Aloke Prasad, son of powerful lawyer BabuTriloki Prasad, is a highly sensitive boy, deeply involved in the study of music. Thanks to his sister-in-law's, indulgenceGeeta, Aloke manages to attend a music college from where he graduates with flying colours. On his return home, however, Triloki Prasad insists that his son give up his fanciful pursuit of music, and settle down to the study of law. Aloke is unable to openly rebel against his dictatorial father, but he quietly continues to learn music from Sarjubai, an impoverished old lady of great talent who now lives in a nearby bustee.
Triloki Prasad is shocked to learn that his aristocratic son spends most of his time in bustee, surrounded by riff-raff. He takes up the case of a neighbouring mill-owner and succeeds in having the bustee destroyed and Sarjubai evicted.
Aloke jubilantly arrives at the bustee with presents for Sarjubai on her birthday only to be confronted by a spectacle of grief and squalor. Aghast at the ruthless action of his father, he leaves the house, determined not to desert his more unfortunate friends.
"Alaap" is the story of Aloke's life thereafter, following him through trials and tribulation as he rejects the "system" his father uphold and de-classes himself. In the slums he meets Ganesh, the son of the family coach driver, who now drives a tonga himself. Out of compassion he even marries Radhiya, the sister of Ganesh. Against all odds, struggling against poverty he had never known, Aloke continues his study of music, driving a tonga during the day to support his family. Until the day of crisis, when destiny again intervenes to test the calibre of his commitment-to himself, to his family, to his music.
"Alaap" is his story. It is the story of a youth caught in the vortex of his own convictions. It is the story of a conflict between two generations and raises many issues of social relevance.
But, above all, Alaap is the story of music.