Chembankunju's (Kottarakkara Sridharan Nair) only aim in life is to own a boat and a net. He finally succeeds in buying both with the help of Pareekutty (Madhu), a young Muslim trader, on condition that the fish hauled by the boat will be sold to him. Chembankunju's pretty daughter Karuthamma (Sheela) and Pareekutty love each other. Karuthamma's mother, Chakki, knows about it and reminds her daughter about the life they lead within the boundaries of strict social tradition. Karuthamma sacrifices her love for Pareekutty and marries Palani (Sathyan), an orphan discovered by Chembankunju in the course of one of his fishing expeditions. Following the marriage, Karuthamma accompanies her husband to his village, despite her mother's sudden illness and her father's requests to stay. In his fury, Chembankunju disowns her. On acquiring a boat and a net and subsequently adding one more, Chembankunju becomes more greedy and heartless. With his dishonesty, he drives Pareekutty to bankruptcy. After the death of his wife, Chembankunju marries Pappikunju, the widow of the man from he had bought his first boat. Panchami, Chembankunju's younger daughter, leaves home to join Karuthama, on arrival of her step mother. Meanwhile, Karuthamma has endeavoured to be a good wife and mother. But scandal about her old love for Pareekutty spreads in the village. Palani's friends ostracize him and refuse to take him fishing with them. By a stroke of fate, Karuthamma and Pareekutty meet one night and their old love is awakened... Palani, at sea alone and baiting a shark, is caught in a huge whirlpool and is swallowed by the sea. Next morning, Karuthamma and Parekutty, are also found dead hand in hand, washed ashore. At a distance, there lies a baited dead shark.
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