BHUMIKA is the story of Usha. As a child she lives a fitful, unhappy life with her mother, grandmother and asthmatic father who drowns his miseries in the bottle. Usha's only escapes from the overbearing world around her are her lonely flights into the woods-and music, taught by her grandmother.
Usha has known only unhappiness. Her parents quarrel constantly and Usha, a sensitive child, lives and intense inner life brightened only by music. Enter Keshav, a family friend. Though a decade older than Usha, he has fixed his eye upon her.
After the death of Usha's father, Keshav steps in as the new man of the house.
Seeing that Usha is becoming something of a singer, he takes the family to Bombay where she is selected in and audition.
Usha rises fast in the film world. Playing across her in several roles is Rajan who loves her. Sensing a threat to himself, Keshav works on her to marry him. She does-and also resolves to stop acting. But Keshav is not doing well and the family needs her earnings, so she continues on the screen.
Life at home is not all roses for Usha. Though she has a daughter, she finds no peace with a husband who is jealous of Rajan as well as secretly resentful of having to depend on her earnings.
At his point, Usha's restlessness comes to the fore. She runs to Rajan but he does not want to take the plunge and accept her full.
As time passes, a new man enters her life: Sunil Varma, a tall, dreamy, intellectual director. She is taken by his charm and worldly sophistication. When she becomes pregnant her husband accuses her of adultery and forces her to have an abortion. Sunil and Usha enter into a suicide pact that doesn't work.
Now she cuts herself off from her husband and takes up with another man. He is wealthy and takes her to his feudal estate. Though she has the run of his rambling mansion, winning the love of his son, mother and even his paralysed, neglected wife, she realises that she is a prisoner in his house.
The suffocation is too much for her. She secretly writes to her husband who rescues her with the help of the police.
When she returns to find her daughter grown up and married, she realises how far she has come without yet finding any meaning or fulfilment in her life...