Zawana is confronted with several paths that open out defiantly before him, and he has to choose which one to take as the next step on his life's journey. The youth enters a small village monastery somewhere in Burma, led by its superior U Dahma. Zawana and the other novices are, as befits their age, playful and disobedient, and they find it hard to abide by the laws of the monastic robe. However, when U Dahma, who hasn't been running the monastery with a particularly firm hand, falls ill, the young man realizes that perhaps it's time to step out resolutely onto one of the paths and surrender to the school of life - and not only because his superior's death could mean the closure of the monastery.
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