Director: Mani Ratnam; Producer: S. Sriram; Cinematographer: Rajeev Menon; Editor: Suresh Urs; Cast: Aravind Swamy, Manisha Koirala, Nazar, Kitty, Tinu Anand, Akash Kurana, Master Harsha, Master Hridhay, A.R.S, Venkatesh, Prakash Raj, Vasudeva Rao, Ratnakar, Rallapalli, Arun, Pramod, Vijayachandrika, Radhabai, Sheela, Meenu Rathod, Padmini Natarajan, Priya, Srisha, Sonali Bendre, S. Nagendra Prasad
Duration: 02:20:10; Aspect Ratio: 2.353:1; Hue: 250.996; Saturation: 0.106; Lightness: 0.399; Volume: 0.144; Cuts per Minute: 16.700
Summary: Shekhar is the son of an orthodox Hindu Narayana Pillai living in a coastal village in Tamil Nadu. A journalism student studying in Bombay, Shekhar visits home to be with his family. On one of his return trips, he notices Shaila Banu, a Muslim schoolgirl in the village and loses his heart to her. Initially shy, Shaila seeks to distance herself from Shekhar, but after frequent run-ins, and days of pursuit, Shaila begins to like Shekhar. Eventually, they both fall in love. Shekhar meets Shaila's father Basheer Ahmed and reveals he wants to marry her. Basheer throws him out, citing difference in religions. Shekhar reveals his interest to his father Pillai, who becomes angry, meets Basheer and gets into an abusive argument with him. Upset with rejection from both families, Shekhar leaves the village and returns to Bombay. Through Shaila's friend, he sends her a letter and a ticket for her to travel to Bombay. However, she is undecided; Basheer comes to know of her regular letters from Shekhar and plans to get her married immediately to stop this relation growing further. Left with no choice, Shaila leaves the village with the ticket sent by Shekhar and reaches Bombay. They get married and lead a happy life. Shaila conceives and delivers twins who are named Kabir Narayan and Kamal Basheer. The twins are raised in both religions. Shekhar continues to work as a journalist, while Shaila takes care of home and children. After six years, Shekhar and Shaila settle down in their life and begin the process of re-establishing a relationship with their respective families.
When the Babri Masjid is demolished by Hindu fascists on 6 December 1992, riots break out in Bombay. Kabir and Kamal, who had gone to buy groceries, get caught in the riots; eventually, Shekhar and Shaila save them and reach home safely. Narayana Pillai, who receives the news of the riots, rushes to Bombay to meet his son and his family. Everyone is happy with his arrival, and he stays with them. Soon, Basheer also comes with his wife and all of them live together happily for a few days. Both Pillai and Basheer are happy with their grandchildren and wish to be with them. On 5 January 1993, when two murders are propagated as communal killings, another riot breaks out in Bombay, raising tensions between religious communities. Hindus and Muslims clash in the streets, resulting in hundreds of deaths on both sides. During the conflict, arsonists set fire to the apartment where Shekhar lives with his family. Shekhar tries to evacuate everyone, but Narayana Pillai, Basheer and his wife fail to escape in time and are killed when the building explodes. In the confusion of the panicking crowds, Kamal and Kabir are separated from their parents. Shekhar and Shaila begin to search for them and they go through several tense moments. Shekhar participates in the movement to stop the riots with other moderate religious leaders, ultimately succeeding. When the riots end, Shaila and Shekhar are reunited with their children, who were saved by people from different religions.