March 6, 2015
July 30, 2014
Hindustan Times (Delhi) |Vanita Srivastava
As I look back at my school days, I recall the beautiful story of Munshi Premchand’s ‘Idgah’ that we had in our Hindi text-books. We had even enacted a play on the story. At that time, I had read it as any other story without really understanding its layers of wisdom.
A few weeks ago, I happened to re-visit some of the stories of Premchand and chanced upon ‘Idgah’. And this time my eyes welled up as I could relate with the emotions. Here is a four-year boy who sees his friends buying sweets and toys for themselves on Eid. He too is eager to do the same but he buys a pair of ‘chimta’(tongs) for his grandmother.
The story begins on Eid morning. Hamid doesn’t have new clothes or shoes like other children. His parents had died and he stays with his grandmother. He lives on a hope that someday his parents would return. He has only three ‘paise’ as Idi for the festival, to spend. He watches his friends spend their pocket money on rides, candies and toys. But he does not buy any such stuff. Instead, Hamid stops by a shop to buy a chimta. He remembers how his grandmother would burn her hand while cooking ‘rotis’.
On the way back, his friends ridicule him on buying the ‘chimta’ but he silences them with his intelligent remarks on how his ‘chimta’ was better than their perishable toys.
Initially, the grandmother is shocked and annoyed by his stupidity that instead of buying something to eat or buying a toy at the fair, he has purchased a ‘chimta’. But when Hamid tells her why he has bought the ‘chimta,’ she bursts into tears.
A small story but with a great meaning. The fouryear-old has compassion and maturity. For him, money was not for momentary pleasures. Why can’t we be like this four-year-old?
(Tuesday’s column by P P Wangchuk should have carried the headline, ‘Anger should reflect love’, andnot ‘Luck chases hard work’)
March 17, 2014
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