Indian director Ritwik Ghatak (who died in poverty in 1976) creates a dramatic tale of a struggle to survive in this story of a young man's determination to support his sister and a little friend. Forced by desperate conditions, Isvar goes to Calcutta to look for work and brings along his sister Sita and a young boy, Abirham.
Isvar finds work at a steel mill near the Subarnarekha River on the outskirts of the city and raises the two children there. When Sita and Abirham grow up they fall in love and marry, and then move into the city.
Communication dwindles between Isvar and his two former charges, so when Abirham dies in an accident and Sita turns to prostitution to survive, Isvar has no idea what has happened until it is too late.