On hearing a knock at the door Deepak, the artist, opens it to admit a stranger who looks scared and on entry promptly closes the door.
Before Deepak could know who the stranger was, there were more knocks on the door compelling the stranger to take cover. 'Save me'-his eyes implored Deepak.
On opening the door Deepak is confronted by an angry mob demanding to know if a stranger had entered his flat. He is a thief; we would like to enter and search, they tell him.
"There is no one here except myself, but if you want, come in and have a look," says Deepak.
Believing Deepak, the mob leaves without a search.
The intruder who gives his name as Kewal Sharma, explains to Deepak that he was no thief, that he had come to the city in search of a job. Deepak believes and gives him shelter.
In a newspaper Deepak sees the photograph of his childhood friend, Sooraj, named as a badminton champion. It is not the championship that interests Deepak but the fact that his friend Sooraj is alive and not dead as he had imagined. He tells Kewal of how he had run away from home as a child believing that the bullet from his shotgun had hit and killed his and killed his playmate Sooraj. Sole heir to the wealthy Rai family of Anandgiri, Deepak now decides to return home to his parents and friend Sooraj.
Accompanied by Kewal, Deepak boards a train and sets out for Anandgiri. But at the Anandgiri railway station only one of them, Kewal alights and is received and greeted by the old mother and Sooraj. He makes them believe that he is their beloved Deepak.
At the police headquarters information is received about three baffling cases. One of them pertains to kidnapping, the other to an unidentified dead body and the third to a seriously injured person, hovering between life and death, found in an unconscious state near the railway track. Was any one of them Deepak? No body knew and nobody bothered.
At the Rai estate the imposter succeeds in establishing his identity and for a time goes out of his way to be in the good books of everyone, including the mother Sooraj and old Kishorilal, who manages the estate. His behaviour is sweeter than honey He persuades Sooraj to go to Bombay and complete a long term course in business management.
In Bombay Sooraj strikes friendship with Professor Dwarka Prasad and his family consisting of his grown-up daughter Rekha and son Dobby a mere toddler. Sooraj and Rekha love each other and it seems certain that they would marry at the opportune time.
In Anandgiri, as the first flurry of Deepak's homecoming subsides, the old mother and Kishorilal perceive signs of change in the young heir, who stops all charities and even starts ill-treating the mother. He even tries to kill her She survives but loses her sight as a result of the 'accident' which in reality is deliberately planned.
Once on a visit to Bombay the imposter who parades as Deepak, spots Rekha at the airport and makes advances to her. But she rebukes him and insults him in public. It is only later that he learns of the love affair between Sooraj and Rekha and their plan to become life partner.
The imposter plots cleverly to tear the lovers and in the bargain to have Rekha as his own spouse.
Dies his plot succeed? Does real Deepak return? Does the imposter go scotfee?
The answer to these questions provides the most unusual and unexpected climax of DHARKAN.