The film presents a series of inter-related incidents in the form of four stories, which intially appear as individual disputes between members of different communities, having their different means of livelihood and different lifestyles. These four stories eventually mere into the theme of a communal holocaust. There are other threads running through the film, such as the oppression of women and the rights of the girl-child. . The story is set in the Shekavati region of Rajasthan, western India. Shekavati has become famous the world over for its painted mansions. This is the face of rural Rajasthan before the coming of the Machine Age. . The dramatic denouement of the theme is symbolised by an inexplicable malady that afflicts young girls. No cure is to be found in the region A saintly ascetic of the desert tells the couple Joravar and Lachmi, the films principal protagonists, that the cure to the affiction is in the water of the Jogia well, but what the water of the well had turned filthy and that the well would have to be cleaned by the community as a whole, before its waters can be used. . Nobody seems to know where the Jogia well is. It is finally discovered forgotten and abandoned on the outskirts of the village. When the villagers begin to clean the well, the encounter the echoes of their past, for the Jogia well is in fact a tunnel into history. . In the final sequence, led by the village headman, the common guilt of the villages dominant classes, in depriving the poor of their rights, is accepted; and a symbolic gyser of clear water springs forth from the well to wash the villagers clean and so ready them for a new beginning.