After accepting a personal invitation from Queen Victoria, Calcutta University kinetic scientist, Chan Ranbir, his wife Tinku and eight year-old son Janav arrive in England, bringing with them much needed hope for an ailing British society.
In a country where homemade steam-driven wonders are beginning to flourish, Chan cracks the mystery of self-generating energy, which is to be used as a power source for clockwork servants, or 'Clocks'; tireless robotic helpers created to make life easier for humanity.
Instead, life becomes infinitely more difficult.
Worker unions rise against the use of Clocks, fearing the loss of their jobs, while the Church refrains from questioning Queen Victoria's industrial ambitions, declaring that "Science is playing God'.
Increasingly volatile strikes and demonstrations are held in protest, while technologically motivated crime surges. The public cries out for answers.
...And in the middle of it all, a boy cries out for an absent father.
Janav, taken away from his friends and home in Calcutta, struggles to come to terms with the growing fear and intolerance of a society becoming all the more suspicious of change.
And while all is well at first when Chan pushes his son to befriend the first Clockwork prototype, named "Ashwin number two", things swiftly break down.
Janav is sent to boarding school and stripped from Tinku, his only haven in a hostile land which doesn't seem to want him.
Twenty years later, 1919, and things have only become worse. Clocks are not what their makers envisioned them to be. And while change continues to seep through British society like a thick pea souper fog, life is about to take another devastating turn for the damaged Ranbir family...