Directed by Shyam Benegal, this was Shabana Azmi's first release. It stars Anant Nag, Sadhu Meher and Priya Tendulkar.

Shabana plays Lakshmi, the wife of a deaf mute guy Kishtayya (Sadhu Meher). They are lower caste people and responsible for upkeep of the village landlord's house. 
Surya (Anant Nag) is the landowner's son. His father has a mistress and illegitimate son who have been given a share of their land. Surya has to look after the other half of the land and moves to the old house in the village after marriage. Since Saru (Priya Tendulkar) is a child bride, Surya is staying alone there. 

Lakshmi is unhappy with her life... she is married to a deaf and mute guy who does not earn anything and they are unable to have a child. After Kishtayya is caught stealing toddy he runs away. Lakshmi and Surya have an affair once Kishtayya is gone. Surya even promises to take care of her 'forever'. But after a few months, his child bride Saru moves with him. She had heard rumours of their affair and removes Lakshmi from the job with the excuse that she is not well. While Lakshmi discovers she is pregnant and Surya pushes her to abort the child but she refuses. 

Kishtayya comes back after a few months and is not angry about the child which is clearly not his. He had run away to earn money for Lakshmi and is back now. When he is going with a stick to his cart, Surya assumes he is looking for him because of the pregnancy and brings a whip to hit him with. Shabana then runs to save Kishtayya from Surya's whipping. 

KC asked me; "Thats it? What happens next?" I said ;"That's life. Nothing happens next".

The movie is so much more than the story. Each character is fleshed out so well.

Surya is a coward who seems to do nothing right in his father's eyes. He promises to take care of Lakshmi 'forever' but buckles under pressure from his wife. He is a selfish and arrogant tyrant who does not care about anyone but himself. He does have redeeming qualities like not believing in the caste system and has no issues eating food made by Lakshmi. 

Lakshmi is a frustrated woman. She works all day while her husband spends money drinking. All she wants is a child but her husband cannot even give her that. She does worry about what people will say about her and Surya but gives in to her lust. Through it all, she is still devoted to her husband and will not listen to a word against him. 

I loved the movie. 


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