The film begins in a small village in Sri Lanka called Mankulam, where M. D. Shyama (Nandita Das) is married to Dileepan (J. D. Chakravarthy), who along with a few other Sri Lankan Tamils in the village, is part of the LTTE. While having a quiet moment, the couple hears sounds of Sri Lankan Army troops approaching. He asks Shyama to leave while he remains in the forest. Shyama realizes that she is pregnant and waits in vain for Dileepan’s return. Her villagers begin fleeing to India to seek refugee due to the war. Shyama is initially stubborn to leave her husband behind, but her relatives convince her to seek refuge for her unborn child’s sake. The villagers board a boat to the shores of Rameswaram. On the journey, one of the rebels says that he has seen her husband, Dileepan, with bullet wounds in the forest. Shyama wants the boat to turn around but it is too late. In Rameswaram, while a local collector takes down the names of the refugees, Shyama gives birth to a baby girl. However, the urge to find her possibly wounded husband and reunite with her people back home overwhelms Shyama and she leaves behind the newborn girl, hoping that the girl will lead a better life.
Nine years later in Chennai, a young girl, Amudha (Baby Keerthana) narrates her family life. She introduces her father, writer Thiruchelvan (R. Madhavan), who uses the pen name ‘Indira’ for his books. Indira (Simran) is Amudha’s mother. She also has two younger brothers- Vinay and Akhil. Amudha’s ninth birthday approaches and both of her parents take her to the temple. After their prayers, Thiruchelvan brings Amudha to Marina Beach and reveals the truth that she was adopted from a refugee camp in Rameswaram and is not their biological daughter. Amudha is heavily disturbed after hearing the news and begins distancing herself from the family. Indira’s father criticizes them for revealing the truth to her, but Thiruchelvan and Indira are certain they have taken the right decision. Amudha asks her adoptive parents about her adoption.
The film then flashes to nine years ago in Rameswaram, where Thiruchelvan, then a budding writer, constantly travels to the refugee camp and writes stories inspired by the people there. At one such instance, Thiruchelvan sees a newborn baby girl and writes a short story about her. Indira is his neighbour, and has always expressed an interest in him. Thiruchelvan, after a while, finds the urge to adopt the girl, but realizes that he will not be allowed to do so until he is married. He then proposes to Indira in order to be able to adopt the baby. They get married and adopt the baby girl, naming her ‘Amudha’ at Indira’s suggestion. A few years later, Indira gives birth to Vinay and Akhil.
Even after hearing this, Amudha is dissatisfied. She requests to meet her mother despite Indira’s insistence that they can’t possibly find her even if they wanted to. She and her cousin then go secretly to Rameshwaram to the orphanage from where she was adopted, to check the records. The family chases them there and is shocked at her stubbornness. Thiruchelvan gives in and agrees to take Amudha to Sri Lanka to find her birth mother. Leaving the two boys under the care of Indira’s father, the trio travel to Sri Lanka and are greeted by Dr. Herold Vikramasinghe (Prakash Raj), a Sinhalese friend of Thiruchelvan who helps them track down Amudha’s birth mother. Amudha’s increasingly rude behavior towards Indira while she impatiently waits to meet her birth mother puts their relationship under strain. While taking a walk in the nearby jungle, Thiruchelvan and Vikramasinghe are captured by a group of LTTE rebels. Thiruchelvan immediately recites Tamil poetry and is identified as Indira by the group’s leader (Pasupathy). Thiruchelvan explains his motives of coming to the country, mentioning the only evidence that he has regarding Amudha’s birth mother is that her name is Shyama. The group leader arranges a meet and says he will bring Shyama to the designated spot. It is later revealed that Shyama is the group leader’s sister who is also a part of the LTTE rebels living in seclusion.