A young Indian bride flees her marriage after overhearing her husband and mother-in-law plot her murder in Bantwal's middling debut. Angry that, a year after the arranged marriage, Megha's father has not paid the dowry and Megha has not yet become pregnant, Amma, her husband's mother, wants her dead. Megha bolts and turns to Kiran, her husband's cousin, whom she remembers as being kind. While Amma searches for Megha, Megha and Kiran feel a forbidden spark. Bantwal lays on thick rich cultural detail, but it's not enough to overcome the uninspired prose and thin characters: the villains are poor, ugly, boorish and lack motivation for their cruel acts, while the heroes are rich, handsome and polite (says Kiran: ""I happen to believe in things like decency and integrity, you know""). The ending may surprise, but getting to it can be exasperating.