Dr. Gil (Sanjeev Kumar), a successful doctor and marketer of an eponymous pain remedy, arrives in Darjeeling for an extended vacation - with a mission. His objective is to track down the love of his life and seek forgiveness for abandoning her nearly a quarter of a century before. In flashback we are shown the nascence of that old romance, between the young medical student Gil and the the village pharmacist-healer's daughter, Chanda (Sharmila Tagore). As the middle-aged Gil follows the trail of Chanda's life since he left her, he discovers that she has died after a prolonged descent into madness brought about, Gil is horrified to learn, by her miserable pining over the false promises of her faithless lover. Forced into an abusive marriage, Chanda left behind a daughter, Kajli (also Sharmila), who Gil finds plying the world's oldest trade in a coarse, ratty brothel. Gil - without revealing his connection to her mother - buys her time indefinitely, dresses her in good clothes, and attempts to mold her into the upstanding girl her mother had been when he knew her.