After Wadia Movietone’s Naujawan (1937), this was the 2nd songless film in the Hindi cinema. The absence of songs has remained one of its main claims to realism. It is a sequel of sorts to Abbas’s debut film Dharti Ke Lal (1946), evoked in the opening sequence. Tripti Mitra is the widowed mother of Munna (Romi), a six-year-old boy. Unable to feed her child in the city, the mother eventually commits suicide, leaving Munna in an orphanage. The child escapes and encounters several characters whom he reforms with his innocence: the pickpocket Bhikudada (David), the crooked Seth Laxmidas, a clerk, a magician, a boy who makes a living pasting posters while nursing an ambition to become the prime minister of India, and a couple who want to adopt him. The film intercuts Munna’s adventures with the travails of his mother, the two often narrowly missing each other in various city locations before she kills herself. Later Chetan Anand reworked the plot with an even younger child in Aakhri Khat (1966).