By Divya Solgama(21 Apr 2008)
Amiran (Aishwarya Rai) is an innocent girl of a poor Muslim family from Faizabad. Her father gives a testimony in court against Dilawar Khan, causing enemity for himself in Dilawar's mind. When Dilawar comes out, he takes revenge by abducting Amiran and selling her at a brothel in Lucknow. The brothel is run by Madame Jhanum Khan who teaches Amiran dance and poetry. Years later, Amiran is re-christened as Umrao Jaan, and is a famous Courtesan. She finds a very loving and loyal patron in Nawab Sultan Ali Khan (Abhishek Bachchan), who wants to marry her. However, her father objects vehemently and puts an ultimatum for his son - either to leave Umrao or to lose his inheritance. Sultan chooses the latter, and goes to Khanum jaan's (Shabana Azmi) brothel to live with Umrao. But unfortunately, he leaves that place soon due to Khanum jaan's tantrums and humiliating remarks. Umrao soon finds a new admirer Faiz ali khan (Suneil shetty), who wants to take her along with him. Only when they leave, does Umrao realise that Faiz is actually a bandit. They get arrested on their way. However, Umrao gets released with Sultan's help. However, he doesn’t accept her back in his life, as he questions her fidelity. A dejected Umrao doesn’t know what to do now. Just then, she gets an offer to sing at a function in Faizabad, her hometown. Eagerly, Umrao accepts the offer, hoping against hope that she gets to lead a new life as Amiran again. But will her hopes be fulfilled?