Chamki, a child labourer in a ‘chai shop’ leads an impoverished life characterized by illiteracy, filth and hostility. A habitual dreamer, Chamki, like any other deprived kid her age, fancies a privileged life.
As is her wont, she falls asleep at work and slips into a fascinating reverie in which she’s happily flying a paper rocket. As she watches her rocket glide beneath the expansive, rainbow-touched umbrella of blue, a passenger aircraft emerges from the clouds and Chamki, typical of her social class, instantly visualizes herself as an air hostess leading a high-flying, glamorous life far fetched from her squalid occupation as a waiter.
The beautiful dream is interrupted by a seemingly faint sound as she wakes up to strong reprimands from her master. Chamki is mercilessly chided for falling asleep during work hours and not attending to work. She meekly continues her chores cleaning up the mess on a vacated table. Brim with sorrow and self-pity, Chamki resigns herself to fate knowing that going to school and leading a respectable life is a distant dream that may never come true.