Leela | 2002
Watching the dying embers of her mother's funeral pyre, Leela questions her life--setting in motion events that change her irrevocably. She travels to America as a visiting professor, leaving her "perfect" life behind. She thrives in the American university environment--traveling the campus in cotton sarees, wearing her Indian identity on her sleeve. Kris (born Krishna), a young Indian-American, is a product of a single-parent home. Distanced from his Indian heritage, Kris is more American than his American buddies. With a hovering mother, and a father of convenience, Kris is uncomfortable in his own skin. Kris takes Leela's South Asian history class. On learning of dark secrets his mother has kept from him, Kris finds comfort in his friendship with Leela. Kris is mesmerized by Leela's quiet dignity and they develop a strong bond. Leela opens Kris to a world beyond black and white and, in turn Kris pushes Leela to crystallize the grays in her own life. She begins to scrutinize afresh her crumbling marriage to world-renowned poet, Nashaad. Nashaad's philandering ways have slowly worn down Leela's unconditional, unquestioning love for him. Things come to a head when Nashaad, realizing Leela's growing disenchantment, tries to reconnect with her. He fights to keep his love--unleashing a storm that turns everyone's lives upside down.