Paradesi is set in the late 1930s in a tea plantation run by British somewhere in Munnar. The people in a poor Tamil village are conned by a ruthless middleman or 'Kankani' to work in the plantation promising them decent wages. Little do these innocent people realize that they are going to be enslaved in a tea plantation as 'coolies' for the rest of their life. It is a double edged sword: Those who try to escape end up with their calf muscles cut off and those who reluctantly stay behind fall prey to deadly diseases and torture. In short there is no escape from the hell and they are destined to be slaves for life.