A train stops at a railway station. A young woman jumps off. She has wild hair, sloppy clothes, and a distracted air. She looks Indian, yet she is somehow not. The sudden violence of what happens next leaves the other passengers gasping. The train terminates at Jarmuli, a temple town by the sea. Here, among pilgrims, priests, and ashrams, three old women disembark only to encounter the girl once again. What is someone like her doing in this remote corner, which attracts only worshippers? Find out.
For Maya, a young widow trying to escape her complicated past, teaching school in a secluded mountain village offers a promise of peace. Here she feels close to the calm heart of the land, where lush foothills meet clear skies. In the evenings she teaches a peasant girl, Charu, to write so she can correspond with her lover in secret. As Maya finds out, however, no refuge is remote enough to keep out the modern world, or her own past.