A love story played out against a backdrop of political and religious upheaval. At the end of the Second World War, 38 year-old career soldier Gian Singh resigns his commission with the British Indian Army and returns to his childhood village, near the border with Pakistan. Haunted by the memories of war, he seeks a quiet life of farming, solitude and prayer. His peace is shattered in August 1947, however, when India is granted independence. A new border is drawn between Hindu-dominated India and Muslim-dominated Pakistan, and the region is torn apart by massacres fueled by ancient animosities. In the midst of one such massacre, Gian finds Naseem, a 17-year-old Muslim girl, and takes her under his protection. They gradually find themselves drawn to each other but, as their remarkable story plays out, the obstacles to their happiness prove all but insurmountable.