India, 1955: as the scars of Partition are just beginning to heal, seventeen-year-old Meera sits enraptured by Dev, who sings a song so infused with passion that it arouses in her the first flush of erotic longing. But it does not lead to a fairy-tale marriage. Dev's family is steeped in orthodoxy. Meera has no choice but to obey her in-laws, tolerate Dev's drunken fumblings and observe the most arduous of Hindu fasts. A move to Bombay, so that Dev can chase his dream of success as a Bollywood singer, seems like a fresh start, but soon that dream - and their marriage - turns to ashes. It is only when their son is born that things change. For the first time, Meera feels ready to shape her own destiny, to take control of her world.