Set in the present day Varanasi, the plot of Masaan follows two seemingly separate stories that eventually converge. The first of these tells the story of Devi. The film opens with her and her fellow student, Piyush, checking into a hotel room. They are interrupted during sex when the police bursts in, accusing them of indulging in â€œindecent behaviourâ€. As the inspector records the barely clad Devi on his mobile phone, the boy Piyush, in his undies, locks himself in the bathroom and commits suicide.
Devi and her family are subjected to blackmail by the police, particularly by Inspector Mishra, who demands a hefty bribe of three lakhs from Vidyadhar Pathak, Devi's father to hush up the matter. While he struggles to fulfill the demand, she responds in a dignified manner to the stigma forced on her by switching jobs. She eventually gets a government job in the Railways in Varanasi. Marred by the parochial mindset of people, she leaves Varanasi and joins a course in Allahabad. The second narrative concerns Deepak, a young boy (also from Varanasi) from Dom community (a low-caste of corpse burners) whose family work in cremation ghat by burning funeral pyres.
Despite being a Dom, Deepak wants to transcend the restrictions of his low caste. He studies Civil Engineering at a polytechnic college where he meets and falls in love with Shaalu, an upper caste girl. They start meeting each other and during a trip to Allahabad at the banks of Ganga, Shaalu falls for Deepak and accepts his proposal. Back in Varanasi, Deepak tells her about his caste and the work he does of burning corpses, but Shaalu remains firm and tells him that she will be with him even if her parents refuse. She asks him to focus on his placements and bag a job, while she reaffirms her commitment to him .
However, unfortunately, during a pilgrimage trip along with her family, she dies in a ghastly bus accident and her dead body along with some other victims ends up at the same cremation ground. Deepak is shattered on seeing her dead body and loses all purpose in his life for a while. But eventually comes to cope with the support of his friends. He also gets an engineers job in Railways landing up in Allahabad. The film reaches its climax as Devi comes to the bank of Ganga to immerse the gift Piyush had given to her on the fateful day in the hotel.
Deepak notices her crying and offers her water to drink. A boatman beckons offering them a ride on the boat towards Sangam. Both board the boat striking a conversation. Devi tells Deepak that this is her first time she is going towards Sangam. Deepak tells her he has been there earlier once but adds that there is a belief one should visit the Sangam at least twice, once alone and once in someones company.
With that, the film ends.
Richa Chadda, Vicky Kaushal, Sanjay Mishra, Shweta Tripathi
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