Pardes, meaning foreign land, is a story that revolves around Ganga - Mahima Chaudhary. She is a young Indian girl living in a rural village, and is brought up by her conservative Indian family. Kishorilal - Amrish Puri is a wealthy and successful businessman who lives in Los Angeles, America but is still deeply attached to his motherland India and adores the values and culture of India. On a visit to India, he meets his old friend Suraj Dev - Alok Nath and stays at their house.He hopes to find an Indian girl for his westernized, American son, Rajiv - Apurva Agnihotri and feels that Ganga is just right.He offers a marriage proposal between Ganga and Rajiv.He sends his foster son, Arjun - Shahrukh Khan - Little Master to to make the place suitable for Rajiv.Arjun spends many days trying to get Ganga and Rajiv to like each other and in the process becomes a close friend of Ganga. Eventually Rajiv and Ganga both agree to the wedding.
The engagement is set in India with the wedding in America. Ganga leaves for America with her new family and is very excited about going Pardes. In her new surroundings, her only friend and confidant is Arjun who she begins to form a special bond with. At first everything seems ok but as time goes on she realises that Rajiv really isn't the person Arjun portrayed to her while they were in India. She faces many culture shocks when she sees Rajiv smoking, drinking and also finds out that he has had affairs and sexual relations in the past and is still seeing his former girlfriend. She confronts Arjun about why he lied to her, and he realises that he has fallen in love with her. How Ganga and Arjun realize their love for each other, and manage to convince everyone that their love is pure, is the remainder of the story.