A pilgrimage to Shiv-sagar is a pious dream for almost the entire country. People from all over India make this pilgrimage. On one such voyage a steamer was carrying diverse people, people from all walks of life with various motives and desires, as if they were a cross - section of our whole people.
A writer was making the trip to gather materials for his novel. A Sadhuji Maharaj was escorting widows of his 'ashram' to the Holy Confluence.
A rich businessman was travelling with his wife and young son. The son had recovered from a mortal disease, and the parents had gratefully promised to offer the Lord of Shiv-sagar their most precious belonging; they were carrying with them a very valuable diamond for this offering. There was a dancing girl Roopa, an accomplished beautiful dancer whom her foster-mother was taking to the Shiv-sagar to perform her inaugural dance, before entering the career of a dancing girl. When young, she had an attack of polio and her foster-mother had vowed that if the girl recovered completely and learned dancing, her inaugural dance would be performed before Lord Shiva of Shiv-sagar.
Surrounded by his 'yes-men', a pleasure seeking Zaminder was carrying a cask of wine to throw it in the sea at Shiv-sagar. His wife had died tormented by his infatuation for liquor and by her dead body he had promised an atonement....his decision to throw the chief culprit, the cask of wine, into the sea.
To complete the picture of diversity, there were two robbers following the merchant for the diamond. One was the lame informer, who according to their arrangement used to gather information and pass it on to Chhagan, a reckless, faithless, past - master of his trade. They used to share the booty. But on this particular mission Chhagan refused saying "whoever grabs the diamond shall have it. ..Thus they turn into rivals. Faith and superstition, love and hate, jealousy and cowardice, compassion and godliness travelled on board the steamer . . affecting, reforming and transforming each other with each splash of wave on the drama of this pilgrimage.
(From the official press booklet)