Mani Kaul’s Hindi film is based on play of the same name by Mohan Rakesh. The title of the play derives from the second verse of Kalidasa’s play Meghaduta. It literally means “one day during the monsoon”. It depicts the love of Mallika and Kalidasa, the famous Sanskrit poet and dramatist. Kalidasa lives in Himalayan village and is romantically linked with Mallika. However he is invited to king Chandragupta’s court in far-off Ujjaini. Mallika sacrifices her love and encourages him to go to ujjaini. Vilom, a friend of Kalidasa and interested in Mallika, is a passive onlooker mostly. One-day passing through his village with his queen ,he ignores mallika. Mallika makes her life complete without him.
The characters’ lines were pre-recorded and played back during shooting thereby freeing the actors from any kind of theatrical conventions. The sparse realism of ‘ Uski Roti’ is replaced by Mahajan’s sensuously shot landscapes and relaxed camera movements , minutely registering light changes within the frame.