Munshi Premchand Heart Touching Story - Festival of Eid

Festival of Eid: Premchand Story For Students

Idgaah: Premchand Story [6]

“Why not?” retorts Hamid. “Place them across your shoulders and it is a gun; wields them in your hands and it is like the tongs carried by singing mendicants – they can make the same clanging as a pair of cymbals. One smack and they will reduce all your toys to dust. And much as your toys may try they could Not bend a hair on the heads of my tongs. My tongs are like a brave tiger.”

Sammi who had bought a small tambourine asks, “Will you exchange them for my tambourine? It is worth eight pice.”

Hamid pretends not to look at the tambourine. “My tongs if they wanted to could tear out the bowels of your tambourine. All it has is a leather skin and all it can say is dhub, dhub. A drop of water could silence it forever. My brave pair of tongs can weather water and storms, without budging an inch.”

The pair of tongs wins over everyone to its side. But now no one has any money left and the fairground has been left far behind. It is well past 9 a.m. and the sun is getting hotter every minute. Everyone is in a hurry to get home. Even if they talked their fathers into it, they could not get the tongs. This Hamid is a bit of a rascal. He saved up his money for the tongs.

The boys divide into two factions. Mohsin, Mahmood, Sammi and Noorey on the one side, and Hamid by himself on the other. They are engaged in hot argument. Sammi has defected to the other side. But Mohsin, Mahmood and Noorey, though they are a year or two older than Hamid, are reluctant to take him on in debate. Right is on Hamid’s side. Also it’s moral force on the one side, clay on the other. Hamid has iron now calling itself steel, unconquerable and lethal. If a tiger was to spring on them the water-carrier would be out of his wits; Mister Constable would drop his clay gun and take to his heels; the lawyer would hide his face in his gown, lie down on the ground and wail as if his mother’s mother had died. But the tongs, the pair of tongs, Champion of India would leap and grab the tiger by its neck and gouge out its eyes.

Mohsin puts all he has in his plea, “But they cannot go and fetch water, can they?”

Hamid raises the tongs and replies, “One angry word of command from my tongs and your water-carrier will hasten to fetch the water and sprinkle it at any doorstep he is ordered to.”

Mohsin has no answer. Mahmood comes to his rescue. “If we are caught, we are caught. We will have to do the rounds of the law courts in chains. Then we will be at the lawyer’s feet asking for help.”

Hamid has no answer to this powerful argument. He asks, “Who will come to arrest us?”

Noorey puffs out his chest and replies, “This policeman with the gun.”

Hamid makes a face and says with scorn, “This wretch come to arrest the Champion of India! Okay, let’s have it out over a bout of wrestling. Far from catching them, he will be scared to look at my tongs in the face.”

Mohsin thinks of another ploy. “Your tongs’ face will burn in the fire every day.” He is sure that this will leave Hamid speechless. That is not so. Pat comes Hamid with the retort, “Mister, it is only the brave who can jump into a fire. Your miserable lawyers, policemen and water-carriers will run like frightened women into their homes. Only this Champion of India can perform this feat of leaping into fire.”

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