Gangacharan, an educated Brahmin, has arrived to settle in the village with his wife, Ananga, a sensitive woman, giving and devoted to her husband. The distant World War II changes the village. Gangacharan is only little more informed than the villagers. As a few aeroplanes disturb the peaceful sky, the word goes around that the war will result in a scarcity of rice and as a result the price of rice soars. To eat, the villagers are reduced to animal-like existence, forced to beg for food. Ananga offers to work for food and she goes to work with other village women. Ananga along with Chutki goes to the forest to look for wild potatoes. A man tries to take Ananga. Chutki kills the man with the bar she used to dig potatoes. An untouchable-caste woman dies for hunger; the first starvation death in the village. Gangacharan, breaking the taboo, give her a proper cremation. Even as we learn that Ananga is pregnant, we see the villagers leave in search of food in silhouettes. The screen is filled with a statement - Over five million died of starvation and epidemics in Bengal in what has come to be known as the man-made famine of 1943.