Seemah Elias, one of the few remaining members of the Jewish community of Calcutta, has become a touchstone for those seeking their roots. Mordy Ezekiel from Australia and Tamara Silas on a British Council dance fellowship from London come to Calcutta to pay homage to their respective family members, and to search for whatever remains of their ancestors’ community. Mordy is appalled by the squalor and chaos of the crowded metropolis, and disheartened by what little remains of the city he knew. Tamara, keen to discover Calcutta, is enchanted by the city she had been imagining since she was a child. Mordy and Tamara’s paths cross. Firoza Nowrojee comes to Calcutta to learn about her identity. Each one, on a voyage of self-discovery, meet Seemah who helps them unravel their pasts. The Teak Almirah is at once a story of longing, belonging and the making of family. It also is a tribute to Calcutta – home to many diverse communities.

The Teak Almirah, written by Jael Silliman and soon to be published is a “poignant novel about identity and belonging. It invokes the Calcutta of the past, when it was a city of grace and charm, now lost, in great detail and a dash of nostalgia” notes Rudrangshu Mukherjee, Historian and Opinions Editor, The Telegraph.