Pinjara is a carder in a Bombay cotton factory producing and renovating mattresses. Carding is a skill centuries old, but it can now be done by machine. Pinjara's livelihood is threatened and, in consequence, his very existence. He has been homeless in the city for the forty years he has worked there. He wants to return to his village and his family home, but the need for a meagre living forces him back to the city.