Adharvaa, Dhansika, Vedhika
G. V. Prakash Kumar
Rasa (Adharvaa) is a carefree young man living in a rural village in the Madras Presidency during the early days of the British Raj. Orphaned at a young age, he is brought up by his nagging but loving hunchback grandmother. Angamma (Vedhicka), a village girl falls for him and takes pleasure in bullying him. When she finally confesses her feelings for him, they make love and soon reveal the fact that they are in love before the entire village. Angamma's mother objects as Rasa is jobless and irresponsible, making him unqualified to become anyone's husband.
Rasa then goes to the nearby village in search of work. He comes across a friendly Kangani, who then follows Rasa back to his village. The Kangani offers a work for the villagers at the British tea plantations at the hillside. He promises them proper accommodation and high wages. Like many of the villagers, Rasa signs up with the Kangani, hoping he can send home money every month for his ailing grandmother. Both Angamma and his grandmother are sad to watch him go.
When Rasa and his villagers finally arrive at the tea plantation, things are not as what the Kangani promised. The Kangani and his henchmen rule the plantation with an iron fist. The British plantation manager does not care for the workers. Rasa becomes friends with Maragadham (Dhansika) and her little daughter, the wife and child of the only worker who have ever escaped the plantation so far. Rasa soon gets a letter from his grandmother stating that Angamma now lives with her after her family found out she is pregnant with his child.
It is soon revealed that all the workers' daily wages go to their food and lodging. Rasa will have to work there for many more months if he wishes to leave the place. Maragadham too has to work for both her time and for her husband's contract. The workers finally realize that they have been made slaves to the British businessmen. Feeling homesick, Rasa tries to escape. Unfortunately, he is caught by the Kangani's henchmen and cuts the left leg main bone (fibula), just like every other worker who had tried to escape and failed.
An epidemic soon kills many workers in the plantation, including one of Rasa's villagers. During a tea party, an English socialite asks the plantation manager to bring in a real doctor to treat the workers. A doctor from Madras in the form of an Indian Christian convert and his English wife come to the plantation. But rather than treating the sick workers, they spend all their time trying to convert them.
Rasa's time at the plantation draws to an end. But he cannot rejoice as Maragadham becomes ill and finally dies. He then adopts her daughter and awaits his time to leave. However, he is then told that by adopting Maragadham's daughter, he has also inherited both her parents' debt to the plantation and will have to work there for almost ten more years to pay it all off. As he is lamenting his fate on top of a hill, he notices a new group of slaves being brought in. Among them, he sees Angamma and their son. He runs after them and in tears, tells them they have both walked into the mouth of hell.
The film ends with a wide shot of the tea plantation and all its workers staring at Rasa crying his heart out.