Set in modern day India SWADES (Our Country) is a film that tackles the issues facing the citizens of this nation on a grass roots level. A country that is grappling with problems that development throws up, the India of SWADES is colourful, heterogeneods and complex, with peoples of divers cultures and attitudes. It is to this environment that Mohan Bhargava (Shah Rukh Khan), a bright young scientist working as a project manager in NASA, return to on a quest to find his childhood nanny.
In his attempts to persuade Kaveriamma (Kishori Ballal), the symbol to him of mothehood and family, to return to America with him, he gets drawn intro the life of a village called Charanpur and finds himself searching for answers to the questions of progress and development that the village is facing. His curiosity is piqued by Gita (Gayatri Joshi
- film debut), an admirable young woman teaching in ithe village primary schoo, who chooses to live here despite problems like casteism, prejudice and a lack of basic amenities.
The film uses the contrast between the highly developed world of NASA, which has been at the forefront of advances in space research, and this world back home in India, which is at the crossroads of development. What was a simple mission, prompted by nostalgia and affection, turns into a journey into the heartland of rural India, both literally and metaphorically. His quest becomes the journey that every one of us through in the search of that metaphysical and elusive place called 'home'.