Movie starts with the desperate attempt of surgeon Dr.Neela (Sharmila Tagore) to save a patient, who she knew wasn’t going to survive. She works under the guidance of Dr. Chandra (Ashok Kumar) who tells her that however hard doctor might try, sometimes patient wouldn’t survive. Story drifts into flashback. Neela meets Avinash (Rajesh Khanna) at medical college and after an initial misunderstanding, grows close to him. Avinash is a poor guy who works while attending medical college. He paints too and Neela finds out that most of his paintings are of her. Though he admires Neela very much, he never talks about love or marriage. Everyone thinks that it’s because of his financial status, but it is later revealed that he has terminal cancer.
Neela, due to financial troubles, starts working as a tutor where she meets her student’s elder brother, businessman Shekhar Kapoor (Feroz Khan). Shekhar admires her and later meets his elder brother Kalidas (I. S. Johar) to ask her hand in marriage. Kalidas redirects him to Avinash saying that Neela would listen to him. Shekhar meets Avinash who approves of him and recommends him to Neela. Neela understands that Avinash has no intention to marry her, so she agrees to marry Shekhar. They spend some time happily but Shekhar always feels Neela wouldn’t love him as much as he loves her. Facing losses in business and expects Neela’s empathy but gets none.
Moreover Neela regularly visits her brother’s house where Avinash was a frequent visitor. Shekhar slowly grows suspicious of Neela and Avinash and asks his younger brother to spy on her. Later he finds a love letter, written by Avinash in the hand writing of Neela just for fun. Shekhar thinks that Neela has written that and becomes devastated. He wants to free her from him and commits suicide. Police suspects that Neela and Avinash killed him and arrests Neela as Avinash gets disappeared.
In trial, Shekhar’s mother Mrs Kapoor (Nadira) testifies in favor of Neela and court acquits her. Later it is revealed that Avinash left to get away from their marital lives not knowing that Shekhar committed suicide. Later he comes back in his final stage of disease and dies in Dr Chandra’s hospital. Heart broken and devastated, Neela wouldn’t want to live anymore but Dr.Chandra consoles and takes her under his wing to make her a great surgeon like him. Film ends with Neela sending her brother in law abroad for studies and dedicating her life to medical profession.