Water is the last part of Deepa Mehta’s trilogy after Fire and Earth. The film is set in 1938 pre-independence India. Chuyia is an eight-year old child widow who is sent to the widow’s ashram by her father. The ashram is run by Madhumati whose only confidante and friend is the eunuch Gulabi.
In the ashram Chuyia meets Kalyani and Shakuntala. Kalyani was forced into prostitution by Madhumati and Gulabi. She was the only widow whose head was not shorn.
Kalyani was in love with Narayan who was an upper-class follower of Gandhi. Since widows in that era lived despicable lives of ostracism and penury, Kalyani and Narayan break norms in order to realize their relationship. Narayan sees his relationship as an area where he c uld apply his ideologies of emancipation and education.