A tale within a tale, Maati Maay is a multi-dimensional, multi-layered film exploring a wide range of human relationships in a traditional society.
As far as he can remember Harinarain Singh alias Hariya has no knowledge of his birth, parents nor of a family home. During a skirmish with some of Thakur Balram Singh's hoodlums, he lies unconscious at the entrance of a temple with the Poojary in attendance, and an elderly unhinged woman praying to God for his sake. When he wakes, the Poojary tells him that the woman, known as "Pagli" (madwoman) is his very own mother, his father was a farmer, Ram Singh, who died of shock when his land was taken away by Balram and his men. Shortly thereafter Pagli passes away, and Hariya swears to take back his land from Balram. A wily Balram transfer this land in his nephew, Balraj's name, who is known to be a close friend of Hariya's with hopes of creating a misunderstanding between the two friends. When Balraj returns home he accepts this land from his uncle and decides to oppose Hariya with all his might, especially when he finds out that the love of his life, Sharda, is living with Hariya.
Meghla, who after years discovers that her grandmother had been killed in her ancestral home in East Pakistan by a trusted retainer of the family. And many years after the tragedy, she visits Dhaka to trace her roots and faces the murderer's family who now occupies her house. Maati traces Meghla's trials with truth and humanity while tackling issues of migration, human displacement, and relationships.
The film revolves around "Riyadh"; the historical and archeological house owned by al-Muti. Some of the brokers, especially the brother of Haj Hamman, try to pay Mu'ti to sell him in any way. But Hajj Muti insists on his position, clinging to Riyadh, the symbol of his national identity, and stands a stumbling block in front of the broker.