Munshi Premchand Heart Touching Story - Festival of Eid

Festival of Eid: Premchand Story For Students

Idgaah: Premchand Story [5]

After the sweet-vendors there are a few hardware stores and shops of real and artificial jewellery. There is nothing there to attract the boys’ attention. So they go ahead – all of them except Hamid who stops to see a pile of tongs. It occurs to him that his granny does not have a pair of tongs. Each time she bakes chappatis, the iron plate burns her hands. If he were to buy her a pair of tongs she would be very pleased. She would never burn her fingers; it would be a useful thing to have in the house. What use are toys? They are waste of money. You can have some fun with them but only for a very short time. Then you forget all about them.

Hamid’s friends have gone ahead. They are at a stall drinking sherbet. How selfish they are! They bought so many sweets but did not give him one. And then they want him to play with them; they want him to do odd jobs for them. Now if any of them asked him to do something, he would tell them, “Go suck your lollipop, it will burn your mouth; it will give you a rash of pimples and boils; your tongue will always crave for sweets; you will have to steal money to buy them and get a thrashing in the bargain. It’s all written in books. Nothing will happen to my tongs. No sooner my granny sees my pair of tongs she will run up to take it from me and say, “My child has brought me a pair of tongs,’ and shower me with a thousand blessings. She will show it off to the neighbours’ womenfolk. Soon the whole village will be saying, “Hamid has brought his granny a pair of tongs, how nice he is!’ No one will bless the other boys for the toys they have got for themselves. Blessings of elders are heard in the court of Allah and are immediately acted on. Because I have no money Mohsin and Mahmood adopt such airs towards me. I will teach them a lesson. Let them play with their toys and eat all the sweets they can. I will not play with toys. I will not stand any nonsense from anyone. And one day my father will return. And also my mother. Then I will ask these chaps, ‘Do you want any toys? How many?’ I will give each one a basket full of toys and teach them how to treat friends. I am not the sort who buys a pice worth of lollipops to tease others by sucking them myself. I know they will laugh and say Hamid has brought a pair of tongs. They can go to the Devil!”

Hamid asks the shopkeeper, “How much for this pair of tongs?”

The Shopkeeper looks at him and seeing no older person with him replies, “It’s not for you.”

“Is it for sale or not?”

“Why should it not be for sale? Why else should I have bothered to bring it here?”

“Why then don’t you tell me how much it is!”

It will cost you six pice.”

Hamid’s heart sinks. “Let me have the correct price.”

“All right, it will be five pice, bottom price. Take it or leave it.” Hamid steels his heart and says, “Will you give it to me for three?” And proceeds to walk away lest the shopkeeper screams at him. But the shopkeeper does not scream. On the contrary, he calls Hamid back and gives him the pair of tongs. Hamid carries it on his shoulder as if it were a gun and struts up proudly to show it to his friends. Let us hear what they have to say.

Mohsin laughs and says, “Are you crazy? What will you do with the tongs?” Hamid flings the tongs on the ground and replies, Try and throw your water-carrier on the ground. Every bone in his body will break.”

Mahmood says, “Are these tongs some kind of toy?”

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