Kalyani (Lakshmi), a 33-year-old popular stage actress stages play with her guardian Annasamy (Y.G.Parthasarathy) and his son Dhamu (Y.G. Mahendra) plays the musical instruments. Kalyani lives with a servant maid Pattu (G. Rajini). Kalyani reads popular writer and critic Rangasamy or Ranga's (Srikanth) writings and writes to him and he responds. Ranga is a widower with a young child who lives in a village. They plan to meet and Kalyani finds him attractive and Ranga likes her good character and they both soon fall in love. Annasamy advises them to get married and Ranga agrees. However, his close relative Chinna Nayina ('Thengai' Srinivasan) and his wife Thotha (Gandhimathi) are against him marrying an actress and suggest he should get married to his sister-in-law Sumathi (Anandhi) instead, who is bringing up Ranga's daughter. Ranga tells Sumathi that he is planning to marry another woman to her dismay.
Kalyani comes to know about Pattu and Dhamu's love and fixes their marriage. Ranga and Kalyani marry and begin their life well. After a few days, they find many differences of opinions to do with their lifestyles, views on life, and people. Ranga hurts Kalyani by passing a comment that life is all about acting for her, even her love and that she does not have the real feeling of love towards anyone. Kalyani feels hurt constantly thinking of this.
Chinna Nayina advises Ranga to stop living in his wife's house and move to his house and tells him to stop Kalyani from acting as an actress does not have a good reputation in the society. Ranga discusses this with Kalyani but she refuses to give up her career. Ranga feels that she is self-centered and moves out to Chinna Nayina's house, which saddens Kalyani. One day Ranga suddenly comes home and tells her that they should start living a life of good friends than a life of husband-wife and she agrees.
Kalyani and Ranga meet Raghavan (Nagesh), a lawyer to terminate their marriage. Raghavan seeks a reason for divorce and Ranga tells that they are not happy to live together. Raghavan states that as they have not completed three years' of marriage, they cannot expect divorce immediately but can opt for mutual consent and they need to live separately for a year, Ranga is keen to leave her while Kalyani suggests they live now as if they have divorced without really divorcing.
Ranga refuses and states that he now finds logic in Chinna Nayina's statement that one can be friends with a woman of equal status but cannot be a couple because a husband will always look for a wife who is lower than him in some way.
Two years pass by and Kalyani develops tuberculosis in the spinal cord leading to numbness in her legs. She takes treatment and is in a wheelchair. Annasamy informs Ranga and he finally comes to see her. The doctor tells Ranga that it will take a few months but she will recover. Raghavan tells him that now he has a valid reason for divorce. Ranga refuses and makes it clear that he cannot use this opportunity to abandon her especially when she is in need of him emotionally. He takes care of her and apologizes to her for being selfish and not understanding her love. They both attend a stage play of Annasamy where Kalyani dreams of getting recovered and acting again on the stage.
[from the book Pride of Tamil Cinema: 1931 to 2013 by G Dhananjayan, Blue Ocean Publishers, 2014]