Shashi Godbole is a homemaker who makes and sells laddoos as a home-run business. Her husband Satish and daughter Sapna take her for granted, mock her poor English skills, and generally treat her with disrespect, making Shashi feel negative and insecure. However, her young son, Sagar loves her as she is, and her mother-in-law offers her words of sympathy.
Shashi’s older sister Manu, who lives in New York, invites Shashi’s family to her daughter Meera’s wedding to Kevin. It is decided that Shashi will go to New York alone five weeks before the wedding to help Manu organize. Her husband and children will join her as the wedding approaches. During her flight to New York, Shashi is given inspirational advice by a fellow passenger (Amitabh Bachchan in Hindi/Ajith Kumar in Tamil). While Shashi is in New York, she has a traumatic experience at a cafe due to her inability to communicate in English. She is comforted by a French chef Laurent who happened to be queuing up behind her at the cafe.
Using the money she made from selling laddoos, Shashi secretly enrolls in a conversational English class that offers to teach the language in four weeks, showing her resourcefulness at navigating an unfamiliar city alone. The class comprises David Fischer, the instructor; Eva, a Mexican nanny; Salman Khan, a Pakistani cab driver; Yu Son, a Chinese hairstylist; Ramamurthy, a Tamil software engineer; Udumbke, a closeted African-Caribbean man; and Laurent. Shashi quickly becomes a promising and committed student, earns everyone’s respect with her charming behavior and her cuisine, and gains self-confidence. Laurent becomes attracted to Shashi. When he tries to kiss her at the rooftop of a building, Shashi rejects him and runs off, but fails to explain that she is married.