Sandeep Shahani 12, is a little boatman on the Ganges River. His name, Shahini, means “boatman,” and, in the Indian caste system, it is determined that he must assume the occupation and social position of the family he is born into. He lives in the holy city of Varanasi, where people come from all over India to cremate their deceased family members and place their ashes in the sacred Ganges River. Sandip transports these mourners, as well as tourists and residents. He works very hard for very little money, and he often wishes he had the freedom to lead a different life.