he went to Hyderabad only once, and he stayed in his parents’ house for only a few days. He completed his M.S. course with honors, maybe because the other students were much worse than him. Being the best of a lousy lot didn’t give him any joy. He managed to get into a Ph.D. program at Delhi University. Thus, he was on his way to become a scientist, albeit a reluctant one. His experience in Agra made him resolve that he would never, never let his parents decide anything about his life. As far as his career was concerned, he knew he would get his Ph.D., and then a job. He was reasonably knowledgeable in chemistry and could teach and do some mediocre research, but he had no illusions about his ability to be innovative and achieve greatness in this field. He knew in his heart that he didn’t have the bent of mind to conduct original research and publish high-impact manuscripts in prestigious journals. He wanted nothing more than a quiet life in Hyderabad, doing a routine job, and married to a pleasant and beautiful Andhra girl (just like his friend Ramu had done). He never forgave his father for throwing him into the cesspool of the scientific world. A world where you had to genuflect constantly to the top scientists in the field; a world where you were as good as your last paper; a world where you published or perished, and sometimes published and perished because no granting agency gave you money for your hare-brained ideas; a world where the research money was controlled by the old boys’ network, and even God couldn’t save you if you didn’t belong to this mafia, no matter how good you were or how bright your ideas may be; a world where, in the name of peer review, the anonymous and malicious reviewers hid behind the compliant editors and blocked the manuscripts of their less powerful rivals; a world where even if your publications were proven to be based on fabricated or wrong data, you could talk your way out of trouble if you were powerful enough; a world where the “visible scientists” hogged all the limelight, gave meaningless keynote addresses at international conferences, and pontificated to their less fortunate brethren; a world where the graduate students and post-doctoral fellows, the unsung and unheard heroes of science, slogged day and night to churn out data that enabled the “visible scientists” to gallivant around the globe at the tax payers’ expense.