The plays included in this Volume represent two main periods of Vijay Padaki’s writing. The first is when he was deeply involved in social development programmes that had field projects in rural areas. They were all addressing the issues of human rights and social justice, although from different ‘sectoral’ perspectives. It was the absence of rights and justice that was coming in the way of development in real terms. Violence was not ruled out. Mandap is the play from that period. The dynamics of rights and justice are seen in the urban setting too. The next five plays in this volume represent a period of writing in which the writer was increasingly drawn to developmental issues in the urban setting. The plays form a set that came to be called Tales From the City. They are grouped in this Volume as two double-bills and one play by itself. Violence is the recognizable undercurrent in all these plays. Second Shift Muster is the oldest of the play scripts appearing in this volume. The one-act play is included in this volume for a variety of reasons. As with the other tales, this play explores a lesser known city-based occupation in changing times with changing value systems.