Widower Jeevanlal gets arrested for assaulting a Pharmacist as he is unable to afford medicines to treat his ill daughter, Guddu. Subsequently jailed, his repeated and vain attempts to escape only end up increasing his sentence, leaving Guddu to fend on her own. Years later he will re-surface as a wealthy male and prospective Mayor known simply as J.V.; while Guddu will be living two lives - one as the single mother of a young child, Kiran; and the other as a gun-toting alcoholic prostitute known as Bulbul.
Amidst her own personality crisis, southern housewife Evelyn Couch meets Ninny, an outgoing old woman who tells her the story of Idgie Threadgoode and Ruth Jamison, two young women who experienced hardships and love in Whistle Stop, Alabama in the 1920s.