Munshi Premchand Heart Touching Story - Festival of Eid

Festival of Eid: Premchand Story For Students

Festival of Eid: Premchand Story [4]

The prayer is over. Men embrace each other. They descend on the sweet and toy-vendors’ stores like an army moving to an assault. In this matter the grown-up rustic is no less eager than the boys. Look, here is a swing! Pay a pice and enjoy riding up to the heavens and then plummeting down to the earth. And here is the roundabout strung with wooden elephants, horses, and camels! Pay one pice and have twenty-five rounds of fun. Mahmood and Mohsin and Noorey and other boys mount the horses and camels.

Hamid watches them from a distance. All he had are three pice. He couldn’t afford to part with a third of his treasure for a few miserable rounds.

They’ve finished with the roundabouts; now it is time for the toys. There is a row of stalls on one side with all kinds of toys; soldiers and milkmaids, kings and ministers, water-carriers and washer-women and holy men. Splendid display! How lifelike! All they need are tongues to speak. Mahmood buys a policeman in khaki with a red turban on his head and a gun on his shoulder. Looks as if he is marching in a parade. Mohsin likes the water-carrier with his back bent under the weight of the water-bag. He holds the handle of the bag in one hand and looks pleased with himself. Perhaps, he is singing. It seems as if the water is about to pour out of the bag. Noorey has fallen for the lawyer. What an expression of learning he has on his face! A black gown over a long, white coat with a gold watch chain going into a pocket, a fat volume of some law book in his hand. Appears as if he has just finished arguing a case in a court of law.

These toys cost two pice each. All Hamid has are three pice; how can he afford to buy such expensive toys? If they dropped out of his hand, they would be smashed to bits. If a drop of water fell on them, the paint would run. What would he do with toys like these? They’d be of no use to him.

Mohsin says, “My water-carrier will sprinkle water every day, morning and evening.”

Mahmood says, “My policeman will guard my house. If a thief comes near, he will shoot him with his gun.”

Noorey says, “My lawyer will fight my cases.”

Sammi says, “My washer-woman will wash my clothes every day.”

BoysHamid pooh poohs their toys – they’re made of clay – one fall and they’ll break in pieces. But his eyes look at them hungrily and he wishes he could hold them in his hands for just a moment or two. His hands stretch without his wanting to stretch them. But young boys are not givers, particularly when it is something new. Poor Hamid doesn’t get to touch the toys.

After the toys it is sweets. Someone buys sesame seed candy, others gulab-jammuns or halva. They smack their lips with relish. Only Hamid is left out. The luckless boy has at least three pice; why doesn’t he also buy something to eat? He looks with hungry eyes at the others.

Mohsin says, “Hamid, take this sesame candy, it smells good.”

Hamid suspects it is a cruel joke; he knows Mohsin doesn’t have so big a heart. But knowing this Hamid goes to Mohsin. Mohsin takes a piece out of his leaf-wrap and holds it towards Hamid. Hamid stretches out his hand. Mohsin puts the candy in his own mouth. Mahmood, Noorey and Sammi clap their hands with glee and have a jolly good laugh. Hamid is crestfallen.

Mohsin says, “This time I will let you have it. I swear by Allah! I will give it to you. Come and take it.”

Hamid replies, “You keep your sweets. Don’t I have the money?”

“All you have are three pice,” says Sammi. “What can you buy for three pice?”

Mahmood says, “Mohsin is a rascal. Hamid you come to me and I will give you gulab-jammun.”

Hamid replies, “What is there to rave about sweets? Books are bull of bad things about eating sweets.”

“In your heart you must be saying: “If I could get it I would eat it,'” says Mohsin. “Why don’t you take the money out of your pocket?”

“I know what this clever fellow is up to,” says Mahmood. “When we’ve spent all our money, he will buy sweets and tease us.”

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