The poor but educated Mahim and his childhood friend, the rich but conservative Suresh, both fall in love with the same woman, the liberated Achala. Mahim marries her and they move to a village but she cannot forget Suresh. Her smouldering unhappiness takes the form of a resentment towards the orphaned Mrinal, raised by Mahim's father, and receives a dramatically visual embodiment when their house burns down. Mahim falls ill, is rescued by Suresh and nursed back to health by Achala. On a train (a metaphor for the irreversibly linear course of life) to a health-resort where Mahim is supposed to convalesce, Suresh on a rainswept night gives in to temptation and elopes with Achala. At the end of the film, there is a dubious reconciliation as Achala is shown following Mahim's 'good' traditionalism with Saratchandra's barely concealed hostility towards Achala's liberated Brhamo Samaj upbringing.