The film, which won the 1988 National Film Award for Best First Film of a Director for its "excellent exploration of complex philosophical theme for the first time in Indian cinema," is set in the Buddhist town of Sariput in the desert of Central Asia in the 1st century B.C. The town is struck by a devastating sand storm that leaves behind only four survivors: two monks and two children taking refuge in the monastery. Twenty years later, the monks have become old, while the boy and the girl have grown and fallen in love. The jealous monk deceitfully persuades the boy into becoming a monk, yet the girl wins him back, as a result both are expelled from the monastery, and that is when the sandstorm strikes once again..
Ford plays an American doctor whose wife suddenly vanishes in Paris. To find her, he navigates a puzzling web of language, locale, laissez-faire cops, triplicate-form filling bureaucrats and a defiant, mysterious waif who knows more than she tells.
Thanks to an untimely demise via drowning, a young couple end up as poltergeists in their New England farmhouse, where they fail to meet the challenge of scaring away the insufferable new owners, who want to make drastic changes.