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Lucia Lane, an Anglo-American writer of lurid novels, comes to India in search of inspiration and meets Hari, a screenwriter, who takes her to the Bombay film company where he works. There she meets Vikram, an Indian matinee idol, and begins an affair with him. Despite the extreme jealousy of his wife, Mala, Vikram wants to continue the affair, but Lucia, advised by a fortune-teller that she will ruin the men in her life, abandons Vikram and goes to a religious retreat. She soon discovers, however, that a life of prayer is not enough for her, and she returns to the secular world. To celebrate her birthday she goes drinking with Vikram and Hari, and the three become recklessly drunk. When Mala threatens to turn Vikram out unless he stops seeing Lucia, he is at first indecisive, but then he tells Lucia that he is going to return to his wife. Lucia asks Hari to intervene for her, and he goes to talk with Vikram, but when Vikram insults Lucia, Hari, who is in love with Lucia, stabs Vikram to death.