"GHARAONDA" humanises two of the most over-powering of animal instincts, the instinct to nest and the instinct to mate.
The principal 'nest-seekers' in the film are Sudip and Chhaya, both youthful, full-blooded characters from a lower-middle class background.
Sudip makes his first acquaintance with Chhaya in the office of an exporter Mr. Modi where Sudip is already working and Chhaya has been newly appointed as a ' typist' by Mr. Modi. Modi has already suffered two severe heart attacks and uncertainty looms large over his survival.
Chhaya's sudden and unconventional mode of appointment intrigues all the staff. Sudip, however because of his affability, personal charm, and helpful attitude readily captures the attention and interest of Chhaya.
The 'Sudip-Chhaya' friendship matures meaningfully into a kind of 'pre-matrimonial' alliance and their central problem now is to acquire a shelter. Towards this objective, both make ambitious plans. Both work hard to attain their cherished dream. Finally Sudip is successful in booking a flat in a coming-up 'low-income' building. The building contractor is a typical Bombay shark, who doesn't issue any receipt to Sudip for his advance money which Sudip had to borrow from a Bania.
A series of tragedies await Sudip: his room-mate Guha, who had introduced Sudip to the builder, commits suicide. The reason: the builder has absconded taking away Guha's and Sudip's money, instead of giving the promised possession of their 'nest'. Guha's tragic death, triggered by the rough deal he got from the builder, almost shakes Sudip's faith in all finer values of life. He now comes to believe that the rich are always conspiring against the poor, and the only answer to achieve the objective is to resort to unscrupulous short cuts. Sudip in a weaker moment of suspended morality, goes to the extent of coaxing Chhaya that she should marry Modi in order to get a house. But he forgets that in the process he himself would lose his credibility with Chhaya.
Meanwhile Mr. Modi has opened up before Chhaya as to why he had instantaneously appointed her in his office by just looking at Chhaya's photograph attached to her application : Chhaya has a remarkable resemblance with the deceased Mrs. Modi. Mr. Modi has also been trying to win Chhaya's affection by sponsoring the foreign studies of Chhaya's aspiring younger brother. Chhaya however has still not recovered from the shock of having lost all hopes of ever having a shelter to live with Sudip.
With a dramatic suddenness, Mr. Modi proposes to Chhaya that she marry him. Tempted by Mr. Modi's affluence and the prospects of living in a luxurious bungalow, Chhaya finally accedes. Chhaya's married life, surprisingly ripens into an understanding, caring relationship with Mr. Modi. But Sudip has not reconciled to the changed situation. Heartbroken. wrecked both emotionally and financially, Sudip starts absenting himself from Mr. Modi's office, spending long hours on a lonely bridge where he and Chhaya had once resolved to nest together.
Out of desperation, Sudip once visits Chhaya at her bungalow to inform her that he is leaving the cruel city of Bombay. He tells Chhaya the exact time of departure of his train, and parts expectantly. At the precise time when Sudip's train is to leave, Chhaya is still clinging protectively to Mr. Modi.