Two thieves, Khalujan (Naseruddin Shah) and Babban (Arshad Warsi), are on the run from their boss, Mushtaq. They seek refuge with an old friend, but instead meet his widow, Krishna (Vidya Balan). As they plan their escape, the two are slowly drawn to her - Khalu with his vision of old-fashioned love, and Babban with his lustful eye.
The threat of imminent death forces them on a path of violence and betrayal. Set in a rural landscape, Ishqiya explores basic human emotions as influenced by desire, greed and revenge.