Zubeidaa is the story of Riyaz’s (Rajit Kapoor) search to understand his mother, who is not known to him, as he was brought up by his maternal grandmother in the absence of his mother. His mother’s name was Zubeidaa (Karisma Kapoor) and she was the only daughter of a filmmaker named Suleman Seth (Amrish Puri). Zubeidaa acts in films secretly, but when her father finds out he forbids her to carry on and quickly arranges her marriage to his friend’s son Dr. Mehboob Alam who becomes a Gharjamai. Things seem happy for her when she gives birth to Riyaz. However, a disagreement arises between Suleman and Mehboob’s father, and Mehboob divorces Zubeidaa a few days after she gives birth.