Pather Panchali (1955) Script


Outdoor Sequences Filmed with the Kind Cooperation of the Village of Boral.


Cinematography by SUBRATA MITRA Art Direction by BANSI CHANDRAGUPTA

Sound by BHUPEN GHOSH Production Manager ANIL CHOUDHURY

Distributed by AURORA FILMS

Processing by BENGAL FILM LABORATORIES Sound Recorded on RCA and KINEVOX Systems Music by RAVI SHANKAR Written and Directed by SATYAJIT RAY

Who's there?

Look at that!


That girl won't leave any fruit on the trees!

That orchard wasn't free.

We paid good money for it.

I've said all along, "If we want any fruit left, we'll have to fence it in."

So many thieves in this village! - What happened?

It's Harihar's little brat!

She doesn't leave a single piece of fruit!

The moment I turn my back, she steals it!

What did she take? I saw her take a guava.

Who knows what else? I can't watch every tree!

Why don't you talk to them? Talk to whom?

Who would listen to me anyway?

She's not my daughter.

If her own mother doesn't care, what's it matter what you or I say?

Her mother will learn when the whole village turns against her.

It's just bad upbringing.

Children learn what they're taught.

Shall I carry that for you?

No, thank you.

Why not let me help? Can you manage?


Oh, dear. I forgot to save some for you.



Come along.

She's doing no harm. Let her stay.

Why should she watch you eat? Come here!

Go on. She's calling you.

Run along to your mother.

Right now!

What did you take from Mrs. Mukherjee's orchard?

Tell me.

What are you hiding?

Show me!

Take it back.

And sweep the yard when you come back.


You realize the harm you're doing the girl?

What do you mean? Need I tell you?

Who eats that fruit?

What fruit?

The fruit Durga brings you.

She's just a child — But you're not.

Have you no sense? Who do you think you are?

Think you can do as you please because we put you up?

I know you too well. What a lot of nonsense!

Must I spell it out?

Haven't you been stealing from my kitchen?

Oil, salt, chilies?

Shall I look in your box?


Why don't you answer?

You can't stay here and carry on like this.

Maybe you should go somewhere else.

I'm fed up.

It's been eight years, and I won't take any more.

You corrupt my daughter, and I get the blame.

I won't allow it.

I don't need this bother at my age.

Out of the way!

Auntie, where are you going?


Durga, come here.

Let go!

Durga, come here!

Did you give it back?

What else did I tell you to do?

Where have you been, Auntie Indir?

At Raju's.

This morning Shaila told me about Hari's new son.

I was on my way when this child came to get me.

We met on the road.

Go in and see your beautiful little nephew.

Where's the little darling?

Auntie, you're back at last.

Take the blanket off so I can have a good look.

The little darling!

What a little darling!

Bulbuls have eaten the rice How shall I pay the tax?

Baby shall ride in a boat And wear red shoes Who dares say his skin is dark?


11, 12...


Sleep, golden one I'll send for the goldsmith To make you a gold chain

What are you cooking? Can't you see?

A sumptuous feast. What else?

You should one day. Or have you forgotten how?

I have.

Too bad.

I thought we might celebrate our son's first mouthful of rice.

With what money?

I start work for Mr. Ray next month.


I saw Nilmoni today. He said Mr. Ray gave his word.

Did you ask about the pay? I'm not worried.

Besides, I'm not going to collect his rents forever.

He can't make me his bonded slave.

That money and the fees for my services as a priest will keep the family going for now.

Besides, there are always good times and bad.

Things are going well.

The boy was born in January, and you found work in the spring.

That's why we should spend a little to celebrate in style and save face with the neighbors.

Besides, they'll all praise your cooking.

That's something, isn't it?

Will he pay regularly?

Why wouldn't he? Ray's a good man.

Who's to say who's good and who's not?

People are always cheating you.

Like when?

Didn't they steal the orchard from right under our noses?

They said my brother owed them money when he was alive.

The orchard satisfied that debt.

We'd have no worries if we still had that orchard.

Mangoes, rose apples, coconuts.

They pick sackfuls of our fruit, but if Durga takes a single guava — Why worry about them?

They're moneylenders, and I'm a scholar.

Who cares about that in this godforsaken village?

Listen to what I'm writing now: new and original plays and poems.

When word gets around, the traveling troupes will come in droves.

Where else can they get new material?

Original plays don't grow on trees.

Other writers just rehash the same old stuff.

If that's acceptable, won't the original works of Harihar Ray be as well?

Of course.

And as a scholar, you'll be respected in the village.

What could be better?

You'll educate the boy... give him his sacred thread, teach him to worship the gods.

Durga will find a good husband.

Two good meals a day, new clothes twice a year — what more could we want?

We'll have all that and more.

My ancestors were writers, after all.

They left a legacy that can't be ignored.

Just wait two years.

My debts will be paid off and the house repaired, and you won't have to fix spinach and rice every day!

How about that?

Apu! Aren't you up yet?

Apu, aren't you going to school?

Wake up.


Durga, get Apu up.

He has to get ready for school. He's still snoring away.

Only half a pot, ma'am.

Are you feeding the cow enough?

Apu, get up.

"Deep in the heart of Janasthan..."


Why are you getting up again?

How many more times must you dampen your eraser?

Sit down.

"Deep in the heart of Janasthan..."

Puti, what do you want?

One paisa of puffed rice.

Hand over the money.

"...stands the mighty mountain Prasravan... its lofty summit...

crowned by ever drifting clouds...

that ceaseless gales...

urge along the pathways of the sky..."

How are you, Prasanna?

Welcome, Mr. Majumdar!

Dear me! It's a trap to kill people!

Hello there. How's everything?

Just fine.

Come in, come in.

You've spread quite a net, eh?

How many little fish have you caught now?

There were eight.

A new boy just arrived.

The proverbial nine jewels!

Apu, what are you smiling about?

Is this a theater?

My grandson will end up behind a plow too.

You were saying, sir?

Seen any good traveling troupes lately?

I did see the Trailokyatarini company.

Gupe, what are you doing?

The next village over booked a very good company.

I'll thrash you!

They thought they could score one on us, but they didn't reckon with Badyi Majumdar!

I've booked the finest troupe ever seen.

Mr. Chakravarti!

Let me have a little oil.

Just a bit.

I haven't put you down for a contribution yet, but in times of need one can expect a favor, right?

Of course.

Don't forget your friend Badyi Majumdar.

Mr. Chakravarti, wait!


When this troupe's drummer plays, it sounds like thunder.

You don't say.

Mr. Chakravarti, about your subscription for the festival...


Show me your slate!

Bring me his slate!

Bring it here!

What's this?

This is what you do during dictation?

Come here, you little scoundrel!

Hold out your hand!

What are you doing?

What did you take?

What were you doing in the kitchen? Nothing.

Nothing? I saw you take something from the shelf.

I'm out of chilies. I just thought I'd take a few.

Show me.

You should have asked.

I've told you I don't like anyone puttering in my kitchen.

When you're free, come here.

I need you to chop the greens.

Sit down.

At your age, other girls are helping around the house, cooking, chopping vegetables, scrubbing pots.

They even help with the religious rites.

You think it's right to be running around all day?

If you admire Ranu so much, why not learn from her?

Have you got a fever again today?

Let me see.

Remember to drink your basil tea.

Run and tell your mother we were at Puti's house.

You're back?

Don't touch! Now you've done it.

Mommy, I'm hungry.

Didn't you have some rice?

Yes. Well, then?

Apu! Come here!

There's rice in the big bowl. Ask Durga for some.


Help me up.

What's wrong?

My back's gotten so stiff.

How are you these days?

Oh, no one cares about an old woman.

What's happened now? Just look at this.

What's that?

My shawl.

I wear it in the evenings.

I'll buy you a new one for the puja festival.

Really? Yes.

Can I have some live coals?

How can I supply you with coals all the time?

Did you bring in some firewood?

Did you ask for your pay today? How long will you keep quiet?

Mr. Ray has problems with his land. So what?

I could lose my job if I ask now.

So be it. I'm sure there are other jobs in town.

Eight rupees, and no pay in three months.

Some job! This has never happened before.

So you sit and do nothing? Have you seen the house and what the children are eating and wearing?

Durga has had a fever for days.

There's no medicine or even proper food.

The boy goes to school in rags. Is that right?


We can set aside repairs, but debts must be repaid.

I borrowed five rupees from Mrs. Mukherjee six months ago, and she's quick with the cutting remarks.

Do something, for goodness' sake!

Sit down.

You won't tell Mother?

Idiot! She'll hear you!

The sweets seller.

Do you want anything?

Delicious fried cream, sweet lentil balls, coconut candies, chandrapuli, sweet cheese balls.

Go ask Father for money. You go.

Go on!

I suppose he's asking for money.

Don't give him any. It's a bad habit.


He's headed for Tunu's house.

Chinibas is here!

What's going on? Off with you.

What do you have today?

Mother wants two annas' worth.

Durga, come and play.

Durga's on our team! Apu, come play!

Want to come play?

Then go home. I'll be there soon.

Apu's left out...

Durga, would you like some sweets?

I said not to offer them any.

They can buy their own!

I can't stand such shameless greed!

Show me.

Tunu, you coming to play?


What are you doing?

How pretty.

Who gave them to you? My father.

Let me help you.

Come on.

Open up.

Come get your candy, Sunil.

Come, Khuku.

How many times have I asked for a new shawl?

I need it for the evenings.

Durga, come here.

What about your hair? Sit down.

Mother, can you braid it in four strands?

Keep your head still.

Ranu knows how.

Look at your hair.

Not a drop of oil, and you want four strands!

Mother, did you know that a prospective match is coming to visit Ranu?

Who's coming?

Didi, have you ever seen a train?

Sure. Don't lie.

You know where the tracks are?


Past the big meadow and beyond the rice fields.

Shall we go one day? Let's see what you wrote.

Very good!

Now write...

"Yikes! A ghost!"


Did you do well at school today?

You're so young. Don't the other boys tease you?

Apu, come here.

Be a good boy and eat.

You mustn't waste it.

Apu, come here.

Don't you want it?

Fine, then. Don't eat.

Nothing sweet to go with it. Just plain rice.

No wonder he runs off.

How will he survive?

Was he even born to survive?

Go rinse your mouth.

Where's Durga?

Shall I go get her toy box? Yes.

A fine way to bring up your daughter!

What's happened?

Thievery, that's what! Your daughter stole Tunu's bead necklace.

She stole it?

Don't look so surprised. She's a thief through and through.

Her father brought it for her from town.

Tunu showed it to your daughter.

Then this morning it vanished in broad daylight!

She's had her eye on it all along, asking to see it every day.

You won't find it in there, and Durga isn't home.

How do you know she took it anyway?

Durga said — Quiet!

Are you suggesting we hid it somewhere?

No, but it might have fallen off — It didn't.

We searched high and low.

I wouldn't be here otherwise.

Did you take Tunu's necklace?

Didn't you?

Take your hands off her!

She's a liar. Let me see.

I suppose that fruit is from your own orchard?

What's going on?

What's going on here? Huh?

What's the matter?

What's going on?

Sarbajaya, what is it?

You know we have no orchard, and I know it's wrong to take other people's fruit.

But how can you accuse her of stealing something of value?

Fruit has no name on it. If a child happens to — Well! The rupees I lent you had no name on them either, and you took them eagerly enough!

You've had them long enough. I'd like them back.

Come along.

Should you find that necklace, kindly return it.

What's going on?

Our fruit vanishes the moment it hits the ground.

When I complain, the mother is insolent to me!

"Fruit has no name on it.

So what if a child takes some?"

Like mother, like daughter!

A pair of thieves!

Come here.

I said come here.

You won't come?

Get out!

"...and that measure is called a maund.

A rupee is divided into annas, gondas, and cowries..."


Durga's meal is waiting. Go get her.

Just then... a demoness appeared.

"Krik, krak, krud, I smell human blood.

Who lies awake in my temple?"

The blue prince slept while the red prince kept watch.

In the second watch of the night, the demoness appeared again.

"Krik, krak, krud, I smell human blood.

Who lies awake in my temple?"

- Durga, open the door. I'll be right back.

Give this to your mother and ask her to come here.

Set it down.

Are you asleep in there? What is it?

Come here. I have a lot to tell you.

Durga, watch the milk.


No matter what people say...

Mr. Ray is a good man.

Here you are.

Three months' wages — 24 rupees. Count it.

I'll quickly say my evening prayers.

I have lots more to tell you.

I was collecting rents today when I met a distinguished-looking fellow.

He suddenly bowed deeply and said, "Sir, you don't know me, but I knew your father well.

He often officiated as a priest at my house."

"What's your name?" "Mahesh Biswas."

"What do you want?"

"I have something to ask of you." "What?"

"My whole family would like to be initiated next month.

It would be wonderful if you could officiate."

Quite wealthy people. Did you say you'd do it?

Are you crazy? Accept right off?

They'd think I was hard up.

Let them. We are hard up.

There could be a scandal if people found out his caste.

Who would tell them? You never know.

Maybe you. I know how you women are.

I'm busy enough without running around telling your business.

Don't be angry. The job's not going anywhere.

I told him we'd discuss it after the festival.

I mustn't seem overeager.

Try to manage till then on what I gave you.

That should cover clothes for the kids and a shawl for Auntie.

We must pay Mrs. Mukherjee tomorrow.

Fine. Our other debts can wait two months.

And the repairs?

They'll wait too. The house survived the rains.

I'll get an estimate from the carpenter this month.

You have to do something about the kitchen.

Kitchen, cowshed, walls, roof — it will all be done. Don't worry.

How many more days till the puja festival?



Did you take Tunu's necklace?

Don't be silly.

Who did? I don't know. Go to sleep.

I have an idea for a new play about Babhruvahana.

I'll write it when I find some time.

Listen... you lived in Benares a long time.

Do people know you there?

Some certainly do.

Isn't there a ghat by the river where priests sing and recite from the scriptures?

It's called Dashashamedh Ghat.

They earn a lot there, right? I suppose.

Then let's go.

We can't do that. Why not?

How can we?

I left there to return here to my ancestral home.

I can't go the other direction now.

Why not? You were away eight years before.

You left me at my father's and never even wrote.

I didn't really know you then.

Think I'd have left if I did? A lot of difference it's made!

This is my home now too.

But just look at it.

It's like living in the jungle.

Jackals prowling around as soon as night falls.

No neighbors to sit and talk to.

When you're not here, I'm terribly uneasy.

But you wouldn't understand.

You eat and sleep and go about your work, unconcerned whether you're paid or not.

I had lots of dreams too.

All the things I wanted to do...

Those who came before have passed on And I'm left behind A penniless beggar Not a cowrie to my name Look, my purse is empty

Lord, the day is done and evening falls Ferry me across to the other shore

Apu, hurry with the wood. The fire's not taking.

Is that washed? Set it down.

This blade!

Granny, are you getting married? Where's your mother?

At the pond.

Umi, come join us.

We're having a picnic.

All that? Set it down.

Where's Nera? Up there.

Get down here!

Wash the banana leaf plates. Sitting in the tree!

Where'd you get that shawl, Auntie?

Raju gave it to me.

It cost him 9 1/2 annas. It's very nice.

Here comes my sister!

How'd you get away? Isn't your mother home?

What are you making? - Khichuri.

Rice, lentils, potatoes, eggplant, cumin, chilies, bay leaves, oil —

Tepi, didn't you bring salt?

You only said oil!

You said you'd bring it!




Come here.

What's the matter?

Where'd you get that shawl?


Raju gave it to me.

Gave it to you? Listen to me.

You didn't ask him for it? Why would I?

I simply said that at my age I get chilly in the evening — Fine. Then they can feed you too!

Come now.

I did ask Harihar for a shawl.

Did he say no?

Did you have to go begging? You should be ashamed!

What must Raju think?

Can't an old woman have wishes too?

So you have wishes now — while you eat our food!

You realize the children often go hungry?

What about their wishes?

Will you feed and clothe them?

As long as you're dependent on me, don't go around begging.

Otherwise make other arrangements.

Put me up or don't.

Think I have nowhere to go? Fine! Then leave at once!

What's wrong?

What's the matter?

There, there.

Go wherever you like.

I can't keep you here any longer.

It's delicious.

Your husband will love your cooking. Hush!

How long until your wedding? I don't know.

I know. Shall I tell you? All right.

Two months and ten days, right?

How's it feel? Same as for everyone.

Tell me.

You'll find out.

It won't happen to me.

Sure it will.

I just know it won't. It will.

Your mother's looking for a suitable match.

It's true. Ask her.

Raju... are you home?

Who's that?

I've come to see... - Auntie? if you could take me in for a day or two.

- To stay? Just a day or two.

I get no peace at home.

Nothing but nagging day and night.

Listen... go tell your mother Auntie has come to stay.

And bring Auntie water for her feet.

Where else can this old woman go?

So I thought I'd come see you.

My child...

if you don't look after me, who will?

Beware, O evil Serpent King!

Utter such words again and I shall cut your tongue out and cast it to the jackals and dogs for the good of the world!

And for the good of the world I shall destroy you!

No, Father, I beseech you!

Do not make your own daughter a widow.

Away, dissolute serpent woman!


Why do you forget your place?

No longer are you the Serpent King's daughter!

You are the wife of one descended from the mighty sun!

Why, for the sake of my humble life, do you prostrate before a despicable serpent?

No, I would not even imagine your death.

Father, trample me all you will, only grant me the vermilion mark of marriage!

A human can ask for nothing from a serpent!

Away from me, you shameless hussy!

Sujata, arise!

Heed your husband's words!


Kill me first, Father, and then do as you propose.

Let me go!

Let him go! If there is indeed a god, the serpent's pride will be destroyed!

No, your pride will be destroyed first!

Mahakal... see how my daughter holds me back!

Slay him!

Be merciless in your revenge!

Do you remember, Kusha, how I swore on the battlefield to crush your skull beneath my boot?

Today is my chance! No, Mahakal.

My brother! My friend!

I beseech you, spare his life!

Pay her no heed!

Slay the evil Kusha!

I will deal with my daughter!

Come, you wicked woman!

Let me go, Father!

Today I shall slake my thirst for revenge!

Take this, my husband, and protect yourself!

See now, you demon!

Now the victorious trumpet will sound!

Will someone here give me a weapon that I may spill his blood?

Take this, O King... and join the battle!

Take this weapon, sister... and save your husband!

Durga, go see where the calf went.

Mommy, would you tie this on me? Wait.

Am I your servant now?

Apu, let's go look for Auntie.

No, go find the calf first.

What's that?

Where did you get that foil?

How dare you!

What's this? Durga!

What's going on?

Are you hitting him again? He was in my toy box.

So what? What use is your precious toy box?

He took all my foil. Enough!

Go find the calf.


Dressing up as a prince!

Sarbajaya, are you home?

What brings you back?

I'm not feeling very well.

I thought I'd spend my last days in the old home.

Don't use that excuse. A lot you care about the old home!

You'd better leave or there'll be trouble.

Just give me a minute.

Sitting down, are you?

Let me catch my breath.


Did you fall asleep?

Would you give me some water?

The pitcher's right there. Help yourself.


Sit down.

Eat it.

Where are we?

What are those?

If Mommy —


Lord, the day is done and evening falls Ferry me across to the other shore They say you are the lord of the crossing I call out to you

Lord, the day is done and evening falls Ferry me across to the other shore

You take those across Who haven't a cowrie to their name

I'm a poor beggar Without a cowrie to my name

Come see Delhi!

See the Qutub Tower... the Taj Mahal in Agra... the temples of Mathura, the harbor of Bombay!

When will you be back? In a week or so.

I'll stop in Bishnupur on the way back.

It's a market town.

If I got a monthly account, we could relax.

Where'd I put that thing?

I'm off.


Apu, there's Father.

Go ask him for some money.

Durga... come here.

I want to make some bodi. Do something for me first.

Go buy some molasses.

I'll make rice pudding for Apu. Go now?


He's been asking for it for days.

A letter!

Who's it from?

Let me see.

Give it here.

I arrived in Dasghara yesterday and met with Mahesh Biswas.

The poor man recently lost two of his children, so it was no time to mention the initiation ceremony.

I'm leaving for Bishnupur today.

Don't worry.

I'll earn money for the repairs and return home soon.

Don't be anxious.

Whatever God ordains is for the best.

Love and blessings to Durga and Apu.

Be charitable from the goodness of your heart If I can reach the Mother's blessed feet I shall place them on the lotus seat of my heart What do I care for worldly wealth?

Alms, good mother.

Bless you. May you be a queen one day.

Just what were you thinking?

How long would this have gone on?

We see each other every day. You could have said something.

Are we such strangers?

What can I do?

Every day I think there'll be news.

It's never been like this before.

It's been five months.

Not a letter, not a word.

Send Durga with me.

I'll give her something to tide you over.

Take this.

Don't be childish. I can't.

Then I'll leave it there.

Let go!

I still have the brass vessels from my wedding!

A letter!

"To Mrs. Sarbajaya Devi."

I haven't been able to write for four months.

You must be worried. In any case, I have good news.

I found a way to earn some money.

I'll return home soon.

It seems our luck has turned.

Whatever God ordains is for the best.

Holy pond and flower garland, who worships here in the noonday sun?

It is I, Leelavati, a maiden pure, sister of my brothers.

May my sons be numberless, and may I die by the holy Ganges.

Mother Goddess, counsel me.

I know not how to pray.

Grant me this blessing.

By leaf of lime and karamcha tree, rain, rain, away with thee!

Rain, rain, away with thee!

Show me your tongue.

Any word from Harihar?

He wrote that he'd be back this month.

Why does he wander so much?

You have any sago?

I can give you some. Just send Apu over.

Give her that, and if her fever goes up, place a damp cloth on her forehead.

No cause for alarm.

Just don't let her catch a chill.

Nilmoni, let's go.

What do you think, Doctor?

Come close.


We'll go see the train when I'm better, all right?

We'll get there early and have a good look.

You want to?

Hush. Don't be afraid.

I'm coming!

What is it?

Didi is worse. Mommy says to come.

I see.

Bini, sweep the yard. I'll be back soon.

Let's go.

Go get my husband, will you?

Tell him I said to come.

Is Didi asleep? Yes. Now run along.

That's a good boy.



Mother sent these for you.

I'll set them here.

Couldn't it have waited a bit longer?



Ah, you're home.


How are you?

I take it the children are out running around?

Where are you going?

Come see the presents I brought.

I'd have come home earlier if I could.

My luck finally turned at Ranaghat.

Made all the running around worth it.

This is from the chadak festival.

Made out of jackfruit wood.

And you wanted an image of the goddess Lakshmi.

I had it framed in glass.

And this is for Durga.

A new sari. Look.

No need to worry anymore. I'm back now.

Khoka, take the things off the shelves and put them on the bench.

You know, this past year I've lost all attachment to this ancestral home.

If it weren't for you and your husband, I don't know what we'd have done.

Not at all.

How much good was our help if we couldn't keep you here?

That's not your fault. It's our fate.

Other people live happy and peaceful lives here.

Well, I hope you're happy in your new home.


Come in.

You can sit on this. No need for that.

These mangoes fell down in the storm.

I thought you could use them for your trip.

You went to all that trouble? It's nothing.

I've never given you anything.

What are a few mangoes? So you're really leaving tomorrow?


You're probably angry I didn't mention it before.

Why should I be angry?

I was very happy for you when I heard.

Rotting away in one place year after year does no one any good.

It makes a person petty and mean.

That's what it's done to me.

Perhaps I'll go on a pilgrimage to Chandranath.

I'll see what my husband says.


Don't trouble yourself on our account.

Please sit down.

I've been confined to bed for a month and a half from indigestion, so I couldn't come see you.

Chakravarti tells me... you're moving to Benares. That's right.

We're leaving tomorrow at dawn.

You're leaving tomorrow?

Harihar... are you doing the right thing?

You're Rajkeshto's son, Tarkalankar's grandson.

Your family has lived here for three generations.

We village elders are still around.

You could have discussed it with us.

What good would that have done?

Look at the house.

I have no means to repair it.

Perhaps with your help I'd have raised some money, but how long can this go on?

It's been a long time — almost 15 years — and I still haven't paid back your loans.

Maybe I can pay them off by selling a few of these things.

All my plans came to nothing.

I wanted to be a writer.

Look at these. Eaten up by woodworms.

I hoped to educate my boy. That came to nothing.

And my little girl slipped away.

It's best to go. Sometimes one must leave one's ancestral home.

At least in the city I can scrape by reciting scriptures and narrating tales.

But you'll be back sometime, right?