Santha (Sridevi) is an orphaned young woman who tries to find a job in Madras to survive. She is exploited by a crook and is mistakenly dubbed by the Police as a sex worker. She returns to her native village and starts living with her old friend Devaki (Sathyapriya). Devaki's husband is the belligerent but soft-hearted Velu (Kamal Hassan) who runs a cycle-repair shop. Santha relishes her life in the village with Devaki and Velu but things take a turn when the village station-master Mohan (Murali Mohan) falls in love with her. Santha is reluctant to reciprocate due to her past which also returns to haunt her in the form of the inspector who had once arrested her in Madras and is now transferred to her village and also through Mohan's father (Major Sundarrajan) who had once encountered her in a dubious situation. Whether Santha is able to transcend her unpleasant past and restore normalcy in her life forms the rest of the story.