The film opens in Kanpur in 2005, where 14-year-old students tease a balding teacher. Balmukund "Bala" Shukla, a popular kid who carries much pride for his hairstyle, leads the teasing. Bala borrows notes from the studious and dark-complexioned Latika Trivedi and passes them off as his own to the fair-skinned Shruti to impress her. When Latika calls him out, Bala berates her for being dark-skinned. The narrator describes how society values beauty and fair skin over other accomplishments, especially in marriage.