The movie was at a time when India was waking up to values shown in black and white,love in many shades and relationships in transparency. Its an amalgamation of every known emotion to human or rather Indians. Also depicted by actors who were stars because they could enact those emotions so brilliantly.
Its a simple formulaic film about a fatherless son who becomes a tramp and a thief but has a loyal childhood sweetheart. But sometimes formulaic films becomes popular or a ult movie when the actors know how to emote and how to make the audience feel with them or become empathetic when the actors fall ,cry or die.
Awara was a hit in Russia and and MiddleEast. It was nominated for GrandPrize in Cannes 1953. It was so popular in Turkey that it was remade as Avare in 1964.
And thats how its with Awara. You dont just dissect a cult movie.