Dismissed as a wastrel by the community, Kalidasa, a young cowherd in a remote village, finds his only support in Mallika, who believes in his genius despite her mother’s hostility towards him. Vilom, who loves Mallika, warns her that Kalidasa loves no one but himself. Mallika persuades Kalidasa to accept a royal appointment as Poet Laureate and go to the capital, Ujjaini. Despite her mother’s illness and their increasing poverty, Mallika rejoices in Kalidasa’s fame and glory, even when he marries the Gupta princess and becomes king. She is distressed only when Kalidasa revisits the village with his queen, but not Mallika’s home. Years later, the motherless, destitute Mallika, with a child of her own, sees a drenched, disheveled, Kalidasa stumbling into her home again. Dislocated from his roots, he can neither be a poet nor a politician.
Can he make a new beginning with Mallika?
This production intercuts modern writer Mohan Rakesh’s One Day in Ashadha with scenes from India’s greatest ancient playwright Kalidasa’s works -- Sakuntalam, Kumarasambhavam and Meghadutam. The Sanskrit extracts from Kalidasa are set to music and presented in a dance drama format, while the translated extracts make a play-within-the-play.