Raja, a journalist who prefers to write totally different news articles, sees the two sisters doing the cremating work, comes often to the graveyard, to study the girls and gather information for a magazine, falls in love with Thamarai. Thamarai also develops a soft corner for him.
Fearing society to stop their love, Raja’s father asks Thamarai to get 10 sovereigns of gold jewels and 1 lakh rupees as dowry for marriage (which is very difficult for poor). However, Marappan agrees to the condition. Unable to go back on his words, Raja’s father makes arrangement for the wedding. The day before marriage, Marappan loses the money. Marriage stops. Marappan dies. The money is found and returned. Ridden with guilt, Raja’s father accepts Thamarai wholeheartedly as his daughter-in-law. Thamarai refuses marriage since Malli has no one else now. Thamarai sets fire to her father’s body. The two sisters carry on with the cremating job, living for one another.