Based on the novel by Bibhutibhushan Banerji, this is the second part of the trilogy begun by Pather Panchali. Apu grows up and becomes restless for experience. Set in Benares in the 1920’s, the focus is on the changing environment, contrasted with the stasis of village life in Pather Panchali. Apu’s restlessness and desire for more education brings him into conflict with his mother. This realistic portrayal of family life drew a good deal of criticism from the middle class audience of the time.
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