Kalu, a cheeky, ever-optimistic, street-kid orphan, springs to life from the very first page. Abandoned on the streets of Hastinapore as a young child, Kalu has had to carve out a life in rural India. Running errands, fetching and carrying for the villagers has been the way he earns a few coins each day -- until a foot injury threatens to cripple him. Cautiously climbing a banyan tree, Kalu picks a leaf, rolls it into a tiny cylinder and blows through it. His leaf becomes an instrument, his tune dances around the tree and into the village, much to the fascination of the Healer who is resting in the deep shade of the banyan. From that moment, Kalu's life will never be the same again.