Vijay Tendulkar's play is a social satire on middle-class society. A wandering theatre group surfaces in a quiet village and decides to set up a mock trial. Things take a sinister turn when the actors drag the feisty school teacher Leela Benare into court for her sexual affairs out of wedlock.
In the climax, Benare delivers a brilliant monologue that exposes the hypocrisy of the male chauvinist. She narrates her story of suppression and loneliness, her dilemma of freedom and bondage, and her tale of a love-hate relationship with life. Leela Benare’s soliloquy of self-defense is an expression of her inner turbulence. Tendulkar decides to leave the audience in a state of suspense. Does Leela deliver the soliloquy or does the scene take place in her mind? During the court proceedings, the judge's cry of "silence" drowns her protests on several occasions.
The irony is that the responsibility of her affair with the Professor solely belongs to her, and he goes scot-free. In a hostile world, she fights a losing battle for survival. A patriarchal order compels an educated and self-reliant woman to conform to obsolete social norms.
Unable to bear the disgrace, Leela tries to flee the theatre, to find its exit locked. She falls prey to the cruelty of a sexually frustrated moral brigade.