In this short story, Girish Karnad narrates a love story between two women Rani and Nagamandala. The story is set in the Indian subcontinent of the early 20th century. The main character of the story, Rani lives in a house with her mother. She lives in a small room which is very close to the outside. Nagamandala lives in a big house with his family. The story is mainly set in the night. There is a river behind Rani’s house. In the morning, when Rani wakes up, she sees that there are many birds and animals in her garden.
In this short story, a young girl called Rani falls in love with a man named Nagamandala. However, Nagamandala has been married before and her husband does not want to divorce her. Rani’s parents agree to get her married to Nagamandala on the condition that she has to be sent to her husband’s house only after the birth of their first child. This is done to prevent any scandal or gossip.
However, after Rani gives birth to a baby girl, she decides to run away from her husband and leave her daughter with her parents. In the end, she meets Nagamandala again in a temple and they are married.