Kaul’s film addresses the writings of Gajanan Madhav Muktibodh (1917-69), one of the main representatives of the Nai Kavita (New Poetry) movement in Hindi (Tar Saptak, 1943; Chanda Ka Mooh Tedha Hai, 1954). Muktibodh also wrote several short stories, one of which (1971) provides the film with its title, and critical essays. The film integrates episodes from Muktibodh’s writings with material from other sources, including a reinvented neo-realism derived from Muktibodh’s literary settings. The narrative is constructed around three characters. Ramesh (Gopi) is the one who speaks and enacts Muktibodh’s writings, functioning as the first-person voice of the text; his two friends, Madhav (Jha) and Keshav (Raina), are Ramesh’s antagonists and interlocutors esp. in the debates about modernity. Kaul gradually minimises the fictional settings until, in the remarkably shot sequences of the factory, the audience is directly confronted with the written text itself. Kaul had begun his studies of Dhrupad music, the classical North Indian music known mainly for its extreme austerity, and derived a number of cinematic styles from this musical idiom which have influenced all his films since: e.g. the continuously mobile camera, the use of changing light patterns and the importance of improvisation.