Gharonda explores the lives of Sudip (Amol Palekar) and Chaya (Zarina Wahab) who belong to the middle class in Mumbai and work in the same office. Chaya is sharing a 1 room flat with her younger brother, her older brother and sister-in law. Sudip has rented a room with 3 other men. Sudip and Chaya plan to get married as soon as they have a house made for themselves. In this process, they save every penny to build a corpus for buying a house. They go house hunting looking for an abode which will suit their budgets. After finally investing in a flat in one building, they are all excited about their future. After a few months, the builder who is a fraud, absconds with their money. Sudip’s room mate (played by Sadhu Mehar), who has also invested in the building, commits suicide. The building project is abandoned and all the money of investors goes down the drain. The couple is shocked and does not know how to react. They just cannot imagine having to start once again from scratch.
In the meantime, the owner of their firm Mr. Modi (Shriram Lagoo), starts taking an interest in Chaya and eventually proposes to her. Modi is a rich, ageing widower who is also a heart patient. Chaya is aghast at the proposal but Sudip sees a big opportunity in this. He tells her that since Modi is a heart patient, he is expected to die within a few months. After that, they can get married and their problems of house and wealth would be solved for ever. Chaya is disillusioned with Sudip for even suggesting such a thing and with a lot of reluctance accepts Modi’s proposal, specially as it gives her a chance to settle her brother.
Modi and Chaya’s married life starts awkwardly but soon she takes on the role of a dutiful wife. Sudip keeps visiting her on some pretext and also to check on Modi’s health. He is dismayed to find Modi in the pink of health. Modi, in fact, after marriage cheers up and this has a positive effect on his physical condition. Chaya rebukes Sudip about his constant visits and they have a confrontation which is overheard by Modi. He gets a heart attack – an event which once again stirs hope in Sudip’s heart. But Chaya very patiently nurses Modi back to health and Sudip finally decides to go his own way.