India, the present. The policeman brother of a young woman named Roopa returns to Chandanpur to arrange her marriage. A politician is murdered by outlaws during the village carnival and, in the ensuing carnage, so are both Roopa's brothers, deaths she vows to avenge. The gang leader, promising she will never enjoy the love of a brother or a lover, kidnaps her, but she escapes by throwing herself over a waterfall. Roopa washes up down river where she steals the clothes of the bathing Kishan Pyare, a nautankiwala, or performer in lowbrow theatre. Kishan tours with his friend, truck driver Shankar Shane. The romantic Kishan wants to make Roopa a partner in his show but Shankar argues she will bring trouble.
Roopa travels with them. She tries to escape but returns when chased by the gang and by her intended husband, a drunk who tries to rape her. Roopa feigns love for Kishan, who wants to marry her, and the two men agree to help her return to Chandanpur. When Roopa's sham is revealed, she tells them her story. Shankar becomes her ritual brother while Kishan, heartbroken, leaves in disgust. Roopa and Shankar return to Chandanpur, where Shankar mobilises the village. Another carnival is arranged. The villains attack as planned. Kishan returns but Roopa is kidnapped. The friends give chase and are captured. Eventually good prevails and the outlaws meet a gory end. Roopa is united with Shankar, her brother, and Kishan, her lover.