Early 1980s: Challenges await ROHIT, a freshly-graduated engineer, from the very first day of his arrival at the under-construction steel factory located in a remote tribal region in Central India. Disappointingly desolate location, poor living and working conditions, aggravated by complex factory intrigues, force him to re-think his decision to continue in the job. But an accidental meeting with JHILMIL, a tribal girl, the daughter of a small contractor, and an emotional connection with her, coupled with his youthful, energetic frolics with a team of young professionals hold him on.
But his real test comes when he learns of a suicide by a tribal couple in the adjoining village. They have been driven to poverty after having been evacuated from their lands and deprived of their livelihood due to the construction of the nearby dam and power plant. The bureaucratic hassles have delayed the payment of compensation to these displaced tribals, leading to their distress. That news and the nascent relationship building with Jhilmil transform him into a zealous social activist who pro-actively leads a crusade to get the evacuee tribals a fair rehabilitation package.
Rohit’s roller coaster journey continues as he faces blackmail relating to his relationship with Jhilmil and also conspiracies by his adversaries involved in financial embezzlements in the factory. These are compounded by intense societal barriers to his relationship with Jhilmil. However, with his youthful energy, he is able to thwart these attempts.
Rohit becomes the blue-eyed boy of the factory chief and he is deputed to team up with the expatriate construction engineer from USA, who is quite impressed with his work. The engineer is from the Appalachian regions of USA and drawing some parallels with the tribal regions, he shares with Rohit the hardships experienced by earlier generations of his own family in those backward regions.
The chief, though outwardly playing the role of a godfather to Rohit, has ulterior motives as he wishes to get Rohit married to his niece SUNITA, who is pursuing medical degree. By his manipulations, he ensures the exit of the contractor as well as his daughter JHILMIL from the factory to pave the way for Rohit’s marriage to Sunita. He is devastated by the separation from Jhilmil as his relationship with her has begun maturing into a romance. But, unable to locate her despite his best efforts and under pressure from the chief and his own parents, he reluctantly yields to the traditional arranged marriage with Sunita.
Rohit and Sunita proceed to USA for further studies and progress in their respective professions. However, the two drift apart due to serious cultural conflicts, Sunita in favour of speedily assimilating into the US culture and Rohit in favour of retaining the shades of Indian culture. Their children, both teenagers now, get confused by these cultural clashes and fall into bad ways, turning into rebels. Meanwhile, Rohit and his American friend actively participate in the community development programmes in Appalachia.
The frustrating marital relationship with Sunita and the rebellious nature of his teenage children, force Rohit, now middle-aged, to return to his roots in India. He restarts a business, where he happens to meet a young employee, JHARNA. He starts liking her and gradually discovers that she is Jhilmil’s daughter. Nostalgia overtakes Rohit and old feelings of relationship with Jhilmil get re-kindled but he keeps them shrouded till destiny plays its hand that lead to his chance meeting with her. However, before they can revive their relationship, she dies in unfortunate circumstances.
Rohit, emotionally drained by Jhilmil’s death, adopts Jharna as his daughter and gets the satisfaction of having at last achieved the kind of family he always wanted, even if it is a surrogate family. His life has come full circle.
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