By Sarathi Guha(03 Apr 2008)
The film is based on the events of a village in Bengal, sometime in the 19th century. An old brahmin, Sitaram was waiting for death with his two sons, a priest and a village doctor, at a cremation place near a river bank. An astrologer with a poor brahmin was making calculations for his predictions on Sitaram. The astrologer predicted that Sitaram would not depart alone but would be taking someone along with him. The desperate and poor brahmin sought the astrologer's help to convince Sitaram to marry his daughter, Yashovati. According to him if Yashovati performed sati (a window immolating herself on her husband’s funeral pyre) than she would bring respect and honour to their family. The sati was considered a divine act. In spite of protests from the village doctor the marriage of a young helpless woman with and old dying man was carried out. Baiju, the cremation ground attendant was completely against the practise of sati. Even though the practise was banned at that time, it was not totally eradicated. Baiju was an untouchable and he tried to reason out with Yashovati to leave Sitaram and escape from the practice. But all this effort could not bear any fruit. Yashovati was reluctant and hesitant on performing the sati but she also believed that it was inevitable. Later she appreciated Baiju’s comment and somehow she found in him a friend on this land of the dead and the dying. Soon Sitaram saw Yashovati talking to a lower caste person like Baiju and reprimanded her .She could not take the insult and tried to commit suicide. But later as the high tide came and drowned Sitaram, Yashovati tried to save her husband and in the process she was engulfed by the waves. Baiju tried to save her, but it was too late.