indian cinema heritage foundation

Musafir (1957)

  • Release Date26/04/1957
  • GenreDrama
  • FormatB-W
  • LanguageHindi
  • Run Time151 min
  • Length4077.31 meters
  • Gauge35 mm
  • Censor RatingU
  • Censor Certificate NumberU-20169/57-MUM
  • Certificate Date25/04/1957

Musafir follows three different families that occupy Mahadev Chaudhuri’s house at different times. Each family brings with it its own set of problems that are eventually resolved. As they come and go, the house remains, holding the memories of many. 
The first occupants are two young lovers, Ajay and Shakuntala. Ajay has rescued Shakuntala from being forcibly married to a much older man. Fearing that his rich father will not accept the orphaned Shakuntala as his daughter-in-law, he moves into a house far from his parents. Ajay writes to his father asking for his blessing. Ajay’s parents turn up at their doorstep to denounce their marriage and disinherit Ajay. Shakuntala mistakes them to be landlords, and invites them to have lunch with the couple. It is only when Ajay returns that she realizes she has been with his parents, but by then she has won them over. Ajay’s father rebukes him for hiding his wife from his own parents, and the happy couple leaves with Ajay’s parents. 
Soon after, Madhav Babu, a government pensioner, along with his recently widowed pregnant daughter-in-law and his son Bhanu, moves into the house. Bhanu passes his B.A. examination, but he fails to secure a job. Finally, he appears for a competitive exam and waits for the results. His father’s patience begins to wear out. Disillusioned and frustrated, Bhanu decides to end his life. The next morning, a telegram arrives informing Bhanu of his selection for a job. His sister-in-law, meanwhile, is shocked to find his suicide note. She tries to open Bhanu’s door, only to find him opening it himself. Though he took the poison, it turns out to have been adulterated and he survives. The family moves to another town where Bhanu takes up his job. 
Suresh, a lawyer, moves into the house next. He brings with him his sister Uma and her son Raja, who is afflicted with paralysis in both his legs. Uma meets Pagla Babu, a mysterious violinist. He is revealed to be her old lover Raja, after whom her son is named. Uma invites him to stay with them. Soon, little Raja and his “Achhe Chacha” form a close bond. When Suresh discovers this, he orders Uma to throw him out. In the middle of the night, sick and vulnerable, Raja leaves. He leaves a letter for Uma, explaining that he had been diagnosed with a terminal disease two days before they were to be married, forcing him to leave. Meanwhile, little Raja miraculously starts walking. When Uma takes him out to see the blooming flowers on the tree, they find Raja dead under it.