1920, Harihar with wife Sarbajaya and 10 year old son Apu has moved to the holy city of Benaras. Harihar earns a meager by reciting religous scriptures. Tragedy strikes when Harihar fall ill with fever and collapses at the riverbank and dies soon after. The mother Sarbajaya decides to relocate to her uncles village where Apu resumes his education at the local school. Apu, now sixteen wins a scholarship and departs for Calcutta, leaving his mother alone. It breaks Sarbajaya�s heart, but she relents. Engulfed in city life-studying during the day and working in a printing press at night. Apu grows away from his mother. His visits get shorter as the time passes. This emotional distance unnoticed by the growing Apu, hurts Sarbajaya deeply. On a night sparkling with dancing fireflies, Sarbajaya dies. Apu comes back to an empty house. He grieves for his mother, but soon finds strength to leave the village for the last time, to carry on with his new life in the city.