On the ghats of Kashi, the most ancient of cities, a woman confronts memories that have pursued her through birth and rebirth. In the life she recalls, she Shakuntala of the northern mountains-spirited, imaginative, but destined like her legendary namesake to suffer 'the samskaras of abandonment'. Stifled by social custom, hungry for experience, she deserts home and family for the company of a Greek horse merchant she meets by the Ganga. Together, they travel far and wide and surrender to unbridled pleasure, as Shakuntala assumes the identity of Yaduri, the fallen woman. But an old restlessness compels her to forsake this life as well-and court tragedy.