The film entitled City of Joy is about the adventures and experiences of Hasari Pal and his family. Hasari is a farmer who lives with his parents, his wife and children in avillage in India. The family is unable to repay a loan which they had taken some years back and their house and other property are seized from them such that they become homeless. They therefore decide to relocate to Calculatta and start a new life with the little savings they have. However, they are duped by a man who pretends to be a landlord and takes all their money away. Since they do not have any money left on them they are unable to rent a new house and find themselves living on the streets.
After struggling hard, Hasari finds a job to work as a driver through the help of Ghatak. He meets a new friend Dr. Lowe, whom he rescued on the streets after he met him bleeding helplessly. After attending to Lowe he takes him to the slum where he lives with his family, known as the city of Joy. Lowe had been attacked and beaten up, robbed of all his possessions and documents by some unknown criminals.
The City of Joy is populated and inhabited by poor people who cannot afford a better life for themselves and their families, just like Hasari and his family. Lowe follows Hasari to live there and he finds himself a new home in the slum. Although he spends most of his time in the slum, Lowe is afraid to get very close and emotionally attached to the people and the lifestyle. He later on joins forces with the lady who was in charge of the local clinic in the area in order to help his new friends.
Hasari also becomes friends with Joan Bethel. Joan gets into major disagreements with Ghatak and this brings about the closure of the local clinic. Not long after, Ghatak dies and his son Ashok takes over his father's estate.