On the eve of India's freedom, Maharaja Hamir Singh, the ruler of a large kingdom has declared independence from British rule and refuses to join the Indian Union. Chander Verma, an Indian Union official is sent to the king with orders of changing his mind or eliminating him. During his visit he discovers that nothing is quite what it seems. The king is surrounded by an eccentric group of guests living in their own world. They include an English lotus-eater, French colonialists, an American journalist, a French painter, a hippie chick (before such a thing even existed), an Indian actress, the king's biographer and his childhood nanny. The film unfolds as a surrealistic, erotically charged comedy of manners playing out in the backdrop of the birth of a nation.