Meena, a 12-year-old living in a mining village in the English Midlands in 1972, is the daughter of Indian parents who've come to England to give her a better life. This idyllic existence is upset by the arrival in the village of Anita Rutter and her dysfunctional family. Anita is 14, blonde and beautiful - exactly what Meena thinks she wants to be. She becomes part of Anita's world, but events do not run smoothly. Meena's growing up - and that brings plenty of changes.
Of East Indian origin, Kumar, his wife, Daljeet, and a young daughter, Meena, move into Tollington, a small mining community in Britain. Daljeet subsequently gets pregnant and gives birth to a baby boy. This is the place where Meena grows up. Things change in Meena's life when the Rutters move into their neighborhood. Anita Rutter is around Meena's age. She is tall, blonde, and very attractive - all attributes that Meena envies and longs for. Meena wants desperately to be accepted by Anita and her circle of friends. She even invites Anita to her house for supper. Things change dramatically when the Kumar's family friend, Mr. Bhatra, is assaulted by a gang; the visit of Meena maternal grandmother; and Meena's subsequent discovery as to what views Anita and her friends have about her and her family.