Musafir is a 1957 Hindi movie, written by Ritwik Ghatak and Hrishikesh Mukherjee, and directed by the latter in a directorial debut. The film is about a house and the lives of three families who live in it, so in essence it is three stories linked by the house. The movie is Hrishikesh's directorial debut. The film stars Dilip Kumar, Kishore Kumar, Keshto Mukherjee, Suchitra Sen and Nirupa Roy. The music is by Salil Chowdhury.
For any young married couple, moving into their new house is a very special feeling. The feeling gets more special if the young couple has eloped and married. Something similar happened with Shakuntala (Suchitra Sen) and her husband. The landlord (David) helps the couple move to the rented house. The young couple moves to this house which incidentally is the main protagonist of the film. While Shakuntala makes the house into a beautiful home, her husband gets busy with work. She meets the neighboring tea vendor (Mohan Choti) and meets the next door auntie whose favourite pastime is to gossip about developments in others' homes. The couple hears the sound of a violin in the night and ask the tea-stall owner about it in the morning. He says that it is being played by a mad-man, Pagla Babu. Since, the couple had eloped Shakuntala wanted that her parents-in-law accept her as their daughter-in-law. This is what happens and her in-laws somehow find the young couple and they are more than happy to meet Shakuntala. Finally, Shakuntala and her husband go with them and vacate the house. In between Shakuntala plants some seeds in the garden.
The landlord again puts the TO LET sign on the house
The next tenants in the house is a family headed by an old man Nazir Hussain.The other members are his elder widowed daughter-in-law(Nirupa Roy) and younger son Bhanu(Kishore Kumar). The daughter-in-law is pregnant and we are told that her husband had just died. Bhanu is finishing his college and simultaneously looking for a job, whereas his old father is somehow managing the expenses. Although there is sadness in the home Bhanu, with his wit and humour, maintains a light atmosphere for his sister-in-law. The next door aunty again comes and chats on and on. Bhanu also hears the violin and when asks about it from the tea-vendor is told about Pagla Babu. The problems of the family increase as Bhanu fails to get a job landing the family in dire consequences. He gets frustrated and this leads to a clash with his father. On feeling humiliated Bhanu finally drinks poison before sleeping. However the poison is adulterated and Bhanu wakes up when the entire family is mourning. He gets the news that he has finally got a job in some other city. The pregnant lady also delivers a child. The family is happy and they move to another city vacating the house. We see that the seed which Shakuntala sowed has germinated.
The landlord again puts the TO LET sign on the house.
Note: This part of the movie is adorned with a lovely song by Kishore, "Munna Bada Pyaara, Ammi Ka Dulara".
The next inhabitants are a barrister and his widowed sister Uma (Usha Kiron). Uma has a small handicapped son (Daisy Irani). The neighbourhood aunty again visits the home. Like the previous tenants this family also hears the sound of a violin in the night. The child is also attracted by the music and when he finds out about Pagla Babu from the tea-vendor, he insists on meeting him. However the vendor tells the child that Pagla babu does not meet anyone. However, the child does not listen and insists on meeting the mysterious violinist. The Pagla Babu does appear to meet the child. Uma is shocked to realize that Pagla Babu is none other than Raja(Dilip Kumar), her ex-lover. Raja however does not make it evident and interacts fondly with the child. In a very short span an amazing bond is developed between Raja and the child. Initially, Uma is very uncomfortable with this bonding but slowly she accepts it. We come to know that Raja is suffering from cancer and the dreaded disease is in its advanced stage. Ironically, Raja who is on the verge of dying pumps life into the child and fills his dark world with hope. He also tells the child that he will start walking once there will be a flower in the garden. On knowing about Raja, Uma’s brother is furious. There is a clash between them. Slowly, Raja reaches final stage and Uma takes care of him.Eventually he dies and the child starts walking. Meanwhile, in the garden, the germinated seed finally blossoms into a flower.